This is my first backpacking trip ever and I'm lucky enough to be going on the trip with my girlfriend. We wanted to celebrate the end of our university studies and thought that this would be the perfect way to do that, by being totally free for about two months. All of the destinations are not decided in advance so it is really exciting too see where we will go. Every week you can check out a Vlog from our trip, hopefully also get some updates below and at Resdagboken.se (mainly in Swedish but use Google translate and you will probably understand it just fine).
Unfortunately even a long and fun trip like this must come to its end some day and for us that was today, after travelling for 71 days; waking up this morning we ate our last breakfast in Jomtien and took a taxi to the airport in Bangkok. We was up quite late to pack everyhing so we just slept four hours and to sleep for a while in the taxi felt really good. Keow had also made some sandwiches that we could eat on the airport before take off but due to a really long que to the check in desk the time quickly ran away so we had to put them in the carry on luggage. I went through a 3D body scan and thought that it would be quicker and more convinient than the usual scanning process of the bags but that was a serious mistake since it probably took three times as long time and when we were past the immigration desks it was 9 minutes until closing time for our gate. At this point Stephanie became really worried about missing the boarding time while I just thought that it is 450 m to our gate and that is no problem to walk in 9 minutes. But some more time would not have hurt since we didn't have time enough to buy any water or snacks for our last coins. At the gate it was a long que again so if we knew that in advance we might been able to stop by at one of the stores but at this time it was too late to go back. Up in the air the food was served after about 30 minutes and after that we watched "I am Legend" on the entertainment system in Norwegian airlines Dreamliner B787-8. The flight was comfortable but on this flight I saw a thing that I never seen inside of an airplane before, a big six legged bug come crawling up along the wall next to me and headed for the ceiling. It however didn't got any longer up since I quickly squashed it in a piece of paper and handed it to one of the flight attendants to be thrown in the trash. After 12 hours we arrived at Arlanda airport in Sweden and got our bags after a short waiting time in the luggage reclaim hall. When going on a trip like this it's easy to get wall bugs or other unpleasant things with all the cloathes so Stephanie's mother had booked the laundry room for us and to wash everything was the first thing to be done while letting the bags stand in the hot dry room. Finally we were done and could just look back at this amazing trip that we have experienced together and will remember for the rest of our lives.
Both of us felt a little better when waking up this morning and after a late breakfast we headed for what Stephanie have wanted for a long time, a short while later we stepped inside a wedding dress store. Of course she would not buy anything since it was a too long time in advance before our wedding but the idea was too get a picture of what one can buy in Thailand, maybe it would be cheaper to fly back when she want to buy the dress (or her father as he wanted to pay for the dress). We went through a few stores and she was happy like a litte child in a toy store when she could try a few of the dresses on while I gave comments about what I liked or disliked. The final dress I will of course not see befoee the wedding but she wants me to give as much input as possible on dresses so that she know what I think look good. The price range seemed to span between $500 to $1500 and then it was both decorations and more than just a plain simple cut. Back at the house we took a bath in the swimmingpool before starting to pack all our stuff, this time both in back packs and in one usual bag. We was not finished when it was time for dinner so it felt like a well deserved meal when we ate and as usual Keow made delicious food. It took some more time but finally our bags were prepered and we could go to sleep with the alarm set to 4 o'clock in the morning, enough time in advance to eat and shower before we got picked up and heading for the airport.
It is never fun to be ill and especially not during a vacation abroad but we have been away for a long time and most of the time eaten local food on the street so we instead think that it was better to be ill now compared to earlier on the trip. It anyway made us rest in the house most of the day, of course enjoying good food by Keow, but during the evening we went to a fish restaurant close to our neighborhood with Thord and his friends. I ate some shrimp cakes that were really good and Stephanie ate thin nudle sea salad, also a delicious dish. After the dinner I and Stephanie continued to the street food market and sat for a long while talking about pretty much everything and enjoying one fruit shake each.
Our breakfast this morning consisted of toast, yoghurt, juice and fruit as it have done most of our days in Thailand. During the day we joined Malcom and Jay to the market again where Stephanie got her nails painted for the second time; I got equally impressed this time by the paint job. The nails were painted with a purple background colour, white flowers, a few silver details and green leaves. We also walked around among all small tables and looked for souvenirs while listening to the soft rain falling on the plastic roof above us. Back at the house we ate dinner, watched Game of Thrones in the living room and just relaxed until it was time to say good night and get some sleep.
We both didn't feel too good this day and it really is nothing special to say about it, but we had a cosy time in the sofa and was just relaxing most of the day. During the evening we went to the food market with Thord and Keow, ate some food, drank fruit drinks and then went back to the house. Keow saw that we liked to drink fresh juice drinks so she even made more drinks based on various fruits as soon as we got back. For us it were nothing more to it than just to enjoy it.
We had just been waking up this morning when Thord's neighbor's, Malcom and Jay, asked if we wanted to go shopping with them two hours later. Stephanie didn't feel so good when she got up, she had sore throat, so it was a perfect activity as it doesn't require you to use so much energy. After the breakfast we jumped in the neighbor's car and headed for the first store, a beuty shop, that was of no interest to me but it made Stephanie really happy. The next store was fun even for me, in that one you could find all types of decorative things from a life size elephant sculpture to small flowers to put in the hair. At that place we bought some good looking plastic flowers. It was then time to eat lunch so we stepped by a food court in a shopping mall where Stephanie and I shared a big meal and then we continued to a plant market. Of course we would not be able to bring living trees and flowers to Sweden but as a thank you gesture to Thord and Keow for letting us stay for free in their house during our stay in Thailand we bought a big plant with pink flowers for them. Back at the house we watched a movie and gave the flower to Thord and Keow, they were so happy and didn't expect that. Later we also showed the things we bought for ourselves and that could be described like an energy boost for Stephanie since she thinks it's so fun to show new things for others.
It was fun to have Klas at our place for a few days but today it was time for him to get back to Hua Hin and continue his Thai boxing training so we started the day with an early breakfast and then he stepped on the bus. We were at this time tired and relaxed in the couch while watching movies, later we found the same movie as we didn't finish on one of the airplanes so we saw that one to the end. But the other movie, Flypaper, that we also only could see half of we didn't find so that will be something to see back in Sweden. It wasn't more to it this day than relaxing but sometimes that is just enough.
6:30am the alarm on my tablet went off and I, Stephanie and Klas got up to eat breakfast, with the an adventurous activity being the reason to get up early. We got picked up by a mini bus and transported to Canopy adventures in Kao Yai Da Pattaya where we were going to slide through the jungle under steel wires. At the base camp the gear was loaded in a four wheel drive pickup, we jumped up on the cargo floor and the car started a steep climb up the mountain. Before walkin the last part, up to the start of the zip-line track, we got help to put on the gear and were instructed how to brake. A while later it felt like flying through the forest, sometimes the speed could be about 80km/h and we were often about 50m over the ground. The three of us managed the technique well and always stopped where we were supposed to but some people in the group didn't really get how to do it right so they often braked too hard and needed help to get to the platform. A few cables later along the track we got surprised by a tree platform with two wires; I and Stephanie could then start next to one another and slide away from the platform at the same time. This was also how the ride from the last three platform was performed, at that time the ride was 300m long at a steeper angle which of course resulted in a high speed. Back at the base station we ate lunch and then got a ride back to the house where we arrived 2pm. At this time it felt good to take a shower but not only because of the sweat, but also do to particles that have been falling down from the gloves during the braking. The cloathes were also a little dirty so it was not that type of activity that you should do with your best cloathes on. Later on the evening we went to the food market and enjoyed food, fresh fruit smoothies and of course the company of each other.
The first thing we did this morning after the breakfast was to jump up on a pick up and get a ride to the harbor where a private rented boat was waiting for us. It was a little worrying that the gearbox of the boat had a malfuntioning clutch and that the captain fixed it with a tiny wire, if it later would broke we could get stuck on the water for quite some time. We quickly let go of those thoughts and a short while later the captain stopped at the first fishing spot, a place where the wave frequency was between 2-3Hz, about the same as the human head eigenfrequency and of course it made it extra easy to become sea sick. Everybody except I had taken pills agains sea sickness but with this frequency of the waves that was not the right decision so I took one pill as well while the other took one extra pill. It wasn't such a good place regarding the fishing either so after a while we continued and stopped close to an island. At that place I, Stephanie and Klas jumped in the water equipped with snorkel and glasses to explore the reefs and the beach. Close to the boat it was very deep and I couldn't see the bottom even when swimming down a few meter so we started by swimming to the beach. On our way we could see small reefs and quite a lot of small fishes but when we entered the beach something unexpected happened, suddenly two men came out from the forest on the seemingly empty Island and started to wave and point to the sea. Apparently trespassing was forbidden on the Island so we took a quick group photo and went out in the water again. When we continued to swim over the reef we could see many anemones and really tried to see a clown fish but even if I'm uncertain what I saw I think the fish I saw was just a similar fish, but I shot video of everything so I'll check back at home. After some time in the water it was time to get up and eat and Keow had made such delicious sandwiches, those were my favorite. Later our stomachs were full and it was really nice to just lay down on a bench in the boat and have some rest. Stephanie looked like a real master when she started to fish, she barely put down the hook in the water before a fish was catched. After a while I took over and it was not going as good as for Stephanie but it was just a matter of seconds until the next fish got up in the boat. But during the fishing the boat was drifting to deeper waters and we stopped getting fish all the time, but at this time all of us had got enough fish on the hook to be more than happy. The captain turned the boat with Monkey Island on its heading, we did a short cruising along its beach to see the monkeys, and after that we continued back to the harbor. Back at Thord's house we relaxed for a while, ate dinner and then started to play card games again, this time also a few of Thord's friends accompanied us. It was a fun day but we forget one thing, both I and Stephanie got totally red on our backs because we forgot the sun blocking cream when we were snorkeling without rash guards. Not the best thing to forget but to reduce the damage the last thing we did was to put aloe vera on the whole back before going to bed, it felt so good with the cooling effect. ..fishing...evening in the house and playing with cards
As soon as we had been eating breakfast I, Stephanie and Klas walked down to the beach. Stephanie and I had earlier only went to the left when entering the beach area so this time we took right, walked 100m and sat down. Apparently it was not the best place if one want to take a bath alone, it were manets everywhere in the water, so we continued a little longer and found a new spot. This time we didn't feel any manets and could play around without worries. After a lunch at a little restaurant close to the beach we walked back to the house, changed cloathes and then headed for Ripleys believe it or not. Repley's museum part was a fun museum that I would recommend no matter of age and afterwards we also tried the infinity maze and laser vault. The infinity maze was nothing to be visited for anybody suffering of claustrophobia but we thought it was impressive, we walked in to different rooms where we sometimes couldn't see any difference on any of the mirror walls in the room. The door out from each room was everything but obvious but it was never a real problem to find it since it always was swinging out and then you can just push on the wall everywhere. During the evening we walked along Walking street before heading home for some sleep.
