Aussie catch-up

Hualamphong Station, Bangkok

Hualamphong Station, Bangkok

Fair bit of travelling since the last post, but I’ll try to breeze through it all. My flight from Yangon to Bangkok was on time, but I had some “fun” at the departure tax kiosk trying to convince them to accept a torn $5 bill and a $1 with the tiniest little rip in it. Two other passengers swapped the bills for me, stating how ridiculous the system was in Mynmar where the condition of the notes is so important. Their own currency can be battered, torn, ripped, covered in grease… and still accepted.

At Bangkok, I hooked up with another guy and two girls and we shared a taxi into the city. The chap and I were both getting off at Hualamphong while the girls were going on to Khao San Road. That involved a lot of haggling with the driver, but overall it worked out at around 50 baht each cheaper than getting the bus, and far faster.

At the train station I loafed in the KFC for an hour or so until my train was ready for boarding. A menu was provided for dinner and breakfast on the train, which would cost me 250 baht in total. You can take your own (non strong-smelling) food on board if you prefer, but the grub on board wasn’t too bad for the price.

The journey was quite long – departing at roughly 3pm and arriving at Butterworth in Malaysia around 2pm the next day (an hour ahead due to the time difference). It’s fairly comfy with large seats for the start of the journey. Around 10pm, the staff wander down and convert the seated areas into berths – one upper, one lower.  The upper ones are slightly cheaper and – apparently – slightly smaller, but certainly not cramped.

I enjoyed some brief conversation on the trip with two Japanese people travelling independantly of each other. I still find it unusual to see Japanese who aren’t on package/coach tours but they’re always very nice to chat with.

No hippies allowed!

No hippies allowed!

The customs stopoff as we crossed the border at Padang Besar was fairly casual, very much like the one coming from Singapore and heading north into Malaysia. However, here there are no x-ray machines. You still have to disembark with all your luggage, stamp out of Thailand, into Malaysia and then open your luggage. The check was cursory and polite with my bag being waved on after a quick prod and a query of “clothes?”

I did spot one sign as I queued at immigration giving details on how to spot a “hippie”. Click the thumbnail for the full details. I’m hoping this dates back to the 60’s and isn’t used these days!

At Butterworth, I haggled my bus fare down from 32RM to 28 (saving about 80p…) but had to find an ATM. If you’re arriving there off the train, go to the end of the platform to the station and look to the right. You’ll see a big glass building – the dental college. It’s about a five minute walk on the other side of the freeway. There are three banks located around the bottom with ATMs.

My 14:30 bus departed at 15:45 which wasn’t great. It was very comfy, though, with fully reclining seats and just the right level of aircon. It took quite some time to get to KL – over five hours – so it was rather late when I arrived.

The stage is set...

The stage is set...

I tried to find my guesthouse – Haven – but couldn’t spot it. As I stood looking puzzled, a man walked up and identified himself as one of the staff. Due to the heavy rain in KL recently, the ceiling had sprung a leak and they’d had to close down for repairs. He then walked me to another hostel nearby where they’d made arrangements for some of their guests to be houses. It was more expensive, but they were covering the difference. Nice place, too. So next time I’m in KL, I will be booking with Haven again and hoping their ceiling’s working!

I didn’t do much in KL apart from use the internet a lot and eat too much McD’s. I had some good company in the hostel, though, with Kiki from Vietnam, a German guy who’s name I didn’t get, James from England and a chap from Sri Lanka (now living in India) who I talked to for ages.

Then the usual Skytrain/bus combo to the airport (another McDs) and late flight to Perth where the lovely Mel picked me up after midnight. Immigration was a little hiccupy as I didn’t know Mel’s address. The usual rule – if it’s got an address space on it, fill it in. Even if you don’t know one, put any old nonsense in. The immigration guy was fine about it, to be fair, but it’s still one of those daft niggles. Back at her place I was introduced to Mason – 11 months old and cute as a button. He wasn’t around the last time I was in Perth!

Again, not a lot to do in Perth except lay back and chill out with Mel, Matt, Mason and Jezza. I bought a bundle of second hand books from an OpShop (charity place) for $4. The bill only came to $2.50 (a pound!) for about 12 books, but I don’t mind giving a charity shop a bit extra. My plan’s not to use aeroplanes so the extra bulk/weight shouldn’t be a problem.

Rocking hard!

Rocking hard!

