Don Det (Laos) to Cambodia by bus!

We left the 4000 islands which were amazing- our first glance at them were slightly grim… When we first arrived we pulled up to a water buffalo and a small dirty beach and saw hardly any people but just a few decrepit little huts on stilts. We looked at each other with raised eyebrows and wondered how our next couple of days would go….(and this was after a 15 hour journey from Vientiane.  It wasn’t until we found the perfect little bungalo  with two hammocks side by side, just on the edge of the Mekong river (for $4 per night) that we settled into some calm little smiles and set up camp for a couple of nights.

Once we had a shower to wash away the inevitable muggy sweat, we were ready to find something yummy to eat! We dodged the dirty places with stray dogs but it turns out that every restaurant on the island was ant infested, dusty, and did have stray dogs anyways. Hahaha. Oh welll.

We met some really nice people and hung out with them on/off throughout our lazy days, as we grew more and more fond of the calm lazy island(s). The highlight I would say is when we rented these adorable little bikes for a dollar or two and went biking all the way to the end of the island, took the only bridge over to Don Khon (one of the other largely populated islands), and biked around. We ran into a few of the friends we met and biked together with them in search of two things. <<<I love that my entire day’s goal was to find a huge waterfall combined with the hope of seeing an Irriwaddy dolphin…>>> The waterfall, we found! The dolphins, we did not find. The waterfall is supposed to be the largest (in volume) in Southeast Asia. It was truly remarkable, and we were not expecting such a grandiose waterfall on such a small chill little island. But it only reminded us we were surrounded by the powerful Mekong river.

Despite our growing love for life on the island, it was time to move on. Largely dreading our bus ride to Siem Reap (we heard it was horrible), we purchased an overpriced (island-priced) ticket and waited for our boat to retrieve us at 8am yesterday morning.

We got back to shore around 8:15am and walked in the direction we thought our bus would find us. Once at the bus station we waited about a half an hour before we were sent back down the road (where we came from) to have our tickets “checked”. This really meant, a Cambodian man was waiting to try and rip us off in order to process our visas FOR us rather than us do it at the border. We opted to just do it at the border, which made him cranky and saved us a mere $2 each. hmm.

We FINALLY got on these mini buses and met like 5 more silly situations which took us to a tiny little border town (hilariously small) a mere 20 minutes away on slow bumpy roads. we could have WALKED. Once through the border we had to wait about 3 hours for a bus to come. grah. 8am until 12:30pm and we only made it 20 minutes from where we started!!!!!! so frustrating! but fun. We met some more people and laughed over the situation and played cards. It took another 12.5 hours from then to reach our destination of Siem Reap.

So here we are, writing you from Siem Reap! Today we took an elephant to the top of a hill and watched part of a sunset over Cambodia from one of the Angkor temples… but there were many people there so we decided to stroll down the hill before the crowd did!

Afterwards we went to the market and had some supper before returning to our hotel for a shower and sleep. We have an early morning tomorrow! 5am sunrise over the main Angkor Wat !

Lots of love! If we had time/internet power for pictures we would, but none tonight! xxoxoxox

Jess and Tristan

Laos!!

Helllo!!!

Nearing the end of our trip but we have some wild travels ahead of us for these last 8 days. We have just arrived in Vientiane the capitol city of Laos. We had a flight at 7:30 this morning out of Kuala Lumpur, so we were at the airport at 5am…looonnngg morning. But here we are! I’ts 11am June 9th.

We are spending the day in Vientiane with two Aussies we met at the Laos airport. We didn’t have any American or Laos money for a visa at the airport this morning, so the Aussie guy Adam overheard us talking and graciously lent us the $42 each! After which we shared a cab with him and his wife to their nice hotel room and threw our bags in there so we could explore hahaha. We are not staying the night here in Vientiane, so it was great to have a place to throw our bags. They said we could have a shower and stuff if we wanted too, but we don’t want to impose more than we already are.  So, after dropping our bags off and making a lunch date with them for a little later, we went to a travel agency down the road to try and book a bus for tonight!

