Susie Bruce

Joined February 2017
  • Day318

    Phnom Phen

    February 11, 2018 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    After Krattie we returned to Phnom Phen. In total we spent about 2 days. We did the usual walk around the city seeing the classic independence monuments and royal palace etc. The most interesting and depressing thing we did was go to both the S1 and killing field museums. I was aware before coming to Cambodia about a civil war about 30 years ago, apparently we were both completely ignorant to the extent of the genocide that had took place during and after the civil war, after the Vietnamese war. I won't go into too much detail with the risk of it sounding like a history lesson and many of the things we saw we didn't feel right taking pictures as we our guide lived through this and had lost half of her family as a result.
    Long story short the S1 museum had been turned into a concentration camp where any person deemed to have an education was tortured usually until death because they were possibly US or Russian spies. If they didn't die there they would be transported to a 'new home' (the killing fields) where they were killed. As guns were too expensive it was usually by spade/pick axe/rough leaf or wood edge. In total 3 million people died in 5 years. Two million actively killed and another million be starvation or similar. This was over a quarter of the entire population of Cambodia.
    Very educational but not the nicest place to go. The pictures show just some of the remains they have found from the killing fields, the prison and one of the 'rooms' the victims slept in.
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  • Day316

    Krattie

    February 9, 2018 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    Next stop was Krattie. The reason we came here was to see one of the worlds only fresh water dolphins. We went out to the river on a boat to see them. It was very good but I'm afraid trying to photograph them proved difficult, but you can just about see them in the picture so you get the idea.
    In the afternoon we went across to a little island 5 minutes away called Koh Trong and rented bikes so we could cycle around. We really enjoyed being away from the town and the tuk tuks and scooters. It was great to see some countryside again!Read more

  • Day313

    Battambang

    February 6, 2018 in Cambodia ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Next we spent a couple of days at Battambang. The first day we hired a Tuk Tuk and visited the prize attraction - the bamboo train. This is effectively sheets of bamboo that are used in the town to transport rice on a railway track. However due to the popularity of this for tourists, the locals found it hard to find time to transport the rice. Therefore a month before now they made a new bamboo train outside the town purely for tourists. This made the experience very strange as it felt like there was no real concept. We arrived, were quickly ushered onto the VIP seats ( I don't know why?) and enjoyed a 10 minute journey before turning back and heading home. Very surreal!
    Next we visited the bat caves and enjoyed a lovely sunset where at the end the bats started to fly out for the night. Apparently millions fly out over the course of an hour, we only stayed for 15 minutes or so but it was pretty cool! There was also yet another temple on the top of the hill to visit.
    The next day we visited a school which was set up to help children living in poor conditions. It was amazing to see all the talented artists and we watched a show to see all of their amazing skills, from hula hooping to dancing.
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  • Day309

    CAMBODIA - Siem Reap

    February 2, 2018 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    From Bangkok we headed into Cambodia for a whistle stop tour. First stop is Seim Reap, home to the famous Angkor Wat, the largest religious building in the world and according to Cambodia is the 7th wonder of the world, but we have heard that an awful lot on our travels. When we arrived it was amazingly impressive having been built nearly 1000 years ago! Unfortunately photos struggle to do it justice.
    There are many temples around Siem Reap. So one day was dedicated to Angkor Wat, and the next day to the others. Including one that was used to film the new Tomb Raider. Again even these small temples were amazing and we struggled to see how these people so long ago managed to build them. It was fair to say though at the end of day 2 we were templed out!
    Think we will take a break from temples for now!!
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  • Day304

    Bangkok

    January 28, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Next we spent a couple of days in Bangkok which is the backpackers capital of the world. There was lots of night markets and bars to visit. The first night doug tried one of the local delicacies - a scorpion! It wasn't one of his favourite dishes.
    During the first day we visited various temples and the famous grand palace which was very popular.
    The second day we visited the floating markets. These were made as many people used to travel to work via the river in boats, so many locals would sell them things on the way past. Now it's just a tourist attraction but was very cool.
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  • Day301

    Ko Phangan and Ko Tao

    January 25, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Our next stop was two islands that lie to the east of Thailand. The first was Ko Phangan which is famous for its full moon parties. Luckily me and doug managed to time it just right so that we missed the full moon party - we both agreed we are just too old for that kind of nonsense. Instead we explored the various beaches around the island. We had the 'smart' idea to hire a scooter to drive ourselves around. I have to admit I hated every minute of it - there isn't any set rules on driving on the roads, it's basically just push and shove to get out of junctions, so it wasnt the most enjoyable day. The next day we got a traditional Thai massage which was one of the most painful activities we have done on our travels - Doug even had to ask the lady to stop at one point.
    Next we travelled to Ko Tao where Doug did a days diving experience (I chose just to stick with snorkelling for now). He really enjoyed it and is considering doing his Padi now.
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  • Day299

