Europe, Asia · 88 Days · 62 Moments · February 2017

Manu's & Nic's trips: Southeast Asia


4 May 2017

Don Khon has a stunning waterfall. The french colonialists had to build a whole railroad over Don Khon and Don Det, to navigate past the waterfalls (they tried to find a connection to trade with China from their own colony). We had to pay an entrance fee for Don Khon (we did it by bicycle), so we only explored it for one day. We went all down to the peek, hoping to see the river dolphins but we didn't spot any - soooo sad After that day, we needed even more time to relax - we did 15 km on the bike in the burning sun with 39°. After we recovered from this day we travelled for nearly 24 hours straight to get from all the south of Laos to the north of Thailand - Chiang Mai here we are!

2 May 2017

After this amazing experience, it was time to leave for Don Det, one of the '4000 Islands' (actually there are 'only' around 300 islands, but 4000 sounds way better). Two travellers recommended us to stay there rather than Don Khon. Soooo... What did we do in Don Det? Well, obviously not working on our Journi updates, haha. We took the time to relax a bit and explore the small island on the bicycle. Don Det has a lot of hostels and bars. It's said to be the new Vang Vieng (place for party travellers). I didn't feel that way though, because the backpackers over here were all relaxing - so not a lot of partying. We made a new good friend, who wouldn't leave our balcony for the four nights we spent there. We named him Jonny and I still kinda miss him...

28 April 2017

The lodge is located near one of the most amazing waterfalls I've seen (and we've been to Iguaçu). The best thing about it, is that we could enjoy it all by ourselves, nobody around.. Only Nic and me. Soon after dinner we had to go to sleep, because the electricity only works for a few hours a day. Our guide told us that we had to gear up again to get to our sleeping spot. First we thought he was joking, but no.. We ziplined into our very own treehouse - gosh what an amazing experience. Falling asleep to the sounds of the forest is also not so bad haha.

27 April 2017

The last two days we spent ziplining through the jungle. We booked a two days tour with Green Discovery Adventures. I didn't expect it to be so amazing! A lot of people do the 'gibbon experience' in the north of Laos because the forest there is way bigger, but I personally think our choice couldn't have been better. Our group was really small and the nature's unbelievable. We started near Paksong. First we trekked four kilometers and ate near a beautiful waterfall. The Bolaven Plateau is known for it's many waterfalls, but also for it's coffee. After lunch, we went to the first ziplines. I haven't been ziplining since I was very young, but it's really easy and such an awesome way to discover the landscape. The longest zipline is 450 meters long and you can get as fast as 60 km per hour.
In Pakse we spent our nights in a resort a bit far away from the center with a beautiful garden. The first day we rented a scooter to drive to Vat Phu. A temple built from the Khmer, but years before Angkor Wat (actually they even were both relied through a street). After one hour on the motorbike, we finally reached the templesite. Compared to the masses of tourists we met in Angkor, here we were practically alone. Little side note: As a lot of the locals took pictures of us, so we felt a bit famous - haha. The temple is located on a mountain, at the peek of the temple the locals collect the sacred water from a rock. At the bottom they are doing reconstructions. The atmosphere is really nice and calm. The trees next to the stairs are a bit mystic. All in all I really liked this temple because it is still so untouched by the masses of tourists.

24 April 2017

Same same but different. Things you see on the street driving the loop: - Potholes - Baby pigs - Baby chickens - Baby goats - Pregnant mama goat - Baby cows - All the adults of animals above - Lao people Thoughts you have driving the loop: 1. Dang, this place is beautiful, let's stop and take a picture 2. My butt hurts 3. An even better picture spot! 4. Deep thoughts about life 5. My back hurts 6. Appreciating the amazing landscape 7. Let's stop to sit by the water 8. What about music? Random christmas song starts playing in my head. 9. Butt hurts more! 10. Rudolph the red nose reindeer, has a very shiny nooooose...

22 April 2017

As we arrived on the busterminal of Vientiane in the middle of the night, the tuktuk drivers asked an horribly high price to bring us to the city center. So another guy from our bus asked a local busdriver to take us with him to the center which he did - for free! The taxi and tuktuk drivers were not amused and took pictures of the bus and would not let us close the door. Now for the other days in Vientiane I don't have a lot to write.. It was 39 degrees, so we enjoyed the aircon in our room.

