Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi Islands are the most famous of the Andaman Islands in Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don, the main and the largest island of the group, is easy reachable from Phuket and Krabi. Koh Phi Phi Leh is the second largest and it’s very famous for Maya Bay beach which was the setting for the movie The Beach, starring Leo DiCaprio. In 2004 the Phi Phi Islands were razed by the terrible tsunami which struck Thailand’s Andaman coastline.

Phi Phi is now known as the party island on the west coast of Thailand rivaling the heavily party-oriented Ko Pha Ngan on the opposite side. Hordes of party-ready backpackers and enthusiastic young travelers are disembarking all day long from ferries and cruise ships at the main pier of Phi Phi Don.

Although the islands are a bit built up and touristy, the natural scenery is still breathtakingly beautiful and spectacular as large parts of the natural park are still untouched by the mass tourism and development that has hit much of the eastern part of Phi Phi Don. For a panoramic view over the islands, it’s worth the short but steep climb to the Viewpoint. You can even get to see the smaller Ko Phi Phi Leh in the distance from Koh Phi Phi Don’s viewpoint. Don’t forget to wear a hat, apply sunscreen, take water and bring a good camera to capture the open landscape from the top. Also have 20BHT prepared for the entrance fee.

There are lots of long-tail boat day and half-day trips on offer from Ko Phi Phi Don to the surrounding islands and diving sites (Maya Beach, Monkey Island, Mosquito Island Beach, Viking Cave, etc.) The price for a full day boat trip is about 700-800BHT, including water and some snack, though maybe there are cheaper similar tours. If you wish for a more personalized experience you can opt for the more expensive liveaboard tours, booze cruises, party cruises, group charter boat trips etc. Whatever choice you make, make sure you don’t miss a swim with the glowing bioluminescent plankton in the middle of the night.

After sunset, the island transforms into one exciting night of beach partying with buckets of alcohol and thousands of drunk backpackers. If you’re staying close to the main party zone, sleeping at night is not an option and it can become tiresome even for the most hardcore party animals. Therefore, when you’ve had enough of partying and the hangover is creeping you up you should think to transfer to the more chilling and relaxing Koh Lanta.

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The Great Escape – why travel is good for the soul

I’ve just returned from six glorious weeks in South East Asia; Indonesia and Thailand to be precise.

I stepped off the plane to find the number of degrees celsius is in single figures, my dad has given up carbs and Katie Hopkins seems to be some kind of national treasure… I’m beginning to wonder why I came home.

To say I am suffering from ‘holiday blues’ would be an understatement, but I thought I’d take some time out of listening to my holiday songs on repeat to tell you all about the love of my life (travel, keep up).

There are the cliches about how travel ‘broadens the mind’ but there is so much more to it than that. Travelling, alone especially, is such a beautiful, unique and educational adventure. There’s nothing like turning up in a non-English speaking country all by yourself to catapult you out of your comfort zone.

Backpacking has made me more self-confident, self-assured, capable and independent: shyness goes out the window when you have no other choice but to ask somebody (anybody) for help or directions.

Another reason I adore exploring new destinations is that you literally see the world in new and different ways. Travelling is a source of political, economical, historical, geographical and sociological education impossible to get at a college or book.

Being so far from home also puts things into perspective. Problems that once seemed catastrophic can often drastically diminish with some distance.

An inexplicable serenity washes over me pretty much the second I leave Europe. I suffer from acid reflux; I have heartburn daily, despite taking prescribed medication and (mostly) avoiding the foods I’m told by doctors I shouldn’t eat.

Well, I forgot to pack my medication and I ate ‘forbidden’ foods in abundance and I didn’t suffer from heartburn once.

Finally, the thing I love most about backpacking: it is a team activity. Even if you jet off all on your lonesome, you’re soon surrounded by friendly, like-minded people. There is no pretense, no need to impress, everyone is in the same boat and, by sharing such unique experiences, you’re brought together much quicker than in everyday circumstances. It’s not unlikely you’ll form friendships for life – I certainly did.Hunterhelp Pro 3 HPRO3.01.01покрывало Ivecoblackvue 500 hdMatador DH 1 Diamond ведущаякак выбрать хорошую сковородубытовая химия недорогокупить снегоход б увидеоняня motorola mbp-33мед справка спбshisha online

Francesinha: Porto’s Powerful Sandwich

On my first night in Porto I met up with my new friends Melissa and Justin whom I met on my flight from Lisbon and their friend Christie for dinner. We chose a small restaurant near the Douro River. The owner was very friendly and made to effort to come speak to us throughout the night. With excellent wine and excellent company, it was my opportunity to tryFrancesinha, a culinary specialty of Porto held in high regard by the locals. In a way, Francesinha seems like it would be the invention of an American college student armed with some limited ingredients trying to throw something together on a Saturday night under the influence of some substances or something the team at Epic Meal Time would come up with to push the boundaries of their fat and calorie capacities.

