A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

Orang-Utans

Another overnight bus journey from Malaysia down to Singapore, where we finish out the Sout East Asia leg of this trip. We were only two days here so a quick stroll around the city with the help of another fine example of public transport, we got see and experience a bit of what Singapore has to offer. One of the items on the agenda was to make our way to the famous Raffles hotel and sample a "Singapore Sling". Although at $30 a pop, we decided against it.

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However, on leaving we thought we saw a wild Orang Utan just outside

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turned out to be a false alarm though...

Some interestingly decorated buildings are dotted around this city, this one being the most interesting.

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The highlight is a trip to Singapore zoo, dominated by actual Orang Utans, White Tigers and funny looking monkeys.

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The rare White Tiger

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Ruth threw in one of Ults ham sandwiches, extremely rare here, and the Tiger was only too happy to oblige

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The tiger was obviously delighted, Ult was not too happy

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The Orang Utans are amazing, this one seemed particularly fond of Ruth

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If you look closely, this little baby Orang Utan was just hanging on to a tree by his feet.

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Amazing creatures.

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After walking around for a few hours in the zoo, some fish kindly offered to clean and massage our feet. They feasted on the corns and growths coming out of Ultans feet, and a few even stayed as far away as possible from those things. Great way to finish off the day.

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The happy wanderers!

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We fly out of Singapore this evening so this is the end of this leg of our adventure. In our 5 months in this part of the world, we've only covered of a fraction of what is out there. Great memories, great people and thoroughly enjoyable experience we'd recommend to anyone.

Sri Lanka is our next stop so until then, stay classy South East Asia!

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Posted by ruthandult 05:58 Comments (3)

Malaysia - KL, Georgetown and Perenthian Islands

Southern South East Asia

A slight detour on our trip meant spending some time in Malaysia. From Cambodia, an overnight bus to Bangkok (again) and a flight into Kuala Lumpar. The is a melting pot of culture, cuisine and character. Within a few short stops on the very impressive rail system, or the brilliantly named Monorail,

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you could be in Little India, Chinatown or the Financial district known as the Golden Triangle. The main highlight of KL was nailing the nostril shot of the Petronas Towers.

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Ours was only a short stay in the city so we headed up to the North East, to Georgetown on the Island of Penang. Met a great couple from Naples and Germany (Francesco and Thea) whom we kept company for a few days. The local icepop was surprisingly interesting. Indescribable...

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Next stop was the beautiful Perenthian Islands on the East coast of the Pennisula. This is not just foreign holiday-makers but local Malay come here to holiday too. A little slice of paradise in the sun.

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Sometimes Ruth swam out too far and had to be called back in:

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We were fortunate enough to go snorkelling and meet some Sea Turtles, a few Black Tipped Sharks and some amazing coral. Ruth thinks she might have found Nemo aswell.

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Nemo got his own back and attempted an vicious attack on Ruth while she boarded the boat.

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Nightime on the beach was great craic. Bumped into some more nice people, and we think circuses will be queueing to sign up Ruth after her fire breathing performance started the party after the sun went down.

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and with that, the guys started dancing!

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We had a quick go of the Puy fire juggling too, that's me there on the left.

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The local drink was a tasty beverage called Orang-Ultan.

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Some local youth was quite interested in Ult's beard.

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It was sweltering hot for the few days we were there, so desperate measures were required to keep the head cool.

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Malaysia is a fab place, and unfortunately we didn't get a chance to see the Borneon Malaysia, which is a flight away over the sea. What we did see and experience was brilliant, and we gave it a thumbs up.

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Posted by ruthandult 03:58 Comments (0)

Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor

We made our way into Cambodia on the Mekong Delta our first stop was the capital city of Phnom Penh. We were a bit apprehensive about our visit given the fairly recent harrowing history. It is still an extremely poor country but initial impressions of Phnom Penh were good. It’s a very beautiful city the people are very warm and tuk-tuk drivers and street side hawkers seemed to be a lot more chilled out than those in Vietnam and Thailand.

