Singapore to Perth

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July 8th 2009
Published: July 20th 2009
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Part Two


After a quick stop off in Dubai airport we arrived in Singapore and headed to the plush hotel that we had prebooked as a well deserved treat. Instantly we were struck by how similar and yet completely different Singapore is compared to all the other South East Asian cities we have visited. It is as if someone has selected all the best qualities from them and scrubbed them impossibly clean. Our hotel was perfect and we spent the first few days just relaxing and enjoying the pool. A short walk up the river brought us to Clarke Quay an upmarket area where we found funky bars and pretty riverside restaurants aplenty. We stopped in one such bar simply named "Clinic" for a drink. We were attracted by the golden wheelchairs for seating and quickly discovered that few drinks were served in a glass. Instead you were wheeled out a brightly colour drip to suck on or a bucket of shots served in syringes! It brings a new meaning to 'medicinal purposes!'
For dinner on our first night we headed to China Town. The market stalls soon put us back in the mood for traveling and we dined on the side of the street in a way to which we were acustomed. On day two we ventured out to the infamous Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Considered by many to be one of the best Zoos in the world, it was really easy to see why. There is a huge variety of animals from regal White Tigers to tiny Mouse Deer. We spent a good three hours wandering the zoo and still didn't cram everything in. Fortunately when the sun goes down all the action moves over the road to the Night Safari. We started off with an action packed show of various nocturnal animals from Hyenas to Racoons. We were locked within the arena and quickly realised why, as many of the animals were introduced within and over the audience. The best animals in the show were three naughty Otters. They were supposed to sort litter into various bins but instead ended up practicaly juggling the tin cans and refusing to let go of them. This forced our show to over-run and caused the keepers to fall over in hysterics! After the show we enjoyed a relaxing 45 min tram ride around the Night
Tiger TigerTiger TigerTiger Tiger

Safari showing us the nocturnal habits of many of the zoo animals. Then we were allowed to wander various tracks around the park in the dark. We came face to face with Fruit Bats, Leopards and flying Squirrels glided over-head. All in all we had a brilliant day.
The shopping in Singapore is truelly something to behold. We visited Orchard road to discover mall after mall after mall all next door to each other. Infact in total we counted around 50 malls on the city map. We spent a day wandering in awe until we were all shopped out and we hadn't bought anything except our next guide book! For our last adventure in Singapore we hit little India in search of authentic Indian cuisine and we were not disapointed! Here we finally encountered Sinapore's hectic backpacker culture and this was the perfect introduction for our return to guest house living.



We Landed in Denpaser airport in Bali at 11pm and jumped into a taxi for Kuta. Our taxi driver vaguely pointed us in the direction of the guesthouse we had planned to stay in and with the help of our lonely planet map
Kuta BeachKuta BeachKuta Beach

Bali (Indonesia)
of Kuta we became very lost. Whats more we were surrounded by what can only be described as a humid, dark chaos. Downtown Kuta at 11.30pm on a Saturday evening is not the place to be walking in circles with heavy rucksacks! Eventually with a little help we stumbled across some bungalows hidden down an ally and managed to barter down their cheapest room. When we went to look at the pool we were pleasantly suprised and headed out for some much needed drinks. Waking up the next day we realised that we had stumbled into luxury. A beautiful tropical garden surrounded a deep turquiose swimming pool and small restaurant. Breakfast was free, our room was made everyday and the staff were great. Kuta however was a little full on, heaving with drunk tourists and scooters with surfboards straped to the side. Everyone seemed to be an Aussie on holiday. The beach was beautiful but way too busy for us so we spent time exploring the town and chilling out by the pool, playing with our new waterproof camera.