Before noon we mostly relaxed and then we helped Thord to explain his computer problem to the store that installed the programs on it, this time they will hopefully do it right. While waiting for the store to be finished I first got a pedicure and then Stephanie got her finger nails painted, the painter really made small decorations when he was painting. After that it was time to eat a late lunch and to retrieve the computer, test it would be a thing for the evening. Back at the house we were waiting for a friend, Klas, to arrive about 4pm and we got back 30 minutes before so it was just perfect timing. In reality not a rush at all since it took Klas some time to get to the house after he arrived in Jomtien. A while later the evening was full of conversations, card games and food. Especially to play plump got our attention this evening and Thord initially didn't want to join such a simple game but he could just not stay away from the table when we started to play so he simple didn't have another choice than to sit down and play too.
After an eggtoast-breakfast we walked out in the sun and made our way down to the beach, a 20 minute walk from the house, and placed our towels somewhere on the middle section of the beach. It was really hot to be there but after a while it became cloudy and we felt a few rain drops, in this heat that was a welcoming feeling. We stayed a little longer and then started to walk back in the light falling rain. Back at the house we went over to the neighbor's house and took a bath in the pool before it was time to eat dinner. Later we had been eating a delicious dinner cooked by a friend to Thord and then continued to a karaoke bar a 10 minutes drive from us. I didn't sing and it was hard for Stephanie to find an English song, that she wanted to sing, among thousands of Thai songs but finally she found something to sing.
As we still needed to get in contact with travel agencies we headed back to the same street as yesterday and this time it was during open hours. White water rafting happened to be something that is were unusual in this area but we found many exciting three activities so we collected a few brochures and continued. In several stpres we found good decoration for our home so we also bought that and an extra bag to bring it home, our backpacks would never fit anything more but as we only have one plane left to catch an extra bag is not a problem. During the evening we took a ride to a german restaurant, ate a good meal and ended up in a cosy sofa outside of where two of Thord's friends live.
This day Stephanie could finally relax for real, no report to think about any more. We were relaxing a lot and after lunch we went over to Thord's neighbor's to take a bath in their swimmingpool. Several hours later we continued to Thord's favorite restaurant in Pattaya, Two Lions, where we ate and he played trot games with a few friends. We did however not stay to see the game until it finished, instead we headed out to find travel agencies that could arrange rafting or some other exciting activities. Unfortunately for us it was too late on the evening so most of them were closed but we could at least see their locations so that it would be easy to get back later.
Early in the morning I heard Stephanie walk out from the bedroom, she started already to work with her report. After a while I went out from the bedroom as well and it was time to eat breakfast. The rest of the day Stephanie was working on the report, I was making some proof reading of it and some reading on my Kindle. When the sun finally went down for this day and we had eaten dinner Stephanie sent in the report, then even she could relax. I retrieved the book that Stephanie got during the proposal and we then sat down and showed it to both Thord and Keow, a story that always feel so good to tell.
For the first time in several weeks we got a home made breakfast from Keow, tasty as usual. We then had many things to tell from our trip and were relaxing most of the day. Stephanie however needed to do some work since she had a deadline the next evening. During the evening this day Thords neighbours come for dinner and was glad to see us again, they are such nice and was nice to meet them again. Stephanie was sitting up late to work but after some time I went to bed and waited there instead.
Our bags was partly packed already since we only stayed two nights at Porcelain hotel but the things that were not packed we packed as soon as we been eating breakfast and getting up from the bed. After a quick shower and ready to go we travelled to Promenade with the MRT and then bus 36 to Changi airport, checked in and used our last coins partly to buy a dessert and make a donation to Ronald McDonald's house charities. We then got seated on a Malaysian airline plane to Kuala Lumpur and began to watch a movie, at this time with the idea that the next plane would also be a Malaysian airline plane and have the same movie so that we could see the end. When we later landed in Kuala Limpur after a really hard landing, that probably made quite a lot of passengers worried, we walked to the gate of our next plane, that was going to take us to Bangkok, and enjoyed a fresh lime juice while waiting for the boarding to start. On the plane we discovered something bad, something really enoying and opposite to our initial idea, the plane didn't have an entertainment system so we couldn't continue to watch the movie. Given the fact that most newer planes have this system Stephanie had just one conclusion in mind, this was an old plane, and that made her start worrying a little about the safety. Looking out the window up in the air I could see a lose rubber seal so unfortunately it was not the best idea to tell her to look out and say that everything was as it should. This time we at least landed more smoothly and got our bags in just a few minutes so everything were fine and the ring on Stéphanie's finger made her thoughts getting in a new direction, all was now about showing the ring for her father as soon as we got to his house.
The last time we visited the Botanic garden we felt like it was much more to see, plenty of beutiful areas where we could have a picknick but too little time to do it all so this day we went back for a second visit. Before we chose the left trail when entering the park so to see something new we went right this time and explored a rainforest trail before finally settling down on the grass while looking out over a small lake. Contradictory to usual lakes this one had so many fishes and turtles that we could always see many of them, making it an interesting view point. We unpacked the picknick and relaxed for some time before continuing to the Orchid garden, an enclosed area within the big park that we payed 5 S$ each to get in to, and we really enjoyed to walk around there. It was not many people there either so it was easy to take pictures without getting others on the photo. We walked around for quite a long time but when the evening was closing we felt that we seen enough and headed back towards our hotel but not to rest in the hotel room just yet, we walked to our usual food court and shared some indonesian food. Just in time for the late (9:30pm) light show by Marina bay sands hotel we arrived outside of the Magnum ice cream restaurant and got a table outside, actually we didn't get a table at first but the waiter asked if another couple could sit inside and luckily for us they said yes. We ordered an ice cream chocolate fondue and enjoyed it while watching the light show, what a good evening it was!
As usual this morning started by eating breakfast in the room and just before lunch time we checked out, at this time really looking forward to the next hotel. But before we took the MRT to Chinatown we stayed and ate lunch at a little cheap place where we been eating before. We later arrived at Porcelain hotel's reception, checked in, went up to the room and just froze as soon as we stepped into the room; from the pictures at Agoda and the price we payed this should been a more luxurious room but it was so small that the bags didn't fit in the entrence and the shower was literally on top of the toilet. The room looked fresh but that was definitly not enough and it didn't look like any picture we seen at Agoda. We walked down to the reception and explained the situation and was told that the pictures we seen at Agoda was for the more expensive rooms even though it was not stated; a deluxe room was however available so we got an upgrade to that room for 10 S$. What a difference it was; it was much bigger, had roof shower, much more space and a small closet. The internet connection was the same in both room types and had a fast connection, 2.67/2.44 Mb/s in down/up-load speed. When we had been freshing up we walked out and four crossings to the right at South bridge street we had arrived at the Buddha sacred tooth museum. It was for free to walk around in there but on the same floor as the tooth photography was forbidden. It was were relexing to walk around there since people were quiet, slow background music/songs were playing at low volume and it was many beutiful artworks to get an impression by. After the museum and eating lunch in the food court on the other side of the street we continued to Gardens by the bay to enjoy its light show from a good view point right behind Marina bay sands hotel. The show lasted for about 10 minutes and after it we could see the end of the Marina bay sands hotel's light show on the other side of the building. At that time it would been possible to just wait for the next show, one hour later, to see it from the beginning but this time we headed back to the hotel.
Relaxing is the only word that is needed to describe our day until 5pm, then we headed towords the same food court as before in the city where we shared a big plate of food and a lime juice. We then continued to the bay area on the opposite side of the water to Marina bay sands hotel, it was just a perfect place to just enjoy the view and shot a few night photos. Just next to us there was a Magnum ice cream dessert restaurant, but not with usual ice creams, but with handmade ice cream decorated with three flavours that we could choose and dipped in either dark or white chocolate. It was a real pleasure to eat it and as a bonus we got a surprise for the single reason that we stayed longer in the bay area, Marina bay sands hotel started with an amazing light show about 9pm so we just stayed and enjoyed it together.
Waking up this day, followed by a fruit breakfast, we headed for the Botanic garden. To get there we bought one EZlink card each and stepped on bus number 7 and didn't even need to change bus to get there. It was a beutiful garden with lots of things to see and one of the most exciting things was a close encounter with a more than a 1m long lizzard; Stephanie shouted "Matthias lizzard" several times and to my surprise, when I looked up, the big lizzard was approaching us. I was quick to get up my camera to shoot some video and take a few photos but then it was time to move out of the lizzard's way since it didn't stop just because I was standing there. Later on we saw many more lizzards but never as big as the first one. The garden was actually bigger than we expected but since we also wanted to visit Gardens by the bay the same day we went out from the Botanic garden without seeing all of it, having in mind that we were going to stay on a hotel closer to it later and can go back to see more. After the first garden we stepped on bus 75 to the bay area where we ate at a food court before walking to Gardens by the bay. This garden we had to buy tickets for to get in but it was something that should not be missed and this time it was even more special because it was garden festival. The most iconic thing if the garden was the big steel trees that was full of green plants, flowers and was lit from the ground but those trees could actually be seen without paying for the entrence. Further in, two big domes of glas were getting all of the attention. Both of the domes had a climate of them own and in the right dome there was a really high waterfall. We stayed at Gardens by the bay until after 10pm and it was just amazing to see all the lights after the sky became dark, so good that we maybe go back to the tree section again another evening. But after the visit there this day we went back to the food court with the MRT, shared a big plate of food and then continued with the MRT back to our hotel. It felt so good to finally rest our feet.
The first night at Amrise hotel we had a bug flying around in the room but at least it wasn't more of them. All channels on the TV had bad connection and the fridge smelled so bad that we didn't want to use it but at least the bed looked and felt fresh. The wifi connection had a speed of 8.58/0.98 Mb/s and that is actually the best connection speed so far during the whole trip. As soon as we went out from the hotel we started to walk around and explore the area, not a good idea if one wants to go in stores as those had not opened yet but we got a better idea of how long time it takes to walk to different places on the map. Later we sat in the hotel, looking at a city map, and planned what activities we could do the following days. Everything was very expensive both when we looked at activities and places to eat but we could at least eat dinner at a quite cheap place close to our hotel, 10 S$ for both our meals.
Waking up just to be going down to the hotel's restaurant was a real pleasure at Fave hotel; it was a buffé with four hot dishes, sandwiches, milk with flakes and a few sliced fruits. Of course it was not as good as at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur but Fave hotel is also only a three star hotel and I didn't expect this much. After the breakfast we prepared our bags, checked out and locked away our bags in a room until the taxi was going to pick us up. It cost us 90 000 rp (~$8) to get to terminal 2 and get off at the first entrence. We was however flying with air france that has check in more in the middle of the building so if one doesn't want to walk more than necessary the taxi driver can be told to stop later (The flight companies logos were shown next to each entrence so it is actually easy to stop at the right place). When walking in to the airport the first thing to do was to walk through a security check, were it still was allowed to take food and drinks with you, and as we were there such a long time in advance we had some snacks with us that we ate while waiting for the check in desk to open. After check in it was time to walk to the gate and through away any food or drinks we had left. This time our bags were also "sniffed", but not by a dog, but by a handheld machine. If somebody on the airport had put anything in our bags it would been good to be detected in Jakarta, in Singapore the problem might been bigger since they have a death penalty on smuggling drugs. A while later we boarded the plane and contradictory to the planes we flew with before this one had many different classes; first class was in the front and we never walked through there but could see that each seat had a lot of space, business class had a lot of space for each chair and the back of the seat in front of each chair was a wall so the space didn't change depending on if the one in front leaned back or not, normal class had usual seats but still quite a lot of space for the feet and when we sat down in the economy class we noticed that the chairs was a little smaller than in the normal class but it was still more space for our feet than in other planes earlier on our trip. I was also lucky enough to have an empty chair beside me so I got even more space. The timing with our bags in the luggage arrival hall couldn't been better, when we got there our bags was delivered to us instantly and we could continue to the bus. It was possible to pay with cash on the bus but only with even money. We used google map's local traffic guidance to find the right way but was delayed one bus and missed the last night bus were we were supposed to get on to another bus. A nice lady did then help us to get on another bus that stopped quite close to our hotel and after a 200m walk we could finally check in.
First thing this morning was to check in at Fave hotel after being dropped of there by the bus company. Of course it was to early to check in 6 o'clock in the morning but the hotel stored our bags in a room while we were resting on a couch in the restuarant and two hour later they gave us the keycard to a room. It was a great room, lots of space, a big double bed and plenty of room for two in the shower. The wifi connection was also good with 0.19/0.32 Mb/s in down/up-load speed. After been resting for a while we went to the big shopping mall on the other side of the street, it was that kind of mall that have some more expensive stores and it was a security scan before the entrence. In one of the first stores we entered Stephanie found a beutiful short dress that became the problem of the day for her, the question was if she was going to buy it. At the two highest floors of the mall all the restaurants where located so we stopped by one of the simpler ones to eat lunch and then headed back to the hotel. Back at the hotel we relaxed for a while and then went to another shopping centre on the sea side of the hotel where we bought some snacks to have in the room and when we go to Singapore. It took some time but finally Stephanie decided to buy the dress so during afternoon we walked back to the first mall, bought it and ended up in a special type of restaurant. Raw meat, ox tongue to mention something, and vegetables was delivered to our table and then we fried and deep fried it on our own. It was a cosy environment to eat in and even though we cooked the food on the table the air was always fresh thanks to ventilation above each table.
When we woke up we did not go to the breakfast room as we usually do, instead we walked to the bakery and bought some bread and pizza cakes to eat on todays long trip. Back at the hotel we ate breakfast and packed our bags; with plenty of time left we then sat in the café where we also ate lunch. A while later it was time to leave the hotel, 2pm a bus picked us up and dropped us of at the bus station and 3pm we was on our way from Yogyakarta to Jakarta. This time we didn't want to sit in such a tight space as on the last bus ride so this time we had tickets on a super executive bus and I must say that the comfort level really increased a lot. The size of the bus was equal to the last bus but just three seats, instead of five, on the width and it was plenty of space where we could move our feet. It was only one negative thing about the bus, it had a freezing cold air conditioning on all the time and without the provided blankets it would been a real pain. About 14 hours after we left the bus station in Yogyakarta we arrived at the bus company's office in Jakarta and they then gave us a ride to our hotel.
In the other direction from Pop hotel we headed in to some smaller streets today and found a nice little waffle restaurant in which we ate lunch. We then continued along a street parallel to the hotel's street but most stores seemed to be closed so it wasn't much to see there but when we crossed an area with simple small houses it became much more interesting. At a bridge we could read the water level, probably 2-3m lower now compared to during the wet season. Back at the hotel we booked the flight tickets between Singapore and Bangkok so when we arrive to Singapore we actually now for how long we will stay.
When we walked around in the neighborhood yesterday I didn't bring my Sony A55 camera so I just had to get back to the place with the houses and river with my camera. We also continued longer along the same road and ate lunch in a small restaurant with a modern look in a shopping mall. Later on the day we mostly relaxed and checked out what we can do in Singapore.
After the breakfast, at the hotel, we took a little longer walk in the neighborhood today. Something I thought was extra interesting was how the local, and most probably poor, people had built small houses/shelters partly on top of each other next to a river. It made the scenery look somewhat artistic at that place. We found some little street restaurant where we ate food and listened to music by a few people playing at the street. Later, back at the hotel, we watched movies, relaxed and I found a spider, black with yellow stripes, outside of the window to take pictures of.
Waking up at Pop hotel felt so good this morning since I needed some rest as I started to feel ill earlier. We was informed at check in that a simple breakfast was served during the morning but compared to other hotels it is really not just a simple breakfast. It was a buffé table with rice as the base and then two choices of banana leaflet packed food, coffee, tea, honey milk and a little dessert. After the breakfast we continued to rest at the room and looked together in the book I made; the thumbprints had now floated together where they were overlapping each other and it actually looked better than before. I also showed Stephanie a few favorite rings that I've saved a link to earlier but other than looking at those pictures the selection will wait to when we are back in Sweden. On the afternoon and evening we tried to book train tickets, to Jakarta, at an Alfamart but they were all fully booked so it will be a bus ride instead. The dinner we ate at a cosy and surprisingly cheap place where I finally got was I've been trying to order for a long time without success, an avocado juice.
Suddenly it nocks on the wall of the hotel and I just happened to be awake so first I checked the watch and then realised we forgot to activate the alarm yesterday; outside our driver for the day just arrived. We quickly got dressed and I told the gard to open the hotel door so we, 5 minutes later, could be on our way to a large buddhist temple from the 8th and 9th century named Borobudur. On our way we also stopped at a hill to see the sunrise but this morning it was cloudy and a lot of mist so we couldn't see the sun but the clouds just made the view beutiful in another perspective. When we entered Borobudur we did so without a guide and was just walking around at the tempel, unfortunately still with a cloudy sky, but it was a nice place to walk around and it wasn't too much people at 6 am. If one would like to know more about anything it was however not not too late to hire a guide after the entrence since they were walking around closeby in case anybody would like to hire them. After about two hours at Borobudur we continued our ride to the Dieng plateau to see the beutiful mountains that are covered by fields, the oldest hindu tempels and a multicoloured lake. We started with a walk among the tempels, tempel ruins and also a view point along the road where we got a great panorama view of the valley and by now it wasn't cloudy anymore. The trip continued higher and higher until we got to the Dieng plateau top view point, actually not located at the highest peak but not far away. At that place I brought my backpack stuffed with a picknick and a towel to sit on and after some photos from one of the cliffs we sat down on a small plateau and looked out over the multicoloured lake. The view was just perfect so after a while, when we been relaxing for a while, I told Stephanie to close her eyes while I prepared a surprise. When I told her to look again the thing I showed her was a memory book from our time together with one sentence about her on each page that I read for her. When it was time for the last page I stood up, showed the last page where all sentences were placed on the next row after each other and said that if one read the first letter of each sentence vertically the left side tell Stephanie that I love her in swedish and the right side does the same but in german. With this summary in mind I asked her to marry me and if she wanted to answer yes she should put her thumb in red ink and then in an angled position in the book; she said yes, placed her thumb mark on the paper and I used my own thumbmark to create a heart when it was combined with her mark. She got a temporary ring with a specially designed inscription that I created, when we get to Sweden we look for the real rings. On the way back to the hotel we got to see where our driver live and got to taste a fruit from outside his house. Back at the hotel the situation wasn't as good as we wanted it to be; Stephanie screamed coach roache when standing in the shower, I through it out but just seconds later I found that my cloathes was covered by wood dust from the table. It was holes all over the table, maybe by termites and under the table it was full of spider webs. We could not be more disappointed so we change hotel directly, possibly without getting the money back but more about that in the next post. After checking in at the Pop hotel, that had a much higher standard, we went out to a little café and was just sitting and had a cosy moment while enjoying a dessert. At Pop hotel we had a good shower, doubble bed, sofa and 0.66/0.22 Mb/s in down/up-load internet speed.