While there we visited the infamous Killing Fields and S21 Prison.
S21 was a former primary school where for 4 years of Pol Pot's regime they imprisoned, tortured and killed thousands of Cambodian men, women and children, suspected of having knowledge or ties with the resistence. It’s a solemn place. Before the 70's Cambodians really were invested in educating their young. This building was very similar to a 1950's Catholic school in Dublin. Walking around converted classrooms, some still containing the devices used for torture, still had blackboards on the wall. You really got the sense of how successful Cambodia was as a country before the 'Liberation' and how devastated it was after what the Khmer Rouge called 'Year Zero'.

The next day we went to the Killing Fields. Don’t need really to say much about that other than in a 4 year period over 2 million people were killed and buried in mass graves.

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Both of these excursions were important to do to get a sense of the country but it was also very harrowing, infuriating and confusing. It seems that unlike other socialist governments which we have been to on our trip the Khmer Rouge seemed intent on sending its country back to the stone ages rather than progressing the country formally known as the 'Pearl of Asia'. As we write this, 4 of the most senior surviving members involved in this regime are being tried in a specially set up international court of justice. Cambodia, and the world await for some kind of justice to prevail.

From there we headed north to Siem Reap (translation Siam defeated) the base camp/city for the famous Temples of Angkor. The Cambodian people are fiercely proud of these temples which were built by the original Khmer people and signify the former glory of their nation. This area was formally the ancient Rome of south East Asia where the Khmer ruled from Vietnam to China, Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia. One interesting fact is when London was a small town of 50,000 Angkor was a massive metropolis of over 1 million.

There are hundreds of temples around the area. We did a 3 day tour with a driver. As the days went on the temples became more dramatic culminating with the extremly impressive Angkor Wat on the last day.

The ferocious 8 eyed yellow crab spider wanted to hang out with Ult.
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The final morning of our tour we got up at 4.00 am to view the magnificent Angkor Wat at sunrise.

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Siem Reap itself was a beautiful and hip city with great restaurants and shops.
Some of the street kids we met can speak to you in German, Spanish, English and even a cúpla focail Gaelige, and can dance a mean salsa at the drop of a hat.

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Cambodia gets a big thumbs up!

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Malaysia next stop

Posted by ruthandult 02:59 Comments (0)

Central and Southern Vietnam

Hue, Hoi An, Na Trang, Saigon and the Mekong Delta

While in Vietnam, there was a government election going on. As a socialist, single party government these elections were more local than anything else but the country was plastered with very cool propoganda type posters reminding people to vote. And constant references to Ho Chi Minh, who is still their most treasured statesman. Making our way south down the coast to the town of Hue we got some pics.

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We continued south to the coastal town of Hoi An. Its a shopaholic's dream as the town is famed for beautifully tailored clothes, there were dressmakers and tailors on every corner, as well as great beaches and fab food.

Spot the difference...

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Ruth also did a guest DJ residency in one of the clubs in Hoi An.

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Na Trang was another beautiful coastal town about 10 hrs from Hoi An. We had a great few days exploring the town where we found a mineral thermal spa not too far from the centre. This spot was extremely poplular with locals. People soak in the mineral mud baths and then go through a process of soaking and pampering themselves in the thermal spring water and waterfalls. We had a lovely relaxing afternoon here.

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We also visited the giant Buddha overlooking the city of Na Trang. Standing at over 24 metres in height, it is lit up at night time and overlooks the city.

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Next stop was the famous city of Saigon. Its officially called Ho Chi Minh City but most locals still refer to it by its older name. It's even more energetic and hectic than Hanoi, and has almost double the population.

Scooters are the main form of transport here, not unlike most major cities we've come across, but it just seems that bit more crazy here! Thousands of scooters lining up at one of the main junctions, all revving, just waiting for that green light. (If you look closely, we're on the little yellow scooter, three back from the front right, close to tears!)

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Then all hell breaks loose!

