Sparky and The Hamster
Travels in South East Asia
By: Marc and Hannah

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Wednesday, 2-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Recent events

Helo all! So I have ben very busy recently...felling quite tired actually (I thought this was a holiday) which is probably due to the late, bozy nights we've been having.

Can't remember where I got to last....We are still near Krabi. This is a fantastic place. In fact I haven't spent enough time here and could quite easily return another time for more. The coastline is amazingly beautiful. The beaches are superb and we have been exploring around and found some fantastic places to while away the days. We took a boat to Phi Phi yesterday and I followed in Leonardo's footsteps along "The Beach". It was pretty dirty actually! Sort of like a toilet for the sea! And so we still prefer the local beaches. We have been staying in a very nice bungalow village, with beautiful lush gardens and haven't moved for the last 10 days. Will be heading back to Bangkok to get my flight home tomorrow

Looking pretty suntanned! Have got some fantastic mosquito bites all over my legs. Been itching and scratching. A lot. Tiger balm doesn't quite do the trick. That's one thing I wont miss.

Going to try some rock climing later today . We have been doing some great climbs and trails to view points and lagoons hidden inside the rock formations, and climbing through caves. There is so much to do here! Don't want to come home (sorry Marc!) Oh and sorry there aren't any photos to go with the text. I have taken some fantastic shots (if I say so myself) but being a bit crap with the technology thing am going to wait until I get home so Marc can put them up!!

Thursday, 27-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
What I have been up to...

So after Koh Samui we headed back to Bangkok. I "lost" rucksack outside the airport. It was Marc's Birthday (16th June.) We were staying in a very nice 5* hotel but after a lot of phone calls and a trip to the Police we met up with Sally and Seb and drank our way along the Ko San Rd. After a couple of hours of blissful sleep we had a superb breakfast and marked waved bye bye as he headed home. I had some shopping to do as I had NO swimsuit, NO underwear, NO nothing (I couldn't even enjoy the 5* pool.) I would normally enjoy this activity but I couldn't help feeling just a little bitter.

Sal and I got on the overnight train ( 1st class of course) to Chang Mai. It started raining. We booked up for a three day trek but lasted two! It was pissing down and we managed to keep the morale up with our companions Bruno and Jesus but we thought it wouldnt be fun for any longer! (I was getting blisters in my new shoes and a cold!)

Back in Chang Mai we lazed about and Sal got sick.

After a day of vomiting and groaning I dragged Sal on to the overnight train (2nd class this time, just because she was ill!) back to Bangkok. We spent the day picking up her new glasses, very nice and a bargain. We also managed, after a very long goose hunt, to retrieve my rucksack. A taxi driver had found it. And low and behold when I got it back, I discoverd that absolutely nothing was missing! Now I have two big bags and duplicate clothes. I hope the airline isn't going to sting me with an excess baggage fine on my way home.

So we are in Krabi now. We decided after much deliberation to risk the weather on the W side of South Thailand. And guess what? It has been pissing it down for the last three days!! From what we can see, the scenery is pretty spectacular, great limestone cliffs, lush green areas and we hope the beaches are good. We tried to climb next to an amazing waterfall yesterday but the going got a bit hairy so we didn't reach the very top. Instead we relaxed in the natural hot springs (delicious.) And now we are just waiting for a bit of sunshine......

Friday, 14-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Recent Stuff

Sunset over Angkor Wat
Cambodia, FCC. G n T
Cambodia Bus Staion
View all 4 photos...
Now in Koh Samui.

Left Sihanoukville and Cambodia which was pretty mad and rather dirty. Thailand is pretty civilised and clean in comparison but, I think, more expensive (contrary to what we were told.) Now on the biggest and most touristy beach in Koh Samui which I am rather enjoying after spending a couple of nights in a very nice resort (posh) which didn't have a lot going on. So I have come to the conclusion that I am a bit of a social slut and prefer to be in the thick of it!

Have met up with Marc's friend, Ryan,who has lent us his scooter for the day. I hope this isn't the last (and first I think!) entry I make (I always get a little scared for my life when we do the motorbiking thing.) So we are off to explore the island and find some waterfalls. Looks like it's going to be a scorcher today, mmmm.............

Tuesday, 11-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
En Route to Samui

We're currently in the executive lounge at Bangkok airport, awaiting our flight to Koh Samui (we're not first class, but every airline seems to have a complimentary lounge with free drinks and free internet!)

Our last day in Phnom Penh was pretty harrowing. We visited Tuol Sleng museum. This is an old primary school that was used as a security prison (security office 21 or S21) by the Khmer Rouge. It was a place where about a thousand people at a time were looked up in horrendous conditions, systematically tortured and executed before the next lot were brought in. It began as a means to 'cleanse' society of enemies of the revolution but eventually the party turned on its own torturers and officials as it consumed them in their own creation. Crude instruments of torture are still laying where they were left in depressing decaying rooms. Photographs of inmates taken by the KR adorn the walls. Hundreds of faces male, female, old and young stare out at you in this chilling record of late 20th century genocide.

A few kilometers out of PP are the killing fields of Choeung Ek. Prisonors not executed at S21 were taken here and murdered, their bodies thrown into mass graves for around 20,000 people, not just Cambodians but Westerners caught in the chaos that was Pol Pot's rule. As you walk around to pay your respects fragments of clothes, bones and teeth can be seen in the ground underfoot. A memorial stupa contains thousands of skulls, row upon row....that day brought home the tragedy of Cambodia's recent past, a country where today half the population are under 14.

After a day when all seemed to be doom and gloom we arrived in the beach town of Sihanoukville where the happy carefree attitudes of the many children selling fruit and hanging out with the tourists proved to be infectious and we saw how the future would be bright for these young people.

More on Sihanoukville later, we're about to board....

Friday, 7-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Adjusting to city life in Phnom Penh

The Foreign Correspondant's Club
Han gives it her best shot
Life in the fast lane
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Well, we arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday. Our guest house seems to be pretty good despite our initial concerns which seemed to be based on the fact that we were expecting a place as nice as the home sweet home in the busy and impersonal capital city. After the relative peace of Siem Reap we have found PP to be a fully fledged chaotic asian city. We had a quick look around the royal palace which was pretty impressive. Lots of diamond encrusted golden Buddha's on display inside a complex of ornate buildings.

Then we moved on to the Foreign Coresspondant's Club (as recommended by Mat) for a few happy hour drinks. As you can see below we attempted to play pool in the still sweltering heat. The FCC is a cool hangout originally favoured mainly by travelling journalists though today its popular with tourists thanks to the lonely planet guides.

The FCC is located by the banks of the Tonle Sap river along with a host of other bars, restaurants and clubs. Great atmosphere amogst the never ending flow of mopeds and tuk tuks. We moved on to eat at a restaurant on stilts over the river, recommended by the lonely planet and perhaps a little less exciting than it sounds.

Today however Han is feeling the effects of a slight upset stomach (not a hangover, she assures me), so we've had a lazy day relaxing (which we've not done since we arrived!). So we're going to spend an extra day here to take in the sights beforw moving on to the coast. Han still doesn't feel like eating so I've come out by myself for a meal and to catch up on email. I also had a look at some rooms in a couple of swanky riverside hotels so that just in case she's not feeling better tomorrow we can at least recuperate in style! She feels loads better and thinks we'll be able to continue tomorrow. I've not told her about the luxury suite yet though!

Till next time...

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