The guys also had a gig in a nearby bar on Saturday night which I went to. They’re Matt drums, Mel sings and Jezza plays guitar. There’s also a bassist and another vocalist/guitarist who I met. The band’s called Crimson Ink and they’re pretty good! The sound was a little squelchy on their first set, but by the second and third they had a decent sized crowd up and dancing.

After the gig, there was a little altercation outside. Kids who couldn’t hold their beer – same all over the world. I helped break it up and ended up with blood down my arm and on my shirt. Not my blood, I hasten to add! And I don’t even know how it got there as I didn’t see anyone actually bleeding. Still, it all ended more or less peacefully and the venue seemed to like Crimson Ink – with luck it could mean a residency.

And that’s me up to date. I’m currently trying to get a lift to Adelaide ASAP. Failing that I’ll bite the bullet and get a flight. Tiger have one for the ridiculously low sum of $88 at 1:45am on Wednesday although I have to worry about those books. Hum.

Oh, I also have an Aussie mobile. If you need the number, contact me through the link on the right and I’ll give you it. It took me an age to register it as – like in the UK now or soon or planned – you have to register with a valid Australian address. Which is pointless as it’s not checked. The online registration refused to recognise Mel and Matt’s address, so I had to go through the voice recognition system over the phone. In an area with a really dodgy signal. Somehow I got it working though.

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We may have a green light

It’s around 13:00 and there was just an announcement that they’re dishing out free food vouchers for our flight. Not a good sign.

I went to get one and it’s MR10 for any McDonald’s in Malaysia. Which is worse given that I’m flying out of the country. The nearest McD‘s is back through security and I can’t get to it.

The good news is it seems the delayed flight is still set for 13:40, so I should be boarding in ten minutes. Fingers crossed the next post is frmo Bangkok!

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Argh, what a morning

I got back to the bungalows around 1:30am. Not long after I redid all my packing, Valerie came home as she was too hot in the nearby nightclubs. Sweetheart that she is, she offered me the spare bed in her room so I could get some sleep before I was due to leave. Much more comfy than sitting on the tiles in the outdoor area. And less mosquitoes.

I woke at 3:30am and grabbed all my things to wait for my pre-arranged lift. And waited.

Then gave up and woke one of the other staff who said he’d take me to the airport himself. The other guy never showed. I guess he managed to get more sleep than me.

Fortunately, the airport is only fifteen minutes away on a clear road so my motorbike ride was short and swift. I waited through the usual queues of people complaining about being charged for their overweight baggage and ascended to the departure area.

Then walked back down the stairs to find an ATM as I hadn’t known there was a 150,000 Rupiah international departure tax. So a walk outside, and then a walk back in necessitating a second scan of all my hand luggage. Not as bad as Roz, a woman I got talking to who had to remover her belt and everything as well.

A note to Bali Airport authorities: either publicise the departure tax outside, put an ATM inside, or consider adding the fee to the ticket price to save all this messing about in the first place.

Nothing was open when we walked through into the departure area until a small café realised there was money to be made. I had a pot noodle which cost about a quid. Then tried to pay with Visa and was told that there was a minimum purchase of three times that. It would have been nice if their “We accept:” notice behind the counter had mentioned this.

I ended up paying for Roz’s food as well, and she gave me IDR50k. Annoying as I was hoping to leave with no indigenous currency. Ah well, I may be back sometime and it’s only three quid.

Fortunately, the flight left on time and I slept pretty deeply the whole way to Kuala Lumpur. I made about the shortest visit to a country of all time. Immigration was very quick, I grabbed my rucksack from baggage reclaim and waved goodbye to Roz. She works in KL now – good luck to her in her new job.

Straight out, turn left and into check-in for my connecting flight. The timing was perfect, with the desk opening only a minute before I walked up to it.

KL airport is fully wi-fi’d so I sat down and started uploading nonsense for you lot. All going to plan.

Until they announced that due to a “technical difficulty”, my flight was delayed from 11:30 to 13:40. So far. Updates as and when, but currently I’m enjoying a numb bottom on typical airport seating and realising that I’m getting hungry now. And I don’t want to give up my seat as it’s the only one in the entire area with an electrical socket by it.

Fortunately, TRSC (the people who did my laser surgery and who I have an appointment with this afternoon) have been typically wonderful and skewed all their appointments around my changed arrival time.