20 April 2017

After we had some amazing days in Luang Prabang, we even had more fun in Vang Vieng! A small city in the middle of beautiful landscapes, which is one of the most known backpacker areas in Laos. On our first day, we went tubing! Sadly we don't have pictures of it.. We thought it wouldn't be a good idea to take a phone with us on a river. So we just floated around on tubes on the river, with regular stops in some bars. They catch you with ropes to reach the riverbanks! In the past, there we're more than 10 bars on the riverside, but due to some deathcases with exessive drinking, there are now just 3 left. We really had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the parties with other fellow backpacker's. On the second day, we did a hot air balloon flight, with stunning views over the city and the mountains around. All this in beautiful sunset light.

16 April 2017

We got to Luang Prabang on a perfect date: The 14th of April. Pi Mai started and the festivities are seven days long. The first three days are the ones that count for tourists! Known as the beginning of new year in Laos, people are running all over the small city, to throw water at each other. Waterguns, balloons and buckets made sure that no one had a chance to stay dry. Pickup trucks full of people crossing your way, throwing ice cold water (actually buckets with ice in them) at you, and locals partying with backpackers. So we spent two full days, just throwing water and getting fully soaked. We spent the evenings in a bowling alley, bars and playing card games with other backpackers. Next to the big party, we still had time to visit some beautiful temples. One of them with a nice view over the whole city. The last day of our stay in Luang Prabang, we went to the Phu Si waterfalls. The color and the small terraces of the falls are just amazing.

13 April 2017

Damn'it, just realized that we're way back with the journi updates! So here are the impressions we had of Hanoi. Hanoi is yet again, a big asian city. Really crowded and smoggy. Still, we were suprised to see a squirrel doing acrobatics on the wires. We did a little sightseeing, such as the literature temple, the flagtower, old traditional houses and the opera. The main part of Hanoi, with it's old city is located around a big lake. As we left our guesthouse to see the city, we passed one street where they were selling dogmeat - no pictures for obvious reasons. Best thing ever: We found the game 'Exploding Kittens' and 'Uno' for really cheap so.. Yaaay! We've got a new gamestash! Basically we waited for our flight to Luang Prabang on the 14th. We used our Vietnam visa until the very last day. Bye bye Vietnam, and helloooo Laos!

11 April 2017

Back down again, we drove to the silver waterfall, a tiny, but high and beautiful waterfall! A few minutes more up the street, we reached the highest mountain pass of Vietnam. As expected, nice view an really windy. The road down to Sapa made a good drive, espacially if you like driving through curves with the bike! Then we sat down on a terrace, where we enjoyed the beautiful sunset over the mountains. We also tried some hot, local wine.. Not so tasty, but it looked really nice how it was served and it did it's job.

9 April 2017

Once again, we took a bus all the way from Cat Ba, over Hanoi to Sapa. It's a small town in the mountains, north of Vietnam. Surrounded by beautiful nature and landscape, it has still a more traditional atmosphere as the rest of the country. People in traditional clothings everywhere, but still a lot of tourists. After the first day visiting the town itself, we rented a scooter to discover the beautiful nature around it. Our first stop: Fansipan Mountain. We actually did it to the peak of the 3126 metre high mountain. The highest of Vietnam! With a newly built cable car. So not that hard actually.. The view we had was stunning, also because of the really good weather we had in Sapa, during our stay.

6 April 2017

Now finally going to the kajak tour in Halong Bay. It's worth every cent!!! It was not as much kajaking but the boattour is already amazing. And the food - well I won't start talking about it because this will take no end. There are more than 2000 islands in Halong Bay officially they decided to say there are 1996 because Ho Chi Minh died in 69 - does not make a lot of sense to me but, they just go with it. The weather we had was not amazing but at least we had no rain.. - we got that going for us. The legend says the islands were created by a dragon family to protect Vietnam from intruders, and after finishing their project the dragons stayed in the bay because they thought it was so beautiful. And yes, we agree with the dragons even without good wheater the water is light blue. Every bay is a bit different and sooo beautiful! This is definitely one of our highlights on the travel, and a must see.

4 April 2017

Finally we wanted to visit a 'secret Beach' as seen on maps.me. On our way down lots of local guys encouraged us to join them, so thats what we did. When we finally arrived at the spot we learned that there is no secret beach. It's basically a place where people live but also produce salt and fish. Everyone invited us to drink something with them, I belive there are not a lot of tourists getting down there. After this little unsuspected but really nice experience we went back to Cat ba town. The next day we had to postphone our kajak tour. I caught a really bad cold, so the next two days I basically spent in the Hostel and only got out to eat some soup.
Next: hospitalcave. Built by Ho Chi Minh because of the natural good climate. In the cave it's pretty chilly so the patients didn't suffer from the heat. It took three years to built it and it's pretty amazing. If you would have been looking for it you would not have found it - excellent camouflage skills. After visiting the hospitalcave we looked for a tourist agency and we were suprised to find the first luxemburgish traveller! A bit overwhelmed that after all our travels we found a luxemburger, we then booked a kajak tour in Halong Bay for the next day.

