ben webb

Joined June 2017
  • Day86

    17th Nov 2012

    December 29, 2012 in Malaysia

    Arrived in Sydney in the morning to Rebecca and Ben waiting for us in arrivals with a helium balloon! Was really nice to see familiar faces!

    We went back to their house in redfern and met one of bens friends Carl who was visiting. We popped over the road to a food market- it's there every Saturday, and had lots of tasters and a lovely bacon and egg bap for breakfast. It was only then we realised how tired we were so me and Ben went for a nap while Ben G took his friend to bondi.

    When we were refreshed we headed to Newtown and a bar called the corridor on kings street which was lovely with an outdoor seating area. After a few drinks we had a quick change at home and caught a taxi to surry hills.

    Firstly we went to a bar that was very well hidden- the entrance looked
    Carl
    Drinks kings toad
    Hidden pub
    Dinner
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  • Day84

    16th Nov 2012

    December 27, 2012 in Malaysia

    Early start to get the 6 hour train from Singapore to kL, we went for a superior seat, which means AC in the carriage which unfortunately was not too effective as the doors were constantly open! So a sweaty uncomfortable ride! Canteen had very little choice so we shared a cold greasy stir fried noodle dish with a cold fried egg on top! Yuck!

    When we got to KL we stored our bags at the station and went into KL centre and kept cool in the malls for a couple of hours and then collected our bags and on to the airport.

    We were lovely and relaxed before our flight however the passengers next to us had a screaming toddler who did not stop screaming, not much sleep for us then on an overnight plane!
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  • Day82

    15th Nov 2012

    December 25, 2012 in Malaysia

    Good night sleep and no one new joined us in the dorm overnight. It was cloudy out and actually felt nice and cool!

    Went for a walk to see some of the sights of Singapore. Started from our hostel in Chinatown and from there walked towards Clarke quay on the Singapore river, an area full of bars and restaurants. Looked expensive! Lots if restaurants had tanks full of lobsters and turbot outside to look at.

    Walking further down the river to the marina we saw the prestigious Fullerton hotel and the F1 racecourse and stands on the marina edge. From the marina you got a brilliant view of the sky scrapers of Singapore as well as the marina bay sands hotel, which is 3 skyscrapers and what looks like a boat balancing on top of them! In front of this was also the art science museum.

    We decided to go and look round the museum as Ben put it 'I like art and you like science so we should'. There was a photography exhibition on which was interesting and the building was beautiful.

    In front of the marina bay sands hotel was a mall that we went to cool off in as the weather had changed to sunny and humid!

    We had lunch outside though and it was really strange as there were Christmas songs playing and it was baking hot! The mall also had Christmas trees and decorations- does not feel like Christmas is coming at all to us.

    We then went to the garden by the bay which had been constructed this year on reclaimed land on the marina, it was lovely and green and had a huge lake, it also had these huge tree like structures made from metal with greenery growing on the sides of them. There were also some fountains which were nice and cooling on hot feet!

    We walked past all the big hotels, mandarin oriental and malls- went in to cool down!

    Then we went to ruffles- where the Singapore sling was invented! We thought we did not like them, but they were so good we had 2 each! The setting was lovely, ruffles looked like an old colonial building with shutters over the windows.
    They gave you peanuts with a warning to keep them covered or the pigeons will attack. Unfortunately a couple across from us did not heed this warning and the pigeons attacked!

    There was a scuffle between the pigeons with one domineering pigeon warning the others away when there was a whole peanut on the floor, however it was too big for the pigeons to eat. Ben thought he would do a good deed and step on the peanut so all the pigeons could have a bit. Unfortunately this caused an awful series of events! The pigeons swarmed and started fighting over the crumbs- it was like an all out war, 2 pigeons in particular started pecking each others necks and wings- it was gruesome!

    That evening we decided to go to little India for dinner. There were lots of restaurants and jewellery shops (very gold gold!) lining the streets.

    After a walk we went to a restaurant famous for its fish head curries! We decided on a mixed tandoori and rice and naan to share.

    Just before we were served I jokingly said to Ben- 'oh I can see it, it's got a massive fish head on top' thinking this would scare him- which it did, then the dish arrived and Ben started to dish himself a plate only to find the first thing he picked was a fish head! We weren't sure how to eat it, so we left it and ate the rest!
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  • Day80

    14th Nov

    December 23, 2012 in Malaysia

    Did not have to leave until 12.30 from the bungalow so had a swim and an hour or two in the sun in the morning watching the busy beach crabs.

    Went to get our bags packed and guess who's back- the massive flying bug from the other day, and again laying on the floor not moving! Ben was a bit better at getting rid of this one, mainly because it was on the balcony so he just shut the door!

    Hot today, probably the hottest day so far!

