13 Jul
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (105 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for December, 2010

31 December 2010

The funky gibbon

30th December 2010 Today was our best day for wildlife, though I still can’t give Bau any credit for it. We set out for an early 6:30AM paddle again and this time as we explored we were serenaded by the haunting song of the gibbon. Very reminiscent of the Indri in Madagascar, the troops of » » »

31 December 2010

There are guides and guides

29th December 2010 I’m referring to the guides that we’ve gone with in various places to help us find wildlife – Madagascar, Bardia, Hala Bala, here. You obviously pay a premium for this, and each of these four trips has come out of our “special fun budget”, but a good local guide is crucial for » » »

31 December 2010

Khao Sok

28th December 2010 Khao Sok is certainly a beautiful place. Thirty years ago it was an area of steep mountains and deep valleys, but then a dam was built and now there is an enormous lake. Not the typical oval of a natural lake, instead it has hundreds of long winding fingers of water; the » » »

31 December 2010

Cambodia nutshell

I like Cambodia, even though things don’t work quite how they’re meant to, the traffic is chaos and the country is clearly very poor. My warm feelings may in part be due to the nice accommodation we stayed in, but getting an enormous plush villa by a pool for the price of a cosy shoebox » » »

31 December 2010

Temple exploring

The Angkorian temples of Cambodia are wonderfully photogenic, and there are hundreds of pictures from all angles in our library. This gallery is just a handful to give some more idea of what can be seen there. Related Images:

31 December 2010

Leaving Cambodia

27th December 2010 Oops. It looks like something I ate last night didn’t agree with me. Let’s just say four trips to the loo before dawn and I won’t paint you a picture. We’ll just have to have a relaxing day without much activity so I can get over it, within easy reach of a » » »

26 December 2010

Banteay Srei

26th December 2010 Banteay Srei is the name of the last temple we’ve seen in Cambodia. Again, it is a pleasant surprise to find that it has a different character again compared with those we’ve seen before. This temple is smaller, but the sandstone is a desert orange and the whole place is covered in » » »

26 December 2010

Wat fun!

Responsibility for this gallery rests squarely with Mr Sim. Our guide had a real passion for the silly tourist photograph, and after telling us all about the history of the temple we were walking around he would say “now come this way, we can take a funny photo…” It would have been poor sport to » » »

26 December 2010

Temples of Angkor

24th December 2010 Today we took ourselves around another set of temples on bicycle, self-guided. This is always going to be our absolute favourite way; self-guided, at our own pace, deciding for ourselves what is worth a look and what we’ll skip. Nine hours later and we’ve explored another four Angkorian temples pretty thoroughly. The » » »

26 December 2010

Mr Sim spells it out

23rd December 2010 If you are looking for a guide around the Angkor temples we can entirely recommend Mr Sim Sophaektra – his English is good, he knows everything and he’s cool. We were lucky to get him at short notice, as tomorrow he has to travel over 100kms back to his village for a » » »

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

We have no festive photos to put up here, there’s nothing remotely Christmassy happening in Cambodia except for a few pretty restaurant touts dressed up in Santa outfits in the hope of drawing some more customers. And we’re certainly not exchanging presents – how on earth would we pack them?! So it’s Christmas only in » » »

23 December 2010

Boat trip

22nd December 2010 We left Battambang today after a very relaxing stay at the Sanctuary Villa, and travelled to Siem Reap where we are staying at Dan’s other hotel. Dan (pronounced “dane”) is a seriously nice guy and a real entrepreneur; he’s a computer programmer who seems to have fallen into the hotel business, and » » »

23 December 2010


Though it doesn’t have anything to compare with Angkor Wat, there’s endless interest in touring around Battambang and its surroundings. Plus of course the town has a really cool name. Related Images:

21 December 2010

Just nosin’ around

21th December 2010 Feeling energetic, we rose early and borrowed a couple of bikes to cycle off in search of a temple called Ek Phnom, downstream along the river from Battambang. The road started out winding through the suburbs of Cambodia’s second city. This is a very misleading sentence. Despite being the second city, Battambang » » »

21 December 2010


20th December 2010 Today we explored all the area around Battambang, aboard a tuk-tuk with our friendly guide and driver Somnang. We visited the only winery in Cambodia, then a rare traditional country house that survived the Khmer Rouge, an ancient temple that predates Angkor Wat and a killing cave where perhaps 10,000 people were » » »

