And so it's time to bring you the last blog from our Asian Adventure....very sad I know. We're sat in our hostel in Singapore right now on our last day before starting our journey back home late tonight.
Anyway what have we been up to. When we left you last we had just arrived in Koh Lanta. We arrived and managed to find ourselves a nice little bungalow near the beach. It was pretty basic and open to any creepy crawlies that wanted to join us during the night....but it had a hammock which made it worth it! This place was home for over a week as we loved Koh Lanta. It had big quiet beaches and a nice atmosphere.....not too overdeveloped. We had heard that the only way to see the whole island was to hire a scooter. We had never ridden one before but Alan, our bungalow neighbour next door, let me have a go on his. After a couple of loops of the garden it was off to get our own. It didn't take long to find one, and before we knew it we had our very own scooter for only four pounds a day! So we were soon travelling around the island, visiting the empty beaches to the south and the charming Old Town on the east....it definitely was the best way to get around, especially when the roads are so quiet! One day we decided to take the car ferry across to the much quieter neighbouring island, we payed the very reasonable fare of 26 pence for the scooter and two people and drove on. We were then joined by two large elephants on the back of a truck who were also taking the ferry! This was quite amusing, we wondered what the fare is per elephant...50 pence?? Maybe even one pound?!?
We didn't actually do much in Koh Lanta, it was more our relaxing time after a busy few weeks! So we just chilled out during the days and enjoyed the nice food and drink on offer on the island in the evening. W e even had a few barbeques that our neighbours put on. Twice we had barbequed jacket potatoes with tuna...nicer than they sound! And one night with burgers which was great. We also developed a taste for the Thai rum. On the 28th February we decided it was time to leave, even though we could of stayed there indefinitely. So we booked our tickets to Koh Phi Phi, one of Thailand's most famous Islands.
We caught the morning ferry and arrived in the morning at Koh Phi Phi with nowhere to stay. It was still the high season so it was also very busy. We had heard it would be expensive and that is what we found. The cheapest room was 18 pounds a night, and it was pretty dingy. Just a box with a bed and fan and a small wet room. We headed out to explore the island's main village, Ton Sai. In the boxing day tsunami of 2004, this town was wiped out as it was hit on both sides by the Tsunami. If you look at the pictures you can see how defenceless the town would have been. However it has rebuilt itself and is now more developed than it was before the tsunami. The town caters mainly for younger tourists and backpackers with its well known nightlife, although it is a very beautiful island. We decided to have a night out the night we got there which was great. We went to a bar that did fantastic fire dancing shows on the beach, the guys were amazing at it. But we saw how even professionals make mistakes when one of them let go of this fire ball and it flew threw the air, crashing into the table filled with Chinese girls next to us. The fire dancer ran out, apologised with a sheepish grin on his face and went back to carry on. We drank up and soon left to the next bar. This time a huge bar with its own Thai boxing ring in the middle, not for professionals to fight...but for customers to fight each other so they can win a bucket of alcohol....only in Thailand! We carried on visiting the different bars and made our way down to the beach where we stayed until the early hours. The following day was pretty rough needless to say, the only productive thing we did was go to a sports bar to watch the Capital One Cup Final and sink a few fantas. Oh, and book a boat ticket out of there!
After Phi Phi we got the ferry up to Phuket as this is where we would be flying to Singapore from. We first stayed in Patong...another major tourist destination. It was ok...we managed to spend a good day at the beach. At night the main street, Bangla Road, gets very busy and is filled with bars, touts offering certain shows, and thai girls dancing everywhere. It has a very tacky feel but was good to just have a drink and people watch. After Patong we visited Phuket Old Town, which was nice but severely lacking in things to do. We had started to get the feeling we were just waiting around to go to Singapore. And so by the time we left we felt we were ready to leave Thailand.
We got to Singapore on the 8th and checked into our hostel dorm. The prices were very expensive here and a dormitory was the only place we could afford! But it has been good. Singapore is a great city, but it is hard to do it on the backpacker budget we've been living on. We went into the new Marina Bay Sands hotel and went up to the Sky Park on the 56th floor yesterday. Which gave us incredible views of Singapore. And also of the amazing rooftop infinity pool, that unfortunately was only open to hotel residents. The hotel had a huge shopping mall at the bottom as well with a casino and more designer shops than I've ever heard of...definitely a playground for the wealthy. In the afternoon we met up with a couple that we had met on one of our India trips as they are in Singapore on holiday just now. They treated us to high tea at Raffles which was an amazing experience and also to a Singapore Sling in the bar upstairs. So it was lovely catching up with them.
And so that takes us to today. We have packed our stuff and will do something this afternoon but not sure yet. Then we will be making our way to the airport for our flight that departs at 2am. And that will be the end of our Asian Adventure. It has flown by and we can't believe its been 6 months since we said goodbye to our families at Leeds train station. We started in Nepal and trekked through the stunning Himalayas to Everest Base Camp, we then flew to India and spent six incredible weeks travelling around a country that was so crazy it went beyond our wildest expectations. After that we travelled to South East Asia and explored Cambodia and both it's magnificent and dark history, then overland into Vietnam to sample it's fine cuisine and learn about the Vietnam War. We got a short taste for China after that with it's unique culture and artistic temples. Following that was Laos with it's beautiful scenery and people. Into Thailand, where we enjoyed all the adventures on offer in the North and then relaxed down South and explored the underwater world. And finally Singapore, where we have enjoyed a great final few days. We're looking forward to getting back now and seeing our family and friends, but can't wait for part two! See you soon!!!