hello!! heres the south asia update til now!!!
ok... so Singapore, 2 days there and i managed to fit in everything i wanted to do.....i really liked singapore, a place where u feel at ease as soon as you're there. when reading up on what to do, singapore was described as a city where east meets west and really is! i had a day in the eastern part of singapore with little india, china town and the golden mile explored, visiting a night safari in the evening where i got to see a range of amazing animals.... hyenas, elephants, zebras, lions, buffalos, raccoons, owls, pigs, rhinos and some animals i didn't know existed... all in their natural habitat, separated from us tourists by natural means such as water and rocks.... so not a mean zoo with them caged in!
my second day i explored the western parts of singapore and was actually a bit of a guide for some english girls that had no idea where to go or what to see! so we went to see the merlion..a water fountain statue that is a cross between a mermaid and lion, took in some shopping plazas and got to browse round topshop, river island, warehouse... u name it! was so surreal and the first time i felt like i could have been at home. didn't stay in there long as prices are same as back home when converted and also...because i can do that when i'm home! visited the singapore river and made it a mission to have a singapore sling cocktail. saw raffles hotel where they originate from but apart from that its pretty hard to find a place that make them! after an hour of searching finally found a place and indulged!
got an overnight through malaysia to south thailand. Singapore is known for being clean and there really are people cleaning or polishing everywhere you go but it only hit me how clean it was once i got into malaysia. the contrast from just crossing a bridge was bizarre. oh yes the border from singapore to malaysia consists of a bridge.
on the bus i met two school leavers from england on their gap year! hit me that i could have been teaching them last year which was kind of weird, but they were nice and we stuck together as the only white people on the bus. however we were looked after by one thai guy on the bus that gave us some of his sandwiches that he couldn't finish and was so proud to tell us he'd made them at home. bless..they were all in little tubs and bread bags and for those suspicious minds...he'd not drugged them because i saw him eating some too! we were very grateful and he said he was pleased they we appreciated them!! so cute!
didn't manage to sleep on bus so felt rubbish but got into hat yai, south thailand and went and booked a bus to krabi. on this bus i was the only caucasian and none of the locals spoke english....and my stop wasn't actually in krabi so i had to keep my wits about me to get off at the right place.... fight the heavy eyelids to stay aware of where i was!!
once got into krabi on the back of a sangtheaw.... thai taxi...open truck, got to my hotel and slept for 20 hours!! i was slightly delusional by this point and was aving crazy dreams that i morphed into 3 different people! do not fear though, my mind is back to its regular norm!
had a day in krabi, where i explored the town, caught a thai guy in the bushes enjoying morning glory shall we say and chilled in a cafe chatting to a fellow traveller!
ready to leave krabi as there wasn't much to do in the town.... i got a ferry to koh phi phi, an island on the west coast and next to the island where the film the beach was filmed! wasn't te best weather while i was there but still great enough to appreciate the beauty of the island, walk through the crystal blue sea and get to experience the electric nightlife. i stayed in the cheapest accomodation on the island, the only hostel, but boy was it a dream.... everyone, all 17 of us in the room was up for a party and so we all went for a meal together before going out partying for the night! drinks served in buckets, we took advantage of bars giving away free buckets and cheaper beer from the 7 eleven stores! infact i had a night out incl meal for £3!! oh yes and i wasn't sober!! had lots of fun and met my american counterpart, aslo called sarah, we were so similar from thoughts, ideals to having the same cheap walmart watch!!! didn't want the party to end so we all stayed up outside our dorm room til early hours!!!
only problem was my ferry left at 8.30am next morning!! not much sleep had, i headed to koh tao an island on the east coast! a day of travelling and an overnight ferry that was an experience! arrived at 5am in the morning and hung around til my guesthouse i was booked in at opened. was ok tough cos in good company with a girl i'd made friends with on the ferry due to the laughter at how bad it was.
once signed in i had a shower, an hour sleep and then had to go and hand in my passport for my diving course which i thought i was starting the next day! oh no..... i was chucked in at the deep end (literally...ha ha, diving! jokes have not improved guys..sorry!) and put in a group that started the advanced course 5 mins prior. got given gear and there i was all kitted up and diving an hour later. did two dives that day as half of my advanced scuba diving course!