Our plan is to take an overnight sleeper bus to the very southern border of Laos (10-19hrs away apparently hahahaha 9 “questionable” hours). There is a place near the border that is called 4000 islands which is where we want to spend our time here! The 4000 islands are scattered throughout the mighty Mekong river, so all the water is actually river water. There are actually only 4000 islands when it is dry season, since the water is so low it lets little land masses poke through. During the wet season their are only about 100. We heard that sometimes you can see the tops of trees poking out from the water in wet season, because of the submersed islands! cool! This is also a rare chance to see the Irrawaddy Dolphins! Fresh water dolphins that look different then your average dolphin!

—->>> JESS: GOOGLE THEM THEY ARE SO CUTE.

After staying on these extremely mellow islands for two days we are going to try and catch the infamous bus across the border to Cambodia (Siem Reap). We have heard lots of stories about these buses, over-pricing, Rotten roads, Animals on board, Overcrowding, Not arriving to destination, ???? time it takes to get there…hahaha fun stuff. Wish us luck!

In Cambodia we plan on staying in Siem Reap for about two days to see the Angkor Wat temples! Awesome! Then we catch another overnight bus back to Bangkok for one night, then HOME!

Just giving everyone a play-by-play. Subject to change as always, but we might not get another chance to post here for a couple of days. But we’ll try!!

Love love!! Talk soon (and see you soon!!!)

Tristan and Jess

In Bali Indonesia!!! (Kuta, Ubud, Sanur)

Hey guys!!!!

We’ve been a little slack with the good posts but finally we can do one! (with pictures!!)

Right now we are in a little glass walled tiki hut on a rented computer in a little beach town called Sanur (often refered to as “Snore” hahaha). It gets its nickname because its a very laid back, chill vibed place. Not much going on here to be honest haha.  So, how did we get here you ask? Well….

After our surfing adventures in busy, crazy (awesome!) Kuta Beach, we took a bus to Jess’s favorite place (she says “ever” but that might be debatable)…Ubud!

Ubud is a quaint little art town near the center of Bali. Known for its traditional dance and rich (and plentiful) arts of every kind. You can find just about anything here, wood carving, stone sculptures, paintings and jewelery. The stuff is all so beautiful as well!! We started off our Ubud trip by visiting Monkey Forest. Jess has been here before, but I still really wasn’t prepared for this… The monkeys are absolutely crazy hahaha!! Monkey Forest is basically a maze of  stone paths that wind through an amazing green forest. The kicker is that everywhere you go in this forest there are TONS of wild monkeys. Man, Im telling you… I bought a bunch of bananas before we went onto the path, as soon as i started walking down the path a monkey jumped up and grabbed one from me..then another monkey jumped up and grabbed onto my arm and took one then ran away!! Little buggers! A couple feet later, I had no more bananas hahahaha. They stole every single one from me. But, I did have monkeys looking up my shorts and digging in my pockets looking for them! Once we got a bit deeper into the forest they just started having fun with us. One jumped on jess’s shoulder, then he leaped from her shoulder to my back! then he hung out on my back from a while…I tried to shake him off a little bit, so he smacked me in the mouth and jumped into a tree! Saucy things. They were really funny to watch though.. and the little babies are cute.

After Monkey Forest we went to grab a bite to eat, and then went to a traditional Kecak Dance. This dance is a circle of shirtless Indonesian men chanted and yelling (in a kind of rhythm) while these girls danced in the middle of the circle. The whole dance depicted a story of a king who was trying to (sleep with or marry? not quite sure) the princess. But there were two creatures stopping him and protecting her. Also the chanting circle moved in sometimes to protect her, they were the Monkey Army. Really interesting stuff!