The sandwich consists of two pieces of bread with hams, sausages, roast meat, and tomato with a slice of melted cheese on top and a secret sauce served with a side of French fries—mine also had an egg on top. It was a challenge to eat the whole thing and it seemed to me really gimmicky that this was the food that visitors had to try, but I was definitely not hungry after a long, hard battle with the massive sandwich.

While topping off a night with some beers at a bar, a group of Porto locals eager to speak to us were quickly offended when we downplayed the reputation of Francesinha. This amounted to what seemed like an attack on the identity of Porto itself. I learned with Francesinha that when the locals of a given place point to a dish to represent their city they attach to it a special feeling of home, the warm feelings of growing up with that dish and always being able to depend on that dish to satisfy a unique hunger and craving. Thus, with the glorification of a local dish comes an insistence upon its infallibility. Never get caught saying anything short of praise.Динамикиgopro hero white editionego lic cameraдля Cowonпосуда люминарк купить в спбsous vetements pas chersРазвлечение Фото Видеораскрутка интернет магазинвидеокамеры 3gсоздание и продвижение бренда

Pobiti Kamani – The Stone Forest

About 20 km west from Varna, on the road to Sofia, you can find the unique rock formations known as Pobiti Kamani (aka The Stone Forest).

The Pobiti Kamani had been considered a sacred place since antiquity and numerous legends have arisen over time to explain its existence. Even the “mainstream archaeologists” have many different theories about the origins of the phenomenon.

From a distance, they appear to be ruins of an ancient structure. Clusters of stone columns, reaching five to seven meters in height, are spread over an area of seven square kilometers. These cylindrical columns do not have solid foundations, but are instead hollow and filled with sand and look like they have a purpose or design of some kind.

The site is easy to visit while you are in Varna region. On the highway Varna – Sofia, 18 Km from Varna, look for the road signs indicating Slanchevo and Topoli, then at the next junction follow the sign to Topoli. The entrance fee is 3 Leva.

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Koh Lanta – The quintessential tropical paradise

The guide books describe Koh Lanta as having a laid back atmosphere and being a great place to just chill out for a bit, recommending it mostly for families and couples. Well, that’s indeed one of this island’s most important characteristics, but it’s definitely not all there is to it. Koh Lanta has virtually something for everyone, couples, solo backpackers, young or old travelers, each of whom can choose their own particular style of island life. I would say:

Koh Lanta is the quintessential tropical paradise in Thailand

The main island, Koh Lanta Yai (The Big Lanta Island), is about 6 km wide and over 30 km long. Koh Lanta’s west coast offers palm-fringed, long sandy beaches and clear waters and it’s more adapted to tourists while the east cost is still relatively undeveloped which makes it attractive in its own right. The interior of the island is studded with hills covered in dense tropical rainforest. There are two asphalted roads, one on each coast, crossing from the northern part of the island almost all the way to the southern tip.

The best way to explore the island is by motorbike. The terrain is pretty flat, the roads are in good condition and the traffic is much lighter than in much of the country, giving you the prefect conditions to tour around the island. Motorbikes are available for rent just about everywhere for only 200 bahts (or less if you rent for several days).

 

Despite of the relaxing and laid back coastal atmosphere, there are plenty of places to party and have fun every night. Many bars, along the west coast, organize special nights and parties once a week (look for the noticeboards outside the 7-Eleven stores as all the events will have posters up a few days prior advertising them). I personally recommend The Treehouse Bar in Phra-Ae (Long Beach).

The locals in Koh Lanta are a mixture of Muslim and Buddhist Thais, Sea Gypsies and a growing number of ex-pats from around the world. The most authentic rural life can be found on the east side. Halfway down the eastern coast you will come to Ban Ko Lanta (Lanta Old Town) which was the original port and commercial center of the island. Further south there’s a large community of semi-nomadic Sea Gypsies (Chao Ley) who live in the village of Ban Sangkha-Ou.

Up in the North, Ban Saladan is the main town on the island, quite small in size but with a high concentration of shops, restaurants, banks, dive shops and other amenities aimed at capturing tourist dollars. Most of the boats and ferries operate from the main pier in Ban Saladan.

