Scuba Diving at Playas del Coco

February 11, 2010 - Filed under Eats, Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography

Since arriving in Costa Rica nearly 6 months ago, we haven’t been scuba diving much compared to the 80+ dives we did last year in Southeast Asia. We did a 2 dive trip to the Catalina Islands from Tamarindo a couple months ago where we saw a few eagle rays, a school of jacks, and 3 or 4 white tip reef sharks, but the visibility was really poor and with the Papagayo wind in full effect since then, we haven’t attempted another dive until this last weekend when we decided to take a quick trip to Playas del Coco.

We got on the local bus to Liberia at 9am which meanders in and out of each town on the way to it’s destination; picking up and dropping off school children, workers, and food and drink vendors as it goes. Liberia is approximately an hour away from Tamarindo by car, but the local bus takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours to get there. We got off the bus before Liberia at the turn off to Playas del Coco (shortly after Filadelfia) and switched buses. Our next bus came along within 45 minutes and we continued on through Sardinal. Within a half hour, we had completed our 3.5 hour journey arriving at Coco.

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Posted by: Shim

Week 53, 54, and 55: Another year on the road begins

September 22, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Weekly Report

Happy September 1st! This marks the 1 year anniversary of Kelly and I becoming homeless wanderers.

There’s been a lack of posts from us for a few weeks. I suppose that’s because not much has really changed back home since we left a year ago. The same old haunts are still there. Our friends are pretty much as we left them. Just a few of them got married, or popped out babies, or got a little heavier. ;)

We headed back to Kelowna after visiting Kelly’s family in Edmonton, and it was my turn to see my parents. My folks are based on Vancouver Island, but just bought a place in Kelowna and took possession this week. It would be really convenient for us if we ever came home. No more choosing who’s parents we spend Xmas with, but this year we’ll have to ask them to come visit us instead. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 42: Penang, Malaysia

June 23, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Weekly Report

Our first full week here in Penang has been a little overcast and a tad rainy so we haven’t been getting in a lot of beach time. We have, however, been doing a fair bit of eating! Penang is famous for it’s “hawker food” (street food), and there’s no shortage of hawker centers all over Penang. They’re sort of like giant outdoor food courts with stalls around the outside and plastic tables and chairs in the middle. There’s one not far from us and we’ve been working our way through the almost endless amount of options.

Long Beach Hawker Food Center, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
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Posted by: Kelly

Back Online and a Buck a Beer

April 15, 2009 - Filed under Drinks, Eats, General, Planning, Stuff to do

After almost a month with an over heating video card stuck in 640×480 and $600 later, I’m back online. For most travelers it probably would have been a non issue till they got home using internet cafes in the meantime, but I have a number of client projects on the go and I’m usually not more than an arms length from my PC unless I’m underwater. Luckily I bought an iPod Touch before leaving Canada! I’ve often pooh-poohed how the iPhone and Touch are bulky MP3 players with not quite enough built in features to be true PDAs, but man was I thankful for the WiFi, browser, and email applications these past few weeks, not to mention the countless hours spent playing solitaire when the power was out. I was able to stay on top of client issues and steal Kelly’s Mac for emergencies. It took UPS almost 2 weeks to ship a new video card from New Jersey to Koh Tao in Thailand via expedited shipping. At least I didn’t have to install it with my Swiss Army knife screwdriver… I ended up finding a repair shop locally that had the proper tools, something of a rarity on some of the smaller islands.

So what does a nerd do offline in a tropical country? He stays hydrated…
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Posted by: Shim

Phuket Thai Cookery School

March 15, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Stuff to do

Last time I was in Thailand I never got around to taking a cooking class. It’s something I really wished I would have done, so this time around it was at the top of my list.

Tuesday morning we were picked up from our hotel and driven half way around the island to The Phuket Thai Cookery School. Sure, there were closer ones to our hotel, but most were more expensive, shorter, or just didn’t look as good. Plus the Thai Cookery School looked like it was the most hands on, which is what I was looking for.

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Posted by: Kelly

Week 26: Kuala Lumpur

March 2, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Stuff to do, Weekly Report

While doing a bit of research on getting our 90-day visas for Thailand, we read a few negative reviews of the Thai Embassy in Manila, so instead decided to try our luck in Kuala Lumpur. On Tuesday morning we flew to Manila where we had a 10 hour layover before flying to KL… yes that’s right 10 hours. I’m not sure what the other terminals of the Manila airport are like, but the newly opened terminal 3 is not a very enjoyable place to spend 10 hours. Most of it is still under construction, however it didn’t seem like any work was actually being done. Everything was boarded up and there was not a construction worker in sight. There are very few options for food, so if you’re flying through this terminal, try and eat before you get to the airport.

We finally arrived in KL at around 12:30am, and by the time we got to our hotel it was just after 2am. We had an early start the next morning as we wanted to make sure we were at the Thai Embassy before 9, in order to avoid the line. The whole process went pretty smoothly and we were told to come back the next afternoon to pick up our passports.

Our hotel was situated in the heart of KL’s Chinatown, which is pretty much tourist central. As a result most of our time was spent close to there, which was good, but I think if we return to KL we’ll look at other options, as after four days it was a little bit busy for us.

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Posted by: Shim

Random Factoid: Cheese Rings are awesome…

February 4, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Random Factoid

cheese rings

…until you expose them to air. Much like people in speedos, too much exposure makes you nasty. Yet still cheesy.

Posted by: Shim

Week 22: Dinner Parties with Friends

February 3, 2009 - Filed under Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Scuba Diving, Stuff to do, Weekly Report

It’s likely due to our limited time left in the Philippines that this week we attempted to be a little more social with a few of our local friends. We’ve been busy working and preparing for the next phase of our trip, but no excuses! Parties must be partied…

Early in the week we had Patrick from Dive Society over for a lasagna dinner accompanied by a few bottles of wine. He’s given his notice at the dive shop where he works as a dive instructor and will be becoming a nomadic yogi rambling through Bali in the near future. We hope to meet up again in Thailand in a couple months. Patrick is also an illustrator. Check out his portfolio site if you’ve got a minute.


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Posted by: Shim

Stuck in a culinary rut

January 2, 2009 - Filed under Eats

Do you ever have one of those days when you can’t decide what to make for dinner? When you’re bored with everything in your fridge and you feel like all you do is make the same things over and over? Lately it seems like everyday is that day.

Back in Vancouver we never used to cook this much. We’d eat out quite a bit, and with so many great restaurants we rarely got bored. Here in the Philippines the restaurant options are a little bit lacking. Thats not to say we haven’t had some great meals, but on a whole, things here are kind of bland. Fast food abounds and pretty much every restaurant has the same menu. So we’ve taken to cooking at home quite a bit. It’s great cause I love to cook, but I’m starting to run out of ideas. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 13: 3 Months Housewarming Party

December 1, 2008 - Filed under Drinks, Eats, Entertainment, Weekly Report

We’ve been in the Philippines for 3 months now. Since we’ve finally settled we decided to throw a little housewarming party at our new place and invite a bunch of people over to celebrate. We started out the week by heading into town for party supplies. Off to Hypermart in Dumaguete, we loaded up a shopping cart full of Mexican food supplies, and another cart full of beer, rum, gin, and soft drinks. We nearly cleared the shelves of San Miguel. The grand total? About $200. I love how cheap food and beverages are here. Unless you’re wanting specialty items, nearly everything is 50% what we pay back home. Booze and beer is even cheaper with no government taxation like in Canada. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

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