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A long-haul trek (to Indonesia, country number 38)

Maria and I left Green Hut at 10am on the nose for our lengthy trip to Bali. On the way I think we used pretty much every available type of transport we could have.


First up, we jumped on the monorail to KL Sentral. This is a great way to get around Kuala Lumpur, being regular and cheap. I still can’t figure out why the platforms are maybe 75m long when the train’s are barely 20m. Also, there are three “lines” with no financial connection although they do intersect. You have to get off one train, go to the ticket counter and get another ticket to continue your journey on the next line. Not an issue between Bukit Bintang and KL Sentral, but it does make hopping about the city slightly less convenient than it could.

Private Bus

Once there, we boarded one of the budget buses to the Air Asia terminal at the airport. There are two services (at least) running there. One’s actually a subsidiary of Air Asia and charges MR9. The other’s a competitor who charge MR8. Amusingly, we were joined on our (packed) budget-budget coach by two members of the Air Asia cabin crew! Looks like they don’t get a free or discount pass to get to work. I do know that if you book a flight to KL via Air Asia, a popup appears on the web page offering you the transfer to Sentral for MR6.50. No such offer when going the other way, though.

I snoozed for a lot of the journey to the airport, and we arrived in good time to check in. The queues weren’t too bad and we settled on a McD’s for breakfast as we’d not had anything else. Realistically, it was that or food from one of the convenience shops. Rock / hard place.

For a budget terminal it’s not bad, but if you do want something approaching a meal, get it from McDs outside the security check. Once you go through there’s nothing approaching a restaurant. The whole place has free wi-fi as well, in line with the “grown up” terminal nearby.


Our flight was called on time and we joined the crush for boarding which is common in Asia. People here generally queue but they’re hardcore about it, though thankfully not as intimately as in India.

The flight was two hours and crossed one time zone, so our watches went back an hour. This was to get confusing as I’ll explain later on…

We landed a little ahead of schedule and battled our way off the plane, almost having to shove some aging Germans out of the way as they key stopping for conversations in the narrow corridors. The visa fee for Indonesia is US$25, also payable in Malaysian Ringgit at Jakarta airport (and I’d suspect Indonesian Rupiah). The Ringgit charge is a flat MR100, so the only way you’ll get screwed is by a big change in exchange rate. I’m not sure of the Rupiah price.

Annoyingly, I only had about MR75 on me. And there are no ATMs within eyesight of the visa desk – the first we found were past immigration and customs, which isn’t too convenient. Fortunately, Maria had enough to lend me and I paid her back with my first Rupiah withdrawal.

Another thing to note with the Indonesian visas as – for tourists – there are essentially two to choose from. A 7-day transit visa and a 30-day visitor’s one. Neither of these can be extended once you’re in the country, which is a pain for somewhere the size of Indonesia. You have to do a border run, and if you’re somewhere like Bali this is a long trip. Even Vietnam with it’s annoying initial application allows a single renewal and it’s a much smaller nation.

However, we got in OK and walked outside. My first steps into Indonesia – country number 38 on this trip if I’ve counted correctly. Our time on Java, the island which holds Jakarta, was to be very short, though. If I’d had the time I’d have sent postcards, but believe me this simply wasn’t possible!

Public bus

We located the Damri bus stop which runs a shuttle service to the Gambir train station. It’s currently IDR20,000 (About £1.30) for the 40-minute journey – although this time is traffic-dependent.

It’s an interesting bus ride along the roll road looking at the buildings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a mix in my life. Big buildings, small ones, shacks, wooden, brick, lean-to’s, detached villas… name it and you’ll see it. If you’ve been to Bangkok and think the random residences along the river are unusual, wait till you see Jakarta.


At Gambir, we disembarked to the expected throng of taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. There are three train services to Surabaya, which we needed to get to next. Two of these, the eksekutif and bisnis ones, run from Gambir and are air-conned with bunks and the like. Their journey time is around the 10-hour mark, and they’re comfy and clean. They’re also around IDR200,000.

So we flagged down a tuk-tuk to take us to the nearby Pasar Senen station where we could get one of the ekonomi trains. Hey, the idea here was to save money based on a direct flight to Bali!

The tuk-tuks are somewhat different to the Thai ones, sounding more like they have dinky lawnmower motors in than motorbike ones. We also got a better price by walking outside the station than taking one of those which had parked up. The 20,000 fare was haggled down to 10,000 and we sat back as we… well… crawled through the streets. These things don’t accelerate as well as the ones owned by the speed-junkies in Bangkok, believe me.

