I was only supposed to be gone for a year but it kinda turned into 18 months! Where do I begin?! Learning to scuba dive in paradise, the ride of my life through Vietnam, swimming with phosphorescent 'disco' plankton?
It was an incredible ride around India, Asia and Australia and if it wasn't for a nasty motorcycle accident while sheep herding I may not have come back at all! But the next trip is never that far away...
Feel free to peruse my various nefarious antics on the road in my blogs, more to follow soon!
October 10th 2011
Fourth times a charm So I wind up in Bangkok for a fourth and final time, and by now I actually quite like the place. After the culture shock after uber conservative India I was ready to take it for what it was. Sin city. I was only on a stop off for a couple of days while I arranged onward transportation to Malaysia. I'd learnt the hard way not to bother staying on the Koh San Road but rather its quieter parallel partner Soi Rambucci. What better way to spend an evening than sitting out front of 7-Eleven and watching the madness drift past on the Koh San with a cold Chang beer? It was here I managed to acquire some company in the form of an English lad called Tom and Santi from South ... read more
September 18th 2011
The Irish Mob So I set off from Phnom Penh for Kampot and was happily minding my own business sat on a coach when for some reason a game of musical chairs took place. The net result of which was a pretty Irish girl sitting next to me called Cathy. Over the next five or so hours we got talking and at the rest stops I met her four other travel companions; Declan, Stu, Niall and Neil. When we arrived at Kampot I was pretty set on staying at Bodhi Villa guest house which numerous others had raved about. But Cathy persuaded me to join them at 'The magic sponge' instead. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I made on my trip. The Magic Sponge We were met at the bus stop by ... read more
August 22nd 2011
Back on the beaten track So Marc, Joe and I decamp to Cambodia and make our way to the captial Phnom Penh and it's hot, seriously hot. We discover its 92% humidity and 40C which explains our saturated clothing. Cue a sketchy moto tuk tuk ride to cool us down. We settled in the backpacker heavy Boeng Kok lake area to stay at the aptly named 'Happy guest house.' This area is a Mecca for hostels, bars and a little annoyingly all the comforts of home. Bit it encircles a large lake and all the guest houses have large decking areas for chilling on that jut out over the water. Tres cool indeed. Having been so far off the beaten track in Vietnam I could mingle among the other travellers I suppose We were lucky In ... read more
August 1st 2011
So the triumphant trio had reached their destination of Ho Chi Minh formerly Saigon. Suitably dishevelled, frayed around the edges but in high spirits. I'd like to say we received a rapturous and emphatic welcome with people lining the streets as we dished out the high fives, but the truth is among the hoards of tourists we didn't even register. Not even the unmistakable burble of our dirty soviet two strokes caused a stir. Orient-ation We were in the touristy part of Ho chi minh and it seemed in ou little enclave there was nothing but hotels and guest houses catering to all budgets. We found a family run one above a suit shop that suited us perfectly. I remember the first thing I did was go out onto the street and buy a new clean ... read more
July 25th 2011
So, we pick up the action in Danang where my bike had basically stopped working... February 7th 2010 With mechanics basically ten a penny getting my bike fixed should be a doddle. It wasn't. Despite leaving the Hotel early it was already hot and humid and I was pushing my stricken ride around the streets like a mug. Luckily I had Landers for company. Problem was it was Sunday and all the mechanics had shut up shop. Those that were open took one look at the dirty old soviet relic and flatly refused to help. This debacle ensued for a good hour with me progressively getting as angry as I was sweaty. Finally the good people at a modern Yamaha dealership took pity on my plight and went to work on the bike without any prejudice. ... read more
July 3rd 2011
Bordering on insanity So having reconvened with legendary Leeds stalwarts Joe & Marc in Laos (first met them way back in India) we made our way to Vietnam. We were warned that the border crossing in the far north of Laos was a dodgy one by our trusty lonely bible. However, having initially breezed through security we began to wonder what the fuss was all about. We soon found out... As the only three people crossing the border at that point a minibus suspiciously pulls up and offers us a ride to Hanoi for $90USD. We know it's a rip off so we wander into the small rural village across the border. We stopped for some chow at a local diner and the owner informs us a bus will be along in 30 minutes to Hanoi. ... read more
December 11th 2010
Tubing, Trekking & a secret war sssssssshhhhhhhhh Right, I realise I have fallen behind somewhat, I'm a naughty blogger - oh well. Mekong Madness I believe for those still interested we were in Northern Thailand previously. Well I left for Laos on a Petrol long boat meandering down the Mekong river for some two days. In that space of time on a overloaded boat packed to the rafters with fifty odd tourists and their backpacks along with locals and their various wares you get to know your compatriots intimately! Sardines springs to mind. Anyhow the scenery was incredible as we saw our first glimpses of a simpler life, people roaming the river on basic rafts and living off the land. I have to admit it made me think of India. The voyage was made all the ... read more
February 22nd 2010
Sa-wat-dee Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah ! It's been a while since I've blogged and there is as usual much to say. Seems like an age ago since I was in Thailand so hopefully my dire memory (mercifully aided by my journal) will do it justice! One night in Bangkok Having left Singapore I was greeted by the hedonistic chaos that is Bangkoks infamous Koh San Road. For those not in the know this street is a mecca for firang (tourists) of all backgrounds. From the Douche-esque wife beater wearers, to the geriatric sex pest tourists and those out for a family holiday with a twist. The whole thing came as somewhat of a garish culture shock and neon sensory overload after the rustic India and clean and sensible Singapore. So having trudged around endlessly to find some digs I ... read more
January 8th 2010
My Singapore Sling A mini- blog about Singapore for those of a curious disposition Singapore, a former strategic military outpost of the British empire until gaining Independence in 1963 is a city/island/nation home to some 5 million people, and the main transport hub for South East Asia. Hence why I wound up there for 4 days! My ticket is such that I have to enter and exit SE Asia from this point, but its not all bad as I discovered. From the outset it is important to stress that Singapore is expensive, VERY expensive. The cheapest accommodation is found in an area known as 'Little India' which aside from its inhabitants demographic is nothing like the real india. For a start much like the rest of the country it is clean, ridiculously clean! Incidentally the rumours ... read more
December 27th 2009
Namaste peeps! I have a fair amount to recap so this may turn out to be another mini-essay! I believe I left you last when I was making my way up to Goa so I will pick up the thread there. I arrived in the state of Goa after an overnight train ride, this train is one of only two in India where you get all your meals included and they had walls vanilla ice cream for dessert! Simples things for simple minds =P Goa, mid-way down the west coast of India provides welcome relief to weary travellors who are a little ground down by India. It has a kind of Mediterranean feel to it which makes sense since it was at one point a Portuguese colony. Package tourists inevitably flock here for beautiful beaches and ... read more