South of Koh Lanta lies Koh Ngai, Koh Kradan and Koh Muk which offer stunning white sand beaches, great snorkeling and total seclusion. The hotels and agencies can arrange various boat trips and excursions on these islands including diving and snorkeling. The long-tail boats are the most convenient ways to reach the islands.

 

 

While I was in Koh Lanta, I stayed in Phra-Ae at a wonderful hostel called Non La Mer, where I met such lovely people and from where I did several trips to different parts of the main island and to the surrounding islets. For 3 days I’ve been zipping around Koh Lanta on a motorbike, exploring all of its coastline and part of its interior and experiencing the wonderful peace and serenity that it has to offer. One day, I took a 4 island boat trip to Ko Ngai, Ko Chuak, Koh Ma and Koh Muk, including stops for snorkeling and swimming and another day, I visited Koh Lanta Animal Welfare. When I wasn’t on the road or at the sea, I’ve mostly just been chilling and hanging out on the beach with the amazing people I met there. I have also been to a few memorable parties on the beech.оптимизация seoпродажа элитной парфюмериитест видеорегистраторKingMAX micro SDHC Card Class 10 UHS-I 64GBкраска по металлу купитьles huiles massagesдуршлаг купитьluvion camera grand eliteкомпании по раскрутке сайтовкак очистить кастрюлю от пригоревшей каши

Separation

In the morning Paul left to Singapore and then Mariana took a bus to Battambang. The three of us left, spent the rest of the day chilling and shopping and in the evening we had a fish feet massage. Andre left as well late that night, the next morning Aline took a bus to Battambang, where she reunited with Mariana for a while, and later I left to Vietnam.

This was a very personal story which may not have a special significance for anyone other than me, but it’s a story I had to write down and share while it was still fresh because these days I spent in Cambodia, the people I’ve met and the experiences I had, have definitely changed my perspective on traveling and not only. The story may well seem dull or perhaps long and monotonous. That’s because I’m not prepared to share everything on the Internet yet and also because I’m not an experience writer and I feel like the real happenings were much funnier and inspirational than I was able to put into words. I hope you enjoy though and sorry if I made grammar mistakes (I’m working on my English).

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Angkor Cycling

We rented the bikes right from the hostel, very cheap, but they were really old bikes with lots of problems. We managed to make them work somewhat, with a few tweaks and some air pumped into the tires and left at about noon.

That day we rode separately. Paul left early in the morning, I rode with Aline and Andre went with Mariana. We didn’t see Paul all day, but we met with the others later and had lunch together and then we spent the rest of the day exploring the surroundings. After catching the sunset at Angkor Wat, we headed back towards the city. Cycling after dark wasn’t such a good idea, as the road was full of frantic tuk-tuks, motorbikes and buses, returning from the temples. When we reached the city we got lost and realized we don’t know how to get to the hostel so we decided to put the bikes in a tuk-tuk and had the driver drive us to the address. Loading the bikes in the back of the tuk-tuk wasn’t easy at all and the ride was quite stressful as we had to hold the bicycles in place to prevent them from falling off the side, but it was a short distance and we managed through.

In the evening we all rejoined back at the guesthouse and headed to the pub street where we watched a traditional dancing show over dinner at the Temple. There we met some very cool people, a British guy and a Latvian girl, with whom we shared a few drinks and chatted. After the show we moved downstairs in the loud and energetic dance club where we started with some shots and a couple round of beers and then we shoot some pool.

At the pool table I “made friends” with another versatile local dealer of everything from tuk-tuk driving (at first) to dope and ladies. He was a very personable and persuasive boy, in his early twenties. You wouldn’t have guessed his occupation in a million years. I kindly refused all of his special offers, event the tuk-tuk ride and stuck to my beers.

That was the last night when the “fried friends” squad was complete and we part ways with the promise to reunite somewhere someday.изучение английского в великобританиидухи guy larocheКуплюReplay SK5usd to usd exchange rateтуры в таиланд ценыкупить дымоходHYDE MidtownDATAKAMкуртка весенняя

The Freak Show

After a quick refresh at the hostel, we went out looking for a place to have some dinner. Me and Aline were a little bit behind the rest of the group and, while we walking to rejoin the others, Aline got tricked into the infamous powdered milk scam. We were approached by a young mother, with a helpless look on her face, carrying an infant and an empty baby bottle: “My baby is hungry” she plead, “I’m not asking for money, just formula for my baby.” I suspected something fishy and I think the whole scene triggered off something in my subconscious mind (something I’ve read on the Internet or have seen before), but yet for some reason we took the bait. I went to meet the others while Aline went along with the scam. She went to the supermarket, bought a 8 dollar pack of powdered milk and gave it to them. I’m positive that right after Aline left, the girl returned the formula and split the money with the seller.

