A Travellerspoint blog

The Atlantic Clipper, The Whitsundays and Airlie beach

sunny 28 °C

So on Tuesday 28th Aug was the day we were boarding the Atlantic clipper for three days to sail around the Whitsunday's, it was also Gk's birthday. We boarded around 3 O'clock and we met Sally-ann and Hannah while we were waiting to board. The first day was just sailing out to the Whitsunday Islands we seen a dolphin on our way out just cruising along with the boat. We spent the evening getting to know everyone on the boat and we met so many nice people and knew we had a really good group of people on our boat we had a few drinks on the first night but not too many because we were all scuba diving the next day. Everyone sang happy Birthday to Gk though so that was good.

The next morning they woke us up at 6.30am not the most enjoyable moment of the trip but we had plenty to do that day so we got up and we sailed to Whitsunday Island, to visit Whitehaven beach the most photographed beach in Australia! On our way there we seen some humpback whales which was really cool, and when we were on the dingy to the island we also seen a dugong, which is sort of like a manatee. So when we got on the Island we walked up to the lookout took some pics and then hit Whitehaven beach. We had a bit of a group going on at this stage so it was Gk, Sally-ann from Dublin, Hannah from London and Angelique from Sweden, we went to the lagoon and were burring each other in the sand and went for a swim in the lagoon but then we realised there were sting rays in the lagoon and we kind of all freaked out especially Sally-ann, who was screaming and holding on to Gk for dear life, kind of funny.
P1000400.jpg

After a fun morning on the beach it was time to head back to the boat for lunch and then scuba diving, Gk had her dive medical sorted so she was able to dive with sally-ann. I went in a different group and Mark and Mike were my dive buddies which was really good because they had done it loads before and we had a bigger group so its nice to know someone is looking out for you down there. The dive was really really good we dived through a sort of tunnel in the coral with walls of coral at each side of us, and our guide Demetri had fish food with him so he was squirting it in our faces and the fish were swarming all around us. The coolest thing we seen this dive was a big maori wrasse a huge almost a meter long and we were feeding him and able to stroke him, very cool. After the dive we all went on the slide of the side of the ship and jumped of the diving board and basically messed around in the water and in the Jacuzzi for the rest of the afternoon.

That night was the party night, I'm not gonna lie I was slightly scarred about what they would have in store for us, but it was a brilliant nights craic, we were all drinking from 4 O'clock, as soon as they opened the drink fridge!!lol The party night started off with a big box of fancy dress clothes, there was some random outfits came out of that box, luckily me and Gk got sheets and made ourselves some very stylish togas!! Two of the crew led the party Games, Shane from Athlone and some Canadian dude, all I can say is Messy Messy messy, we were having rowing races, dance offs, lap dances, and all sorts of other crazy games untill we eventually got the king and queen of the clipper, both Irish of course. Me and Hannah were very annoyed when we were put out and told Shane we demanded a judges enquiry needless to say it did not work!!! The rest of the night was just drinking and a few more party games, untill sally-ann decided she was hungry and we should raid the galley, we found some bread and the butter but couldn't find the toaster for anything so sally-ann decided to go look for something to make sandwhiches when the Canadian deck hand caught her coming out of the galley with a lunchbox full of ham and took it all of her! Meanwhile me and Grainne were scattering and pretending we weren't involved.

The next day was our last day on the clipper and it was a bright and early 6.30 start again not fun when your hungover but we pulled ourselves together and we all went snorkelling. Hannah nearly killed us all when she got her snorkel and mask stuck in her hair she was screaming at us to help get it out but sure I was laughing so hard I nearly drowned!! After snorkelling for about an hour we headed back to the boat for more sliding and jumping and messing around and then some sunbathing before heading back to Airlie beach. I got my second Random sunburn of the trip, half my back and random bits on my legs but its not too bad.

Back in Airlie beach all the girls had got a room in Nomads hostel together, we went and got a free didgeridoo lesson which funny does not even cover, but I can make noise with it now so that's good!! That night it was time for the clipper after party in Phoenix bar, we all drank in the room and then hit phoenix for free pizza and half price cocktails and jagerbombs and all sorts of messiness but it was was still kinda early so a load of us headed back to the room for more drinking games, we took Mark the Scottish boy (who was wearing a kilt out) and a few other randomers back with us and Leah decided we should all try on Mark's kilt, then it was back out on the town for more drinks the two Irish lads won a $200 bar tab so the drinks where flying around, the night ended with Gk taking a midnight swim in the hostel pool fully clothed so obviously a great nite!