The next day we just bummed around and went for a long hilly bike ride to a few museums and galleries (which are plentiful in Ubud). We also booked the most intense thing we’ve done on our trip so far…or possibly ever. haha! We decided to try and climb the active volcano Mt. Agung. It cost us each $60, and we had to leave for the mountain at midnight!

We got picked up at 12am and drove for about an hour and a half to the mountain. We got dropped off in a little parking lot at the base where we met our guide.  We began hiking straight away. The first thing we came to was a temple and we already felt a bit winded haha (10 minutes/300 stairs up hahaha). That was just the teaser. The real hike started after the temple. We got led into a dense rainforest on a narrow dirt/mud/rock/tree stump path. If you don’t remember, earlier I said we started at midnight, that’s right…this is all done in the pitch dark! The guide gave Jess a little headlamp and I had possibly one of the smallest flashlights Ive ever seen. (Jess was also using the tiny hand-held one from my Mom–She says thanks!). So, two hours of hiking up the mountain in those conditions was alright..Jess was a little winded because shes really sick right now .. (Bad cold). Four hour climb to the peak for those interested, it’s usually 5!. the second part of the climb was the crazy part.. It was a sheer, jagged, straight-up, windy, wet, loose rock, insane, risking you life at some moments climb! (Last part is not a joke, seriously) haha! We didn’t expect a climb like the one we got, we thought it would be more of an endurance challenge. Rather then a full on rock wall scaling adventure. But we did it!! Making it to the peak felt amazing! and COLD!!! When you pack your bags for a 3 month tour of Asia, you tend to miss the cold-weather articles of clothing. But man, what we would have done for a pair of snow pants… It was zero degrees at the top (Still pitch dark and loads of wind). So,we were like “Yay!! we made it in 4 hours instead of 5!”….”But wait, damn!!! now we have to wait up here for an extra hour before sunrise!”.  We were feeezzzinngggg. But the sunrise was amazing! and finally getting to see the view was incredible. We met some nice people along the way (who were very supportive of Jess’s near-peak panic attack haha!). We had a little breakfast up there and took some pictures. The we started our descent…hmm.. What to say about this..It was tedious and painful to go down. I would’ve rather climbed up again then go down. Plus, all the thrilling hair-raising parts were intensified now that we were able to see how high we were!! hahaha. But we made it and it was  definitely an experience will will both remember forever. The trek was hard, but it was worth every minute. More challenging then we expected, but proud to say we have done it. Largest peak on Bali!!! Wooo!!!

The next day we wanted to book a ticket to go to the Gili islands..But, in South East Asia fashion organization on the bus’s part didn’t come together. So we demanded our money back and decided to stay another night in Ubud. We took the day to find Jess’s favorite artist. A Balinese Artist by the name of Ida Bagus Indra. First gallery we looked in had a whole room with his work in it!! It also turns out this is the only gallery in Bali with his work!! (Reffa-It’s Museum Rudana!) hahaha great success! One piece costs $2500-$50000 or more…So we wont be bringing any home haha :(   Just a couple of days until we fly out of Bali, so we wanted to see some more beach before we left..Back to the COAST!!

This brings us to “snore” haha Sanur! We decided to make Sanur an exciting one day trip back to Kuta beach (where we will be going tomorrow, surfing again yeahhh!!!!!!!). I really wanted to try para-sailing in Bali, lucky for me Sanur is just the place! $20 later and I’m standing on a deserted beach in the middle of nowhere, with 7 Balinese guys, Jess and a parachute attached to my back..Sweet! This was amazing fun as well!! Getting towed around by a boat when I’m who knows how many feet above the water with a parachute. Jess wasn’t going to go at first, but after I landed it didn’t take much convincing for her to strap up and get dragged into the air as well!! What a blast.

So that just about brings us to now.. Surfboards, Volcanoes, Para-sailing, boats and sea-doos…we are pooped! (Bali=Success). Now were off to eat ourselves into a Snore-coma. mmmmmmm…zzzzzzzzzzzz…

Lots of Love!!!

