A Travellerspoint blog

Day 9 - On to Malaysia

semi-overcast 29 °C

After our last night out in Thailand and seeing in the New Year, which turned out to be a nice night out but pretty much a low key event,
with several fire lanterns being set off and just a few fireworks at about 12.10am, (they must have had problems lighting them !)
we grabbed a few hours sleep before leaving Thailand and starting the new year with a new country - Malaysia.
However, this meant getting up on New Years day at 5.30am ! for an early departure and
a 10 hour driving day across the boarder into Malaysia and on to Georgetown, the old colonial part of Penang.
We reached the boarder checkpoint after about 5 hours and entered into Malaysia and lost another hour, as we advanced to +8 hrs GMT,
eventually arriving at Georgetown at 6pm after a long day driving and gladly it wasn't me doing it !
Georgetown was the old colonial capital established by the British back in 1786 during which time they invited other Asian countries to settle there, the largest being China.
After a quick check-in to our hotel, we went out to stretch the legs, had a brief orientation tour of the neighbourhood,
then stopped at a street cafe for some local food, we had a very traditional and popular Malaysian dish called "Mee Goerang"
which is a very spicy noodle based dish which you add your choice of meat, fish or veg too.
As it was still early we had a walkabout trying to find some local bars, although these were scarce as Malaysia has a very strong Muslim culture and hence alcohol and bars are hard to find. We actually found a karaoke bar with nobody in it and another bar with only 2 in !
So we decided to have a dry and early night.

Posted by Andy-Irene 04:41 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Day 8 - Last day in Thailand

semi-overcast 29 °C

Day 8 - Last day in Thailand

After yesterday's adrenalined filled day, we decided to spent our last day in Thailand (and this year!)
relaxing island hopping around Ao Nang in the Andaman Sea.
We arranged to go on a speed boat (due to distance and time) to visit the group of Phi Phi Islands,
including various beaches and good snorkelling areas.
Our first island was Bamboo island, with its bright white sands, clear waters and coral reef, then onto Hin Klarng where we managed to do some snorkelling, passing Monkey Beach (no guesses why they called it that) we stopped at Tonsai Bay for some free time and
A spot of lunch, which turned out to be massive buffet for the masses.
After a relaxing lunch we headed on to Viking Cave, where the locals collect the Bird's Nests for the so called soup ! and
then on to Phi Leh Lagoon, followed by another spot of snorkelling in Lohsamah Bay.
Finally we headed back to shore passing the famous Maya Bay where they filmed "The Beach" sadly though it is now
unrecognisable after the 2004 Tsunami but still a pretty area to see apart from the other 1,000 or so tourists that had descended upon it !
Given the size of the beach there was literally no place to sun bath and only enough to stand and walk about.
We then returned to Ao Nang, although this turned about to be an epic sea journey- the wind had pick up and hence the waves,
As we were at the front of the boat, we got the full force of the hull slapping the waves violently,
although we we somehow glad to be at the front as 3 Americans at the rear were throwing up all over the place !
Once back on land, we returned to the hotel before our last night and New Years Eve in Thailand.
However due to the death of the late King and that Thailand was still in official morning (apparently for a full year) all celebrations were to be scaled down with no fireworks allowed. We were told that anybody found not complying to this request would bring same on themselves and
their neighbours disrespect, not to mention the authorities. Anyhow we headed out to see what was going on....

Posted by Andy-Irene 02:50 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 7 - Ao Nang, Krabi

sunny 30 °C

After saying goodbye to our Homestay guests, Irene and I left the main group and
departed for Krabi at 7am as we'd managed to luckily arrange a diving trip near to Phi Phi island.
We left Ao Nang beach just after 7.30 in a small wooden boat to join the main dive boat anchored just off shore,
once aboard we cruised out passing the "James Bond" and "The Beach" Islands (Man with the Golden Gun, the Beach etc.),
Sadly no sign of 007 but good news that we didn't see Leonardo either :-). and on to Pida Nai and Pida Nok dive sites which were close by.
We scored lucky as our group was just us and the Dive Master (3 of us !)
Also, Mark (the DM) was from Fife in Scotland, suffice to say we had a great couple of dives and
also got to meet a Dive photographer who kindly (at a price) took some shots of us during both our trips.
We returned late afternoon for shower and out on Ao Nang for a recce and some well deserved Beers !

Posted by Andy-Irene 03:53 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 6 - At a Homestay

semi-overcast 29 °C

Today we said goodbye to the National Park and headed further south in to the Krabi Province on route to Ao Nang.
After a leisurely start we had a walk around the village and had some brunch before leaving just after midday. We drove for about 2 hours in our minibus, eventually arriving in a small village where we would be staying with a local family for the night.
(After our last homestay earlier in the year in Guatemala, when our hosts couldn't speak a word of English and
after about an hour we'd used up all of our basic Spanish ! , It became slightly embarrassingly uncomfortable,
so we were hoping this time they could speak some English as we couldn't speak a word of Thai ! )
We arrived at a very small village close to Ao Nang and met our Homestay family, Luckily they could speak basic English,
But rather than being split up into to couples (one couple per family etc. all 12 of us stayed at this one family's house !
As the area was nearly all Muslim, we had to respect and oxide by their region, i.e No alcohol and separate rooms for the men and women !
So once this was all sorted we headed for a walk around the village and small local farmlands to do a spot of foraging as were all about to do a
Thai cooking class in the ladies kitchen and help cook our meal for the evening !
After our spell of foraging in the woods we all set about cooking a group Thai meal,
Although our guide got involved which meant it turned out "Thai Heat" of the spice scale, very enjoyable though.
Not finished with this bout of coking we then set about making sticky Rice Banana rolls for our breakfast,
Eventually we all retired for an early night given we were at our guests invitation (and also as we had a dry night !).

Posted by Andy-Irene 03:39 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 5 - Khao Sok National Park

sunny 30 °C

After our first night in our rustic hut, surviving the mega sized mosquitos and robbing monkeys,
we drifted into a pleasant sleep aided by a frog chorus and cicadas singing.
We had an early breakfast and then left for a full day out in the area.
After a short drive to the National Parks lake, we boarded a long boat for a cruise up the gigantic man-made lake amongst the spectacular Karst Scenery. After about an hour of cruising we arrived at a hillside, left the boat and trekked up and over the hill, boarded a very dodgy raft, made from bamboo and made a short crossing to Coral Cave. The Cave was located in the cliff face and only discovered when the lake had been dammed.
Aptly named as many of Stalagmites were covered in coral.
With head torches we ventured into the cave, which was an easy and relatively short trip but worth the travel to get there.
Afterwards we did the whole boat, trek, raft thing in reverse and then stopped off for lunch at a floating spa resort,
followed by a relaxing afternoon, swimming and diving

Posted by Andy-Irene 17:38 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

(Entries 26 - 30 of 34) « Page 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 »