A Travellerspoint blog

From baht to english pounds... YUCK

London, UK

overcast 21 °C

Hi everyone,

Sunday the 26th

Well after Krystal left me is the Aussie Bar on Sunday afternoon to watch the bombers play the tigers there was a problem with the network and the only bit of footy that I saw was the last 2 minutes!!! Was a great 2 minutes too! Essendon losing to the bottm side on the most important day of the clubs history. Anyway enough footy talk i think. While the footy was down I had the pleasure of meeting an aussie who lives in both Phuket and Melbourne. he has a Thai girlfriend and they just had their first child together. It was a really good afternoon as we were able to get an insight on a local perspective of the place. He told us stories about the tsunami and the tricks of the trade when buying things. Also he let us know that for as little as 1000baht (about $40) you can have a lovely lady (or man) for the evening! Was a great couple of hours and a pity we had to leave but we had a plane to catch back to Bangkok.

Monday the 27th

Once we arrived into Bangkok airport around 1:30am we had the pleasure of spending the next 11 hours there! We managed to make a coupld of beds out of some of the airport chairs and i think we squeezed in about 2-3 hours sleep in until we were woken by a bunch of squabbling Indians! They sound like a pack of seagulls at the beach trying to get a chip for lunch!

Once we finally boarded onto our flight we were a little unsure as to whether it was a trip to London for a trip to Disneyland! There were more kids on the darn thing than adults. It was a like a daycare centre for free. Plenty of tears all flight through so we had no option but to find an alternative to get through the situation as you can see below.......

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Once we arrived into Heathrow around 6:30pm we had to find a new Hostel as the one that Krystal had booked 4 months ago cancelled on us! Lucky we booked in advance. We managed to get one but had to pay £50 which was 2 1/2 times more than the orginal. Finally got there and passed out in a matter of seconds due to the fact we were very very sleep deprived!

Tuesday the 28th

We got up nice and early and headed over to Oxford St for our 1st contact meeting where we got our UK sim cards and setup a new UK bank acocunt. After that we headed over to Queen St for Krystal to have a meeting with the recruitment company. Once we finshed up there we headed of to Southend-On-Sea where John Bunkers Mum was ever so kind to put us up for a couple of nights. And kind she was!!! Roast chicken and fresh homegrown vegies was just the thing that we needed. Had an early night due to the fact we were stil trying to catch up from the previous couple of days.

Wednesday the 29th

Today we decided to have a wonder round Southend-On-Sea so we packed out daypack and headed on foot down to the water. Once there we wondered around for a while until we reached the WORLDS longest pier. Pleasure Pier was its name but i'm not sure why because once you walk form one end to the other you are more buggered than pleasured! We decided that is was a good idea to get the tram back (it runs up and down the pier) as another walk would have killed us!

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Back on dry land there was an amusement park which looked pretty cool and a roller coaster on there that I had to have at least one go on. I was all alone though as Krystal said she had to hold the bag. Otherwise she said she would have gone on it for sure (I found that a little hard to believe). Once we had our fun we headed back to Olive's and made her dinner for putting us up.

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Thursday the 30th

We got up nice and early this morning and repacked our bags ready for contiki. Once done we said our goodbyes and thanks to Olive and headed to the train station to get back to London. This is where the pound hit us for the first time. £25 ($60) to get a train 40 minutes back to London!!!!! About the same distance as Sunbury to the city. Once back in London we went to the Contiki hotel to check in but for some reason they only have Krystal on record. I am on the street for the evening!!! Bron what have you done!!! Nah only joking they sorted it out and we paid for the room again and will speak to our Travel Agents about. Now we are currently sitting in an internet cafe writing this sitting next to a crazy man singing about killing people and that he doesn't care if we die. Oh and he stinks like urine too!

Love to you all.

M&K

P.S We added a bunch of photo's to the other entries if you wanna scroll through them.

Posted by krystalmat 09:02 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

This is the Life!

Phuket, Thailand

semi-overcast 31 °C
View Map 4 London & Map 3 on krystalmat's travel map.

Hey everyone.

Well I guess it's safe to say that we have both experienced the equivalent of bali belly. So our nights out haven't been as big as planned but we've still been out and about.

Picking up where Matt left off, we spent the rest of Thursday by the pool at our resort. Worked on our tans for a fair bit and had a few drinks at the swim up bar. Rusty was shouting the bar again! By late arvo we both discovered we were sick. Think it may have been the water that we drank while on the tour the day before. We decided to have an early night in since we also had our big day of snorkelling the next day. Matt had room service and I decided it probably was best not to eat anything for the time being!

