A Travellerspoint blog

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Malaysia - More KL

Eating and window shopping

Still loving KL.

Went to the famous Petronas Towers last night took some great photos (from the ground, both afraid of heights)

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We continued with our shopping Mall-a-thon is morning. The city is wall to wall shopping malls filled with beautiful unattainable things that are pretty to look at. Each mall is in competition with the next one to be even more resplendent. It's all marble, red carpet the lot! Sharon you would love it.

Alll the big name designers are here so we spent the morning window licking erm I mean window shopping. It's like being trapped inside The Matrix as this photo demonstrates.

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Been having fun riding the sky train around the city and exploring.

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Came a cross an exhibition of the Formula 1 cars and took these pics for you Ang, one of the cars is Alonso's. sadly he wasn't around for me to molest on your behalf.

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The forecasted rain came tonight...BIG TIME! luckily we didn't get caught in it as it was an almighty storm. Still can't get over how hot and humid it is here.

Went to china town tonight to the famous Petaling Street market. Got myself the worlds worst imitation Louis Vuitton handbag for 2.50€. It looked ok in the market light but when I got it home...Sharon will be laughing reading this. (It is that bad, The glue is still wet)

Back to Thailand tomorrow, we only really came to KL for visa reasons so now we can re-enter Thailand and start the final leg of our journey.

Big love x x

Posted by Gingertoad 09:42 Comments (0)

Krabi - Crabs

For one night only

Quick stop over in Krabi town on the way back from KL. we didn't want to carry straight onto the islands without a pit stop to do laundry etc so here seemed like a bit of a hub town so we thought we'd stay a couple of nights and regroup. After ten minutes of being here we thought the better of it. We hadn't estimated how easy it would be to get to our next destination. A quick look around the town revealed two things.
1. It's really cheap to go to Koh lanta straight from here
2. There is no launderette.

Time to get the hell out of dodge. Sadly we'd already booked and paid for accommodation so we will just have to forfeit a night. Some you win some you loose.

Had a nice walk along the river to the big crab statue, here is me putting the crabby in Krabi.

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Saw a stylish French woman at the market in Krabi town. I envied her lovely clean, ironed clothes and beautiful accessories. She looked like she had just stepped off the cover of Vogue.
I on the other hand look like I should be on the cover of The Beano.

My clothes are shoddy, unwashed, creased and my hair...well.

I touched on the complete lack of beauty routine last blog.
The lack of clean hot water and minimum 'products' coupled with immense humidity means that my hair has taken on the texture of a Welcome Mat crossed with a Brillo pad.
For gods sake dont put me near a naked flame, the whole things gonna blow!

Not much to say about Krabi town other than as a hub town it's much much nicer than Surat Thani, but your laundry will have to wait.

Posted by Gingertoad 21:03 Comments (0)

Ko Lanta - The destination

How to piss off a sleeping crab...

Morning, shredded wheat hair here.

Well if the past few weeks has been the journey then this place is the destination.

What a stunning place Ko Lanta is. Super chilled atmosphere and laid back vibe. We have just been enjoying doing nothing much it's now like a real holiday, beach, cocktails, snorkeling, eating. At last!

Getting here from Krabi was a bit of a drag. Another minivan dice with death but this time our driver had no concept of what to do with a corner or bend. Well what he actually did was speed up, overtake, NEVER check if any other vehicle was coming the other way.

The only way to get through is was to close ones eyes and pray to buddah for our safe arrival. That's what all the Thai people in the van were doing so we followed suit, when in Rome etc. How we made it to the ferry port is a miracle. Thank you Buddha.

Krabi province is approx 154 small islands with lots of water inlets and ferry crossings. This maps shows what I mean.

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We had to take two ferry crossings to get to ko lanta. The ferries are the flat ones you just drive on and off like this.

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I get very travel sick, it's to do with the motion. (Yes Aunty Angela I still get car sick at 41!)
So being sat in a diesel van with the engine running on a diesel car ferry, on the sea, going backwards was my worst nightmare. Thankfully it was only a short journey. Two and a half hours from Krabi town. But I was Kermit the Ginge again on arrival.

We got off at the wrong stop on ko lanta so had to take one of the many tuk tuks to our bungalow. That was pretty cool as they are much smaller here than in bangkok and a bit faster so we were there in no time at all.
They pimp the tuk tuks here Westwood style check out this bad boy...

