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Kampot and Singapore

sunny 34 °C
View Babez on Round the World Tour 2010 on noodz4loz's travel map.

Having changed guesthouses, Jamie managed to barter down a delightful room with a television for $6 a room including our own verada. We explored the town and had high hopes of doing a few chores such as getting our laundry done, sending postcards and getting a massage as Jamie had not had none yet. However we made the most of the cheap beer and all day happy hours and realised we had wasted the day. We missed the market by an hour but managed to entertain the locals by parading Donna and her porcelain white skin down the street encouraging them to stare and wave hello. Laura made an attempt to find a manicure, pointing at her nails to describe what she wanted, pointing at her nails saying 'manicure?' to describe what she wanted. As the woman approached her, she realised she she had wandered into a 'seeing hands' parlour. Only blind and deaf people work here. We had joked earlier about a blind manicure, Donna never realised Laura would actually ask for one, when she realised we moved swiftly on.

We got up early for the main tour from Kampot, a trek to Bankor, the nearest national park to Kampot. Given our last 'trek' had been a gentle stroll through the forest in Chiang Mai, we were unprepared for the horror that awaited us. We can only describe the trek as the most painful thing we've ever had to endure, Laura confessing she would rather die than do it again, it was two and a half hours of almost vertical rock climbing to the top of the mountain and Laura was less than thrilled when her burn scab was punctured. Luckily doctor Jamie was there with iodine and a bandage at hand as Donna had already pissed of up the mountain along with the rest of the group. The tour group who had stayed with them yelled monkey but Laura couldn't give much of a shit at this point and persevered on. Donna was presented with a rather large dead spider by some crazy dutch guys who debated whether or not it would be a good meal.

Unbelievably everyone reached the top alive and we actually decided it was well worth it especially since we discovered that there was a construction project in progress which in our opinion would ruin everything we'd come to see. At the top of the trek was the hill station built by the French in the 1920s to escape the heat further down, but abandoned soon after. It was so eerie with thick fog and empty dilapidated buildings, it felt like something from a horror film. We approached an old hotel with a rusty sign declaring 'Danger, No entry' but our cheery tour guide waved it aside telling us to go and explore. Luckily we're still alive and Jamie managed to steal a couple of floor tiles which he then left in the guesthouse...good effort. Due to Laura's injury we decided she couldn't trek back down fearing death and her much loved scab being ripped off. Donna and Jamie courageously powered on through despite the descending fog and ridiculous steepness of the downward path. Words cannot describe the relief we felt to finally see the end in sight and retain, fully intact, our limbs.

To complete our day we went on a boat tour supposedly to view the sunset which had passed before the boat even appeared. Donna and Laura refused to lose the money we'd paid for it and so we went on a twilight tour down the river. Dinner and cocktail followed at a place Jamie insisted was the stuff of folklore but Donna and Laura were pretty sure was a lie. We shall see.

We went to our favourite cocktail bar and the waiter came and sat with us which was lovely until he suddenly told his life story to Jamie asking for his name number and address so that he could come to London to work. Jamie offered him a job at the Walpole.

We left early the next day to return to Phnom Penh, it was pretty exciting as we had two tyre blow-outs...allowing Donna to finish her next book and Laura to not even reach the halfway point of her 3rd this holiday. Donna also got touched by an old woman who seemed thrilled once again by her freckles. Bring on Singapore.

Having arrived back in Phnom Penh we decided Jamie should get a Thai massage. We had decided that we were too injured given Laura's burn and Donna's trekking shoe injury so would go for a head, neck and shoulder massage. We could not stop giggling in the run up given Jamie and Donna's aching muscles from the trek...we assumed Jamie would be in a world of pain. We laughed and wished him luck. The joke was on us. Firstly we were required to remove our clothes...Jamie removed only his shirt. Donna was just in knickers given her poor decision to wear a dress and Laura in tiny shorts. Laura was happy about the nakedness...Donna was very uncomfortable. Jamie fell asleep during the head massage indicating to Donna and Laura that his Thai massage was not thorough. Laura and Donna endured a lot of inappropriate pain given the massages they had chosen. Laura got the bonus of a boob massage as she has only midget legs which are easily lost to the naked eye, as Donna got a full leg massage we can only assume she didn't realise Laura had any legs at all. She does.