T&J

Brunei and BALI !

Hi !

So we are getting sparse with our blogs eh ? Sorry – we are just trying to make the most of our time and sometimes it’s a bit harder to find a computer than others. We can always post ones like this without pictures because it’s from my phone – but pics are more fun so we will try to add a few next time !

So after our week long money- saving adventure with uncle jack on labuan Island, we caught a $13 ferry over to our next destination: Brunei ! We heard that Brunei was a typical little oil city, flashy, fancy, busy and expensive. Also it is very religious there too- so no more cheap beers ! We only spent two days and one night there and managed to rip through a good hunk of money but we got a few great little souvenirs for people ! Our hotel sucked- but that’s okay- just one night ! We tried to do as much as possible on our short visit so we went to the shopping district (where EVERYONE goes after work in the evenings in Brunei) caught a movie and headed back the scenic way through a few lit up mosques (photos to follow tonight or tomorrow) .. In the morning we went to the mall, an art gallery and an arts and crafts market. It was good fun ! Then we got a public bus to the international airport (we are pros at not paying money for cabs now..

Here is where the annoyances start… Ourflight to KL was delayed, forcing us to make a scene at the airport to demand that our connection flight (that we missed by 10minutes due to their delay ) would be replaced for free by them. They did NOT want to give us a replacement flight but we were relentless an they had to give it to us. It was written right there in their terms an conditions. So we dropped a pretty penny on the ony hotel with an extra room near the airport and slept until it was time.

We LOVE Bali ! Yay :) its crazy an beautiful and cheap and great. We surfed for the first time together (our best date yet) and it was so much fun !! We actually got to stand up on our boards – woo !

Unfortunately our day was tainted by tristans iPhone getting stolen right from our hotel room :( but we are trying to be happy anyways. Now we are in ubud ! About to go to monkey forest where monkey jump on you!

Love love !

Labuan and Uncle Jack

Hi there friends and family, Jess and Tristan here writing you from Labuan, the small (and cheap) island we spoke of in the last blog. We have managed to redeem our budget back already after only 3 days, and there is MORE good news!!! There is an indian restaurant across from our hostel, there are loads of beaches all around the entire island, and renting our very own motorbike (beautiful and brand new) is only $8 a day. *ah* this is much more affordable.

We arrived here after a 3 hour speedboat ferry (40 ringgit/$13 each) and got off. We weren’t greeted with the same rush of needy cab drivers, but instead a very relaxed and non-chalant duty free island! We wandered around without any real direction. We had about 4 hours of day light left to find our accomodation (we hadn’t booked it, only decided we would try and find it– Jack’s B&B). With no general ideas about where it was we just walked and walked hoping to stumble across it. Eventually we were both too hot, and getting slightly discouraged that it hadn’t just jumped out at us so we decided to sit in a cafe and google where Jack’s B&B was. We sat and ordered a tiger (because…. all of the “cafes” here are actually bars, and beer is cheaper than coffee anyways…) as I was searching my iphone for wifi networks “Jack’s B&B” popped up!!!! baha!!! we had accidentally stumbled into the bar part of the place we were LOOKING for!!! ahahahahaha we had a nice laugh about that. Two seconds later, Uncle Jack (as he wished to be called) happily came over to us and offered us a room for 30 ringgit a night ($10) and we smiled and put our bags in the room.

Simply stated, we are happy and relaxed in Labuan for a full week before heading to Brunei (on the 27th for those of you keeping track). Our itinerary really just consists of sleeping, reading novels, eating, hanging out with Uncle Jack and other guests. Uncle Jack is a HOOT. This small little Malaysian/Chinese man who is just here to have a good time and make everyone around him comfortable and happy. He has already cooked for us, bought us beer, and shared loads of stories. =]

We have already driven around the entire island, tip to tip to tip and it is lovely. There are also some non-lovely parts, but very enjoyable overall. Our favourite thing to do lately is pick a spot along the empty endless beaches and lay out a blanket and read and read and read until sunset when we head back to town for a shower and some curry. mmm.