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What a setting! We are staying in Klong Do beach which is apparently the best beach on the island. Huge white sandy beach with lovely sea shells and Hot sea, hot! Not warm but hot!

The sea is a bit choppier and loads of fish swimming in huge shoals. We dared each other to stand in the middle of the shoal with snorkel on but both if us were too scared! Especially as there are jellyfish warnings on the beach and specially designed vinegar stations like this...(we've already discussed the golden shower route in previous blog - not an option, although Jason is keeping a full bladder "just in case")

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Here is my very own Daniel Craig demonstrating that we had the place to ourselves.

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The nightlife here consist of cool beach bars with cushions and candles and chill out music. We watched a fire show which was mesmerizing and drank too many Mojitos.

Found a great way to entertain ourselves on the way home. crabbing, no it's not like dogging don't worry.

Using the torch I bought in Malaysia (best 5 ringgits ever spent) you simply shine the torch into the many huge crab holes in the beach at night and wait for a big one to run out at you. No doubt some animal rights activist will be reading this thinking how terribly cruel or detrimental to the environment - so I apologise now to the crab world.

But my god there is nothing funnier than watching a 42 year old drunken man trying to run away from an angry crab.

Posted by Gingertoad 22:21 Comments (0)

Phi phi islands

You can breathe here - but it'll cost you extra

Took the ferry from Koh Lanta this morning to the famous phi phi islands. It's the place where they filmed "The Beach" with Leonardo Di Caprio.

On arrival you have to pay 20b to "help keep phi phi clean" that should have been a warning of things to come.

The town is like a rabbit warren got we got completely lost looking for our hotel. Turns out there are two October hotels anyone we asked was sending us to either one like a ping pong ball. Two hours later we were still walking around with our heavy back packs and seriously pissed off by this point.

We decided it made better sense to leave me with the bags and for Jason to go off on foot to locate the hotel. Normally, as I have a better sense of direction its me that would do this but we have discovered that the anti sea sickness tablets send me loopy. As we had just disembarked another choppy ferry crossing - I was of no use to anyone. In fact it was my fault we were lost as I had been reading the map upside down.

At this point we got ripped off again, the charge for my bottle of water was 30b. It's 7b in the supermarket, and usually 15b in a restaurant so you can see how inflated the prices are on Phi Phi.

Hotel located but we couldn't check in till 1.30 left our bags in reception and went for a walk very very beautiful beach.
Here is me modeling my new Sid James style hat. I have a new nickname too "Carry on Phi Phi"

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Booked about excursion to visit four islands later that afternoon sunset cruise good value 400b included snacks.

Met a nice couple of kids from Glasgow who were here on the way to living in Australia. Cheryl 24 youth worker and Chris 27 - joiner (not a couple just travel buddies) really nice people. The excursion company tried to split us up to even out the boat numbers so I said that we were "family" and to authenticate the blood line I said "look look same skin"
I.e - white ( he's just got here and he is Glaswegian)
It worked and we were allowed on the same boat.

First stop was Monkey cove. I am no animal rights activist but it was really sad and tragic to see whole families of monkeys living amongst what can only be described squalor.
Someone needs to go over there an clean it up - it was filthy. The monkeys are quite tame in that they know that the hundreds of boats that stop here bring food and drink so they try to pinch people's water bottles. But all the empty cans bottles etc just get left there/washed up and no one cleans them so its really polluted. Here is Cheryl with a cheeky monkey.

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Next stop beautiful cove for a quick swim shallow could touch the seabed lots of black fish one girl off our boat got bit by something then Jason got nipped too so that was it for me, back on the boat fast as possible.
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Next stop for an hour of relaxation was at "Maya beach" where the film "The Beach" was filmed. I'd read on trip advisor that it would be jam packed but I think the afternoon trips are not so poplar as it wasn't that packed. It was just nice to be around normal people who had worked hard for this holiday and were enjoying themselves as opposed to snobby "travelers" who wouldn't touch this place with a barge pole as its "too touristy"

Stunning soft white sand and amazing rock formations. It was quite busy with tourist boats but I had an hour to chat with Cheryl while the lads went off exploring. It was great to have a conversation with someone other than Jason. We haven't really been able to mix with anyone else on this trip. The hippie set are not particularly friendly.