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One of the most common tourist injuries we were told about, were burns to lower legs and calves when alighting a scooter on the wrong side, and touching the lava hot exhaust pipe. It was supposed to be quite painful. We had to put this to the test of course. I can confirm our findings are consistent with what we were told.

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On our first night Ultan apparently agreed to a head message without saying a word, while waiting for a meal in a restaurant. Though he had little choice in the matter he quite enjoyed it. Ruth enjoyed watching it more!

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Saigon is a huge city and sometimes quite difficult to negotiate around.

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There is a War Remnants Museum which documents the attrocities of war. Its not for the faint-hearted as it displays the relics of war and some heart-breaking photographs of its victims. There are some actual tanks used in the conflict out front aswell.

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An interesting day trip you can take from Saigon is the Cu Chi Tunnels. They are a famous network of sub terranian tunnels which enabled the Soviet backed Viet Cong to opperate a resistance in a heavily US occupied area of Southern Vietnam. They are really incredible and prove how this conflict was 'not lost' by the Vietnamese!

This is Ultan barley squeezing into one of the entrances.

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They have made some of the tunnels 'western' sized for the likes of us to sample the experience.

Ultan in the tunnel and Ruth surfacing from it. Not for the claustropobic

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There were exploded US tanks around and also an opportunity to fire a few rounds of an automatic weapon.
The choices were a M60, M16 a couple of different rifles and of course the AK47!

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This is the target area for the firing range. This picture is not wide enough to show just where all out attempts ended up.
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Shooting these guns are not as easy as Bruce Willis makes it look.

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Last stop on our Vietnamese trip was a 2 day journey in the Mekong Delta.

We spend the first day on the river visiting a rice paper farm, coconut candy factory and a bee farm where Ruth was able to hold a hive of Italian bees and Ultan charmed a 8ft python. He was so good with this reptile the handler just left it to him to look after all the other travellers.

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We parted with our group as we made our way up to the Cambodian Border. The following day we went to a floating market and small commercial fish farm.

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We also visited a Cham village. These people are a minority group of strict muslim people common in Vietnam and Cambodia.

This is one of the local women harvesting lemongrass.

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The locals make, weave (and try to sell) their own clothes.

Mohammad Al Ultan
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While we spent nearly a month in Vietnam sometimes Ruth's jabbering sent Ultan to sleep.
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And from time to time Ruth nodded off mid conversation....
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We were able to catch this strange annomally as it happened aswell!

We've had a fantastic time in Vietnam and the Mekong Delta trip brought us to the border of Cambodia, where the next adventure awaits!
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Posted by ruthandult 00:41 Comments (1)

Northern Vietnam - Halong Bay, Hanoi and Ninh Bihn

Hanoi, Halong Bay cruise and the Homestay with villagers

Would you let this man into your country?

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...when his official paperwork looks like this?

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No? Well the Vietnamese immigration officials at the Nam Xoi border thought the same. After a big hoo-hah involving several immigration officials and at least one game of "Heads he stays, Tails he goes...", their boss, Colonel Scary:

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threatening the Gillette treatment, eventually let us both in, beard intact!

We made the overland crossing to Hanoi. It took about 10 hrs but the most memorable thing about that trip was that the driver had his hand on the horn the whole journey. That and there was a few chickens and caged birds who shared the journey. Not too much sleep to be had.

A leisurley peddlewaggon around this vibrant, frantic city was enough to see most of the sights.

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A few fellow travellers made the brief stay all the more enjoyable.

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About 5 hours North-East of Hanoi is the city of Halong, which is home to the magical Bay of the same name. We spent 3 days on a luxury cruise around the bay featured in James Bonds' "Die Another Day". It's home to thousands of dramatic limestone karst pillars jutting out of the sea. We sailed on one of the famous junk ships which were fantastic to stay on. We were blessed with some fine weather also.

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One of the main features of the bay are the limestone caves which were quite interesting to visit, however we found the presence of about a dozen fire extinguishers dotted around this cave more interesting. What was going to catch on fire? There was not one combustible item (other than humans) in this stone cave surrounded by water! Maybe we were just caved out of it from previous caves.

