•January 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

Hi again!

Alot has happened since my last blog entry, and i’m way too tired to write it all down, so here’s a quick summary… I flew from Singapore tobali and met up with Miki. Miki was travelling with an english couple, Amy and Duncan and with them, we headed to south bali to look for some quiet beaches… Well we found one and rented a Beahside Villa! And since it’s off season we got it for really cheap! 6 Nights for 4 people for 1,100,000 Indonesian Rupees!  :D We had the whole villa for ourselves, and there weren’t any other people on the beach either. We tried surfing but there weren’t really any waves, and couldn’t really get good practice in. Still it was good fun. I also learned some fire dancing from Miki, which culminated on us buying 12ltrs of kerosine for the final night and danced as long as our sticks burnt broken :D

After bali Miki left to Australia for work, and i flew back to Singapore. I stayed with the Chan family for 3 days, including 2 nights at the Sentosa Resort World, where theyre just opening a universal studios… Now I’m in laos, waiting for Eetu and Juuso to arrive tomorrow. Then we can go tubing here in Vang Vieng. Here are a couple of pics, enjoy ;)

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/album.php?aid=150759&id=702510565 Fire dancing pics…

JJ

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New years and S’pore.

•January 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

Happy new years everybody! Our new years eve went as follows. Started drinking on the roof top bar at our hostel, raced to the twin towers for the fireworks (which were amazing!), walked back to chinatown and stayed up until 6 in the morning with another group of Finns.

After that, we left Kuala Lumpur, Saana already leaving to Thailand a day before. So it’s only me and Olli. We decided to head down to Singapore, since it’s only 6 hours with the bus…

After walking around the city center mindlesly, we met a local girl Miao, and her family at a noodle stand and got invited to have lunch at their place the next day. So the next day we took the MRT to Boon Lay station and went to the Chan families house :) Apartment Block 666A, is probably the best address to live in :D We ate really well at their place. Curry, fish, duck, prawns, Fishball soup and everything else. But that was just the beginning of the tastefull day. After lunch we had Jackfruit for desert! A very weird fruit. Drank some Ginseng tea that tasted a bit like liquified Mämmi. Had sugarcane soda, some almond and eggwhite pudding. But the weirdest thing i put in my mouth that day, was Durian!

Durian Durian Durian. It smells horrible, and unlike anything you’ve smelled before. It’s even prohibited to be taken into the subways because people dont like the smell. Even the smell is too much for the faint hearted :D but me and Olli were game, so we took a bite. Creamy, smooshie, weird, gag reflex, chew more, swallow, aftershock. But the funny thing was, afterwards it didn’t taste that bad! It’s just so damn weird! Definately not something to eat before a date ;) I could still taste it after 2 hours… A good drink to wash away that taste in Singapore, is the “Singapore Sling”.

I think its originated at the Rafflers hotel, so what better place to go to have one than that. It put us back 12 euros for one cocktail, but c’mon, you’re here, and you need a Sling ;)

Last night we went to the Night Safari and the acknowledged Singapore Zoo. I thought it was a waste of money… I guess since i’ve seen most of the exotic animals in the wild, i just dont like to see them in their small enclosures. And seriously! The tiger looked like it was insane! It was just walking in a figure 8 around its closure…

 

Today Olli left to Melacca and I’m left alone in Singapore on my birthday. Travelling with Olli was so damn cool since were so crazy and have the same sence of humor. As a birthday treat i got a flight to Bali tonight ! And i’m going to be meeting my great friend Miki! Can’t wait to see what Indonesia has to offer !

KL

•December 31, 2009 • 3 Comments

Yes, Kuala Lumpur or as it is referred to here, KL.

First words that come to mind, WOW! After India, this place is wicked. Everything is so massive and “european” here. A very built up city indeed. We came here with Olli and Saana, leaving Eetu and Juuso at the beach in Kovalam :D We are staying in china town, at a backpackers Inn, not that far from the central. I guess everyones heard of the Petronas towers, or the Twin Towers. You can pretty much see them from anywhere around the city, because they’re so huge! The towers and the KL communications tower are the tallest buildings here, and even if you had no idea how to get to one of them, you just walk in the general direction and you’ll find them ;) Yesterday we went with Olli to the towers, and found that there’s a shopping center inside. There was seriously about all kind of shops you can think of. Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Apple, Adidas, Canon etc etc etc… In other words, too expensive for a traveller like me ;) But it was still very cool to see those big ass towers. There’s a park behind the towers, and half of it is closed due to the preparations of the fireworks for new years. So that should be good tonight :D We went back there when it already was dark, and the towers were lit up pretty impressively. As Olli said, the towers are “Colossal”.