We have also checked out a couple of the tourist attractions. One of them (the “best” one) is called “The Chimney”. Guess what? It’s a chimney. But the great thing about this chimney, is that it doesn’t, and hasn’t ever served a purpose. No one is quite sure why this chimney was built. It’s about 106 feet tall (we think) and was built extremely structurally sound. They said it may have been built as a ventilation system for the coal miners– but there are no tunnels or mines underneath. Also, tests show that the chimney has never actually been actively used. hmm… hilarious. We had a good laugh standing at the foot of the giant (and surprisingly nice) chimney.

Shortly after our chimney visit we went to a bird park! weird… but still fun.

anyways! lots of love, we are happy (and HOT omg.. it’s too hot to be anywhere but indoors with A/c or at the sea midafternoon— 35-40 degrees every day :S:S)

xoxoxo!

(we added a couple of photos to the last post, but the only computer we managed to access today is painfully slow so we are limiting them hahaha!)

Kota Kinabalu to Labuan

Hey guys ! So sorry we haven’t posted in a little while – we were just on the eastern side of Borneo Malaysia and it was SO EXPENSIVE DOHH ! We wanted todo a big old list of things which include clombing mt kinibalu, watch sea turtles lay eggs, dive/snorkel off sipidan, go on a river cruise where you might see Pygmy elephants, walk high above the jungle on a manmade canopy walk and lastly, go see orangutans in a rehabilitation centre. So many awesome things but each of those would set us back 2-400$ Canadian !!!!!!!!!! So we hung out in the city and chose one special day at mt kinibalu and saw the worlds biggest flower next to southeast Asia’s largest mountain, and went to the hot springs near the mountain and did the terrifying, adrenaline rushing, 43 meter high canopy walk in the cool damp rainforest terrain. It was a great fun day – but really hurt our budgets. Kota Kinabalu was just too expensive – we want to come back and see all this stuff when we have saved up a little more than we did.

We decided our best plan of action to redeem back our weeks worth of over-budget was to run away to a small unsuspecting island and try to eat cheap and sleep cheap for the week until we go to Brunei (one week from yesterday) ! I’ll add a few pics to this blog soon, and we will let you know how Labuan (the island we ran away to) turns out !

Singapore to Kuching (Malaysian Borneo)

Hello hello!!!!

When we left you guys last we were in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) with Lyndon. That night we went into the city and saw the petronas towers! They were awesome! They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Now they are third tallest, behind the second largest Taipei 101 tower (Taipei, China) and the largest building in the world today Burj Khalifa (Dubai). But they still remain the Largest twin towers in the world! They have a walkway connecting them together at the 41st and 42 second floor (which makes it the highest two story bridge in the world). The bridge is not actually connected to the buildings but is designed to slide in and out to avoid them breaking. The towers sway so much in the wind that if the bridge was solidly connected it would just snap right off. Cool stuff!

