Page 10 of swanningaround Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Vietnam September 14th 2011

Geo: 16.07, 108.21Moving from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) through the Mekong delta was much easier by organised tour rather than trying to arrange it ourselves, so we crossed the border from Cambodia on the river and travelled on through Chau Doc, Can Tho and a variety of sight seeing stops. At our hotel in Phnom Penh we met up with a couple from Byron Bay in Australia, Mark and Jenny. and by coincidence we found that we were on the same trip to HCMC. Then on the way to the boat we met Hannah from Wales who was travelling alone so the five of us made the journey together which was really enjoyable. It is a complicated journey using minibus, boat and coach and there were other people who joined us for ... read more
Different types of onions in Chau Doc market
The living room of the fish farm lady
Lift a trapdoor in her floor to find the fish

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh September 6th 2011

Geo: 11.5588, 104.917The trip across from Thailand to Cambodia proved simpler than the guide books suggest. The train to the town near the Thai border, (there are only 2 each day), took six hours but cost only £1. Then we had to take a tuk-tuk to the border itself, stopping en route to collect a Cambodian visa from the Consulate office. Of course that meant filling in a form and attaching a photograph but I noticed while it was being processed that on the floor at the back of the office were stacks of hundreds of such completed forms – just resting there as if they had no homes to go to. So perhaps our forms will spend their lives there, but at least we were given a visa. Then it was a quick march through ... read more
At some stations there weren't any platforms
Angkor Wat main site
Another view of Angkor Wat

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Rai August 24th 2011

Geo: 19.91, 99.83My blogs are like buses, none for ages and then a few arrive together, but at least I know there is no-one waiting at the bus stop in the rain!After relaxing in the sun we moved on to Bangkok and suddenly there is so much to see and do that if I don't write it up now I know I shall forget.The coach from Koh Samui travelled through the night and we arrived at Bangkok new coach station at 6am. There seems to be a policy in South East Asia to build new bus stations miles from the town they serve which means it is a challenge to get to the accommodation, but in Bangkok it was more of a challenge than usual. None of the signs had any English and of course Thai ... read more
Part of Grand Palace complex
A Guardian stands in front for protection
Bright, detailed buildings

Asia » Thailand August 19th 2011

Geo: 9.53567, 99.9357Not blogged (if there is such a verb) for a while as we have been lazing about on beaches most of the time. We recovered from Semporna by relaxing at The Beach House Hostel in Koto Kinabalu. There was plenty of communal space and our room was simple but clean and spacious. As it was at the beach away from the town it gave us a different perspective of KK. It seemed to be used frequently by an organisation arranging school trips, that include some voluntary work. The first school party was from Ilfracombe, and they were quite young. They had expected to travel out to an island where the 'reward' for their efforts was to be the opportunity to learn to dive. However, their travel company seemed to have booked them on to ... read more
Karst scenery
Longtail boat
Lovely beaches but crowded

Asia » Malaysia July 21st 2011

Geo: 4.47134, 118.605Click on pictures to enlarge - will help with "critters". All underwater pictures and the 3 pictures of Sipdan are courtesy of Mathew Lee.Arrived in Kota Kinabalu and after a little difficulty (taxi driver did not know where our hostel was) arrived at Masada Backpackers which is very clean, comfortable, friendly with great breakfasts included (help yourself any time of day) and the only down side being the walls which have the same soundproofing capacity as newspaper. It was a pleasant stay, and from the town, which is mainly post war but not what you could call modern, we made a couple of excursions. One was to the Kinabalu Park which is the area from which walkers start their climb up Mount Kinabalu (4095 m). Despite the books all recommending it as a good ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna July 21st 2011

Geo: 4.47134, 118.605Click on pictures to enlarge - will help with "critters". All underwater pictures and the 3 pictures of Sipdan are courtesy of Mathew Lee.Arrived in Kota Kinabalu and after a little difficulty (taxi driver did not know where our hostel was) arrived at Masada Backpackers which is very clean, comfortable, friendly with great breakfasts included (help yourself any time of day) and the only down side being the walls which have the same soundproofing capacity as newspaper. It was a pleasant stay, and from the town, which is mainly post war but not what you could call modern, we made a couple of excursions. One was to the Kinabalu Park which is the area from which walkers start their climb up Mount Kinabalu (4095 m). Despite the books all recommending it as a good ... read more
The heritage village of long houses
The trampoline - beautiful construction
Cooking at Mari Mari village

Asia » Malaysia July 2nd 2011

Geo: 2.21594, 102.253From Kuala Lumpur we took the bus to the Cameron Highlands (over 5,000 feet high), a strange area which provides a break from the high temperature and humidity of the coastal plain, and which combines British style buildings with Malay, Chinese and Indian and has a golf course reminiscent of the Crowborough Beacon course. There are tea plantations as well as a huge range of small farming enterprises seemingly growing all types of vegetables, fruit and flowers. Strawberries are big here, grown in shelving 3 or 4 stacks deep, and each strawberry farm has a shop attached selling everything you can think of disguised as a strawberry! There is no season so they are available all year round but without much taste as they are forced. Large areas of land are given over to ... read more
Tea Picker
Strawberries everywhere
And everything made to look like strawberries

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur June 19th 2011

Geo: 3.1412, 101.687We arrived at KL LCC (Low Cost Carrier airline terminal) early evening and found the shuttle bus that takes you to the railway station in order to board the city centre train. The whole journey takes nearly 2 hours but is easy and cheap. Then it was a taxi to Suzie's Guesthouse, in China Town.A door on the main street has code access through which you are buzzed if new and spotted on the TV. We went inside to find a steep flight of stairs to climb but first we had to take off our shoes and leave them on racks. Having completed this we were about to start hauling our cases up when a door at the top opened and out flew Suzie, (a young man), who fluttered down the stairs, batting his ... read more
The kitchen/common room
Steps up to Batu Cave
Inside Batu cave

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Lembongan June 14th 2011

Geo: -8.68333, 115.433 Nusa Lembongan is a small island about 4 miles long and 1 to 2 miles wide, close to the larger island of Nusa Penida, and 12 miles from the mainland, but a world away from the bustle of Bali. I think this is how Bali used to be 30 to 40 years ago. There isn't a jetty so it is necessary to jump out of the small ferry boat into the sea. I did worry about our cases but the boatmen managed to keep them dry. There is a village on the beach and the few small hotels and hostels are dotted throughout the village and at a couple of other beaches. We are staying at Mainski Resort which does not have free wifi or hot water as claimed on it's website but ... read more
Pretty garden at Mainski
These shelters are spread around.
Making offerings

Asia » Indonesia » Bali June 5th 2011

Geo: -8.65, 115.217We arrived at Denpasar Airport before 6am so went for a coffee before trying to go to our accommodation as we were not due there until the afternoon.It was the first time we had arrived at a destination with hardly any knowledge of the country, no local money, and I think we were also suffering slight withdrawal symptoms as a result of having to function without a van. The lovely thing about the campervan was that it was never necessary to think about whether we needed anything with us for the day – we always had everything! We started by finding the ATM in the airport to withdraw cash but were immediately flummoxed by the offer of 500,000, 1 million, 3 million or 5 million rupiah. One million seemed so large an amount that ... read more
Ari Putri swimming pool
Butterflies stuck to my front
A "walking" stick insect




Tot: 0.08s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 14; qc: 64; dbt: 0.0229s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb