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The Last Leg

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The Road to Angkor

Siem Reap, Cambodia

We set off on the road to Angkor, from Bangkok early one morning,

It was a long trip, possibly the longest and hardest day of the trip so far,
The bus from Bangkok to the border seemed ok, until the ticket scam kicked in, where we are kind of forced to buy over priced visas from a “friendly café” near the border, after a bit of faffing about we got into Cambodia,

Crossing over into Poipet is like stepping back in time, a wild west like town with dusty roads, very dodgy border guards, and a mix of run down shops!

We catch the 2nd leg of the trip, which is the oldest bus in the world, heading off on roads that are so bumpy and full of pot holes the bus feels like the bus is going to collapse at any moment…this is real travelling!

Almost 16 hours later, we arrive in Siem Riep, and are dropped off at a guest house, we literally crashed out, and thankfully the rooms were fine.

The next day we explored the town of Siem Reip, and checked out all the markets.

The day after we are up at 4am, and jump into our tuk-tuk that we had pre-booked, $20 for the day…

Our driver sped us into the Temples of Angkor, an ancient city built over a 600 year period from 802AD the vast city was lost to the Jungle some time back in 11th Century,

Untouched and covered in deep jungle until French explorers discovered it in the 1860’s
And discovered by Kannara and I in late 2007,

We spent all day walking around the ruins, taking literally hundreds of photos, and had a great time, we sped away in our tuk-tuk as the heavens opened late in the day and a tropical downpour ensued!

Well worth the bumpy trip from Bangkok

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 23, 2007 from Siem Reap, Cambodia
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Trekking, Cooking & Bartering

Chiang Mai, Thailand

We went to Chiang Mai on an overnight train narrowly avoiding a scam bus from Bangkok which we foolishly bought tickets for, regarldess we arrived safe and sound on the train.

We did a few things in Chiang Mai. First was a cooking course for one day, which involved us and 6 other backpackers learning how to cook some classic Thai dishes. Tom stole the show with his unique Spring roll that looked like a kebab more than anything! Tom wowed the cameras with a flaming display of some natural cullinary talent and became Chef Tom.

Next was trekking through mountainous terrain with a guide and another group of about 6 backpackers where we walked through the hills and stayed the night in a hill tribe village high in the Mountains...

got a little drunk on some local brew and went bamboo rafting on the way back to civlisation along with a quick elephant ride.

Word of advice, baby elephants are stronger than they look!

Also did some bartering whist shopping at the night markets. Tom soon acquired some Jedi Powers, he was able to convince the stall attenders that his price was "the right price".... and so with a quick "talk to the hand" guesture and a bit of attitude, he managed to get three football shirts for the price of one.

...written by K

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 19, 2007 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Steamy Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

Fake DVDs, football shirts, jeans, sunglasses.......and even fake degrees and driving licences......there is no end to the fake stuff you can buy in Bangkok. If you do come here, spend as little time as possible in Bangkok. As we found out later, Chiang Mai has everything Bangkok has and is smaller and less polluted.

Despite the above, it was still good fun hanging on for dear life in the back of a tuk tuk weaving in and out of rush hour traffic.

Good points - great street food and a good travel agent - the G-Meister!
Bad points - prevalence of scams and pollution

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 17, 2007 from Bangkok, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Underwater world

Ko Tao, Thailand

Hopped over from Ko Phangan on the ferry to the island of Ko Tao, and went to a quiet corner of the island that had been recomended. The ride over was crazy in the back of a truck over terrain more suited for a tank! It was worth the ride though as we landed a beachfront bungalow, this time on stilts overlooking the bay of Leam Thian.

If Ko Phangan is for swimming then Ko Tao is for snorkelling. The rocky beach makes for a perfect dive and plenty of coral and fish literally from the shoreline. We both spent most of our time snorkelling and brave Tom was not deterred from the water despite being bitten by little viscious cute tropical fish (k - hehehehe).

We took the raft out to explore deeper waters and saw some awesome marine life.

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 13, 2007 from Ko Tao, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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THE Beach!

Ko Phangan, Thailand

Arrived in Ko Phangan after missing the ferry after the bus we were travelling on started to catch fire on the motor way !

So we arrived later than planned and ended up staying in a nice resort for the night, but as the staff were pretty rude and useless when we complained about the dodgy air con, we decided to Split in the morning and jumped in a jeep with another couple who seemed to have half a plan and took a dirt road in a 4x4 to the other side of the island and found our Paradise ! a quiet beach set out with idyllic beach bungalows just a stones throw from the calm waters !

Spent the next 2 days lounging on the sands and swimming around in the bay, diving off the rocks into the deep green gorgeous sea !

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 9, 2007 from Ko Phangan, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Jungle treehouse

Khao Sok, Thailand

We rolled into Khao Sok in the mid afternoon on a crazy local bus to find our perfect jungle hideaway :-) a tree house type thing on stilts set on the edge of the Ridge with stellar views over the jungle! It rained quite a bit when we first arrived but suited us as we just chilled in the large hammock on our balcony!