For us this wasn't a new day, just a continuation of the previous day since we didn't sleep after the bus ride. Instead we found a cheap hotel where we checked in and started to look for different trips close by. We ended up calling the guy that Sofyan knew and hired him to drive us during the next day. Later we need to get to Jakarta since we have a plane to catch there so we also checked what options we had to go there; the train was not listed for that route in the station so it was probably fully booked but we could book places on a good bus through a travel agent. This day was however far from the best one, I started to feel ill during the afternoon so we could just hope that I would become better until the next day.
As planned we woke up by the alarm clock at midnight and ate a midnight meal; a panpizza and a pizza muffin. Our driver, Sofyan, that we got in contact with through hotel Selamet picked us up at the hotel and had prepared one gas mask each. Before the trip we read about that the road was really bad before but some people reported that it recently was repaired and we can confirm that the south road is good. To get to the base camp we were using a 4WD Jeep but it would been possible with most 2WD cars and it was a lot of people driving a motorbike on the road. It was however steep roads so a fully loaded minibus or bus would need quite a strong engine to make it. At the basecamp our driver arranged the guide and we payed the entrence fee of 100k rp per person, the guide wanted 150k to be payed after the trip. It was then time to start the 3km long walk up to the top and where it started the trail was wide, flat and it was no problem to run or walk with a camera. The further up we came it however became more and more steep and after about 1km it was often stairs digged in the ground to make it easier. After 2km we came to the miners cottage, that was their middle station when walking back with sulphur stones from the crater, and we stopped there for a few minutes to take some pictures and drink water. Not much further up on the vulcano we started to smell the smoke and put on the gas masks, of course it depends a lot on both the wind and the current vulcanic activity when gas masks are needed. A while later we was finally on the top of Ijen, 2288m above sea level, and this was certainly not as tough as I expected after reading other blogs, many people (including older children) should be able to get up as long as they walk. The tougher and dangerous part, where I don't think any family should go, was down into the crater, it was actually even a sign there statig that it is forbidden to walk down. Our guide walked first, helping Stephanie to see where to put her feet, and I walked behind her to help if needed. At this time I was still holding my dslr camera in one of my hands to take some photos but it became really steep very quickly and I had to walk extra careful to be able to only use one hand as support against the cliff. Suddenly the air cleared up for a short while and we was able to see the blue fire downnin the crater, of course I was quick to take a picture as well. Then the smoke thickened again and we started to feel raindrops, at first I ignored it but when the rain increased I stuffed the camera in my jacket and continued walking down. It was just a temporary rain so after about 5 min I could use my camera again. It was pitch black outside so a good flashlight was a necessity and I was really prepared on that point since I had a 2000 lm focused LED lamp that almost made my guide scared when I turned it on and it outperformed all other flashlights thay had on at that time. On the way down deeper and deeper into the crater we also met a few miners, they had one big basket full with sulphur stones on each side of a pole that they had on their shoulders and they didn't wear any gas masks. When we finally was just about 50m from the fire something unwanted and really unexpected happened, suddenly the vulcano spit out more smoke than ever and decreased the sight distance to an armlength. Since we had gas masks we could breath good but a lot of people started to scream in panic that they couldn't breath and I saw a few crawling next to my feet to get up. It got so intense we had to close our eyes but our guide just told us to stay put and wait while he was breathing really close to the ground (he didn't have a gas mask). As soon as the smoke reduced again he showed us the way down a little further and we could se the blue light from the fire again. The smoke increased a second time and it was the same story again but as soon as we could have our eyes open our guide showed the way up, he only needed to look at the stones to know where to walk. This walk up from the crater was not like walking up from the basecamp, up from the crater was tough for real and it any rail to hold didn't exist which made it even more important to be alert. When we was back on the top we totally forgot that it would soon be a beutiful sunrise so without our guide giving us a reminder we would have just walked down. Such a scenery it was when the sun started to shed light over the vulcano and the other mountains, really beutiful and even the lake in the crater showed when the smoke cleared up a little. It was however quite cold to sit and wait for the sunrise so some extra cloathes wouldn't have hurt to bring, especially for Stephanie who always tend to be too cold very easy. When we had have enough of the view and wanted to get down it was a little slippery at some points due to the earlier rain but otherwise is was not harder than getting up and 9 o'clock in the morning we were back at hotel Selamet to eat breakfast and get some rest. The next step on our trip was to get to Yogyakarta and then it was possible to choose between an expensive bus 10 am in the morning or a cheaper one at 2 pm or the train 6 am. Sofyan helped us get on to the cheap bus and we only had to pay 150k rp per person for the hole trip without changing bus at any time. It was a long way to go so we prepared buy buying food and water before taking seat in the bus and after feeling like we had been sitting forever the airconditioned bus stopped in Yogyakarta after 15 hours as expected.
Waking up in a comfortable hotel with included breakfast buffé was absolutely more than we could wish for yesterday so it felt really good to wake up this morning. After the breakfast I got some real usage out of the google translate app since the receptionist couldn't understand what we was asking, we instead asked her in indonesian through the app where to book a trip to the Ijen vulcano. She called a friend and half an hour later a guy came to our room. It was decided that he will pick us up at 01:00 (midnight) and go to the vulcano for 500k rp. He was able to book a guide but recommended us to do it at the basecamp as it might be cheaper and they definitely are the best as they also work there as miners. The entrence and camera fee is also best to pay on spot and our driver told us that they have increased the price from 15k rp to 100k rp for the entrence and instead of a cheap camera licence per camera it is now 100k rp for all cameras. It was perfect to have nothing to do during the day because then we could look for information about other trips and get some good sleep before the night trip.
When we ate breakfast at The spot hotel for the last time this morning I chose their indonesian breakfast, the reason for that being that the next meal would probably take some time to get. The plan was to go to Banyuwangi with local transportation so we started by stopping a taxi and ask the driver to take us to the bus station in Mengwi. When the driver said a fixed price of $20 and did not want to turn on the taximeter we went to another taxi. The final price with the taximeter ended up at 134k rp which is slightly less than $20 but in our experience the taximeter is always the cheapest option. At the bus station it was a lot of people trying to sell bus tickets and when we said to them that we will pay on the bus instead one of the guys ran to the driver and suddenly we had to pay before stepping on the bus. After some bargaining the total price for both of us ended up at 300k rp but when we was on the bus it was a lot of local people that payed on the bus, so the next time we will just step on without talking to anyone since it is probably cheaper. Five hours later we arrived at the Banyuwangi bus terminal. The boat ride was however really boring when I noticed that the boat was standing still because it was a que to get in to the harbor, at least we got to make a litte girl happy just by being there. She first tried to take some photos of me and Stephanie and when we finally looked into the camera she became very happy and ran to her mother to show the picture. After a little while she asked Stephanie if she could speak indonesian but when she couldn't a handshake was more than enough to make the girl's day perfect. I had memorised the main streets of the map so I took the lead to get us to the main street and find some food, but close to the the terminal nothing was open and we had to walk quite far before finding the first street restaurant. It didn't look like the best place but we were really hungry so we stopped there anyway and ate soup with rice. When we later continued along the street it showed up more and more places to eat and after a while even a big shopping mall, but no hotels. Stephanie started to doubt that we was on the right way to find hotels so to be sure we checked the streetmap on my tablet with GPS turned on. The hotels that earlier showed on the map were all located further down the road so we guessed that this part don't have any hotels and continued walking. About one and a half hours of walking and after turning in on a small street that Stephanie thought looked nice we thought we was going to sleep in the most crappy room ever but ended up in a very good resort, Hotel Selamet The room had both AC, 32" TV, hot and cold water in the shower, water on the room and included breakfast; such a relief. We also got wifi in the room with 0.23/0.05 Mb/s in down/up-load speed so that was just perfect.
This day the wave forecast told us to go to the beach after breakfast and start surfing, so we did. It was not easy to get the timing right today, it felt like the waves were breaking more irregularly than the last day, but I surfed a few of the waves on the same size of board as the last day while Stephanie tried to catch me in a picture. After three hours it was enough for me and Stephanie went out to the waves with a body board while I sat prepared to get a good picture with the camera. At this time we had already missed to eat lunch and it started to be close to dinner so we stopped at the same dessert restaurant as the last day and shared a waffle with ice cream and peanut butter. That place we will miss when we continue our journey tomorrow. Back at the hotel we freshed up and then went out to eat dinner at our usual restaurant on the street behind the hotel. Body scrub massage really is my favorite massage so after the dinner we jumped up on the massage table, both getting a body scrub. The next day will be very exciting since we don't even know where to sleep when we arrive at Java after four hours on a bus and a quick boat ride.
Before doing anything this day we checked the weather and wave forecast at www.magicseaweed.com, that is a site with very detailed sea weather. It showed that it would be best for me to surf during the afternoon so we started the day by going to a massage salong, I got a pedicure while Stephanie was waxing her legs. The lunch we ate at the same cheap place as before, they have quite a lot of things on the menu so it is no risk to get bored. It was then time to surf and it was so good we checked the forecast because now the waves were much better for me and I was able to stand up and turn a little on the size 174 glasfibre board that I rented. Unfortunately for me the waves were quite far out so it was hard for Stephanie to take a picture, but she at least got a picture while I was standing after the wave braked. I surfed until just before the sunset and then we enjoyed the beutiful scenery from the beach. It was high season for local people so it was many (that don't see foreigners so often or never) that wanted to take a picture with us, we said ok two times and then it was time to walk away from the beach. On the other side of the beach road it was a restaurant that only served different desserts and that was the place where we stopped and ordered a super big waffle ice cream. Before eating dinner at our usual place we freshed up at the hotel and afterwards we went to a massage salong to get a hot stone massage. It was very warm stones and Stephanie asked to get her stones a little cooler but it was for sure also very relaxing.