Next adventure is Fraser Island to visit the dingos and do some four wheel driving!!

Ps photos are taking too long to upload so look on Fb for them!!

Posted by AnneMc 06.09.2012 05:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Beginning the east coast adventure!!

Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef, White water rafting on the Tully river, Rainforest trip to Cape Tribulation

sunny 30 °C

The most exciting month of my time in Australia has finally arrived roll on the fun and messiness!!

We flew up to cairns from Sydney thinking we would get straight to the good weather but it did not quite work out like that its lovely and warm up here but its been a little overcast the first few days!

So main events so far, we headed out our first nite loaded up with goon (For anyone that doesn't know that's really cheap boxes of wine which get you very drunk!!) we just started drinking in the room with the french boys already in our room! Lovely lads but as they got drunker they tend to talk in French more which is slightly unnerving as I speak little or no french, (If I needed to ask where the swimming pool was I could manage but after that I'd be lost!! Lol) Luckily Gk speaks some and when Matt told me he 'Loved me alot' in french thinking I would not know what he said Gk was able to translate for me! To say he was shocked is an understatement I think they'll be more careful what they say in front of us from now on!!lol Great nite craic in the Wool shed where you are allowed to dance on the tables.

First Trip of the coast - The Great Barrier Reef

I have wanted to dive on the great barrier reef for pretty much as long as I can remember so this was going to be the most amazing day ever!! And I was totally Syked for using my new underwater camera!!
We set off on the Ocean freedom at about 8am and arrived at the dive spot about an hour later. Unfortunately no one had told Gk she would need a medical before diving because of her asthma so she was not allowed to dive and spent the day snorkeling! She'll get that all sorted before the Whit Sundays though!!
So I had my brief and jumped in the water, and kinda totally freaked out it was only then that I realised I had not dived at all since I learned in December so when I went down a little freaked out an thought I was not gonna be able to do it!! Until the lovely Federico asked if I was ok and helped me descend, once I was down under the waves it all came back to me and I was a lot calmer!! It was an amazing dive we got to see a sting ray, Nemo, lots of cool fish and the thing I wanted to see most a sea turtle!! Unbelievable!! Just chilling out in the coral!! and possibly the best bit I had my camera so I have photos!! Unfortunately because of my little freak attack earlier my oxygen ran out the fastest and I had to ascend first but had a completely awesome dive!!

After lunch we moved to a second site Upollo Cay which was a totally random sandy beach in the middle of the reef so we jumped on the glass bottomed boat and headed over to get some photos. Then we headed back to our boat to do some snorkeling at one of the top 10 snorkeling sites in the Great Barrier Reef. We seen Nemo again and one of the guides dived down and picked up a sea cucumber for us!! The day I had been looking forward to since coming to Australia did not disappoint best day in Oz yet!!

Thursday we spent at the lagoon a man made beach/pool right beside the sea because your not allowed to swim in the sea because of salt water crocodiles and jellyfish! This place is really nice and just lying around sunbathing made us feel like we were on proper holidays. It though so plenty of trips into the water and tons of suncream for me.

Friday we went white water rafting on the Tully river we went for the extreme option which basically means jumping off lots of rocks, swimming down rapids and waterfalls, and generally just taking the more extreme option at each rapid! It was a great day we had the young boat, there were two girls from new york a guy from scotland, GK, me and our guide Mauricio and because our boat was up for everything the river could throw at us Mauricio made sure we had a really good trip towards the end he was flipping our boat over in the rapids without even warning us first! Poor Paul and Mauricio though stuck with a boat full of girls hysterically laughing every time someone nearly fell out, to the point that Mauricio had to remind us to pull Dana back into the boat! And you will all be pleased I learned some new random information on my trip 1 goon is the aboriginal word for pillow and dragon flies spend the first two years of their lives under water! We also met Louise from Galway on our rafting trip so of course we took her out with us that nite and ended up on a pub crawl sold to us by a boy from Longford!! Crazy nite which ended shortly after Louise getting shouted at by a bouncer for giving her key card to a Scottish boy to try and get him into our hostels bar!