We returned later for manicures and Laura was enchanted by the smallest dog in the world. Once again she felt the need to hold the animal in order for it to be real. We're pretty sure it didn't have rabies G. Our nails are now beautiful.

The next day we were heading to Singapore. An uneventful flight was marred by daylight robbery as we were informed that departure tax was $25 per person. Robbing bastards. Upon entry to Singapore Donna was once again subjected to the ginger doubt as the immigration staff had to double check that her passport indeed belonged to her asking the question 'Is this you?' and pointing to the photo. She of course answered no and proceeded through.

On arrival in Singapore we disgusted to realise how expensive everything is. We had to take shelter in a cafe in Little India but had awesome Naan bread and 'gravy'...amazing curry sauce whilst waiting for the torrential rain to cease. Finally went with the cheapest hostel we could find but still massively expensive at $15 per bed. Hugely over Babez on Tour budget. However massively colourful, we consoled ourselves with strong Indian lager and a Asian musician Laura is in love with and she has just embarrassed herself by walking in on an Indian man in an internet cubicle declaring 'A MAN'. We need to be up early tomorrow and it's ten to three.

Posted by noodz4loz 10:54 Archived in Singapore Tagged seniors Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia

sunny 41 °C
View Babez on Round the World Tour 2010 on noodz4loz's travel map.

Given that our taxi to begin our 26 hour journey to Kuala Lumpur was at 6am...we decided that the best idea would be to go out, get on the buckets and play drinking games the night before. This resulted in some rather painful packing and an equally painful journey on the ferry off the island. Donna threw up in a bin and Laura slept on the floor of the boat. Luckily we thought the rest of the journey would be a straight forward two coaches all the way. We've clearly learnt nothing from our time travelling through Asia. We got on the first bus to find out that there were no seats for us and so instead of the driver telling us what to do, he just walked straight past us and started driving. Once again we slept on the floor. We were slightly concerned that we arrived in Surat Thani half an hour after our bus from there was supposed to leave. When we were dropped off we were thrown into a taxi with other people going to completely different places and taken to a sandwich shop in the middle of nowhere. After another half an hour, another tuk tuk turned up, to take us to another shop in the middle of nowhere. However, the woman in this shop was angry that we were late and told us that we would need at leasat 300 Malaysian Ringots each to be able to cross the border. Of course we weren't happy with this but were left with no choice as she was in charge of the transport. We were frogmarched to an ATM to withdraw the money to return and be told that we were supposed to have taken out that much each. We told her where to go and managed to lose the minumum amount we could due to her appauling exchange rate. When we eventually did reach the border our belief that everything she had told us was a lie was confirmed as noone asked to see any money. We were then put in a minibus full of Asian people and of course the obligatory loud Thai music stopping us listening to our ipods to be driven to another minibus which took us across the border. We were delighted to be in Malaysia but still 450km from Kuala Lumpur.

The minibus took us to another bus station for the night coach supoosedly the last leg of the journey. We had time to kill before this left so induldged in noodles from Noodle Station. Donna was thrilled. We were really impressed by the new coach which could not have been more comfortable so were shocked to be thrown off it at half 4am instead of 8am like we had been told. We looked around for the next bus but couldn't see anything and having asked a number of people how to get to Kuala Lumpur discovered that we were actually already in Kuala Lumpur four hours early. An Asian miracle had occured. We then got a taxi to China town to be marched by a drunk man to a guesthouse. A hideous guesthouse. We weren't pleased to learn that the door did not lock from the inside and made plans to find another guesthouse the following day.