I realised that I've missed Girly chats, I got the feeling she had too especially as Chris is not her boyfriend just a mate. She seemed very homesick. They are going to Cairns to work for a year. We talked about how this Trip will no doubt change her, I felt like her older sister giving her advice etc it was lovely. Good luck on your journey chica.

Very funny moment trying to decend from the longtail boat at Maya beach. I was the last one off and Jason said "be careful it's a bit rocky" and that point I missed a rung off the ladder and fell backward into the sea. Smacked my arm and twisted my ankle I the process but it was very funny afterwards - pure embarrassment factor of the whole packed beach seeing my ungainly decent.

Here are some pictures of Maya beach.

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Blagged into a 5* resort next morning and used the pool was nice to see how the other half live!

Only stayed one night on Phi Phi, that's enough really. On our budget...the till would have been done in if we stayed any longer its expensive.

Off to the mainland Ao Nang next to do a few day trips and a Thai cooking course. Not long left now....sad face.

Posted by Gingertoad 19:30 Comments (1)

Ao Nang - Ruined.com

Mass tourism = destruction

We Came to the Krabi region specifically to do a Thai cookery school as there are several good ones in the province.

We had a good day at http://www.smartcookthailand.com/

Learned now to make 7 Thai different dishes each so we now have 14 recipes between us to take home and try out. Met some interesting people on the course and it was a nice sociable experience.

Here is me with the main equipment used in preparations.

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Apparently Thai men choose their future wives by the way she handles the pestle and mortar. The faster she is at pounding, then the better wife she will be. Ahem.

Here is Iron chef himself back at the helm.

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We were hoping to finish our holiday in this area as its easy to fly from Krabi airport back to Bangkok but after our first night here we realized Ao Nang wasn't to our taste.

Think of the worst parts of Tenerife (las America's) coupled with the worst bits of Salou (carles Buigas) complete with neon everywhere! then factor in loads of daft tacky tourists with hair braids and poor taste. Pakistani PRs outside every business trying to get you to come in using techniques such as:

1. THE BLOCK: the pr just literally stands in front of you blocking your way so you have to swerve around them while they talk shit at you "where you from my friend" "gutten abend"
(very funny - people think J is German since the haircut incident)

2. The spinning menu - PR Stands in front of you trying to impress you by spinning his menu on one finger in the vain hope that you stop and say "please cease this sorcery immediately and tell me about your substandard and overpriced fodder kind sir"

3. LETS BOND - "that's a nice T shirt" "where are you from sir?" Standard response really ought to be Fuck off but we spent two evenings walking about (trying to book our travel out of here ASAP) saying a polite "no thanks"
This style of bombardment of tourists really angers me. What should be a gentle stroll turns into running the gauntlet.

If people wanted a suit making they would bloody well walk into the suit shop themselves.
A man saying "suit sir?" Isn't going to suddenly make you think, "oh go on then".

It's a real shock to the system as the Thai people haven't behaved this way in any other place we've been to in Thailand (and we've been to A LOT of markets)

It shows what a negative effect the Pakistanis/Indians have had on the town. Plus it's dirty, really dirty. No one seems bothered about over full trash cans or litter in the street, Pollution on the beach. The locals have very clear disdain for foreigners it's written all over their faces they really can not stand us.

It's a real shame because I bet as little as ten years ago this was a lovely town.

Phi phi was in danger of becoming overdeveloped but I'm afraid in Ao Nang it's already happened.

We went over to Railey by longtail boat taxi today simply because we couldnt arrange passage out out here until tomorrow so we had to make the most of being here.

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It is a nice beach but too many longtail taxi boats are bringing people from Ao Nang which means all you can hear all day is the sound of the LOUD outboard motor engines. All along the beach is broken coral from the damage caused by the engine propellers.

You can really see the negative impact that mass tourism is having on the Krabi coast, here with the coral, Phi Phi with the monkey cove pollution. If they carry on developing at this rate there will be nothing left to visit in ten years time. They don't seem to have any coping strategy for all the new western waste byproducts, empty plastic bottles, cans etc.

On the return back to Ao Nang beach we came across these really tame monkeys who REALLY like Oreo cookies!

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Apart from Ko Lanta, I haven't enjoyed Krabi province at all.

Traveling back over to Ko phangnan tomorrow - it will take 7 hours to get there but it will be worth it for our last few days in paradise as opposed to purgatory.

Posted by Gingertoad 18:48 Comments (2)

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