So, the next morning Lyndon dropped us off at the bus station and we caught a bus to Singapore. “Caught a bus” is a loose term here though hahaha. We went to the bus station and bought our tickets. It was an amazing bus station that looked like an airport inside. After we got our tickets though, a man led us out of the bus station and a couple streets over into a dirty, smelly alley and told us to wait there until the bus came. Doh! We were waiting in this alley with about 30 other people. about an hour later a man came and led us all (always rushing us) a couple more streets over were we waited for another 15 minutes. Finally, a bus pulled up in front of us (By now we were just on some random street in China town) and picked us up. The bus engine kept over-heating and so we were only driving about 10km/hr on the highway to try and get it to cool hahahaha. After about an 1 1/2 of driving slow then driving fast then slow again we pulled over for a pit stop. After grabbing some snacks we were getting back on our bus when a man came up to us and told us to switch buses (arg!). You have to understand that barely anyone spoke English on this bus and they all just assume we know whats going on and can’t really explain to us whats happening. We just had to trust the and switch buses without really knowing what was happening. What made it more sketchy was that we were the only people they told to change buses… We still don’t know why since both buses were going to Singapore, but we made it anyways!!! We walked from the bus stop to our hostel (the only one we pre-booked on our whole trip so far) it took us about 20 minutes and it was a nice walk! Three things i can tell you about Singapore- Very clean, Very pretty, Very expensive!! The city is awesome and gorgeous, but holy expensive!! The absolute cheapest place we could find was $22/night each ($44 total)! and that was just for a bunk bed… in a dorm… above a bar….in Little India… So we could only smell curry and beer! hahahaha! To put that in perspective, we had a room in Vietnam that had three beds (even though it was just the two of us) a balcony and it was a huge room for $8/night ($4/each)… haha We’re pretty sure we could buy a mansion in Vietnam for the money we spent in two days in Singapore! hahaha. But well worth it, Singapore is amazing! Especially after we saw it through Chandran and Meera’s eyes. They are contacts that Jess’s father hooked us up with. They are amazing people, so gracious and kind. It was amazing that even though we were 14751.31 KM from Halifax (Approximately) we still felt like we had friends. They showed us some places in Singapore we would never have seen without them, and treated us to dinner in a gorgeous marina club. We can’t thank them enough for the time they took out of their day to show us around. :) Hopefully they visit in Halifax and we can return the favor!!! Seems like their kids are keen on moving to Canada which is great!

Earlier in the day, before we met up with Chandran and Meera we went to the very famous Singapore Zoo!! The reason its so famous and regarded as one of the best zoos in the world is the “open concept”. Monkeys swing over your head as your walking through and there are very few cages. Instead, they isolate the animals using natural barriers such as rivers (moats) or tall rock walls. We had an amazing day walking around the HUGE zoo together. It took us from about 11am-4:30pm and we still raced to catch the bus haha. We could have walked around for another hour or two at least.We really loved the White Tigers and the Chimpanzees (they look so human!). The Natural Rainforest dome was amazing as well. You walk into a dome and it’s like you walked into a crazy vibrant rainforest! Lemurs are jumping around you and flying foxes are swooping above (yikes! like massive furry bats) and there were thousands of butterflies. Plus, none of these creatures are blocked off from you in here, the lemurs could jump right on your back if they wanted (though they didnt hahaha). It was a blast!

Like we said, our Hostel was in Little India, which turned out to be really cool. The food was AMAZING!!!!!!! (Lots of delicious veggie options for Jess, sometimes a struggle to find in Asia). We saw lots of markets, Jess bought some fabric. Had a drink on a rooftop bar….a $33 PITCHER!!!!! AHHH!!! So expensive. :( It was hard to find anything less then $10 beers. ouch. So we got the hell outta there! hahahaha Back to Malaysia it is!

Which brings us to now. We flew to the Borneo Island yesterday (May 15th). For those of you who don’t know much about Borneo, it is an island made up of three different countries. Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. Right now we are in the Malaysian part of Borneo in a town called Kuching. “Kuching” means “Cat” in Malay and it is a crazy cat city haha. Cats EVERYWHERE! Cat museums, cat statues at intersections. Jess keeps thinking of Maggie and Charlotte and Murray hahaha. It’s actually a very very nice city. Quaint and sweet. We like it here. Tomorrow we fly to Kota Kinabalu (also in Borneo Malaysia). We were hoping to climb MT.Kinabalu (known as the “roof of borneo”) but it looks like it would cost about $600-$700 and we didn’t budget for that much :(   Tomorrow (May 17th) Will be exactly one month until were back! We still have to do Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and back to Thailand. Wooo!! Love bouncing through countries. Its exciting to watch your passport fill up.

