A Travellerspoint blog

Malacca - Malaysia

overcast 34 °C

After another fantasticly speedy connection from KL via taxi – bus – taxi to Malacca, Malaysia’s Cultural Capital, we checked into a nice enough big room for a bargain price of 28 Ringit. Unfortunately, it didn’t have air con, and the heat was stifling. After walking to reception, my shirt was soaked. Sheesh. We asked yer man to keep an auld air con room for us for the morrow and decided we’d have to make do until then.

We headed out onto hazy streets and found shelter in another shopping mall. It’s no wonder they like to shop a lot in Malaysia & Singapore, it’s too bloody hot to be wandering around anywhere without air conditioning. Phewf.

Later we sweated buckets while trying to use the internet and had a terrible time trying to get some sleep in the heat.

The next morning, we gleefully left our bags in reception while a small man cleaned up an air con room for us. We went out and hit a vegetarian food place – only the second one we’ve been in since we’ve been away. We had some fake chicken with cashew nuts and fake ham sandwiches. The fake chicken was quite good, the ham was a bit plasticky.

Anywho, our new room was fantastic. It was huge, clean, bright, had air con and a bathroom and even had two chairs and some places to hang stuff with plenty of hangers. Holy moly. We decided to stay a few days here before hitting Singapore.

We did more shopping, and went on our own guided tour of Malacca. Malacca was in turn invaded and ruled by the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British (surprise surprise) before finally gaining Independence in 1957. There are lots of different ethnic groups here. Descendents of Chinese and Indians whose ancestors sailed to the port here, more than likely to trade and ended up staying and marrying local women. Some retain their religions but yet dress and speak Malay and the Portuguese-Eurasian group speak their own language but dress a lil Malayish.

We visited St Pauls Church, Christ Church (built by the Portuguese), the Stadthuys (official gaff of the Dutch officers), Chinatown, the Mosque, the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia and an Indian (chitty) temple. The sweat was pouring off us and into our eyes. We stopped for lunch at a small café that was housed in an old Chinese house. It was huge and had a really cool courtyard in the middle of the house, where we sat and ate our tuna salads/full breakfasts whilst sipping lemon freezes and ice coffees and perusing a Simpsons Comicbook.

Afterwards we continued on with our sightseeing (see above) and bought me an original Orangutan t shirt from the Orangutan House (there were no orangutans there). Jim didn’t want one although I thought the sausage dog one was cool and would have looked very grand on him.

Then it was onto the shop for two large beers and back to our gaf to shower and drink them in the coolness of Paradise.

Later we went for Indian food in Restaurant Dtandori across the road. The owner was a jovial fat man who chatted to us afterwards for hours about politics, Malaysian culture here and questioned us on the troubles in the north. The food there was scrumptious(I’m tired of saying yummy and delicious). I had boneless fish masala – wow. Jim had butter chicken and we split some naan bread, rice and spinach. Roll us home.

Then it pissed rain so we legged it, the thunder and lightening was very loud and very bright and hella cool.

The next day I got an ear infection somehow, I think it may have been from the air conditioning (saint & sinner) and my head swelled up. The pain was humoungus so I slept all day and then tossed and turned with the pain at night.

Still grimacing with pain the next morning, we jumped in a cab at 8.30am to go to the bus stop, only to discover that there was no available bus to Singapore til 12pm. After booking our tickets however, we discovered another ten bus ticketing counters around the corner. doh! They had a bus leaving at ten am. I ran to the first atm - doesn't take plus cards, to the second - out of order, to the third atm - queue of 6 people, indured 20 minutes of ejits unable to use the machine, a weirdo singing 'how do you solve a problem like maria' at me and trunty other smart asses (men always) practising their Engrish phrases on the girl on her own.
The big balls on them all while jimbob's not around. lol ;)
Anywho, it was all to no avail, as the guy at the counter said that the 10am bus was going via Mwoh or somewhere and wouldn't get into Singapore until the same time. *sigh*

So we went to the net cafe and waited.




































Posted by squeakylee 19:35 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

overcast 34 °C

Well we headed out into KL to watch the Pool Match.
Finnegans pub was recommended for drinking and sports watching but the drinks were incredibly expensive (all beer is very dear here due to it being a muslim country and what not) so we sipped a couple of beers and watched a terrible Liverpool match. By the time it ended, my eyes hurt from watching so much krap football (he he ;) ) and we were starving so we hit this open air joint for some late night curry and veggies. Delicious and expensive. Eek.