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The bay itself is incredible when viewed from a height.

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Another one of the activities was a spot of kayaking, battling the harsh rapids of the Bay!

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A beautiful sunset met us on the first evening when we stayed on the boat.

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When the boat had anchored about 30 meters from Cat Ba Island, with no encouragment needed we led the charge in flinging ourselves from the top of the boat from some 25 feet to land in almost clear warm waters. Once we re-surfaced, the rest of the passengers figured it was safe enough and followed suit.

Fab food was provided on this trip. Surprisingly it totally lived up to expectations set by the tour guide. Beautifully cooked fresh fish and vegetables. It was some of the best food we ate in Vietnam. Really a luxury experience compared to our normal street side gastronomy of noodle soup!

We spent the second day on Cat Ba Island where we went on a hike in the national park. It was really enjoyable and not too exerting (ahem)! Check out Ruth's puce face below.

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See thats where we came from!

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We spent the rest of the time chilling out at Cat Ba's famous beaches. As it was the weekend and we were told a Vietnamese national holiday the seaside was choc-a-bloc with Vietnamese families enjoying the weather. It was a real party atmosphere and a refreshing break from spending all your time with Western tourists.

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Overall our posh Halong Bay cruise gets a big thumbs up!

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From Halong Bay we made our way South to Ninh Binh, where we stayed for a few days and decided to do a homestay which was around 300km way off the beaten track. Our guides Ha and Thon were to be our drivers for 2 days. Ult was driven on style on a 1960s old style Soviet Minsk motorbike while Ruth got the equivalent of a Honda 50 to bounce all over Northern Vietnam on.

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It was a fantasic couple of days where we spent with a family of Hmong (asian mountain) people for the night. After a full day on the bike we eventually arrived at the bottom of the village where we hiked to the top of this hill where we were to sleep. On the way, we passed a young lady catching butterflies for the evenings starter, butterfly soup, (Yum)! This trip was only in operation for around 6 months and you really got a sense that the place was relativley untouched by tourism. Children were waving at us the whole way on the bikes and running along beside us as we made our way up.

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After a blistering hot walk to the top of the hill, as promised, we were rewarded with a dip in the crystal clear waterfall. Ruth was looking forward to this part for most of the day and was prepared to cool down her Irish skin in the biggest puddle she could find. It was worth the wait!

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One of our guides Thon
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Ha was Ruths personal chauffeur
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Around this village was beautiful paddy fields which would be ready to be harvested in around a month or so.

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We were cooked a beautiful dinner over the over the open fire by our hosts.
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Then came the entertainment where all the local bar flies came to this hut to meet the new foreigners, sing a few songs and try to play drinking games with us. The local poison was a home brewed rice wine. We were strenuously warned to take it easy on this fire water as us whities didnt really know how to drink like they did.

Well.... they met their match! Maybe they hadn't met Irish before.

All these local fellows were very drunk in no time and we were just looking at each other sober as judges. Watching as they began to argue in Vietnamese about this and that. Then someone had a fantastic brainwave to go hunting for freshwater crabs in the gullys of the rice paddies with torches. It was fantastic, I'd like to say we caught some but the locals put us to shame.

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A midnight feast of the freshest crabs in the world eaten shells and all!

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On the way back from this trip we popped into a temple where there was a very strange local ceremony going on. It was explained to us that women from very weathy families do a tradition every year where they are dressed in several costumes by local ladies. They hire a band dance around and hand out money and goodies like sweets and luxury foods to the local poor people. They were delighted to see us and we even got some 'lucky money' (about €0.005) from the wealthy lady. It seems that its a way of the weathy giving alms to the poor but the poor have to watch this bizzare performance to get the benefit.

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The journey south continues...

Posted by ruthandult 07:22 Comments (1)

Laos

Belly flops, dizzying heights, Secret Wars, Grace Jones, and some jars?!... Laos has it all.

