Bangkok to Bali and a few more islands in between
18.12.2011 - 28.12.2011
Bangkok - either you love it or you hate it. I love the place, it's totally seedy and dirty and there's always at least one fat balding English man in every bar you go to trying to pick up a Thai woman / ladyboy... But there's always so much going on and the food is amazing and all the shops... I had an awesome 2 days there while waiting for my flight to Bali where I was headed to next to go and see my friend Bobbie and her family for Christmas.
Getting out of Cambodia and into Thailand was a bit of a mission with a three hour stint at the boarder queuing - firstly to get out of Cambodia and then to get into to Thailand. We also had a horrid bus driver for the journey who came close to blows with an Aussie guy on our bus, then when we finally arrived in Bangkok he refused to drop us on Khao San Road, and when everyone on board protested and refused to get off he took all our bags and threw them out of the bus...not a very nice chap.
So after several hours shopping for final Christmas presents, a trip to a ping pong show, some much needed time getting my nails done and one too many pad thais, I left Bangkok along with Ness and Owen to catch my flight to Bali. The 3am wake up call to get to the airport in time was definitely not one of my favourite moments of the trip so far - I'm clearly not a morning person - and it certainly didn't help that once at the airport and through passport control 2 of my Christmas presents (one for Kyle and one for Bobbie's dad) were confiscated by customs How I thought I could get two bottles of Cambodian whiskey carefully wrapped up in my hand luggage (each bottle had a whole snake and scorpion in it as well) past customs when there were signs everywhere saying 'no liquids' is beyond me...
As I wasn't meeting up with Bobbie until a couple of days after arriving in Bali, I checked myself into a place in Kuta for the night and decided to head to the Gili Islands the next day (3 small islands about a 2 hour journey by fast boat from Bali.) As I'd been to Bali twice before and hadn't made it out to the islands I was determined to go this time round! Again this is somewhere I'm going to have to come back to as I didn't have nearly enough time there. I would have loved to have gone diving and also to the other two islands which apparently are much less commercial than Gili T - the island I was on for 2 nights. I spent my time there getting some much needed r&r - lying on a near deserted beach all day and watching the storm clouds form over the neighboring island of Lombok each afternoon. Luckily even though it was the wet season I didn't get rained on at all until the journey back to Bali where our boat got caught in a rather scary storm and we all got soaked when getting off the boat - as did my rucksack... Bit of a contrast to the journey out to the islands when we were all sunbathing off the back of the boat and watching dolphins swim around our boat! Because of the storm and the horrific traffic trying to get back to Kuta I was seriously late to meet up with Bobbie and with no phone credit I couldn't let her know where I was...bit of a dilema, but once in Kuta I managed to beg a taxi driver to let me use his phone and 3 hours later than originally planned I finally met up with Bobbie in Jimbaran at her house.
I spent the next 6 days enjoying some home comforts - luxury after two and a half months of back packing, and of course catching up with Bobbie after not seeing her for 3 years! It was amazing to spend Christmas with her and her family and we spent the morning of Christmas day in the pool drinking bubbly in the sunshine and then the afternoon gorging ourselves on smoked turkey and ham followed by Jamie's pavlova and carrot cake! It was a little bit sad to have my first Christmas away from home but Mum and Dad had sent me a parcel full of gifts and Tom had as well.
Next stop back to Thailand again but will be seeing Bobbie and hopefully Jamie too in Melbourne before too long...