3 April 2017

In Hue we only spent one night. It has a lot of edgy coffee shops so if you haven't realised yet that the Vietnamese love coffee latest here you'll see. From Hue we took the train to Hanoi, again passing such beautiful landscapes. From Hanoi we then went directly to Cat ba. Cat ba is a beautiful island located not far away from Halong Bay. The first day we explored the island itself, beginning with the cannon fort. The fort gives you the possibility to overlook the island from the top. It's such a beautiful view! Up in the cannon fort, we encountered a lot of wildlife. First we met a babygoat that lost it's mom, as it started to follow us we wanted to help it finding its mom. On our way finding the babygoats mom a babyboa crossed our path - so yess, we had some really exiting experiences. Also the history of this place is really interesting.

31 March 2017

We left Hoi An during the morning, on a motorbike! A travel agency brought our big backpacks to the destination: Hue. Here we changed our backpacks with their motorbike again. We decided to drive on our own over a beautiful pass, instead of going with a bus through a tunnel. Our first stop were the marble hills in Da Nang. All around the precious hills are still marble manufacturers, who offer their statues and decorations. The hills unveal a beautiful panorama and hidden caves. Up ist goes!! We started the pass after the coastline of Da Nang. During the ascend, we made a few stops to admire the beautiful nature. The street was curvy, and very nice to drive on!

30 March 2017

The third day in Hoi An, we did a guided tour to My Son. An old temple complex, built from the Cham culture and hidden in the jungle. Most of it is completely destroyed, due to american bombings and environmental issues. The Vietcong were hiding in the temples. After this, we spent the next few hours organising our stuff and writing post cards!

29 March 2017

We arrived with the train in Da Nang, here we spent 2 nights in a pretty nice hotel. After we slept enough for the next 3 days, we took a bus to Hoi An, where we spent our first day visiting the old town in the city centre. During the day, we visited some old houses. These are still family owned, some of them already in the 6. generation. In the night it's especially beautiful, because colorful lanterns are hanging all over the streets. The second day we took a bicycle to drive to the beach, through the rice fields in the north of Hoi An. We took one bike for us two. It worked out pretty well, because it's all flat in and around the city.

25 March 2017

Today we've spent most of our time in the train. From Dalat to Nahtrang we took a bus, from there on we bought a train ticket to Hoi an. The train takes 10 hours and for the soft seats we paid 15$ each. The trainride itself is amazing. The landscapes are variable and all of them are beautiful! Although the train is expensiver as a bus I think this was one of our best choices we made during our travel. Not only the views are stunning but also the silence of the trainride is relieving - the buses honk at least every five minutes and you hear the honking inside more than outside. Unfortunately now it's already dark so we could only enjoy the landscapes half of the trip. I recommend you to take the train during the day, as I believe that you miss a lot if you take the train during the night. With this i wish you all a wonderful night and may you dream of the beautiful green ricefields of Vietnam.

24 March 2017

The second day in Dalat we went canyoning. In the surroundings of the city are a lot of waterfalls. The tour was all about going down waterfalls. So next to upsailing, we also slid, and jumped down. All this in beautiful nature. It was a really funny activity!

23 March 2017

After this we went to see the Pagode which is located at the top of a hill. The surroundings are really beautiful as there is a big lake in the valley. To end the day we went to the 'crazy house' it's one of the ten craziest houses of the world. It was designed and build by a Princess - if it wasn't about her status, she would never have obtained an autorisation to build it. She studied architecture and the house counts as a naturalist building. The house is also a hotel with beautiful rooms - and in every room there is an even more beautiful tea set. Nic and I couldn't decide whether it reminds us more of a fantasymovie or an attraction at a fair. The best about it is that you can climb on every top of the house, thanks to this you have the opportunity to see it from many different perspectives. The house/hotel has yet to be finished building - for example there's one underwaterworld room, which already now looks amazing, that has to be colored.
Dalat reminds me of a city in France. It's so different than all the villages we saw until now. If you ask a Vietnamese where you could find the most beautiful part of his country he'll reply Dalat. It's gifted with the most fertile soil, so all around the city they produce fruits and vegetables. Also the temperature is much smoother than in other regions that's why the french colonisators liked to stay at the highlands of Dalat. When we arrived it was already late so we decided to improve our pool skills and joined some guys from our hostel to a pool bar - we still suck but Nic landed a few really nice shots. In the morning we rented a scooter and headed to the Valley of love, but it seemed so cheesy we skiped it and went to the flower park. In between these two places we got a flat... fortunately it's really cheap to get it fixed (20.000 dong). Honestly I expected more, but we did see a few really beautiful flowers.