Slow Boat from Thailand to Laos:

We picked up a 3 day 2 night tour in Thailand which would take us by bus and boat down the Mekong River into Laos. Luckily we met up with a really nice bunch of people who made the experience quite special. We stayed overnight on the Thai/Laos boarder in Chiang Khong and met a barge type boat which we would be on for 2 days with an overnight stop in Pak Beng in Laos. We saw elephants working in the fields from the boat.

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Luang Prabang:

The boat finished up in the ancient capital of Northern Laos, Luang Prabang. This place is famed its traditional crafts shops, French bakeries, cafe culture, lots of temples, quite a scenic countryside and very warm and friendly people. Its also considered to be the cultural capital of Laos. As we found out later Luang Prabang is as hip and trendy as Laos gets. Although smaller than the capital city Vientienne it had more cool bars, restaurants and clubs although there is a strict 11.30 curfew!

View from Temple above Luang Prabang
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Visitor for breckie!
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Gang from the boat trip.
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There was a waterfall nearby where we enjoyed a dip to cool off, and some spectacular belly flops, after a cycle into the countryside.
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Some local flora fauna.

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There was a local bear sanctuary in the grounds of the waterfall. The Asiatic Sun Bear.

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Traditional Lao BBQ
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Vang Vieng:

About a 5 hr crazy nail biting drive through the hills south from Luang Prabang you'll find the infamous area called Vang Vieng. Its a small backwater town made famous by the tubing craze. Tubing is where you can float down a beautiful river on the inside tube of a tractor tyre. Its actually quite a nice way to pass the time but on our arrival to the town we noticed a lot of very drunken early 20somethings in their underwear lying in the middle of the road. Some had bandages on their heads/bodies, it looked like a war scene. Naturally we were a bit wary before we went tubing ourselves.

We had a really nice day but made a conscious effort to take it handy and 'arrive alive'! The whole experience is designed to get you as drunk as possible with arrival shots at 12.00 or so. Lots of drink promotions all the way along the river coupled with aerial zip wires, swings and slides. We can understand how the hospital is very busy in Vang Vieng. There does not appear to have the same curfew restrictions here as they do in the rest of Laos as in there are none. As someone said its like spring break on steroids!

We give it a thumbs up though.

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Our hut in Vang Vieng along with some neighbourhood wildlife.

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The countryside around Vang Vieng was stunning. We rented bikes and headed off to the blue lagoon and caves not far from the town.
There seemed to be a lot of imposter lagoons and caves on the way and we think that we ended up in on of them as the guide who decided to accompany us was a local deaf mute. It made for an 'interesting' and dangerous ascent up a mountain and descent into pitch black caves but the dip in the river afterwards was very rewarding.

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Total gridlock Laos style

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A game of 'Throwing Stones' with the local kids

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Vientiane:

As we needed to get our Vietnamese visa before arrival there our next stop was Laos capital city Vientiane. This is a beautiful laid back city on the border of Laos and Thailand. Its the main hub to go back to Thailand or endure the gruelling 24 hr journey to Hanoi in Vietnam. We decided we couldn't handle the extra long bus journey so we'd make our own way north to see more of the Laos countryside and find out a bit more about the secret war.

We bumped into Grace Jones AKA Boon, a drag queen in her bar who took a bit of a shine to Ultan and insisted on showing us every frock in her wardrobe. We both enjoyed some karaoke in her bar called CCC Bar.

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Ultan has been getting some great reaction to his facial hair. Everyone loves it and its a great conversation starter. This is one local who needed to come a bit closer...
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A day out in Vientiane.
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Phonsavan is a 11 hr journey north east of Vientiane and is a bit of a two horse town. Not too much going on here but we did find out a bit more about UXO's (unexploded ordinance). There were 2 milllion tonnes of bombs dropped in Laos between 1964 and 1973. They estimate 30% of them did not explode and are mostly in this area and around Northern Laos, which makes it still a dangerous place if you were to stray off the well worn track.

