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Hitchhiking, Chiang Rai and Visa Run

semi-overcast 35 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

After recovering and the treks we were back on the road again. We needed to extended our visas as we had already been to Thailand for 2 months. We decided that our best option would be to go to Chiang Rai and then to Myanmar. As no public transport available from our little cabin we started walking at 7 am the 9 km back to the main road with our backpacks for the amusement of the villagers that kept asking us if we didn't have a motorcycle...luckily we managed to stop a pick up car, the most common car in this area and had a ride in its back. Enthusiastic with our success and having some spare time we hitchhiked again to see if we could go to our next stop point Pai to save some time to go to Chiang Mai earlier. After 20 minutes a young Thai Couple stopped and Bingo they were going to Chiang Mai, we hopped in and the race begun. Our driver exceeded our expectations and we arrived in half of the anticipated time after overtaking all cars in the road.

We then took a bus to Chiang Rai and looking for a guesthouse. After some walking and indecision we choose the wrong one (full of ants and noisy roosters) so next morning we went out from there to a much better place. Accommodation sorted we rented a motorbike and started our sightseeing. Our first destination was the white temple , is not yet finished but the artwork is quite impressive and different from the old temples. After that we headed to the famous waterfall, it was in a national park and a small trek was involved which was quite nice. As we had the tank full of gas we kept riding around Chiang Mai with Xabi practising his skills in the city. We found hotsprings and other smaller waterfalls following Thai people who were spending their Sunday afternoons in those places.

Next day we took our favourite local bus and went to Mae Sai to cross the border with Burma. Not avery nice city but was full of stalls and shops along the border with Burma. We crossed without any problem and we were in Tachileik. More stalls, tuk tuks and cheap cigarettes on the other side, generally it was looking poorer than Thailand. Traditionally, we went for a walk. The place was looking run down and people were staring at us once we went away from the border. Some of them were sad, rubbish everywhere and begging children made us realise how easily things can change depending on the political system involved... We manage to see some attractions and we drunk a tea in a local place, very cheap and different. After that back home and get ready to cross the country and head for the islands :)

Despues de recuperarnos y de andar por los montes, estamos de vuelta en la carretera. Necesitabamos extender nuestros permisos y la mejor opcion era ir Burma o la republica de Myanmar. Como no habia transporte a las 7 de la manana, decidimos andar los 9 km con nuestras mochilas para el entretenimiento de los lugarenos, que no paraban de preguntar si no theniamos moto. Afortunadamente hicimos dedo y sin mucha demora estabamos en la parte trasera de un pic- up. Despues de este exito y ya que teniamos un par de horas decidimos hacer dedo al siguiente punto Pai para adelantar tiempo e ir a Chiang Mai. A los 20 minutos una pareja joven Thai nos paro y bingo, camino a Chiang Mai. Nuestro conductor batio todas las previsiones y adelantando a todo el mundo llegamos a Chiang Mai en la mitad de tiempo.

Despues del viaje de autobus llegamos a Chiang Ria y buscando alojamiento. Una vez alli, despues de andar para atras y adelante y momentos de indecision, elegimos la opcion incorrecta. El siguiente dia cambio de lugar. Solventado el problema como viene siendo costumbre alquilamos una scooter y nos dedicamos a hacer turismo. Nuestro primera visita fue al templo blanco, todavia no esta terminado pero es bastante impresionante y muy differente de los templos clasicos. Despues del templo fuimos a ver unas cataratas en un parque nacional. Habia que andar un rato para llegar pero era un camino muy grato. Como teniamos el deposito lleno de gasolina estuvimos dando una vuelta por los alrededores y acabamos en unas fuentes termales y otras cataratas mas pequenas.

El siguiente dia nos montamos en un autobus camino de la frontera a un pueblo llamado Mae Sai. No es que fuera una ciudad muy bonita pero estaba llena de mercados. Cruzaamos la frontera sin incidentes y estabamos en Tachileik. En el otro lado, mas mercadillos, tuk tuks y cigarros baratos. El lugar parecia bastante mas pobre que Tailandia. Fuimos a dar una vuelta a ver que pasaba. La ciudad estaba bastante descuidada y la gente nos miraba con curiosidad una vez que nos alejamos de la frontera. Conseguimos ver las atractiones locales y paramos para un te, muy barato y differente. Solucionado todo, vuelta a Chian Rai y a preparnos a cruzar el pais para ir a las islas :)