22 March 2017

We visited the Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnelsytem has a total lenght of approx 250 km. The Vietcong together with the southern resistance used these to win the war, which the United States started. Even though Ho Chi Minh died before North and South-Vietnam were reunited, the people honered him in giving Saigon the name of Ho-Chi-Minh City. The tunnels we saw were widened for the tourists but still they are tiny. At some point you need to lay down in order to get further through. The Vietcong build airholes in their sytem so the children could get enough air. Also they deposed things from the american soldiers in these airholes so that the dogs would not smell the enemy. In addition to this and a lot of other ruses, the Vietcong had shoes which leave footprints the opposite direction they actually go.
After three days in Hoh-Chi-Minh city we now arrived in Da Lat. The first days in Hoh-Chi-Minh Nic was ill, so unfortunatly we couldn't do a lot. We then discovered that the city has a lot different districts. We stayed at Khoi 2 a really nice hostel near a local marked and the backpackers street. But Hoh-Chi-Minh City also has a lot of modern buildings as in a district which reminded us a lot of Luxembourg city. The only difference was that you can buy the fake just infront of the shop which is not possible in our city. Vietnam has also a lot of churches - it's actually the first country we visited is asia that does not have buddhismn as the state religion. For around 11 million people living in the city there are 8 million motorbikes. A bike is really important for your reputation in Vietnam!

18 March 2017

We crossed borders again - and this time without waiting 3 hours on the border because we organised our visa in advance. First stop in Vietnam: Can Tho, we thought it's a really small town known for it's big floating marked but actually Can Tho is a pretty big city. I have the feeling that they drive even more insane in Vietnam as in all the other countries we have been until now.. I'm looking forward to cross the streets in Luxembourg again without fearing for my life. In Can Tho we did a boattrip with a really nice boatlady, most of the captains here are women. We went to see the floating marked. It's insane how many people are actually living on the water. The marked is really nice to see but I enjoyed more drinving through the river and seeing how the people live there.

15 March 2017

Second and last day in Phnom Penh! Actually, last day in Cambodia, before crossing the border to Vietnam. Today we visited the King's Palace in the heart of the city. It's not just one big palace, but a really big complex out of different buildings and parks. Very beautiful to see, but extremely hot in the afternoon. Afterwards, we walked a bit around town, also to buy our bus tickets to Can Tho. We had a really nice dinner in a vegetarian restaurant.

14 March 2017

We spent our first full day in Pnomh Phen in the S-21 Genocide Museum. It was a prison built in a school building under the regime of the Khmer Rouge. Here you learn a lot about the dark past of Cambodian history, and what happened in this cruel place. The "prison" actually was used to force false confessions from people under gruel torture. It was a place where you go, but never return. We took a long time in here, so that we just had time left to walk a bit around in the city. We spent the evening in the hotel bar, playing some pool.

13 March 2017

After arriving in Battambang, we went to Jaan Bai, a restaurant with the best mangoshake I had until now (I do have a small addiction problem as I drink two such shakes a day). To get to know the history of the Khmer Rouge better, we decided to see the killing caves. Before taking a Tuktuk, we spoke to a british guy who volonteers in a school. He told us that he not only got offered a virgin boy or girl, but also a goat... So sex tourism still exists in Cambodia - and is not even limited on children. Our new tuktuk driver, Hahn, told us a lot about himself but also explained us a lot about Cambodia and it's history. He also made a stop to show us barbecue rats - we didn't taste though. The caves we then saw were really impressive, mainly because of the surroundings. We were lucky to see the sunset. At 6.30 we had to be back down to see the bats fly out. The bats were only 5 minutes late - but came in millions. It was one of the most impressive things you could possibly see.
Next (and less sad) stop: Butterfly park. The butterflies we saw there were really amazing beautiful and some really huge. Last stop and also last temple for our pass in Angkor Wat (& surrounding temples) the Banteay Samre. It's a nice temple not as stunning as others we saw but it was so quiet in there... barely any tourist, I really enjoyed this temple! Time to say goodbye to Kim our Tuktuk/Batmobile driver from the last three days - and hello Battambang.
Last day in Siem Raep was really good. We took the tuk tuk again and went to the Banteay Sray. It's a really small temple we drove 40min from our hostel to get there. I think it's one of the most beautiful temples we saw! The small details are stunning. After one temple we went to the landmines museum, which was founded by Aki Ra, who won an award for beeing a hero (CNN). He was a child soldier, after the war he started diffusing landmines. All the mines are shown in the museum but most important his story is told! The landmines museum will be remembered by us. It not only provides a lot of important information. Aki Ra also takes care of children, victims of landmines, but now mainly children in need. All the profits they make at the museum go to the children and the diffusing of landmines.