The Gilli Islands

The Gilli Islands were top on our list so we quickly decided to get out of
Our houseOur houseOur house

Gilli Air - Lombok (Indonesia)
Bali and head there first. The fastest way to leave was by speed boat so we coughed up the extra money and booked a ticket. The journey was fantastic and looking over board at the crystal turquoise sea we started to realise just what a treat we were heading for. Gilli Air was the Island that we felt most drawn to but the boat dropped us in Gilli T. This was no problem we had a quick drink to catch our breath and then managed to charter a small boat to Gilli Air. It took us a very long, hot hour to find accomadation but find it we did, infact we managed to stay in practically our own house! It was a huge two storey bungalow with a large bedroom and bathroom downstairs and an open air terrace upstairs with a thatched roof. The terrace was furnished with hammocks, mattereses, tables and fairy lights! It was absolutely perfect and to top it off there was a five star dive school next door - result! One of the best things about Gilli Air is that there is no motorised transport only small carts pulled by very sweaty looking ponies. In total
Paradise beachParadise beachParadise beach

Gilli Air - Lombok (Indonesia)
we spent seventeen nights on the island and still didn't want to leave, but who would want to leave paradise? Our time was spent mainly relaxing on the beautiful beaches in little raised up shaded platforms with tables, built by each restaurant. From here we could spend the day reading, eating lunch and jumping into the sea when we got too hot. The sea was perfect everyday and the snorkelling was spectacular, we saw everything from puffer fish and box fish to huge trigger fish just a stones throw from the beach. In the evenings we had our pick of the tiny seafront restaurants serving the freshest seafood BBQ's, traditional indonesian food and strangely a wide range of Italian pizza and spaghetti. The local spirit was a palm whiskey named Arrack and the cocktail lists were vast and cheap. Arrack Attack was the clear favourite and many were consumed! We discovered a bar named Mirage right at the northern tip of the island and proceeded to head there most evenings to watch the spectacular sunsets. The guys who worked there quickly discovered that Andy plays guitar and he spent a while jamming with them much to his delight. On Friday

Gilli Air - Lombok (Indonesia)
evenings we were treated to their accoustic band playing everything from early Stone's songs to Sting. Infact Sting's lyric "you can hear it in my accent when i talk, i'm an English man in New York" sung in a strong Indonesian accent will be fondly remembered!
For my Birthday Andy arranged a suprise for me - we were going diving! Both feeling a little apprehensive as we had not been diving for over a year we headed round to the dive centre. Tony our instructor quickly put our minds at rest and diving came back to us easily. We went out on their boat to Hallick Reef and performed our first roll in over the side. The dive was literally out of this world, possibly the best we have done so far. We saw every fish imaginable, a sea snake, lobster, grumpy trigger fish and finally sea turtles! As a special birthday treat a black tipped shark suddenly swam straight out of the blue and circled us before disapearing on his way, incredible! Blue Marlin was a seriously chilled dive centre and we happily rocked up whenever we felt like it. Every dive was fantastic, the water was 30
Birthday drinks!Birthday drinks!Birthday drinks!

Gilli Air - Lombok (Indonesia)
degrees, it felt like bath water and we were spoiled rotten with underwater sightings.
Gilli Air was perfect and we couldn't bear to leave but the road was calling. We decided to get back to Bali on the cheap and booked ourselves on a shuttle bus via Lombok with inclusive five hour ferry.


We headed inland to Ubud and were met with quite a strange town full of tropical trees, flowers and pavements that will happily swallow you whole. Art and yoga seemed to have taken over and everyone was getting in on the action. However traditional Balinese dancing also has a huge importance within Ubud and we spent an evening enjoying the hair raising Kedjak and fire trance performances. There was a 'choir' of around fourty men who created the most erie sounds impersonating jungle noises and beautiful young girls who entranced you with the slightest move of their fingers. Monkey forest was our first port of call the next morning and we some what foolishly bought a handful of bananas at the gate. Within seconds we were jumped on by the monkeys that live in the sacred forest. They ran straight up our legs
Rice terracesRice terracesRice terraces

Ubud - Bali (Indonesia)
and snatched the bananas before taken a perch on our shoulders and heads. Some of the monkeys were huge and heavy with giagantic teeth!
We spent time walking through the local rice fields taking in the life style that has supported South East Asia for centuries. The rice terraces we visited were stunning and beautiful, it seems a shame that they have become such a tourist hotspot. The Market in Ubud took our breath away as people jumped out infront of us, manhandled us into their stalls and physically held us in place! However we bartered with all our might and came out with some great treats for Andy's family in Perth.