Wydostanie sie z gor nie wygladalo na proste zadanie. Wstalismy o 6 rano i po latach sprobowalismy jazdy na stopa, decyzja podyktowana brakiem alternatywnego transportu. Zdziwieni tubylcy pytalI co sie stalo z naszym motocyklem:-) w miare szybko udalo nam sie zlapac okazje i na przyczepce dojechalismy do glownej drogi. Mielismy wiele czasu do autobusu wiec pelni entuzjazmu postanowilismy kontynuowac. Po 20 minutach mlodzi Tajowie zatrzymali sie i w ten sposob dojechalismy do Chiang Mai, ponownie na przyczepce i... Z dusza na ramieniu gdyz kierowca okazal sie rajdowcem i wyprzedzal wszystkich na gorskich serpentynach! Z chiang Mai udalismy sie autobusem do Chiang Rai. Po nocy spedzonej w nieciekawym hostelu z mrowkami i piejacymi pol nocy kogutami zmienilismy miejsce zamieszkania po czym wynajelismy skuter i udalismy sie na zwiedzanie okolicy. Piekny wodospad, biala swiatynia nadal w budowie byly pretekstem do praktyki jazdy na motorze w miescie. Z duza iloscia paliwa postanowilismy. 'Zgubic sie' w okolicy. W tem sposob zobaczylismy, jak Tajowie spedzaja czas w niedzielne popoludnie - cieple zrodla, spacery po lesie i wodospady:-)

Kolejny dzien to odnowienie wizy piprzez udanie sie do Burmy. Jedynie most dzieli dwa jakze rozne kraje! Tradycyjny spacer po okolicy wzbudzil zupelnie inne emocje - ludzkie twarze pelne wysilku i smutku, zebrzaceq dzieci, smieci przypomnialy jak wiele zalezy od ustroju politycznego! Wypilismy herbate w miejscu przypominajacycm komunistyczna stolowke oraz zwiedzilismy tamtelsze swiatynie. Wzbudzalismy powszechne zainteresowanie - oznaka braku turystow w oddaleniu od granicy... Szczegolnie broda Xabiego i moje blad wlosy byly wskazywane palcami:-)

Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking

Thai Saturday fever <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Thai Saturday fever :)

Thai saturday party

Thai saturday party

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

White temple

On the way to kun kon

On the way to kun kon

Trekking to the waterfalls

Trekking to the waterfalls

On the way to kun korn

On the way to kun korn

On the way to kun korn

On the way to kun korn

Kun korn waterfalls 70 metres

Kun korn waterfalls 70 metres

Sweating as usual <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Sweating as usual :)

Kun Korn waterfall

Kun Korn waterfall

Kun korn waterfalls

Kun korn waterfalls

Hot springs

Hot springs

Another national park, another waterfall <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Another national park, another waterfall :)

More walks

More walks

Sweating again

Sweating again

Clock tower chiang rai

Clock tower chiang rai

On the border with Burma or MyanMar

On the border with Burma or MyanMar

On the other side, Tachiliek

On the other side, Tachiliek

Passports were taken and you were issued this temporary pass

Passports were taken and you were issued this temporary pass

8B1D4A002219AC68176E271C84202D4F.jpgTachileik

Tachileik

Drinking tea in a local place

Drinking tea in a local place

Tachileik

Tachileik

Tachileik

Tachileik

View from the temple, Tachileik

View from the temple, Tachileik

Tachileik

Tachileik

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai

Tachileik

Tachileik

Some videos that we took :)

http://youtu.be/c9RcysUZW7A
http://youtu.be/a-VwGJ3xBLA

Posted by joxa 21:01 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Koh Chang

storm 29 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

We arrived to koh chang after crossing half the country by bus. Our recent discovery is the night bus, a cheap and comfortable way to travel. The reason as to why we were going to koh chang is because for a long time we had as our wallpaper a picture from one of the guesthouses. As we were approaching by ferry the island was looking good and tropical as expected. Once there it turned out that they ask a ridiculous price to take you by taxi, So we tried to hitching, bad idea and we finish paying what was due. We finally arrived to our destination, furthest point of the island, Bang Bao. The place was looking as in the picture but when we saw the Bungalows they were looking abandoned, damp and with holes on the mosquito net. We decided to stay at least one night but when we spoke with the owner we got a discount and free use of the kayaks. We explored the surrounding area , a small fishing village and a sandy white beach with coconut trees :) . Views from the Bungalow were really good and only problem was an ant invasion in the night, luckily they were just passing by. We recovered and after some swimming and kayaking we changed the beach and accommodation. We went to Lonely beach and stayed in a place called Magic Garden, nice place where we got a nice deal: we could spend the cost of the room in food. That is the good thing of travelling on the low season, you get nice deals. The other side is that half of the time it was raining non stop. All in all the island was nice but not easy to enjoy as the beach in Bang Bao had sharp stones and the lonely beach strong currents. As a plus we saw monkeys that were more than friendly and were stealing food. We chose Our next destination koh samui - supposidely the only place in thailand with good weather.