12 March 2017

Second temple day! Today we visited some smaller temples, who are also located in the Angkor Park. Preah Khan: Actually a pretty big temple. Nice atmosphere and a lot of trees growing over it. Banteay Prey: Like the first one, overtaken by nature, but very small. Neak Pean: On a small island in the middle of a huge, artificial lake. Very beautiful to see with all the surroundings. Ta Som: Small temple, but great atmosphere, because it's really quiet and untouched. East Mebon: Another pyramid like temple. They are really beautiful to see, but it's nearly too hot to climb them! Pre Rup: You already see it from far away. What could that mean? Yeah, climbing! Very beautiful though. At the end, we returned one more time to Angkor Wat, because they wouldn't let us in the centre of it the first time. Manu couldn't wear a scarf as a dress and my knees weren't covered.. So today we packed long clothes!

9 March 2017

During the whole day, we were utterly amazed by the atmosphere these old ruins and temples gave to us. It was about the same feeling when we visited Machu Picchu. We just looked at the ruins and thought about the Khmer culture - wanting to see how it looked like in their times.
First day of temple visits! We aranged a tuk tuk driver for the whole day, so he could drive us from one temple to the next one. (Hahaha, temple run.. like the game.. get it?) We told Kim to do the exact opposite as the normal tour, so that we may skip the crowds. These are the places we visited in the first day. Banteay Kdei: Wonderful small temple. It's very atmospheric. Ta Prohm: Stones lying everywhere, and trees growing over the wonderful, huge temple. Here was also a film location for Tomb Raider. Ta Keo: A high, pyramide like temple, hard to get up! Angkor Thom: An old Khmer city. In this area are a lot of hidden temples in the woods, but also the famous Bayon temple with it's huge buddha heads watching over you. Angkor Wat: Surely the most famous one. Huge temple with beautiful towers and large artworks carved in stone.
After arriving back to Sihanoukville, we wanted to take a bus to Battambang. Unfortunatly the buses were all full.. So we decided to take a bus to Siem Reap. I think after our travel we experienced every kind of travel, this time a nightbus with beds. It was still pretty tough to sleep, because we slept directly next to the toilet.. When we arrived in our wonderful Hotel for the next few days, we decided to (yeah didn't expect that) visit a museum. Actually it was pretty nice, and we learnt a lot about Hinduism, Buddhism, Khmer culture and history. After that we visited a local night market and ate something in the famous pub street of Sieam Reap.

5 March 2017

After arriving in Cambodia we stayed one night in a town not far away from the border (Koh Kong) and after having a great breakfast we left for Sihanoukville. Here we also stayed one night and enjoyed fabulous hummus & falafel before we took the boat to Koh Rong Samloem. This island has the whitest sand I ever saw. It's by far not as touristic as the Islands in Thailand but also here you can find a lot of resorts next to the white sand beach. We decided to stay for two nights to relax a bit, even though it's pretty expensive (+-30$ for a bungalow). The first evening we went to the sunset beach and enjoyed a beautiful sunset with super good food at the Huba Huba. We went back in the dark through the jungle with really nice sounds in the surroundings. Today Nic went to see the lighthouse, because it's a pretty long way and I hurt my toe the previous day I decided to do a beach day. By enjoying the beautiful beach and reading a good book and taking occasionally a swim the time flew by