Maybe ten minutes later we were dropped at the entrance to Pasar Senen, where we walked up to the ticket counter and explained that, yes, were were in the right place and, yes, we did want the ekonomi train despite being foreigners. No, really. Yes. Not the expensive one from Gambir. We’re sure. When does it leave?

“Four fifteen”

What time is it now?

“Four fifteen”


With the help of the guards and a couple of passengers we jumped on with the door hitting our bums on the way in. Well. It would have if there were any doors. One of the guards removed two guys from our seat and we settled in for a long trip.

Our IDR46,000 tickets got us a decent sized seat, but not a lot of padding. Or leg-room. Forget air-con, or working fans. The breeze from the open windows was the only thing stopping the train turning into a huge cooking vessel as we clickety-clacked along the north coast of Java. At least the lights worked so we could read once the sun set. We were lucky to be at the end of the carriage – the light in the middle section was burnt our which would have made things even more tedious.

Oh, did I mention the journey was around 14 1/2 hours?

The journey reminded me a lot of India, predominantly because of the crammed hordes and the number of people who boarded at each stop to sell things. I recall four groups who got on to sing and try to get money – two girls with karaoke units and two bunches of boys with guitars and very loud voices. And whoever thinks it’s a good business decision to try to sell coffee to people they’ve just woken up at 3am when all they want to do is get back to sleep is beyond me.

As it’s Ramadan at the moment, food sales weren’t exactly rampant until sundown when all of a sudden hundreds of bags were opened, plastic cartons crinkled apart, and so forth. Oh, and far too many cigarettes lit.

Maria likes her food and tried a couple of the things from the hawkers. The kopi (coffee) sellers also do pot noodles, then there are fruits, nasi (rice), sweets (Indian and Western versions), and so on.

One young lad opposite talked to us on and off for a fair portion of the trip, as did some behind us as well as a handful of older travelers using the youngsters as translators. The main topic – why are you on the train? And why this train? Foreigners either fly or take the eksekutif services!

However, they were genuinely curious not accusatory. I swear we were the only non-Indonesians on the entire train, not just the carriage. And with that came status. And generosity. Whether it’s an Indonesian thing or a Muslim thing I don’t know, but we found ourselves being offered little bits of food from many of the people sat nearby. It was like being in Bangladesh again as we posed for photos. Between my (now pretty impressive) beard and Maria’s bright blonde hair, we certainly stood out as different from the locals.

Sleep, however, was a nightmare with barely forty minutes of undisturbed slumber at a time. Either someone moved and jostled me, or I cramped up, or my leg went dead, or someone started yelling “NasiNasiNasiNasi” at full volume. The smarter people slept in the aisles, or under the seats, though that left them at risk of being stood on as the traders marched up and down the carriage.

Finally, thankfully, joyously, we arrived at Surabaya at around 7:30am. We said goodbye to our traveling companions. I wanted to hug the little old lady who’d fed us bananas and doughnuts but didn’t think it was appropriate. I did pass my card on to one or two people who asked if I had email. If they visit this blog – thank you each and every one for making a very long journey that bit more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise!


As with Jakarta, Surabaya has a handful of train stations. We’d arrived at Pasar Turi and needed to get to Gubeng for the Mutiara Timur service to Banyuwangi.

Transport options were the usual – taxis, motorbikes… and pedalo. The taxis were quoting IDR50k while we got a price of IDR20k for two pedalos, IDR10k per person. Why not? One of the passengers off our train was also going to Gubeng and I think wanted to share a cab, but we’d already made a deal with the cycle-guys.

The ride was maybe ten minutes, and just what I remember from the likes of Ho Chi Minh city – cyclos are exempt from traffic laws. Silly things like red lights and direction of traffic flow mean nothing to a man with a passenger in front of him to cushion any collision.

Once we pulled up at the station, the two guys even insisted on giving us a hand with our luggage and getting it to the correct window for our tickets. Wish a smile, a handshake and an exchange of cash they waved us farewell.

Train again

When buying the tickets, Maria mentioned we were heading for Bali and they offered us a ticket which would cover us all the way there. However, there was a little breakdown in communications and we couldn’t figure out exactly how this worked. We just got the train tickets for Banyuwangi and decided to sort the rest out when we got there.

