A Travellerspoint blog

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5200 km: Limping on Lanta

So we were stuck on lanta island for 6 nights.......stuck because we were unlucky enough to get involved in a little motor taxi accident and both got hurt. Not badly but bad enough for Bunno to need crutches and for me to have a serious limp.

We planned a hike on the south of the island and were joined by Jeroen and Marieke whom me met the day before. We took a taxi there and the first thing to show up was one of those motorcycles with a little cart welded to the side of it, umbrella on top and there is your taxi. Now these things look like they can easily fit 4 passengers, and they can but surely in terms of weight those should be skinny tiny thai passengers and not 4 big farang.......... on the way we already noted that the thing was hanging backwards a bit which meant very little pressure on the front wheel and hence very little response to any steering action. when we sent up a steep hill and bunno jumped out in order to push we nearly fell backwards. of course we should have gotten out there and then but stupidly just made some jokes to the driver and told him to drive slowly and make no accident......... after this he drove slowly.....only because we were going uphill and the thing simply would not do much more than 5km/ hour anyway. As soon as we reached the top of the hill he opened the gas and started to race down with neckbreaking speed. We missed the the first bend in the road and ended up on the opposite lane just barely avoiding the steep clif down to the sea. in a last split second of desperation the driver through himself and the steering wheel to the left which resulted in us going full speed for the other side of the road. we had some very near misses with trees and lampposts and eventually ended on our side in a ditch.Stunned we looked at each other, surprised to see no apparent big injuries. in the mean time the driver was only worried about his vehicle and whether he would still get paid and could not care less for his passengers. Bunno urged us to get out, casually telling us that his foot was kind stuck underneath the whole thing........ this did not look very good......a big bruise, swollen as big as an egg and lots of blood.....not good indeed. I apparently had stuck my left foot out of the cart as well in a silly attempt to brake. I was quite shocked to see the whole side of my shoe had dissapeared and there was a big hole on the side through which my foot was bleading quite badly. First thought: " shit these were new and good shoes, dammit" second thought: "without shoes there would have been little left of my foot..........whaahhhhh". Anyway we got a ride from some nice locals who tried to find us a doctor but since it was lunch hour this proved difficult. In the end we just had them drop us of at our hotel. In the afternoon we made a little trip to the local hospital where luckily they concluded after some x-rays that bunno's foot was not broken. they did give him a huge bandage, brace and a pair of crutches though.

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So here we were, the limping duo......... luckily Jeroen and Marieke were very helpfull and all we had to do is sit in a chair watch the sunset and they brought everything we needed.

As our barman put it: you had a bit a bad luck but very much of good luck........... he was absolutely right.
Ko Lanta is not the worst place to be stuck for a while by the way......imagine blue waters, white beach, nice beachbar with good music and cold beers and fabulous sunsets.

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Now, 4 days later we are nearly healed although bunno is still limping a bit.......it did not stop us from jumping on the bikes again for a nice 112 km ride to Ban meng beach.

Moral of this story..........don't take taxi's, just ride your bike, it's a whole lot safer!

Posted by Whiskey 05:59 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

5555km; Penang under cover

this is supposed to be a story about how beautiful malaysia is, how lovely it's people, how fabulous our first day of cycling through it on a beatiful beach side road, how we saw big monitor lizzards running in front of our wheels and beautiful bright blue birds eating from fruit trees and how delightful the food. And trust me it is all true and just look at the pics to see it.
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There is however something else on our minds......
You might have heard of a certain mister W who's name I don't want to write in full here as in no possible way I would want google to associate our blog with this man. Who he is? A populist politician who thinks (and shouts, mind you) that he can air his narrowminded and offensive opinions everywhere and anywhere.
So he made a movie. It is about the islam and intended to be offensive and rude. We never saw it but it was impossible to miss the media pooohaa around it, even from abroad. We hoped that the rest of the world would be spared of this useless timewasting debate about a man and his movie that are both not worth spending time on, but aparently not.
This would have all blown past us if we did not happen to just have crossed the Malaysian border. On our cross border boat trip we ran into a Dutch guy living here who half joking half serious advised us to tell everyone we are German as the Dutch are no longer very populair here..... We thought he was overreacting. But then, the next day, we had lunch on the road in the tiniest of little fishing villages in the absolute middle of nowhere. People are very fluent in English here so we quickly struck up a conversation with the local guys. All went smooth untill we were asked where we came from. "Holland........ahhhh (long silence) you know, Holland not so good right now..........you know this man....."
We quickly assured him that we fully agreed with him, that this man is indeed very stupid and that he does not, in no way, represent the opinion of the Dutch people as a whole and that we feel really really sorry to be Dutch now. And we do. And it is the first time this happens to us. Yes we know the Dutch are loud, tend to talk too much, can be slightly rude and yes, they do always, that is ALWAYS, have an opinion about everything even if they do not know the slightest thing about it..........all true, all good, but it was still still ok to be Dutch. Now it is no longer....