Friday 24th of August

We woke up and looked out our bedroom window and the weather looked perfect for our snorkelling tour! I was happy as the I have been looking forward to this tour for ages. We both seemed to feel alot better after our early night aswell.

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Snorkelling was awesome, we did a 4 island tour which included pee pee don, the other pee pee island, bambo island and kai loh island. We went to the beach at maya bay where the movie the beach was filmed - very pretty. I think I have found my passion that is equivalent to matt's passion of footy - snorkelling! was beautiful, I wanted to do a half day tour the next day but got a little sun burnt (sorry mum!). Had to miss out on my thai massage today damn it! Matt really enjoyed himself aswell and got over his fear of sharks for the day!

We were still not feeling 100% by the evening and were tired from our day out on the reef so decided to eat in at the resort. But we only got through our entree and had to ask them to glad wrap our fried rice to take back to the room - both did not feeling like eating. Felt like gooses but what can you do!

Saturday 25th of August

Matt had booked in to play 9 holes if golf at the phuket country club (thanks to everyone at DHL who chipped in). He claims he had a hole in one but there were no wittnesses to see it. hmm...! Anyway I'm sure Matt will be much better at filling you all in next time about that!

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I slept in and did all our washing ready to be packed for the next day, and then headed down to the pool to catch up on some reading.

We headed out to Patong for dinner and ate at one of the nice seafood places along the front strip, had a few drinks and then called it a night.

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Sunday 26th August

Here I am sitting in an internet cafe updating our blog while matt is sitting in "The Aussie Bar" watching the end of essendon vs richmond. Still can't escape the bloody footy!

We're getting a flight to bangkok tonight, then have a 13 hour wait at bangkok airport until our 12 flight to london leaves. So yes, exciting times ahead. Am not looking forward to the next day and a half!

The next time we'll speak to yous will be when we're in london. Bye for now! Love you all lots xx

K & M

Posted by krystalmat 03:40 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Free cocktails are great!

Phuket, Thailand

overcast 32 °C
View Map 3 on krystalmat's travel map.

Good morning or afternoon everybody.

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Well we have been in Phuket now for 3 nights and its been a great few days. We arrived here around 10:30pm on Monday night (Asia Air again delayed) and got to our hotel around 11pm. Now as most of you are aware Krystal thinks this place is pretty nice. She gives me a daily reminder of it and I can safely say she is correct! Our bed was bigger than our room in Bangkok! There are 3 pools, restraunts, bars, massages, and everything else. We grabbed some room service and called it a night around 12. We felt a tiny bad in the beginning though, Decha's mum would have to save for 2 months straight without spending a cent to spend 1 night at our hotel! Pretty sad yeh? But someone's gotta do it!

Tuesday the 21st

After filling ourselves with breaky we headed down to Patong to have a look and organise what we can get up to for the next few days. After being haggled and haggled we went into a travel agent and booked some tours and our snorkling day (Krystal is just trying to change the date now as Sat is meant to be pretty ordinary and we are going to try and do it tomorrow). Once we got all that out of the way we grabbed some lunch, went to a supermarket and loaded up on stuff for our room. Chang beer is 23baht a can in the supermarket and 110baht in the hotel. Which one do you think I am drinking? We headed back to hotel just in time for happy hour in the swim up bar. Half price all drinks for 2 hours. Managed to have 10 cocktails between us so we got our money worth i think! Tonight we headed into Patong and had some dinner on the main drag and then wondered around and had some drinks in a few of the 100's of bars there are around.

Wednesday the 22nd

Woke up both supporting a coupld of minor hangovers and headed down to the lobby ready to be picked up for our elephant trekking and tour. We booked a tour for 1400baht and it consisted of the following.

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Elephant trekking
Thai Cooking
Rice making
Thai Boxing
Monkey show
Elephant Show
Rubber making
Canoeing
Lunch

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Was a really good 6 hours as it showed us a number of different things that is produced in Phuket and Thailand and also had some fun in it. While watching the thai boxing they explained to us the reasons why they prey before the fight is a mark of respect. When the Thais were in war with Burma they decided that a way to settle the despute about Burma holding 200,000 Thai prisnors captive or to release them back to Thailand was in a boxing ring. The thais won and the prisnors were released. Thats why they give their mark of respect. Funniest part of the day was when we had to canoe about 1km down a river. Krystal was banned from paddling as she couldn't work out the directions of the oars and we were doing fish tails down the river.