After our 4 hour power nap, we head out to find breakfast and found a place that served massive plates of noodle soup for around a dollar. Both of us were defeated, much to Laura's disgust. We then went to the Lake Gardens where Laura was delighted to stumble across a massive playgournd. Chucking the bag and camera at Donna she ran off to play on the slides glaring at any children in her path. Merely for research purposes due to her future as a teacher, of course. We also were forced into half an hour of fun on the pedalos. Unfortunately neither of us fell in. In the lake gardens there were supposedly a bird park, butterfly park, deer park and orchid park. The only one we managed to find was the deer park. Just as Donna declared that she could have been in England given the deer and the squirrels, we turned around to see a crocodile sized lizard climbing the tree. The day wasn't wasted.

We also discovered that Malaysia tells you when you've done enough sight-seeing for the day and that it's beer o clock by raining at approximately 5pm every day.

The next couple of days were taken up by visiting the Petronas towers, lots of shopping, going up KL tower and exploring the rainforest around it. The ticket to go up KL tower included a pony ride. Laura was the only one delighted by this...until she was passed a cowboy hat and waited on the pony for the ride to get underway. She was soon informed that she could only have a picture on the pony and could not ride it as she was too heavy. Donna and Jamie (Laura's boyfriend) are still on the floor from laughing and needless to say didn't want a picture as well. Shopping was a lot of fun as we have mastered the art of bartering and are often told we are 'hard ladies'. The high point was Laura being chased down the road with the Chanel bag she wanted for 12 pounds, having been refused moments before.

When we hit the rainforest, our monkey fears were finally realised. Jamie ran over to take pictures which we hung back refusing to risk rabies just two weeks before we are due to leave Asia. Obviously this rule didn't apply to the baby monkey as far as Laura was concerned. She ran towards it with Donna screaming 'They'll be more protective of the babies!'.
She still managed to avoid being bitten G, don't worry.

The next day we were due to fly to Siem Reap disgustingly early in the morning. We managed to make it to the airport, although not all of us were fully awake yet, a point Laura illustrated by thrusting her hand into glass trying to reach the tuna sandwich resting behind it. She was confused, but only for a few moments when embarassment took over. The morning continued badly for her as when she went to dispose of her coffee cup in the bin accidentally spilling a tiny bit on the edge of the bin. Out of nowhere a cleaning man appeared, standing right in front of Laura, glaring at her in disgust for her accidental spillage. Donna helpfully moved away whilst Laura stared back at him in confusion as she had only dropped a teardrop of coffee.

We had hoped to be able to relax during the flight but were sat next to an oddly chatty Scouser who refused to answer any questions himself but bombarded Laura with questions about our trip. Once again, Donna helpfully fell asleep. We had to hand over our passports for Cambodian visas, a job which apparently requires 12 people. They pass your passports down the line, just staring at it and then the person at the end calls your name and hands it back to you. Laura and Donna were delighted when they looked at Jamie's passport photo, looked at him, and just pointed at his now bald head exclaiming 'No hair now!'.

Having found a nice guesthouse we went exploring the town, and since we'd been up since half 4, decided 10am was perfectly acceptable for beer. We were right, although it was apparently still too early for dumplings. Once again we went for a foot massage as we thought Jamie should experience the wonderful feeling. Donna's legs were pointed at by the masseuse as she declared 'White skin! Cambodians love white skin.' She has since understood what this means more fully as Jamie and Laura revealed that everywhere we have been she has been stared at and pointed at.

The next day was another early start as we wanted to see Angkor Wat at sunrise. It was a really good decision as it was beautiful and the other temples of Angkor are also amazing. Whilst in a tuk tuk going to another temple someone shouted Donna from an overtaking tuk tuk. It was someone she knew from Uni, and we luckily saw her again at the top of a death-defyingly tall and steep temple making plans to meet her later on Pub Street. We went out for cocktails at a bar that constantly serves popcorn before moving on for Cambodian barbeque and beer. Deciding we wanted more food we went to a fantastic place on Pub Street where you barbeque your own food and make your own soup to go with it. Donna took charge of the soup whilst Laura took charge of the barbeque to prove to Jamie that we are as good as qualified chefs ater our Thai Cookery course. We barbequed beef, chicken, squid, snake and crocodile. Yum. Liisa, Donna's friend from the temple appeared and we forced her into drinking games and a jug of alcohol to herself. Laura had been thrilled when she saw buckets on the menu but disappointed when it turned up in a jug. She did declare there was no alcohol in it before looking around to see everyone else gasping from its strength. The evening went downhill from there and culminated in Laura getting a burn from a motorbike exhast whilst posing for a picture with the tuk tuk driver.