Safe UXO's
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We also visited the 'Plain of Jars' here, an area which has been cleared of UXO's and is free for tourists to walk around. There are random huge stone 'jars' which experts are unsure of their purpose. Some they say contains burial remains, they say they may be the remains of storage of items from China and Europe as the ancient silk route swung by here at some stage. There are 3 sites with hundreds dotted around. To be honest they threw up more questions than answers but as there was next to nothing to do in this town we went to see them. The surrounding paddy fields and massive water buffalo's made the trip a nice one.

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Kids in Phonsavan
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Just one of the craters still visible from a bombs dropped in this area.

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Sam Nua Caves

Last stop in Laos was the tiny town of Sam Nua about 10 hrs north of Phonsavan. The way the crow flies this journey should have taken around 2 hours or so but buses in Laos travel on Laos time, and some of the roads are a bit of a terrifying experience. This journey taking over 8 hours for only 200K!

This is another area which was heavily bombed during the secret war. It was the base of the Lao PDR and resistance during the secret war.
We rented another bike and took a fascinating tour of the local area where the resistance movement hid in caves in the limestone karst area. They developed schools, a hospital and sophisticated living arrangements where they survived for nearly 10 years of carpet bombing. They also had a bit of help from USSR, China, Cuba and Vietnam. They even had an impressive theatre where they had the odd wedding and showed a few Chinese propaganda films.

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This is how they could provide fresh air in event of chemical warfare, an oxygen machine.
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Bust of Lenin in the LAO Presidents bedroom.
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Ciao from Laos! Onwards to Vietnam.....

Posted by ruthandult 06:45 Comments (6)

Thailand - Chaing Mai

Songkron, the Thai New Year and border crossing

We arrived in hot hot Chaing Mai, from an over-night train from Bangkok the day before their Songkron festival was due to begin. This is a busy period for tourists in Northern Thailand as it's where the festival is celebrated to the max. The festival marks the start of Spring and the main feature is the massive 3 day waterfight around the city's moat. No matter what the weather conditions everyone is guaranteed to get SOAKED.

This waterfestival originally symbolised cleansing of buddhist ornaments and relics brings good luck for the year. There was a procession through the city on the first day, with every temple in the area bringing out their treasured items to be 'cleansed' with scented, floral water.

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This good luck is also be passed on to people but in a less delicate way. Sales of Super Soakers, high powered water pistols and normal sea side buckets go through the roof for a week.

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Shops, bars and restaurants put large barrels with iced water outside their properties to encourage passers by to soak each other. There are kids swimming in the city's moat.
There are street festivals with live music stages spraying into the crowds.
Its an atmosphere of general good natured mayhem, where you can just as easily be drenched by a Thai granny as by a gang of 10 year olds!

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There is respite for the slightly sodden in the evening time as its the water festivites stop until the following day. There were fabulous food markets, clothes stalls, whole massage streets in the open air. Here you could get your back/feet massaged for the equivalent of €2. Some live music and the Thai equivalent of the Rose of Tralee within the city's medieval walls.
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Lots of Thai peope have public holidays around this time so many travel to the city to be with friends and family. You could really get a sense of this as a fun loving family friendly festival. We lit a new year lantern and wished for good luck for all our friends and family with the exception of certain people, you know who you are!!

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After the festival was over we could get out of the city to enjoy a few days on a motorbike to the waterfalls and temple at Doisep about 10k north of the city overlooking Chaing Mai.
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Legend has it that the black elephant, carrying the kings buddhist relic, found this site when he promptly died on the spot.

We can understand why as quite a trek up to this point and the relic looked quite heavy!

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Some classic Timotei shot. Spot the difference.

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From Chaing Mai we made our way north to Chaing Rai very close to the Laos border. This place of worship looks like Barbies Dream Temple with white detail and mirrored ornaments everywhere.

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Bye-bye Chaing Rai and Thailand. Next stop, Laois or is Laos? Not the one that Portlaoise is in anyway!

