Sunday, 20 November 2011

Koh Samui!!!!!!!!!

After the first 3 days of rain we were fearful that we may have another bangkok situation on our hands but Koh Samui finally turned on her charm in an attempt to woo us back.

Shopping here is like being in an oversized GoLo where everything is so ridiculously cheap that you convince yourself you desperately need a genuine of rad ban sunglasses. My Mum would be in heaven here!

Koh Samui is a great place for outdoor activities. We've done everything: kayaking (i think we both regretted getting a 2 person kayak from the moment we started paddling), elephant trek through the jungle (although it's an awesome experience I'm still not sure how well these animals are treated in Thailand & if I as tourist should be supporting it), jeep ride around the Island (we got to sit on top of the jeep), had fish eat our feet (which Chris enjoyed too much), saw a phallic shaped rock (which is one of Koh Samuis biggest tourist attractions), visited a monk so honored that they mummified him and then placed a pair of ray bans on him. Watched a Thai Boxing Championship match which raised money for the flood relief in northern Thailand (although this was a good cause I don't really enjoy watching someone get hurt so badly that after being unconscious for over 5min he started to turn blue, Chris loved the whole thing) it is thailands oldest and most respected sport. I think out of everything we've done both our favourite was the waterfall swim. 

Just south of Koh Samaui is an amazing fresh water, water fall. As we were dropped off at the base of waterfall we were told we had 1hr to swim before we'd be taken back to the hotel. We walked for 5min up a gravel track when we reached what we thought was the best place to swim as we were about to head into the water to swim with the other tourist we were approached by a local man who asked if we were wanting to swim. We both replied yes (expecting he was going to charge us for the swim) and without any further questions we followed this man on a hike through the jungle. He spoke little english but manged to ask if it was just the two of us travelling and if we were on a tour, at this moment my mind started to wonder... had we'd been to trusting and where exactly was he really leading us, there was no path so there was no way we'd find our way back. Does he belong to some extremist group that was going to hold us captive for months on end in the jungle until our government paid our ransom (and are my fake havianas appropriate footwear for captivity in the jungle?)??? I started to take note of every detail of our walk and how trusting & kind he'd seem so I could give an accurate account of the event when I had to help create a reenactment for banged up abroad. Luckily for us that wasn't our fate. After 20 min which felt like forever we'd reached the top of the waterfall covered in sweat but had one of the most refreshing swims of our lives with the most breath taking views. Turns out the only thing we had to fear is his very worn and faded speedos the guy wore swimming. 

Note to self stop watching Banged Up Abroad it really plays with your mind while traveling.

Thailand fast fact: there are no ping pong shows in Koh Samui :-(

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Shoppers Paradise

I spent the last few days exploring this shopping haven. Beneath Orchard Rd I found retail heaven. Every store you could possibly want to shop in, in one convenient air conditioned location. Top Shop, Zara, H&M, River Island, Forever 21, Forever New, Prada, Gucci, Fendi the list goes on and on but if you thought Sydney retail was heavily over priced do not shop in Singapore. A pair of Havaianas $55.
In my last post I jinxed us with the weather, humidity has risen to 80% and poor Chris is struggling. Before his meeting yesterday morning he spent 20min wiping away the sweat and trying to air dry his shirt in a bathroom cubicle.
On Monday night we checked out the Casino which is free for tourist to enter so take your passports but locals are charged $100 entry fee (this is prevent gambling addictions). I won $30 and Chris lost $30 on the pokies so we came out even.  The Casino is really nice but lacks atmosphere there aren't any bars and people in there are serious about their gambling.
Tuesday night Chris's boss Drew treated us to our first Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab, it was AMAZING!!!! The restaurant is called Long Beach and is on right on the Esplanade. The crabs here are huge and cooked to perfection. I have to go back and try it again when I'm not so embarrassed about being a messy eater. We then went to the bar on top of the Swisshotel (the tallest hotel in Singapore) which has a 360 view of Singapore it really highlighted how small Singapore is.
Anyway just about to meet Chris in China Town for lunch Chicken Rice here I come. Tomorrow we start looking for apartments. Wish us luck.
Fast Fact: You can by ballet slippers from vending machines for $20

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Welcome to Singapore

Singapore must like us she's been extremely kind to us keeping our sweating at bay with a consistently cool breeze and low humidity, she must want us to stay.
Chris's company has booked us into an amazing hotel, it has everything we could possibly we want, great service, pool, gym, spacious rooms, a bar and walking distance to everything. I highly recommend to everyone who's looking for somewhere to stay
We had our first breakfast in a food court in Orchard Rd (Singapore's biggest shopping precinct). Chris desperately wanted bacon and eggs but had to settle for Beef Noodles and I had the Wonton Soup.
Chris is constantly loosing me as my dark hair blends in with everyone.
We decided to get our bearings of Singapore the same way I do in every city Hop on Hop off bus. We saw all Singapore had to offer, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, Little India, Merlion Park, Chinatown, Arab St, it even included an cruise down Singapore River. After 4 hours and 3 different buses we realised we could have walked it all in 2 hours.
We had lunch in Chinatown we're we found where Chris's new office will be, right on the main street surrounded by the Hawkers Markets, my heaven. So many great stalls and food stalls. It also conveniently located right outside the MRT station and a restaurant that offers the cheapest beer in Singapore $5.90 for a long neck Singha or Tiger, coincidence I think not!
In the evening we decided to embrace Singapore's culture with a trip down to Little India to celebrate Deepavali, except when we got there seemed like we were the only ones ready to celebrate. The main street was filled with banners and lights and that's all, there was nothing else happening. Little India is a lot like India, the streets are crowded with men just roaming around and there is Sari shop after gold shop after curry house but no cows :-(. The food is amazing and I'm sure it will become one of my preferred dining areas.
This may surprise you but I'm yet to try any Chilli Crab. Maybe today will be my day.
SINGAPORE FAST FACT: Burger King is open 24hrs and you can choose Heineken as your preferred drink of choice for your meal.