The next day we went to the mall and basically stayed there all day. There was oodles and oodles of stores and they all had so much stuff hanging outside of them that we were bombarded with pictures and sounds… Sensory Overload!! Malaysia is quite westernised and there are lots of cars, less motorbikes, many shops and malls, restaurants, banks etc etc. That evening we went to Chinatown, which is basically a big outdoor market with stalls of t shirts, bags, belts, food, drinks etc. We stumbled across the English girl and her bloke at one of the tables whilst on our search for food. They had had to stay the night in Termerloh after filing a stolen goods (??) report at the police station. They said the police asked them very weird questions like how long were they together and what was her father’s name etc.. :/

We continued on our search for presents and food and finally hottailed it back to the Golden Triangle for some outdoor grub. Here I encountered my meat problem again. Everything has bloody meat in it (well not bloody but I could feel the blood being spilled). So I settled for Spicy bean curd rice which does in fact have bean curd in it (i.e. tofu) but also has krap, pork, prawns and some other unknown meaty substance in it. Yet another occasion when McDonalds sprang to my mind. (ARRGH)
(I meant krab)

The following morning we decided to get up early and queue up for some tickets to the skybridge – the bridge that joins the two Petronas Towers. We got up at 7am, ate some toast with peanut butter and jam stripes (they have peanut butter with jam in the same tub over here – it’s a marvellous timesaving device) and decided to walk up to the Petronas Towers. Well it was a sweaty 40 mins walk, but was going to be well worth it we reckoned. Except for the fact that it was Monday, and the towers aren’t open to the public on Monday! Ahem ………
So back to bed we went for a few hours kip. Later on we explored more malls and Jimbob got a haircut. We drank some expensive beer and decided to try see the towers again tomorrow morning.

Well I couldn’t have been arsed getting up early again the next day. I read in the paper that they’re not all that anyway. I reckon Jim wanted to see them but without me telling him to get up every five minutes, he can’t get it together. Lol.
Anywho, we hit the road to Melacca. :)
















Posted by squeakylee 06:20 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Kota Bahru & The Jungle Line Train - Malaysia

sunny 33 °C

The minute we entered Malaysia via the small town of Kota Bahru, some jolly dude was offering us a ‘special price’ to the Perhentian Islands. These islands are supposed to be absolutely gorgeous with one of the best beaches in South East Asia on Kecil Island. However, we’d just spent two weeks on a beach, plus it is now monsoon season. The dive shops, beaches & hotels are all closed until March or so.

So we kindly rejected his offer and hopped onto the number 29 bus to Kota Bahru – the most Malaysian city in Malaysia – according to some Polish dude we met at the bus stop. He was a bit odd in my opinion as; he LOVED Bangkok, he didn’t like the rest of Thailand as it was too developed, he had a tinchy ponytail, he wanted to stay in Kota Bahru for five days even though there is nowt to see there as he thinks it is a purer part of Malaysia and wasn’t going to do the islands or get the jungle train but go straight from Kota Bahru to Penang. Hmmm. He said he had work to do. He he

Trying to get ourselves and our bags onto the bus itself was a bit of a pain in the nads. We had to step over a bunch of young fellas doing their best English impressions – “my names is michael Jackson, ooh you are so beautiful, do you have a map of Malaysia etc” and sit down the back in front of Madser McGinty himself. A slightly jovial, crazy dude who was telling me he was from Australia (yeah right you are buddy) and then tried to make friends by giving me a present of some money. I wouldn’t mind but it was Thai money. No good to me now, ‘mate’. ;)

We jumped off the bus, bid adieu to the Polish guy – who had opted to stay in the scuzziest backpacker joint in town (probably to be cool) even though it was the same price as the nice one we were off to, (it’s even described as ‘grungy’ in his guidebook??) and headed up the road.

Kota Bahru was a nice enough joint, but more of a stopover town. The hostel we hit was quite homely and we got a fairly breezy room for our one night there. We headed out to get a bit of grub. The majority of people in Kota Bahru are Muslim and they’re all off their food at the moment for Rahmadan. So basically it’s tough to get a decent bite to eat round these parts. It is also not a good country for a vegetarian. There is a huge Chinese & Indian population in Malaysia too and of course they all have their own restaurants. There is a large amount of Chinese restaurants but everything contains pork. In contrast Muslims don’t allow the eating of pork, and they don’t like pork on their premises. It would have been very difficult and maybe even dangerous if I had been travelling with a small pot-bellied pig.
Anywho, grub was basically rice as some people obviously don’t know how to make chicken noodles with vegetables into a vegetarian dish.
Off we rambled around town but there really wasn’t much to see. We went to ‘The Store’ and bought some supplies. Wow. I know.

