On my way to Phi Phi island on my previous trip to Thailand, I spent a few days hanging out in Patong Beach in Phuket. Not something I chose personally, but since I was at the mercy of two males who thought they knew better, I didn’t really get to offer my opinion. I didn’t really enjoy Patong that much, but it does give me a new place to write about.Мокрый фасад – новейшая технология утепления

Patong Beach is a tourist location in Phuket, and the main attraction of Patong is Bangla Road. If you’ve not heard of Bangla Road, it is to Phuket what Khao San Road is to Bangkok. An array or bars, nightclubs, market stalls and touts, all trying to sell to the large crowds of tourists milling around throughout the day and night. It’s where you go to drink and party and have a good time, day or night. At night, the lights are blinding and Western pop music pumps through the speakers and vibrates in your lungs as you try to choose between the numerous bars on offer.

You’ll find nearly all the bars have girls “dancing” (read: hopping from one foot to the other) on poles, and it’s hard to find a place where girls aren’t performing. Don’t worry though, they very rarely get naked on the podiums or poles, and they’re not the kind of provocative dancers you normally see in Western strip clubs unless you actually go inside the closed off “go go bars”.

Also in Bangala Road, you’ll find a lot of touts selling you the usual assortment – cigarettes, cigars, lighters – and also some things I haven’t seen before – roses, flashing headgear, and photos with strange animals. I had large iguanas thrust at me several times (cue screaming) and was also accosted by a group of Thai people each holding a baby slow loris. One of the boys I was travelling with has the photos and I haven’t asked for them yet, but they’re very cute animals and I ended up somehow with them all over my body. 50% cute, 50% what-if-they-bite-or-poop-on-me.

If drinking and dancing aren’t really your thing, then I wouldn’t recommend venturing too far out at night, as that’s really all that’s on offer once the sun goes down. There’s a smattering of markets, but nothing like you’d see in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, and most of them resemble stores rather than market stalls. During the day is your best chance of getting to have a look around, but as Patong Beach is a tourist party town, there doesn’t seem to be that much to do. I saw a lot of people rent scooters and this is a lot easier in Patong than somewhere like Bangkok, because there is a lot less traffic on the beach, making it easier to get around without getting trapped in a 30-deep motorbike pack.

If you are going to rent a scooter, make sure you have your passport, as they don’t seem to rent to you without it. It’s also a good idea to get travel insurance if you don’t already, because if you do have a little crash, you want to know you’re taken care of. I wouldn’t recommend going out and renting a scooter unless you have knowledge of how to work one, or have someone with you that’s willing to give you a little tutorial before you head out on the roads. Make sure you wear a helmet and never drive drunk if you go out at night. Just walk or catch a taxi!

I didn’t get a chance to explore much of Patong in the day, because I got there at 7pm when I spent one night before Phi Phi and when I came back, it was pouring rain and my dreams of renting a scooter were dashed. ): I personally wouldn’t recommend staying more than one or two nights while in transit to islands or other parts of the country. Patong doesn’t offer the greatest selection of culture and entertainment, but it is good place to head to if you want a few nights of partying. Just remember that most bars close between 1 and 2 am and after that the whole city dies until morning.

Note: There is a rampant sex trade going on in Patong and I will touch more on this later. Please keep smart and refrain from perpetuating this industry. Also, the slow loris’ you see on the street are often stolen from their parents and it’s a good idea not to perpetuate this trade by having photos taken with them on the street. 

something inside me
wakes when I’m alone.
tugs me across oceans
to lands unknown.
I feel the pressure
the pull in my bones.
constant longing
to find my home.Focuz

If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.veroxybd.com

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I am writing this waaaaay before you’re seeing it (ah, the beauty of scheduled posts!) but this morning I started reading a friend’s book that is based in Iceland. There’s nothing pretty about it because it’s boring and financial based, but Iceland itself.. Another one of my long-loved places on Earth. But, from very lazy Googling and poking around, it seems pretty expensive, so it’s going to have to be one of those adult trips (adult as in old, not dirty!) that I save up for. Darn.