3 March 2017

Together we waited for about two hours in which the tuk tuk driver sometime came by and offered us a better price but still not the original. After the two hours of waiting we finally got out visa for 30$ (YAY thats the original price). If you ever plan to cross borders without paying double the price - take a good book with you and good humor. They may tell you you have to sleep there but don't worry we didn' t have to - haha. Some of the people there get really grumpy but we just smiled at them and waited. Infact it's just a game about who's more patient.
Time to travel again this time: crossing borders to Cambodia (a reason to change this blogs name - haha) first we got to Trat from there we then took a bus to Hat Lek. In Hat Lek we "checked out" of Thailand and then we walked to the Cambodian side. We already knew that they want to scam you but we did not expect that they even build an office to do so. So first we got to the "medical check" - don't do that even if they have an office it's a trap. Then we went to get our visa - the officers wanted doble the price you should actually pay. We refused to pay as much so we had to wait outside - where we met a really nice dutch couple who where also not willing to pay the scam price.
After two days more diving, we had our last dinner in a little ,pizzeria' - a garage of an italian guy who once started to make pizza for his friends but soon more people came and so he started to ask a little money for it. The pizza there was so tasty (and really cheap). 15 people sitting in this little garage was an awesome experience to end our stay in Koh Chang.
We decided to dive a bit more and so we took the advanced course with scuba dawgs. It has accomodation included and the dutch owner even gave us three nights instead of one. The mongolian tents they have are amazing and located at a view point. I loved the spot we had! The diving in Koh Chang is also really good, only a tiny part of divers are here - they are all in Koh Tao.The dive sites are not crowded and you see really beautiful marine life. We mainly wanted to do the advanced course here because the biggest shipwreck of Thailand is laying on the ground not far away from Koh Chang. It was only sunk in 2012 but there is already a lot to see around it (a lot of ships get sunk, they are used as artificial reefs for the animals).

26 February 2017

Today we did nothing special... Oh wait we saw apes really close with a lot of babies/teenagers haha - ooooh they are so cute and amazing. We don't get to see a lot of apes in Luxemburg (well actually none...) and haven't seen them this close, so we were pretty speechless. We recommend you to visit the Stonesfree coffee, it has really good music and good wine (I don't know a thing about wine but this one is tasty.) Also we went a bit shopping BUT we saw apes today! So I guess today was a gooood day! -Manu

25 February 2017

Our second day on Koh Chang started with a beachview breakfast. Afterwards we had to look for a new accomodation, because the one we slept one night was booked out. Luckily, the new one is even more beautiful! Big garden, small, clean and cozy private house.. Awesome! It's called Rock Inn Bailan. Then we started a tour with our rented scooter. The first stop was at the Klong Plu Waterfall. Here we took a swim with a lot of fish. Strangely, they didn't swim away like they normally do, but tried to get as near as possible to you! We could barely swim, because we touched them with every move. Maybe they want our yummy skin.
After some beautiful viewpoints and a small lunch, we reached another waterfall: Thanmayom. There we noticed that the 200 Baht entry fee from the first waterfall is also good for this place. We enjoyed the Thanmayom waterfall more, because there were fewer tourists and we could actually swim under the stream of water - really amazing! Next stop: Shooting range. Here I learned how fast you can spent 50€.. It took me 18 bullets and 1 minute. A nice experience though. Finally, we reached the south east side of the island. Time to get back! Seems to be close, because our accomodation is south west of Koh Chang. Näääh!! To get back on the west side, we had to drive back to the very north, before going south again. Like a giant U turn.. It ONLY took us around 1 hour on the scooter. - Nic

24 February 2017

Time to travel again. We did not book any inland flights, because we never know how long we stay, so we take the bus - much cheaper if you don't book your flight in advance. First a boat to Phuket (450 baht per peson + 150 baht to get to the busterminal) it's a really expensive boat but also really modern and it has airconditioning - yaaay. Then we took the bus to Bangkok in the early morning we arrived at Bangkok and decided to continue until trat where we took the boat again to get to Koh Chang. We travelled for aprox 24 hours - but I still had a better sleep as in Koh Phi Phi, haha. It is really easy to travel through Thailand, we never had to wait more than an hour to take the next bus or boat. And a lot of people try to help you! -Manu
Yaaay we survived Koh Phi Phi. We decided to stay for only one night because it is so crowded. There's nothing you can see without thousands of tourists who are the worst we met until now... The island is mutating into a party island for people who don't respect anything. All over the town you can find tattoo studios and tourist shops. Sadly the island can't cope with all the waste water so most of it goes into the sea, where it is destructing the corals. You can smell the rest of the waste water everywhere on the island. The acommodation we had was pretty expensive (32€) but it was still awful, we had better acommodations in the peruvian jungle. All in all everything is really expensive at Koh Phi Phi. The viewpoint over Koh Phi Phi is really beautiful, but also here you see that the whole island is getting 'overbuilt'. We recommend you not to visit Koh Phi Phi unless you want to party and don't care about the nature. -Manu

