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Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
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35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
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581
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1
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45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for November, 2018


30 November 2018

Eating Hanoi

24 November 2018 The banana witch was a particularly cheeky f*cker. She was one of those women walking along with a pair of panniers on her shoulder, and she stopped us to say “want banana?” and we kinda did because we’d got a bit peckish after a lot of walking around. So we paused, for » » »



30 November 2018

Hanoi insanoi

23 November 2018 The Vietnamese are cheeky f*ckers, they really are. As an example, take this picture of a video display in the Hanoi Citadel. This is a major museum in the capital city. Reeeeally? Anyway, we’ve only been here a few hours and they’ve already been cheeky to us. We had Bun Cha for » » »



25 November 2018

Monkish day

22 November 2018 We started the day at 6:15am, watching the procession of orange robes monks walk down the street, stopping to collect alms from seated townsfolk (usually women) in the form of little balls of sticky rice. By the time they’ve walked the whole route I guess they’ve got enough rice for a day’s » » »



25 November 2018

Market and Wat

21 November 2018 Things in the market in Luang Prabang that were alive: Some of the fish, though not the giant catfish Small brown furry rodents, plush and almost spherical Snails with long turret shells, escaping from their pot Little songbirds in bamboo cages no bigger than a fist A snake, with a little plastic » » »



24 November 2018

Mekong 2

20 November 2018 Today we spent another day cruising down the Mekong. It’s a pleasant experience, but let’s just say that we spent even more time today reading and catching up on blog writing than yesterday! We had two stops today before our final destination of Luang Prabang. The first was the Pak Ou caves, » » »



24 November 2018

Cruising down the Mekong

19 November 2018 All of the big boats that cruise the Mekong are family homes. I really like this. Whether it’s the public passenger boats that take locals and dedicated backpackers up and down, or the tourist boats like ours that provide a more informative and comfortable journey, or the freight boats loaded with all » » »



24 November 2018

Sleepy Chiang Khong

18 November 2018 Not much to do today, catch up on admin and take the 11:30 bus to Chiang Khong on the Laos border. The bus was a totally knackered old specimen, with open windows and door to keep cool, and it rattled us along the 2 hour journey for a princely £1.50 each. Because » » »



24 November 2018

Mountain coffee, valley tea

17 November 2018 We explored Chiang Saen some more this morning, and although it can’t boast anywhere near the scale of ruins as Sukhothai or Ayutthaya, it’s still evocative to poke around for an hour or two. And it was fun to juxtapose a wander around an old ruined Wat of crumbling red bricks with » » »



20 November 2018

Eating off the pavement

16 November 2018 Today began… inauspiciously. For a start, 4:30am is no sensible time to be getting up. But we had to leave our lodging by 5am to have time to drive and then trek up to Phu Chi Fa in time for dawn at just after 5:30. Except we trekked up through thick cloud, » » »



20 November 2018

On the road in Thailand

15 November 2018 I ought to whisper this, but we’ve only been in Thailand for a day and everything we’ve eaten has been better than anything we ate in the Philippines. I don’t know how they do it. We’re staying in a lodge with literally no other guests, and yet they still seem to be » » »



20 November 2018

Warm bodies

13 November 2018 Today we pretty much relaxed. All we did was take a trip to Las Cabanas beach and rent a kayak for a couple of hours, then have some lunch. Okay, so that’s still more than most people were doing. This was the first beach I’ve visited in the Philippines where there was » » »



20 November 2018

Philippine postcards

14 November 2018 All we did today was transit, from El Nido to the airport, then to Manila, then from T4 to T3, then to Bangkok where we flopped down in an airport hotel to await the final hop – Bangkok to Chiang Rai – tomorrow morning. So here are our best snaps from the » » »



18 November 2018

Swimming with the fishes

12 November 2018 Tour C was our second island-hopping adventure, and it was a bit longer than Tour A and also didn’t have the crowds. Each of the five spots we stopped at was for snorkelling, so by the end of the trip I had imbibed a good tankful of salt water and was thoroughly » » »



14 November 2018

Philippine dining

11 November 2018 Today was a bit of a quiet one. We emerged late, did only one activity – a short clamber up to a viewpoint on a bluff overlooking the town, and then took in a massage before dinner in town. It was a really stinking hot day which made it even harder to » » »



