Donna and Neil's Guestbook

3rd January 2013

I can't believe you are in your 7th year! I take it you have actually settled in SEA, where do you actually live/work when you are not travelling?
1st January 2013

...and I thought I was a grumpy traveller! ;)
Dear Donna and Neil, wow, you guys really have a lot to complain about. Thing is, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. My current travelling pet peeve is the increasing number of families (always with two kids, never less) who think they deserve special treatment due to their kids, and in return they behave most disrespectfully towards locals and other travellers. Your beach etiquette was spot-on and could be extended to 'general travel etiquette'. What I hate most about islands like these is the overcharging for food and drink of lower quality (and quantity) than on the mainland. Got that on Pulau Pangkor and Pulau Kapas in Malaysia. I would recommend you read some of my blogs, they're full of long, looong rants about tourists spending insane amounts of money (by local standards) for the same food they get at home (also about tourist behaviours in general). Excellent read, brought back a lot of memories. ;) Cheers, Jens
3rd January 2013

Hi Jens, thanks for reading and the comment. We thought that the beauty of Lipe spoke for itself in the pictures, so decided to write a completely (almost) observational blog. To us, you can 'see' a place from the pictures BUT to know how a place feels or what else there is to a location/beach resort, that's where our observations come in! We don't really think of ourselves as grumpy or complainers (honestly we aren't!), our comments are not largely negative or positive, it's just what we have noticed. Part of our negativity or confusion definitely comes from our complete disconnect with how the majority of British and Europeans think, because we don't live there anymore. It's becoming increasingly hard for us to figure out why people act as they do! We remember your Pulau Kapas blog and that you raised similar points to us. We read so many blogs which gloss over any negatives and just gush about how wonderful places are, we (like you) are more advocates of a balanced opinion.
1st January 2013

What is it with the certain group that pushes and shoves others? I lived in Beijing for a year and was pushed on average 30 times a day. I learned to push back.
18th September 2012

Does it ever end??
I can't believe you guys are STILL travelling! So lucky! Where are you at now?? x
14th September 2012

another sad reality
My family and I were planning on visiting Boracay soon. I'm a Filipino but live farther down south so I haven't really been to Boracay. But reading your blog, I'm now contemplating on going elsewhere. It's mortifying to find that the Boracay we Filipinos have always been so proud of have been reduced to another tourist's nightmare. It's the same thing in some parts of the country I've visited---paying more than the actual worth, too crowded places, poor service, and yes, you are right about the koreans too! Most of us feel humiliated and apologetic and ardently hoping these problems will be addressed soon.
23rd August 2012
View from restaurant

My boyfriend has never been on a tropical island, and we are currently saving up for all three of us(me, him and our daughter), to go to one. I showed him this photo, so he can see what types of cafe views we can look forward to. I wonder if he will become as much of a travel addict as I am, eventually. :)
24th August 2012
View from restaurant

Tropical paradise!
Mel, with views like that over breakfast, lunch or just drinks how could he not get addicted to travelling? We are sure your boyfriend will love tropical islands - good luck with the saving!
18th August 2012

Great beaches, great food
Love your stories! Not sure about the spring roll with bread.....
20th August 2012

Dave and MJ...neither were we!
They certainly were great beaches and fantastic food...makes us drool just thinking about it!
17th August 2012

Hi there
Hey guys. Nice post and pics. I'm heading to Thailand for the second time in two years and considering staying on Koh Lanta in December (Chritstmas eve and Christmas), exactly like you guys did it. Do you think os worth it? Not sure if I stick to the places I now (Tao, Phan Ngan) or try a different location. Lol
17th August 2012

thai food!
it is seriously the best cuisine in the world! and i’ve never understood why tourists would pay all that money and travel all that way to eat food they'd eat at home and be grumpy at the world? the spring roll in bread with ketchup - fusion cuisine eat your heart out... :)
20th August 2012