Llegamos a koh chan despues de cruzar medio pais en autobus. Hemos descubierto los autobuses nocturnos que a diferencia de los de alli son comodos. La razon por la que hemos decidido ir a Koh Chang , es porque teniamos como fondo de escritorio una foto que resulto ser de alli. Desde el ferry la isla tenia buena pinta. Una vez alli el taxista nos pedia una cantidad ridicula asi que decidimos hacer autostop, mala idea. Derrotados, pagamos lo suyo. Al final llegamos a nuestro destino: Bang Bao. El lugar se correspondia con la foto per cuando fuimos a ver los Bungalows parecian abandonados, humedos y la mosquitera tenia agujeros. Decidimos quedarnos lo minimo pero al hablar con el dueno nos ofrecio un desquento y usar las canoas gratis.Exploramos los alrededores que consistian en un pequeno pueblo de pescadores y una playa de arena blanca con cocoteros. Las vistas desde nuestro bungalow eran preciosas y el unico problema fue una invadion de hormigas, afortunadamente estaban de solo de paso. Despues de descansar unos dias, cambiamos de playa y de lugar. Fuimos a una playa llamada lonely beach y estuvimos en lugar aue se llamaba Magic Garden donde nos ofrecieron un trato curioso: podias gastabar el eaquivalente del precio de la habitacion en su restaurante sin coste adicional. Eso es lo bueno de viajar en temporada baja , lo malo es que la mitad del tiempo diluvio. La isla es bonita pero las playas que visitamos tenian siempre una pega. En Bang Bao habia rocas en el agua y en lonely beach corrientes bastante fuertes. Como Bonus vimos monos que aparte de ser amistosos robaban comida. Nuestra proxima destinacion es Kho Samui, el unico sitio en Tailandia que hace sol ahora.

Zmeczeni polnoca i gorami po odnowieniu wizy postanowilismy jak najszybciej udac sie na poludnie Tajlandii, do wymarzonych plaz oraz blizej granicy z Malezja. Mielismy szczescie w Chaing Rai, gdzie na stacji autobusowej zaoferowano nam bilety w tajskiej cenie w nocnym autobusie do Bangkoku. 12 godzin jazdy nie bylo tym samym, co europejskie autobusy. Po pierwsze siedzenia sie rozkladaja i sa wielkosci fotela, po drugie jedzenie i picie jest w cenie a po potrzecie puszczane sa najnowsze filmy. Niestety z tajskim dubbingiem. Na polnocy policja kontroluje wszelkie srodki transportu w celu zapobiegania przemycania ludzi i towarow z Burmy. Nie zawsze jest to przyjemne, policja nosi ubrania moro i jest uzbrojona we wszelkiego rodzaju bron. Na polnocy wielu ludzi nie ma dokumentow, gdyz dzieci uciekinierow z pobrzeznych krajow oraz ludzie zyjacy w gorach od pokolen nie maja obywatelstwa tajskiego w zwiazku z czym nie maja prawa poruszac sie po terenie Tajlandii.

w bangkoku wskoczylismy do kolejnego autobusu i po kilku godzinach siedzielismy na promie zmierzajacym do wyspy Koh Chang, ktora miala dla nas symboliczne znaczenie z racji zdjecia na naszym komputerze, ktore bylo zrobione w jednym z hotelikow na tejze wyspie. Uczucie spelnienia i osiagniecia celu towarzyszylo nam zblizajac sie do wyspy, szczegolnie w zwiazku z dodatkowa symbolika rocznicy naszego slubu. Po kilku mniejszych trudach podrozy czyli bardzo droviej taksowce prowadzonej przez grubianskiego szemranego typa stanelismy na widoku ze zdjaecia, bardzo szczesliwi! Niestety, pare minut pozniej juz mniej, gdyz bungaloawy okazaly sie byc w nieciekawym stanie - stare, zawilgocone i z dziurawa moskitiera. Myslac, ze jednak bedziemy musieli isc albo wrecz jechac w inne miejsce, wlasciciel zaoferowal nam obnizke oraz darmowe kajaki. To nas przekonalo do pozostania. Widoki byly piekne, pobliska wioska rybacka rowniez oraz nieco oddalona plaza wspaniala, z drzewami kokosowymi i brakiem ludzi. Udalo nam sie rowniezwyprobowac kajaki, choc w drodze powrotnej zastala nas burza ze strumieniem deszczu lejacym sie na nas. Generalnie bylo deszczowo. Po kilku dniach postanowilismy zmienic plaze i znalezlismy miejsce gdzie zaoferowano nam darmowe spanie w zamian za jedzenie w ich restauracji. Bardzo pysznie i bylo to dobre.miejsce na ogladanie sciany deszczu, ktora zdarzala sie coraz czesciej. Plaza byla inna, rownie piekna ale z bardzo mocnymi pradami a droga na plaze czesto odwiedzana przez malpy polujace na ludzi jedzacych banany! Czulismy sie troche jak w Szkocji biegajac pomiedzy burzami na plaze:-) pogoda sklonila nas do wyboru kolejnego przystanku w drodze do Malezji - Koh Samui, obecnie jedynego regionu z dobra pogoda w Tajlandii

