Week 40: Last week in Bali

June 7, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

We’re rounding out our time in Bali, with only a couple of days left. This week we managed to meet up with a few friends from Vancouver. We had a beach day with Aimee in Kuta, and dinner with Sam and Adam in Sanur. It’s been great to see some familiar faces and has made me excited about seeing everyone in August. Until then however, I’m still enjoying things in Asia.

On Tuesday I headed up to Ubud, about 20km north of Denpasar, and only about an hour away from where we’ve been staying. Ubud is a cute little town surrounded by lush green rice paddies and one of Bali’s major arts and culture centers. Mike opted to stay back in Sanur as my plans were a little too girly for him. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Foto Friday: Manta Ray

June 4, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday, Underwater Photography

Manta Ray

Manta Point, Nusa Penida, Bali

Posted by: Kelly

Week 39: 9 months in Asia and the things we (will) miss.

May 31, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

We’ve just crossed the 9 month marker of our 1 year journey. Having been through Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, our time abroad is quickly coming to a close. In a few weeks we’ll be heading back to see more of Malaysia’s north coast around Penang and possibly the Perhentian islands for some diving, then on to Borneo for a few more weeks of diving and motorcycling before flying back to Hong Kong to return home to Canada in August.

South East Asia map of our travels
Read More…

Posted by: Shim

How to watch tv online while traveling

May 28, 2009 - Filed under Entertainment

While we’re off roaming the globe, our television options can be somewhat limited. Every odd MotoGP Sunday I can wander to an English pub to watch Valentino Rossi win another race, but during the NHL playoffs and Superbowl it was near impossible to see anything more than the highlights. Finding a sports bar with satellite tv open at 5AM can be a challenge.

We often only have three or four channels in English, most of which are news or movie networks. Many of the shows we watch back home aren’t licensed for worldwide distribution until years after they air back in Canada and while networks do broadcast sporting events online they too are often restricted by broadcast licenses, so they geographically restrict who can watch the video streams online. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 38: Welcome to Bali

May 24, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

Things are back on track and looking up. We finally managed to get some accommodation sorted for our month in Bali, and were able to relax and enjoy our first week here. Our hotel for the first few days was great! A little more than we’ve been spending, but we got a great deal through AsiaRooms.com*, and it was one of the few we found that actually had internet. After a couple of crappy weeks it was a welcome splurge and just what we needed.

Puri Saron Hotel, Seminyak, Bali

Bali is beautiful, and the weather has been great. We spent a few days lounging by the pool and making the most of the swim-up bar. Mike was in heaven, and I’m convinced that’s the reason he picked the hotel. He’s been complaining about the lack of swim-up bars in Asia, so was finally happy. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Foto Friday: Bali Buddha

May 22, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday

Bali Buddha

Posted by: Kelly

Week 36 & 37: The downside of travel

May 17, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

For the most part, we’ve avoided talking about the difficulties of long-term travel. There’s sort of an unwritten rule among travelers that you just don’t talk about the bad stuff. Sure, it’s ok to bitch about lost luggage, a missed flight, or being ripped-off by a taxi driver, but no one really wants to hear that traveling can be tedious and stressful. Most people prefer to imagine our lives are nothing but poolside piña coladas, and endless Saturdays. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.

I think for most travelers, there comes a point when the romantic idealism wears off and the reality of long-term travel sets in. For us that point was last week. I can’t really pin it down to a specific moment or event, but rather the culmination of 9 months in Asia. Cultural differences, language barriers, and the challenges of living this type of lifestyle have become more and more apparent, and it’s been a difficult couple of weeks. What’s culturally charming on a two week vacation can become remarkably frustrating after a few months. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Foto Friday: Geek Heaven

May 15, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday

Pantip Plaza Bangkok

Pantip Plaza Bangkok (The IT Mall) – An entire mall for geeks! Computers, cameras, video games, and everything else in between.

Posted by: Kelly

Foto Friday: Guarding Buddha

May 8, 2009 - Filed under Foto Friday

Guarding Buddha

Posted by: Shim

Week 35: Fight Night

May 4, 2009 - Filed under Entertainment, Stuff to do, Weekly Report

Walking the streets of Koh Samui around Chaweng beach can be a little like running the gauntlet. We’ve been bombarded by tailors trying to coax us into their stores for cheap suits, shirts, shoes and the like. Restaurants handing out drink coupons and herding street traffic towards their tables. Street vendors trying to sell us knockoff t-shirts, soap carvings, statues, jewelry, and a ton of other mass produced stuff. Taxi drivers endlessly asking if you want a ride. It can be a bit much, but is a defining part of the Thailand experience.

Muay Thai Guy

Among the cacophony of all this, there are trucks roaming the streets with loud speakers proclaiming the greatness of the evenings scheduled Muay Thai boxing matches. Its always the ‘Fight of the Year’ and every fighter is supposedly a district champion… but 6 years ago I did take in a Muay Thai night and it was a memorable if somewhat shocking experience. Back then, they started with the youngest fighters around 6 years old and progressed to the regional champions who were usually in their mid 20’s. It was strange paying to watch little kids beat each other up, and it did get quite bloody when they got to the later matches. But I’d say it’s a must see if you’re in the neighbourhood since the Thai people are so enthusiastic about the sport and it really is a good time. Read More…

Posted by: Shim