Asia · 18 Days · 42 Moments · April 2017

Liza's voyage in Indonesia


12 May 2017

Final dinner in koh samui on the beach then ladyboy cabaret at Starz. So hilarious and SO MUCH FUN. Free admission and you just pay for "expensive drinks" and to get your pic taken with a ladyboy.

11 May 2017

Full moon party on koh phangan. Took a speedboat 20 mins from sumai to Phagnan just as it started to downpour. The moon looked ridiculous earlier that night, glowing reddish pink and rose in the sky like a reverse sunset. The party was on the beach and crowded but definitely not as bad as I expected after having gone to carneval in Rio de Janeiro. Thought it was going to be all 18yos but was a somewhat mixed crowd. Walking along the beach there were diff types of music blasting from hip hop to EDM and burning jumpropes being spun. Party went on until the morning but we left at a safe sensible hour of 3am lol.
Family dinner at the villa before the full moon party
Second day in Ko Samui....beach day! rented the villa driver for 4 hours (2000 baht-hella expensive and not worth it) and started in ark beach club in chaweng beach Chaweng has powdery sand but rocky and murky waters. Lots of vendors who keep trolling the area and bothering you. The main strip of Chaweng is very developed and touristy. Then some of us went north to Bophut, the fishing village which was the main town in Ko samui before it became a tourist destination. The beach was less crowded and more beautiful. The water seemed more clear but there may have been petrol from the speedboats anchored there. Great music, cool vibe, definitely glad we went. Samui is really touristy and developed. I heard from other ko Tao and ko phagnan are less so and have more beautiful beaches but less nightlife and other stuff to do.

9 May 2017

Muy Thai fight at Thapea boxing stadium. People come from around the world to train here. 600 baht for ringside seats. Many mixed feelings from the group ESP as the first fight was with little kids but I was totally into it. Finally tried the original Thai Red Bull, same taste but sans carbonation. Second set of ladies were so good. First KO "Special fight" of 5 blind folded fighters who mostly hit the ref who then knocked the fighter out Main fight ended in a KO in the 2nd round After the fight went to a set of bars Zoe in Yellow. Then Joshua, Tina and Sabrina's friend from their hike brought his Australian juicehead friend Johnny. Who got wasted and chased kelly and soma around, saying he would knock out their teeth for not helping Eric get laid. He also hit on me in a weird aggressive way and then called me hot but stuck up. Thankfully the first and only major drama of the trip so far.
Famous food stand lady with the cowboy hat! Khao Kha Moo Chang Phueak Pork stew over rice. Hella good.
Our day at elephant reserve nature park. 2500 baht for the full day. Feeding Waruni, our first elephant! They sleep 4 hrs and eat 18 hrs Zaza was a trekker elephant and they had put a hook in her ear so they put a flower in it Four elephants stepped on land mines at the Burma border and had disfigured legs. We also got to wash them in a dirty river. Our volunteer guide, White, was so enthused about his job. He would light up every time he talked about the animals. The herds were all women and children. Male elephants (they had 3 at the reserve) were kept separate becUse they get too aggressive and attack the females. Azn elephants are smaller than Africans and only males have tusks (except for manly females).

8 May 2017

Super sweet birthday gifts from kelly and Sylvia! Then dinner at ?Plaza Lana on a beautiful resort complete with Thai dancers Early night for this old lady as I was falling asleep at the bar. Thankfully most bars close at midnight. Finally got to try out the red jeeps

7 May 2017

Tiger kingdom! Half hour away from the city and got to see the large and baby tigers. The more "humane" tiger sanctuary as opposed to the monk run one that was caught breeding tigers and selling to the Chinese for their coats. They are nocturnal animals so seemed sleepy and sedate when saw them. The baby almost attacked me so the trainer had to hit it in the face with a bamboo stick.

6 May 2017

Khao soi samer jai, traditional Chiang Mai dish of egg noodle soup with beef at a food market. You know it's legit when it's only locals eating there. Also had the green curry, pork with tamarind and spring rolls. Dinner at the Saturday night market. Chiang Mai seemed to have night markets and bazaars every night in the old city. Grilled makarel Squid eggs Khao soi Glass noodles with mushrooms Thai ice cream
Beautiful digs at Pingviman hotel in chiang mai. Located right in the old city, looked like dorn from game of thrones.