So after about 4hrs sleep we were up again and getting on a bus for our Cape Tribulation, rainforest tour. We set of north towards Port Douglas and our guide was very good telling us lots of random information about everything we seen so of course I loved it. Including telling us about this great Australian bird the cassowary which is between 5.5 and 6 feet tall, can get very aggressive and have been known to kill people if provoked or it you get between them and the chicks but we were on a bus with a guide so we were all looking out for them and really wanted to see them. Our first stop was the Daintree river cruise to look for Crocs and we seen six of them from tiny ones to one which the boat man thought was around 5.5 meters.
We went for a guided walk through the rainforest and mangroves and then got dropped of at our hostel in PK's jungle. We had the rest of the day so we decided to go for a walk to a swimming hole but of course me being me I decided we should go on the long one an 16km round trip to find a 'spectacular' swimming hole in the middle of the rainforest! Of course no one told us before we set of that it all but dries up in the dry season and when we arrived it was really more of a stream!! Worst of all though as we were trekking through the rainforest on our own we seen some cassowary poo on the track to the swimming hole so of course we both started freaking out and praying we wouldn't come across one in the middle of the rain forest on our own miles from the hostel, and Gk was convinced there was something behind us at one stage big enough to break branches!! Needless to say we were very glad to get back to the road!! We also decided to trek down to Emmagen beach which is only accessible through the Rainforest and was totally secluded this actually was worth the 16km.

The next day we walked down the beach to Cape Tribulation beach and lookout and spent the morning on the beach before the bus came and picked us up again to continue our tour. We headed to Walu Wugirriga which means look about, and then we met an aboriginal who talked to us about his culture and native plants and things. We rounded off the day in Mossman gorge and went swimming in a fantastic swimming hole with a water fall and we jumped off rocks into the river. The best bit was we only had to walk 5min from the bus to get to it!!

Then it was back to Cairns and the bus on Monday to Airlie Beach which is where I am now about to board the Atlantic clipper for three days!

But that's for the next blog!!

P.S. soory there's no photos with this blog I can't upload them from this computer but have a look at my Cairns album on Fb they're all on there!

Posted by AnneMc 27.08.2012 18:09 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Tubing in the Vang Vieng - Mental Week

sunny

Well we left for Vang Vieng, via a bus and met some nice English girls on the bus we, ended up staying in the same hostel as them. This town reminds me of some really weird country and western there's one main street with a dusty old road and it seems really lively so first impressions are good. When we were all checked in me and Louise went for a look around and to see about getting tubes the next day. We went for dinner and a few buckets and were sitting with the English girls when we met a group of lads from Austrailia, Nick, Adam and Sam and we ended up going to Q Bar with them because apparently that's the only place to go!! We also met up with Jack a lad from Liverpool we had met in chaing mai so all in all good first night. Q Bar is basically just a garrage or something with graffiti on the walls an a pool table but its where everyone goes after tubing so its pretty cool. On our way home we met two lads who worked in Star bar down at the river and they were explaining all about tubing, they told us not to get tubes that most people just swim it and that louise could even walk it if she wanted. They also told us not to go down before 1pm because it would be quiet before then and they didn't even go to work till 1pm.

Our First day tubing!!! :)
We were looking for a Tuk tuk to take us to the tubing start but could find one to take us for cheap enough because there was only two of us, that when we ran into Martyn and he said they were going up shortly we could get with them, so we sat waiting and chatting with him and met Ross and Stewart, all really nice guys, and they weren't getting tubes either so it worked out great. So we got to the start of tubing and the first thing you hear is the good music and then you have to walk over this wooden bridge to the first Bar, we started on the buckets straight away (in hindsight this was a mistake but travelling is all about making mistakes!!) The bars are all just really good craic they play beer pong everywhere, there was a game of musical tubes, (the same as musical chairs but with tubes), and the music is pumping!!! When we got to the second bar, Star bar we met the boys from the night before. They have stensils here and just randomly spray stuff all over your body with spray paint, not body paint or wash off paint but actual spray paint you would use to graffiti a wall. (very hard to get off!!!) Here we met Reese from Monaghan who recognised Louise's UUJ shorts. We stayed in star bar till everyone else had moved on and it was us and the bar staff so we decided it was time to walk on round to the 3rd bar. This is where it all starts to get a bit hazy for me I remember the bar, I remember dancing I remember seeing martyn and Ross who we had got a tuk tuk with and I vaguely remember getting a tuk tuk home with them. From here Apparently I just walked home and fell asleep while louise was in the shower and then would not get up to get ready or go out, so she went on out on her own and had a great nite with the lads from earlier.
When she was coming back in at about 12, cos she was loaded too, I woke up an was like oh is it time to go for dinner!!!lol No Anne Bed!!!
vang vieng,laos 017

