Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Late again!

Well Hi to all

I am a little late in updating my blog a mix of having no time to go to the Internet, poor if no internet connection and a felling of 'can't be bovered'.

Well anyhow I have been up to quite a bit over the last week or so. I have been in 3 countries since!

Laos and the 4000 islands.

Well first off let talk about Pakxe, a rubbish transit town that I was stuck in for 2 days. Its pretty much the point to stop off if you want to go trekking or get down to the Sii Pan Don (islands in the Mekong river). Trekking was pretty high on my list of things that I wanted to do but not for $165 for two days! I went to the tourist office to enquire and it was just to expensive for me to even consider doing a trek. As a compromise i decided to rent a moto from my hotel and spend the day driving around the Bolaven Plataux, the coffee growing region of Laos. It was pretty interesting beautiful country and some awesome waterfalls! I did manage to fry my arms and fall off the moto on a particularly tricky piece of road. Luckily I was going so slow that no damage was done to either myself or the moto!

After spending the day around the Bolaven Plataux I headed down south to make my way across to Sii Pan Don or the 4000 islands. This was a nice retreat for a couple of days. I pretty much spent all of my time either in a hammock reading or cycling around the small islands. I also went to go see the biggest, by volume, waterfall in Asia! It sounds impressive but its not really, just looks like any old waterfall!

It was also on these islands that I split from travelling with Tom and Nicole to become another lone traveller. They wanted to get on to Phnom Penh before I did + I fancied another day on the island of nothing!


SO afterwards I headed south to Phnom Penh for the mere sum of $23, a complete rip off but they know that you have no other options! I was cramped for most of the journey and at one point did not actually have a seat to myself. We had to change the bus 3 times!

Once in Phnom Penh the usual 'I have tuk tuk but only my place no other' men appeared everywhere. I ended up just getting in one of these with a French guy called Alban and a South Korean called Yousung. The first night was a laugh ended, of course, in a few beers in one of the cheap backpacker bars. The following day was spent seeing the Khmer Rouge sites in Phnom Penh... the Killing Fields at Cheoung Ek and Tsol Stueng Museum (S-21 prison) rather depressing places and to think that it happened only 30 years ago. They pretty much massacred any one they thought opposed their reign of power; this included small children, women and babies, sick.

Anyhow on to least depressing adventures. This day was followed by another night in the local bars before having to rise at a stupid time in the morning for a bus to Siem Reap. Off to see the temples of Angkor Wat and wat an impressive sight they were. [did you get that one, oh god cheesey humour is not good for the soul] We managed to get a free tuk tuk from the bus station to our hotel because the driver thought he was going to be taking us (the Korean guy and I) around the temples for the next two days; he however gave us a stupid price so we sought other transport with the assumption that we would not see him again, and of course we did see him again!

Angkor Wat is a pretty Impressive place but extremely expensive to see, about $57 for two days driving around all of the temples. It is however a necessity if you are coming to this part of the world. Angkor Wat is pretty impressive just for the pure fact that it is the largest religious building in the world, those Khmers certainly know how to build with elegance and style! The carvings on the rocks are just amazing seeing as they are nearly 1000 years old. For atmosphere however there are other temples which are far better just for the pure fact that there are far fewer tourists around; namely Ta Prom or more commonly known as the Tomb Rader Temple. This temple is by far the coolest out of all of the ones at Angkor Wat, its in the middle of a forest and the forest has decided to take over all of the buildings in style draping themselves over 1000 year old buildings... impressive!

Our driver for the two days was a guy called Rath, pronounced Rot! He was a legend really nice guy full of useful information. He had a pretty hard upbringing as he has no parents and spent his formative years being a monk in one of the local temples withing Phnom Penh. At the age of 18 he left the temple in search of work eventually ending up in Siem Reap driving tourists like me around. He earns very little but still wants to give someting back to the kids of Cambodia. He offers ever tourist a free tuk tuk to the local children's hospital for a concert held by this Swiss guy trying to raise money for several children's hospitals throughout Cambodia. I went to one of these and it was a thoroughly enjoyable event, made me feel good.

Bangkok part 2.

After a long and boring bus ride from Siem Reap to Bangkok I ended up sharing a room for the night with an English guy called Shaun and an Italian/ German/ Swedish guy and what a night we had. We thought it would be a good idea to bar crawly Kho Sanh Road. Great ideal at the time I really enjoyed it as it was a random event but boy did I ever regret it the next day! I had to be up at 6 to get the bus to the airport in time for my flight to Kuala Lumpur, I felt haggard.

Kuala Lumpur and my weird arse flight.

So there I was sitting quite happily reading my book waiting for the plane when this German guy sits next to me and starts talking, for ever. I found out that he worked for Interpol in Thailand, had visited most of the worlds war zones, supposedly set up the governmental aid scheme for Tsunami victims in 2004 and wait has the best idea in the world. He thinks that building a load of towers throughout America and the world dedicated to charity is going to work. He also informed me that he had an invitation to meet Barak Obama, Valadimir Putin, the Jap Prime Minister among others to explain his idea. Weird. He also insisted that I wear a surgical mask on the plane because of the influenza scare. Interesting.

Well Kuala Lumpur is an Awesome City. I have spent the day today just walking around all of the sights. Seeing some of the old colonial British buildings and of course the Petronas towers. The towers are amazing they completely dominate the skyline both at day and night! I also went up to the sky bridge to look at the sights all around this was an amazing experience and also a really scary one! It was scary because the bridge is at the height of the bungee jump that I want to do in NZ, whoooaaaa it is high! I think I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it!

Well anyhow I have been jabbering on for far too long now, off to the Perhentian islands tonight on a bus then Singapore.

Adios till next time.


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