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Entries about travelling honeymoon

Thailand - Bangkok pt. 1

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

On the Monday morning we ate a final breakfast on the beach at Koh Tao before boarding a Tuk Tuk from Palm Leaf resort back to the pier in time to catch the morning ferry to Chumpon. As an observatory note, we passed a quiet roadside stall which held had an entire pig's carcass divided into it's various bits. Fortunately and in spite of the 32'C heat the vendor was swatting away flys with a brush, enuring it stayed as fresh as a vest wearing, post A level, travelling lad's armpit :-)

The ferry was an all in ticket job so when we landed at Chumphon we were ushered onto a coach for the return leg of the trip to Bangkok. The coach ride was 8 hours but comfortable and definately better than the Thailand trains, dropping us in the Khao San area of Bangkok in the evening.

After a few hand directions from the thai locals and an Irish OAP (standard) we arrived at our hostel, Baan Nespatch, in a quiet cul-de-sac north of Khao San. We gladly dropped the bags and headed into the bat shit crazy night environment of Khao San to see what was on offer. We found all manner of fried insects (scorpions, grasshoppers, tarrantulas and other delicasies), women selling wrist bands with obscene phrases and other goodies, photo opportunities with snakes and lizards, offers of ping pong shows, along with the usual bar touts. We settled for a quieter restaurant just off Khao San and contrary to their bold claims (and to our disappointment) it was not the 'Best Pad Thai in Town'. It may have something to do with the waiters running across the road to collect the food...

After food we elected for a saunter down Khao San Road to take in the sights, sounds and smells. That road was mental - full of english 'lads' adorned in chang vests and red faces full off unsolicited drugs and carrying buckets of alcohol. We hung our heads in shame as we walked by, but an experience nevertheless.

Tuesday morning we had breakfast on the hostel terrace then made our way over to Wat Pho Temple, about a 30 minute walk away. Of course, we headed straight to see the reclining Buddah, a large and impressive golden statue spanning the length of the hall, with ornate drawings covering the walls and ceiling. Afterwards we wandered around the gardens of the temple and ended up in the ordination hall and sat and watched a Buddist ceremony, where monks were chanting and Thai people were taking selfies. Quite a contradiction.

Temple ticked off the list, we bartered a taxi to Siam Square where we booked tickets to see the film Spotlight at the Scala cinema -the tickets cost £2.70 each! With time to kill before the film started we walked further up to the shopping haven of 'Siam Paragon' to stock up on supplies from boots. Jack bought some drum sticks at a knock down rate to the UK then we were spent up on budget! Back across to the cinema, we walked up the wide inviting staircase and stood and stared at the beautiful ceiling for a good ten minutes. We were greeted at the entrance to screen by a smartly dressed Thai man in a yellow and white uniform, who then showed us to another smartly dressed Thai man (in a yellow and white uniform) and he showed us to our seats. The cinema was incredibly lavish and billed as a piece of 1960's thai culture, although we later sadly learned that it is proposed to be demolished to make way for another shopping mall! After the trailers were shown a message came on screen - "Let's pay homage to the King" and everybody stood up (including us) and sang the national anthem (not including us) whilst hundreds of pictures of the King filled the screen, which eventually made up a larger image of the King. Then the film started.

After a good afternoon in Siam we got a taxi back to Khao San road and went for beers and street food. We both had Pad Thai from a street vendor that cost £0.60 each and was frankly delicious! We sat and ate it on a roundabout bollard whilst watching Thai youths skateboard.

Wednesday was a day for laundry and research for the coming weeks on the hostel terrace. In the evening we had another Pad Thai and stopped at a bar called 'Bangkok Live' to watch a band who were pretty damn good, playing a meddly of western classics with the inclusion of a trombone.

On our final morning in Bangkok we headed over to Boonsiri ticket office to purchase tickets for onward travel the following morning. We stopped off at a cute coffee shop and finally had a decent cup of coffee! Then had a lovely walk along the river front and back down towards Khao San road. This being our second time in Bangkok we actually had the chance to just wander around the streets and unlike Kuala Lumpur for example, it felt spacious, safe and enjoyable.

Back at the hostel we packed up our belongings once again and went to bedfordshire ready for an early start to Kho Mak on the Friday, we say early but was only the crack of 07:00am.

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Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 21:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged temple thailand bangkok drums travelling_honeymoon Comments (1)

Malaysia pt. 2

Penang

sunny
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)

Singapore - Sentosa

Playground of the rich...

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

Sentosa is a small gated island south of Singapore mainland. It's motto is "the state of fun" as long as you follow the sixty five million rules that accompany your every move. There are several security check points to pass through to be allowed onto this privileged part of the world. Sentosa is essentially a pleasure island for the mega rich, with maids walking dogs, kids and well anything really - all day long. Pretty much all of the landscape i.e bridges and rocks/boulders are hollow. It makes you feel like you're in the Truman show.

Most of the very large houses remain empty (however another theory is that all the maids have murdered their owners - they look like those kind of houses. Think Ex-Machina / Gone Girl). One house had been built in an Egyptian style complete with full size Anubis statues whose eyes lit up red of an evening. Someone actually built that for serious and someone actually lives there. Mind blown.

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Nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed the outlandish luxury it had to offer.

After a 12 hour flight (we were lucky as it was meant to be 13 hours) we arrived to hot & sweaty Singapore and headed straight to the land of nod. We made it out for an evening Christmas meal with the family which was lovely. This was on the Marina of Sentosa (again you can only access this if you have a pass card to get onto the complex - crazy!)

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Saturday & Sunday we mainly relaxed around the infinity pool at the apartment. We took a walk down to the residents beach which is man made (they import the sand!) Here was the most southern tip of continental Asia. We were slack and didn't take any photos of the beach.

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Monday was pretty much the same however we ventured out late afternoon / evening to Little India - an absolutely manic place! We went for a curry (how could you not?!) that were served on banana leaves - best curry Jack's ever eaten to date.

Tuesday was a trip out to Orchard Road - think Oxford Street on speed. Off the top of my head there were roughly ten very large shopping centres up and down the road, if not more. Take a wrong turn and you end up trapped in the never ending maze of yet another shopping centre. We must have spent about three hours working out how to get out of these things! Whilst on Orchard Road we booked in to see Star Wars at the Imax - EPIC!

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Wednesday was another day out at Clarke Quay & China Town and Jack went on the extremely high cable car from Sentosa to the main island which halfway through actually went through a tall building!
In the evening we were treated to the night zoo / safari which in true Singapore style was packed out but we got to see everything towards the end as it quietened down.

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Thursday was a much needed rest around the pool and then a New Years dinner down at the marina front, We then headed back to the apartment to play games and welcome in the new year. As it was raining we watched the fireworks from the marina and docks in the distance followed by a good 20 minutes of live bagpipe music from a man on the balcony of the apartment opposite!

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Next stop Malaysia...

J & K x

Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 20:45 Archived in Singapore Tagged honeymoon singapore sentosa humid travelling_honeymoon Comments (0)

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