Page 5 of Mat and Trace Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville December 28th 2006

Mat - Lazy blog and photos: We headed to Sihanoukville on the south coast of Cambodia for Christmas. Ended up spending six days or so there. Its hard to relax on the mainland beach because of the persistant kids selling stuff you don't want and lots of beggars, but we headed to Bamboo Island off the coast which was bliss after a couple of days on the mainland. The comments on the photos should fill you in more. If the videos don't work they will if you head to: http://www.fliqz.com/FliqzWebPublic/Dynamic/proxy.aspx?PID=1723&from=perma :) Trace: After Nicki and I arrived in Phnom Penh we headed to Tuol Sleng Museum, aka S21, a primary school that had been taken over by the Khmer Rouge (absolutely NO relation to the Moulin Rouge) in which over 20,000 Cambodians were tortured and murdered ... read more
What did they put in those shakes?
Give a dog a coin?
Classic

Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville December 28th 2006

Mat: Trace is writing a bit of a blog on our time in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, so I will leave her to it and just post this quick blog on my day visiting the abandoned French Hill Station at Bokor. Seeing as I could hire a 250cc Honda Baja for 8USD I did so and headed out for a days ride by myself. The hill station is about 1000m high nestled on the plateu of a small mountain. The area is now a Cambodian national park, which I wouldn't have thought would have counted for much, but the rangers seem to be trying pretty hard and there are even three camera trap photos on the information board of two different tigers that were photographed in the area, as well as a few other interesting species. From Sihanoukville ... read more
Bite/sting from the mystery critter
The turn off to the National park
The road up

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak December 18th 2006

Mat: After Mt Kinabalu Trace and I had 7 days before we had to fly out to Bangkok to meet up with Nicki. So we decided to book a flight back to KK from the Mulu National Park in Sarawak, and head there overland via Brunei and Miri (in Sarawak). After catching the ferry from KK and a bus, we spent a night and the next morning in the capital city of Brunei. We then shared a private car to Miri with a very friendly Malay woman from KL who was visiting her baker boyfriend in Bandar. Once in Miri we headed to a great backpackers called the Highlands, which is run by a Kiwi pilot living in Sarawak. Once there we tried to figure out the logistics of getting to Mulu. I started talking with ... read more
Logs being taken down river to be sold to a house near you
Accomodation at Long Lellang
Long Sabai family

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor December 16th 2006

After a few days spent hanging out in Bangkok with Nicki (and without my husband) shopping, getting facials, massages etc etc we decided we had better get a little intrepid and head on to see the sights in Cambodia. After a mildly confrontational Thai/Cambodia border crossing involving some corrupt border police trying to score an extra few US$ we headed on as part of the infamous Siam Reap bus scam, which took us on a 6hr journey down a horrendous road (which legend has it, is sponsored by an airline to stay that way indefinitely). We ended up being dumped at a guesthouse at about 9pm with the rest of our group, however Nicks and I, along with a couple of other Kiwis and a couple of Aussies decided to spoil our bus driver's plans for ... read more
Ponies in the temple ...
Monkey puppy!!
Temple Carvings

Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Gunung Mulu National Park December 9th 2006

Trace: While Mat was busy getting the blood drained out of him by jungle leaches, I decided to instead head on a shorter trip (3 day tramp) in Mulu National Park to see the limestone pinnacles, massive caves, and 3 million bats! I ended up joining a guided trek with several other NZĂ©rs. Luckily for me, they were super friendly and one of them had a digital camera (Tim has kindly emailed me his shots!), as Mat had our camera with him for his trip to Bario. The limestone caves at Mulu are magnificent, one has the largest cave entrance in the world. Didn't get up close and personal with any bats unfortunately, but did really enjoy watching the endless twisting ribbon of them flying out from the cave entrance just on sunset (see pic). The ... read more
And they're off to find breakfast @ 6pm
Our Porter's house and family
The Pinnacles

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mount Kinabalu December 6th 2006

Mat: Mount Kinabalu is Sabah's biggest draw card. Its tall, its climbable, there are fantastic views, lots of people give it a crack. We did. Standing at 4095m it is a good head taller than Mt Cook in NZ (3764m). Being in the tropics however means that any punter with an urge to walk straight up and straight down in two days can have a go. I don't really know what proportion of people actually get to the top, but someone mentioned it was only 50/50. You have to hire a guide in case it turns nasty, but compared with something like Mt Cook, Mt Kinabalu is just a big goofy labrador. At the summit the coldest it normally gets is 0 degrees. Sooo, we stayed at park headquarters on the night of the 3rd of ... read more
Mt Kinabalu from the hut at the base
One of the porters
I really like this sign for some reason

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna December 2nd 2006

Trace: After our time at Uncle Tan's we travelled south to the coastal town of Semporna, then over to Mabul Island where we stayed at "Uncle Chang's" diving lodge in the middle of a fishing village for four nights. We used this as a base to do some diving at Sipadan, an island famous for it's fantastic diving. I had the best six dives of my life here, Mat and I dived with huge turtles (about 1.5m in shell length), sharks (leopard and white tipped reef sharks), loads of coral and squillions of fish including bump-head parrot fish, unicorn fish etc etc. Absolutely fantastic. We also had Mat's 30th last night - a big party with a live local band ... pictures will follow shortly. The people from Sabah have all been so friendly, welcoming and ... read more
The door to our ensuite...
Baby turtle to be released that day
Uncle Chang is the man

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan November 27th 2006

Mat: After two amazing weeks we finally have time for some communication (we are in Kuta Kinabalu again). Luckily enough we have not had much time to spend in internet cafes, and in fact have been away from any computers for most of the time. This is the first of three blogs to explain what we have been up to in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo: 1) The Kinabatangan river, 2) Diving around the world famous Sipadan Island, and 3) Climbing the 4095m Mount Kinabalu (I am happy to be sitting in front of a computer because my legs are cripped after 2 days of going straight up, then straight down). That said, I have just spent a while loading photos because I think they speak loader than words about the wildlife we saw in the jungle near ... read more
Civet cat
Bornean blue flycatcher
Proboscis monkey

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kota Kinabalu November 22nd 2006

Mat: We are in Kuta Kinabalu. Its muggy. Muggy muggy. As you would expect it to be in the tropics. Probably exaggerated for us because the last couple of weeks in New Plymouth and Wellington were so cold, wet and windy. Our plans at the moment are to book the hut halfway up Mt Kinabalu for the 29th, so we can hit the top on the 30th for my 30th. We are waiting for Air Asia to open so we can check out the flights to Sandakan. They only cost $30 or something which means we do not need to take the bus (8 - 12 hours depending on stops according to our hostel host). We are over sitting in one spot for long periods after the flights and hanging about from New Plymouth - Auckland ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland November 2nd 2006

Hey there, Trace and I are leaving Auckland on the 20th November to fly to Bangkok. We then fly to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo (check out AirAsia.com if you want to get cheap flights in Aisa). The plan is to spend 3 weeks in Borneo (visiting a couple of National Parks, climbing the 4000m Mt Kinabalu on Mat's 30th birthday, and getting few dives in at Sipidan Island) before meeting up with Trace's good friend Nicki in Bangkok on the 12 December. From there plans are not fixed, but we may head to Cambodia for a bit to show the girls Angkor. Nicki leaves mid Jan to head back to NZ, and at some stage after that Jeremy is meeting us for a motorbike trip around Laos. We fly to London on the 5th March. ... read more




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