The next day we did an elephant trek through the jungle, met by several guys who couldn't speak a word of English we were taken deep into the jungle in a 4x4, we finally get there and there is an elephant waiting for us, after climbing on top, we set off down the track, the elephant ignoring the young guy who was leading us and seemed more interested in eating anything it could wrap its trunk around! So slowly but surely we made our way deeper into the jungle.

The elephant swaying from side to side as he walked down the hill into the river, the crappy seat that were strapped into started to swing from side to side a bit, seemed pretty dodgy as it was only held on by some old rope! But it held us in...just

It was awesome to be on the elephant as it waded down the river, eventually reaching an amazing little waterfall, where our little guide, (he must have been about 15) showed us the way to jump in from the top, climb behind the waterfall and jumping in, climbing the vines...and all sorts of Tarzan-esq jumping around.

plodded back to Elephant HQ, and just climbed off Dumbo as it started tipping it down monsoon style...so dived in the car and went back to our tree house!

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 7, 2007 from Khao Sok, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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James Bond Island, Monkeys and Cockroaches

Phangnga, Thailand

We arrived at Phang-Nga and found a guest house in the centre of town. The room was clean and air conditioned, although we had to cohabit the room with a cockroach which Tom did not take to very well :)

The rain is extremely efficient here in Phang Nga, it doesn't waste time with showers and drizzles and just pours down!

It was an early start the next morning, we took a ride on a long tail boat through the mangroves which was a little eerie but splendid at the same time. Amongst other places, the boat took us to Panak Island where we were given a torch and told to march into a dark cave. After we made it back without being eaten by the cave monster, we were given a picnic lunch and spent some time swimming in the cove, and once again it started to pour!

The guide then collected us and took us to James Bond Island where we were to do a trek in the National Park. Although the trek basically meant walking up some steps, the view from the top was breathtaking. Apparently, this is the Island where they filmed “The Man with the Golden Gun”.

We spent the night at a floating fishing village that was built on stilts and set in front of a mountain backdrop. You could see the lots of squid swimming from the window of our room. After settling in, we went for a walk into the floating village where both the experienced explorer and a mistaken native got conned by a monkey in a nappy! We learned - don't trust cocky's ........or monkeys.

The view from our bungalow restaurant was picturesque. Sleeping on water, and waking up to the river and mangroves, it was sweet.

...by Kannara

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 4, 2007 from Phangnga, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Nai Yang

Phuket, Thailand


We arrived in Phuket and stayed on the west coast in Nai Yang for 2 nights, the area was hit by the Tsunami so they were still rebuilding some parts. Our Hotel and pool were great though,
as were the restaurants on the beach were we were getting to grips with the great Thai food

It was pretty quiet we felt like the only ones there at times, which suits us!

When we came to leave we decided tp rough it, and catch the a local bus instead of the thousand taxi offers we had. Felt like a total tourists on the bus as we weren't sure exactly where to get off as the signs are basically all in Thai !

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 2, 2007 from Phuket, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Singapore Sling

Singapore, Singapore

The Start of the Last leg of the journey through south east Asia, started with Kannara and myself flying into Singapore, we had one night to spend there and then on to Thialand so it was a flying visit, great to be heading off but also a shame to be leaving Australia behind!

Started out by staying the one night in Scarlet a 4 Star hotel, which was posh as ! We went over to Raffles to famous hotel in Singapore for dinner and a Singapore Sling ! Before heading back to China town for a wander round and a beer in a random cafe!

The next day we jumped on the tour bus, and riffled round all the sights in a day, China Town, Botanic Gardens, Orchard road, Little India etc.

Got to late in the day so we shot back to hotel, grabbed our bags and went to the airport to fly on to Phuket!

Singapore is unbelievably humid, and hits you like a brick wall ! Your sweating within 5 mins!

The city is a cool place to be but probably the most expensive place i've been on my trip so far, really nice, but feels ultra clean and sterile not quite the experience you get in the rest of Asia !

permalink written by  tomrendell on October 1, 2007 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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Back in the West

Perth, Australia

Flew back to Perth Via Ayres Rock, Which was great to see...

Am now back in Perth, and have been staying at Kannara house, found a job in the city which is great!

Have been out and about with Kannara and have been getting behind the wheel of her car which is awesome! (actually driving round Perth...not just sat in the driveway making enjine noises)

We went to Cirque du Soleil which is down here, very impressive, best show of any type I've ever been to...apart from Doncaster Vs Hull 1998.

Only 3 weeks until we fly out together to Singapore to start our trip around Asia, so a couple of days ago we had to move out of her house, and have just moved in with her Sisters family for the remainder.

They have a nice place out in the sticks, close to the beach, and next to a lake, ideal for a morning jog!

permalink written by  tomrendell on September 5, 2007 from Perth, Australia
from the travel blog: The Last Leg
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