22 February 2017

After two nights in Koh Lanta we now leave to see the famous Koh Phi Phi. Our boat leaves at 13h and we take the time to enjoy the view in a little restaurant just next to the boat dock. - Of course with a mangoshake You'll hear from us as soon as we survived the party island known from the film 'the beach'. -Manu
From Koh Phangan we took the boat and bus to Krabi, here we only slept one night but we had the opportunity to see the nightmarked. The next day we took the boat to get to Koh Lanta (450 baht per person but unfortunately without air conditioning...). Koh Lanta is the first island where we saw a lot of muslim woman. The taxi is really expensive so we took a scooter and drove 30 min to our hostel with the big backpacks (I had one on my back and nic one between his legs) - I wonder how that looked from far haha. Our hostel "@ lanta hostel" is really nice for an affordable price! We recomend this one.
Finally our dream came true!! The two Bubus were able to be on Bubu island - aaaaah so exiting :D To get to Koh Bu Bu we took a boat for 500 baht per person and paid 30 baht 'entrance fee' (the island is private owned). The island is really beautiful and because there is only one resort there are nearly no tourists - they only come later with the tours to see 4 islands and more. So Nic and I found our own private beach where we enjoyed the sun and went to swim. Koh Bu Bu is awesome and absolutly recommandable!

19 February 2017

With the Boat we drove to Koh Phengan. A beautiful island with even more beautiful beaches! We stayed here for three nights and I think it's one of our best stays until now. After all that diving it's time to relax. Unfortunately we are not the only ones who heard about the beautiful beaches so you can expect a great number of tourists.. The second and the third day we took a scooter to explore the island - a good choice because it's really affordable (150 Bahd, +- 4€) and you see a lot more as if you were on the road by foot. We mainly enjoyed the beach as for example the secret beach - not so secret anymore.
Another must see on this island are the waterfalls as for example the Than Sadet waterfall - amazing. Next to one waterfall (Dom Stla) we went to a viewpoint where we nearly saw the whole island from above - impressive. But we also visited a range of different coffees and restaurants. By far our favorite local is the Amsterdam bar. With a beautiful view over the sea you can enjoy the sunset - of course with a fresh mangoshake! Greetings from the beautiful Island Koh Phengan - with a little sunburn. - Manu

16 February 2017

When we arrived in the early morning on Koh Tao, we first looked for a place to do our diving licence. After a breakfast, we found a place called Big Blue Diving. We started our diving experience already the same day, with some instruction videos and writing exercices. After all this theoretical part, we were looking forward for the real diving. The next day started in the classroom, again. Hopefully the videos weren't as boring as yesterday! After picking up our diving equipment, we were ready for some exercices in the pool, as for example taking off your mask underwater, sharing air with your dive buddy (you always have to dive with a buddy) in case of an emergency, going up and down in the water, and so on. The third day started with a written exam. It was not really difficult, (we were able to do teamwork) so that we could get all on the boat for our first open water dive!
After checking all our equipment, we jumped in the water to our first expedition of the underwater world. This was a great experience! After two dives on 12m of depth, we were ready for the next day. Early in the morning, we got on the boat for another two dives, this time at 18m depth. Again, it was a really great adventure. Swimming through reefs and fishes of all colours, finding nemo and looking at a shitting worm (yeah, there was a sea cucumber shitting sand) are only a few things we experienced during the dives. After our 4th dive, we were officially certified divers... Down to 18m. But it's not the licence that made this diving course great, we discovered a whole new and awesome world, - we'll absolutely dive again! Also we had a great team.. Thank you guys! Credits to: Sean, Josh, Jordan and Matt of course also to Nick our great an highly motivated instructor! ;) - Nic

14 February 2017

Two days ago we took a day bus to get to Chumphon - sadly without crazy tv show... at midday we all ate togheter a real spicy dish. In the afternoon we finally arrived at Chumpon where we took a night ferry to get to Koh Tao - we 'only' had one crying baby in our cabin. In the middle of the night it started shaking a lot but luckily neither Nic nor I got the motion sickness. Around 5 a.m in the morning we finally arrived at the party/paradise Island: Koh Tao, here we are! Ps: the night we spent on the fery was full moon night, so we were one day late for the full moon party.. - we are not so sad about that ;)