5 May 2017

Kams roast goose, second Michelin star restaurant of the day. Had the roasted goose, pig belly, chicken liver and roasted suckling pig. Hands down best pig I've ever eaten. The skin was so crunchy and delicious.
Big Buddha, 2 hours outside the city. What a freaking trek. Took an uber to a bus that took us up the mountain. Tram was down so didn't get the great views.
Second breakfast at Tim ho wan....cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world Vermicelli roll with pigs liver Congee Shrimp dumplings...amazing Shrimp shumai Pork buns....best thing on the menu
Waking up early has its benefits...fish congee in Fa Yuen food market. Everywhere you look is Chinatown Bakery with pineapple and pork buns

4 May 2017

After tea, we took the star ferry from Kowloon to main HK, LKF, for 2.5hkd. Great views when the clouds thankfully cleared up. Bars in Lan Kwai Fong, a neighborhood of bars and restaurants. Found a Filipino bar who hooked us up with the HH special before it started. Bad news for Sabrina who spit her shot over uyen. Rooftop drinks with a great view at ce la vie Then late night eats tsui wah, drunk late night eats Eric flew in and met us at Brickhouse, tiny alley bar back in LKF. He didn't know to take the pocket wifi from the hotel I left for him so just took the train into hk and wandered around until Rosh found him on the street.
High tea at the Intercontinental, very former British colony trendy thing to do. We had heard the Peninsula was also nice, no views but had a pretty interior. High tea became high wine as nobody was that interested in caffeinating. Our view of the HK skyline was obstructed by fog, smog and a giant oil rig parked right in front of the window.
En route to monastery of 10000 buddhas built in 1950s about 40 mins outside the city. Misnomer bc it has >13000 buddhas and doesn't have any monks. Right now it's POURING outside.

3 May 2017

Clarke and uyen arrived in HK and we took the Aqua Luna junk boat around the river. Pretty expensive with views we had already seen from the river bank but was a fun touristy event.
Fishermans wharf in Macau built very recently in 2005 but made to look very historic. It was buddhas birthday so we caught a ceremony.
Kelly abhi Salma and I spent the day in Macau. Took turbojet from hk to taipa, macau (one of the neighboring islands) for 177hkd. The first European colony in Asia and one of the last to be relinquished in 1999 in exchange for clearing pirates in the area. It makes 7x the revenue as vegas. Azns love gambling. Stopped in at the Venetian hotel and casino. Lunch at A Lorcha, a Portuguese restaurant with pretty good food Iced coffee at Cafe terra cafe. Senado square St. Paul ruins

2 May 2017

Made it to Hong Kong. Kelly found me at the airport and we waited for Clarke and uyen who never arrived. Finally they answered they weren't coming until the next day and uyen had accidentally booked her hotel for an extra night. #senilesisters Met up with rosh for our first dim sum at Crystal Jade in IFC building in Soho HK.

1 May 2017

Took a taxi to Sanur beach to catch a ferry to Lembongan island (Rockys, 500R with included hotel pickup and drop off).

30 April 2017

$6 massages are life. So is food... Couldn't make it to a Babi guling place bc they're only open for lunch but made it to Made's Warung for some of that and rockfish, a local Balinese fish. It was also salsa night so we got to watch weird dancers.
Dreamland, our favorite beach. Very clear and clean with warm water. Not a lot of people like padeng padeng. Located on a resort compound which I can see blowing up with people in the next few years. Glad to have beat the rush to see this beautiful beach
Padeng padeng beach, very beautiful but hella small and packed full of people and vendors.
Suluban beach...very close to uluwatu temple. Beach access is through a cave inaccessible during high tide. Which is exactly when we came. 😒😒 So we had drinks at Warung Delphi instead and watched surfers.
Seminyak Day 2 tour: First stop....Uluwatu temple. One of the nine temples along the cliffs. 9 is an important number in Bali because it's the highest number possible in their language Bali....island of the gods

29 April 2017

Went to seminyak beach. The tide was so low it looked like the beach went on for so long before you finally got to the ocean. The water was warm and clear. Beachside bars blasted dance music.
New air B and B in seminyak. One of the first homes built when Bali began to be developed. We have the entire beautiful villa to ourselves that came complete with a dog named Yogi.