Our first day on Bali started with a delicious breakfast, that was provided by the hotel, and it consisted of warm chocolate, toasts and a plate with different fruits. After breakfast we walked down to the beach, about 300 m away, and I wanted to surf but this time I tried a glasfibre board that also was smaller than the floaty boards that we used earlier. Stephanie stayed on the beach, reading on her Kindle, while I went down in the water. When I got down in the water I started to paddle out, first wave front hit, and I was flushed back almost the whole way to shore. It was really big waves and I was flushed back many times but after 30 min I was actually out where the waves started to build up. At this point I was of course not instantly ready to get up on the board and surf but the ocean didn't respect that feeling, instead it came one of those waves that just come about every 10th minute and it was large enough to start behind me. I was not flushed in but I didn't stand up either, I was somewhat half way up on the board. At least I could get a little feeling for the board and the size seemed right so I will continue with it. After that big wave I tried to find a spot more to the east side with smaller waves but after 45 minutes I was to exhausted to continue and it was time to get back to Stephanie. When getting back to her she was partly angry because she was so worried, she couldn't see me after a while in the big waves and it made it impossible for her to relax. I also learned that the waves was a little smaller at a certain section more to the west. It was then time to eat lunch so we went back to a small street on the backside of the hotel were we found a little place that still cooked the food on order rather then heating it and it was both tasty and cheap, 36 000 IDR (~$3) for both of us when eating both food and fresh juice. It was up to 10 times the price on the restaurant at the main street so it was perfect to lower the expenses. The rest of the day we relaxed in the roof infinity pool, went back to the small restaurant for dinner and ended the evening by getting massage. I chose a body scrub while Stephanie tested a traditional Balinese massage.
We already prepared the bags yesterday evening but the last things we packed as soon as we eaten our breakfast, banana pancake at Segare Anak hotel. After checkout we travelled by car for about one hour to the harbor, were told to wait at the same place as others that wanted to go with the boat and that departure should be 12 o'clock. When nobody informed us about getting onboard on the boat we got worried when it was 15 minutes left so Stephanie asked two other backpackers and they had heard the time 12:15 so apparently it was not the departure of the boat but rather when we was going to be picked up. A while later we shared table with those backpackers on the boat with heading towards Bali. The ocean was calm, at least according to my opinion, but Stephanie thought it could have been better, but she had pills against motion sickness so it was not a problem. After chatting with the other backpackers for a while we watch a video on my tablet and relaxed. The toilet wa really not the best one in the Lombok harbor and at the boat so if possible it feels like a thing that should be avoided, the floor was covered by a layer of water and most probably also pee among other things. At the harbor at Bali we got picked up and later dropped off in Kuta, we checked in at The spot legian hotel were it really felt good to be back at a higher hotel standard. Here we got both hot water, a safety locker and in general a very clean look with a wifi connection that get up in a speed of 0.2/0.02 Mb/s in down/up-load. We had our room right under the roof swimmingpool so a lot of sound from the water could be heard in the room but the hotel location was just far enough away from the discos (100 m from the main street) to not be disturbed by them.
This morning we couldn't eat breakfast at the hotel because we started our day so early, 6:30 we got picked up by our surf trainer and headed for Selangor Belanak again. Stephanie felt disappointed with her performance on the board even though I think she did good but the waves was really not good when we started, really small and short. One of the times I fell of my arm got stretched to much in the wrong direction against the sand since the waves only got built up in shallow water while they were small. A while later the waves became bigger and my last ride on a wave for the day I managed to jump up from the board and turn 180 degrees before landing on it while I was surfing. After the surfing session we picked up the photo equipment and continued towards a waterfall that Aris told us about, a journey which got disrupted by a flat tire on the car after only 10 minutes. He called two others, that came and picked us up, and then we continued with them instead. But the waterfall itself was a disappointment, it was like an attraction in an amusementpark and we had to pay to get access. It was so much people there, but instead of tourists it was local people that was there because many use it as a family activity after Ramadan. It is probably less people other days of the year but definitly not almost empty as I have experienced in another waterfall in Thailand. On top of many people, many of them never see foreigners and wanted to both say hallo and take a picture of both of us. After a while it became enoying and it is no way I am standing in a que to bath at that place so I ended up only taking pictures. To end the day the car ride continued to the south east edge of Lombok, where Pink beach is located, to view the sunset from that beach. It was really beutiful, but the ride to get ther was everything else than good. Where the land goes out in a peak form from the main land the road becomes more bumpy for every meter and that part took us 1 hour to travel by car, often with a speed less than 10 km/h. For others I would recommend to either rent a motocross to get there on the road or rent a boat from another beach. On another blog it was written one year ago that the road is in need of immediate repair but it is in such bad shape it can't be repaired, it would need to be completly renewed. It was anyway a beutiful sunset but it was low tide on the evening so we couldn't snorkel there without stepping on the corals and other things on the way out, so if you want to do that you should go earlier on the day.
This day was supposed to be used to explore some parts of Lombok by car, our surf trainer was going to drive us, but when he came to us it was with bad news, he could not make the trip this day. Instead it was decided to surf earlier tomorrow and do the car trip after the surfing. Of course we felt disappointed, but were happy that it was still possible to do the trip before leaving Lombok. The rest of the day we relaxed at the hotel, except during lunch time when we walked to one of the few restaurants that was open despite it was the day after Ramadan ended and most stores are closed. The menu didn't have much to offer for the same reason but it was better than nothing. When it was time for dinner we thought that the hotel restaurant should be better since it is open everyday nomatter the holidays. We were so wrong, the menu contained more but it quickly became crowded and everything got so slow. They had just two persons serving all 12 tables and cooked each dish in the order it was ordered. This resulted in us sitting there from 17:45 until 20:00 to eat a main course and a dessert, the disappointment were bad.
Yet another day full of surfing and this time I both was able to shoot video of myself while surfing as well as catching one of the bigger waves that doesn't come in as often as the small ones. It really felt great to be riding the wave for a bit longer time and to practice to turn some more. Stephanie took an important step on the learning curve today, she managed to catch a wave without a push from the trainer for the first time. Everyday we learn something more and get more excited for the next time but tomorrow we have booked our trainer, Harris, for another task, to show us some interesting places on Lombok. During the afternoon we just relaxed at the hotel and later on the evening we joined Harris for a while, at the Barrel bar, before we continued to a place close to the bar to eat dinner. This day was also the end of Ramadan which people celebrated by going around with carnival vagons on the streets the whole night; among the things we saw were a boat and a tempel and children were sitting inside.
It was time to rest from surfing so we decided to rent a motorbike and explore the nearest beaches along the beach road, the hotel staff called a guy and 5 min later it was ready. It had a broken brakelamp and speedometer but it was at least rolling. We ate the small breakfast, that the hotel provides, and then we took a ride up to the restaurant, on the top of the hill on the west side of the beach, where we ate a more luxurious breakfast while enjoying the view from a sofa. Here the traffic was absolutly nothing to worry about since it is almost non existent, it was so few others on the road at the same time but it is a good idea to look out for potholes to not get a flat tire. After been sitting in the cosy sofa for a while we took a ride in east direction with the target to find a beach behind the next hill. There are small beaches along the whole shore so it was not a problem to find one and when we did we was almost alone but there was still a few beach sellers that took a ride to us; I mean they went down with their motorbike on the beach just to ask if we wanted to buy a t-shirt or some other stuff. We moved to a place in the sun further away along the same beach and then they didn't stop by anymore except a guy that I actually wanted to buy from. I bought a young coconut to have a drink on the beach. On the evening we went to a two floor restaurant named Full moon on the east side of Kuta beach where we ate dinner and I ordered a fried banana dessert while we were using their free wifi to book a hotel on Bali. The wifi speed on the restaurant was slow, when putting it to test, but it was stable so it still didn't feel slow when browsing internet.
It was time for the second surf lesson this morning and we started earlier this time to catch the high tide at 8 o'clock. As Stephanie didn't got any video of when she was standing I started by shooting some video of her and then took my board down into the water. Stephanie turned more today than before but for me this day was really one or more steps up on the learning curve, I started to catch waves completly on my own and could really ride the wave while turning. The first surfing day my board size was 88, the second day 86, this day it was first 86 but after a while a guy from the board rental place came out with a size 84 and said I should try something smaller. To my ears the size difference doesn't sound much but as the board also becomes more narrow it turn more quickly and is faster to accelerate. Stephanie also had a size 88 board during the first day, 86 the second day and as she also stand up good she will probably soon change to a smaller board. After the surfing it was time for lunch and our trainer showed us a restaurant on top of a hill on the west side of Kuta beach with a great view over the sea. Later on the evening we ate dinner at Nuggets corner; they had a good selection of food, drinks and a few desserts to choose from. Instead of taking a dessert there we went to another place, where we was supposed to get free wifi, and ordered two drinks, a Long island for me and a banana chocolate juice for Stephanie but my drink could have been so much better than it was. When it comes to wifi we never got a connection so after a while we just relaxed with the drinks in a sofa instead.
I couldn't get enough of surfing the last day so I continued with it this day while Stephanie relaxed on the beach with her Kindle in her hands. She also shot some photos of me with my Sony A55 camera and a 18-250 mm lens. I used a smaller board compared to what I had most of the day before and tried to catch the waves without any instructor today and I feel that it have been a successful day. Most of the time I was too slow or quick to get up on the wave but I also didn't fall like before, I jumped off in the right time, and sometimes I catched the wave. When I was up on my feet today in a stable position I could also try some small turns, it is so fun. Unfortunately everything have downsides and in this case it was that my legs got exposed to very much sun on the backside while I was laying on the board. Despite a 50 sun protection cream I am now completly red in that area and as soon I was back at the hotel I took a bath in the cold swimmingpool to cool down my legs, it was also a perfect time to test my waterproof bag for my tablet. It was really relaxing to sit in the water with my tablet and write this post as well as browsing the net for a while, the wifi connection was however weak in the swimming pool area. During the evening we walked a little bit further along the street where the surf shop was situated and found a cosy restaurant, the dinner this time became a pizza.
