A Travellerspoint blog

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Vang Vieng


semi-overcast 30 °C

The journey wasn’t too bad but o my god the roads were horrendous. Roads with pot holes absolutely everywhere, the journey took twice as long because we had to swerve across the roads so that we didn’t get stuck. First impressions of Vang Vieng, absolutely beautiful mountain scenery. However the town its self was a bit too touristy, no chop sticks given with your food here. Our guesthouse was lovely, old wooden cabins in a jungle typesetting overlooking the jaw dropping mountain tops, incredible! On our first night we met up with some guys from all the places in the world, Salford haha! The next day we went to look round the shops and stalls in the local town, bought some fake Ray Bans, and a waterproof tubing pouch.
Tubing: Well here goes..... Tubing commenced at 1pm . I was so apprehensive.... such a wuss. All i kept thinking about was all the horror stories, the injuries and deaths whilst tubing. Tubing is where you float down the river on a rubber ring and stop off at each bar along the way to have a ‘bucket’ or two ( a bucket is well a bucket filled with alcohol normally very strong.) We took the boat across the river to the first bar where we were welcomed with a whisky shot, liquid lunch...nice ! Then onto the first bucket. There were people there that had been going for days, I have no idea how they were doing it. The people that work there are another thing altogether. On another planet you could describe it. One guy was like a ghost, I think he had been continually drinking for months and totally lost touch with reality. To be fair in Laos I think it would be very easy to loose yourself, its difficult to describe. The slow pace and beautiful surroundings put you in a dream type world. After our first bucket we went tubing down the river to the next bar. People threw out ropes from the side to help you in since the current was quite strong. At the next bar we drank some snake wine, totally vile! Then down came the rain, literally torrential rainfall. Everyone just carried on partying in the rain, was so much fun! Then there was the slide of death, beer pong and lots of spray paint.
This takes me to the horrendous part of our tubing experience. We stayed a bit too late and it was pitch black, and we got stuck with some very rowdy Australians. I ended up using the rest of my money to get across a stupid bridge and then the tuk tuk decided he didn’t want to take us into town. Dark of night in the middle of no where, pretty drunk, freezing and wet. Next minute the Australian guys broke into a fight with the Laos, no idea why. Then i had a guy on my shoulder, blood pouring out of his head, because he had apparently been hit over the head with a spanner (as Daniel Reed said ' that sure put a spanner in the works didn’t it'). This is the point that I went into shock, i just could not move. It was bizarre i was so scared i was griping onto the tuk tuk like a mad lady! this is when the tuk tuk man finally decided to take us into the town.
The next day in our hangover state we chilled on the balcony overhanging the river front, spectacular mountain fronts in view, chill out music and a cheeseburger :)

Posted by jessicajhunt 20:33 Archived in Laos Comments (1)

Luang Prabang, Laos

Night market and waterfalls


Our next destination brings me to Luang Prabang. Arrived at a skanky hostel with mould and possible bed bugs. So backpacks back on and to the next hostel which was lovely. Very kind and friendly staff, plenty of bananas, and tea. This was out first experience of the night market which was pretty incredible. Stretched along the road a few hundred meters long with colorful lights and lanterns overhanging. This is where we ate dinner, little stalls with fried fried fried food, tasty but extremely greasy. I bought some slippers with elephants on them, no not for me! The next day we visited a waterfall, shame the sun wasn’t shining but you could still see its beauty. We decided to climb up the waterfall side with some people we met that were studying at Bangkok University. Then bikni on and swing rope into the waterfall, probably wasn’t the safest of jumps but at least i wasn’t drunk, Rosie urrhmmmm ;).. .. In Luang Probang we also rented out bicycles and rode around the town. Probably wasn’t the best of ideas without a good map haha! A few wrong turns, but the beautiful scenery made up for it. That night there was an interesting sight, talk about kids playing with fireworks. There was a child and his mother holding fireworks and letting them off in the street, I had to laugh. Our last night in Laos we went to a gorgeous restaurant across the river, of which we had to get in a tiny little boat, in the dark of night, which was an experience.
Next stop Bangkok, Thailand.

