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cocopickinmonky

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On to Malaysia [Aug. 18th, 2006|05:02 pm]
cocopickinmonky
[Current Location |KL, Malaysia :-)]
[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |Cheesy Malaysian pop]

So we left Phuket after a couple of weeks diving, chilling on the beach and partying a bit too hard on our last night. It was a bit sad to leave the friends we made behind but it was time to explore new territory. We got on the 'bus' (Thai buses are basically trucks with benches in the back in which many many people are crammed on to the point of hanging out the door!) still in recovery from excessive alcohol intake and travelled for 8 hellish hours around the other side of Thailand to Railey which is a paradise of jungle, cliffs and beaches. We didn't want to leave, it was such a beautiful relaxing place. Its only accesible by boat as there are no roads through the jungle so when we arrived we thought it was an island. On the fourth day of our stay we found a map and realised it was actually attached to the mainland! Oops but that was our Railay state of mind, so relaxed with no real intelligent thoughts going through our little brains. It was great!

On to Krabi, a small very Thai town with few tourists which was a nice change. We tried to go diving again but there were no boats to where we wanted to dive as not enough people wanted to go. Damn! we need those tourists! We ate noodles from the night market in Krabi every evening and at the weekend there was a big stage and a celebration of the 60th aniversery of the king. Lots of terrible singing and dancing, it was so funny. We were given little candles at one point, then the whole market stopped, everyone lit their candles, stood up and started singing national songs. it was a bit strange to be standing there with our candles not really knowing what was going on! Thai people are very much attached to their king, there are pictures of him everywhere on the streets and many people wearing t-shirts with the king logo on them.

We left Krabi on a minibus driven at high speed by a crazed madman to Hat Yai close to the Thai-Malaysian border where we thankfully changed buses and were delivered after some ours to the island of Penang off the west coast of Malaysia. The ferry crossing at night was really nice but that was about all we enjoyed of Penang. we stayed for 1 day. That was enough! Open sewers and polluted beach were not for us. We took an ancient decrepit bus to Georgetown, the islands capital which was a mess of ugly 1960's architecture and were equally unimpressed. Don't go to Penang, its boring and it smells!

We escaped to Kuala Lumpur which is very nice city so far. An interesting mix of many differnt religions and races. Malaysian people are like Thai people, mostly very friendly and helpful. Its fun to explore the massive city on the metro which is cheap and cheerful but sometimes horribly slow! Our guesthouse is in the middle of the golden triangle of big expensive looking tower buildings (including the famous Petronas twin towers which we are planning to visit tomorrow) but is ridiculously cheap to stay in. we had a dorm with 5 beds to choose from to ourselves last night but today we have a roomate who has left her backpack and Jeffery Archer novels in there but has yet to appear. Curious to know what she's like as she seems to be travelling alone and her backpack is remarkably clean for travelling in these parts!

I think we'll hang around the big KL for another couple of days, then we'll chase the sun further south to the beach at Malacca, hopefully no monsoon rains there :-)
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Feeding the fishies [Jul. 31st, 2006|11:10 am]
cocopickinmonky


What a great time we're having diving, spotting so many tropical fish and yesterday we saw a colour changing octopus! The weather is a bit windy and rainy so the boat journeys are gettting pretty rough. Thank goodness for sea sickness tablets!
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xxx Love Thailand xxx [Jul. 26th, 2006|08:18 pm]
cocopickinmonky
[Current Location |Phuket, Thailand]
[mood |peacefulpeaceful]
[music |Bob Marley]

Well we've been here a week so far but somehow it seems much longer. Life moves at a much very relaxed slow pace here which suits me fine:-)
Arrived in hot, sweaty, humid, polluted, smelly Bangkok after 11 hour flight from Helsinki. The flight was delayed by 2 hours and we were struggling to contain our excitement! Bangkok is an interesting city, very much poverty, strange smells and nice stray dogs. A bit of a vegetarians nightmare as there are stalls selling unregonisable smelly meat on sticks on every street (the only 1 I regonised was octopus!) , stand too close to them and you get splashed with hot meat juice!

We stayed in a guesthouse (which we shared with several lizards) in a non touristy part of the city which was really interesting as we got to experience everyday Thai life and some culture. We also happened to decide to visit some grand Buddhist temples on a national Buddhist holiday (though we didn't know it was hol at the time) so got to see some Buddhas that are not usually open to visitors,including 25m high golden Buddha!, plus we got our hair-raising tuk tuk ride around the city for free:-D. The city is unbelievably congested with people and traffic, like 3 cities squashed into 1 but we really enjoyed the Bangkok experience despite the pollution and meat juice, its a great place to explore.

We flew to Phuket on sunday after buying our tickets from a 7/11 shop for about 15 pounds. Strange place to buy flight tickets but things work in strange ways in Thailand. Its like chaos everywhere we go but somehow organised. We flew on a plane painted like a cartoon bird with a big orange beak on the nose!

Phuket is a small sunny island to the south east of Thailand, much like the canary islands. We are staying at Patong beach just now which was quite badly damaged by the 2004 tsunami and is still being repaired in places. it is FULL of tourists, from Europe and Australia and locals trying to sell you anything and everything on the streets ( but the Thai people are very friendly) Not what we came to Asia for but we are really just here for the diving which is excellent! :-D so many coral reefs and tropical fish. Our diving instructor is taking his underwater camera tomorrow so some diving pictures will be attached soon. By the end of tomorrow I will be a qualified open water diver :-D

The beaches here are tropical paradises with warm blue water, perfect for early morning swimming but jelly fish are often waiting! Kaisa was telling me horror stories of the dangers of jellies and was stung the next morning. Also today a nasty fish kept biting her when we were diving around the reefs!

It is not holiday season in Thailand at the moment as this is the rainy season and real summer doesn't start until september but its still 30 degree heat and there is no evidence of the monsoons we were warned of just a few showers is all.

We are moving to a different town on Phuket at the weekend, close to where the diving boats leave from so hopefully a few more trips before we move on to the next country which will probably be Malaysia as we can travel there by train:-)

My next message will include photos when we have figured out how to get them onto the computers!
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