Saturday, March 13, 2010

saturday march 13

we are back in singapore as of yesterday afternoon. it was great to see diana and jim again. diana of course put out a nice spread for a late lunch, and then invited us to a good -bye pool party for one of their neighbours. then it was off to sentosa to see the new casino complex that has recently opened. talk about culture shock...and serious gambling. we slept in a bit today, had one of diana's delicious breakfasts, and then headed back to the beach on sentosa island. everything in singapore is "go big or go home" and this was no exception. volleyball courts, paddle boats, bars, swimming and a "surfing ride", they have it all. the soon to be opened universal studios will just be the icing on the cake. this afternoon just happened to be a" 50 man hunk competion day". it was a hoot. if signed up to join singapore's longest limbo dance you got two free drinks and a loot bag. we of course signed on. turned out to be an entertaining afternoon. we are back at diana's now where she will cook a delectable meal, and have some friends drop by. they have quite the life here.

we thoroughly enjoyed our six days on the beach in our hut. not much to report as our days consisted of reading, eating and walking the beach. we had such fun with all the young people that we met, the food was amazing, and the owners, Malcolm and Koy, a delight. i have volunteered to run the place for them, should the stress of sitting on the beach every day necessitate (?) a holiday. they said they would keep me in mind. a few more days and we are home. i can't believe that it is coming to an end.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

monday. march 8

we made an enquiry at our hotel in bangkok as to the cost of a taxi to the airport. 25 bucks. i don't think so, so we left ourselves lots of time and took public transportation. 90 cents to the end of the skytrain line, and another 1.25 by mini van directly to the airport, we made it in such good time that we were even able to hop on an earlier flight to phuket. sometimes things just work out.
we got a cab to our guesthouse on phuket. we are on phuket island but up at the north end where it is very quiet. we have a little thatched hut on the beach..paradise. we were going to move from here after a couple of days but have decided against it. the only downside is there is no internet or any other means of communication. today we came into town to do some banking, and book a flight to singapore. we are flying back to singapore on friday the 12th, and i will resume contact then. don't feel too sorry for us.LOL.
the only bad news. when gerry opened my backpack to get the camera out it had been stolen. they took the camera and left the case. we guess that it happened at the airport. not that the pictures were great or the camera worth much, but there go our memories.
we are in the town of phuket at the moment. there must be a nice area, but it isn't here. time to head back to the beach.
i will be in touch again from Diana's. all the best.

Friday, March 5, 2010

saturday march 6

we had dinner last night at "cabbages and condoms" another one of those restaurants with a social conscience. we ate on the terrace which was all lit up with fairy lights, and had a young woman playing traditional music. for the first time since we left home the bill tacked on a service charge, then put tax on the total amount. that left a really bad taste in my mouth. then we dropped in for a beer at an american bar...met a couple of real characters living here in thailand from the states. lots of good stories.
this morning we headed off early to the week-end market. there is absolutely everything there. so much so that it is totally overwhelming. you have to see the animal section to believe it. the sweetest puppies ever. we spoke to an australian woman who told us that they are well cared for..we can only hope.
we catch a flight to phuket this evening. we have booked a little hut on the beach so may be out of communication for a few days. we'll see.
friday march 5

well we made it. the 8 dollar bus got us back to bangkok from cambodia. we had to walk across the border and wait for immigration, but it all worked out in the end. when we were between countries the kids came begging. they carry their baby siblings in slings and it is really difficult to tell if these kids are alive or dead. i swear that some of them are not living any longer. anyway, the kids saw some palm sugar in my backpack, it is the cambodian equivalent of maple sugar, and they asked if they could have it. i gave them one pack and they went crazy. i insisted that they share, and they did. i just gave up the other two packs and you would have thought that they had won the lottery.
we are staying in another area in bankgkok, and it is great. we are on the sky train line and so are seeing a different part of the city. we went to the jim thompson house this morning. very lovely. then we spent part of the day on the river.fabulous. tomorrow we fky to phuket to spend a few days at the beach. the weather is still perfect. hope things are heating up in toronto. until tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

wednesday march 3

we have spent the last two days at the temples. they are miraculous, but two solid days of stone is enough. the tuk-tuk driver and guide picked us up at 7:30. the guide was the most open and chatty person that i have met yet. we had to work hard to understand his english, but it was doable. he rhymed off the facts about the temples, but what he really wanted to hold court on, was cambodian politics and history. he was a man of many opinions and happy to share them. he is a hindu who hates buddhists, thinks tht all the monks are on the take, feels that all the border countries are trying to steal cambodia's land, particularly hates Thailand, and doesn't think that the Vietnamese shouldb e allowed to move freely into cambodia. we are tired of being bombarded by children selling us non-stop and are looking forward to getting back to Thailand.

we tried to get a flight to Bangkok, but it was going to cost us 400 dollares plus a 50 dollar departure fee so we opted for the bus. it leaves at 7:30 tomorrow and costs 8 bucks each, no departure tax. i asked her if that included the bus. LOL. we will see. you have to walk across the border and get another bus on the other might be another adventure happening. i will report back. still hot and humid here. hope all is well in canada.

Monday, March 1, 2010

monday march 1

we are in siem reap. the little bit that we have seen looks quite nice.

the restaurant that we wanted to eat at last night was closed, so we ended up at a little place by the hotel with lianne and mike. it only had about four tables and doubled as a bike shop, bike tour place, and laundromat. the guys running all these various factions also cooked, and the food was excellent. at the same time they were having a good-bye party for their friend. they were absolutely hilarious and we had a great evening. we ended up for a beer later, and of course all the kids are out hawking all sorts of goods for the tuk-tuk guys who are pimping them. lianne, being a community worker, was all into it. she was talking up the kids, their mothers and the pimps. mike was like "i am not madonna"i guess you had to be there. we ended back there for breakfast. i took a chance on a bacon and egg sadwich, i haven't seen bacon here yet, and it was delicious. then it was off to the bus to siem reap. we arrived at about 6, checked into our hotel. organized a tuk-tuk and guide for tomorrow and grabbed some dinner. we are off to the temples tomorrow. perhaps we will see angelina jolie (tomb raider) until then.