After all the activities we had lunch and then convienently we were taken to a jewerly store to change vans. Our tour guide said this will take about 10 minutes so we might as well go inside and have a look! Somehow I think this happens to all groups!

Once we finally got back to our hotel we thought it was a good idea to head down to the pool and get some sun and drink some of my (23baht Changs). Had a swim and went and got a 1/2 hours massage which was great. Will be getting another one of them for sure. Around 4:30 we headed over to the swim up bar and bumped into the couple I met at the airport in Melb (Amy I remember his name now cause I had to ask him on the flight over!) The bar was pumping and there was this one pissed aussie who thought it was a good idea to shout the bar. 25 cocktails later (around 3000baht) and he was the king. So he decided to do it again. And again. Until his wife come back from their room and put a stop to it all. Very funny stuff but he was a good bloke. As he said on the way back from getting a talking to from his wife "If she can go shopping, I can get pissed!" I hope he is there again today!

We headed into Patong for dinner againa nd ate with Andrew and his girlfriend at a seafood place. Krystal and I got (for 990baht about 40AUD) a seafood platter that consisted of the following:

2 Massive Oysters
2 crabs
2 handfuls of mussels
5 King prawns
Calamari rings
1 massive Red Snapper

It was massive. We just got through it all but had to push to do it. We were lucky to have an appetite though as a pretty little cat thought it would walk through the store with a dead mouse hanging out of its mouth! You would have loved it Mum!!! when we said to the waitress look at that cat and what it has, she just laughed and thought it was a joke!

Heaed to Bangalore road for a couple more then called it a night.

Thursday the 23rd

Its currently 11am here and we are just down Patong down our log and then going to head back for a 1 hour massage and a lazy day around the pool.

Tomorrow we are doing the snorkling tour as Krystal just got back and has changed it.

Hope you are all well and we miss yuo all.

But for 1 hour massages a day, you can all wait!

Take care

M&K xxoo

Posted by krystalmat 20:33 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

The Sex Capital of the World!

Bangkok, Thailand

sunny 35 °C

Saturday 18th August 2007

Hi all, our pub crawl didn't work out to well. We went to two different pubs and met a really good group of people so decided to stay. 4 poms (2 travelling by themselves, 2 mates) and a dutchman. 5-6 hours and 3 bottles of whisky plus a few beers and breezers is what our night consisted of! We were buying 375ml whiksy bottles, a bucket of ice, a red bull and some coke (all mixed together - tasted awesome) for around $5.50 AU. Cheap cheap! Only problem was we had to get up at 5:30am for our river kwai tour. I think we were still drunk when we woke up.

The river kwai tour was really good. Much better than what we both expected.
We went to the war cemetry where about 1500 australians 2000 poms and a couple of dutch and newzealanders were burried. All PoW, most had helped build the Death Railway (Burma Railway). Walked around a few of the Australian graves, majority of them were aged 21-25 same age us. They all died so young. We then walked across the street to the PoW war museum. The museum was great, very interesting. Was such slave labour, they were all extremely malnutritioned, disease ridden and worked to their deaths.

After that got a tiny little boat out on the river kwai and went under 'the bridge on the river kwai'. We were allowed to get out and walk over the bridge, we assumed the trains no longer ran. But yeh, about 20 minutes later there was a train that went over it. Got a couple of nice pics.

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We had some lunch and got a bus to a train station to what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. There we actually got to ride an old train on the tracks that the PoWs had built. The train trip lasted about an hour and we through really dense rain forests and over steep slopes. Can only imagine how hard it would have been to build the track under their conditions.

At about 8:30pm we headed out to the night market - Patpong. Sort of the nice red light area of bangkok, very touristy. Kid you not we got asked about 150 times did we want to go see a ping pong show. We gave in and went. Very disapointing. It was over in about a minute. Was pretty down grading for them, was a lady about 35 who was abit on the chubby side and not the best on the eyes. Was a few younger girls dancing topless holding poles, dancing like zombies. We only lasted about 15 minutes. It was free entry to get in. But leaving is not free! we had to part with 600baht ($22 AU) which is pretty good money over here.

We then wondered through the markets, Matt got a shirt. Sad down had a couple of drinks and watched the old white men walking about with pretty little 16 year old thai girls. Nice.

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Sunday 19th August 2007

Here we are in an internet cafe. Having abit of lazy day. Catching a flight to Phuket later tonight. Matts not feeling too well the solid status is no longer. Will keep in formed of Phuket a little later!

