Asia

Andy and Emma

Asia

Last year we visited 9 Asian countries in 9 months. This year we will be picking up where we left off. First we will be going to the far end of Indonesia to the Moluccas for 2 months. After that we are heading for the Philippines for a bit of island hopping. Next its Hong Kong, South Korea and Macau before heading back to the Philippines to explore the north of the country. From Manila we fly to Singapore and then we have a month where we are not sure where to go, maybe China, maybe India?


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days so far on this trip







Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Togean Islands May 20th 2011

We had too many photos for the togeans so had to make a second blog... read more
Dive boat
Pier
Leaving to snorkel

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Togean Islands May 17th 2011

Kaddidiri is the island we stayed on last time and we wanted to go back here for familiarity then move to Bomba where there is a more basic place to stay. At this point though we just didn't want to stay in Ampana for more than one night. They told us that we could go with the owner on her speedboat straight to Kaddidiri and it would take 1 hour instead of 5, but we would have to stay at their resort Paradise and pay up front on card as we didn't have enough cash to cover the full cost. We didn't like the idea of this as we were stuck staying there if we paid up front and last time we had looked at the rooms there they weren't as nice as Black Marlins. Again ... read more
Cooling off
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Weird Tornado thing

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Palu May 4th 2011

So we were back in Palu. Last year we were here for 4 days waiting for a flight and not much had changed. There was still nothing to do. No old temples, beaches or small interesting villages. They didn't have a cinema, a big mall or even a nice local dish to try out. We got in and checked into the same hotel as last time. After a quick order of French fries from the room service menu we headed out to get a new camera. This had come after many frustratingly beautiful or weird things happening just too far away for us to take a photo. We tried a large shop but as the only person who spoke English was in school we went to the next shop. We were looking to get the ... read more
Prayers for passengers
More prayers
Safe landing

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Ambon April 29th 2011

So the morning Emma had been looking forward to had finally come. We hired a bike each to take us to the airport - again one building next to a runway about the width of a dual carriageway.But before this we had to get through checkin. We had read some of the small print on the ticket over the last few days and started worrying over the *no change of name* clause in it. We started to think that the fact our names showed as Friedrich and Christina might cause a problem. As it was a domestic flight our passport shouldn't be needed but so far we usually got more attention at airports than most as we were Bulé (the local word for foreigner which is usually shouted to alert everyone we are in a shop ... read more
Sheer joy
Our friend Phillip
Cramped conditions

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands April 21st 2011

So we got on our second ever Pelni at about half 12 when the klaxon sounded twice - this was meant to be when there was 1 hour to go before we left. If anyone remembers Emma's reaction to the 3 1/2 day Pelni trip from Lombok to Sulawesi we took on the last trip ( we didn't do a blog but family and friends should remember the look of dread on Emmas face) then you would not be surprised that Emma was not too keen on the next 8-12 hours. The boarding was much more organised than the last one with no big shove to get on but once on we encountered the same problem as last time. Seat/beds were hard to come by and we plunged ever deeper into the huge ex-cruise liner. We ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Maluku April 19th 2011

Ambon was not great but it had the two things we would need - an immigration office and ATMs so we could stock up on cash as there were no reliable ones south of here. Just like our last trip we got lucky and met an English speaking person to help us through the minefield that is Indonesian bureaucracy. William was an Indonesian businessman who was staying in the same guesthouse as us. He got us to the office and back easily and managed to get an explanation on how the visa extensions work from the immigration office where only a few words of English were spoken. They told us that we would need to come back after 25 days when our current visa ran out. This done we maxed out our cards and got a ... read more
Suggestive bollards
Ambon
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Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok April 9th 2011

So Andy & Emmas return to South East Asia almost didn't get started. Whilst checking the flight times and gates we spotted a fatal flaw in our 1am drive down to Stanstead - we flew from Heathrow. Luckily we were getting a lift from Sandra and Graham and so last minute changes were expected of us - maybe not this big a change however. Anyway the drive down went fine and after a quick mooch around Heathrow we grabbed a sandwich and waited for our flight. The journey was longer than last time as we had to a stopover in Mumbai but the plane was much better and it wasn't until the 3rd serving of drinks that we realised nobody was paying for them - a stark difference from AirAsia where you have to pay for ... read more
Khao San Road
Chang willl cure all
Bowes solution to jetlag

Asia » Singapore » Little India April 30th 2010

Singapore was clean. And that's not a slur against other countries in south east Asia it's immaculate compared to most western places as well. It's illegal to sell or us chewing gum and the fines for littering are actually enforced here. The country itself is tiny and the main city takes up a lot of it. Because of this it is very easy to control and the traffic and lack of crime shows. There are very few beggars and the like and because of this many travelers joke that Singapore is not actually part of south east Asia. Another reason for this is the obvious wealth. People are richly dressed and drive nice cars. All this to us meant that we would struggle to live on a budget here. And get horribly depressed due to everyone ... read more
2 - High quality eating
3 - Mash from a machine
4 - Orchard Rd & Emma being a skyscraper

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » Butterworth April 29th 2010

So we got to the train station on a hope and a prayer and also relying heavily on the travelers mantra - everyone is trying to make money out of you. Not surprisingly it turned out to be right and we had no problems walking up to the desk and ordering tickets for 2 hours later straight through to Butterworth in Malaysia where we could then connect with Singapore. Tickets booked we went over the road for a meal and to stock up on supplies. We were on the edge of Chinatown and the food is something I definitely want to go back and sample more of. It's mainly boiled pork and duck but at reasonable prices and tastier sauces that's not something to sniff at. After our meal we went to the 711 and grabbed ... read more
2 - Bored already
3 - Oh yeah I shaved all my hair off with Bowe
4 - Ready for bed

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok April 20th 2010

We arrived back in Bangkok in the morning and went straight back to the same place as last time. It was relatively cheap and we knew where we stood with it. And it had HBO By this point the riots with the red shirts were getting worse and had moved from up by khao San road to the finance district and the paragon shopping centre. After a fairly tame view of them last time we had heard from people in Yangon that it had escalated and was now a bit more gritty. We had no real plans and our next deadline wasn't for almost 2 weeks when we flew from Singapore. Everything we had read about the city was expensive and so we aimed to spend as little time there as possible and just be efficient ... read more
2 - Protestors
3 - Weird film name
3.5 - Weird Statue




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