The main reason we had come to KB was to catch the Jungle Line Train from Kota Bahru all the way down to Mentacab, and onto Kuala Lumpur. So the next morning, it was up and atom again at half five and off to the train station with another couple – one English bird and her fella. The train itself was a bit like a truck attached to a carriage attached to a carriage attached to another truck. It stopped at every little kampung along the way and lots of ladies in headscarves and men in tiny hats lugged bags and boxes and carts of beans, chillies, fish, potatoes, vegetables and other assorted goodies on and off the train. We had very comfy chairs however and we settled down to enjoy the ten hour journey through the jungle.

Weeelll it wasn’t half as scenic as I thought it would be, but it was comfy and there was a toilet. We got to see some ladies praising Allah in the seats in front of us and there was much hustle and bustle going on to amuse us no end.

There was a couple of Canadian lads beside us and the couple we had arrived at the station with had sat down the back of the carriage. Towards the end of the journey, the English girl – Vicky – told us that while they were asleep, some guy had propped a towel up around their seat to cover what he was doing, and stolen their ipod, camera and money from under their seats. Apparently the robber had been sitting behind all of us Gringoes at some stage or another during the journey but luckily for the rest of us, he didn’t manage to get his greasy paws on our junk.

The couple were getting off at Mentacab with us, but they had to take a detour to the police station, so we jumped in a private car and headed to the bus stop to kick on down to Kuala Lumpur. We could have waited with them, but Jimbob wanted to watch the Liverpool match so we had to get to town to watch it. :)

Well twas the speediest of connections. Within a half hour of getting off the train, we were on an icy cold bus to Kuala Lumpur. We arrived at our hostel and were showered and ready to go and watch the match by 9.50. Wow.















Posted by squeakylee 06:13 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Leaving Koh Phangan and Off On The Road...


sunny 32 °C

Well the rest of the week in Koh Phangan was much the same. Sleeping, sunbathing, drinking whiskey and generally being lazy arses.

On the final day of our second Thai visa, we thought we had better get a move on. Although on the way down the beach we DID consider extending our stay again, but good sense got the better of us, well not really. We stayed up drinking and shenaniganising til all hours in the morning, and then had to get up a few minutes later at 5.30am to get the ferry.

We gottttttttt (Deep Breath) a mini bus to a ferry to another bus to a shop where we got duped into changing our money into Malaysian ringitts at an extorniate rate, then a jeep to a mini bus to a car to a place where we got another mini bus all the way down to Sungai Kolok – aka the eastern border crossing point between Thailand and Malaysia. This 600 km journey took 15 hours.
Rediculous I know.

Needless to say by the time we got to the border town of Sungai Kolok, the border was closed. (That bint in the shop was going hell for leather urging us to change our money into Malaysian Ringitts even though she knew we wouldn’t see that side of Malaysia today – she left us broke and sharing one eggy-ricey dinner between us as we couldn’t pay for two –much to the dismay and anger of another fat old Thai woman.)

So our very nice mini bus driver dropped us to a small hotel in Sungai Kolok. It was a fabulous room with some very welcome air conditioning. :) We headed around the corner to a small ‘buffet’ (ahahahha) where we pointed at dishes and laughed nervously as small Thai women piled weird food that had probably been sitting there all day onto humoungous mounds of rice for us. That was munched with a GIANT beer each, which was desmegginglicious.

The next morning we climbed onto the back of two motorbikes with our giant bags on our backs (Vietnam Stylee) and zoomed off to the border crossing point. We had to pay a tenner each for overstaying our visa by one day (that ould biddy’s fault again) and then onwards we trotted into the Kingdom of Malaysia.

Posted by squeakylee 06:11 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Ko Phangan - Thailand

get yer moooon on..


We left Phi-Phi on a smaller boat than the one we arrived on. It was full of people all basking in the sun out on the top deck nearly all of which were headed for the Islands on the East coast. The trip from phi phi to Phangan took a little longer than we originally estimated. In the tour shop it said “arrive Phangan 5:30pm” this however turned out to be “arrive Phangan 10:30pm” grrr. After the first boat trip we had to wait around for about 45 min to get on a bus to bring us to a bigger bus that proceeded to drive at a top speed of 40km per hour. The roads are excellent and there isnt that much traffic on them at all, but the buses still drive very very slow (Everyone drives slower than Vietnamese drivers).

So from the big bus to a lunch stop for some tasty noodle soup and an hour wait, then another bus to the port - another hour wait. Finally we boarded a car Ferry at dusk and headed off on the 4 hour 2 knots an hour journey to Phangan. We kept our spirits up with a nice cold chang beer and the backpacker’s trusty friend… Mr Super Noodle.

Since we were arriving kinda late, we didn’t want to have to go looking around for accommodation. So we booked a bungalow near the port area for the night. The place was new and quite nice, but WAY to far away from all the full moon party action the far eastern side - “Had Rin” Beach. We got up early the next morning, checked out and left our bags in the overnight place to go searching for some accommodation near Had Rin.

We jumped in the back of a local taxi and headed for had rin, keeping our eyes pealed for names of resorts we (Lisa) had been looking at online. All the places we had read about were a few miles away from Had Rin and up REALLY steep hills. We rented a moped in Had Rin and drove about the place looking for a bungalow with a nice beach view and not to far away from the centre. This proved to be very difficult, and after a lot of looking on the southern part of the island we decided Had Rins beach (sunrise beach, on the East side) was the one for us. With lots of nice white sand and being right beside everything, we would put up with the loud party town reputation it has and stay there.

On the quiet end of the beach we noticed some bungalows on the small hillside overlooking the beach and the sea. Ten minutes later we had paid the (so-so interested
) lady of Moutiainside Bungalows for our first night of many we would stay in our little tropical bungalow. It reminded us a lot of the one in Koh Tao, but with less places for woogies to crawl in at night. Plus it had a great view of the whole beach, all the bars and importantly the sea. It was also only 350baht a night and meant we wouldn’t have to rent a moped to get anywhere. It took us two runs, some sunburnt arms and all the petrol we had put in the bike that morning to get our bags over to our new bungalow.

We spent the next week exploring Had Rins shops and restaurants and lazing about on the beach during the day. It’s a nice little town with lots of restaurants showing movies all day and a couple of cafes (which we became fond of) exclusively playing friends episodes every minute of the day and night. The weather was gorgeous most days with the occasional shower that lasts for a few minutes and then out comes the sun again. We even bought a big yellow hammock for our balcony to lie in and read Jeffrey Deaver books in. After Wordsworth (AKA Lisa) seen the secondhand bookstore, shes been going through Jeffrey Deaver novels like a fat kid goes through cake. Now she has me obsessed with them, they are a good read tho. Like CSI on the TV, but without all the slow motion boob shots. Anyway what else we get up to, I got my phone fixed for a tenner so we could finally get some texts again. We drank more lovely Thai Whiskey and beer, bought some pirated DVD’s and bummed about til the full moon party.

Everynight running up to the party we contemplated whhyyy did we pick this beach to stay in as we tried to get some sleep. At about 12am each night, all the beach bars/clubs lash up the volume of their speakers trying to outdo eah other. We kinda got used to it tho and some tissue in the ears worked a treat.

The day before the full moon party I felt like shit, must have gotten a bug or the flu… but I was not in good form. Luckily the evening of the party I felt better and was able to help Lisa drink some buckets!!! The party was well organised with about 6 areas playing music. One place near us, a big place on the beach erected especially for the party, the usual bars on the beach further down and finally at the end of the beach the original party organisers at paradise bungalows also playing music.

Come 11pm the place was packed with loads of drunken people all over the beach with lots of fleurecsent paint on them. Their was a good atmosphere about the place and occasionally we heard one of two good tracks in diff places but all in all the music as we much expected left a lot to be desired. Then again I suppose we are a copule of music snobs, whereas everyone else there just wanted to get out of it and dance to something familiar, or just really fast and loud and maybe jump through the odd hoop of fire. The party went on until about 8am the next morning with speedboats constantly picking up and dropping off partygoers from Ko Samui nearby. I think we stumbled home around 3ish Lisa donning some lilluminous glasses and a half drunk bucket of whiskey.