20 December 2010

Market day

19th December 2010 Battambang has a very interesting covered market, and I do love wandering around markets. This one has the usual fascinating array of fruit, vegetables, meat and fish including sad looking ducks completely dead and naked but with their eyes still glassy in surprise. It was more unusual to see a section of » » »

19 December 2010

Lucky charm

18th December 2010 We left Bangkok on the 5:55AM train and headed for the Cambodian border. Research on the internet and in guidebooks suggested we were in for an irksome day – tales of a thousand touts and a hundred scams at what was described as a “nightmare” border crossing. We got off the train. » » »

18 December 2010

Bangkok busy

17th December 2010 How lazy is this? A four day gap since the last blog. But it’s easily summarised. On the 14th we made one last (failed) attempt to watch for small-clawed otters, then said farewell to Jan and Tu boarded the train at 2PM. Rattle, rattle, rattle, at 3PM on the 15th we stepped » » »

17 December 2010

Otter craze

Written by Maureen, 13th December 2010 Here’s a summary of our trip to find otters in Thailand. Where? At a secret location in the Narathiwat province, extreme south of the country. We got special permission to visit thanks to Jan and Tu who have excellent contacts Accommodation? At the Hala Bala wildlife sanctuary research station, » » »

17 December 2010

Hairy-nose, Part 2

12th December 2010 Again with the early start. Again watching the light grow over the mangrove. Again the otter appears out of nowhere. This time Jan and I follow the old adage “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and we snap photos. Naturally, the camera-click alerts this incredibly alert and » » »

17 December 2010

Hairy-nose day

11th December 2010 Happy Hairy-nosed Otter day! The horribly early start paid off. Quite eerie, wading through the knee-deep water in pitch darkness with just our head-torches picking out the path through the reeds. Getting settled into the hide, during which Tu dropped his mobile phone. Alas, the floor of the hide is very gappy. » » »

16 December 2010

Not all otters

10th December 2010 Hala Bala has lots of wildlife, but we’re spending so much time searching for otters that we haven’t seen as much as we could. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the hairy-nosed otter, though, so we’ve got to focus. But in between days in the otter hide we’ve seen gibbons, » » »

16 December 2010

Jan and Tu

9th December 2010 Jan and Tu are our guides in the search for otters in southern Thailand. They’re fantastic company, are totally passionate about wildlife, and know Thailand’s national parks inside-out. They’ve been looking after us very well. They actually live in the north-east, in a splendid-looking house in Nan. After weeks of travelling and » » »

16 December 2010

Searching for hairy noses

8th December 2010 This is how you look for the world’s rarest otter. First: you wake up at 3:45 in the morning, in order to get going at 4:30 on the hour-and-a-half drive to the secret site (sssssh!). Then you get bitten half to death by mosquitoes while you unload the car. This is so » » »

16 December 2010

Training day

7th December 2010 Looong transit day today. The train leaves Bangkok’s Hualamphong station (which I can’t stop thinking of as hump-along station) at 13:00 and doesn’t reach Sungai-Kolok in the far south until 10:45 the next day. Our sleeper berth is of nifty and compact design, seats by day and bunk beds at night. The » » »

15 December 2010

World of dogs

It’s my mum’s birthday, and she loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, so here are photos of various pups we’ve met on our travels so far. Related Images:

15 December 2010

Muay Thai

6th December 2010 Why would I go to a kickboxing match in Bangkok when I’ve never been remotely interested in going to a boxing match in England? In part I suppose the oriental martial arts have a lot more “cool” attached to them than good ol’ Marquess of Queensbury rules. I like martial arts films » » »

15 December 2010


5th December 2010 I’m going to try blogging daily. I’m flattering myself that my writing is interesting enough to put together a diary that won’t reduce our small readership to zero. If anyone has any views on whether this is a good or bad idea, please drop me a comment! I’ll happily go back to » » »

4 December 2010

Evoking Ayutthaya

Travel writing includes a lot of deception by ommission, probably not often intentional. I happen to have read a short piece by someone about visiting Ayutthaya – the ruins of the old capital of Thailand – and this also happens to be what we did today. We also did pretty much what he did, which » » »