We think about all of you guys all time! We wish you could see, hear and feel all of this through us. We can’t wait to show you all our pictures (about 1,000 pictures now!) and talk about everything in detail. Talk to you soon. Love yas!

Perhentian islands To Kuala Lumpur

Hey guys!

So Jess wrote two quick blogs to keep you posted as we traveled through to the Perhentian Islands. But, were going to try and write what you guys have missed the past couple of days in more detail now that we have access to a computer (in a gorgeous condo in KL).

Our last days in Surat Thani Thailand we spent motorbiking around town and hanging out with Reffa and X. We all went back to the Monkey School which was open this time! So cool what monkeys can do, so smart! We have pictures and videos for when we get back. This monkey school is a place that people bring their monkeys and actually enroll them in this 6 month course. The course trains them to climb coconut trees and knock the coconuts down for the farmers! Wild! We had a lot of fun there. After all that we all just kind of took it easy. Went out for supper, had a few drinks and sang some karaoke! Jess and I had to say good-bye to Reffa and X the next morning at 6am when our bus came to pick us up for Malaysia. Were going to miss those guys! we had a blast with them for the whole time we spent there, and cant thank them enough for taking us around and showing us some great things!!! Its gonna be a blast when they come back to Canada!

Our bus took us 4 1/2 hours south to Hat Yai (Thailand) then we caught another bus to Sungai Golok the Thai-Malay border town. We got to the border in a torrential downpour thunder and lightning storm! hahaha. Luckily i had my Vietnam hat so i stayed dry, Jess got wet. HaHa!! This was the first land border crossing we have had to do on our trip so far and the tensions have been known to run a little high sometimes at the Thai-Malay border (Typically religiously fueled). So although we never felt in danger at all, we were a little on edge. Keeping all that in mind, we were walking through the border (In “no mans land”) and getting our bags checked by the fellows with grumpy faces and automatic rifles :| when all of a sudden the biggest blast of thunder we had ever heard exploded behind us!!!! BOOM! hahaha we jumped so high, but luckily it scared everyone so we all just laughed haha. Fun times!

So we caught a taxi into Kota Bharu in Malaysia and hit a Pizza Hut for supper (hahaha sometimes you just miss the little things) and checked into the place we were staying at for the night. The next morning we caught a taxi to Kuala Besut which was the town you have to go to get the speedboat to the Perhentian Islands! We were waiting with our tickets in hand on the Jetty waiting for someone to tell us to get into one of the speedboats but no one paid attention to us. Meanwhile, tons of tourists were piling into boats. So we kept asking this Malay lady “is this our boat? is that one our boat?” and she just said “no no no no”. So we watched the boats get PACKED with tourists and finally the guy told us to get in one of them. So we climb down and got on, then they said “no, not that one! the one behind it!” (Another completely empty boat had pulled up behind us) So Jess and I climbed into this big speedboat by ourselves and they took off! hahaha So we were happy to have a boat cruise to ourselves instead of stuffed in with a bunch of people!

The boat took about 15 minutes to get to the islands (everyone says it should take about 30-40 mins so we were pretty sure our captain wasn’t going the regulation speed haha) we hopped out onto the most beautiful beach i have ever seen… The water looked like pool water, but clearer haha! Crystal aqua blue water and bright white sand with forests behind it. It was breathtaking!

We checked a couple of accommodations out until deciding to stay in a hut on stilts in the forest over looking Long Beach and the ocean. One thing we can definitely say about this island is that the wild life was so cool! There had to have been millions of butterflies on this islands. There were monitor lizards on every single path you walked on (sometimes two or three at a time, and sometimes HUGE like crocodiles hahaha) Also we found a really cool snake, we took a picture and showed a local who said immediately “in your room!?!?” and we said “oh no! on the path” and he said “what path? where? how far?” hahaha then he told us they were poisonous and not to go near them…. Duh.