vang vieng,laos 017

vang vieng,laos 003

vang vieng,laos 003

vang vieng,laos 005

vang vieng,laos 005

The next morning we went for breakfast and seen the English lads, Ross just looked at me and laughed then he stood in front of me hands by his sides and said 'I am WROTE off!!!' apparently this was all he could get out of me the night before!!! I had to laugh though because it does sound like something I would say!!lol He and louise had arranged for her to cut his hair this morning so we went up to their room and Louise cut his and Martyn's hair in exchange for a bucket. I did wonder if someone round Vang Vieng would let me give them drugs and pay me but then I'd probably get arrested so I decided against it!!lol
So we headed off tubing with the English boys again, and had another mental day, although I did start on the beer today as no one wanted a repeat of yesterday!!

So on the Wednesday yes you guessed it we went tubing again, stayed with the English boys most of the day today, played beer pong, watched as Chris the huge Canadian guy who used to play american football tackled Marytn to the ground from behind a tree on the way back from the toilets. I also did the huge jump into the river today with Stewart because I had been too afraid to go up on my own before, its class you actually have time to think 'shit I still haven't hit the water!!' and we did a really cool swing which louise has a video of and I must get on Fb. When we got back to town we met the Haugheys for dinner and started on the buckets, then headed to Q Bar to meet the rest of the lads and had a fantastic nite, it was great to meet up with the Haugheys, really nice to see people from home. So we just basically partied all nite long in Q bar dancing and having the craic, I meet a guy who looked like stiffler out of american pie but he was from France. When Q Bar was over we headed to a 'Jungle Rave' well it was not in the jungle it was like someones garden but we still had good craic an drank the bit out and danced the night away. The Haughey's were supposed to be coming to the 'jungle rave too but got in the wrong tuk tuk and ended up somewhere else.lol

tubing 009

tubing 009

tubing 026

tubing 026

310610_10150972482845648_767715647_21891892_277305287_n

310610_10150972482845648_767715647_21891892_277305287_n

320567_10150972490395648_767715647_21891908_1111625367_n

320567_10150972490395648_767715647_21891908_1111625367_n

384952_10150972500790648_767715647_21891971_853042974_n

384952_10150972500790648_767715647_21891971_853042974_n

So Thursday was the Haugheys first day on the river and the English boys last, well we had some craic, jumping in an dancing and generally being drunken fools it was great to have such a big group of us all together. We also met Mary from Venezuela who is possibly the coolest person we have met to date, we had some craic scouting for boys together, as you can imagine this was hilarious!!

tubing 071

tubing 071


tubing 098

tubing 098

So Friday - we eventually got round to getting actual tubes today with the Haughey boys and it was great craic so gald we did it one day but one day was plently as you have to get them back to town for 6pm whereas normally we were just warming up!!lol but we were able to go on down the river with the tubes to more slides, a zip line, and a blob - which is where one person jumps on and shimmy's to the end then the second jumps on to it and the first person is catapulted into the air very fun!!(for those of you who know its like the blob at Mimi's in Mobile) Chris nearly killed himself on the giant slide, because he tried to run down it?? Apparently to 'get more speed up' any way he nearly died but it was really funny!! The boys also nearly died doing the zip wire chris tried to do a back flip an hit the water really bad it was scary till he surfaced again then we were all in fits of laughter!! That night we all went out for food together and I got food poisoning about half a hour later!!! I think this was a sign that it was time to leave Vang Vieng.

Our last day tubing, well I still wasn't feeling great from being up all night with food poisoning so stuck to the water most of the day but still managed to have a great day and met loadsa new people. That night we went to Qbar again as usual to say goodbye to everyone as we were leaving in the morning. Ended up having a great night, met up with Mary from Valenzuela again and went to sunset bar, a bar which is across the river on an Island and there's hardly any lights apart from a bonfire.