Posted by ruthandult 02:37 Comments (1)

Thailand - The South Islands

Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi-phi, Railay Bay and Koh Phangan

A long overnight bus journey to Krabi, via Surat Thani, and we found ourselves a little slice of paradise on the western side of the Thai islands. After staying in Krabi for a few nights, we found a real gem of a place in Koh Lanta. Fresh coconuts falling off the palm trees outside your hut for breakfast, a dip in the Andamann sea to cool off and snorkling with the fishies is how we spend most of our days. Paddy's Day is Koh Phi-phi was followed by the last few days in Railay Bay, where you can feed the local wild monkeys as long as you look after the silver-back first.

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Lesson 4: Don't lose your camera and try and pass off photos from the Internet as your own...
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We then ventured across to the Gulf of Thailand, again via Surat Thani, to one of our favourite places, Koh Phangan. We picked up another camera here so these ones are our photos!

As soon as we arrived on Koh Phangan, via Koh Samui, it started to rain. And it didn't stop raining for almost 10 days. We stayed in a little hut in Haad Yao, overlooking the bay. We hired a bike for a few days aswell, and had to invest in some rain mac's too, not exactly what you expect when coming here, but a very interesting experience nonetheless. We had electricity about every second day, as even the famous Half Moon party was a washout. Speaking to locals, they told us they hadn't seen rain like this in these parts for over 20 years, for that time of year.

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We hired a local budding camera-man to run along side us and take a few snaps of us in motion. Not sure he should think about a career in it just yet though.

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The rain kept coming though...

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It did dry off occasionally and we were able to get a bit of a view from the hut.

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...and we made a few furry friends along the way too.

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On the wet nights, if you found a place with electricity, what you found was people was weren't willing to let the bad weather dampen the spirits.

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This is Boon and I belting out the Thai national anthem in the early hours of a wet, but enjoyable night.

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It began to dry up in the last few days there and we got to explore the island a bit more, with some pretty impressive waterfalls, partly due to the floods.

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Our photo man was running behind us this time.

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At this stage we had got word that the Thai navy had begun to evacuate people from the neighbouring Koh Toa, again due to the flooding, so unfortunately we didn't get the make it out there, and we figured it was time head back to the mainland, and head north to Chang Mai, which was next on the list. A truely different but thouroughly enjoyable stint around the islands comes to an end.

Posted by ruthandult 01:01 Comments (2)

Thailand - Bangkok

A few days in Bangkok

An almightly belt from Shenzen to Hong Kong International Airport, we made it with minutes to spare and were rewarded with an upgrade to First Class seats to Bangkok. Lesson 1: Always be late for flights and you will always be upgraded.

Bangkok was just a stopping off point as our plan was to head south and get some sun for a few weeks before continuing the journey around Thailand, Loas, Vietnam and Cambodia. It always starts with a trip on the mighty Tuk-Tuk, the only fun way to get around Bangkok.

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The obligatory trip to the Koh San Road included some body art, snakes and some friendly Lady-Boys.

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Spot the difference, we took this on the way back to our hostel after a night on the town. Lesson 2: The more you go out and have fun, the younger you get.

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With a few hours to kill before heading south, we went to Lumphini Park, a public park in the middle of Bangkok, where you can relax and take in the local scenery and wildlife.

A friendly 5 foot lizard

A friendly 5 foot lizard

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A frog to fat to move

A frog to fat to move

..and a cockroach eating one of my chips

..and a cockroach eating one of my chips

Lesson 3: Avoid poking yourself in the eye while the camera is on you

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ouch

A 13 hour bus journey lay ahead of us as we made our way down to Krabi for the next stop...

Posted by ruthandult 23:50 Comments (1)

Shenzhen - Fare thee well China

China adventure comes to an end

After 5 weeks in China, our travels move elsewhere. To sum it up, the people, the sights and street food did it for us

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China definitely gets the thumbs up from us

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Next stop Thailand!

Posted by ruthandult 06:37 Comments (4)

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