02 Dec
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
4147
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for January, 2011


27 January 2011

Half way in

26th January 2011 A pessimist might say we’ve already finished half our travels, but I’m an optimist so we still have half our travels to go. Today we drove out to Tirta Gangga in the east of the island with grandma, Putu and her baby son. We were visiting Putu’s family, something she hasn’t done » » »



27 January 2011

Visiting grandpa

25th January 2011 Today we visited grandpa’s grave, to lay some flowers. He passed away in 1988, so grandma has been alone for more than 20 years; it’s no wonder she loves seeing her children and grandchildren so much. Unfortunately memory is fleeting at grandma’s age, and we have never been to Bali before, so » » »



27 January 2011

Grilled fish

24th January 2011 Bali is going to be a very two-sided place, I think. Up until now I haven’t seen anything to fall in love with, which apparently you’re supposed to when you arrive on this pearl of Indonesia. I’ve seen towns that look much like those of Malaysia or Cambodia; ramshackle little businesses and » » »



24 January 2011

Staying with grandma

23nd January 2011 We’re staying for two weeks with Maureen’s grandma, who lives on her own except for a servant in a house in the suburbs of Denpasar, Bali. She is a unique and wonderful old lady, with a lovely sense of humour and a great delicacy about her. It’s very different staying in a » » »



24 January 2011

Singapore impressions

21st January 2011 Four days in Singapore is hardly enough to summarise the city, but I did get some good impressions and in truth I liked the place a lot. Singapore is akin to London in having plenty of attractive old buildings juxtaposed with impressive modern architecture. The difference is in the ratios, which are » » »



24 January 2011

Journal entry 20/01/2011

20th January 2011 We keep a daily journal of notes, both to cover all the details we might forget and which don’t make it into blogs, and also to remind me of details if it’s a couple of days before I actually put a blog entry together. This is pretty much today’s journal entry (with » » »



21 January 2011

Look! Otters!

19th January 2011 This is ridiculous. Here at Sungei Buloh wetland reserve on Singapore they have smooth-coated otters. They have a small pond right outside the information centre, barely ten metres across, with a sandy bank on the far side of it. And a pair of otters have been resting on the bank and swimming » » »



20 January 2011

Not being tourists

18th January 2011 No photos to attach to this blog, ‘cos we didn’t take any. Today felt more like being back home. We got up late, we went out and had breakfast. First stop was for a haircut, long overdue. Then the serious business of going shopping. This is the first time we’ve “gone shopping” » » »



20 January 2011

To Singapore

17th January 2011 Long day of travelling today, beginning with getting up at 5AM in order to get the first ferry back to the mainland, so we could collect our tickets for the 8AM train from Butterworth to Singapore. And it ended at 10:30PM when we checked into our Singapore hotel. We would have been » » »



20 January 2011

Wildlife on Langkawi

Langkawi is actually a great place for wildlife, although admittedly not many mammals (except for the best of all, otters). Hard to believe we were only here for 36 hours.



20 January 2011

Monkey postcards

This gallery is for Helen, who liked the monkey that lost his keys on Ko Surin… or This gallery is for Helen, because she is a monkey… (delete as appropriate)



20 January 2011

Georgetown, Penang

Georgetown was pretty much just what I expected an ex-colonial provincial city to look like, but with the addition of strong Chinese and Muslim influences. The other half of Penang island is still largely wilderness, where the resorts have not crept in.



17 January 2011

I like Langkawi

16th January 2011 We read about Langkawi online, and in the Lonely Planet for Malaysia. Sun, sea, sand, resorts, and a handful of desultory attractions to milk some money from those who tire of the beach; “come for the beaches, there’s nothing else here” was the verdict from pretty much everyone. That’s why our initial » » »



17 January 2011

Mr Cultural Sensitivity

15th January 2011 We arrived on Langkawi by ferry late morning, picked up a hire car that pretty much worked, drove around looking at fleapits and No Vacancy signs until we found a decent hotel with a room left. All this accomplished, we stopped for lunch in a very local little restaurant tucked away from » » »



17 January 2011

Thailand nutshell

It’s clear why Thailand has such a gravitational pull for travellers of all kinds. The country is full of interest, it’s more modern and accommodating than other Asian nations, and the crucial travelling commodities of food, lodging and transport are all cheap and good quality; you can dwell comfortably in Thailand for £20 per day. » » »



16 January 2011

Man-made disaster

14th January 2011 And since I’m the man of the outfit, we can probably guess whose fault it was. Anyway… So we decided on a crushingly early start to the day, to go back to the Penang NP for more otter watching. That meant up and out by 6:15AM in the dark, collecting breakfast on » » »