Leaving Vang Vieng - Well in the end we were both pretty ready to leave, it was time to move on and see something new so we hopped on our bus to Vietienne, this bus journey was grand until we got dropped off on the side of the street in Vietienne and none of us knew what was goin on but about 40mins later a tuk tuk came and collected us and brought us to the train station, getting out of laos and back into thailand was alot easier than our first crossing, and a lot less stressful!! So we got into our sleeper train which when you get on there are normal seats but later in the evening the man comes and turns then into beds, Louise and I had booked the top bunks so we climbed up and slept most of the way to Bangkok, we definitely prefer the train to the bus!! We arrived in Bangkok around 9am having left Vang Vieng at 10am the morning before, and headed to koshan rd to search out a hostel.

Bangkok - We got a hostel right on Koshan Rd, and went exploring, this place is backpacker central of Bangkok and you could literally buy anything here, its constantly busy, and the tuk tuk men are the most annoying people in the whole world!!! You cannot walk two steps without hearing 'tuk tuk where you go?? I take you see palace!' No thanks if I wanted a tuk tuk I'd ask for one leave me alone!!! While in Bangkok we went to the MBK centre which is a huge 6 or 7 story shopping centre, where again you could but literally buy anything. We went in search of new cameras as the river in Vang Vieng had taken both of ours!!! Which was not a problem as there is a whole floor of electrical shops.

The next day we went down the river on a boat, it was really nice to get away from the Koshan Rd and all the mentalness, we walked to the river and were looking at how high it still is because of all the flooding, when I nearly slipped on the green gunge left behind by it, and just as I was laughing at my lucky escape, a French woman fell and was crying hysterically, I tried to see if she was ok (What with my first aid and all, but really I was praying I wouldn't have to do anything!!!) She did not understand me and kept talking to her husband in French then she pulled up her trouser leg to show him her knee which was definitely broken as it went in instead of out, anyway the ambulance was called and I didn't have to use my first aid thank god!!
So we headed on down the river on a boat to see a bit more of the city. It looks amazing and I think I realised I don't much like the Koshan Rd or really Bangkok at all as a Backpacker but I would love to come back as a tourist and stay in one of the fancy down-town hotels, get massages (that aren't a ploy for prostitutes) and basically shop till I drop, then I think I would like Bangkok a whole lot more!! So my next time list begins already!!

The next day we set off for the Airport to fly to Kuala Lumpur to get another 30day visa, and we managed to get the whole way across Bangkok by public transport, bus then sky-train, then train, we were very proud of ourselves because we saved around 150 bhat each which admittedly is only £3 but that's dinner over here and then some!!

Kuala Lumpur will be the start of the next blog because this one is pretty long and I promise I won't leave it so long till the next entry!!

Till next time

Anne x

Posted by AnneMc 04.12.2011 08:46 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

The next Chapter

Lizards and Laos

sunny 30 °C

Well I thought I'd better write some more of this down before I forget something.

We had a lazy day and we booked our bus to laung Parbang, we decided to stop off here for a few days before heading on to Vang Vieng, because we heard it was really good and also because it would cut down the travel time.
I also had to buy a new camera as mine was taking fuzzy photos so we got directions to Panthip plaza, which is like a shopping centre but only for computers an digital cameras an stuff like that in the end which was a long time later I got a pink sony cyber shot for about £45. A new camera was an added expense I could have been doing without but I couldn't have done without a camera plus it was a bit of a bargin when thought I'd have to pay double. We then went to the markets and went to an Irish bar for food were we found baked potatoes on the menu the relief of potatoes was amazing after all the bad food just to be able to have potato an butter!!lol
We then headed home to pack for our long bus journey, we were just chilling out before we got started when I saw something move in the top corner of the room, a lizard!!! We were both freaking out and tried to scare it away by shouting at it and it ran back through a hole in the very corner of the room we didn't even know was there!! Two minutes later when the little frigger was back again and Louise decided she couldn't sleep with it in the room so went to ask the boy at reception to come get rid of it!!! Well his English wasn't very good and when she was trying to tell him what it was (by basically just saying lizard louder and slower!lol) she started to look in a cupboard for something!!! then he said I can't find you look, still don't know what he thought she had said but it was obvious we were on our own with the lizard! So I started to bang th plastic chair which was in our room off the wall to chase it out again but the lizard was getting brave now and kept coming straight back in. I went out side to see if anyone else could help us and two English boys from down the hall were sitting out on the balcony, probably came out to laugh at us banging and screaming!! Anyway we got one of them to chase it out and stand on the chair to block the hole with a plastic bag so it couldn't come in again!! So panic over we were like so, we're Anne and louise thanks for saving us from the lizard!!! They were really nice lads an we stood tlking to them till about half two or three when we eventually decided we better do some packing as the bus was coming at 9am and our room looked like a bomb site!!

