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Trip: Round the World 2008-9

There are [144] stories from my trip: Round the World 2008-9

Diving and Snorkelling paradise: The Perenthian Islands

MALAYSIA | Thursday, 9 Jul 2009 | Views [3352] | Video

  A supremely confident muslim woman in a headscarf ushered all the bleary eyed tourists off the bus in Kuala Besut at about 5 in the morning. She lead us towards the harbour and to an office where they sold boat tickets to the island. She was rushing ... Read more >

Tags: beach, diving, hut, island, snorkelling, wildlife

The great technology pitstop and an unexpected encounter (sort of) with Kenny Rogers in Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA | Friday, 3 Jul 2009 | Views [1999]

The flight touched down at Kuala Lumpur's Low Cost Carrier Terminal, or LCCT for short. No-one had mentioned that the timezone had changed so we thought the flight was an hour early, but in fact it was us who was out of kilter. It couldn't have ... Read more >

Tags: cinema, city, kenny rogers!!, shopping

Blood sucking leeches and flying lizards in Khao Sok

THAILAND | Wednesday, 1 Jul 2009 | Views [7194] | Video

It's a very easy system when you get a ferry in Thailand. They give you a colour coded badge with the destination written on it, each destination has a different colour. If you so much as look at the wrong queue or try to go in the wrong direction ... Read more >

Tags: ferry, jungle, trekking, wildlife

Gallery: Thailand - South

THAILAND | Tuesday, 30 Jun 2009 | Photo Gallery

Bangkok, Koh Tao, Koh Pang-An, Khao Sok
See all 118 photos >>

Koh Pha Ngan and not a full moon party in sight

THAILAND | Thursday, 25 Jun 2009 | Views [2353]

The crossing over to Koh Pha Ngan was ludicrously rough. People were puking their guts up into the sea at the stern of the catamaran while it see-sawed in and out of the waves. It was too rough to sail but the boat was full to bursting and there was ... Read more >

Tags: beach, hut, island

Koh Tao: Diving deeper

THAILAND | Sunday, 21 Jun 2009 | Views [2103]

Once I had finished the course I wanted more. The sensation of being underwater is incredibly addictive.   Terry suggested that a good way to feed the habit would be to do the next course, Advanced open water. You get to do 5 dives, each with a different ... Read more >

Tags: beach, diving, fire, island, party, quad bike

Learning to dive on Koh Tao

THAILAND | Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 | Views [1890] | Comments [1]

The bus though was a pleasuredome of luxury compared to the insomniac 'sleeping bus' we had been used to in Vietnam. We were originally thinking of taking a train to Chumpon and then a night ferry over but Lompraya were offering a bus and a high speed ... Read more >

Tags: boat, diving, island, trapeze

Return to the Kingdom

THAILAND | Saturday, 13 Jun 2009 | Views [1267]

The Air Asia flight touched down in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport early and our bags were waiting for us at the carousel. The girl I had persuaded to smuggle my pen knife into Thailand for me came good and handed it over once she picked up her bag.... Read more >

Tags: decision, dentist, flight, movie

One chilled out Uncle Ho in Hanoi

VIETNAM | Thursday, 11 Jun 2009 | Views [1731]

  Following the tour crowd off the bus from Halong Bay lead us to the Blue Star Hotel on Bat Dan Street. They tried to give us a really pokey windowless room for $12 but on declining a much better room with Air Con and wifi became available for the ... Read more >

Tags: barber, fan, guard, heatwave, history, mausoleum, moped tour, movie, power cut

The Halong Bay Fiasco 3

VIETNAM | Monday, 8 Jun 2009 | Views [949]

We didn't get much sleep due to the generator but we got enough. It turned out that the $65 couple's AC didn't work anyway. After a simple breakfast we stopped for 10 minutes to allow those who wanted to jump off and have a swim. The American and English ... Read more >

Tags: bribery, singing

The Halong Bay Fiasco 2

VIETNAM | Sunday, 7 Jun 2009 | Views [2704] | Comments [2]

Day two of the Halong bay tour started surprisingly similarly to day one. Claire was in the shower when the phone rang. The voice said ”Finish! Leave hotel now!” I looked at my watch: 7.10 and we had been told to meet at 7.30. Ignoring what had been ... Read more >

Tags: beach, boat, canoe, island, island, tour, trekking

The Halong Bay Fiasco 1

VIETNAM | Saturday, 6 Jun 2009 | Views [1923]