Long distance night bus, quite common in Thailand

Long distance night bus, quite common in Thailand

On the ferry to koh chan

On the ferry to koh chan

Arriving to koh chang

Arriving to koh chang

Arriving to koh chang

Arriving to koh chang

Bang Bao

Bang Bao

Bang Bao fishing village

Bang Bao fishing village

Bang Bao beach

Bang Bao beach

Lots of coconuts

Lots of coconuts

Bang Bao

Bang Bao

After some swimming

After some swimming

Camping in our bungalow

Camping in our bungalow

View from the terrace of our guesthouse

View from the terrace of our guesthouse

Our bungalow

Our bungalow

Bang bao

Bang bao

Bang Bao

Bang Bao

Ant invasion

Ant invasion

We get free kayak <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

We get free kayak :)

Sunset view from our Bungalow

Sunset view from our Bungalow

Sunset view from our Bungalow

Sunset view from our Bungalow

Playing with the settings in the camera

Playing with the settings in the camera

Flatmate

Flatmate

We saw monkeys <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

We saw monkeys :)

Lonely beach

Lonely beach

Romantic cows in lonely beach

Romantic cows in lonely beach

Lonely beach

Lonely beach

Not many people around

Not many people around

Lonely beach

Lonely beach

Magic garden, our guesthouse in lonely beach

Magic garden, our guesthouse in lonely beach

Chilling out in Magic Garden

Chilling out in Magic Garden

Raining, raining and raining

Raining, raining and raining

Bang Bao beach

Bang Bao beach

Not very eco friendly in the islands in general

Not very eco friendly in the islands in general

Specjalnie dla Zuzi

Specjalnie dla Zuzi

Some more videos

http://youtu.be/MRZYpKevRQw

http://youtu.be/Mqsf-kRQCHI

Posted by joxa 06:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Samui Adventures

sunny 31 °C
View Thailand on joxa's travel map.

Our journey from Koh Chang to Koh Samui turned out to be more challenging. The reason for that lied in the fact that we were using typical tourist transport as opposed to our usual routes used by local people. It was not a matter of choice as we have learnt on our own skin these tourist routes are run by a sort of mafia cartels of people who try to take advantage of tourists, especially their vulnerability in a new place. This is in the form of intential misinformation, bus thefts (even with locks we found our luggage to be looked into and short of a dirty but so useful towel) and bullying behaviours that result in scams and selling overpriced services.

Despite this not so pleasant experience we did arrive to Koh Samui which greeted us with amazing sunshine, secluded beach and transparent water. We also managed to find a good value bungalow, wih a small swimming pool and 100m from the beach so we were very very happy and decided to take a holiday from our travels:-) sadly on a fifth day day our break was interupted by a stingray which stung and poisoned Joanna while she was walking into water yet another time to have a swim. The pain of a stingray sting is an unforgettable experience of pain which leaves you humble to any other painful sensation. Luckily Xabi was able to find help amongst local divers and Thai masseuses who provided first aid, reassurance and organized transport to the hospital. The pain was defeated by two injections of morphine. Doctor advised to stay at the hospital for 24 hours explaining that it was not certain what poisoned Joanna and she could have had a delayed reaction. The following day Joanna felt better and better but this is when our second adventure started. Tbe hospital took her passport to photocopy but instead of returning it passed it on to finance department. Despite our comprehensive insurance the staff pressurized us to pay for treatment explaining that because of the time zone UK i surance staff were not able to process it! As we arrived home, we contacted our insurance and it turned out that the hospital tried to get money for three days treatment that has never been provided! This was a bit too much for our nerves...we later on found out that the 'ambulance' which provided transport was taking people to specific hospitals out of their interest and that doctors would try to keep people atthe hospital for longer than required to get more money!

We are now waiting for the decision on our claim and Joanna's foot is slowly healing. No swimming for her just now:-(

In spite of above experience and higher prices we did like Koh Samui and we managed to get rest,do some sight seeing, visit local markets and see some of the towns. Xabi continued enjoying swimming and snorkelling and both of us walks and our beach. Joanna also visited a Dog and Cat rescue centre where she did some work and spent some time with hundreds of dogs and cats. It was interesting ot visit the organisation which obviously do so much good trying to help stray dogs and cats as there are so many in the country! However, as the work goes it was hard to guess what to do and how to approach animals with no supervision at all. For those interested here is a link to their website http://www.samuidog.org/text1_english.htm

In the nearby town the sex industry was much more visible than in any other place we have been with the numerous bars, brothels and on street shows! This was not very nice, especially with the high volume of tourists (even families!) atending them. Therefore it was good to be in a less popular spot, in a small corner which did eventually become a bit opressive for its size. Especially as we became famous with the stingray story due to the fact that it was not common at all to be stung there! Feeling of bad luck is not comforting...