The Bus Journey

At about half nine a mini bus turned up for us, it was clean, it was air conditioned, there was plenty of leg room, and we were thinking this is grand we can do this. So we set off and got talking to the boy next to me who was from Dublin and was travelling around Asia on his own and had been there about a month already, so he had us in fits of laughter about things that had happened to him so far and also gave us loads of advice on what to do and not do in the places he had been. So this bus journey was shaping up ok we stopped for lunch in a nice enough place, we stopped at the white temple which was amazing, but me an louise were both wearing shorts so when we went to go in a man handed us a white sheet thing, as we were told be a travel agent earlier we had to cover our shoulders in temples I wrapped it around my shoulders and went to head on, but the little Thai man, started laughing and continued to dress me and put it on me properly, around my waist to cover my legs.... very funny.
The White temple

The White temple

So we continued on to the the border were we were basically kicked out off our nice bus and told to go to emigration and then cross the river into laos, well what a handle-in we did't really know how much the visa would be but then some American dude said it was cheaper in us dollars an we all really didn't really know what was going on an we were all carrying our rucksacks and everything. We managed to depart thailand fine in the end and walked down to the river were we loaded all our stuff into this wooden boat and set off across the Me Kong river two minutes later at the other side we entered laos and had to try to get our visas, I was searching in my big bag because my dollars were in there, couldn't find them so had to pay in bhat but Louise didn't have enough, it was all a scrambling match, with no one knowing wat was going on and we were all probably getting ripped off because we were all tourists!
The boat to Laos

The boat to Laos

Again we made it through thought that was the worst of it over but oh no, we had to get on a different bus, a coach which was jam packed with seats so there was hardly room to get in the seats and we were separated from the rest of the backpackers as our seat numbers were at the frount of the bus surrounded by thais, that didn't bother me too much, but then there was a man in my seat who was just trying to steal it because it was beside the window and he wanted me to sit beside his wife, I don't think so. In the end we got it sorted and me an louise we sitting together. So this bus was ok a bit of a funny smell, not much leg room but ok, so we set off. The driver started blaring thai music I mean I could hardly read it was so loud, then when it got dark there were no lights and it gets dark over here about 6pm, so were sitting in the dark and the rude man from earlier who tried to steal my seat was now sittin in front of me and reclined his seat back fully and squashed my legs, like I really couldn't move them. A few hours into this journey we stopped for food at basically the side of the road a few people got food which looked awful so we bought crisps and went in search of a toilet, it was one of those eastern ones basically holes in the ground with a bucket of water and a scoop to flush, obviously minging. But with still another 8hrs on the bus it had to be done, and as we were leaving a wee thai women jumped out an said 20,000kip, we didn't even have kipp yet so had to pay in thai bhat probably got ripped off again!!! and then it was back on the bus. The roads we were traveling on were awful, bumpy an we were going up and down mountains with sheer drops at one side i'm glad it was dark so I couldn't see the worst of it. All of a sudden we came along a lorry over turned on the road no idea wat happened but we just sqeezed past which put us even closer to the edge and carried on, so the bus journey is pretty bad at the minute cramped the smell is getting worse the roads are terrible and we just seen an over turned lorry, now our bus starts making funny noises and the driver has to pull over, we were pulled over for about an hour and one the the boys found out there was a problem with the air breaks, great just what we needed going up and down mountain roads. The driver eventually managed to fix it somehow an we where on the road again with just the odd funny noise along the way. Ok this is turning into a small book so basically I think that's all the major events on the bus we arrived in laung Parbang in the end at 8am 22hrs after we had set off and now had to make our way into town and find our hostel an easy task after what we had just managed to live through.

