Monday, February 19, 2007

Ko Phi Phi, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi

We got accomodation in Ko Phi Phi in the end for about 1000 bat which wasn't too bad but very expensive by thai standards about 20 euros. This island was hit badly by the tsunami. Was a very nice spot and we headed on a cruise to monkey island followed by maya beach (where the beach was filmed and as a matter of interest universal studios destroyed the beach and there's currently a lawsuit out against them). Maya beach was particularly beautiful and we had to snorkel in and then walk in through a cave to get to the beach. Was fantastic. I'll post photos when I get a chance. We left the following day to get the ferry to Phuket but before we headed a small fire started on the strip running along the beach towards the pier. We actually had to go the long way round as all the area around there was blocked off. What started as a small fire turned into a blaze with 5 shops destroyed before they eventually brought the fire under control. If another disaster was to happen I don't think they'd be any better able to cope.

After all this drama we headed onto Phuket town which was lovely. It was alot more laid back here than it was in the islands. I thought it was lovely. Went down to the port for a bit of grub (by motorbike with myself and Caroline on the back, bit of a squeeze) and headed to the Irish pub to watch the egg chasing against France. Hill 16 looked a bit quiet.

The following day I headed for Kuala Lumpur for a lad from work, David McHugos wedding. The hotel we checked into was lovely. Strange to have a tv in the room. Did nothing much the first night bar a bit of boozing. I'd say before this our only heavy nights were with Irish people. You take it handy but whenever you meet Irish people you revert back to type.

The wedding was the following day. We had a lovely water park attached to the hotel and we headed there for an hour before the wedding. We were like children on the slides. The wedding ceremony was very much like home but they had this tea ceremony afterwards. First the bride and groom give tea to all the elders and they in turn receive tea from all their juniors. The afters was a quiet enough affair as everyone was zonked from the humidity. We managed to dance the siege of ennis though.

The next day we headed off to the Tioman islands. It was a resort but it was fairly remote but very nice. Didn't get up to a whole lot here. There was alot of swimming and snorkelling. The snorkelling was good as the Coral was only 100 metres off the coast. I also saw fish called needlefish who are a shorter version of swordfish and a shark but I think I frightened him off. We were here for 3 days in total.

Then we were off to Singapore. Nice looking city but it's fairly dull. I don't even regard it as a real country. It's only founded for mainly economic reasons. We had a chinese dinner for the new year on Clarke Quay. The starter for this consists of noodles with raw fish and it's considered good luck the higher you can lift your noodles with the chopsticks. The chinese new year was absolutely dire here though. It came and passed and we hardly knew it had passed midnight. Big Anti Climax. The next day I only went to a POW museum so I didn't see a whole lot. Interesting though.

We were off back to Kuala Lumpur then en route to Hanoi. One more night of 5 star before we got back to the backpacker lifestyle. We arrived in Hanoi yesterday and I have to say it's a very chaotic city almost scary at the start. The cars and motorbikes beep at each other all the time. Crossing the road is like a game of chicken. Step out on the road and let the motorbikes drive around you. The city is very French colonial looking. An experience to see the city but the nerves are a bit shot to bits at this stage. Off to Halong bay tomorrow so hopefully I'll get back to full health.

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