We’d just sat down to eat some “food” (pot noodle) when an announcement (and several members of the public) informed us that the train was here and we should board. They all seemed in a hell of a rush about it so we grabbed everything and jogged for the train. A local showed us to our seats (in exchange for IDR1000) which were much more comfy than the ones on the last train. I think we were bisnis class – we just asked for the backpacker-friendly “cheapest” which were IDR50k apiece.

This trip was to take around seven hours. As we neared Banyuwangi, a couple of the other passengers talked to us and asked where we were going to. Once they knew we were going to Bali, they told us there was a bus we could catch once we arrived which would take us all the way to Denpasar for IDR50k. This included the ferry fee as well. Bonus.

They even ensured we found the right bus by informing the train guard where we were going. At the station we were herded out and onto the coach.

Bus again

The ferry terminal at Ketapang is definitely walking distance from the train station. Walk out past the village green (which reminds me of Sri Lanka for some reason), then turn right on the main road and keep going. Ferry prices for foot passengers are IDR7000 per person if I read the signs correctly.

Our coach pulled in to wait for the ferry to dock – they’re every thirty minutes – and we were once again inundated with people selling stuff. Maria bought some new sunglasses that were either crooked or she has wonky ears. One guy was trying to sell “very good!”. We’re not sure what it was, because every time we asked him he just told us it was “very good!”. But what is it? “Very good!”


We took the time on board the ferry to stretch our legs a bit. It’s a very short trip, maybe twenty minutes, and we saw our first white people in over 24 hours on the upper deck. Two Belgians who’d worked their way over from Sumatra and were heading for the Gili Islands.

As we neared the island of Bali, the sun started to set and once we were back on our coach, darkness was setting in.

Bus once more

The roads here aren’t bad and we made good time from the port. Despite our driver obviously having a death wish and a heavy right foot, we got to Denpasar in a little over three hours after we docked.

Denpasar treats bus stations like the Javanese cities treat train stations. To get a public bus to Kuta, we’d have to get from Ubung station down to Tegal.

Stuff it.


We hopped onto a private minivan (I think these are the bemo) for IDR20k which took us to Bemo Corner in Kuta, not far from all the cheap hotels.

We started on Poppies Gang I looking for accommodation, finding most places full. Those that weren’t were asking IDR70k upwards for very basic rooms. I think we checked around 10 places until a local pointed out one of the side streets and told us there were many places up there as well.

Given that he wasn’t pushing one particular place, we walked up and had a look. The first place we found which had a “room available” sign was Taman Ayu Bungalows.

The friendly owner was more than happy to show us a room. Basic, but clean and IDR50k per night, which was the cheapest we’d been offered. But… only one room and despite two beds, Maria didn’t want to share. I told her to take it and I’d go wandering.

Fortunately, the guy then said he had one more room but only for one night unless someone checked out the next day. Existing tenants get priority, so as long as someone left, he could put the booked person into that room. Fine by me.

So there you have it. Kuala Lumpur to Kuta. Door to door it was 37 hours. almost exactly. And we did save a fair bit on what we’d have paid for a direct air fare. Off the top of my head, around £40. It doesn’t sound a lot, but it costs £3.20 for a night’s accommodation here and you can eat ridiculously well for the same amount again.

My night didn’t end there, though. I was hungry having eaten one pot noodle and a doughnut since we’d left KL airport. Unfortunately, all the nearby restaurants were closing which I thought was a little strange as it was only just after 10pm. I ended up in McDonalds as it was the only place doing an actual meal.

Time for a quick one as well, so I stopped off in a nearby bar for a Bintang – the local brew. And got talking to an Aussie couple (she from Newcastle). And another Aussie (from King’s Cross). And a Brit (from Liverpool).

One beer turned into… erm… a few. Small bottles became large ones and then Zane (the one from KX) and I went in search of a bar that wasn’t closing.

Amazingly, we didn’t have much luck as we walked out to the seaside area. Only one place was open and it was IDR50k to get in. And the music sucked.

So we did what any self-respecting backpacker would do. Headed to Circle K and bought bottles from the fridge to drink on the beach.

While we were there, a local guy that Zane had met joined us with two of his friends. We stayed out there until the sun just started to rise before we all staggered to our respective hovels.