Posted by jessicajhunt 20:53 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

Thailand, Bangkok

Riding Solo


Arrived in Bangkok early in the morning. We decided to fly from Laos, we had just had enough of buses. Since I had been through Bangkok a couple of timse before I didn’t feel the need to stay there very long. So quickly booked my overnight train and boat down to Koh Tao. Rosie decided to stay in Bangkok for a few more days and we planned to meet up a few days later. Spent the day walking around Bangkok and Khao San Road, and bought a slap on watch band :)
Met some lovely people on the train which put my mind at rest since i was travelling alone and played a long game of Yatzee, was good fun! Once I arrived in Chumphon I had to wait a few hours until I caught the bus and boat at 7am to Koh Tao.

Posted by jessicajhunt 21:06 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Koh Tao

Beaches, snorkeling and Rosie's 'foot' crisis

Since I had already seen the sights of Bangkok, me and Rosie decided to go our separate ways for a few days. So I took the night train down to Koh Tao, no sleep, beer and yatzee was the way to do it! This is my time riding solo.....
Koh Tao - One of the most beautiful places I have ever been, literally it was paradise. After no sleep on the train and a ferry ride I took my first steps onto Koh Tao early in the morning and straight to the beach it was. I was at peace :) crystal clear waters glistening in the beaming sun, and white sandy beaches......this is just what I wanted. Fried myself in the sun for the day and then watched England loose boo :/ That night I went out with some people that I had met at the hostel. BBQ , Chang beer and fire dancers......Amazing!
However, that night was when I received a message from Rosie telling me that she was in Bangkok hospital....what????? She hurt her foot whist tubing, we thought it was just a bruise and the heat was making it swell. But it turned out that the day after I left Bangkok she was in so much pain she had to go the hospital and was told she had an infection and they would have to operate. The next day she replied saying operation was done and she was feeling ok.....A few days in hospital to make sure the infection had cleared is not fun. We planned to reunite as soon as possible.
My next day on Koh Tao I decided to have another day soaking up the sun on the beach. I felt like i needed a rest after so much transport over the pass few weeks and i needed to top up my tan obviously :) Diving was massive on Koh Toa and its really opened my eyes up to the opportunity. I think i will have to do it before i return home. During my time on Koh Tao i also went snorkeling through shark island and Koh Nang Yuan absolutely beautiful. Saw some pretty fishes and managed to get some underwater photos. My favorite was a black and white one with a fin type thing bowing over the top of its body. A shark also came near by but because I faffing around with my goggles it swam by to quick for me to notice, maybe next time....I met some cool people on Koh Toa which made it even better than it already was to be on the paradise island :)
I decided after a few days in was time to consider my next steps. Since Rosie wasn’t sure how long she would be until she could join me i planned ahead with a train down towards Kuala Lupur in Malaysia. However the train i wanted was booked up so i decided to book one half way before the Malaysian boarder. The East side of the boarder is pretty dangerous and there’s a lot of warnings of bombings etc so West it was....I was a little sad to leave Koh Tao, such a nice relaxing island and friendly people, may have to return one day.

Posted by jessicajhunt 22:52 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur and Melaka


