A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: pnd

On the road with Jack Kerouac

Morning all! Much has changed in our 2 weeks in Australia so far....Phil has ditched us for a high flying job in Sydney and Nick and Coops have set off up the coast in a campervan. Many are dubbing them as the modern day Jack Kerouacs, but I don't think they had in-car DVD players or Dolby 5.1 surround sound during beat America! It is travelling nonetheless and we are communicating with the locals, mainly by shouting 'how ya going' which basically means 'what is your name', 'where are you going', 'who are you', 'what are you' in ozzy speak. The trick is to say it loudly especially in awkward early morning bathroom visits amongst the large population of OAP's that have decided to travel up the coast at the same time as us.

Despite this we have seen and done a lot. Notably Fraser Island and flying across the rain forest and landing on the beach, spotting a few dolphin along the way. We are now at Airlie Beach ready to set sail across the Whitsundays and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. Sweet deal.

Here is a picture.

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Good bye!

Posted by pnd 19:37 Comments (1)

Bangkok and the Islands

The long-haul travelling and early mornings visiting Vietnam and Chang Mai's cultural offerings took it's toll by the time we arrived in Bangkok. For 6 days we sat around our roof top pool, ate copious amounts of street Pad Thai and got lairy on the Khao San road watching the Champs League final.

To offset our visits to the MBK shopping centre and hanging around with Bangkok's finest scenesters watching western films in the cinemas, we visited the Royal Palace which is quite a sight. Gold plated roofs and the sort. We were also made to wear trousers out of respect, but they looked more like fraternity jogging bottoms.

Bangkok over and we made our way down to the first island on our trip, Khao Tao. On the journey down our bus was searched by Thai police, clad in massive Doc Martins, helmets and masks. They were looking for a bandit, and whilst Phil maintains that it's good to feel a police presence, Nick felt it was an unnecessary intrusion.

Khao Tao was incredible, and there was a cool array of resorts to get stuck into and throw our hard earned money at. Coops and Nick attempted their PADI, Coops operated ankle couldn't kick with the fins and Nick freaked out doing a 'water in Mask' excercise at 12m. This resulted in a very expensive trip to Khao Tao, however, all was not lost as we went snorkelling off the island of Nang Yuang nearby where we swum amongst barracudas and luminous fish over beautiful coral. In line with poor planning we landed on the island 40 minutes before it closed. We are slowly learning from our mistakes.

Next stop Koh Phagnan, home of the full moon and strange Thai people who are expert in exploiting tourists. Our bungalow was set on a secluded bay which at first felt deserted and remote, but the wild pack of dogs who lived down the beach and the other resort guests made for very fun times. Like true Brits, after a night of dancing in a disturbing manner to techno as the sun rose to reveal a line of full moon-ers urinating into the sea, we raced home to pester our resort into cooking us a fry up at un-Godly hours. Full moon ticked, next stop Sydney to stay with Sally Jones yeeaahhhhhhh.

New photos in the album have a perouse!

Just giving back to the local community
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Posted by pnd 22:45 Comments (0)

Thailand

sunny

Hello! As pictures speak a thousand words, that's a lot more than our haggard selves can put together at the moment, so please follow our travels through the medium of art. (as we can't muster up basic English at the moment due to extreme Zen/traveller state).

HALONG BAY
was quite possibly the most incredible sight to behold. Amongst kayaking and prodding jellyfish with kayak paddles, we met an Aussia who looks AND sounded like Will Ferrell. We also met 3 Aussie Sheilas (average age of 55 years old) that said we can stay on their farm near Brisbane, do a days work and eat some home cooked food! (probably cheese on toast)

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floating village
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jumping- nick jumped off the top of the boat because he is brave, phil did a dive off the second level and everyone applauded and coops can bomb like an obese child in a public swimming pool
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a casual view from the bed
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CHIANG MAI
flew here from vietnam through air asia. coops had his hair cut at Toni and Guy Essenuals (not gay) and the result was a look very similar to a certain german dictator...

chiang mai itself is a splendid city, very chilled and has a moat surrounding it to stop nutters from getting in. we did a lot of exciting things like elephant trekking in remote unprofessional environments, trekking, and by trekking I mean help a local man search for vegetables for his dinner because he was too hungover and cooking school. coops could not partake in this as he was violently ill from phils recommendation of dodgey mexican, and in true karma style phil followed suit.

Heather Mullins?
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gold
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temple - tuk tuk drives love to pester you at the temples and ask where youre going. make NO eye contact and you wont have to listen to how great their friends suit shop is
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phil on elephant - he didnt change this pose the entire ride
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cooking school with NAN - her child is called PAN and her husband is called POT. cooking on the brain...
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getting to know the ingredients
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interacting with locals
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at the highest point of chiang mai 1363m (coops said that this still wouldnt be a mountain in the Alps therefore its not impressive and chiang mai should chill out calling this a mountain)
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blending in
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MOVING ON...