Here is what the dutch ministry of foreign affairs advices Dutch travelers:
In various islamic countries there have been tensions following the launch of an internet movie made by Mr. W. Dutch travellers in these countries are advised to keep a low profile, be alert and carefully follow the local media.

Vee are now prak tizing our Gerrrman akzent......
it's a sad sad world (but Malaysia is beautiful and we ARE still enjoying it!)
we will see us
Schnapps (whiskey) und Adler (Hoying (dutch eagle))

Posted by Whiskey 06:06 Archived in Malaysia Comments (2)

5955km; Paradise!

We have arived in paradise! (yet again) after 3 days in Penang (great! especially the food, real indian in little india mmmmm I wish Amsterdam had a little India)
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we cut straight across the peninsula just south of the Thai border to Kuala Besut which is the take off point for boats to the Perhentian islands. the ride was fabulous, 4 days and over 400 kms with some impressive mountain ranges in the middle. Part of it cuts through a national park with lots of elephants. We unfortunaletely only encountered shitloads of elephant shit but no sight of the animal itself......
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maybe for he better, i am not sure who's faster; us full speed downhill or an angered elefant bull going after us......
And now the Perentians, the stories were good, the pictures in the travelguides were great, the real thing is even better! the water is incredibly blue, the fish colorfull and massive lizzards (up to a meter long) wander trough our garden as pets. I am still looking for the ideal spot to hang the hammock and that is really the only "probem" I can think of.........Island life is good :-)
Pieter, Aline and the kids have just arrived and seem to enjoy island life just as much. I think we may stay here for a while...........
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Posted by Whiskey 00:47 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

6100 km: Babysitting in Paradise, and the under water world

The Perhentian Islands are amazing. We spend a couple of days on the beach with Aline, Pieter and the kids. Even did some baby sitting while the perants were out for a dive. Well for you guys who think I talk a lot, my three year old niece is tough competition! After explaning that Mom and Dad were out there "watching" Fish she wanted to know "Why". When that what solved we had to explain the underwaterworld to her.

Where do fish sleep? (in beds)

Don't they get up to the beach to sleep? (No beacuse they prefer water)

Also the big ones? (yes)

Why? (because they are fish)

But the beds get wet.... (yep you are right, but they don't mind)

Etc....

Very entertaining, though a relief that you can hand them back after a while....
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For some snorkelling advice we went to the dive shop, and the guy pointed at the nearest headland and said over there you can see sharks, mantarays, barracudas etc.... I thought he was BS-ing me as a simple "snorkler".....but turns out he was right!! We saw 'em all and even a big fat Napolean fish, and of course "many Nemo's".

Just around the corner was another isolated beach with Turtles (1 m), and Pieter even got surrounded with sharks to the point that it stops being fun!!!

We said good bye for now, and went on an OK road along the caost with 1 particular great stretch just along the coast.
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Now it is cutting across the peninsular once again (3rd time) and of to yet another Paradise.

Malaysia is Truly climbing the charts and competing with Laos as the favorite Country this trip!

Posted by HoYing 00:13 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

6200 km : Shooting & Lake Kenyir

"Angler's Paradise a hidden treasure on a lake noy known to foreign tourist", that was what was recommended to us by a lovely man at the Toursit Information at Penang. So now some 600 km further we were getting anxious.

From the coast we cut inlands towards the lake and drove through endless palm oil plantantions...." We green the Earth" is one of Malaysia's mottos.....well the first clear the jungle to make some space for it....

Anyway beautifull road, though a bit steep with over 10% hills in the middle of the day taking their toll. We stopped at the tourist info at the lake to enquire about "Angler's Paradise" and were told it was closed...... "Really?" I asked wondering whether we were not supposed to know about it's existince. They had loads of maps with loads of accomodation, and pretty strong advice to go to another place. We were pretty foccused and finally got the owner on the telephone who was somewhere in KL, and the guys at the place itself did not have a phone. "But" he told me "just to drive for 25km to the place and see for yourself....there must be room I am sure, I love cyclist..I am sure....."

So, after yet another tasty lunch we set of, through some beautifull scenery, saw monkeys in the trees and crossing the road, and loads of birds.

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And there it was Anglers Paradise.....
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I had a bit of a Deja-vu, we ended up in a place filled with 70+ year old male fishing Canto's. For 2 days we submerged ourselves again in Chinese food, Chinese- Malaysian TV, and Mah-Jong. Looking at the couch filled with 3 gray/bolding big glassed Granpa's in their shorts and no shirt, I wondered how we ended up there, amd how much I fitted in.....

The schedule for this place was simple. Eat Breakfast - go Fishing - Eat Lunch- play Mah-Yong (too hot during the day) - eat some snacks- go fishing - eat dinner- watch TV and play Mah-Yong..... and have your late night snack!

We skipped the fishing and went out on a small boat instead, and saw some waterfalls with our friend "Shoo-ting".... You go watch Waterfall -ahh, good-ahh?

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Well yes, it was not advertised, nor where there any others long noses, it was indeed a great Canto-fishing paradise!!!

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Off to KL to re-unire with Sis and kids.

Posted by HoYing 06:46 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

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