The flight into Perth was a little more interesting than most of the the flights we've taken for a number of reasons. Firstly it was raining and very windy, making touch down a little rough! (We're not sure if we landed or were shot down!) Secondly it was the only stop on our trip where we were going to be met by someone we knew. Waiting for us on the other side of a very long customs line was my Dad, Stepmum and two
Perth skylinePerth skylinePerth skyline

Perth - Australia
little brothers, Charlie and the youngest of whom Leo I'd never met. All of whom May had never met.
After waiting for what felt like forever at customs we finally met the family. Introductions were made and we were quickly bundled through the rain and into the car. A thirty min drive took us to the house and after a quick tour the wine was opened and we settled in. It was nice to be in a place with a hot water shower and a wardrobe after our time in Bali.
Perth itself is another city with a brand new feelling to it. Much like Singapore everything is very clean and tidy with little evidence of it's history. The city centre is actually very small (Consisting of about 8 to 10 blocks) and most of the homes are in a sprawling suburbia around the city. Overlooking the city is Kings Park, a vast space containing a botanical garden and various ponds and lakes aswell as various other spaces with play areas for children and general activities. The park is simply stunning and we visited often to play with the boy's or just chill out.
It soon felt as
Perth ZooPerth ZooPerth Zoo

Perth - Australia
if May had known 'The folks' for as long as I have and we spent our weekends and evenings hanging out or making various trips in and around the city. We visited the Zoo, went on the Perth Eye and took a river cruise to name but a few.
During the weeks May and I were given the use of a car and left to our own devices to explore. We visited the city and the various shopping centres (Mainly to buy normal non-travely clothes.) One day we took ourselves off to nearby Fremantle. About twenty mins drive from the city, Fremantle sits on the coast and it's fair to say it is Perths harbour town and has a much more bohemian feel to it than the city itself. Full of coffee shops and querky boutiques, it's the place to see and be seen. One of it's more interesting attractions is the prison. Now open to the public for guided tours, it was the area's main jail for over a hundred years with the last remaining inmates being moved out in 1991. The prison itself was one of the many local buildings to be built by the first convicts
3 wise monkeys3 wise monkeys3 wise monkeys

Perth - Australia
brought over from England.
While in Perth I celebrated my 29th birthday and Laura (liking a drink or two!) saw this as a reasonable excuse to organise a little get together. She arrived home the day before with what turned out to be a touch screen juke box and it soon turned out that it was to be a little more than just a get together. The next day I was wisked off to Burswood park for a surprise Helicopter tour of the city that May had managed to organise on the quiet. The flight took us from the city to Fremantle and back and provided some great veiws of the area. Later that evening some thirty people (most of whom I'd never met) turned up at the house to help me celebrate my birthday and a feast of food and wine was whipped up by Laura and Sally. It was an awesome night and a great time was had by all.
Overall we had an amazing time in Perth. It was great to hang out with the "olds" and the boys and to have a home from home for a while. In the words of Leo it was " a bit good!"

Additional photos below
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Clear as mudClear as mud
Clear as mud

Clarke QuayClarke Quay
Clarke Quay

On the tooobeOn the tooobe
On the tooobe

Kuta HotelKuta Hotel
Kuta Hotel

Bali (Indonesia)
New camera!New camera!
New camera!

Bali (Indonesia)

24th July 2009

hi Guys wish i was there. miss you loads and love you Me,her and it

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