The next morning our water wasn’t working and the Aussie girl next door told us they had seen some guy out of it on a mushroom shake climbing around the back of our hut and ontop of their roof trying to find the party. They told him he was in a bush and not the beach. Then he told them he was trying to get to Devon LOL.. so they brought him down to the beach and let him swim to the English channel. Unfortunatley for us tho, this was not before the twat had climbed over our water pipe, breaking it and sending water everywhere. One of the guys next door tried to fix it and turned off the tap to stop the flow til it was fixed. Which wasn’t til about a stinky 5pm the next
day haha.



























Posted by James R 07:19 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Koh Phi Phi - Thailand

need to go pee pee in Koh Phi Phi

rain 28 °C

Hey all
I have no funny stories about needing to go to the toilet and there not being one around I'm afraid. I, unlike other travellers, do not discuss my toilet habits online. Anywhere else is fine. Dinnertable, company meeting, Colin's Funeral etc etc..

Koh Phi Phi was a bit of a waste of dosh imo. The place is still a mess. :(
The 'street's are still strewn with rubbish and wood and bottles and the paths are pure mud after the Tsunami. It is sad because the scenery surrounding the island is amazing.

We hired a hut that was about a million steps up the mountain side. It had nothing except a great view. Twas tres expensive for the price too. But our 'hotel' area did have an infinity pool! Unfortunately the tide was constantly out so the view of hte infinity pool viewed out to the blank beach. tee hee hee

We only spent two days here due to the krappy weather. It was cloudy and never stopped raining. The weather was too krappy for Jim to do a dive too. (It would have been Barfneyland on the boat), so after a couple of days we decided to head to the East coast.
East coast of Thailand > West coast of Thailand.
East coast wins hands down.

So seeing as how we did little of interest and I'm writing this two weeks later and can't remember anything about it, here are some pics. he he
























Posted by squeakylee 07:38 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Phuket - Thailand

sunny 30 °C

Well folks, back to Thailand – the land of smiles and sexy massages.
We were delighted to get cheapo mc cheap flights to Bangkok and then on to Phuket. We arrived in Phuket at about 12 at night to lashings of rain. We heh hehh hellllll..
But the weather wasn’t going to get us down in the dumps – no sirree bob. Once again we had wifi in the room, air con, and our own fancy balcony aswell as a fridge stocked full of beer and fizzy pop.

The next couple of weeks are a lazy blur. We got into the routine of doing absolutely feck all. We stayed up late, drank lots of beer and hit the beach. The weather was so-so at best – we had maybe 5 days of fantastic sunshine.

I got a terrible hair cut for about 4 quid. It was going fantastically and I thought I was going to be gorgeous until she pointed at my ‘fringe’ (eh I don’t have one) and started to chop. ARRRGGHH. Now I have a very ugly sixties style mop + fringe. Lol

We rented a moped and drove around the ‘island’ – I had a go at trying to drive it. My lack of ability to hold the yoke was my downfall I reckon.
On our way back one of the days we passed a whole load of monkeys on the side of the road going nuts and stopped off to have a look. Hella cool.

During the second week, there was a military coup up in Bangkok. The military took over from the government while the Thai PM was in the states. It was the most peaceful coup in history and no one was very bothered – including the Thais. The coup claimed to have the approval of the King and everyone loves the king, so all was well. Later we heard on the news that perhaps the Thai PM had had some warning as the rumour is he “sneaked a lot of riches” out of Thailand. He he :)

Then later in the week, I gave James a LegoMan haircut. Lol. It looks fine I told him, it just is a bit thick and sits on the back of his head like a Legoman’s hair.
It’ll grow out in a few days. ;)

Not much to report – the usual goings on in a beach town. As a great man once said – “Lisa, There’s an Art to Doing Nothing.”

After a couple of weeks, (the time is flying), we decided to head to Koh Phi Phi for a couple of nights – so we can go a-snorkelling and Jimbob can do a dive on the World’s 3rd most beautiful island.

























