A Travellerspoint blog

Sydney

Spending money like water

semi-overcast 22 °C

So, I've been in Sydney for 2 weeks now and really enjoyed myself.

I arrived for a party on Saturday morning but after partying all Friday night in Melbourne and not actually getting to my bed I was far too tired to go out. I arrived at the flat to meet Emma and promptly fell asleep.

However, we have made up for it in the last 2 weeks!!!

Sydney is a really nice place and the people are really nice. I've spent my days wandering around the city whilst Emma has been hard at work.

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I did a tour around the Opera House and met a nice Scottish girl called Karen. We both thought the the Opera House would be much bigger than it actually is and the inside design is a bit at odds with the outside design, it's all wood panelling, very 70s. Apparently the guy who designed the outside fell out with the Ozzie governemnt before it was finished and left and so it was down the the Australians to design the inside and they buggered it up....

Although our guide didn't go into to much detail, it was mentioned that the acoustics aren't as good as they should be and the overall design is a bit rubbish. In the Opera Theatre it seems the designers forgot that the singers on stage have to see the orchestra and they built the pit too low. Now, when they do a show, they have to film the orchestra and project the image onto screens in the audience for the singers to see! doh! They are now planning to spend millions to totally refurbish it, if they can raise the cash!

I also did the Harbour Bridge walk which was very cool. It was a little scary so I was glad of all the safety equipement but not too impressed with the grey boiler suit I had to wear. Photos to come!!

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And that's about it really. I've been to the beach and tomorrow we are off to the most famous one, Bondi

I also got to meet up with Kirsty and Emma who I met in Melbourne. It's also nice having Emma to hang out with, but it does mean you drink more (not too much mum!) and therefore spend more!

I am now going to try and install some photos...

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Next stop is Coffs Harbour.

Posted by J9travels 19:08 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Melbourne

Party time...

semi-overcast 25 °C

I arrived into Melbourne on Monday morning after having no sleep on the plane (too busy drinking the free wine and watching films!).

It was raining hard which was disappointing and I had no idea where I was going after forgetting to pick up a map or anything that may help find my hostel.

After jumping on a bus into town and then a free tram to St Kilda (I didn't have change!) I walked for miles before finally stumbling on the hostel. Obviously my room wasn't ready so I had to go waste a few hours having the biggest breakie (Australian for breakfast!) ever and trying to stay awake.

I eventually got into my girls only dorm of 6 and promptly fell asleep on a top bunk. After a couple of hours I woke and chatted to the girls in the room and we arranged to go for dinner and drinks in the evening.

It was good night, I think. I got a little tipsy. I did meet Danny that I had been emailing, whose mum works with my mum, which was a little freaky, and some blokes from Halifax!! We all had a good time and it was nice to have some party pals!!

The week in Melbourne was more of the same really. I did get to see the Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s and saw the English beat the Ozzies which was sweet. I did spend most of my time in St Kilda though, just hanging out with the yoof in the hostel but it was good, kinda nice to be back in slightly more common surroundings to what I have been used to lately. No doubt that novelty will wear off soon...

We did a trip up the Great Ocean Road which was really good. Impressive views, lovely beaches. We stopped at the 12 Apostles (although there's only 11 left as one crumbled last year) and we did a helicopter ride over them which was great. We also saw loads of Koalas!!

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Met some great girls too.

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I will try and load some pictures on soon.

Next stop is Sydney...

Posted by J9travels 16:56 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Singapore

sunny 34 °C

Hello

It's been a while since I wrote and yes, as expected, I've been having too much fun to update the old blog!!

After leaving Bangkok, I went to Singapore to stay with Paul who I used to work with, and his girlfriend Colleen. He has a really nice flat in the heart of Singapore which has a pool and gym downstairs, utter luxury for me!!! I even had my own bathroom!

So, I spent 4 days rocking around Singapore, visiting the Botanical Gardens, doing a little shopping at Top Shop and Mango and Zara and even some cooking. Yes, I whipped up a mean salmon and veg meal despite there being no oven in his kitchen. And yes, this was exciting for me seen as I've eaten out solidly for the past 8 weeks!

It's very clean here, and there are loads of expats. It felt like being back in London when we went out for the night, apart from it being clean, and very hot.

We also visited Sentosa Island and I beat Paul on the go-cart luge so had to let him win on the last race (I'm such a nice person!) I also got burnt whilst on the beach and swam in the murky water as all the oil ships steamed past. Apparently it's the worlds busiest shipping dock.

To be truthful, it was nice to just chill for a bit. I managed to watch a bit of Eastenders and Top of the Pops which pleased me no end and lie in bed late!

And then on to OZ...

