Darren Thomson


Darren Thomson

Me and my wife are traveling accross Europe and Asia towards New Zealand after living in the UK for more than 7 years.

Looking at France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungry, Slovakia then to Poland. Will stay there some time then take the Transiberian (via mongolia) from Russia and end in Bejing. From there will head down to Hong Kong and Thailand, Australia and NZ.

Should be in NZ which is my home by about August/September. Any advice welcomed particulary on Russia and the transiberian!

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth August 27th 2010

Day 106 - 113 Swan Valley So today we were leaving Asia heading for Aussie, one of our final stops before NZ. We took one of these cheap Air Asia flights from KL - Perth and decided to fork out an extra £5 each and we got ourselves upgraded to seats with decent legroom (exit seats) and this is WELL worth the extra cash!!!! The flight itself was surprisingly good and comfortable for the 7 hour haul. Arrived in Perth (no time difference to KL) about 2pm and after the lengthy exit procedure where all our stuff got checked and double-checked by customs we were in Aus and picked up by our friends which were fantastic. (Thanks guys!!!) For the next week we stayed in the Swan Valley taking in some of the sights around Perth. ... read more
Freemantle harbour
Common in the bush..
Trig beach

Asia » Malaysia » Kuala Lumpur August 27th 2010

Day 103 After getting back to Kota Bhuru for the night we were up early for our 7:30 bus to KL. It was to be about an 8 hour journey and the bus looked top notch so we would be travelling in style! We saw some incredible scenery on this leg as we wound through the hills and mountains as we crossed to the West coast. The other option is to take the famous Jungle Train where the scenery even more spectacular, unfortunately this train was not so covenient for us at least, but definitley worth looking into if you are up this way. Arrived late afternoon around 5pm and headed to our B&B. The train system in Malaysia is pretty high tech as well as being simple which seems to be the norm in all ... read more
Queing, barely awake.
Skybridge overlooking KL
Skybridge - awesome

Asia » Malaysia » Terengganu » Perhentian Kecil August 1st 2010

Day 98 to the Perinthians Got a taxi first thing and managed to share with 2 other girls so was handy, the taxi took us to the Jetty which was at Kuala Besut about an hour away. On arrival here we transferred to a Jet boat and were warned about our back and if we had eaten recently :) Lovely, anyway no need to worry as the seas were very calm and we were there in about 20 minutes. We decided on the smaller island Kecil as it predominately has more budget and available accommodation than it's bigger and more resort style brother Beasar Island. Besar was originally what we wanted but just could not find any decent place to stay so settled with Kecil which also has a younger crowd (so I have heard?). Problem ... read more
Butterflys galore..
Our place, Matahari Chalets

Asia » Malaysia » Terengganu » Perhentian Kecil July 28th 2010

So today we were finally leaving Koh Phangan. Great 3 weeks here I have to say and now with a week or so up our sleeves we decided to head to Malaysia and spend some time in the Perenthian Islands! Yes more islands, it is on the same coast as Phangan so supposedly it would be easy to get too and also at this time of year it is HIGH season (even though it is on the same coast though it is some 800kms away. Got another one of these Combo tickets from where we were staying, they promised us we would have no problems. Again however I hate to say it but these combo tickets ending up wasting your time, money and your patience!! The Thai's really seem to want to extract as much money ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Pha-Ngan July 10th 2010

Southern Thailand for the next little while :) We planned on a month.. So after another sleepless night on a night train we were closing in on Surrthani which is the main junction for entry into the South of Thailand for the islands. What we found with the train is they do not actually switch the lights off at night, strange and the the train carriages are locked so you can not basically get anywhere except the loo! Perhaps for security but it meant anyone sleeping on the top bunk probably got very little sleep as the light would be beating down on them. Not great! Anyway we arrived around 7am and our plan all along had been to ignore all the thai agencys that would badger us into taking one of their best price bus/boat ... read more
Sunset from Haad Yao Hill
Hammock, beer in hand..
More sunsets!

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok July 8th 2010

Flight earlyish this morning around 10:30 so we caught the airport bus, very comfy as well mind you and arrived to find our plane delayed! We were flying Air Asia which I guess is notorious for delays, very cheap however so could not complain too much. We arrived to BKK and immediately hit problems as Ania was not able to get a visa. Not good really as we were told she could get this on arrival. Anyway we managed to get a 15 day visa, our plans might have to change as we were intending on a month in Thailand! Got a taxi to our guesthose and nowdays they are pretty safe in BKK. They don't really have a chance to rip you off as there is now a taxi stand setup with a thai person ... read more
Amazing Temples of Grand Palace
Murals of the Grand Palace
Empty Palace

Asia » Hong Kong July 2nd 2010

Day 68 - to HK Right, after a week of amazing sights, running around, heat and great food it was finally time to leave Beijing. We really loved it here and definitely one of our favourite spots so far. Never did try the fried Scorpion, Grasshoppers or any of the other delicacies, probably a good thing in hindsight! Today we had a 24hr train which would cover some 2000 Kms to Hong Kong, unfortunately there was no time to visit other sites in China. We would have loved to go to Xian to see the Terracotta warriors but after looking at the route we would have to take decided against it, Shanghai was another option but we dismissed this with the Expo that was on everything was pricey. We had to check in some 90 minutes ... read more
Star Ferry to HK Island
HK Island from the Ferry
Streets of HK Island

Asia » China » Beijing » Great Wall of China July 1st 2010

Day 66 - Summer Palace Finally the weather was bright and sunny (but not clear by any means!) so we hit the Summer Palace. This is basically the former residence of the Emperors and is some Palace. Is it just outside Beijing (maybe 20kms) and one of the main sights that had been recommended to us, also nice to get out of Beijing for a bit. The Palace itself covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is the lake. Entry here was not to expensive, like equivilent to about £6 each and it is a BIG place so one can easily spend a day here. To get to the lakes of the Palace you need to do some serious climbing, up stairs, rocks and paths and in the heat it was not ... read more
Going up Longevity Hill
Marble boat, Summer Palace.
Summer Palace bridges

Asia » China » Beijing June 24th 2010

Day 60 to Beijing Awoke early for our last transiberian train. The train we were taking was number 4 which is a favourite used by foreigners and was slightly better quality than we had been used to. We again were sharing with Russian's, could not believe it the whole trip since St Petersburg we had shared with Russians so again there was not much chit chat. Train left at 07:15 and we should arrive in Beijing at 14:00 the following day. Our journey passed through the Gobi Desert, this was for several hours of the day, just a huge expanse of sand and little else. We finally arrived at the Mongolia / Chinese border at around 19:00. The Mongolian's were pretty swift with their border/custom procedures, basically you surrendered your passport for around 30 minutes and ... read more
Around Tiananmen Square
Temple of Haven
Jingshan Park

Asia » Mongolia » Kharkorin June 17th 2010

Day 55 - Leaving UB. Another pretty miserable day and still pretty cold. We were going on tour with 2 Dutch people which was good but our vehicle was not quite a jeep! A 4x4 minibus which looked like it was in need of a bit of TLC. Joining us we had our driver and a 20 year old translater who were both Mongolian. The roads in Mongolia also leave a lot to be desired but for the first 2 hours we had paved roads, unfortunately we still managed to hit a guy crossing the road! There was a lot of yelling and screaming as to who's fault it was but we were back on our way within a few minutes. Stopped at a local restaurant for lunch surrounded by open spaces and green hills. Now ... read more
Inside Karakorum
City walls - Karakorum
Walls of Karakorum

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