It was an inauspicious start to the trip. We had slept through the alarm and were awoken by a heavy thumping on the paper thin bedroom door. The thoughtful receptionist had given us a 20 minute headstart before the promised air conditioned minivan ... Read more >

Tags: boat, cave, island, karaoke, mate, passport, tour

Hanoi, where the wild mopeds roam

VIETNAM | Friday, 5 Jun 2009 | Views [1422]

The first impressions of Hanoi in the taxi were that of a French city. It was after all the colonial capital of French Indochina so it shouldn't have been too surprising to be passing through ... Read more >

Tags: city, moped

Gallery: Vietnam - North

VIETNAM | Thursday, 4 Jun 2009 | Photo Gallery

Vietnam - North
See all 81 photos >>

Underwhelmed in Hue

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 3 Jun 2009 | Views [1916]

It was only a four hour journey to Hue from Hoi An but we still had the bizarre “sleeping bus” to semi-horizontally not sleep in for the journey. We allowed ourselves to be taken to the suggested guesthouse ... Read more >

Tags: citadel, culture, hangover, history

Suited and booted in Hoi An

VIETNAM | Sunday, 31 May 2009 | Views [2213]

We lucked out with the bus to Hoi An – it was quite a bit more modern and seemed to have been designed with passengers in mind unlike its previous incarnations. This time there was a space for your bag rather ... Read more >

Tags: beach, bike, tailor

Funky monkey and the floating bar: Nha Trang

VIETNAM | Thursday, 28 May 2009 | Views [32413] | Video

We had decided to do an island tour from Nha Trang - the punters on the boat were an eclectic mix of English gap year types, Filipino engineers working on the soon to open Nha Trang Marriot and a few locals ... Read more >

Tags: bar, beach, boat, island

The old Vietnamese casino-heist scam

VIETNAM | Monday, 25 May 2009 | Views [2851] | Comments [7]

As usual, the bus was late. After half an hour of waiting patiently in the travel agency we went across the road for some beers, their arrival, of course coinciding with that of the sleeping bus to Nha Trang, ... Read more >

Tags: beach, casino, omelette, scam

History lessons in moped city - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

VIETNAM | Friday, 22 May 2009 | Views [3123] | Video

Crowds of overpriced baguette-wielding hawkers thronged around the bus as the rucksacks were crammed into its belly. They had a captive market and knew it – expensive la vache qui rit   baguettes for breakfast it was then. The return trip to Phnom ... Read more >

Tags: crash, history, home, moped, religion, temple, tunnel

Gallery: Vietnam - Saigon to Hoi An

VIETNAM | Thursday, 21 May 2009 | Photo Gallery

Vietnam - Saigon to Hoi An
See all 94 photos >>

Gallery: Cambodia

CAMBODIA | Tuesday, 19 May 2009 | Photo Gallery

Phnom Pehn & Angkor Wat
See all 95 photos >>

All templed out at Angkor Wat

CAMBODIA | Monday, 18 May 2009 | Views [2510] | Comments [1]

As with Laos, we had been learning that time is a bit of a variable concept in Cambodia, so we weren't worried when the minibus failed to pick us up at the agreed time. Perhaps it was a ploy – the owner (what he owned was not mentioned, I assumed ... Read more >

Tags: hospital, temple, tuk tuk

Gallery: Laos - Pakse & Si Phan Don

LAOS | Thursday, 14 May 2009 | Photo Gallery

Laos - Pakse & Si Phan Don
See all 62 photos >>

Welcome to Cambodia - Phnom Penh

CAMBODIA | Thursday, 14 May 2009 | Views [1368]

The storm had blown itself out by dawn and we left Don Det, as we had arrived, on a long tail. The holidays were over and the aftermath of the rains were very much in evidence in Nakasang on the mainland. The dusty street had turned into a mudbath ... Read more >

Tags: border, history, museum, storm

Palaces and Islands: Pakse and Don Det

LAOS | Tuesday, 12 May 2009 | Views [3222] | Comments [4]

The Champasak Palace Hotel in Pakse was built by Prince Boun Oumna Champasak with, supposedly, a room for each of his concubines. Also known as the thousand room pavillion, it's built in Laotian style, looks a bit like a wedding cake, has 1 King ... Read more >

Tags: hammock, holiday, hotel, island, river, wildlife

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