Posted by J9travels 16:44 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Chiang Mai

Extreme trekking

sunny 34 °C

So, after the the Extreme Mountain Biking, Moni and I decided to do a days trek. Just a nice walk through the National Parks surrounding Chiang Mai - great.

What we got obviously, was something more like Extreme Jungle Mountain climbing....

I swear I am not making this up and I'm not just being a girl. It was the hardest bloody walk EVER!! We went right into the National Park jungle and the guides seemed to make up the trail as they went along, cutting bits off trees to mark where we'd been, hopefully so that if we walked in a circle we would know about it.

After an hour of falling down the mountain we came to the waterfall. We all jumped in as we were so hot and dirty and were happily swimming about and breathing normally again when a young girl spotted a snake in the water so we all got out sharpish!!

Noodles were served for lunch and then we started trekking again. Obviously this time we had to go up to the top of a mountain and after about 30 minutes of walking one German guy turned blue and almost stopped breathing. We had a little rest and then carried on, up and up and then down and down and then up and up again. There was no real track for us to follow and there were some really hairy bits were there'd be a steep drop into the jungle on one side so you couldn't really put a foot wrong!

Luckily we all finished the trek and the guides told us that we were the first group to finish it. Most people give up at the waterfall and opt for the elephant ride. I think we all wished we had known that was an option...!

The water turned a dark shade of brown when I had a shower and my sponge also turned brown, time for a new one.

Posted by J9travels 05:03 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Bangkok again

3rd class is cattle class

sunny 36 °C

Here I am, back in Bangkok and killing time before my flight to Singapore.

Got in on Sunday evening after a bad train journey. Went to book the
9am train but there were no 2nd class seats left, only 3rd class,
which means a hard seat and a fan (no air con). I should have left
and got a bus down but I've not travelled on the train around SE Asia so I thought I'd give it a go - whata mistakea to makea!!!!

3rd class is grim, reall hard plastic seats, a small fan and dirt! It felt like we were travelling in some sort of furnace. Even with the fans and the windows open it was hot hot hot. And it was packed.
Luckily, I got on early and got my seat but loads of people got on and no one ever seemed to get off so it just got fuller and fuller and hoter and hoter!!!

Even though it said it was a rapid train, there was nothing rapid
about the speed we were travelling at. Between some stations I
seriously thought I could run faster! Also, we seemed to stop at
EVERY station between Phitsanoluk and Bangkok. At one point, I looked at my train schedule and thought we should be stopping at a certain station but when we did stop, I realised the station that we were at was only just out of where we left - we were already running 2 hours behind....

Then, we pulled out of one station and then stopped again. We waited
for about 20 minutes, then there was an announcement and then
everybody got off!!! I obviously followed and after another 20 mins
another train pulled up, already full and we all had to squeeze on
that!! No seat for Janine this time, so I had to stand for the rest of the journey, another 3 hours!!!.

We finally pulled into Bangkok at about 7pm, we were meant to arrive at 3.40pm!!

I was so tired, sweaty and dirty that I thought sod it, nice hotel for me tonight!! I got a man at the tourist info office to book me my last remaining nights somewhere clean. I worried slightly when none of the hotels could accommodate me for 3 nights so in the end I
settled for the Mandarin last night and the Bangkok city in tonight
and tomorrow. The Mandarin was nice, quite posh with a pool. I
showered and counted my mozzie bites (about 10 new ones, 2 on my arm
have reacted quite badly so I look particularly attractive at the
moment!) and then ordered room service and watched a film!!

I moved this morning and spent a good hour looking for my next hotel
which is tucked down a side street. It's not as nice as the first one but it's nearer to the shops and Sky Train. I lost another stone in sweat whilst luggin my backpack around though. It must be about 36 degrees here, it's SO hot!! And I now weigh about 4 stone with all the fluids I'm losing just walking around, nice!

Anyway, just been for a look around and I am in the middle of shopping heaven again. There are so many department stores around here it's untrue, I could spend a fortune if I had it to spend! I really want to spend but there's no point really, I don't need anything new at the moment and I'll still be a traveller when I get to OZ so I'll still fit in with all my shit clothes!!!! I might be a few new tee shirts although some prices here don't seem to be as cheap as they were in Vietnam. I've seen a lot of Westerners walking around with loads of shopping bags so it's obviously the place to come when you've finished your Asia holiday and heading home.

Again tonight, I couldn't find a nice restaurant so ended up with
Pizza Hut - I've never eaten so much Western fast food!!! But I
couldn't face anything too exciting as I spent a good amount of time on the loo this morning (I felt the need to share that!!) Probably because I was dehydrated after my long train journey and not drinking to avoid the loo on the train ( the smell alone was enough to make me decide I didn't want to use it!)

Posted by J9travels 04:56 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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