Posted by squeakylee 10:52 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Back to Hanoy

sunny 33 °C

Hanoi pt 2

Back to Hanoi with no place to stay!. The bus driver said he would drop us off at an area with lots of affordable accommodation. And so he did. At first we thought - ah crap we are gonna have to walk about with our back packs looking for a decent place to stay. But ohhhhh no, not in nam. Within two seconds of jumping off the bus, we had two guys with hotel leaflets in our faces. We went with the guy who got to us first, a short walk later and we were there.
It was gorgeous, the same price ($10) per night as the previous dump but so much nicer. The room was great – satellite tv, fridge, hot water, FREE WIFI, free breakfast and it was spotless. So we took advantage off all of these amenities. So drinking, watching tv, eating out and ringing home took up the next two days.
We also decided to not bother going to Laos as out bank accounts were looking low plus the cost of even getting a visa for Laos was the same price as getting a FLIGHT back to Bangkok with airasia.com. We booked two flights with them, one to BK and one the same day to Phuket. Our last day in Hanoi we spent walking around the big lake that used to be inhabited with giant turtles (see pic on other Hanoy part)the last sighting was in 92. So after a relaxing couple of days in Hanoi we were off to the airport and on our way back to the land of smiles and sex tourism - AKA Thailand - lol.

James :)

Posted by squeakylee 23:16 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)


You can't spell Hanoi without Annoy. >:/

sunny 32 °C


We knew from the moment the bus pulled up in Hue that it was going to be a nightmare journey to Hanoy. We were obviously one of the last stops the bus had to make on its rounds of the guesthouses before it started the long journey. The bus was packed and we feared we might not get a seat together. Luckily for us a nice Japanese guy gave up his back seat corner of the bus to us and he sat down beside a Vietnamese guy. So we had the back corner two seats which at the time seemed pretty cool. One stop later and the back seat was full with three guys beside me and Lisa at the window.

About an hour into the trip the fecking back floor started to heat up…oops we forgot the back of the bus is where the engine is. :/
So the whole journey was quite sweaty. The aircon was working and providing some coolness until… The tit sitting at the opposite back window opened his window to let the air come in and cool him down. Which prob worked a treat for him but for the rest of the bus it was a warm air breeze gushing in and fecking up the AC. Anyway after a while the two lads nearest me got off at their stop, Lisa and I and the window opener had the whole back seat to ourselves.. nice. We got about 2 hours sleep in total due to A. the heat, B. the uncomfortable ness of it all and C. the crazy driving of EVERYONE on the roads in Vietnam.

Amazingly we arrived in one piece to Hanoi city around 6am, it was raining and the city was waking up. This is a great time to catch a glimpse of how Hanoians spend their mornings before work. Everyone was jogging around the lake, playing badminton on the streets, doing yoga, aerobics classes in parks and power walking about the place.

So as usual we went with the bus guy to their hotel in the old quarter of town. Usually these hotels are a safe bet but the one we got wasn’t the nicest place we had stayed in, but it wasn’t too bad, plus breakfast was included. We had a snooze before setting off on foot to explore. The street we stayed on was the pots and feckin pans street. The noise was feckin crazy…!!! plus there were bikes and cars flying everywhere around us. Very Hannoying!
Everyone kept asking us did we want a motorbike/cyclo tour of the city EVERY minute we were outside the hotel. But you get used to it after a while, and learn to just smile and say no thanks. Also crossing the road in Hanoi is very like Saigon.. head down, deep breath, start walking at steady pace, no slowing and usually you make it to the other side just narrowly avoiding losing a toe to a rouge motorcyclist. (or even Rogue)

We had a walk about checking out the big cathedral and searching for some food. After a frustrating time trying to find a place that was no longer there (curse u lonely planet) we went to a bar called the Funky Monkey (GAY BAR GAY BAR) for a couple of pints of beer and a chin wag with the very friendly barman. (I wonder why he was very friendly - says Lisa - the excitement at seeing big tall Jim he he)

Oh, before this we bumped into the Israeli guy and his Ozzy mrs we had shared a boat tour on the Mekong a few weeks before. They were going to Laos the following day and had already done the northern tour from Hanoi. We told them we had decided to do the Halong bay tour. We said goodbye and found a nice place next to the cathedral for some delish eats and one of those table cloths that you can write on with crayons they leave on the table. We drew all over it and took it with us.

The second day in Hanoi we avoided the tour girl in our place trying to get us to book with them and went for some much needed haircuts. Lisas took about 6 hours to get coloured and mine took about 5 minutes by a guy who sooo wasn’t interested and didn’t have a word of English so once more I got feck all off it although, the hair washing beforehand was great fun. Hair washed; head massaged, ears cleaned with long nails, face washed and hair washed again. :)

We spent the next day bumming around the old quarter and then went to watch the Liverpool game in the gay bar again but when one of the guys wouldn’t turn up the volume we fecked off to a small bar down the road with a much better atmosphere and cheaper beer. We went off and booked a tour to Ha long Bay for the next morning.