In laung parbang that day we sorted out a trip for the next day, to go biking and kyaking to a water fall, our bus to Vang Vieng and then we got a tuk tuk to another waterfall for a swim! It was really good with a rope swing an a really big pool but there was fish in the pool that tried to eat your feet, didn't really like that. We walked on up the river to the huge waterfall part we're your not allowed to swim and took photos. That night we went out to the night markets and found a side street full of food it was 10,000kip (less than £1)for a plate and you could pick what you wanted from a buffet. This is the first place we've got nice Thai food, and it was great.
049

049


054

054

The next day we had to be at the travel office at 9am to collect our bikes and meet our guide, we cycled for around 2hours, there was amazing scenery and our guide was lovely he kept telling us we were very lucky we had 'long wings and were able to fly all over the world' kinda felt bad for him when he said he'd never left Laung Parbang, but he was a lovely man and we had great craic with him. Next we had to kayak for 5mins to the water fall well at our rate of going it was more like 15mins but we got there anyway and this waterfall was by far the best so far. You could climb up the waterfall to different pools and there was a rope swing just a really cool place. We spent ages here and gave our guide the cameras so we have some really cool pictures. Lunch was included in our trip but it was noodle soup and wasn't that nice so we picked out some of the noodles and had bananas. We still had the rest of the river to kayak so we set off again, but because this part of the river was quiet it was really hard work and we were not very good, what should have taken us 2hours took us nearly 4 and I'm sure our guide was ready to just leave us there we kept asking are we half way yet?, is it much further?, how much longer? are we nearly there yet?lol but it was really hard work and way too far for beginners to kayak. Right before the end we had to go through some rapids and he was in his own boat an we were in a two man kayak he kept saying 'you must follow me rapids are danger' well he was right it was really hard to follow him and I was supposed to be steering it didn't help when I was telling Louise to row right but I meant left!! It was very scary and then we went in the wrong direction and ended up over at the bank and I nearly got decapitated by a branch and Louise was all for getting out but we had to keep going and we managed the rest of it ok even though it was very stressful.

055

055

097

097

I'll do another blog with vang vieng and the tubing soon

Posted by AnneMc 22.11.2011 22:08 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

The Beginning

Bangkok to Chaing mai

sunny 30 °C

Well this is the start of my blog and what we've been up to since we left four days ago!!
Our flights and everything went grand, but 11 hours from london to bangkok is a long time especially when louise sleeps like a baby for most of it and I only manage about an hour ish when added all together. Needless to say I was shattered so when we landed in bangkok at 4pm Sunday so we decided to get a room rather than stay in the airport till 6 the next morning for our flight to Chaing mai to avoid the flood. After alot of searching and phone calls and broken English, we got a room for that night and they sent a car to pick us up. Panic started to sink in when he turned down a dark dingy street which looked like only locals would live on. But then just as we were preparing to make a run for it we came to the end of the street and the paragon complex opened up in front of us. We saw a lot of sand bags and a small flood near the hotel but hotel was dry and looked amazing well worth it. Our first night in Thailand we had a few drinks with dinner by the pool and headed to bed so we could get up at half four to go back to the airport.

Monday - We had breakfast in the airport and flew up to chaing mai, we were at our hostel at half nine and we just dumped our bags and headed exploring!! Later that day we went to tiger kingdom, our hostel was supposed to organise a tuk tuk for us but when we came down ready to go the lady said 'tuk tuk busy my nephew take you' this boy looked barly able to drive but we headed off anyway. Along the way we seen hundreds of mopeds some drivers wearing helmets some not but the worst we seen was a driver wearing a helmet with what I presume was his wife behind him and a little boy about two standing in between them holding on to the drivers shoulders no child restraints here!!! In Tiger Kigdom you can pet real tigers and get photos taken, the price depends on the size of tiger you want to see so we chose the smallest and the biggest. The big tigers were a bit scary at first, I didn't stroke him hard enough, he thought I was a pesky fly and swatted me with his tail, needless to say I jumped out of my skin when he moved an inch. All the men laughed at me. The trainer we were with wasn't that nice and rushed us through the big tigers so we didn't get all the photos we would have liked but the smallest tigers more than made up for that. The babies ranged from 1-2mths old and were adorable. The trainer was really nice too and was giving us ideas on how to pose with them. Well worth the visit.
027.jpg
032