Because of the cloudy mornings we were unable to see the sunrise but instead we saw a moonrise - a giantic orange moon looking like a planet appeared one night out of water while we were chatting on the beach... this was truly amazing

Powyzsza opowiesc w duzej czesci opisuje nasze przygody w drodze z wyspy Chang do Samui oraz pozniejsze przeboje w zwiazku z atakiem plaszczki i szpitalem. Mimo tych wszystkich wydarzen, wyspa Samui bardzo nam sie podobala, a szczegolnie male przedmiescie, gdzie odnalezlismy spokoj ducha. Udalo nam sie zwiedzic kilka miejsc i skosztowac lokalnych przysmakow na weekendowym targu. Bylismy szczesliwi, ze mielismy plaze w zasiegu reki a jednoczesnie zylismy w oddaleniu od centrum miasteczka Lamai. W tym ostatnim niestety prostytucja byla rozszerzona na szeroka skale z dziesiatkami barow i live shows na ulicy, odwiedzane przez turystow ktorymi czesto towazyszyly dzieci!

Xabi kontynuowal plywanie z rybami, Asi pozostalo czytanie w cieniu. W Tajlandii wiekszosc wolontariatow to niestety kolejny sposob wzbogacenia sie dla neuczciwych ludzi, czesto wiazacy sie z nielegalna praca oraz wykorzystywaniem osob slabszych i chorych. Jest to temat rzeka, ktory byc moze kiedys poruszymy po naszym przyjezdzie...

Asia odwiedzila.tutejsze schronisko dla zwierzat, gdzie motywy organizacji byly nieco inne - Tajlandia pelna jest bezpanskich psow i kotow, czesto agresywnych i bardzo chorych. Na Koh Samui wygladalo to inaczej w zwiazku z czym Asia postanowila zobaczyc, jak taka organizacja funkcjinuje w Tajlandii oraz chociaz na mala skale, ale troche pomoc lokalnym zwierzetom. Bylo to wieloaspektowe doswiadczenie - ciekawe, ale tez trudne i przyjemne zarazem. Niestety bez ukierunkowania, pomoc byc moze jest niewielka...

w jednym z ostatnich dni zobaczylismy cos pieknego. Siedzac wieczorem na plazy, ogromny pomaranczowy ksiezyc wynurzyl sie z wody! Wygladal jak ogromna planeta, ktora nas na kilka minut zahipnotyzowala!

El viaje a koh samui fue mas complicado que de costumbre. La razon es que tuvimos que coger un autubus de turistas en vez de usar transportes locales. Descubrimos que eso significa que te van a timar, parece ser que estos servicios estan organizados por una especie de mafia. Aunque fuimos precavidos y no dejamos nada de valor, se llevaron mi toalla :(

Apesar de ello llegamos a koh Samui que nos recivio con buen tiempo, una playa tranquila y aguas transparentes. Tambien encontramos un Bungalow barato no lejos de la playa y con una pequena piscina. Asi que decidimos tomarnos unas vacaciones de nuestros viajes y disfrutar del lugar. Desafortunadamente el quinto dia a Joanna le pico un pez Raya. Gracias a la ayuda de la gente de alli conseguimos llevar a Joanna al hospital. Despues de dos inyecciones de morfina se le paso el dolor. El docor nos recomendo que Joanba estuviese en el hospital en observacion. El dia siguiente Joanna se encontraba mejor y es cuando la segunda parte de nuestra aventura empezo. Apesar de tener seguro medico y darles el pasaporte y los papeles necesarios, la representante del hospital nos dijo que nuestro seguro era incapaz de pagar a tiempo y que teniamos que abonar la factura. Una vez fuera del hospital contactamos co el seguro y nos dijeron que el hospital les habia mandado una factura para un tratamiento de tres dias.... Despues de esto nos enteramos que las ambulancias te llevan al hospital que les interesa y que es practica comun el retenerte para cobrarte mas. Hemos reclamado la factura al seguro y el pie de Joanna esta mejorando.

Apesar de la anecdota nos gusto Koh Samui y disfrutamos de la playa. Estuvimos visatando la islam diferentes pueblos de alrededor y los mercados. Joanna estuvo hechando una mano en un refugio para animales. Joanna dice que estuvo bien pero que nadie parecia muy preocupad con decirles que tenian que hacer. Para quien le pueda interesar http://www.samuidog.org/text1_english.htm

Por lo demas nos sorprendio que en una isla tan turistica y llena de familias de vacaciones hubiese tal cantidad de bares con bailarinas y demas. Sobre todo que se encontraban en medio del pueblo. Tuvimos suerte de que al estar en el rincon mas barato y apartado estamos apartados de la triste escena de viejos extranjeros con jovenes locales. Aunque con la historia del pez raya nos hicimos famosos. Parece ser que no es muy comun el evento.