We had a quite dinner and a few beer without incidents, trying to comfort Aline after she has been cheated, and we decided to look for another place to hang out and party and cheer the team on. In Siem Reap there’re only two dancing clubs, “Temple” and “Angkor What?”, but both were quite snobbish and very loud and busy, therefore we agreed to pass them and look for a more private place with better music and vibe.

We came across this little bar where you could play your own music on a laptop and just a few people sitting around. The drinks started to flow, and it didn’t took long until and the atmosphere livened up. This place had a certain wackiness and we were there together with a bunch of odd characters, one weirder than the other.

The most prominent one was this dangerous looking American guy, with big muscles and tattoos, wearing a tight white tank, a white headscarf and sunglasses and hanging around with a local prostitute. He was so full of ridiculous american stereotypes that I couldn’t help myself teasing him a little. First he tried to convince me that people unfairly judge him by his looks: “I know I look like a bad ass but I’m tame as a lamb”, he was saying. Then he felt compelled to assure me he didn’t bring the prostitute, but she just followed him there: “I’m not that kind of guy. You know wha’ I mean?!”. Later he eulogized The US: “America is the greatest country in the world and no country can match its power”. Obviously, I didn’t agree with all that he said and I piqued him a little, and then he was like: “When things get tough you gotta kick some ass!” and “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!”.

Later on more strange people had begun to show up: a lady boy, a drug dealer, an Australian teenager who stole the american’s call girl, an Italian very found on Romania (yes that’s strange), etc. As Aline said: “a fucking freak show”. We fired up the music and swilled countless beers and shots until late in the night. The rest of what happened there stays there!

Needless to say, we left the debaucherous party drunk and barely able to walk (at lest myself). I had some fried noodle from the street, which I threw up as soon as I reached the bathroom. On the way back the tuk-tuk driver was trying to sell us some weed, but that would have been obviously “much too much”, so we refused and went directly to bed. I don’t know about the other but I had a very rough night.

As morning arrived, the hangover kicked in, but luckily at the tropics you can use the fresh, miraculous coconut water as a cure. I added some electrolytes powder and I felt so much better. I needed to be in good shape because that day we planned to visit what we had left of the archaeological complex of Angkor, by bicycle.сайты для копирайтеров и рерайтеровистория создания парфюмерииавторегистратор отзывыRitmix RDF-812car repair cover ukcar bra for 2008 nissan altimaкупить птицулучшая раскрутка сайтазаказать продвижение сайта в яндексдайвинг на пхукете в январе

Fried Friends and The Horror Meal

The next morning, after a quick breakfast, we squeezed all 5 of us in the back of Kong’s tuk-tuk and headed out to explore more of Angkor’s wonders. As it turned out that Kong wasn’t a better guide than our previous driver, we decided to designate Mariana as our guide book reader. In real life she works as an interpreter and translator, therefore she was perfect for the job. Her English very good and she also speaks German. As a matter of fact, I was approached in German by German speaking people several times, because we probably seemed to be all Germans: “Hallo wie geht es? Gut, danke”.

Before stopping somewhere, Mariana was filling us in, with information read from the guide book, with her pleasing and confident voice trying to be heard above the engine noise. On that day we drove on the small circle of Angkor archaeological park, including some of the most famous temples as Angkor Thom, Ta Phrohm, Bayon, etc. I’m not going to get into details about the temples now because I will deal with that in another post.

During a break between two visits of temples, we tests our skills with coconut bowling, targeting bamboo sticks in the dirt. Even though I had a bit of a training with coconuts from the day before when I rolled a coconut from the top to the bottom of the Phnom Bok hill, and Andre practiced coconut throwing from the tuk-tuk, Aline humiliated both of us winning quite decisively.

We continued our itinerary and after one more stop to a temple, we decided to find a place to eat. First we went on Kong’s recommendation to check his cousin’s restaurant which turn out to be quite expensive, even after the very good discount we manage to negotiate.The air conditioning and table covers were “much too much”.

We asked Kong to drive us around until we found a cheap and authentic local restaurant, ran by a nice and humorous lady.This was the place where they had “fried friends” in the menu and other sinister items. We got a suspiciously big group discount of like $1 each meal and we ordered some local Khmer classic meals (curries, amok, stir-fried veggies and rice, etc.). I was the only one having a meat dish and I soon started to regret it when I realized how they were handling it.

