Page 5 of Chris and Lisa Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Singapore June 13th 2010

Because of the little matter of the unrest in Bangkok, Singapore Air were kind enough to change our tickets for us so we were able to spend a few more days in their fine city rather than risk getting shot at. As we mentioned in our earlier blog Singapore isn’t cheap so we were back to hostels. This time we tried Sleepy Sams, in the Arab Quarter, as little India disappointed a bit last time, and what a good choice it was. Nice rooms, great little cafe, nice staff, a really chilled place. We caught the MRT (Underground) from the airport and the hostel was a 5 minute walk from the station but, as would become the norm for the next few days, it was chucking it down. One thing we have noticed in Asia, especially ... read more
Hookahs R Us
Merc Money
Batmans Office

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu June 9th 2010

Well this is going to be a pretty short blog because we haven’t really done a lot. After surviving the near death experience of the journey through the mountains we headed off to the Beach House Backpackers, just south of Kota Kinabalu, the reason for this is in the name of the hostel. It’s in a great location about 2 minutes walk from the very nice Tanjung Aru beach, well when we say very nice that is to look at. We donned swimmers and headed off down and as we got to the long sandy sweeping beach we were met by a funny smell, oh well we headed a bit further along the beach, plonked ourselves down and when suitably warmed up (after about 30 seconds) we headed in to cool off. Then reality hit, the ... read more
Sweet Sapi
So Pretty
Tough Life

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan June 1st 2010

We were off to Sukau, our rainforest adventure and our base for 3 nights would be the Sukau Greenview B&B located on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, which is Sabah’s longest river, measuring in at 560km. The area is Malaysia’s largest forested flood plain and has oxbow lakes, mangrove swamps and grass swamps. Although Kinabatangan was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1999 villages and agricultural development merge with the protected areas, but despite this there was apparently a host of wildlife to see along its banks. Once again the tours we looked into for going up river and jungle trekking seemed really expensive, but by booking the B&B we could please ourselves which river boat tours we took and how many over the three days. The B&B was good enough, with an adequate bedroom and ... read more
watch him
grumpy grandad
Cheeky Monkeys

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu June 1st 2010

Getting the India Visas took slightly longer than anticipated, all in all 7 working days, but after speaking to some New Zealand applicants we were pleased to get them at all and Chris managed at last to pick them up just as we were leaving for the airport - talk about taking it to the wire. A short hop over to Singapore and a short night’s sleep in the Crowne Plaza at the airport (more expensive than we would normally pay but we didn’t have time to go further afield) saw us on the plane the following day for Kota Kinabalu and the land of the “man of the forest”, our closest relatives - the Orang-utans. The town of Kota Kinabalu, on first inspection, is not a hugely inspiring town but after walking in the blistering ... read more
No Messing
Fish market
Would you

Asia » Malaysia » Kuala Lumpur May 20th 2010

The flight from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur, KL from here on in, was uneventful other than the amusing sight of Hanoi’s main international airport check-in which was more like Tenerife airport during my holidays as a kid rather than an ‘international hub’ as they claim. After you check in, huge queues despite having checked in online, a little man pops up and picks your bag up off the carousel and walks off to another part of the airport, will we ever see them again? Doubtful. We paid the extra couple of pounds for Air Asia’s ‘Hot Seats’ which usually results in a row to yourself. Nice on a 5hr flight. We landed in KL and, hold on a minute, are we still in Asia? It was remarkable, as soon as we stepped out of the airport ... read more
Growing Metropolis
Happy 29h
Entrapment?

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi May 12th 2010

As we acquainted ourselves with Hanoi we immediately recognized its similarities with Ho Chi Minh City, and indeed any other Asian city. The honking of horns is ceaseless and the scooters weave in and about the roads like millions of crazy ants. The uneven pavements are used as scooter car parks, or eating places, and pedestrians have to walk wherever they can find space, which is normally on the road, meaning that you take your very life into your hands when you step out of your hotel. Every now and then the police patrol the streets and use loud halers to force roadside sellers to move back from the road edge and the myriad of scooters blocking the pavements to move, only for them to slide back into position as soon as the police have left. ... read more
Pavement
Opera House
Hanoi Hilton Mens Dorm

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay May 10th 2010

For our journey from Hue to Hanoi we decided to forsake the really uncomfortable overnight bus and try the overnight train - but obviously selected the soft bunks in a cabin of 4. With a view to still making the bus if the train turned out to be really awful, we made our way to the station to inspect our next form of transport. To our suprise it actually seemed quite comfortable, even though our bunks were the two upper ones and being slightly vertically challenged this could prove interesting. As we made our way to our cabin we passed some 4 berths which held families of 8 or 9 people and hoped that we would not be crammed into one of these. Lucky for us it was only a family of 4 on the bottom ... read more
Little Dragons
Are you paddling
Home on the Bay

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast May 9th 2010

Is it just me or as you travel North through Vietnam does everywhere seem to begin with H now? Right, we left chilled, relaxed & feeling good, then came the ‘night bus’. We had bought an Open Tour ticket with a travel agent which involves lots of buses between the major destinations with the longer segments being on ‘sleeping’ buses. When we say sleeping, if you are Asian, not taller than 4ft 6 and have the hearing of a 90 year old with earwax you might have the chance of a few minutes shuteye. The bus picks you up about 8, leaves and turns the lights out while everyone is still wide awake then just as people are nodding off around midnight, stops at the driver’s Mum’s house (cafe) put all the lights on and tells ... read more
Old Streets
Japanese Bridge
How high?

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat April 30th 2010

We had booked an open bus ticket (on a VIP bus!) to take us from Ho Chi Minh City up through Vietnam as this meant we could get off the bus at our chosen stops and we didn’t have to worry about booking onward transport. We chose the option that would take us to Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue and finally Hanoi. This would involve two stages being undertaken at night on a sleeper bus, so we were keen to see how good these would be. Our first destination for a couple of nights was the city of Da Lat, nestled amongst the hills of the Lang Bian Plateau and formed around the man-made Xuan Huong Lake, which would see us at an elevation of just under 1500m. Unlike the steamy Ho Chi Minh ... read more
Da Lat
Inspired
Fairytale

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City April 24th 2010

Well as we left Bangkok the Red Shirt protesters had swapped their AK47’s for water pistols and started celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year where everyone gets soaked and covered in flour, so on the way to the local 7-11 to get supplies we duly succumbed to a bit of water. Can’t see it being allowed in Trafalgar Square! Back to being the dynamic duo again, we boarded our Air Asia flight to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as a lot of people still call it (even the locals). We had heard lots of stories, read lots of blogs and couldn’t wait. Landing at Saigon airport was a bit weird, as you taxi in the runway and surrounding area aren’t in the best state of repair and then you see a barrier and realise that ... read more
Ronery Pranet anyone?
BT
Moto Madness




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