Boat and night train down to Hat Yai was longggg..........I had to wait several hours at the train station before i jumped onto the sleeper. No backpackers just Thai people...hmmmmm what am i doing i thought. Arrived in Hat Yai after a rocky sleep at 7am and a Thai man helped me check the time on the trains. since no trains were leaving until the end of the day i decided to catch a bus down to KL.....about 7 pounds cant really complain haha!....arrived in KL at around 7am after my 30 hour or so journey. I felt so gross and finally found my hostel after walking backwards and forwards. I finally realized what people were talking about with the culture here. The people like to be polite and like to help you, so even if they have no idea where something is they will point you in a direction anyway, not very helpful when they don’t know what they are talking about. However i soon discovered how nice and friendly the people are in KL...arrived at my hostel, nice staff, clean and great location. was a bit quiet though and not many people around....i dumped my backpack and went off to the tourist information for a map....i then walked through Chinatown trying to find a place i had been told you can make international calls. after an hour I found it and all was swell...
Since my time was limited in KL i was up bright and early ready to see the sights of the big city. I went on a walking tour around the history of KL central square...learnt how diverse in culture KL really is and how English spoken it is. no need to learn hello and thank you here unless you want to learn it in Malaya and Mandarin and other languages spoken there. The modernization of the city and the fact that everyone spoke English made it extremely easy to travel around the city..I ate a Malaysian chicken kebab for lunch and then onto the train/tram/metro....they don’t really have specific names for it, all different lines are owned by different companies and are called different things. The trains were so easy to use apart from the fact that none of the lines connected like the London underground, so you have to get off and walk for 10-30minutes, so not always the best source of travel....First big sightsee was the twin Petrona Towers - these still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Absolutely magnificent. skyscrapers surrounding the perimeter, i had never been to a city like this before and it kind of took my breath away. I took about a million pictures trying to get myself in the shot haha, a bit difficult by yourself. I kind of wish i had done them in the evening though because they light up and the pictures look incredible....I couldn’t go up the towers and walk across the connecting bridge unfortunately due to some kind of renovation. However i did go inside the shopping mall which is underneath the towers. o my god, girls this was shopping heaven, the biggest shopping centre i have ever seen and it had Everything....but i did not buy anything, i have definately come a long way haha....apparently there was an even bigger one but i didn’t have time to go there. Then off to the KL tower with the cylinder. I travalled up the tower to the top where I could see a 360 view of KL city, brilliant scenery but the whether was a bit hazey ( but still blazing hot). Then to the zoo hehe with big snakes, spiders and monkeys.....got back to hostel had a shower and was expecting for some people to be around that i could tag along to dinner with but the hostel was pretty dead, so off to china town i went.....fakeries everywhere and of course i had to buy a bag :) wasn’t too sure about my meal, i already know I’m not a massive Chinese food eater.
The next day there were a few other things i wanted to squeeze in before i left. Batu Caves in the morning, this had temples of worship and 300 or so steps reaching high up the cliff side to reach into the caves...i think the statute was one of the biggest i have ever seen. That day i also went to the botanical gardens, and to the bird/butterfly and orchard park. By the time i reached this park my legs and feet were killing me and i didn’t do as much as i wanted to, my legs failed me...:.when i reached the hostel there were 'people' woooo! Managed to tag myself along with a group of exchange students from Singapore. Ate a coconut curry which was delicious. I discovered that I’m really fond of Malaysian food, yummy...
Up at 6am the next day to set off for Melaka, no rest for the wicked.....since my flight was already booked out of Singapore unfortunately I couldn’t spend as long as i wanted in Malaysia, but i suppose its not going anywhere.....
Melaka....nice sweet seaside town, but absolutely scorching hot! I went for a bit of sightseeing around the churches and museumsn and found a really cute Malaysian café where i had some Malaysian dish consisting of fish (not sure what fish, probably should have asked) in a spicy sauce served in a clay pot, delicious. was too hot to do anymore so back to the hostel. Hostel was nice, great host and friendly people. but the mattresses were not that impressive. That night I went out with some Dutch guys from the hostel and walked around the night market. It stretched along the main street of the little town. everything they were selling i had seen before, whether that be Thailand or Kuala Lumpa, fake Ray Bans, angry bird t-shirts etc.... After our Malaysian meal of chicken kebab sticks and some kind of rice that i cant remember the name of, I then thought yeh i will try a Malaysian desert, So I went to the street stalls.....it was deep fried with some gooey fruit in the middle, not very nice at all but at least i tried it i guess. Went back to the hostel and watched a film and relaxed. I decided that i would leave for Singapore the next day as there wasn’t a great deal to entertain in Melaka. Before i set off for the bus to Singapore I ate an Indian breakfast which consisted of a greasy cheese pancake and curry on the side, a bit strange but the freshly squeezed orange juice was yum!

Posted by jessicajhunt 23:09 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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