12 February 2017

In the early moring we got picked up from the hostel in Kanchanaburi and drove 40 minutes to the elephantworld. As soon as we were near the entry we already saw them - elephants, pretty amazing animals. Here we first got explained the safety rules then we got to feed the elephants. With watermelons yumbeans and the bananas we brought. (Bananas are pretty expensive so they can't afford buying them every day.) The elephants all have a Mahout (minimum one) who always keeps an eye on them, if a new elephant arrives he/she got to choose the Mahout. The feeding already was a great experience! Then we made sticky rice with pumkin for the older elephants whose teeth don't grow anymore. After chopping the pumkin in really small pieces, we put it with the rice in hot, boiling water. Than we mixed it until the rice went sticky. After a great lunch, next to three elephants playing in the mud...
...We formed balls out of the sticky rice with pumpkin, so that we could easily feed the old elephant. We were 12 persons to prepare one meal for one elephant and already took a long time, so you can imagine how much time the people there spend every day preparing a huge amount of food. Because they want to keep it as natural as possible for the elephants, we then dug a hole to put minerals in fill with water and cover with dirt. So the elephants can suck the minerals they need in the morning (they have a great sense of smelling). Finally we went to swim with the elephants and their Mahouts, where we washed them - only the elephants not the Mahouts ;)
Oh it was a really great experience! Those people take care of the abused elephants and you see how happy the elephants are! Unfortunately their property has to be sold, so now they are looking for funds so that they can buy the property and keep the 26 elephants and maybe take care of more! I usually don't do this but please even if you have only 5 euros to offer, help them keeping the property and the elephants, they are doing great work. "help.elephantsworld.org" And if you ever go to Thailand consider not riding the elephants so that they don't get more 'patients', but visiting a place like this and support them. - Manu

9 February 2017

Next, we went to see the laying buddah, we didn't expect what we then saw... This Buddah is huuuuge it fills the whole temple. Finally it was time to eat and go back to the hostel to leave for Kanchanaburi. We took a taxi together with Julia who works as a part of the team that produces "wider-lens". It was a really funny ride, the taxi driver was so impressed that she comes from the USA that he literally called his friend so she could talk to him. We are now sitting in the bus to Kanchanaburi, the only tourists, the tv is turned on and we watch some thai gameshow karaoke - whatever i'm still not sure, but with a lot of crazy lights & sounds -Manu
Todays schedule was tight... First we went to see Wat Arun it was amazing! - maybe I had a few tears in my eyes, but just maybe. Unfortunately it was just being renovated so we didn't even see the full potential of this beautiful temple! Every flower of the mosaic is different and a lot of the decoration is made out of old plates and cups. After this we went on with the boat to see the Wat Pho temple. It's not only one temple but a temple village, in one of those, we were lucky and saw the head of the monks. He came that day to pray for the King, who passed away nearly a year ago. He stays there for nine days to educate the other monks and to pray.

8 February 2017

We started our second day, midday. Somehow we managed to sleep until 12 o'clock, even if we went to sleep pretty early. I guess the jetlag kicked in.. We took the metro to the Lumphini Park. We hoped to see more of nature, but we still saw a local flea market with books and pray stands. We jumped back in the metro to get to Wat Traimit, a temple with a giant, golden buddha statue - this guy is 5,5 tons heavy and the most valuable religious object in the world. From there we walked over to China Town, where we walked through narrow market streets. And Manu got lost for hours in the shops.. In the early evening, we took our dinner in a nice, small local called Thip Samai, with it's kichten located on the sidewalk - genius!! It won the price of the best fast food restaurant 2014. Here we had our first Phat Thai, a small noodle dish.

7 February 2017

First day exploring Bangkok, after we took a few Metros we arrived at the Baiyoke Tower. It's the highest tower in Southeast Asia and we had a view over nearly whole Bangkok. Then we had an all you can eat fruitbuffet where we tasted jackfruit - not really our kind of taste. The fruitbuffet was amazing though so much choice - miiaam. After this we went to visit the historical center of Bangkok where we promptly got offered free vegetarian food - ohh yeah, free food is always the best food! We went through the Khao San Road, which is like paradise for backpackers to shop. We took a drink met a few nice people and watched that crazy guy dancing on the streets - he was really ecstastic. Finally we went through Santichaiprakan Park to see a little temple as the sun slowly went down. It's time to take our first tuktuk to the metrostation and return back to our hostel - this time we still feel a bit jet lagged (we didn't feel any in southamerica). And we order food - yummyyy! Goodnight -Manu
First Hostel we stay at: Siamaze. We booked it in advance, found on hostelworld. Our room is a bit more expensive (30€) but it is huge... all over southamerica we didn't had a bed as big and sometimes the rooms were even more expensive. The location is ok, we are not far away from the Metrostation. Also the breakfast is really nice as you get the possibility to prepare yourself your eggs. To get to the historical center you need a bit more time but for the rest we give a thumbs up for this hostel. -Manu

5 February 2017

So today we started our adventures (part two) taking off in germany. We flew with turkish airlines and I must admit that they offer a really good service. We've got like three meals which all were really tasty - of course it's still airline food but a good one. Also we got a package with extra socks, earplugs and much more stuff which is actually usefull. We already had a few flighs but this one was until now our best experience. :) So here we go, soon landing in Bangkok, a city we only knew from a triology of films - you all should know which film I'm hinting on. And Bangkok is only the start of our travells in south east Asia. This is going to be great! -Manu