Yes, KL is more expensive than India, but it’s a good change to be in a so called modern city. Tells you a lot how “citicized” (kaupunkilaistuttu) we’ve become. Ill be staying in KL, for at least a few more days, and then ill see where i’m off to.

JJ

Incredibly weird India…

•December 31, 2009 • 1 Comment

Hey!

After a month and a half, i’ve unfortunately/finaly/happily/with regrets, left India. India aroused so many thoughts and feelings, I don’t really know how I feel about it. I’ve developed a healthy love hate relationship with the country, which is more like a continent to me. Indias hugeness just can’t be understood. And I only saw such a tiny part of it! It would take a veeeryyy loong time to travel the whole of India, and I really understand the people who can spend years lost in that vast country. It felt like I used a third of my trip there bargaining/arguing with the locals. Wether it was the guest house owner, the guy who I bought my pants from or the goddamn rickshaw drivers! yup, they’re the worst. The big cities, like Mumbai or Chennai are just crazy. The amount of people that live there is mind boggling. But the smaller places, the very few were I visited, were filled with people who are extremely hospitable and friendly. On Neil island I just took off with my bike down a lonely road, and when I reached the end of the road, I found myself in someones backyard! I was a bit startled, wether i’m trespassing or something. But then 3 small children, maybe 5 years old run up to me and give me flowers and are just laughing :) And the mother welcomed me and let me wonder around their land, where they were growing crops and herding cows. The bad aplles are those Indians, that really are after you’re money and want to fool (kusettaa) you and strike when you’re on your weakest. For example when you just arrive in the country tired, and they get you from the airport. But you learn from those situations, to be on the lookout. As a first travel experience, India might be a bit rough for someone who’s not prepared. Not all we saw was very nice. There were also alot of beggars, stray dogs, people who are not for the faint hearted. If you dont like looking at scars etc, it can be very rough, but that’s just the way it is there, and you can’t escape it, and you shouldn’t.

But! I’m not in India anymore ;) Our journey from The Andamans to Trivandrum (the place where our flight left) was a long one. First a flight to Chennai, then about 8 hours in chennai (including a family pizza with pepperoni! at pizza hut), then 3 different buses, 20 hours, to Trivandrum, the capital or Kerala. There we spent 2 nights and got on the plane towards Kuala Lumpur ;)

Neil Island

•December 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

Hey everybody! It’s been a while since the last post, and this is only because we were so out of touch of technology at Neil Island! And what a place it was… Compared to Havelock, Neil was definately more chilled and less “touristed”. With less resorts and alot less rickshaws, it was the perfect chill out place.

On the first day we rented bicycles, and that was our only mode of transport on the island. Neil only has one real road that stretches across the whole island, and is about 7-8 km long We were on the complete other end of the island at the Pearl Bay Beach resaort. A 5 minute walk from the resort was beach number 1 and it had the most amazing snorkelling opportunities! Even better than at elephant beach! Needless to say, whenever the sea was stable, we were in there swimming! And our resort was on the sunset side of Neil so we saw some very beautiful sunsets.

Neil island is also very wild. Yes, wild. At night it’s very frightening (kuumottavaa) to ride you bike because of all the stray dogs. As you drive past them, they all start to bark like crazy! One night we were celebrating Ollis’ and saanas’ birthdays, and having a farewell for Ari and Meytal since they were leaving the Andmans. And on the way back to the Pearl, the dogs just went crazy. Luckily we have very loud voices and shouting HAI! usually works with these dogs. The forests are also filled with animals. Lizards Kingikeisareita, and just forest crabs! Big crabs as well… As we were walking to the beach, we just heard shuffling in the bushes, and as you shone the light there, you just saw so many big crabs running wild.

The people in Neil were all very pleasant, and the youth were hooked on table tennis. And as the table tennis virtuoses as we are, me and Eetu challenged the locals to a doubles game, and we beat all 3 games :D

One night we bought 4 kgs of silver fish and Juuso bought a whle chicken, and we had a nice BBQ. We prepared the fish into banana leaves and seasoned them, while the sun was going down in the background. By far the coolest place i’ve ever made food in… And the food was delicious.