    We got the slow long boat to phi phi village and had lunch before the next boat to Phuket.

    The Phuket boat took a couple if hours then the transfer to the airport took ages- the traffic was horrendous! By the time we got to the airport we only had an hour ir so before check in- thought we were going to be there hours early, do caught up on Internet and had some dinner.

    Plane was uneventful and got to Singapore just after midnight, took a taxi to wink hostel.

    Given a couple dorm room but it was so loud- think we may have been next to generator or something so changed to another dorm that was single beds only.

    It's ultra modern, the dorms are made up of 'pods' with a bed, light and side table, when you put your card in to open the dorm door your pod will light up- but only yours! You have a locker under your bed that you card controls too! The new room was much better, finally to sleep after 3am.
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  • Day78

    13th Nov 2012

    December 21, 2012 in Malaysia

    Got up early for a trip to phi phi ley the smaller island and the setting of 'the beach' film.

    Firstly went to the famous Maya bay. Was the most gorgeous beach- would have been perfect but ruined by the 100 boats and 300 people on the beach! Crystal clear water and soft white sand. Was lovely had a swim and snorkel and then back on the long boat to the other side of the island for another snorkel- there were loads of fish there to see.

    After this we stopped on the way back to the main island to see some monkeys. There was a big sign saying 'do not feed the wildlife' but all the tourist were giving them bread for photo opportunities, Ben and I refused to do it, but we were the only ones!

    We decided to go diving that afternoon after seeing how clear the waters were when snorkelling. So got back on the long boat- which was the slowest one ever back to bungalows to get money and then go back to the village again to go diving.

    We went on 2 dives that afternoon and we saw loads! The best things were a turtle feeding, black tip reef sharks and a gorgeous leopard shark resting on the bottom. The leopard shark is as described with leopard print on his body, we got really close to it and sat on the bottom of the ocean next to it until it decided to swim away, it was beautiful, much friendlier looking than the bull sharks!

    As we had missed the hotels boat back we decided to have diner in phi phi village and get a taxi boat back later (which are ridiculously expensive!).

    After all the activities of the day we were pretty tired though and did not go back late.

    It was quite scarey though getting a long boat in the dark- there were no lights on the boat either, and then there was also a lightening storm! But got back safe and sound.
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  • Day76

    12th Nov 2012

    December 19, 2012 in Malaysia

    Not the best night sleep, unfortunatle a rowdy party in the bar next to us!

    Both a bit groggy in the morning. Did not help either that I got bitten by a big red ant- it really hurt! Ben had a bird poo on him when we were having breakfast and it was his last clean t shirt- this actually cheered me up!

    The beach that our bungalow is on its own very secluded and lovely white sandy beach so we spent the day sunbathing and swimming.

    We also went snorkelling as there is a reef just off the shore. Saw quite a few fish. Unfortunately in the afternoon the tide went really far out so put stop to any more swimming!

    Suddenly it clouded over and there was a thunderstorm again which we watched from our balcony, playing some more cards (18-13 to me!)so we could not do the walk to the view point we planned, instead we rushed down to the restaurant for dinner again.

    The weather cleared up and gave us plenty of opportunity to watch the hundreds of crabs on the beach- was mesmerising!

    When we got back to our bungalow something if flew into my arm and I screamed- Ben thought I was over exaggerating and then he saw what it was!

    This bug was massive- the size of his fist! Wish I'd taken a photo but was too scared! It had a huge body and big black round head with wings! Think it hurt itself flying in to my arm (must be the muscles) as was not moving so Ben helped it outside- after a lot of squirming and girlish behaviour!!
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  • Day74

    11th Nov 2012

    December 17, 2012 in Malaysia

    Very early plane from Bangkok! We flew into Phuket and then got a bus transfer to the pier. Then onto a boat. The boat took about 2hours.

    It started to rain when we were in the boat but that did not ruin the gorgeous views of phi phi ley on the way in.

    The sun came out when we landed in phi phi village which was good because we had arrived early and our taxi boat was not going for another 2hours. So we had lunch and wandered around the village.

    Phi phi is beautiful, unfortunately though it looks like tourism is spoiling it- sooo many boats in the bay!

    We were staying at tokho beach which is only reachable by boat.

    We were staying in a bamboo bungalow on stilts which was charming but very basic.

    We had a snorkel next but the weather had turned again and was very cloudy and starting to rain again. There is a coral reef just by our beach so there were loads of fish to see.

    Then there were huge black clouds- almost a perfect line coming in from sea, bringing thunder and lightening with them. We watched it from our balcony.

    Had dinner at the resort. Unfortunately then realised the bar was next to our bungalow, so not the greatest nights sleep.
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  • Day72

    10th Nov 2012

    December 15, 2012 in Malaysia

    Little lay in this morning with heavy heads from last night and then over to the mall for breakfast, ended up getting completely lost in it, which was not too bad as the temperature outside was 40 degrees!