I found this blog a while back and while I’m not sure if it’s still running/posting, I think it’s a super cute blog – about Iceland obviously. Well… actually, it’s set up from Iceland’s point of view. “Hello I am Iceland” is apparently how you instantly suck me into following.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

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Okay so I’ve seen a salt lake/desert or two in my time (who knew we had them in the Aussie outback?) but this one is definitely the coolest. Hence why it gets on the list.PolVam

This one is locatedin the Cordoba and Santiago del Estero provinces of the Sierras de Cordoba in Argentina. Apparently it’s a decent drive (90 kms) to get here, but they use this desert to harvest salt and potassium, which is why there’s the long mini-river out here. So, not only does it look super cool, it’s useful too.

 

Now, this one I can blame completely on Dean. And I do with no shame. I remember a time when he would just continually send me links to these beautiful images of the French Alps – probably some other Alps too, but I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, he showed me and ever since then when I come across a photo of them I get all “ahhhh” and breathy and dream about exploring, or at least driving, through this awesome place. This photo is one that makes me particularly keen to become a mountain hiker. I think it’s all the green.

Dangerously Beautiful Paths by Katerina Stefanovic on Flickr

Imagine if it was possible to roll down one of these and not gain crazy speeds and end up dead? That’d be so nice.

Okay so Oregon has always been a pretty big thing with me since that time I decided to set one of my many lame stories there. Before you peg me as a Stepehenie Meyer wannabe, it wasn’t for the cloudiness, okay? There was a cave and a town with painted bears everywhere and that’s what drew me in – like it’s really any better. The town is Grants Pass, if you’re wondering. Pretty rad place from what I researched. But the coast is beautiful, the woods are beautiful. This place is basically a dream come true for me, with the whole “untamed wilderness” thing going on that really attracts my greenie side.

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Right so, I’ve no clue what this place is called. But it goes on the wishlist ANYWAY because I LIKE A CHALLENGE. And frankly, scouring the Internet for hours when I decide it’s time to find out* is what I consider a respectable use of my time. The Internet is like, totally zero calories, omg you guuuuuys!

*clears throat*

ANYWAY. Just look at this photo and tell me it isn’t the coolest looking cliff you’ve ever seen.

The mystery cliff!

But hey, if you’ve seen this place somewhere or happen to know what it is,pleaselet me know! Because scouring the Internet for hours when you’re reading this and you know, that isnota respectable use of my time.

* I’ve postponed the finding-out date because the only idea I had right now was to Google “sqaure cliff” and all that brought up was this dude.

So this one is coming a little late, because by now it’s been about two weeks since my birthday, oops. But it’s finally happens, I am officially an adult. Hoorah!film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 online

Instead of having just my birthday in Bangkok, I decided to be just a little more self-absorbed and treated myself to a birthday week. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘birthday week’ it’s really just an excuse for people with far too much money to celebrate for the week leading up to the big day. Now obviously I am not someone with far too much money, unless I’m in Bangkok, where I become stupidly rich – in my eyes anyway. So let me tell y’all what I got up to.

I could’ve started my week on a Monday because my birthday this year fell on a Sunday, but seven days of myself would’ve maybe driven me mad, so instead I settled for five and began my week on the 20th. On the first day I was moving hostels, so to cheer myself up I went and got my nose pierced, the same thing I did for my birthday last year. Hopefully this now-yearly birthday ‘tradition’ doesn’t continue into 2013, because it hurt like hell this time. Worse than my tattoo! I maybe even cried a little. Maybe. Luckily, I cheered myself up with a fake plum Casio watch, and a real plum Revlon lipstick. I swear, lipstick soothes all my wounds.

On the 21st, I bought the only dress on the street I’d seen that would fit me, and then bought a new handbag to go with it. Hopefully this bag fares better than my last one from SE Asia, which I fell in love with, and in return, it fell apart. *tear*
The 22nd is actually a mystery to me (I should keep a diary) other than what I did for dinner, which was treat myself to the first, last and only real restaurant meal I had during my stay in Bangkok. I went to Himali Cha Cha & Son, a lovely little Indian place where I stuffed my face with palak paneer and garlic naan. Good, expensive times.