Posted by squeakylee 12:25 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Halong Bay

Peace & Quiet

sunny 31 °C

We checked out of Casa del Crappy and rushed our brekkie into us as the tour lady had come to collect us - way too early mind you! She collected a couple of other people and drove us to the slightly bigger bus that was to take us all the way to the bay.

After the end of the Vietnam war, and the advent of "Doi moi", Vietnam's policy of opening its economy to foreign trade, means that Westerners and South Vietnamese now have a chance to visit Ha long. Vinh Ha Long or Bay of the Descending Dragon is often touted by proud Vietnamese as the world's Eighth wonder. One of the main attractions of Ha long is the bay's calm water and the thousands of Limestone Mountains dotting the seascape. The Bay's water is clear during the spring and early summer. Some of the islands are quite large and there are small alcoves with sandy beaches where swimming is possible. Ha Long bay lies in the north-eastern part of Vietnam and is 165 Km from Hanoi.

It took us about 3 hours to get there with one stop off for some coffee. When we arrived we were put into a different goup than most of the people on the boat because we had booked the two-day tour, with one nights stay on the Island called Cat ba. So we were led into a restaurant by the water and told to sit on a table with 4 other people who were also on our tour. Our new tour friends were an English couple and two American guys - Scotty and Doug lol - very nice men from California. So after some friendly banter and nice lunch we set off to our boat.

The boat was nice, we got to sit up the top on plastic chairs so we could take in the view, and oh what a view it was. We tuk-tuked on the boat towards the limestone mountains for about 40minutes. Eventually we reached one big island where we disembarked and our guide brought us inside this huge cave area full of crazy stallactites and stallacmites and other crazy limestone features, lit up with coloured lights. The guide said some of them resembled animals or couples canoodling. Some of them did, but some of them just looked like melted blobs.

We were brought to a second huge cave and then back to the boat for the two hour journey to the Island we would stay the night on. This journey was soooo nice. So many islands, thousands of them scattered as far as the eye could see.. so beautiful. We docked at a lil port and drove to the main part of the island. Apparently we found out off the American guy (who has a Vietnamese wife and has done this trip a few times) we were meant to sail for longer and around the island to the main port, and not the port we docked at. Something to do with the weather meant we couldn’t make the journey all the way round, but we suspected it was due to the increasing gas costs.
The hotel we were to stay in was very nice, after being given two rooms that had yet to be cleaned (from the night before) they finally found us a clean one.

We relaxed in the room until it was dinner time. We all met in the hotel restaurant for some very tasty food and a beer. We were sitting with the Americans and a Japanese couple who were very funny. The Japanese guy seemed to eat quite a lot and the yanks kept making funny jokes about how hungry he was for a Japanese guy.
He had his eyes on the other tables' fish and the yanks grabbed it for him. They kept giving him more fish from the other tables that wasn’t eaten. Scottypops also made a funny joke about how for a Japanese guy, he sure has big eyes! Luckily we all laughed, there was nearly a Lolcano - sure it wasn’t in bad taste at all.

After dinner Doug and Scottypops suggested we go for a walk down to the port to try and get a lil night time tour on the water with some Vietnamese boat ladies. So after some bargaining we were off, Lisa and I in one boat and the yanks in the other. The ladies took us round by the fishing boats where Vietnamese guys shouted hello and offered us drinks. Then Doug decided he wanted to row his boat back himself, so we did the same. After mucho paddling round in circles and in the wrong direction, I finally got the hang of the rowing and got us back to the land… eventually.

We went for another beer with the two lads and it turned out the Scotty bloke was getting a bit drunk (3 SMALL DRINKS!) and getting a big louder (than normal) so we thought hmmm lets get back to the hotel. So we said night to the lads and off we went.

The next morning we all had breakfast together. Lisa and I went for our Vietnamese favourite - beef noodle soup. Then it was back on to the bus and to the port. We thought we were going on another cool trip but that was not the case…. Ffs. We were just being brought back to the bus again. What a crock! The boat we got on for the return journey was well nice, all wooden and fancy. There was a quick stop off at a fish farm to see some blue crabs, squid and various other fisheeseee. It was a beautiful day so many pictures were taken on the way back to the mainland.

Again we were back into the familiar restaurant for some lunch and a drink and then back on the bus for the return journey to Hanoi.





























Posted by squeakylee 12:20 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 10 of 91) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »