Page 5 of gabanie Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Cambodia » East » KratiĆ© December 4th 2009

Kratie was basically just a stopover between Siem Reap and Ban Lung, but we made the most of it. Kratie is right on the Mekong, and it is famous (at least among backpackers) for it's nearby pod of fresh water dolphins. We decided to take the bus from siem reap to kratie (8 hours or so), see the dolphins the next morning, and then catch another bus to Ban Lung (6 hours). Our bus left siem reap at 8 am, and we didn't make it to kratie until after dark. It shouldn't have taken that long except we made a few stops along the way, one of them for over an hour when we changed buses. Our bus let us off in the middle of nowhere and told us to wait for another bus that would ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 2nd 2009

Our trip from bangkok to Siem reap went very smoothly compared to some of the horror stories we had read at This was probably due in part to the fact that we arranged all of our own travel instead of going with a packaged trip from Khaosan rd, which are supposedly riddled with scams. Our trip started at 5:15 am and ended at 2 pm, whereas the packaged trips leave at 7 am and end at 7pm. First we took a taxi from Khaosan rd. to the north bus station. It took three different drivers before we found one that would turn on the meter. We'd ask "Meter?" and they would say yes, but when you got to the cab they would try to negotiate a price instead, swearing that it was cheaper than the ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 28th 2009

Well we are back on Khaosan Rd.... probably not for the last time either. The minibus-boat-bus from Ko Samui to Bangkok went smoothly, except for the pee smell on the bus to Bangkok and the fact that we made it to bangkok 2 1/2 hours early. Instead of getting there at 6 am we got there at 3:30 am. We decided to find a place to sleep for the rest of the "night", instead of powering through to the next night as we had originally planned. Luckily Khoasan rd never sleeps, so there were plenty of options. Not too much else to report here... Just getting supplies, since this is the best place to do it. We are off to cambodia tomorrow. First stop is Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat (8th wonder of the world). ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Samui November 25th 2009

We decided to go to ko samui even though it is still the "rainy season" on the east side of thailand. Ko phi phi was pretty darn hot, so rain sounded kind of nice. Also we knew it would be less crowded than if we went during the dry season. When we first got to Ko Samui, I thought we were in for incessant rain. It was POURING. What made it worse is that we got there 3 hours later than the tour guide in phi phi said we would. Instead of getting there at 4 pm, while it was still light, we got there at 7 pm. Luckily we had booked a bungalow through before we left, so at least we had a destination: Chaweng beach. Unfortunately chaweng is on the opposite side of ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phi Phi Don November 17th 2009

We just had our last full day on Ko Phi Phi before we head across to the east side of thailand for ko samui. It is much as I remember it from when I was here in 2007, except it is a little bit more built up. There's still some rubble from the 2004 tsunami though. We have been here 5 or 6 days.... kind of lost track. Classic island fun. We went on a snorkel trip one day that was really fun - saw some of the nearby islands, including the mandatory Maya Bay which is where they filmed a few scenes from "the beach" (on phi phi they would have you believe that the entire movie was shot there to sell more tickets). We hired a longboat taxi one day to go cliff jumping, ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket November 10th 2009

We rode a bus from Bangkok to Phuket. We were told the bus was 15 hours, most of which was overnight. We left at 6 pm so we figured we'd get to phuket around 9 am. But I guess they didn't factor in all the stops (including one at 11 pm and 6 am), switching buses (waiting for 1 1/2 hours in between), so we didn't end up getting in to phuket town until after 2 pm. THEN we had to catch a local bus to the beaches, and we didn't find a place until after 4 pm. It was a long day. But our place is awesome! Best money/value ratio yet. We've got a room on the 3rd floor with a balcony, fridge, tv, private bathroom, for 300 baht ($9) a night. It is in ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 5th 2009

Well we are in Bangkok, but we haven't left a 3 block radius for the the past 2 1/2 days. We are of course in the khaosan road area, which is pretty much where every backpacker goes when they are in bangkok. After the past week zipping through expensive cities, it has been nice to slow down and catch our breath. Thailand is much cheaper than China, especially HK and Macau, so we've mainly just been buying supplies for the next leg of the trip. We figure we'll pass through bangkok a few times this trip, so we'll save the sightseeing for one of our future visits. One thing that we did was do a "fish massage". This is a new thing for khaosan road - at least it wasn't here when I was here last ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon November 1st 2009

If you don't like stories involving barfing, then maybe you should skip a few paragraphs ahead. You have been warned. On the express train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong I started feeling a bit nauseous. The feeling had been coming and going after being on the rides at Chime Long paradise in guangzhou, but this time it was worse. I visited the bathroom at one point, but it was a no go. Unfortunately for me, the time came once the attendants had locked the bathroom doors, which I guess they do towards the end of the trip. Luckily for me there were common sinks for all the bathrooms, so I walked briskly down the aisle to the sinks and emptied my stomache as quietly as I could in one of them. I was a little paranoid ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Guangzhou October 29th 2009

The only reason we wanted to go to Guangzhou was for Chime Long Paradise, the biggest amusement park in china. We both love roller coasters. Also there was supposed to be a waterpark, so we were planning on spending two days there. The overnight train from guilin got to guangzhou at 6:30 am on the 29th. Guangzhou is not really set up for backpackers in the same way that most cities have been, so it wasn't that easy finding a hostel. I had found a pretty cheap place called 5th youth hotel in the tianhe district of guangzhou, but I didn't have enough time to get great directions there. We managed to find the metro, and got off at the right exit. But after that my directions were pretty bad, so we set out to find ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Longji Rice Terraces October 28th 2009

On October 27th, we left yangshuo to see the rice terraces in Longji. The trip didn't go quite as originally planned but all things considered it was a success. The original plan was to take a bus to guilin, buy our train ticket from guilin to guangzhou for the next day, leave our big bags at the train station, take another bus to Heping, and another bus to ping'an (the biggest of 3 small towns in the rice terraces), and stay the night somewhere. The next day we would hike to Dazhai (another town) which is supposed to take 4-5 hours, then bus our way back to guilin with enough time to catch the train. I'd read that the overnight train from guilin to guangzhou left at 9:50 pm so I figured there was enough time ... read more

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