We went on a snorkeling trip which turned out to be such a blast! The whole ocean floor there was covered in every type of coral imaginable! and the water was so clear you could see 20-30 feet down no problem at all. We saw black tip reef sharks, Clown fish, stingrays, huge schools of fish that swam right at you! one bit Jess’s elbow ! hahaha We also swam with huge turtles!! So cool! they swam directly under us only about 6 feet down from us.  We don’t have an under water camera, so we didn’t get any pictures from the snorkeling. But, we’ll post some other peoples pictures of the same sharks/turtles that we saw for you.

 

We also explored the island (it isn’t too big to walk around in a day) and swam and swam and played and swam! hahaha we had a blast! Our last night on the island we hung out with an Irish couple we met and had a few “Monkey Juices” and then hit the hay. We spent a total of 4 days and 4 nights on the Perhentian Island Kecil and we wanted to spend many more.

Our boat got us the next morning at 8am and we got back to the mainland where we caught a shuttle to go to the Kota Bharu airport for our flight to Kuala Lumpur. Our flight didn’t leave until 2:50pm and it was only 10am haha so we hung out and chatted with an Aussie guy we met for a couple hours and then just started reading and such. Our friend Steph from Halifax told us to contact her father when we got to Kuala Lumpur as he has been living here for a few years now. So we got in touch with him and he is an amazing guy! He offered to pick us up from the airport and to put us up for a couple nights as well. We landed in KL and Lyndon was right there to meet us. He drove us to his place in KL (Drove us in his Mazerati! so cool!). When we got to his place we were stunned…It was the most gorgeous condo we have ever seen. Its huge, clean, dark wood,tile, granite. Everything you could possibly need is here. He also has 4 birds which are really interesting! The walls are covered in beautiful art from all over the world.  Not to mention he is such a nice person! He took us out for dinner and welcomed us into his house. We are so grateful for everything. Also, he said he might be in Indonesia the same time as us! So hopefully we get to see him and have a beer with him there.

Anyways, that just about brings you up to date on everything. Tonight were going into town with Lyndon to see the towers and the city. We leave to go to Singapore tomorrow morning, then off to Borneo after that! For now, were going to hop in the outdoor pool overlooking the city. Haha (trying to be modest here) Love yas! Talk soon!

Perhentian island; Kecil

That is where we are right now – it is incredible – it definitely ranks in the top three places I have ever been beach-wise – it is still fairly untouched but busy enough to make us feel comfortable – amazing ! We are still on the island with no computers just wifi at certain times per day– so no pics yet but we are seeing some crazy wildlife in this jungley beach place that we can’t wait to show you !

In 2 days (on the 11th) we fly to kuala lumpur and we already have a couple of contacts there who want to help us out – so kind ! :) :) one of our friends from Halifax ; her father lives in KL and she gave us his contact information and once we emailed him he immediately offered us a place to stay in a way that made us feel most welcome :) :) also we have been emailing a few of dad’s contacts who have very kindly offered their contact info and to take us around the city ! We now have an over abundance of amazing people who are willing to show us KL and Singapore :) :) what a lovely problem to have .

Wish you all were here :) xox

Malaysia !

We are in Malaysia now !! We entered around 4pm this afternoon and are sleeping in Kota bharu, a sweet little cozy muslim city on the north eastern corner of Malaysia ! Tomorrow morning we will catch a ferry over to the perhentian islands :D they are sleepy relaxed white sandy beaches where we will stay for 3 nights or so- yay ! We have a better update for you (with pics) about monkey school, karaoke and saying good bye to Surat but we must wait for a better opportunity to write. For now we just wanted you to know we are safe and sound on Malaysia and will soon be bronzing on a beach !

:) xoxox
Ps- Reffa and X’s wedding video is awesome !!!! Can’t wait for you all to see !!!