Sea rash in Koh Phangan

I arrived at Koh Phangan just after the full moon festival. I’m not a big fan of festivals or the moons, but they make certain effects on the watery bits of our planet.

On my first day, I went for 20-minute snorkel at Mae Haad. It was meant to be beautiful, with colourful fish, corals… while swimming, I could constantly feel stings. On my arms, legs, belly, lips… Everywhere!  And I could hardly see anything!

I was itching all night, non-stop. Continue reading

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London – Thailand. Packing

I’ll start with packing. Last time, I was leaving for an unlimited number of months, planning to spend some days in the mountains, Ancient Towns and who-knows-where. I packed light’ish . Then I realised that a pair of old trainers would do as good as waterproof trekking boots, and moreover, a happy local family will gladly adore them.

This decision to come… surprisingly, I booked my flight exactly 1 year after my return! I only figured that out yesterday when I found an Airport ticket dated 18-01-18.

Few days before the trip, a free diver has died and it reminded me of Guilliam Nearys (see ‘rebirth’ on youtube). I’ve asked my friend to help me find that movie. The next day, I found a Koh Tao Pub Crawl event ticket in my old bag!!! So, enough to book a ticket.

This time, however, I’ll be working while travelling. This means, no more crazy bungalows with no electrition and where rats eat my banana and soap. I need wi-fi. AirCon. Sea. Coral reefs. Diving. And, i also need a personal laptop. But so many things i don’t need!

I arrived from London in a light feather jacket (Squeezed in a vacuum pack) and yellow sneakers. Two larger packs contain clothing – skirts, shorts… I already think it’s too much.

I also brought a Sarong and a shoulder bag. A Swiss knife, a LED light. I bought most of my creams seen here locally.

Few big things were the snorkelling tube+mask. I just like when it’s mine! A sleeping pillow, sleeping mask, some cosmetics…

A special case (Thank you, United Airlines Business!) where i neatly keep all my wires etc.

I place both my work and leisure laptop in a waterproof bag, just instead.

 

Togeans – Malenge and going back

One ‘unexpected’ side-effect of no internet is the fact that one can’t find any information. We’re so used to Google whenever we need to find out anything, especially on a trip – a weather forecast, a cost of a hotel, timetable of a boat. In the Togeans, this luxury isn’t available, and since losing count of time is another side-effect, the information becomes even more valuable.

After staying for a couple of nights in Poki Poki, I decided to continue my trip to Malenge. Members of staff told me the speedboat (Bora-Bora) was on the other day, and I was happy to extend my stay to do some more diving.

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Finally getting to the Togeans

In my last post, I’ve described the bumpy road to Ampana, a small town from which one can take a boat to the Togeans. On the second day after leaving Bali, I finally boarded the speedboat. I had to pay 150 000IDR ‘national park fee’ and about the same for the speedboat.

I was thinking to go to Malenge as the first stop, but after speaking to the Checzh couple I decided to join them in Poki Poki Beach. The speedboat dropped us off at Bomba Divers resort (Araya Divers) where we met a family with a kid. They were expecting the boat back to Ampana – but we told them the boat wasn’t coming due to the engine issues. There are only two boats in operation: one we’ve arrived with and the one with the broken engine.

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Getting to the Togeans

While in Bali, I met my neighbour, Guido. We happened to be the victims of the same crime – our flip flops being stolen from outside our neighbouring apartments in Canggu.

This incident made us hate each other for a brief while – on suspicion that the robbery was performed by the other neighbour. But then we both realised this can’t be true and had a Bintang. Apart from having no flipflops, being neighbours and sharing a Bintang we realised that we have more in common – in particular, we like travelling, a lot.

So Guido recommended me going to the Togeans. In particular, he’s mentioned Sunset Beach and Lestari in Malenge, and recommended a way to get there. I’ve done a quick Google search myself and agreed that going to the untouched tropical islands with wonderful coral reefs and one of the best diving on Earth is something I want to do, right now.

Getting to the Togeans

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Exploring Bali by car

Yesterday my friend and I decided to rent a car so we can explore the island a bit more efficiently. We’ve found a few rental agencies on one of the forums and I contacted about 5 of them via whatsApp. Many have been sold out with such a short notice, but eventually, I’ve found a car for 200K per day ($15), which was delivered to my guesthouse at 9am, as requested. Surprisingly, I wasn’t asked for a deposit of any kind, or even my driving licence – the guy just drove away on his scooter after handing over the keys and the documents! Continue reading

Speedboat from Gili T and Bali – scheduling issues and prices

My friends were staying in Bali so I’ve decided to visit them. I walked around the main road of Gili, where helpful locals were offering their services. The first travel agency had a direct boat at my desired time – 12AM, for a reasonable price, 300K IDR ($22), called Mahi Mahi Dewata. I was asked to check in at 11:30 at the agency, so I did. The boat arrived around 12AM as promised.

I climbed the roof of the boat to enjoy some sun and waves. Someone on the way asked a member of staff if the boat is really direct to Bali, and they were re-assured. Continue reading