The next day we went to see a floating village which was breathtaking especially when the sun set. We were slightly concerned when the boat appeared to be being driven by two children. Our fears were not abated when our boat broke down and they had to get out and push us back off the rocks. Thank goodness we're not fat Americans. We went to a really nice street restaurant for dinner after which was ruined by one of the child sellers claiming that Jamie had promised to come back to buy his postcards the day before. When Jamie explained that that was not what he had said and that he wouldn't be buying nay postcards, the boy burst into tears and spent the next 20 minutes throwing insults as Jamie going from bad to worse including Ýou're an ugly guy' (which is hilarious considering his surname is Guy), that he was a liar, not helped when Laura chimed in with 'Ýeah he does lie about a lot of things' and to 'Fuck off and get out of his country'. A thouroughly enjoyable evening, luckily the food was amazing and he finally got the hint when we started eating. His friend then came and did an impression of him to Laura before breaking into a wide grin and pretending to shake our hands.

The following day we moved onto Phnom Penh where we saw more monkeys and an elephant at the main Temple and managed to catch up with Liisa again, who coincidentally wasn't even staying in the same guesthouse as us in a very large city, but was only two doors down from Laura and Jamie in a very large guesthouse.

The next day we went to the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum, which although really interseting made for a fairly depressing day. It was really strange to us that we didn't know anything at all about it and were shocked to see the extent of what had happened so very recently. In the evening we went to a place called 'Beef Good Soup' where you make your own soup. As the only Westerners in the place we had at least two waitresses to ourselves who cooked our soup for us, letting the Asians cook for themselves. It was a lot of fun though and our waitress seemed to find us hilarious. Again, she was fascinated by Donna's freckles poking her arm and smiling. Laura was annoyed since she is now thrilled to have freckles on her nose and no one seems to be noticing them, even though there were at least three.

Our final morning dawned and we went for a truely hysterical breakfast. Laura had declared she was starving after not having much soup the night before but was slightly confused when the waitress took only Donna and Jamie's orders before looking at Laura and walking off. We caught the attention of another waiter who was shooed aside by our original waitress who burst out laughing and took Laura's order. As if this wasn't enough, Donna and Laura had both ordered exactly the same thing, a chicken sandwich. Laura's came first and she was not impressed by either the size or the filling, it was truely the most anorexic sandwich any of us had ever seen. Just as she joked that I would probably get a much bigger one, the waitress appeared with Donna's plate which was literally a double portion of two sandwiches. Laura was not impressed. Donna and Jamie were thrilled.

Once again, our experience of Asian travel has been shown not to have reached our brains, we embarked upon our 4 hour journey to Kampot. Having left at 1pm, we finally arrived at half 6. Having been sold a guesthouse with free taxi to it we got in the car with the guesthouse owner only to hear one of his friends shouting 'Ýou're going to die'. Luckily we didn't, although the Riverside guesthouse wasn't really how he sold it to us in the pictures. Nevertheless it wasn't too bad so we head out for dinner and drinks, bearing in mind that we needed to return before midnight. At about half ten we started our journey back and were slightly concerned to see the gates locked over an hour early after making our way down the completely unlit street to the guesthouse. Jamie pushed on the gates and found that they were open, but also discovered the guesthouse had three very angry dogs that began barking furiously. We retreated until we saw one of the guesthouse owners appear on the balcony attempting to calm the dogs. This was the extent of her effort and did very little as we were left to sidestep around the dogs to our rooms. We changed guesthouses this morning.

Posted by noodz4loz 03:23 Archived in Cambodia Tagged seniors Comments (0)

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