Time for surfing was my first thought when waking up this day and after the breakfast we went to the surf school to get a ride to the beach. After a short instruction and a little pratice, while laying on the surf board on the beach, we went out into the water. When we was at the right spot the instructor, Harris, help by giving a little push at the right time when a wave built up. It really look so much easier than it is but we both stood a little on the second time we tried to catch a wave, Stephanie did however perform much better and after a short while I got a slightly bigger board to better support my weight. It instantly became better with that board but Stephanie would have been the winner if it was a competition, most of the time I didn't relaxed enough while standing but at least one time I was standing without the help of a push. After this first training session it was time to rest and chat with both the trainer and a nice girl from Australia that joined us when we left Kuta to go surfing this morning. She had already taken a few courses and tried to learn more about which wave to catch. When we started our second training session I was told to try a new technique to get up, jumping, and that was really my thing because as soon as I starting to catch waves that way I almost always stood on the board. Stephanie and I fell of just beside each other a little later and she said she got my board on her shoulder/throat/head, no wound but it hurt so she was resting on the beach and shot some pictures and videos of me. When it was 15 minutes left I took the camera and Stephanie tried a few more times before we was done for the day, unfortunately she was too tired to be as good as in the beginning but I anyway got some nice photos. Back in Kuta we took a shower, rested for a while, ate dinner and on the evening we was joining the other surfers at the bar where the instructor work.
At the hotel we got to choose between a few different pancakes or a croissant as breakfast, not much for me but on the other hand it is not expensive to buy something more as soon as I feel hungry. The main thing we did today was to just check out the area, take a bath in the ocean and relax in the hotel's swimming pool. It could easily be seen, when walking around in the little village along two main streets (not not wider than bigger bicycle tracks), that the main sport here at Kuta beach is surfing. For beginners that have never been standing on a board, like us, it might not be the best place to catch the first wave since the waves are about 200-300m out from the beach. We found a good surf school/shop, Lombok barrel surfshop, where we booked a surfing lesson at Selong Belanak. That beach was said to have soft sand bottom and waves close to the beach, ideal for beginners.
The taxi driver picked us up 8 o'clock in the morning to go to the Garuda airplane and 13:00 we was up in the air with heading towords Jakarta. We got to choose between chicken or beef on the plane, I took beef and Stephanie took chicken, and it was a surprisingly big meal so we were positively surprised. When we landed in Jakarta the first thing to do was to get a VOA (Visa On Arrival) but it was no signs whatsoever about where to do it so we thought that it will be something we pay for when passing the immigration desk. We were lucky it wasn't a long que because we waited in it for nothing since they told us to turn around a get the VOA around a corner further down the hallway before getting back in the immigration que. The VOA should be payed in dollar and was set to $25/person before we started our trip so just to be on the safe side we brought $30/person with us in case the price would go up. The price increased, but up to $35/person, so all of a sudden we had too little and we was just lucky I had enough money on my card to pay with that instead. After the hassle with getting into Indonesia we thought that the problems should be over but we also had one plane left to catch, from Jakarta to Lombok. It was plenty of time until the departure so we relaxed in a café while drinking a smoothie and walked towards the gate when it was an hour left. When our bags was scanned they told us to go to another gate and so we did but when it was 5 minutes left to departure we suddenly see a lot of people starting to move away from the gate after a message in a language that probably was the local language. A minute later they said it in english, our gate had changed again. We fly away, arrive at Lombok international airport, get our bags and I see the airport taxi desk so I go with Stephanie there to get a taxi to our hotel at Kuta beach when she just panic stop everything. People came from every direction real close and started to shout taxi which together with a bad stomach and dehydration caused the panic attack. This together with a little too much research about how to get a taxi, the taxi company names didn't mach what she read online. 15 minutes later we finally actually got into a taxi and another 20 minutes later we arrived at Segara Anak Restaurant & Bungalow where they just let us in directly and would take care of the check in the next day.
Yoghurt breakfast in the hotel room and then the day was started. We then searched for hotels at Kuta beach on Lombok in Indonesia for tomorrow, something that should have been taken 20-30 minutes but for some reason was done more like 1.5-2 hours later. We ate lunch, discovered that we been moved to a later flight tomorrow that would result in us being at Jakarta airport for about four hours before continuing to Lombok and after printing the new tickets we finally began to travel towards Sunway lagoon theme park. As we saw the animal section the last time the focus was this time to enjoy the water activities and to mention one of the great things, the worlds biggest water slide. It was a 4 person ring that took us down a half open pipe into a cone shaped portal that was 30m in diameter, it was a great ride. The park also has an amusementpark section and a scary land section but we only tried the roller coaster and some rings that go in a river, it was however not enough action for my taste. A thing I wanted to see, but that was closed, was the big wave machine that make it possible to use real surfboards. After the park closed we went into the Pyramid shopping complex, ate dinner and bought a new memory card. This shopping mall was really big, hard to say exactly but at least 2-3 football fields per floor and I think it was 4 or 5 floors, so it was a long walk to just get to the right section. We came in at the bottom floor and went in exactly the opposite corner at the top floor. The only thing left at the evening before going to sleep was to pack the clothes in the bags to be prepared for the flights.
Stephanie started to feel better this morning but instead of rushing into some new activities we stayed around the hotel and planned for what we want to do later. Two things that was decided are that we will go to Sunway lagoon tomorrow and instead of doing rafting in Malaysia, as we first planned, we have checked out some great rafting rivers in Indonesia that we most probably will visit (at least one of them). I can probably start to call the restaurant Secret recipe our favorite restuarant since we been there three times; they both have a good selection of food, beverages, deserts and have a fast wifi connection (2.8/0.5 Mb/s down/up-load speed) which I used to upload about 500 Mb of video clips while eating. I also got company by a butterfly on my chair next to my shoulder. While writing this we do something boring, but also necessary, and that is to do the laundrary in Tune hotels laundry room. This is something that should be fairly easy to get started with but it showed to be the opposite since the price to use a machine is about RM 3 and one need to pay with the old RM 0.2 or 0.5 coin which was really hard to get many of. We had to ask for exchange at 2 supermarkets, 7eleven, the hotel cafė and the Secret recipe restaurant to get enough coins to use the washing machine and the dryer machine once.
This day we had planned to be heading directly to the Batu caves as soon as we eaten our breakfast in our room at the hotel. Tune hotel is connected with a walkway bridge that goes between two monorail lines and when walking down to the left side in the end of the bridge that goes right from tune hotel it is just straight ahead for 500m to a railway station. From that station one of the end stations is the Batu caves and if you go in the other direction you can get to Sunway lagoon where we was earlier. Our plans went however straight down in the trash bin when Stephanie woke up with pain in her stomach so we stayed in our room, rested and watched a few movies. Just to make it an even more boring day the wifi connection stopped working before lunch and didn't start working again until the morning next day. Of course I told the staff at the maintenance about it and to make sure they was working on a solution quicker than someday next week I also asked for a status update three times during the day without much result.
Outside Ceria hotel it was a ladie selling different fruits so we combined some fruits, bread and juice and ate the breakfast in our room. As we were very satisfied with Tune hotel the last time we have booked the remaining days in malaysia there and reached the counter one hour before check in. It is really cheap to pay for an early check in, but when it was just one hour before our check in time we got it for free. This time we was however not so lucky with the room as the last time; the room had some strange smell and black dots on the wall in a corner but after a while we got a new room, that had writing on the wall, but felt and smelled fresh. Later we went about 2 km to a market, that was closing the last time we were there, and ordered a family meal at KFC that we was supposed to share. It showed to be a lot more than we could eat so the remaining one third of he food we gave away to a poor person on the street that became very happy. On the market Stephanie bought three bracelets and I ordered a name-painting in chinese with my name. Stephanie already have such a painting with her name in our bedroom so now we will be able to have a maching set on the wall instead of just one. The idea was to also look around for more travel agencies that have white water rafting activities but we didn't really get the time for it so we decided that we will go to the batu caves instead the next day.
Stephanie woke up in the middle of the night by the roaring thunder outside, heavy rain falling and said "Matthias, Matthias, listen at the thunder" just to notice that I was still sleeping. After pushing me a little I woke up and we went out on the terrace for a while to look at the lightning show. When we woke up the second time it was morning and our last day in the 4 days and 3 nights Han travel package tour to Taman negara. We packed our stuff, got a chocolate pancake breakfast and jumped on the boat to Tempaling jetty where the busride back to Kuala lumpur started after we had been eating lunch. Back in Kuala lumpur we checked in to the temporary hotel Ceria, for one night, next to Han travel agency main office. It looked new and fresh and had a big shower but no door/cover between the shower and toilet. The TV was on the right side of the bed, a small drawback if you want to lay down while watching a movie, and the safe was located in the reception. Wifi is also included and the speed is good, 3.7/0.4 Mb/s download/upload, which at least I think is important as I back up all photos each night. In the hallway we could get hot or cold water for free and on the room we had an isolated can, tea bags and coffe powder. A hand held hair dryer was also mounted on the wall that Stephanie made use of while I was preparing the next file synchronisation on my tablet. This evening we went to a Chinese/Japanese restaurant about 100m from our hotel, where especially Stephanie was very satisfied with the chef's recommended fish dish, and after a short walk in the neighborhood we crashed in our bed in front of a movie on the Cinemax channel.