Sour Di Car (Goodbye in very bad spelling)

Krystal and Matt

Posted by krystalmat 22:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (3)

World Vision Visit

Roi Et, Thailand

sunny 34 °C

Hi All,

Currently we are sitting in an internet cafe trying to avoid the heat from this place. 34 degrees and and 110% humidity will do it to ya.

Well the last couple of days have been long and busy due to the amount of trvelling and things that we have been trying to fit in.

Thursday 16/08

After an 8 hour wait and a 1 hour delay in BKK airport we caught our flight to Ubon. Ubon is a tiny little provience near the Laos border in the North East of Thailand. Once at the airport we caught a cab to the bus station hoping that there would be a bus for us to catch to Roi Et. We were in luck (this time, I'm sure it will work the other way sometime on this trip) and there was a bus leaving in 10 minutes which was a huge relief. After sitting on a bus for 3 hours with 50 Thai school students we arrived at our final destination for this leg of the trip. It took around 20 hours but we made it. We grabbed a tuk-tuk to the hotel and had a very satisfying shower. After freshening up we met up the the two World Vision consulates and shared dinner with them and then headed off to a well deserved sleep.

Friday 17/08

After an un-interupted sleep we were both up and ready for a big day ahead. One that we have been looking forward to for a long time. We ckeched out of the hotel and were pivked up by World Vison around 8:30 and headed off to the Project Village. Once we arrived we were introduced to some of the employees of the village and we had spoke with one of them (through an interpreter) about their roles and how they work. One of them was a 28 year old male who had been sponsored throughout his childhood himself. He explained to us how the sponsorship helped him through life and got him all the way through to university and now employment in his adultlife. After listening to him for a whie they gave us a quick tour of the village and then we headed out to met with Decha and his family.

While driving through the tiny streets of their town it was amazing to see the way they live life and the way they get through with what little they have. Once we arrived at the house and met Decha and his family and this was a moment that I don't think either of us will forget for a long time.

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He was so shy and you could tell very nervous so I thought I had better give him his presents quickly to ease the moment. We then played soccer together or half an hour ( I nearly died due to the heat) and then we were taken to his school and introduced to his classmates, teacher, brother, and principle. We had 32 little Thai boy and girl faces looking at us like we were aliens. The boys laughed and spoke about us and the girls were very shy and didn't say mauch at all. The principle got a map of the world and showed the kids where we were from and where we were headed next. We then headed back to the family home where they put lunch on for us (Rice, Vegetables, and some sort of meat which we decided was to risky to try) and then took us on a tour of their town. We went to a barber shop which is 20baht for a haircut (about 70 cents) and then to a silk maker where she was cooking silk worms. To our amazement silk sheets and fabric actually originates from silk worms! Only the cocoon is used for the fabric and the worm is then eaten. This is what we did next! We both had the pleasure of eating a cooked worm. The taste wasn't bad but the concept was enough for us not to go back for seconds. We then ended our tour and said our goodbyes and were given a present from Decha which was a silk sheet his mother made. On the way back to Roi Et the WV guides took on to a couple of temples and we got to met some of the local Monks. One who was chatting away on his mobile phone which sort of defeats the purpose of being a monk. We then got dropped of to Roi Et airport and caught our flight back to Bangkok. We got back to Bangkok and made it to our Hotel around 11pm. The Hotel was pretty good to our surprise (though very very small) and we chucked our bags down and headed our for a drink. Crashed into bed around 2am and sleeped like a couple of babies.

Signing off, Matt. Love to you all xxoo

Saturday 18/08/07

Today we woke up and both had solid poos! Which as good coz we were a little scared from the food we that Decha's mum dished up. We didn't want to be rude and not eat it. There was a stray cat, flys and I'm pretty sure they were cooking off the floor. But yes, alls okay! Matt woke up with a sore head but I was okay. We headed off to the Grand Palace where the royal family used to live. Saw some traditional thai style buildings. They love their gold, everything was gold. After that we headed to the Reclining Buddha (meant to be the world's biggest?). Then headed back to near our hotel where there's a market and picked up some fake student cards that will hopefully come in handy for the rest of our travels to europe and the UK. (I'm sitting next to Matt at the moment and he just checked the footy results and is nearly wetting himself coz the bombers won). Anyway we're a little bit tired from the sight seeing this morning and walking around in the sun (Tought life I know). So we're planning on taking in the atmosphere this arvo and having a pub crawl - buckets of redbull and vokda are AUD10! Or you can get beers for 90 cents. We'll be in bed early tonight as we have to get up at 5am for our river kwai tour tomorrow.

Will write more soon, hope you guys are all having fun at work :P Love yas, Krystal.

Posted by krystalmat 01:01 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

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