16 January 2011

A day on Penang

13th January 2011 Today we started late and had some memorable meals and a pleasant encounter. Lazily leaving the guest house at twelve-ish we strolled to the Eastern & Oriental hotel for a posh luncheon. This colonial bastion and precursor to the Raffles of Singapore is certainly the place to be seen in Penang. There » » »



12 January 2011

Ready to explode

12th January 2011 Even as it happened I thought “well, at least it’ll be something to blog about”. Blogs seem to be a useful way of putting events into perspective; if your response to a mishap is “this will make today’s blog” rather than “oh noooooooo!” then it probably isn’t such a great disaster. We » » »



12 January 2011

Unguided

11th January 2011 Georgetown is the main city of Penang and was recently made a UNESCO World Heritage Site; we seem to bump into a couple of these in every country we visit. I can see why it would be, as the mixture of cultures here is fascinating and goes back a long way, influencing » » »



11 January 2011

Zero additional westerners

10th January 2011 Everyone goes to Langkawi. From Ko Yao Noi to Krabi to Satun, the assumption of every tuk-tuk driver, boat operator and helpful person was that we wanted to get to Langkawi. But we had decided to go straight to Penang and so defied expectation. Our last meal in Thailand yesterday evening was » » »



10 January 2011

Run for the border

9th January 2011 Written by Maureen Our visas run out tomorrow so we had no choice but to leave our idyllic beach resort and run for the border. After one last walk on the beach, we jumped on a tuk-tuk which sped us to the pier, where we hopped on a longtail boat, which crossed » » »



10 January 2011

Postcards from Ko Yao Noi

8th January 2011 I never really set the scene for our island retreat. Ko Yao Noi is a 12km long island in Phang Nga bay, a huge sheltered bay full of tiny limestone islands. Think ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ and you’re right there. Ko Yao Noi is very laid back and nowhere near » » »



10 January 2011

Ko Yao Noi

Wildlife and island life on Ko Yao Noi.



10 January 2011

The secret lagoon

7th January 2011 It’s the kind of place a film-maker or a fantasy novelist would invent. A tiny island in the Andaman Sea, less than half a kilometer across with sheer cliffs on all sides. But on one side there is a hole in the foot of the cliff, visible only at low tide, through » » »



7 January 2011

Delicious

6th January 2011 The sea kayak is not like a normal kayak. It’s actually a big air-filled yellow banana with dimples in the top for two bums and four heels. And yet it is surprisingly stable and floats a treat. We went paddling out off the beach to a nearby speck of an island, a » » »



7 January 2011

Protein-rich breakfast

5th January 2011 This morning I drank a mouthful of ants. It wasn’t my intention. We had a glass of water by the bed as always, and in the morning I sleepily took a drink from it. I’d taken a second mouthful before realising that the first swallow was very… bitty. I spat the new » » »



5 January 2011

Ko Surin

Underwater photography proved wretchedly tricky – our compact camera is on the blink, and often the lens simply won’t extend properly. The LCD is also scratched, and through the underwater camera case it is now completely impossible to see; rather a problem when the LCD is the only viewfinder. I saw so many lovely fish, » » »



5 January 2011

No redeeming features

4th January 2011 Kuraburi Greenview Resort really is a hotel with no redeeming features. The gala dinner you’ve already heard about. The room itself is comfy enough, but we’ve paid half as much for just as good in Thailand. Dinner last night was rubbish, a peculiar tasting yellow curry and some awfully chewy fried fish. » » »



5 January 2011

Back to shore

3rd January 2011 Some of the people to be seen loitering on the beach at Ko Surin while we wait for our transfer back to the mainland: an orange-robed monk over for the day to bestow New Year blessings on the park HQ; muslim tourists in their tropical island wear of full black headscarf, jeans » » »



5 January 2011

Khao Sok

Khao Sok lake is a very special place to watch for wildlife. Instead of tramping through a mosquito-infested jungle in the constant shadow of towering trees and visibility of twenty metres, you get to glide across an enormous lake surrounded by limestone cliffs and thick jungle in either a longtail boat or kayak.



3 January 2011

Ko Surin

2nd January 2010 Ko Surin lies a 60km jolting speedboat ride out in the Andaman Sea. It’s one of the most renowned places to go snorkelling and diving in Thailand, although it turns out that “coral bleaching” is a dire problem here and even the exhibition at the island HQ rates all but two of » » »



3 January 2011

Happy New Year

31st December 2010 What does £24 per person (the price of three good meals in a Thai restaurant) get you for a New Year’s Eve bash at Kuraburi resort? You get a buffet dinner that includes nothing you’ll remember in a week. You get as much fruit punch and cheap beer as you can drink, » » »