Como cosa curiosa vimos como sale la luna, lo vimos un dia de casualidad. Una bola enorme naranja saliendo del agua, algo digno de ver

Lamai beach

Lamai beach

Lamai

Lamai

Lamai

Lamai

Lamai

Lamai

Weather was changing fast

Weather was changing fast

Fire show in Lamai

Fire show in Lamai

Our fruit lady <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Our fruit lady :)

We had swimming pool but a small one

We had swimming pool but a small one

<img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

:)

Sunday Market

Sunday Market

Insects to eat, not really our thing

Insects to eat, not really our thing

Hospital day <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_sad.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':(' title='' />

Hospital day :(

Travelling around koh samui, various beaches

Travelling around koh samui, various beaches

Travelling around koh samui, Mae Nam

Travelling around koh samui, Mae Nam

Joanna sad because she couldn't swim <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_sad.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':(' title='' />

Joanna sad because she couldn't swim :(

Travelling around koh samui, Laem Yai

Travelling around koh samui, Laem Yai

Travelling around koh samui, Laem Yai

Travelling around koh samui, Laem Yai

Travelling around koh samui, Laem Yai

Travelling around koh samui, Laem Yai

Crazy rider <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Crazy rider :)

<img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

:)

Nice lady that shelter us from the storm

Nice lady that shelter us from the storm

741685DA2219AC6817C197B27B57F319.jpgTravelling around koh samui, Chaweng

Travelling around koh samui, Chaweng

Travelling around koh samui, Chaweng

Travelling around koh samui, Chaweng

Ugly statue

Ugly statue

One of the tourist attractions is a hole in a rock with a distinctive shape

One of the tourist attractions is a hole in a rock with a distinctive shape

Helping dogs

Helping dogs

Dog shelter

Dog shelter

Cat house

Cat house

Our Bungalow

Our Bungalow

Enjoying the sun

Enjoying the sun

Tropical beach <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_wink.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=';)' title='' />

Tropical beach ;)

Sunny days <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Sunny days :)

Noodle soop, cheap nice dinner

Noodle soop, cheap nice dinner

Watching the moon and stars on the beach

Watching the moon and stars on the beach

Posted by joxa 08:48 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Lankgawi

Welcome to Malaysia

sunny 33 °C
View Thailand & Malaysia on joxa's travel map.

After thorough preparation we managed to move on from Koh Samui with a feeling of success as on our way to Trang we were the only tourists found on boats, buses and vans. The mentioned town is not an obvious destination but it offered to us a great surprise and relief as people there were the most friendly and helpful ones in the whole Thailand. No touting, scamming and paying too much attention to us. We read somewhere that the region is how Thailand looked 20 years ago...we indulged in some market eating and went to the hairdresser which was quite stressful with the obvious language barrier...

We then headed for Satun in our beloved local buses. Lack of tourist meant being fed by the driver and his assistant with some potatoe looking fruit and sticky rice:-) after that sadly the tuk tuk driver tried to cheat us and took us to a pier where the boats we were looking for, to Kuala Perlis, were non existent. Instead the jetties to Lankgawi were in offer. With no much choice, a bit upset and apprehensive we farewelled Thailand and welcomed Malaysia in a famous duty free island in the middle of Ramadan.

We shared a taxi with some other long term travellers and collectively found a good homestay deal where a dorm room was converted into our private. First local people were very nice, offering fixed prices on taxi journeys and being generally friendly. Their English was very good which definetely helped to relax. After leaving our luggage we headed for the beach and an amazing paradise wide and long white sand beach stroke our eyes! The effect magnified by the purple colours of the sunset... so we decided to stay a bit longer, especially that Joanna with her foot healing started swimming again.

First introduction to food - amazing! Every place serves different food and although a bit more expensive, so much more fullfilling! The choice was a bit limited during the day because of the Ramadan time.

We stayed on the beach for a few days as we learnt that we were not allowed to ride motorbike in Malaysia without proper motorbike licence. Yes, Malaysia is more civilized and we can feel it in all aspects. We swam, watched sunsets and played freezby which we found in our room together with almost new fancy hiking shoes in Xabi's size and some beer. The latter we left behind as we are now healthier and healthier every day :-)

Wydostanie sie z Samui przygotowalismy skrupulatnie,zwazywszy na nasze ostatnie doswiadczenia. Z sukcesem i usmiechem na twarzy dotarlismy do Trang wiedzac, ze osiagnelismy nasz cel, gdyz bylismy jedynymi turystami we wszelkich srodkach transportu - prom, autobusy i vany. Po przyhezdzie czekala nas niespodzianka. Trang to jedyne miejsce, w jakim w Tajlandii nikt nas nie nachodzil, probowal oszukac lub czegos nam sprzedac. Zamiast tego otrzymalismy pomocna reke, kiedy tylko potrzebowalismy. Gdzies wyczytalismy, ze region Trang to Tajlandia 20 lat temu, przed najazdem turystow... w samej miejscowosci skosztowalismy lokalnych smakolykow na tamtejszym slynnym targu - duuuzo imbiru. Poszlismy tez do fryzjera. Bylo to stresujace przezycie, gdyz brak znajomosci jezyka sprawil, ze komunikacja dlugosci strzyzenia okazala sie skomplikowana....

