Page 5 of Sophie and Dale Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Indonesia » Java » Mount Bromo August 22nd 2009

As we said we had shunned the tourist bus trip to Mt Bromo in favour of doing it ourselves for less money so we had a target to reach and there was no way we were going to be beaten! Our night train from Yogya reached Surabaya at 7am, from there we needed to get to Probolinggo, the nearest main town to the Mount Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. From the station we got a bemo which we thought would take us to the main bus station but he clearly had other ideas and we were dropped in the middle of nowhere with him just pointing to another road and us having no idea what he was trying to tell us. Thankfully there was a policeman on a pedestal directing traffic so we waved him down with no ... read more
Volcano Group in Gunung Bromo - Tengger - Semero National Park
Horse man
Sophie on Bromo Rim

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta August 21st 2009

We reached Jakarta at around 10pm along with Jamie who was also on the same flight as us after his tooing and frooing about whether to leave Danau Toba or not (long story!). None of us had planned to spend any time in Jakarta and wanted the first bus or train out of there but the cheapo minibuses to the city stop running at 6.30pm (why?) so we decided to spend the night in the airport to wait for the first bus in the morning. It was our first airport sleeping experience but was quite comfortable, the terminal we slept in is brand new and was deserted so we got a reasonable nights sleep apart from the man who was building his new coffee shop drilling and hammering all night. We were up at 4am to ... read more
Men playing chess
Sophie and Yogya artwork
Local girl

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang August 16th 2009

We included Sumatra in our Indonesian itinerary for the sole reason of visiting Bukit Lawang where they have a conservation programme reintroducing Orangutans back into the wild, as many as 5,000 wild ones are also thought to live in this area. Here they have a good opportunity to see them when they visit the feeding platform twice a day which is just inside the Gunung Leuser National Park. Our friends had visited it earlier in the year and said it was lovely and we were keen to see as much of Sumatra as possible so it was included as our first Indonesian stop. Our 7.30am flight from KL to Medan meant us getting up at 2.30am to get the first bus from central KL to the airport. We had thought it would be easy walking at ... read more
Orangutan
Orangutan
Man vs beast

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Taman Negara National Park August 2nd 2009

We had planned to reach Taman Negara by the Jungle Railway that runs funnily enough though the jungle from Tumpat to Gemas. We'd read that it would involve an early start to catch it but didn't realise that we'd need to be up for 04.18 to get it! We were quite used to these stupidly early starts though so booked ourselves 2 tickets from Wakaf Bharu to Jerantut which is the jumping off point for further transport to Taman Negara. Best of all the tickets were a mere RM15 each (£2.55). Because of the early start we needed to find a room in Wakaf Bharu for the night and struck gold here when we found the Wakaf Bharu Garden Guesthouse which faces the train station and is owned by the uber friendly Yan Eng. As part ... read more
Jungle Railway
Jungle
Sophie on the canopy walkway

Asia » Malaysia » Terengganu » Perhentian Kecil July 29th 2009

Our next stop was the Perhentian Islands which are raved about from everyone you speak to who has visited them. We left Ko Tao with a plan on how we were going to get there ensuring we avoided the trouble area in South Eastern Thailand where shooting & bombings have occured as recently as April. We got off the bus at the train station and our trip through hell began... Our first problem was that the Thais thought it would be a good idea to employ a ticket seller who spoke no English at all in one of the main tourist stations at Chumphon. This may sound really ignorant of us but it's rare to find a tourist who can speak more Thai than the real basics so it's very unlikely that anyone will be able ... read more
Coral bay pier
Huge clam
Coral bay

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao July 18th 2009

We ventured back to our base home of Bangkok for a few days stopover before we headed south to the islands and onwards to Malaysia. Again we didn't have much planned for Bangkok except shopping and a list of errands but we do have a few things to report on... Yet again Sophie wanted to visit the weekend market much to Dale's delight! He actually broke the record this time and managed a full 6 hours walking round and round in the 35 degree heat but he ended up getting more things than Sophie so couldn't complain too much. It was here in the market that Sophie had her thoughts on just how lazy some Asian people can be and it's something she's noticed not only in the markets but in the stores too... When she ... read more
Our awesome dive resort
 Hin wong bay
Sofe on beach

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi July 10th 2009

After the disappointment in Mae Sot we were both feeling a bit low but visiting the Kanchanaburi area had been on our list of things to do since leaving the UK so we hoped that this would pick up our spirits a little and get us back on track.. it certainly did that and a whole lot more! After hanging in the Bangkok bus station for 3 hours from 3.30am and being amazed at just how busy this place is at this time of the morning we booked a bus to kanchanaburi for 6am. It was only 3 hours away but we were both so tired from a long nights travelling we slept all the way and woke up in the bright sunshine in the town at just gone 9am. After a bit of a sleepy ... read more
Monk walking tiger
Sophie and tiger
Dale walking the tiger

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Hong Son July 6th 2009

After leaving rainy Pai we headed South going to the far West of Thailand where it meets the Burmsese border and the town of Mae Hong Son. The roads here are very windy and the roads along here are famous for having 1864 turns up and down the mountains which makes for a fun time in a small bus where the driver struggles to get up and neglets to use his brakes coming back down. We had to laugh when we passed a truck carrying a huge digger that had got stuck and couldn't get up the road, who knows how he would have got out of that one. Our main reason for wanting to visit this town was to go and visit the refugee village which is home to the Long Necked ladies or Kayan ... read more
Souvenirs
Long necked leg coils
Long Necked lady

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai June 29th 2009

We'd made a snap decision to head straight up to Chiang Mai the evening before we intended to leave so this meant a morning of rushing around to the train station to get tickets then back to our guesthouse to pick up bags and be on our way. Luckily for us there were lots of seats available on the train we wanted to catch so we picked the second cheapest option of 2nd class fan seats (391B each) which we thought would be comfortable enough for the 14 hour journey up there and booked ourselves on the 2.30pm train out of Bangkok. The train journey was quite comfortable in the seats due to lots of legroom, the only downside being that they don't turn off the lights in the seats so you don't really get that ... read more
Sophie cooking
Spice man in the market
Taster plate from the course

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok June 22nd 2009

Back in Bangkok again we were stopped as soon as we got off the bus by the Police doing random bag searches for foreigners. They were looking for drugs, guns and bombs apparently but thankfully we don't go in for any of these things so we were ok. They were really nice and told us that they had found a rucksack full of drugs this morning on an Italian so that would have been a bad start to his day! After the search we ventured out the station and waited by the bus stop for the bus we'd decided to catch to Khao San Road to keep the costs down. Unfortunately we'd hit the bus stop at rush hour on a Friday night.. this meant that the bus stop was packed but worse than this the ... read more
Transformer at the weekend market
Sophie outside MBK shopping centre
Dale and the enormous reclining buddha




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