When I woke up the next day, I was resolved to go and rewatch 007: Skyfall at the Lido, but alas, when I finally got there only Breaking Dawn: Part II was showing. Not being one to turn down a movie experience, and needing to see how it all ended, I went and saw it. It actually wasn’t that bad, the slightly cringeworthy moments aside. Returning from that outing to the New Road Guesthouse, the gang there announced they were all headed to the Sky Bar, so I tagged along to admire Bangkok from great heights. This is actually an outing I would recommend to you if you visit the city.

If you’re unaware, the Sky Bar is located on the 64th floor of the Sky Tower. This probably sounds super unfamiliar, but if you’ve seen The Hangover II and remember the rooftop confrontation scene, then you’ve seen the Sky Bar in all it’s glory, as it was filmed here. They’re still serving the “Hangovertini” – a specially created cocktail for the cast and crew of the movie – and will probably keep serving it for the next ten years.  Whilst I was up there, my birthday ‘treat’ was the most expensive mojito of my life. Excuse me, but fuck VAT and service tax.

On my birthday eve, the 24th, I played leader in an outing with three Dutch girls to the Chatuchak weekend markets, another outing I’d recommend if Bangkok is your destination. All I bought there was a hairband and some of my beloved smoked chicken which is so good. That night I dragged my new Dutch friend, Florine, to see Cloud Atlas. I’d been obsessing over this movie for about two weeks since first seeing the trailer – which I’ve nicely placed below for your viewing pleasure.

Even though we both left a little dazed and confused, it was a beautifully made movie which I would recommend to anyone who is capable of following multiple storylines. But perhaps read the book first.
Returning home from the cinema, we watched the clock tick over to the 25th, Florine brought me a beer and sang Happy Birthday and then we crashed out in bed.

Finally at the big day itself, I woke up at 6 am and wandered off to Mcdonalds in the rain for the best hashbrowns ever, and when I returned to the guesthouse and awoke after a nap, Florine fed me pancakes and tea and we set off on the boat towards Khao San Road. When we got there we headed off to the “massage garden” that Mark recommended to me, and left about two hours later feeling quite refreshed after our massages in little tents. Following this, I watched proudly as Florine bartered down the prices of some cute dresses for us both, and then we triumphantly took a tuk tuk home, with some obligatory tailor stops along the way. My birthday adventure would’ve ended there, if not for the taxi driver I encountered at the airport on the way to my next hostel.

After driving around for about an hour without the meter on, looking for Airport Backpackers Lounge, we finally found the place and the time came to haggle the price down to something reasonable. Imagine my surprise when instead, the taxi driver offered to take me to dinner. I agreed, and he drove me to Banglamphu, and we ate the best fish soup ever in a little street restaurant. Then he drove me all the way back to my hostel – not without some awkward attempts at handholding and me squeaking “Have boyfriend!!” – and let me out without paying for anything. Oh, and he even gave me a hat as my “present, present” for the day. Such a lovely guy, who really gave the day a great (and slightly hilarious) ending.

All in all, I think that this week and my birthday were perhaps the best so far. And now that I’m an adult, I can happily stop ageing and and never celebrate getting older ever again. But hey, if someone wants to give me some ice cream cake when I get home, I wouldn’t be totally adverse to it.

Okay so I’ve previously talked about how much I love photoblogging and I spend a whole lot of time wishing I could bring that addictive aspect of my blogging life and deposit it here, so that I actually feel enthused to log in and blog every day. So I’m going to start setting up photos to post every few days of places I want to visit. This idea stemmed somewhere between my mother’s Favourite Fotos, which are photos she takes and posts every week, and my aforementioned urge to make this a more image-y blog. Plus, I am obsessed with just about a million different places in the world, and what better way to keep track?Крокодил

So. Death Valley. I have this photo on my other blog from a while back, when I was nostalgic for the rocky mountains and hills that make up the land surrounding the highway through Arizona and New Mexico. It’s either of Manly Peak, or from Manly Peak, I’ve no clue. I just think it’s so gorgeous, and whilst I’m well aware people die in Death Valley every year, and with my carelessness I would probably be one of those numbers if I went, it just makes me more interested in going. What’s travel without a little danger?

Honestly, dying of heat or thirst out here probably wouldn’t be that bad, as long as it’s at sunset.