14 November 2018

Me vs the sea

10 November 2018 Today was our first island-hopping trip, Tour A. The local authorities have apparently created four official itineraries, and everyone pretty much has to follow them. So don’t expect to have the islands to yourself! One of the most fun spectator sports is watching the earlier bangkas to arrive trying to extricate themselves » » »



14 November 2018

El Nido

9 November 2018 We’re back to rustic again, although our cabin at Caalan Beach Resort does have aircon at least. Though of the more basic kind: if you want to sleep in cool air-conditioned comfort, you need to be able to sleep through the noise of a small propeller aircraft preparing for take-off in your » » »



14 November 2018

Resort life

8 November 2018 Sabang is very pleasant. We’re actually staying in the only proper resort in the place; the handful of other places to stay are all of the beach bungalow variety, and the handful of places to eat are all made of wood and bamboo too. The beach is golden sand, the sea warm » » »



8 November 2018

Underground river

7 November 2018 The underground river is one of the main reasons to visit Palawan, and certainly the main reason we’re staying in Sabang. It’s 8km long and emerges straight into the sea, although in fact tourists only get to venture into the first 2km of it. This is a unique experience in itself, though » » »



8 November 2018

Transit 2

6 November 2018 The trouble with a nation of islands is all the internal flights needed to explore it. And because they don’t necessarily link up, we end up taking 2 entire days to do nothing more than get from Vigan in north Luzon to Sabang in Palawan. Of course we could probably have found » » »



8 November 2018

Transit

5 November 2018 We’ve used quite a few forms of transport in our time. By air we’ve flown in a seaplane, a helicopter, a glider, six-seaters, hot air balloons and of course many air liners. By water we’ve been on a jet boat, a schooner, longtails, bangkas, ferries, kayaks, canoes, rubber dinghies and speedboats. By » » »



8 November 2018

Tamburlaine

4 November 2018 We named our horse Tamburlaine, for he was strong and noble and had a fuffy mane. Tamburlaine trotted us around Vigan for four hours in a kalesa – the local two-wheeled carriages that are now mostly for tourists in this little Spanish colonial town. He was only strong and noble in our » » »



5 November 2018

Burial practises of the mountain tribes

3 November 2018 Today we have been hearing more about the various icky death rites of the people of the Cordillera, so I thought I’d share. As Keynod explained at length, when someone pops their clogs in the mountains they are sat up in a chair and placed in the main room of the house » » »



5 November 2018

A splendid walk into the past

2 November 2018 Today we drove into Mountain Province to the Bontoc area, where we picked up local guide “Key-nod” (no idea how it’s spelled). Keynod comes from around here, and has relatives in the village we’re trekking to today. Apparently each region of the mountains requires its own guide and we’ll need another in » » »



5 November 2018

Rice terraces

1 November 2018 It has to be said, the mountain rice terrace scenery is stunning. Even though half of our original itinerary is wiped due to closed roads, I feel like I’ve been spoiled by a hundred photogenic views of this vertical landscape. Carlos picked up our local guide, a friendly chap named Nick. He’s » » »



5 November 2018

Day on the road

31 October 2018 We met our guide, Carlos, outside the airport at 8am. Just worth noting: Wings transit lounge aside, Manila T3 is a really cool airport terminal, with loads of good stuff to eat and some great shopping besides. We loaded our stuff into his sturdy white 4WD and then we set off on » » »



5 November 2018

Misery lounge

30 October 2018 So yesterday we did have one cloud appear on our horizon: Kim, the lady who organised our tour of north Luzon, emailed to say that a typhoon was going to blow across Luzon on Tuesday and perhaps our flight to Cauayan may be cancelled. Oh, and perhaps all the mountain roads will » » »



5 November 2018

Fireflies

29 October 2018 We took it easy today. Did nothing more than pootle along to Alona Beach on Panglao island, to see what the “resort” area of Bohol is like. Answer: it’s still pretty low key, at least compared to places like Kuta on Bali. Although compared with the rest of Bohol its an absolute » » »



4 November 2018

Tarsier hunt

28 October 2018 The road that leads to our resort is the single worst road on Bohol. It’s a mixture of rough dirt track, patched of old tarmac, potholes, shattered old concrete, a narrow section with a 2ft drop on the side, and then the actual resort driveway twists and turns at a gradient of » » »