We got a VIP local bus to Bangkok last Friday which was brilliant. It would've been even more brilliant if we could've appreciated the local Thai Karaoke that was played on full blast every two hours when we were trying to sleep. We leave for KHAO TAO on Thursday on a far less impressive bus and will give a Bangkok blog low down before then. This is too much fun for one day.

Stay classy! nic phil and coops xxx

Posted by pnd 07:21 Comments (0)

The Coast of Nam

all seasons in one day

Sup fools! Its been a while since we have updated this badboy so we have decided to take some time out of our busy lives to regale you with tales of the Vietnam Coast.

Nha Trang
has a fantastic beach with wonderful clear waters. It also has a disgusting array of naff bars and shops to rival Blackpool and managed to rain pretty much the entire time we were there. Our hotel room had a balcony, which overlooked a building site, and the additional bonus of geckos and damp walls. Apart from playing football on the beach until phil cried, eating the worlds best seafood dinner and whinging about the rain little else happened. So we moved onto...

jealous?
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Hoi An
Having been shown the back 3 sleeper bunks on the bus we were pretty pleased with ourselves, as they seemed spacious in comparison to some of the others. However there was a distinct lack of working air conditioning and we were sat above the engine. Arriving sweaty and irritable Phil managed to shout at a man trying to get us to stay at his hostel. He failed to understand our mantra for the trip, that is basing our accomodation decisions on the rough guide book "if its not in the good book, its not good" (Luke 5:2).

Lanterns
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My Son (Dont worry mum its a temple)
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Hue
Half an hour from leaving Hoi An, our bus ground to a stop as the axel snapped whilst manoeuvring a crazy roundabout. The driver attempted to rejoin the broken steel with....... a hammer but worked to no avail! A replacement bus quickly came and we were surrounded by smelly tourists again.

broken bus
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1 of 100 temples
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2 of 100 temples
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3 of 100 temples
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On arrival in Hue we were instantly disppointed by the souless atmosphere that greeted us in the form of incessant hostel representatives and taxi drivers following us down the street. Thankfully, the following day redeemed our warped view of the city after we visited the Citadel and old city where we managed to get our daily quota of 10 temples and 10 pagodas in. The highlight of our day was going to the Co-Op to get Infadel supplies for the 16 hour bus journey that awaited us for Hanoi. Safe.

Hanoi
After a beautiful sleep on the night bus (apart from lanky coops) we were ready to hit Hanoi. We thought it would be much cooler up here but funnily enough...... I'm pretty sure we are even sweating through our eyeballs. We're in a decent hostel but they keep trying to sell us unusually cheap tickets for tours, can't imagine how they get them that cheap?!?! Safe to say we're staying well clear. We've had a good few days here though, had some awesome food and been productive on the sight-seeing front, yes more temples. The most interesting thing we've seen may have been Uncle Ho's mausoleum, we didn't go inside though because you need to be in trousers and me and Coops may have passed out (Nick was up for it though, got a thing for dead bodies apparently.) We also saw the President of Vietnam drive past in his sweet Mercedes just before going into his massive palace. All the things that socialism brings.

Sweet bridge
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Cross legged meal
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We're booked up for Halong bay tomorrow for a two day trip, then we fly to Chiang Mai on Saturday to partake in massages, mini treks and cooking schools. All with happy endings. We therefore will be off the radar for a few days but we'll update again once we've more fun tales to tell

Hope all family and friends are ok and coping without us, it must be tough.
Nick, Coops and Phil
xxx

Posted by pnd 06:20 Comments (0)

Big Unky Ho's Place

first couple of days in ho chi minh

semi-overcast 35 °C

Hello everyone
As we write this masterpiece we're taking in some beautiful culture..... aka chelsea vs. fulham.
We've been in saigon for two full days now and have done some hardcore sight-seeing around the city. On the first day we went to reunification palace which was cool, the best bit being the not at all one-sided video summary of the war. Coops is now a raging commie and keeps refering to me and nick as "capitalist pigs".
It's an amazing city, high-rise fancy offices and hotels on one street and then hap-hazzard busy shops and stalls crammed into the next.
We're leaving for some beach fun in nha trang tomorrow on a sleeper bus but before we do a visit to the cu-chi tunnels is needed, should be interesting to see how the viet-cong lived underground for weeks at a time. (if we can fit in).

Will be in touch again soon.

Posted by pnd 08:00 Archived in Vietnam Tagged gay_travel Comments (0)

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