    After this took the sky train down to the river and got on a boat cruise. The boats took us down the river passed wo arun, wo phat, the grand palace and then through the canals to the floating market.

    The river was turbulent, rocking the boat and the lady in front of us got soaked from a big splash!

    The boat was not the most comfortable and was so loud with lots if fumes!Had a headache by the end but did see a lot.

    The canals were flanked both sides by houses on stilts and 'bus stops' for river taxis. Lots of the houses looked as if they were about to collapse! There were children swimming in the river and lots of fishermen, both looked dangerous as the river was full of boats. The river was full of fish coming up to the surface.

    We were dropped at the grand palace which unfortunately was closed so we did not get to see the emerald Buddha. But we did go to wo phat and see the reclining Buddha.

    Then we took a tuc tuc to the golden mount and onto a boat on the canal back to the hotel.

    For dinner we decided to go to the mall MBK as recommended in the lonely planet. The food court is good- they give you a card and you go to the different counters- Thai,Indian, American, Greek, Chinese.... And order what you would like and the price is put on your card,you then pay for everything at the end.
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  • Day70

    9th Nov 2012

    December 13, 2012 in Malaysia

    Got to Bangkok about lunch time, checked into our posh hotel, the last of Ben's hotel points!

    Wanted to go to the grand palace and reclining buddha but was told the king was visiting them today so were closed and would be unable to get into that area of Bangkok.

    So we were at a loss of what to do with ourselves! We decided to walk around the area our hotel was in. There was not much to see- a lot of malls and hotels!

    We went to one mall, Ben got his hair cut while he was doing that I decided to have a pedicure. With my pedicure you got something called a heel scrub, this actually turned out to be a razor blade on a little handle thing, with which they 'shaved' your heels! Scared me to begin with, but worked very well! Not sure it would be allowed back home though!

    After this we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the hotel as tired from walking around, so we went to the gym for a run instead!

    The strangest thing happened whilst at the gym, a boy I went to school with that I haven't seen since I was 18 got on the running machine next to me! He now works in Bangkok and goes to the gym at the hotel. It's a small world!

    After this we went to do what we do best and sunbathed and swam in the hotel pool!

    For dinner we went to a restaurant called 'cabbages and condoms' (thanks for the recommendation sue). Having first accidentally ventured into the red light district! Had a lovely Thai meal and were given condoms instead of after dinner mints!

    We heard there was a music festival called lush on that evening so as had had a couple of cocktails decided to go to that.

    It was held in an old train station surrounded by a retro/ vintage market. It had loads of live band and djs. Was a late night!
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  • Day68

    8th Nov 2012

    December 11, 2012 in Malaysia

    Went to 'flight of the gibbon' in the morning. Was about an hour outside of chiang mai. It was so much fun! Zip lines and platforms in the jungle above the canopy, so miles up in the air! You are always attached to something though, so no danger of falling.

    Whilst you were going round there was information about the jungle- plants/birds/trees and you also saw a family of gibbons! They did a good job of entertaining us, swinging around the trees.

    The funniest part if the tour was in the longest zip line- 800metres. Ben went before me, while he was going the guide said to me 'he's not going fast enough, I think he will get stuck' and sure enough he did! He did a boris. Ben says he almost made it to the other side but not quite and then went backwards so he was back right in the middle of the zipline- and it was ridiculously high up. Ben says he felt all the colour drain from his face! But then the guide in the other side shimmied out and pull him back over, took a while though, would not have liked it myself!

    We had a few really nice people in our group and chatted to them most of the day.

    Saw another snake in the rainforest too- this one was white!

    After the zip lines we had lunch and they gave us a suggestions questionnaire which was called 'please complain'.

    Then they took us to a lovely waterfall- but it was a bit if a climb up to get to the top! But it was worth it.

    So it had been a fun day and then they took us back to our hotel where we had time to shower and change before being picked up for our evening thai cooking lesson.

    They first took us to the market showing us all the different herbs and vegetables. We then had a look around ourselves- there was fried crickets and pink eggs!

    We made 4 dishes each- a soup, noodle dish, curry and side dish.

    The soups were gorgeous but definitely on the spicy side, the noodles were good too but the curries were definitely the best! We made them from scratch, starting with bashing the paste. I made a green Thai curry and Ben made a massaman curry. Think they were the best we have tasted since being here! Blowing my own trumpet a bit maybe! I used 15 chillies in my green curry paste!

    We had a really good time and there were 4 other couples with us, who were all really nice and we had lots of fun together.

    At the end the cooking teacher gave us each a certificate and a cook book with all the recipes in so will definitely try making it again!
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