28 April 2017

Buyan lake, one of the twin lakes
Lunch with a view at Bebek Tebasari
Goa rang reng - we waded and swam through a river to get to the "Grand Canyon." Then backtracked and got purified in natural spring water. Then went to a temple inside a cave with bats and were eaten alive by ants. We held a rope and slipped and slided up the side of a waterfall to see a beautiful rock formation at the top of the waterfall. A great way to spend a beautiful morning in Bali.

27 April 2017

12th century temple : Batwan temple Temple of vishnu, also the record keeper of good prayers
Lunch overlooking the active volcano Batur. Across the lake is a village where they put their dead at the base of the trees and they mummify in the sun. Cepung waterfall. Snake(skin) fruit - tastes like lychee
Organic arabica coffee plantation. Two beans in one pod usually, better flavor when it's single pods. Beans are ripe when red. The beans taste sweet and a weasel type animal luwak eats it for outer gel and poops it out. Their poop is processed for coffee. They only eat the best coffee beans. At the plantation the owner keeps one luwak and release it after 2 mos. Cinnamon tree, bark tastes like Big Red gum. Cocoa beans. Coffee and tea tasting
Tagalang rice patties! Beautiful views. 12 hour guided tour chauffeured by our driver Tsai for just $15pp

26 April 2017

At last made it to ubud, Bali! After arriving at the airport, tried to get an uber bc it was much cheaper and was accosted by taxi harpies. Then my driver got lost and took an extra hour but we finally found it...Puri Bukit Sari! There are small manmade streams with stone paths to get to our room and a beautiful view of ubud. Ubud downtown is very crowded and congested with so much traffic. Not very charming at all. We ate amazing Indonesian food at Warung Mendez and I'm still dreaming about their rice/noodle dish. Then we went on a walk, went to a guided meditation (naptime), then Salma and I wandered into a storytelling sesh. It seemed like an interesting premise, world travelers sharing their stories, but it was a bunch of white hippie weirdos who seemed like they grew up privileged and let to "find themselves." 😒.

25 April 2017

Walked through a small bazaar to the ferry that took me the short way across the river (about 75m 🙄) to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) for 4baht. 50 baht for temple admission. Here you can buy a bell and ring it for good luck. It also has beautiful green courtyards but the temple itself was pretty disappointing. Very small and the upper areas were closed to construction. Per wiki it is named after the Hindu goddess Aruna and "the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence" Finished the day with dinner at a nearby place called HomeCafe, from which I stole wifi to start this post. Then took over an hour in traffic to get back to DMK area. Taxis turns me down bc it was so far but one nice guy took me. Now off to bed to make my 6am flight. 😴😴 Hope I make it to Bali finally...fingers crossed.
Wat pho is amazing. 100 baht. A place of serenity and calm. Much less tourists and more open. Also a school for monks and cute littlemonklings - you can see them wandering in the courtyard and saying prayers in front of the GIANT Reclining Buddha. Wat pho has the largest number of buddhas in Thailand. You can also pay to get a cupful of coins you then distribute among bowls for good luck.
Grand palace is NUTS. Absolutely packed full of pushy tour groups and hot as hell. I got turned away for wearing leggings and a tank with a scarf over my shoulders. So chaste! So I got a new thai garb complete with elephant parachute pants. Saw the emerald Buddha and didn't have energy for much else. Accidentally drank the dysentery temple water and now my bowels are a ticking time bomb...💣💩 Already lost these sunglasses. Cannot be trusted. 500 baht
Flew into BKK knowing I'd have a narrow transfer as I switched airlines, terminals and also had a problem with my ticket. I ask an employee where the AirAsia terminal is and he says .... ANOTHER AIRPORT. After a quick convo with Abhi I decide to try to make it to the other airport but have to clear passport control. It took me about 5 mins to even find a working pen because I misplaced mine even tho I specifically put one in my purse before heading out. I paid my taxi driver Tommy 600baht ($15) to drive like a maniac (even for Thai standards) to the airport. He would pass on the shoulder, nearly crash into surrounding cars and truly tried to get me there on time. I clear presecurity check by cutting and begging then get to the ticket agent only to hear they closed the gate door....by 3min. FYI tears do not open gate doors. I tried. So starts my impromptu day in Bangkok....One night in Bangkok... Abhi found me Hoppers place, a hostel near the airport and then I wandered...