Do Satun pojechalismy naszym ulubionym lokalnym autobusem. Brak turystow oznaczal, ze kierowca i jego asystentka czestowali nas jedzeniem - wygladajacymi jak ziemniaki owocami i ryzem. Po drodze widac bylo zmiane w scenerii i ludziach - coraz wiecej zakrytych kobiet w szalikach, coraz mniej wylegunacych sie na kazdym rogu Tajow... W samym Satun niestety kierowca tuk tuka probowal nas oszukac, po czym zawiozl nas nie na ta przystan co trzeba. Jak sie wkrotce dowiedzielismy, moglismy jedynie poplynac na wyspe Lankgawi, a nie jak planowalismy, na lad w rejonie Perlis. Dosc rozczarowani i niepewni ale bez wielkiego wyboru, pozegnalismy Tajlandie i przywitalismy Malezje na slynnej bezclowej wyspie.

Pierwsze wrazenia Malezji - cgwilizacja! Taksowka okazala sie miec z gory ustalona cene, ludzie nie byli w zaden sposob nachalni a dodatkowo kazdy napotkany czlowiek mowil biegle po angielsku! Udalo nam sie szybko zrelaksowac, kiedy blakajac sie po okolicy z dwoma napotkanymi podroznikami, zostalismy zaproszeni na stancje w ogrodzie i zaoferowano nam prywatny pokoj w duzym pokoju dla wielu osob. Basen w ogrodzie oraz prawdziwy spokoj, dodaly temu miejscu uroku. Po zostawieniu plecakow, pobieglismy na plaze. Naszym oczom ukazala sie szeroka rajska plaza z bialym pudrowym piaskiem. Dodatkowo, zachod slonca byl przepiekny z chmurami w roznycb odcieniachfioletu i rozu. Podekscytowani, postanowilismy zostac tam kilka dni. Asia niemogla sie oprzec morzu i zaczela plywac.

Jesli chodzi o jedzenie, to rozpoczelismy inny rodzaj przygody, gdyz w kazdym miejscu, jakie odwiedzilismy, serwowano zupelnie inne potrawy! W ciagu xnia wybor byl nieco mniejszy w zwiazku z czasem Ramadanu.

Plazowanie, plywanie i gra we frizbi - to robilysmy przez kilka wspanialych dni. Motocykl, jak sie dowiedzielismy odpada bez prawa jazdy na motor. Jest to kolejny aspekt ucywilizowanej Malezji. Frzizbi znalezlismy w naszycm palacowym pokoju, wraz z prawie nowymi butami trekkingowymi w rozmiarze Xabiego oraz kilkoma puszkami piwa. Te ostatnie zostawilismy dla kolejnych przybyszow , gdyz obecnie prowadzimy coraz zdrowszy tryb zycia...

Despues de preparar conciencudamente nuestra salida de la isla, conseguimos salir de koh samui con una sentiemiento de victoria, puesto que evitamos los autobuses turistas y eramos los unicos extranjeros en los diferentes medios de transporte que usamos para ir a Trang. Dicho pueblo no es un destino turistico obvio pero fue un alivio llegar alli. La gente era amable, sin ningun interes en nosotros o nuestro dinero. Parece ser que Tailandia era asi hace 20 anos...por lo demas aprovechamos para cortanos el pelo y visitar los mercados locales.

De Trang fuimos a un pueblo llamado Satun. Fuimos en el Autobus regional y como viene ser habitual acabaron dandonos cosas para comer :) . Desafortunadamente una vez alli el taxista en vez de llevarnos al puerto donde se cogen los botes para Kuala Perlis, nos llevo a otro para ir a Langkawi. Sin otro opcion nos despedimos de Tailandia y fuimos a Langkawi en medio del Ramadan.

Una vez alli, conseguimos un buen alojamiento en unos dormitorios que se convertieron en nuestra habitacion privada. La gente en Malaysia nos dio una buena impresion y se agradecia que no tuviesemos que negociar todo el rato. Despues de situarnos fuimos a la playa. Hay que decir que la playa era muy bonita y la puesta del sol era digna de ver. Positivamente sorprendidos decidimos quedarnos un par de dias mas de lo previsto para que Joanna disfrutase ya que su pie se estaba mejorando y podia nadar.

Se agradecio el cambio de comida y la variedad que habia. Mas caro que en Tailandia pero bastante mejor. Por lo demas estuvimos en la playa puesto que necesitas carnet de moto conducir moto a diferencia de tailandia. Asi que nadamos y jugamos con un frisbi que nos encontramos junto con unas zapatillas nuevas de monte muy chulas de mi talla.

Some weird mural art O_o!

Some weird mural art O_o!

Walking around trang

Walking around trang

Trang market

Trang market

Night Market

Night Market

Langkawi

Langkawi

Langkawi

Langkawi

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

Pantai Cenang, langkawi

Pantai Cenang, langkawi

Us <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_wink.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=';)' title='' />

Us ;)

Pantai Cenang

Pantai Cenang

Pantai Cenang

Pantai Cenang

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Our accommodation

Our accommodation

New food <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

New food :)

And different drinks also

And different drinks also

More beach

More beach

Our swimming pool

Our swimming pool

View from the ferry

View from the ferry

View from the ferry

View from the ferry

Posted by joxa 20:57 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Georgetown

Penang

semi-overcast 32 °C
View Malaysia on joxa's travel map.

