Week 29: Koh Tao – Back again!

March 25, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

It’s been 6 years since I’ve been back to Koh Tao, and although a lot has changed, as soon as I stepped off the ferry, a million memories came rushing back. The first time I was here was in 2003. I spent 2 months here doing my Divemaster Course, and loved every minute of it. Since then I couldn’t wait to come back, so when Mike and I decided to head to Thailand, I knew we had to come here.

Koh Tao
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Posted by: Shim

Week 28: Phuket to Koh Samui

March 19, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

We spent a couple more days in Phuket, chilling on the beach, working, and taking a cooking class. Then on Thursday we headed to Koh Samui. Koh Samui, is a little more our style, but still a bit bigger than we’d actually like. There are however, quite a few options for long term rentals so we might look into it a little further.

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Posted by: Kelly

Week 27: Phuket, Thailand

March 12, 2009 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Weekly Report

Travel Lesson #347 – It always takes you twice as long to get somewhere than you think it will.

We left our hotel in Kuala Lumpur at 9:30 in the morning and finally arrived in Phuket, Thailand just after 5pm. What was suppose to be just a quick trip turned out to be an all day affair. But we made it. We arrived in Thailand and are happy to be here.

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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

Week 25: Things to do before leaving the Philippines

February 22, 2009 - Filed under Drinks, Planning, Scuba Diving, Travel, Weekly Report

With a week left before we head to Thailand, we’ve attempted to mark off the last few random things remaining on our Philippines checklist…

#1. Try San Miguel Strong Ice

We’ve never seen anyone drinking it. Is it a cider? Nope, it turns out that it’s yet another pale pilsen. This time its ice filtered and packing a bit more of a punch. 6.3% alcohol, making it a close second to Red Horse Strong Beer.

San Miguel Strong Ice
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Posted by: Shim

Week 24: Another broken strobe light

February 17, 2009 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Weekly Report

The battery pack on my strobe light broke again. This is the second time it’s happened in the last 6 months and as you can probably imagine I’m less than impressed. It couldn’t have come at worse time either. We’re nearing the end of our stay here in the Philippines, and there isn’t enough time to get a replacement shipped before we leave so, it’ll have to wait till we get to Thailand. I’m really bummed as there were a couple of dive sites I wanted to return to, to capture a few last shots to remember them by.

Despite this, Mike and I did a couple of dives this week anyway. It’s still beautiful and I love it, but I kept wanting to take pictures of all the cute little critters. I think it’s definitely gonna take me a while to get used to diving without my camera. Hopefully I can figure out how to replace it once we get to Thailand, but until then here are the last of my underwater pictures.

mantis shrimp

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Posted by: Shim

Week 23: Umm… I thought this was the dry season!

February 9, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

We’ve mentioned before that we’ve been getting a lot of bad weather lately. It’s been raining off and on all week, but this weekend we definitely saw the worst of it. Saturday morning Raina and I decided to go into town for a massage. It had been raining all morning, but like I said, lately that’s been kind of the norm.

We took the El Dorado shuttle into Dumaguete, and headed for Nuat Thai. Mike and I had been there before, and although not the best massages we’ve ever had, better than a couple other places we’ve been since arriving in the Philippines. Unfortunately Raina ended up getting the short straw and had a less than enjoyable massage. In fact I think she described it as “borderline abusive”. Anyway, when we walked out an hour later, the rain was coming down harder than I’ve ever seen and puddles were starting to form in the streets. We considered taking a trike back instead of waiting for two hours for the shuttle, but reconsidered when we realized how wet we’d get. We had lunch at Why Not Bar, and watched, as the rain continued to fall and the water continued to rise.

Dumaguete flooding at Why Not
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Posted by: Kelly

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

Week 21: Making Plans

January 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

After spending an entire afternoon at the travel agent we finally have official plans for phase 2 of our crazy nomadic life. On Feb 24th we head to Kuala Lumpur, after spending 8 hours in the Manila airport. Apparently the later flight, which would leave us with only 5 hours in Manila would be cutting it too close, according to our travel agent. I know Cebu Pacific is notorious for late flights but I kinda thought 5 hours would be enough. I guess not. So if anyone has any suggestions on what to do in the Manila Airport for 8 hours we’d love to hear ’em.

We’ll be spending 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, before heading to Thailand. After much research detailing horrible experiences with the Thai Embassy in Manila, we decided to try our luck with the Thai Embassy in KL instead, as most people seemed to have pretty positive reports from there. We’ll be applying for a 60-day tourist visa, with an optional 30-day extension, which will give us 90-days in Thailand. If we decide we want to stay longer, we’ll have to leave the country and come back in. But for now we’re thinking 3 months will be a good start. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 20: Bring back the sun!

January 19, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

The last couple of weeks we’ve had some pretty gross weather. Although this is suppose to be the dry season this week has been anything but. I know it’s nothing compared to the crazy weather back in Vancouver, but for those of us who moved to a tropical island mostly for the weather… well it kinda sucks. Read More…

Posted by: Shim