We spent a lot of time at the green heaven restaurant talking with the locals and getting to know some history of Neil, and what we gathered it used to be even chiller as it is now. Not cold but more comfortable… People used to sleep on the beach in their hammocks and have bonfires etc. But now they have a curfew and no one is allowed on the beach at night. (But we still went to watch the stars, and it was worth it)

All and all Neil islands was a blast and a very peaceful place.. And the Andamans in general! And if anyone is planning to going to these beautiful islands in the future, do it in the next 3 years, otherwise im afraid it might be too commercial, and you might miss out on the natural beauty of it all…

Now we’ve spent 30 days in the Andaman islands, and wahat a 30 days it has been. I can definitely see myself coming back here one day… But now it’s off to new adventures! Malesia here we come!

Andamans Pt. 2

•December 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

So! It’s time for andamans part 2 :)

The independence day party was a blast! My good friend Olli just made it to Havelock in time for the celebrations. He met a Portuguese guy, Antonia on the boat over to Havelock, and they both moved with us in the backyard of the notorious El Dorado :D But, back to the party! We ended up having the party at Venom bar, and after having a chat with the owner, we bought 5 bottles of Vodka from the bar. Then as people started showing up, we offered them the vodka :D needles to say, by the time of the afterparty back at El Dorado, everyone was wasted. (Typical finnish style?) The after party is a whole new post in itself, and I think i’ll save that story to when I get back to Finland. The next morning Ari said, “never go party with the Finnish on their independece day!”

After a few days recovering, we pulled our act together and headed to Elephant beach for some snorkeling. To get to the beach you need to trek through a really muddy jungle path that takes about30 mins. But its way worth it! There were beautiful coral reefs and so many colorful fish, that I just had to try and take pictures of them! My camera isn’t really water proof, so I tried making a bag out of a Minigrip bag and sealing it with duct tape. But it failed :( It was time for a new camera anyways, and I managed to get some pictures. And thankfully the memory card is fine. But my camera wasn’t the only casualty on that day. While we were swimming the high tide creeped up on our stuff back on the beach and took with it a pair of sandals, 2 pairs of snorkel masks, and worst, Juusos I-Phone O_o

We also had another Jam session at Venom, and the turnout was great this time. Didn’t realise that havelock had so many musicians :)

Eventually, our time came to leave Havelock, and that also meant saying bye to people that came very close to us. But we are now heading to new adventures and the next stop is Neil Island. Then on the 26th of Dec. We are flying away from the Andamans…

Andaman Islands

•December 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

We’ve been here for little over a week now and quite a lot has happened. The way of life here is nothing like on the continent. We only spent one night in Port Blair, the main islandin the Andamans, and took the early morning jetty to Havelock.

Havelock is a small island filled with beach resorts and restaurants for the ever growing mass of tourists. We found a beach resort called El Dorado, where we are paying 100Rs/ night for 2 people. Thats about 70 euro cents per night per person ;D We are living in the modest of facilities, and we have our hammocks hanging from the trees in our front yard.

We’ve met great people here in Havelock. Including Ari and his girlfriend, Ari from the USA and his girlfriend from Israel. Most of the foreigners here tend to be from Israel. And who could forget Eran, the man who is happy about everything! He could even find happiness in a cobra bite ! And ofcvourse a bunch of other people, everyone being extremely friendly.

A few days back we went snorkeling at beach no. 7. A long strand of beach on the west side the island. We didn’t see much and the better coral reefs are on elephant beach, so we need to make a trip there some day.

Last night Ari had organized a jam session at one of the more expensive places on the island. Ari has been travelling for two years and you can see it in his dreadlocks :D During his travels he has written a bunch of amazing songs with his guitar, and he played us the songs last night. The night was really fun! Musicians goint to play their own songs and people singing along. Even I went up and sang a song, after a few beers OBVIOUSLY ;)

Tomorrow is the Finnish independence day, and we still need to organize a venue for the event. We’ve promised everyone a massive party, and we can’t let them down! We all have a bit of a flu going on, so hopefully it’ll poass soon…

Cheers for now!

Yours Truly,

-JoOnAs-