After recovering in the beach we decided to head for yet another island. This time to see a city tough, George Town. After a bit of stress with the bus service that was finished we manage to arrived there and booked a very cheap and small windowless room. The city is an old colonial city build by the British and is still preserved although a bit rundown. There were few buildings and streets that were well preserved and you could feel the old city. We were amazed at the sight of some many different cultures leaving together and especially the variety of food available. The old part is not very big and after few days we were feeling a bit trapped there, so we decided to go to a nearby beach for a day trip, the beach was not impressive but the weather was good. Besides of that we went to the botanic gardens for a little walk and to see the outskirt mansions. All in all it was an interesting city full of contrasts, old buildings and big modern towers with a variety of cultures living together. We enjoued all aspects of this mutliculture mix by visiting Little India, Chinatown, mosques where Xabi was given Koran in Spanish and aslo together with locals had a walk around huge shopping centre where we went to the cinema!

Depues de recuperarnos en la playa decidimos a ir a otra isla. Esta vez para visitar una ciudad Georgetown. Despues de un sustillo con el servicio de autobus conseguimos llegar alli y alquilar una pequena habitacion sin ventanas. La ciudad es un antigua colonia inglesa y todavia conserva la mayoria de edificios aunque no estan muy bien mantenidos. Sin embargo habia varios edificios y calles bien conservados y se podia sentir el ambiente de la ciudad. Era impresionante ver tantas culturas diferentes conviviendo juntas y sobre todo la variedad de comidad disponible. La parte antigua no es muy grande y despues de un par de dias empezamos a sentirnos un poco atrapados. Decidimos ir fuera de la ciudad a ver una playa cercana, no era particularmene preciosa pero hizo buen tiempo para disfrutarlo. Aparte de esto fuimos a los jardines botanicos para dar un paseo y ver las mansiones coloniales. En resumen una ciudad interesante llena de contrastes, viejos edificios coloniales y torres gigantes con una mezcla de culturas viviendo juntas.

Po nieplanowanej przerwie w Lankgawi, udalismy sie do juz planowanego miejsca - wyspy Penang i slynnego postkolonialnego miasta George Town z zachoanymi budynkami z czaasow brytyjskiej kolonizacji. Na pierwszy rzut oka miasto nasz rozczarowalo - myslelismy, ze bedzie pelne atmosfery starego miasta, a zamiast tego stare budynki wcisniete byly miedzy ogromne i nowoczesne bloki. Jednak blizsza eksploracja ukazala nam to interesujace miejsce. Budynki zachowane w niezmie ionym stanie, wszelkiego rodzaju kultury zyjace obok siebie i duzo luksusu + duzo ogloszen o prace! Samo stare .iasto jest raczej male i po niedlugim czasie chcielismy sie stamtadwyrwac. Postanowilismy pojechac na plaze - napotkany Malezyjczyk probowal nas przekonac, ze ldpiej do ogrodu botaczincznego. My jednak postanowilismy sie przekonac sami. No i coz.. mial racje! Plaza byla nie iekawa, ale pogoda dobra. Do ogrodu wybralismy sie nastepnego dnia, gdzie napotkalismy malpy, zolwie i dziwna roslinnosc. Skorzystalismy tez z multikulturowosci tego miejsca odwiedzajac i jedzac w dzielnicy indyjskiej, chinskiej, przechadzajac sie obok meczetow gdzie Xabi otrzymal kopiej Koranu w jezyku hiszpanskim oraz wraz z lokalnymi ludzmi chodzac po olbrzymim centrum handlowym gdzie postanowilismy pojsc do kina.

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

Gorge Town

Gorge Town

Indian temple

Indian temple

Market

Market

George town

George town

Door of chinese temple

Door of chinese temple

George town

George town

George Town has open sewer system, a bit smelly <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

George Town has open sewer system, a bit smelly :)

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

George Town

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis

Queen Victoria clocktower

Queen Victoria clocktower

Kaptain Keling Mosque

Kaptain Keling Mosque

Kaptain Keling Mosque

Kaptain Keling Mosque

Chinese temple

Chinese temple

Chinese temple

Chinese temple

Our room

Our room

Batu Ferringi

Batu Ferringi

Batu Ferringi

Batu Ferringi

Batu Ferringi and Joanna posing like chinese people do <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Batu Ferringi and Joanna posing like chinese people do :)

Dla Basi polecane hamburgery

Dla Basi polecane hamburgery

George Town

George Town

Chinese breakfast buffet

Chinese breakfast buffet

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Dried squid

Dried squid

Chinese cats <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Chinese cats :)

Cinema day

Cinema day

George Town

George Town

Posted by joxa 22:17 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

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