Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Melbourne Safety (Melbourne)
Bondi Beach (Sydney)
Baha'i Temple (Sydney)
Baha'ism (Sydney)
Ramayana Show (Sydney)
Palm Beach aka Home & Away Beach (Sydney)
Best Price List (Sydney)
Bingo Madness (Sydney)
The Southbank (Melbourne)
Just the One Fat Indian (Melbourne)
Anish Kapoor Exhibition (Sydney)
Anish Kapoor Exhibition (Sydney)
Someone Cares (Sydney)
Racist Washing Detergent (Sydney)

We didn't expect it but our first impression of Australia was set by seeing a topless man strolling the streets of Melbourne at 8am with a beer in his hand. Unfortunately this was the first and only time we had such beautiful visions of Australian masculinity.

In spite of this rare spotting Melbourne was great. Streets were lined with cafes, yummy looking food that we couldn't afford, a really nice river front and great hospitality from our hosts. We caught up with some friends, lounged on bean bags by the river and Diana enjoyed a constant high from all the amazing coffee. We stayed for a couple of nights and then caught a flight to Sydney.

In Sydney Abs' family hosted us for 2 weeks. We were pampered, ate way too much and did all the touristy stuff like Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour. But our highlight was without any doubt going to Bingo with Abs' grandmother where Diana emerged victorious amongst the other grandmas and triumphantly walked out with 25 dollars in supermarket vouchers. Great Success!

Malaysia Again

Orangutangri (Borneo)
Orangutangri (Borneo)
Orangutangri (Borneo)
Orangutangri (Borneo)
Riverside Promenade (Kuching)
Filling the Car with Petrol Acquired from this Half-Naked Guy (Borneo)
Hot Springs (Borneo)
Abs Wading in the River (Borneo)
Sarawak vs Sabah Football Match (Kuching)
Sarawak vs Sabah Football Match (Kuching)
Chinese Bus Tour (Kuala Lumpur)

We were back to Malaysia, this time to Kuching in Borneo. With 5 days to explore the city and surrounding scenic parks we took it easy and split our time between seeing the orang-utans, crossing the river by passenger dinghy to sample a local food market, driving several hours to hot springs in the mountains and watching a local football derby, Sarawak vs Sabah.

All in all we liked Kuching, but our final destination awaited and so we headed back to Kuala Lumpur to catch the low-cost, no frills, no food, no passenger TV, 8 hour flight to Melbourne, Australia.


Borobudur (Yogyakarta)
Buda Looking Out Into The Horizon (Yogyakarta)
Coconut Man (Yogyakarta)
Waiting for the Next Client (Yogyakarta)
Rickshaw Parking (Yogyakarta)
Keepers of the Palace (Yogyakarta)
Local Market (Yogyakarta)
Another Lover of Beautiful Hair (Yogyakarta)
Sleeping Seems to be a Trend in this Town (Yogyakarta)
Dried fishies (Yogyakarta)
Onions that are the same size as garlics (Yogyakarta)
Awesome Street Art (Yogyakarta)
Can't Understand What It Says But It Looks Cool (Yogyakarta)
Breakfast (Yogyakarta)
Another Lookalike (Yogyakarta)
Indonesian Dance at the Kraton (Yogyakarta)
Rice Terraces (Bali)
Water Palace (Bali)
Seaweed Farming (Bali)
Local Kids (Bali)

Jakarta airport was to be the friendliest and most disorganised airport of our entire trip. Between navigating the arrivals area to find the exit, waiting for the sporadic airport bus to the domestic terminal, and getting ushered through "no entry" areas to board the plane, it took us the whole 4 hours of our layover to get on to our plane to Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta was everything it promised to be. A cool, laid back city with cheap delicious food, great street art, Javanese culture and amazing cafes. And after our mini holiday in Thailand we felt it only right to try and see as much as possible. Which meant waking up at 4am to see the sunrise over the Borobudor Temple. Whilst the temple was by no means unimpressive it was the views from the top that gave meaning to our early rise. The backdrop of a never ending jungle covered in mist and the sun rising steadily behind was jaw dropping and made us realize how much we love the early morning and how we love our beds even more.

We spent the rest of our time exploring the city, rummaging around the markets, searching for delicious Indonesian food and buying pretty batiks. We even found time to do an Indonesian cooking class and learn how to make our favourite Indonesian food - gado gado. But after a week in this city, during which we were literally walking knee-deep in water through the streets to get back to our hostel in the middle of the daily monsoon storm, we decided it was time to move on.

And with so many islands to choose from we decided on the easiest. Bali was where we met our friend from Portugal. The empty, sandy beaches and turquoise calm waters that had filled our dreams were nowhere to be found but in their place we found centuries of beautiful Balinese architecture, hundreds of temples and some of the nicest people we had come across on our trip. 

We rented a car in an attempt to go beyond the tourist trail and as expected we got lost. Driving through villages nestled in the middle of rice fields and with no tourists in sight we saw temples on every corner, small offerings of rice and flowers in front of every door, kids showering under waterfalls and maidens bathing in rivers. Getting lost was the best that could have happened to us even if the 30 minute journey transformed into 3 hours driving through torrential rain on curvy mountain roads. 

In Ahmed, on the Eastern coast of Bali, we snorkelled a sunken Japanese warship covered in coral, waited for the rain to stop and experienced the eeriness of a resort town in low season. We left after a couple of days and made our way through the mountains and temples once again and, after a small side trip for some more snorkelling, we went back to the south for a night's sleep and an early rise for a flight to Borneo in Malaysia.

Thailand Again

Our Phuket Villa
Beach at Phuket
Elephant Bathing
Voodoo Dolls
Tsunami Evacuation Sign
Beautiful Hair Silhouette
Learning to Ride

We couldn't wait to get back to Thailand after the visa run to Malaysia & Singapore. As before we loved Bangkok, especially the Thailand vs Kuwait Football game, and hung around for a week before heading down to the warm waters of Phuket with Diana’s parents.

Taking advantage of again we rented a private villa and car for a week and spent time exploring the island and its beaches.

A short trip to Koh Lanta was our final stop in the country and allowed us some time to scuba dive and learn how to ride a scooter, the latter affording us the opportunity to really find some off the beaten track beaches, which were beautiful.

In true cheap style we decided on the 2-bus-1-train-24-hour-option over the slightly more expensive 1 hour flight from Thailand to Kuala Lumpur. From here we caught a flight down to postcard-picture Bali near the southern tips of Indonesia.