Our lizzard friend paid us a visit this morning by sitting inside our sandals and when I took away one of them it ran around on all of the walls before finally hiding behind the toilet. The day before this we selected the late ride to Lata Berkoh, as you have to choose one day in advance, meaning that the morning was free to do any activities. We used the time to walk to a view tower without a group and without a guide in hope to see something more when we had the chance to be quiet. We didn't see anything more than birds, squirrels and spiders but when we continued along a path deeper into the forest we found a nice spot along a clear river where we could walk in the water and take some pictures of the beutiful scenery. If it wouldn't have been a very enoying bee that was following us we would probably have stayed longer. The place we found was 500m from the base camp and took us 20 minutes to walk, it was far from a flat path. When we started the walk the idea was to get to a tower, 3.2km away along the path that we followed, but we was suppused to take a boat to Lata Berkoh after lunch so when it took that long time to walk 500m we decided to go back. As planned, we jumped on the boat to Lata Berkoh and was stunned by how beutiful and interesting the boat ride was compared to all other boat rides in Taman Negara. I was lucky enough to see a big snake, thick as a 2L bottle, swimming in the water but I wasn't fast enough to tell Stephanie before it already was hidden. Half way to Lata Berkoh we stopped and fed some big fishes in the river at the Fish Sanctuary. A while later our boat reached the final destination, or at least the track that would lead to it since you have to walk the last 1.3km. This time it was much easier to walk even if it was no wooden floor to walk on, as it was earlier, so it took only 20 min to reach a part of the river where the water pored into several small natural massage pools. With our wet-shoes it was relatively easy to walk out and sit down to get massage from the flowing water. Most people should be able to find a spot with not too strong currents since it was much to choose from. I would say it was a paradise if it wasn't for all the bees that were all over the place; no problem at all as long as we stayed in the water but when we walked up it was at least 30 bees on my bag. No woories for stings since the guide told us the previous day that the bees we see here only collect sweat and do not sting, but it is still very enoying with many of them. When we were done bathing we headed back to the main camp and went of at a little Island of sand in the middle of the river. It was low water levels in the rivers so when we wanted to get back to our chalet we just walked through the water with our stuff packed in dry-bags. At that time it was nice to get some rest before finally going to the floating restaurant and eat dinner.
7 o'clock the alarm went of and we woke up and then I don't mean Stephanies cell phone, that was set to 07:30, I mean the sound of the rooster outside. We went down to the floating restaurant and ate chocolate pancakes for breakfast (only included option) and then the boat took us to the starting point for the rope bridges. It was narrow bridges on which you had to keep a 10 m distance to the next person and it was not allowed to take photos from the bridges, so I just kept the video rolling on my gopro cameras instead. The safety on the bridge felt to be high, not even a child would fall out, and it was 40 m up in the air almost all the time but we didn't see any animals. After the bridges the trekking continued 1 km up, mostly on stairs but one part we chose to do outside of the main track, to the viewpoint 344 m above see level where you got a nice view over the forest. Actually it was two viewpoints and of course we walked to both of them. When we came back from the trekking we ate lunch, relaxed for a while and then headed upstream with boat through some rapid currents (rapid shooting). It was fun but I would have preferred stronger currents and more watersplash. The boat stopped at a village with people who live in the forest and have agreed to meet tourists. Others from the same tribe live deeper into the forest and don't want to meet tourists and they also live solely by the nature while those who meet tourists get money and buy a part of their food instead of hunting every day. I got to try one of their main hunting weapons, a blow pipe, and I actually hit exactly in line with the target, but to low, hard enough that the arrow got stuck on the tree that held the target. I also held a poisoned arrow and was told that the touch of the poison makes you sleep within 10 seconds and depending on how strong your heart is you will die 15-45 minutes later. During the dinner the sky became dark and when we finished our meal we jumped up on the roof of a 4 wheel drive car to go on a night safari. It was absolutely the best view from the roof but most passengers sat on the benches on the cargo flatbed since it was only room for four on the roof. We saw birds, some owls, a cat animal with stripes around the body and a pair of flying squirrels but we had heard others that probably saw a phanter the day before so we were a little bit disappointed that we didn't see that as well. In general it was however exciting and fun to go on the ride.
When we checked out the driver, that was going to take us to Han office, was already standing in the lobby, 15 min before he was supposed to and 45 min before his latest promised time so we were surprised. 45 min later we registered at the office, after eating a breakfast while waiting for the office to open, and 08.30 the bus ride to Taman Negara started. It was an exciting ride with many uphills and downhills; sometimes I almost felt the pain that the bus must been in while driving in the downhills with the rpm at maximum. Braking would have been impossible I think since it was a long way down on steep roads and I would be surprised if they had cooling enough to let the brakes dissipate that energy. The result was of course that it was going fast, very fast, when going down and slower for every meter more we were going up in the next slope. Three hours later the bus stopped and it was time to eat lunch, register for the tours and accomodation, pay camera license (5 RM/camera) and then step on the boat to get transported for three hours upstream. We got some instructions regarding the schedule and then headed to our chalet. Stephanie's first impression was "I thought it was better than this" when she saw the little lizard running through a hole in the bathroom wall. I thought it was good, taking into account where it was located, but I said that if I find something more than us moving in the bed I want to upgrade to the resort chalet. The village hade free wifi with 0.5/0.1 Mb/s download/upload speed when I measured it on my tablet. After a shower and some relaxing in the chalet we went to the floating restaurant to eat dinner, it was nice but sounds more fancy than it is (you can see the floating restaurant in the pictures). The day came to its end and the first adventure started, the night walk, and it was exciting to see some big spiders but I would have liked to see something more, like a snake or other bigger animals. It was however expected from the beginning since we had to walk in a group of about 20 people and most probably the sound from the group scare away most animals if they would have been close to the track. At one point we walked up in a tower to look out and see a drinking spot for a few bigger animals but the group made a lot of noise and we didn't see anything moving other than other humans. That was it for the evening and the only thing left was to get some sleep.
Our last morning at The Majestic Hotel KL we started by going down to the roof terrass at floor 4 where I tried out the swimming pool while Stephanie was reading her book 7 o'clock in the morning. After a while we went up to the room again, relaxed and packed our stuff before eating the buffet breakfast. In the middle of the food island three chefs was always prepared to make something that the guests wanted so this time I ordered a banana chocolate pancake. An hour and a half later it felt like we been eating for the rest of the day and it was time to prepare for checkout so we took a shower, packed the last things and went down to the reception. But instead of going directly to the next hotel we placed our selves in one of the many sofas in the lobby and the hotel still provided us with internet access free of charge. While sitting there we were browsing for flights between Indonesia and Singapore so now it is decided when to leave Indonesia and from which Island we will leave. When the flight was booked we got a free ride with the hotel bus to the enormous shopping mall Starhill gallery, from which we easily could walk to our temporary 1-night hotel. We booked the hotel, V'La Garden, just to be living close to the pick up point for our trip to Taman negara the next day. We also wanted to find the pick up point, Han office, so we walked to that location after passing through a shopping center that had 10 floors, each one with the size of at least 2 football fields, and on top of that the building also housed a hotel that was almost the same size. But when we found Han office it was only to be informed that it was the wrong office but luckily for us they arranged to pick us up outside our neighbour hotel the next day. In the opposite direction from the hotel we found a food street where we ordered dinner at one of the first street restaurants and after a while we got accompanied by two nice persons from Singapore that needed somewhere to sit. They gave us many tips about Singapore that we definatly will look more into later and it certainly made the evening to sit and talk with them. Finally it was time to go back to the hotel to sleep and set the clock alarm to 06.30 in the morning to get on to the bus. We were happy that it was the only night at the V'La Garden hotel since the bed sheets didn't look fresh, it was basically a combined shower and toilet position in the bathroom one window could not be closed. But the wifi was really good, I measured it to 4.5/0.9 Mb/s upload/download compared to only 0.5/0.15 Mb/s for the standard wifi option at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This connection helped me a lot to backup my files before finally going to sleep at 00.20 at the night.
Breakfast buffe, bird park and dinner served in our room
Time for some luxury we thought when leaving Tune hotel this morning and headed to the hotel Majestic hotel KL. It is a 5 star hotel and it certainly is luxurious. When we came walking to the entrence with our backpacking bags on our backs, sandals, shorts, tank top and the waterproof tubes around our necks at least I felt a little bit misplaced compared to how I got the feeling other guests would dress. Two persons opened the entrence doors for us and we instantly got offered help with our bags, for us it was however more convinient to carry them as it is more work to get them off our backs. At the check in counter it a very nice guy gave us one access card each and explained both how to connect to internet as well as when to eat breakfast and that they also have a 24h gym in the building. When the check in was done we was once again offered help with our bags up to our tower wing room at 12th floor. We carried the bags on our own for the same reason as before but we got guided to our room and told where we could find the swimming pool with garden. Once we stepped into the room it felt unbelievable that we had this for our selves; a big double bed, bath tube with tv in the wall, shower for two, mini bar and a great panorama view. After relaxing for a while we went down to the entrence and asked for the nearest ATM while walking to Petaling street (china town) and after getting informed it should be close the train station he offered to help us with getting a taxi. When we said we wanted to walked he also explained that they have a free hotel bus line every 30 min to Sentral and every hour to Star hill shopping centre. We still wanted to walk and have a look so he told us to be careful and keep the bags close; really good service. Once again it was two persons standing next to the doors to open them when we walked out and a guy outside that could help with pointing the right direction or getting a taxi. All this service is great but for us it almost felt strange because we are not used to it. Anyway, we continued to Petaling street and within 5 minutes I found both a wallet and a belt that I bought. We walked for a while before we felt that we really waited to long time since the last time we ate and instantly started to get really hungry; no time to choose between a lot of restaurants so we went in to one of the first ones we saw that looked quite good. At that time we had not taken out more money from the ATM yet and didn't think about it while we ordered food but lucky for us we had enough and a little bit left. After the restaurant visit we walked around in the market twnts a little bit more before buying some snacks and walking back to the hotel. When we left the hotel we had just put down the bags on the floor, the bed linen was all over the place and the bath towels was thrown over the bed ceiling pillars. When we got into our room everything was in perfect order, the staff had fixed everything while we was out. On my side of the bed it was a little package that showed to be a gift to me that Stephanie hided under my pillow before we went out, a gift to celebrate the end of my studies. It was cufflings with carbon fibre look as she thought carbon fibre is related to vehicles, which suit my education very well, and I was touched. We continued the evening by taking a bath while watching a movie on the in-wall tv.