Well, in our opinion the fusion of spring rolls, ketchup and bread is taking things a little too far! Now a chip butty is a logical step but not spring rolls ;) We are puzzled as well as to why people would spend all that money to eat food they get at home and be grumpy. Oh well, it gives us something to talk about while people watching!
17th August 2012

Nice blog to catch up on your latest Asian holiday! Hope you are both ok. So loved reading about it all, we are so looking forward to returning to that part of the world! It made me laugh about the food bit.. so true and who puts a spring roll in bread... I suppose it's much the same principal as a chip butty?! We feel a bit blessed at the moment as we've discovered a 'real' Thai restaurant in Northampton... the Papaya salad is gorgeous and like you I always ask it for super hot! Take care both of you and hopefully see you in a few months... Dale has his banana hammocks all packed & ready to go! :o) x
20th August 2012

Hello Sophie and Dale!
Hopefully we will get to see you when you get back to Asia...although if you are serious about the banana hammocks, we may pass ;) Enjoy the Thai food in Northampton until you can get the proper stuff! x
17th August 2012
Now they are stilts

Are you stalking me??? :P
That looks very similar the room we stayed in while we were on Ko Pha Ngan.....You are now officially freaking me out. Ok kaa:P
17th August 2012

Ahh well.... managed to avoid the dunka dunka music and the dancing zombies. There wouldn't have been much point heading south anyway. There isn't much left after I went at 'aad Rin with my Death Star. Hopefully, we will get the chance to sit and tourist watch with you some time in the would be a barrel of laughs :)
20th August 2012

dunka dunka and dancing zombies nowhere in sight!
Thank goodness. We agree it would be a laugh to tourist watch together. We would definitely want control of the Death Star to blast a few places!
13th August 2012

Oh dear.... will soon be challenging me for TB's resident curmudgeon award ;) I think tourists, both local and international get ripped off whenever they enter a tourist trap. While we have been away in Vietnam, attempts have been made to rip the missus off, obviously she was having none of it and dealt with it in her own special way. As for those pesky South Koreans, I have a great way of showing my feelings towards them and frequently do this by parading around among them in my Kim Jong-un t-shirt :)
1st June 2012

What a shame
I was really shocked to see how Boracay has changed. It was a lovely place to chill and relax, but I wouldn't want to go back again. I'm glad we saw it before it's demise.
31st May 2012

Thanks Donna and Neil
Couldn't agree with you more. The first time I visited the place in 2001, I was renting a nipa hut right in front of the beach at 400 pesos at the now primed boat station 1. When I visited with my family 2008 it costs us 4,000 a night to stay in the same area. The food is great though, if you are budgeting 500-700 pesos a night on those fine restaurants on station 1. The beach in that area was still beautiful, but the mess boat station 2 has become and the over developing even at the center of the island was just too much. As a Filipino, I know that Boracay again is becoming a clear case of of becoming a failed tourist destination and an environmental disaster as a result of corrupt management. This really makes me mad. This has happened to Puerto Galera before and now its happening to Boracay. Do I even need to say how the tarsiers of Bohol are being mistreated. Nocturnal animals that tourists can poke in the middle of the day. My rants can go on and on. Im so mad, thanks Donna and Neil for this article, I hope our people will stop beings short sighted and really care about the beauty of our country.
31st May 2012

Thanks for the information and the update
We are heading to the Philippines in November and this will be helpful. Being our first trip who knows where we will end up but your information is useful.
31st May 2012

People from Sunderland get everywhere!
Shame to hear about Boracay. Was lovely 4 years ago. Have to find some more hidden gems and not tell anyone about them so they don't turn out the same. Hope you guys are both well.
31st May 2012

Yes, those Mackems get everywhere ;)
Thanks for your comment Kris and was very weird and quite random hearing a Sunderland accent! We are both well, thanks. About the hidden gems - yep, when we find a nice unspoilt place we do try and keep it secret! Hope you are both well and enjoying teaching still.

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