Right behind us, there was a woman sitting on a small blue chair, chopping chunks of meat with a cleaver and throwing them into a red basin where hundreds of flies were droning and buzzing. Everybody was making fun of my unfortunate choice, and I told myself that that wasn’t the meat I was supposed to eat, but I had no way of knowing for sure, so I just made sure I have anti-diarrhea drugs with me and tried to silence my paranoid thoughts with a beer and 5 cigarettes. Before our meals were served and even after, the lady cook kept asking me if everything is alright and if the food is good, which obviously raised my paranoia levels even higher. I felt that she was somehow mocking me or maybe it was just my imagination, because I couldn’t understand very well what she was saying. Eventually I got to eat my food, and it was quite alright. I was expecting a bad story of food poisoning but it didn’t happened. Maybe it was the magic Cambodian tea which I got for free on the house, which reminds of a much more funnier prank played on me by that lady. After we finished eating, I ordered some tea hopping to ease my digestion of fly eggs, and she was like “Yes Sir, free for you Sir, Cambodian tea, very good Sir”, and she brought me 2 liters of tea in a plastic canister, but no cup. When I asked for a cup she said I should wait for Andre to finish his coffee and then I can use his cup, or why not use my can of beer I just finished.

We found all this hilariously funny, but actually it’s something very common in Cambodia. The food hygiene and cleanliness standards are very rare, but as our wise friend Andre said, once you adapt your immune system to the alien bacteria and other foodborne creatures, you’ll be alright. Therefore, you need to expose yourself to the potentially dangerous food in order to get immune.

After the break, we continued our temple hopping for rest of the afternoon and finished the day at the South Gate, where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the the Angkor Thom moat.

On our way back, we stopped on the side of the road to see the monkeys that live in the nearby trees. A man with a bike pulling a cart selling jack fruit, and his 3 school children, shared some of his fruits with us and the monkeys. The macaques were very happy with the feast and they let us get close to them, feed them and take pictures.

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Phnom Bok Hill

We started the 3-day Angkor tour, very early in the morning to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. We rented a tuk-tuk for the day and explored the Khmer ruins on what is called the “big circle”. In the afternoon, we decided to veer off the beaten path and after a bit of negotiation with our driver, we headed east towards Phnom Bok hill, with a prasat (temple) of the same name built on it. There was a bit of a hiking path up to the top and  as the afternoon heat was at its climax, we burnt some calories and we got soaked with sweat by the top.

Up there, on the top of Phnom Bok hill, we met the “Karma policeman”, a very friendly and chatty guy who was guarding the ruins. He was welcoming the very few visitors, reaching that place, with tamarind and jack fruit. Compared with our driver, who knew nothing about the temples except that they are Buddhist, this guy was quite knowledgeable about the history of his country and he told us some very interesting facts.

There was also a was also a serene Buddhist monastery on the top of the hill, very close to the ruins, where you can spend some time in silence and meditation. Andre seemed to know more about Buddhist rituals and practices and he was the one who spent more time on his knees in front of Buddha’s statue. The rest of us just light some incense sticks and made small donations.

We were accompanied for a while by a small group of teenage kids, probably playing hooky from school. They were very curious about us and followed us around as we wandered, giggling and smiling embarrassed. A beautiful shy little girl, wearing a kilo of lipstick on her lips and turning her head away to avoid eye contact with us, was probably the most popular of the “gang”, judging by their attitude towards her.

On our way back we stopped just below the top to chill out, have a smoke and enjoy the spectacular view, while listening to the only song I had on my phone: Tom Odell’s – Another Love.

I hope the coconut I rolled down the hill didn’t hit anybody on its’ way down! Maybe I should of checked the next day’s newspapers and see if there was someone killed by a coconut, as someone suggested. Or maybe it’s better not to know!

Further down we stopped again to have a cold beverage on a small family-run place, where we had a nice little chat with the mother and her very bright kid, who was a football fan a very conscious student.

We also met here a very important character: Mr. Kong, our next “best” tuk-tuk driver. On that day he was driving a Japanese guy and because we were not very happy with our own driver, we tough of hiring him for the next day tour. He seemed to speak very good English and know a thing or two about the temples.

Andre took care of the negotiations, swapped phone numbers with Kong and we return to the tuk-tuk which was patiently waiting for us.уроки английского языка для взрослыхразработка и продвижение сайта ценадухи moleculeGPSMAP 62стеклянная кастрюля 5 лcar cover austin 7квартиры с почасовой оплатой в спбpr кампаниясправка 302н цена наигровые автоматы бесплатно и регистрации

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