    THAILAND - Krabi

    January 23, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Next stop was Thailand and we started in Krabi which is a very popular place for tourists due to its stunning beaches. We made the most of this and basically just lazed around on the sand for most of our time here.
    We visited Railay beach first which was lovely but absolutely rammed with tourists. It's very popular for rock climbing but looked a bit too extreme for us to give it a go.
    The next day we went on a day trip to Hong Island where we did some snorkelling and kayaked around the island.
    We also visited the Tiger Cave Temple which was high up on the mountain so we had to walk up over 1200 steps to the top, we did get a good view of the city when we eventually got there.
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  • Day296

    Bukit Lawang

    January 20, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    After a day of travelling with two flights and some pretty interesting public transport we arrived in a place called Bukit Lawang. Right on the edge of the rainforest either side of a large river with battered wooden bridges to cross. No obvious roads it was just scooters or walk.
    The day after arriving we set out on our 2 day trek to see Orangutans in the wild. It was a bit of a detour to do this but with this is only 1 of 2 countries in the world where it can be done. The trek was difficult very humid a lot of sweat, no real path so it was very slippy! Parts were more like rock climbing and abseiling!! We got our reward by seeing Mina the worlds most dangerous orangutang. Well known for attacking humans, all of our guides had scars from bites and scratches from her. We managed to get close enough to get good pictures but our guides had to distract her with themselves and in the end told us to run!! We also managed to see some other wild life as well!!
    At night we camped by river under a shelter. In the morning we were visited by another favourite orangutang of our guides. This one christened Jackie!! She was trying to raid our shelter for food. She was harmless according to the guides but they wouldn't give her food to encourage her to return! One time after our guides moved her away from the shelter she decided that she wanted another trophy! ...... Susie!! Luckily being harmless she basically went over held her hand and hugged Suse! She had to go for a swim to clean her knickers after!!
    After this excitement we rafted back down the river into town.
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  • Day292

    INDONESIA - Bali

    January 16, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Our travels in south east Asia started in the island of Bali. The first day we spent on the beach relaxing - here I managed to get burnt through clouds, a parasol and factor 50 so that was brilliant.
    The next day we had a tour around the island - this involved watching a traditional Indonesian dance, visiting temples, rice terraces and a coffee farm. The coffee was special as it was made by feeding it to an animal called a luwak, waiting for it to poo then using the beans from the poo - lovely!
    After this we visited a monkey sanctuary. It was great fun - as soon as you looked as though you might be opening your bag they jumped on you. Doug loved it but I was a bit nervous - eventually I let a little baby monkey sit on my shoulder though.
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  • Day281

    Melbourne to Alice Springs

    January 5, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    From Melbourne we started a 10 day tour up to Alice Springs. This was a chance as Ben was nice enough to point out to us to make some friends for a change. The first part of the journey was along the Great ocean road stopping at the famous 12 Apostles. I hated it.....there were too many tourists with their stupid selfie sticks all pushing for THE photo that might mean they get an extra 5 likes on Facebook making 6 in total. On this leg we also visited the Grampians and Adelaide. Which both of us agreed was a lovely city as far as cities go.
    The next leg of our journey was up to Alice Springs. We gained some people on our tour taking the number 14. We were very lucky with the other people on our tour who were all lovely meaning the experience was even better. We also changed our guide who turned out to be a good laugh telling us lie after lie meaning we didn't know quite what to believe. At least 5 times a day shouting oh my god guys look, look to the left....there's a tree!? But it all added to the fun. The temperature along this leg was close to unbearable averaging about 40 degrees!
    Noticeable stops along here included Cooper Peady a small town, only there because of opal mines. Here 70% of the locals lived under ground because it was too hot! We also stopped at Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and the famous Uluru (Ayres Rock). All of which were amazing, the favourite surprisingly being the Olgas. Due to the extreme heat we often were getting up at 4am to avoid the midday sun for our walks. Although we did get to see some amazing sun rises. We also spent 3 nights swag camping. Basically a waterproof sleeping bag allowing us to experience the proper outback. Camping around a fire in the desert no electricity, or toilets. Something I enjoyed. Susie enjoyed the experience but wouldn't do it again, the worst point was a scorpion crawling next to Susie's swag. The big brave tour guide had to save her...(and me). Next instalment Bali... your excitement is palpable!
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