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Thailand - Kho Tao

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View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

As we approached the island of Kho Tao we began to feel a sense of familiarity, the cascading landscape brought back memories of two years ago, when we visited the island whilst holidaying.

Stepping off the Lomprayah ferry at dusk, we scrambled to locate our bags by the side of the pier and headed down with the throngs of travellers to the pier edge, where a gaggle of taxi drivers were vying for attention. There was a bored looking man stood to one side presenting a sign that said “Jack and friend” – I have been demoted in under seven months of marriage by a taxi man. Our hotel – Palm Leaf – sent the taxi to collect us and bring us safely to them. The room we had selected was unavailable on the first evening (we already knew this on booking) therefore we opted for the superior villa for the night. Oh it was luxury – clean bathroom, nearly hot shower, king size bed and…a TV! I suppose we are allowed to relish in a bit of luxury seeing as it is our honeymoon. The room had a certain magic about it, akin to sleeping in your parent’s bedroom when they are away, it’s not a secret but it’s so much better than your room! It was definitely a stark contrast to the room we had on the last evening in Khao Sok, with ants parading around the floor and a dripping sink (I’m not precious, but a constant dripping does begin to ebb away at the soul)
After being shown into the room and jumping on the bed like children as soon as the woman left, we headed down the familiar route along the beach to get dinner. A well-deserved pizza and onion rings washed down with a couple of bottles of Chang. So tiring was the day of travel that we went straight back to our luxury, we showered away the stale smell of sweat and climbed into our clean, comfy bed to watch Jim Carey in 'The Number 23' on TV. How very cultured of us.

The following morning we were up early (9:45am) to move into a standard bungalow for the next four nights, much to the delight of our budget. From here on in the days merged into one – they went something like this; breakfast, sunbathe, swim in the sea, sunbathe, lunch, sunbathe, swim in the sea, sunbathe, play bat and ball, swim in the sea, sunbathe, beer. One day it rained, but I couldn't tell you which.

Jack had his hair cut! When he showed the lady a picture of Jurgen Klopp and she eschewed him with a firm hand, we were a little worried. Especially as she got the shaver out first off then finished with the cut throat razor. Scissors featured for around 20% of the cut. Nevertheless it is the best haircut he’s ever had (in my opinion), and a bargain at £4.

On the last evening and because we’d had such a hectic week (!) we decided to treat ourselves to an hour long massage. Best massage to date, followed by a good cuppa but of the herbal variety, no Yorkshire tea or milk in sight.

Although we thoroughly enjoyed our time on Kho Tao, it was much the same as Khao Sok – changes where evident wherever you looked. New buildings being erected but left half way through. Rubbish everywhere you turned, strewn haphazardly along the beautiful shore line. A shame really as the beach itself was beginning to get smaller (depth) with the amount of buildings popping up. Two years ago there were roughly three men with long tail taxi boats dotted up and down the beach, now however there was a man every 10 paces. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but try as they might I did not want a damn 'taxi boat'. I mean where would I go? I'm in the place I want to be right now. Piss off.

Overall we had a very good time, we relaxed a hell of a lot and ate great food.

Chang is currently sponsoring our honeymoon. Beer. Every. Night. Is. Good. (and no I still don't want a taxi boat!!!)

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Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 05:41 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches sea sunset beach thailand dogs palm_trees koh_tao Comments (2)

Malaysia pt. 2

Penang

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View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

On a sweltering Monday morning we took a coach from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Island. It was a four hour coach ride and we even had lunch included in the price. We had requested a vegetarian lunch for Kiwi only to be offered a "chicken sausage" to which was refused and then a chicken and egg sandwich arrived (one was chicken that looked like ham and the other egg) They got it 50% right, sigh.

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Alas! We arrived at the bus station in Penang and hailed a taxi to take us to George Town. George Town was a welcomed surprise - lovely old colonial buildings lined the pavements and the sun glaring down on the buildings made you feel as if you had stepped back to a world gone by,

We were dropped off by the taxi man (Texting for 20 of the 25 minute journey) Nerves a little on edge we soon found our feet and located our hostel further along the road. The Frame Guest House - http://www.theframeguesthouse.com/ We had a lovely welcome on arrival and were shown to our private room, basic facilities and a shared bathroom but all you could desire for a few nights. We ventured straight out to into the town and realised we were in the backpackers area of George Town, it had a great atmosphere and plenty of hustle and bustle around. We headed down "Love Lane" and found a quaint jazz bar opposite the cat cafe for refreshments. Afterwards we went back to the hostel for a nap and a refreshing cold shower. In the evening we went for pizza and beer at a reggae bar then an early night after a long day of travel.