When we woke up we bought a big sandwich each at the hotel and then walked to train line 2. Our goal this time was Sunway lagoon; we focused on the wildlife part of the park but the plan is to go back another day to also experience the water park. We watch the tigers eat and also the black phanters but the last didn't move at all until all the people went away from the cage. I and Stephanie waited a long time to see it move and when it did I was able to get a really close encounter with my gopro camera. After five hours of walking in the park we were tired and headed back to the hotel and a good dinner at a restaurant close to the hotel.
Up 05.15, prepare the cameras, sit in a taxi, sit and wait and wait and wait. That was how the morning started when we wanted to visit Petrona twin towers today. The numbers of tickets for the day are limited and the reception opens 08:30 in the morning so we were there 06:15 to be sure to get a ticket and that was good because 3 others were already there and the crowd quickly started to fill up behind us. We booked the first tour up in the tower and was the first ones to go through the security scan (Yes, you are not allowed to walk without a guide) and I had to lock my gopro monopod in a locker for security reasons. The elevator was obviously on the inside of the building, without the possibility to look out, but after looking at a safety video projected on smoke in the air we went up in an elevator which had LCD screens on the walls to show a simulated outdoor view while going up. It was a beatiful view from the sky bridge, but even better from the top at the 88th floor. When we came down from the towers we ate in a restaurant on the back side of the bottom floor before we continued to Aquaria. We walked through a long tunnel under water that probably was a little bit longer than the one we went through earlier in Jomtien. In total it was a two floor facility and obviously exactly as big as we wanted because when we said to each other that "it is time to go to the hotel" we also came to the exit around the next corner.
Today we checked out what stores that could be found close to the hotel. We bought some yoghurt and warm waffles for breakfast (or maybe I should say lunch since we went up 11.00). We watched a movie while eating and it was no commercial; Tune hotel have a premium movie channel. As we got a big map of Kuala lumpur at the airport we also took a look at that to find out what we wanted to see in the city the upcoming days. When it was time to eat dinner we walked to a nice little outdoor restaurant where we order a plate each with different small dishes and we got the idea that the size of it was a little too small for a meal so we also ordered some cheese bred. What we got was really not as little as we thought, it was much more and really tasty. It's hard to believe that we payed only RM 35.3 (~$11.12) for both the food and one shake each. On top of cheap good food we also had a good view of Petrona towers, beutiful with all of its lamps. When walking back to the hotel we took another way where we went through a fruit market and then we wished that we had a kitchen where we could prepare a fruite mix.
We left Jomtien in a taxi 07.00 in the morning and at the airport in Bangkok we tried to buy some plastic bags for our backpacking bags before checking them in. That was something we could just forget about since wrapping plastic was the only option, something that would be too difficult to get of without a scissor. We choose to just strap everything tight on the bags and check them in without something around and it was really nothing to worry about since the bags was put on a sled through the luggage system. The airplane comfort on the was good enough for this short trip, but I think it was a little bit less space compared to the b787-8. On arrival the bags were already placed on the floor when we came in to the luggage reclaim hall so we just picked them up and stepped on the express train to Kuala lumpur central. We had planned to take the monorail train to our hotel, Tune hotel, but it was not easy to see where to go since we were looking for a green monorail sign, that generally is used for the monorail, but here it was instead written another name for it. I used the GPS on my tablet to find where to go just to be notified that we had to walk between Hang tuah station and IMBI station, a 10 min long walk in the sun at a time when both of us felt that we just wanted to get some rest. Finally we reached the hotel 17.45 and got some time to relax in front of the TV. After some time in the room we became hungry and went to a supermarket, to by water and juice, and then to a street restaurang where we bought food to take with us to the hotel room.
This morning we ate a delicious breakfast, as usual when Keow makes it, and then headed to Tuk com. After looking at computers and electronic equipment we ate lunch at Frame restaurant, it really had a suitable name since all walls were filled with art in frames that you could buy. It is not possible to travel with such big things when backpacking but it was many beutiful paintings on those walls. After lunch we prepared our bags, relaxed in the house and ate fruits. Keow made a really good dinner and I helped Thord with his computer so everything is in order.
Thord needed a printer so the day started at the shopping center where Stephanie also found some beutiful flowershaped hair clips. I helped Thord install the printer before Stephanie and I took a walk in the neighborhood to see the other houses and I tested the swimmingpool that is shared by the houses on our street. Later, when it was time for dinner, we ate a buffet in the top of the Pattaya park tower, 170 m up, located in Pattaya park beach resort & amusementpark. It was a great view and you got to see all angles out from the big windows since all tables were placed on a moving floor. Don't worry about feeling it, the rotation speed around the tower was really slow. At first we didn't notice at all that we were moving.
Relaxing probably describe this day best and it was really needed. I started the day by helping Stephanie to clean her wound and then we were sitting in the sofa, planning different trips in indonesia. Keow made pancakes for lunch and when it was time to eat dinner all of us (I, Stephanie, Thord and Keow) went to a fish restaurant. That delicious food combined with a lemon shake was just a perfect combination.
Starting the day by walking down to the beach after a tasty breakfast made it feel like a really good day and it became even better when walking down in the sea to cool down. Just a few minutes later the thing that was not allowed to happen was a reality, Stephanie fell on a concrete block that was hidden by the cloudy water and cut her right leg and hand. I cut myself a little when helping her to get in to the beach but it not so much. We got fresh water from the personel at the beach to clean her leg and it was not needed to go to the hospital but we took a taxi home. We bought some alcohole to clean the wound and I took a needle to carefully take away dirt particles before applying protective gel and bandage. The rest of the day we have just relaxed and when it was time to eat dinner keow made an awesome work in the kitchen that could please anybody. One of Thords friends, Kenneth, had his 61 year birthday so we celebrated him and now Stephanie is reading her fantasy book while I am writing this post.
When we woke up today we ate breakfast and then the taxi arrived that we ordered yesterday, today with Souiboukau market as destination. We started by walking through a big store with all types of electrical gadgets before we went out to the market. It didn't take long until Stephanie found a few dresses she liked and I found a portable usb-charger, asked for the price, but continued further to see if I could find more of them. Finally I ended up going back and bid a price that was much lower, than the price I first got when asking, which went up to something in between before it was accepted, or more precisely 1590 baht (~$49). The charger is compact with 30000 mAh kapacity, 2.1A charging current in one usb port and sun panel on the shell. I will try to test the real specifications when I'm back in Sweden but right now I just think it is perfect for the rest of the trip. We ate the lunch at a small restaurant right in the middle of the market before going back to the house to relax for a while. As you got a hint about from the heading the first market was not the last one for today; we went to a fast food market to eat the dinner and it was redicoulus how cheap it was, 40 baht (~$1.2) to eat a complete meal. Before going to bed we end the evening by laying down next to each other in the sofa just to have a cosy moment.
Something that we couldn't miss while staying here in Jomtien is the Underwater world. We walked in a long tunnel under the water and it was many different fishes to see in the water. The next room had colorful watertanks with a lot of jelly fish. After that experience visited the floating market and ate lunch there. It was then time to relax in the swimming pool for a while before we continued to a restaurant along the beach road.
Today we finally got what we been waiting for since we arrived, our bags! But the bags wasn't delivered during the day, as we expected, but instead 23.00 at the evening. I just checked the temperature and so far it have been 28°C in the morning (07.00 when the plane landed), 33°C 12 o'clock and 36°C 16 o'clock. Humidity: 67%.
Today we relaxed most of the day in the neighbor's swimmingpool and in a sunchair for two, when not being in the water. Later we contined to a restaurant in Pattaya to eat dinner and afterwards we both relaxed in a sofa while getting pedicure. In the meantime Thord prepared his horse race betting in the restuarant and when we went back there it was time to eat a dessert and watch when the horses run. But the evening had not jet come to its end so we continued to a bar, hade a drink, watched a fight and shot some really nice photos of the city from the shore edge.
We left our home about two hours later than was intended (I with 10+5 kg bags and Stephanie with 17+2kg) and the stress factor started to increase when the bags just got checked in and the boarding had started. At that time we had not passed to the other side of the security check. When the carry on luggage was scanned we heard our names in the speaker so we snuck by a long que of people to get to our gate and was among the last people to get in. But it wasn't really that close to not getting on the plane as we anyway had to wait in a que to get from the gate into the plane. Probably even good that we got on late since we were sitting in the 7th row in the Norwegian air boing B787-8. We had access to an entertainment system were we could watch movies, play games, order things and it even had a USB charging port as well as a 3,5mm headphone connection (not the old 2 plug connector). I was also very happy with the space for my legs and was enjoying most of the ride. When we landed we got informed that our luggage didn't get on the plane in Sweden and that it will be delivered in 2 days, good that I at least have my camera equipment :) On the evening we ate fish, squid, chicken and rise together with Stephanies father Thord and Kaew. After the dinner we continued to a local market to buy something to wear until our bags will arive but now we are really tired and it is time to go to bed.
When I found this 5 port USB charger I was very happy, it can charge with more than 2A in several ports at the same time and is a compact unit with detachable power cord. With other words, it is perfect when travelling and you can see my unboxing and test video of it at my channel Experience Technology: http://youtu.be/l1vcJz60-Cg
Now my bags are filled with everything I need for the trip and the whole bottom section of my big bag is empty so that it is easy to separate my laundrary from the rest as well as it will be possible to carry something extra home. Stephanie have just got home after moving the flowers to her mother and now continue to pack the last parts of her bags. Above is both a picture of what she chooses from when selecting cloathes and another picture of my stuff.
It getting closer and closer to the take off from Sweden. Now we have counted the money and the vaccination is done but we have not even started to fill the bags so I guess that is what we should do next.