in the evening i met up with laura kennedy, a girl who i went to uni with who i'd not seen for 3 years but she was only on the island for one more night so sleep had to be sacrificed again! we went for a thai meal and then to a ladyboy cabaret which was hilarious. costumes were outrageous and some of their miming wasn't even english words...god knows what they thought they were singing! the wierdest thing though was a farang (thai word for foreigner!) family with two tiny kids, prob 6 and 8 years old there...they had to make them cover their eyes at certain acts....not sure its the type of show i'd take kids to...but i'm not judging..honest!!! After the show we went to a beach side bar where we danced in the sea and on the beach, before at 2 i decided i best go to bed! was so nice to see laura and gossip, we had so much to catch up on.
next morning...diving started at 7.45am... did 3 dives that day, a deep dive, 30metres, deepest ever dived, and then the second dive we saw a 4m whale shark! swam underneath it for a while...cool! also saw jellyfish, eel, boxfish, barracuda and tuna fish! had a 4 hour rest before final dive which was a night dive. guess what i did wit my 4 hours...sleep! much needed!night dive was cool, although visibility not greatest. felt like an underwater ghostbuster wit my torch! when came to surface of water got to witness thunder storm! needless to say getting back on the boat and the boat ride back to shore was rocking!
one more day in ko tao... i chilled out and appreciated it for its chilled out vibe with cushions on edge of beach, took a yoga class.....2 hours, never done it before, was hard but enjoyed it. anyone want to take up yoga with me when i get home? then as went to get some water after nearly got ran over by a quad bike to find that on it was kate secombe, a friend who i work with back home!!! shared plans and realised we were both heading to koh phangnan the next day so more than happy about that coincidence! had a day chilling on beach reading my book before socilaising at night with the girl i'd met on the ferry and kate and her travelling friend philly.
heading to koh phangnan with kate and philly... of which the next 3 days we spent together. i'd already got a place to stay booked so i checked in there and then went and got a mountain bike to ride 4km to where kate and philly were staying! oh my what a mistake! i decided to get a bike rather than a scooter as it was cheaper and healthier alternative. little did i know that the journey from mine to theirs incorporated multiple hills which actually had warning signs of 15-30% gradients!! i had to walk my bike up some of the hills, too stubborn to give in i arrived finally sweaty, tired and a little embarrassed! one little girl on her dads scooter had actually pointed and laughed out loud at me walking my bike up the hill!
rest of day was less exhausting, chilling on the beach in haad rin where the full moon party happens. i ended up staying at the girls place as we went out for the night, indulging in a bucket or two, watching the fire throwing performers and dancing away to the good tunes on the beach front bars!!!
next morning, feeling a little worse for wear i tackled the mighty hills for one last time on my mountain bike!! this time i hired a sccoter and headed back to join the girls to do a thai cooking course, in which we made 4 dishes. one of those was spring rolls and later on we managed to sell them to thai people and other travellers!! we also gave some away, so were charitable too! before you make the association that they must have been bad if we didn't eat them ourselves...you are wrong!! they were lush and infact we just had made loads! we got thai approval. i may even try cooking some of the dishes when i get home!! maybe!
that nigt we had thunderstorms, getting the throwbacks of the burma cyclone....the island had a powercut for 3 hours so we sat by candlelit talking!!
12th may 2008.... day of the half moon party! had a relaxing day so we were geared up for the party at night! had dinner and watched movies in a restaurant before starting the party! it all starts on the beach front bars with everyone getting buckets, applying glow in the dark paints, i even took it upon myself at one point to go around painting others faces too! then everyone loads into truck taxis and heads to the party! its set in the jungle and theres loads of psychedellic decorations, dance music from the djs and people selling food, or doing paint tattoos! so i got a tattoo!!! saying happy birthday lauren, for my lauren, it was her birthday that day!!!
next morning......8am start from island to bangkok, 8pm arrival!!! got in and got myself a taxi to andys hotel! such a great coincidence that es working out here and so nice to see him. so am being treated to hotel luxuries in bangkok and having the days to do touristry things and then doing stuff like going to watch thai boxing with andy in the evening!!
thai boxing.... undecided, its brutal. saw so many lads knocked out so quickly, quite disturbing!
had experienced the joy of tuk tuk drivers yesterday as i went around the temples, and had been making the most of all the different types of transport bangkok has to offer! its a crazy city, so busy and lots on offer!
going to leave it there...exhausted of typing and ready to go out with andy!! we have the weekend bangkok market and a day trip to a floating market, tiger temple and river kwai to look forward to this weekend! touristing it up!
x x x x