032

That night we decided to hit Chaing mai in style, it was a slow start with dinner drinks, and a spot of shopping at the night markets but then we went into a bar near our hotel, met two guys from Switzerland Samuel and Manwell and ended up still drinking and playing pool till 4am. There was a wee thai boy who was beating everyone so we got chatting to him his name was Jab and he was only 15 an still playing pool with us till 4am.lol

Tuesday- This morning my alarm went off at 7am and I could have cried!! But we got up and got ready for our one day trek and activities, I went out and got us breakfast and water and then we were on our way. (feeling a little worse for wear during the bus ride) About 30mins into the drive the bus started to sound a bit sick and the driver pulled over and we all had to get out and wait for another bus to come for us, then he said it was ok and we all got back on the bus only for it to stop again and this time we really did have to wait for the another bus at the side of the road. Also on our tour was an older couple from England, a young couple from Australia, a couple from Germany, and two men on their own.
When we arrived we went straight to the elephant trekking through the jungle, it was amazing, their trunks are really weird close up when they are searching you for bananas.lol Me and Louise had an elephant called 'me - mu' she was lovely and not lazy like the german boys elephant who refused to move because they had not bought him any bananas!!
Half way through the ride the guide asked if we wanted to sit on the elephants head behind him, of course I jumped at the chance and as soon as I was in position the guide jumped off and said 'ok I see you later now'! An elephant stampede with me and Louise on its back flashed through my mind but me-mu was grand and I actually think the guide just wanted off to roll a cigarette, but he took some really good photos of us.
Elephant Trekking

Elephant Trekking

We then stopped for lunch which was fried rice and pineappple for desert, nothing to write home about, the same as the rest of the food so far. After lunch we started our trek into the jungle by this time it was 12.30 and really starting to hot up, but we made it all the way to the waterfall at the trek and were able to swim and take photos in the water. This was my favourite part of chaing mai so far!
Louise however has a fear of water so thought she was gonna die!!lol Especially when I stepped of a rock and the water was up to my neck but we got her all the way under the waterfall and she was so glad she did it. We then had to trek all the way back down and on to our white water rafting start point.
Waterfall after our trek

Waterfall after our trek

120

120

The white water rafting was really good but because the rainy season is over and all the water is now in bangkok the river was only grade two whereas its normally a 4-5. But it was still really good. louise was a bit scared again (actually this is a bit of an understatement especially when she realised you had to sit on the edge of the boat) but after the first rapid she relaxed and really enjoyed it. Our guide was hillarious his english was quite bad but he kept saying things like In dis river we have croadile, we have paranna, we have great white shark, we have nemo and we also hav captain jack sparrow and then he would pour water down your back or splash you and sayOh it was nemo, nemo why you splash her he also kept saying Today my first time on river I cannot swim when we have the accident save me first I cannot swim then shouting WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE right before hitting a rapid. (everything in italics should be read in a funny thai voice!lol) He was great entertainment and we had a great trip. At the end we changed onto traditional bamboo rafts in the calmer water but as the guide called them bamboo submarines!! when you sit on them the still float but just under the water, we had a rather larger lady on our raft on ours so it was about a foot under water!!lol Louise was more scared of the bamboo raft that the white water rafting.!!lol

Last night we had the worst food ever!! They keep having western food on the menu so you imagine what it would be like if you got it at home then it comes out and its nothing like what they said it would be. Lesson learnt - stick to Thai food at least they can kind of cook that. Louise is struggling more with the food than me!! You know me it takes a lot to put me off my food.lol
Then we headed in search of a Reggie bar we heard was good, it took us about an hour to find but in the end was well worth it, the owner, David, who was wearing pink skinny jeans,lol kept trying to get us up to dance but was really nice and we met some boys from Liverpool who are going to Laos next too and its jacks birthday on Monday so we're all gonna meet up in vang vieng and go tubing.

Today is our lazy day - before we head to vang vieng tomorrow we have to get a bus and its gonna take a day and a half so I'll let you know how that one goes when/if we get there!!lol

Until next time

Anne x

Posted by AnneMc 15.11.2011 22:31 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 5) Page [1]