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The room we had turned out to be near the stairs and therefore rather noisy with heavy footed travellers pounding past all night. After an interrupted night’s sleep we arose early and went to break our fast on a toast and coffee that the hostel offered. We walked down to the harbour front through the shaded pavements of the old colonial buildings and caught the free ferry over to a town called Butterworth, from which we located the train station and purchased our tickets for onward travel to Thailand the coming Friday. Once back across to Penang we got the bus to the nearby beach Batu Ferringi, (Costing £0.37 for a 45 minute drive)
The beach had an overwhelming feeling of abandonment with few people around, although still beautiful. It was hit in the 2004 Tsunami and seemed like it was still recovering, we stayed for a couple of hours and swam in the bath like waters of the sea then left this haunting place and back into George Town. The evening was much of the same and we both had a Pad Thai costing only £1 each.

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With a better night’s sleep under our belt (we got given free ear plugs at the hostel and Kiwi wore them for the first time – what a treat!) we got up early to beat the crowds at Penang Hill. After the bus ride there we then had to take an almost vertical tram 700ft up. However terrifying the view was worth it – we could see the whole of Penang Island just as the clouds were breaking and even the bridge over to mainland Malaysia. It proved better to have gotten up so early as on the way down the tram queue was packed out. During the bus ride back we decided to get off and visit the Kek Lok Si Temple, one of the largest in Malaysia. The street where the bus dropped us was full of traders selling their wears and we had to weave in and out in the baking heat to find our way to the temple.
Kek Lok Si Temple with its impressive structures and brightly coloured buildings loomed over us. To get to it one had to go through a long cobbled maze, winding up and round with shop keepers at every turn selling anything from water to Spanish flamenco outfits. There was a small bridge with turtles swimming all around on the way up, but again up and around along the never ending path with hand written signs leading the way.
Once we reached the top we were so hot and bothered it was an effort to take it in. We joined the scores of tourists taking photographs and appreciating its beauty. Incandescent Buddha statues shone brilliantly with the illuminating scent of incense from passers by offering prayer. We found a peaceful garden further up and sat in the shade, decorated with stone turtles across the lawn and the sound of water trickling from a nearby trough was thoroughly relaxing.
Back down into the street and realising what a juxtaposition the two places were in such close proximity, we caught the bus back into George Town to chill at the hostel and opted for another cold shower.
In the evening we headed out for dinner, not knowing what we were quite in the mood for we kept walking on. Down Love Lane, around the corner and down the wonderful street full of the lovely colonial buildings and to the end… then we saw it. Bright lights glistening behind trees just off to the right, Red Garden Food Paradise! It was like a secret world unbeknownst to passers-by. Once inside we found it busy with locals, travellers and holiday makers with a vast array of food on offer. Kiwi opted for a pad thai and Jack had a Thai Green Curry (a flapper, as he would say) The food was absolutely delicious and a fraction of the price in the busier back packer area. Just as we had finished eating the heavens opened once more and a storm was in full flow, no point trying to fight it so we ordered another beer and enjoyed the entertainment – a small stage with four singers taking it in turns to perform, along with the head guy on keyboard adorned in a cowboy hat.
An enjoyable evening!

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On arrival at the hostel we were given a map of the area which pointed out local sights. The next morning we set off to walk around George Town and follow the street art tour. Impressive paintings and drawings were found all over George Town, some the span of a whole building, others hidden away behind a shop door and even inside some buildings.
We walked down to the pier and around a beautiful sunlit park and across to George Town’s impressive town hall – a great white building that stood out among its neighbours. Afterwards we visited George Town’s camera museum. Jack found it very informative and they had one whole room as a pin hole camera projecting the image of two men at work out on the street. In the evening we went to the Red Garden Food Paradise again and enjoyed much of the same as the previous night, with the exception of stopping beforehand to do laundry (exciting!)

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Next stop... Thailand!

J & K xx

Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 21:57 Archived in Malaysia Tagged landscapes beaches temples honeymoon malaysia penang travelling georgetown travelling_honeymoon penang_hill Comments (2)

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