On the way, we were accosted by a motorcycle-riding prostitute. Who told me she liked me very much and grabbed a part of me I’d rather wasn’t grabbed by anyone I didn’t at least already know over a couple of drinks. I knew what to expect this time, though. My first reaction wasn’t to push her away – it was to jam my hand into my pocket and clutch my wallet. One bitten… She seemed a little put out when Zane and I told her we were very much in love and didn’t like women. Eventually she just left, empty handed, and I wondered if there was anywhere open I could get some disinfectant to dip my manhood in.

Now, I thought it was 4:30am. I was wrong. Remember waaaaaay back at the top I mentioned something about the time zones? Well, they’re weird down here.

As a general rule, you go east and your watch goes forward. You head west, it goes back. North/south, no change. Of course, country borders and the like do mess with the pattern, but I’d hit a weird one with Indonesia.

Right, folks – Google for a map of SE Asia. Malaysia is generally east and north of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. Yet if you fly west or south to either of these, you put your watch back an hour. This quirk is what threw me.

When you leave Java heading east (Bali is your first land stop), your watch does what it should do and goes forward an hour, which nobody told us.

This is why the restaurants were closing when I went looking for food. And why the sun was up when I went to bed at 5:30.

It’s also why I missed my inclusive breakfast as they only serve till 11:00 and my incorrect watch was telling me it was 10:30. The owner told me I had it set wrong. Gah.

For reference, the third time zone (GMT+9) starts at East Timor and extends into Papua. And despite being a huge distance east of Kuala Lumpur I’m actually in the same time zone!

Peninsular Malaysia is the place that throws the system. The time zone for Borneo is extended west to include the mainland, I guess so the whole country is in one zone.

The things you learn while travelling…

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Plans made. I’m off. And theft number two.

Last things first, some piece of human filth has stolen my PSP. I think I know where my bag was when it was rifled and there’s a security camera in the area. We can’t check it till morning and by then it may be far too late, but you never know. It just sickens me (as it did the many other times I’ve heard similar stories) that a fellow backpacker can rip someone off. Hopefully, if this person who did it is still in the hostel I can rip them a new one. I’m not a forgiving person, though a trusting one (too trusting…), and you can rest assured if the individual is caught they will suffer.

Through legal channels, obviously.

Anyway. I didn’t do a lot more today other than check out some options for where to go next. I do want to do my Dive Master and Sihanoukville is looking good for it. I’ve got a very good feeling from one dive shop, though they’re not cheap. However, they’re very above board and seem a lot more professional than just about everywhere else I’ve been. Every. In any country.

The problem is the dive season starts for them at the end of next week (weather depending) which gives me some time to kill. One option was to get to Hanoi and work my way down Vietnam (again!) and into Cambodia. This would work out right timewise, but the flights to Hanoi are pricey and I need a visa in advance. I located the Vietnamese embassy (it’s on Pesiaran Stonor, square D3 of the Lonely Planet Golden Triangle map) and walked up. Unsurprisingly, it’s closed on weekends with business hours being 9-12 and 2-4 weekdays. It was also closed yesterday, so I’d still not have been able to drop my passport off.

So, Vietnam would involve kicking around (or travelling locally) for 4-5 days to ensure I had time to get my visa and then heading north on an expensive flight.

Another option was to head down to Melaka for a day or so, then get the ferry over to Sumatra. Only I gather the oil port I’d land at is a bit of a hole and then there’s a lot of travelling involved to get anywhere else.

Fly to Bali? Far too expensive at the moment. Flight prices are silly, especially last minute.

So… I’ve got a ticket to Jakarta booked for tomorrow. Maria’s going the same way and we’ll work our way through Java to Bali where we’ll catch up with Steff who’s meeting a friend from home. There’s apparently a great boat/snorkel tour that runs across the islands which we’re hoping to jump on. And I’m tempted with East Timor after that. Just… because.

Depending when that lot finishes, I’ll hop up to Sihanoukville via KL – and this time book the flights a reasonable time in advance. All theory and subject to change as flipping usual!

Dinner was an expensive one with Maria, Steff and one of the Aussie guys. We went to a Lebanese place which was high on price but also on quality. In fairness, I still spent less than a tenner and I was stuffed with some of the best food I’ve had recently.

That’s when I got back to find my PSP missing from my bag. Hey ho. Life goes on. At least it means my bag’s slightly lighter now. Annoyingly I won’t have time to buy a replacement one before I leave for my flight tomorrow. Time to fire up the old thumb drive MP3 player…

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