Dancing in the Street   Leave a comment

During our pretty aimless wondering of Bangkok we came across these amazing street dancers on Khao San Road.  Now Khao San Road is what many call the center of the backpacking universe.  Judging by the travelers who converge there to shop, exchange tales and prepare for their next stint on the backpacker trail, it’s pretty accurate.

The 1 km long strip contains countless budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, swanky bars and clubs, restaurants, massage parlors, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much, much more.

These break dancers weren’t asking for money they just wanted to show off their skills.  If only I was 25 years younger and considerably more agile………….

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

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Posted 25/11/2012 by Stefan Palmer in Thailand

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Fire!   Leave a comment

Every night on Kho Toa at the Lotus Beach Bar there is a fire show.  It’s a great way of getting more punters in.  The show runs from 9pm till midnight.  Tables and cushions are set up on the beach and table service is available, just to keep the drinks flowing.  To put prices into perspective a double spirit drink with a mixer will set you back the astronomical price of…….£2!

The show is impressive with the guys twirling chains with flaming balls of fire on the ends or sticks with just enough none burning parts that they can hold and twirl them.  Both chains and sticks are thrown casually in the air and caught.  The guys also walk amongst the seated crowd and twirl the fire around spectator’s heads.  Luckily no one on the island seemed to wear flammable hair products on the days we were watching.

Usually by the end of the night we felt quite tipsy but without that horrible feeling as you leave a bar and the outside air hits you.  We had a few of these nights.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Backpackers, Diving and Germans   1 comment

For out initial stay on the main populated side of Koh Toa we stayed at a resort called Souiree Village which, of course, had a scuba diving center attached to it. Koh Toa is a renowned diving location with over 50 dive companies on the island. The resort was situated close to restaurants and cafes and on the doorstep to the beach. My first dive since January in Queensland was to a well known and great site called Chumporn Pinnacle  It was brilliant to get back in the water. It was a nice leisurely dive with an older gentleman from Frankfurt and our guide Paddy from Surrey. Max depth 29 metres, dive time 40 minutes. The amount of coral was disappointing but there was a huge abundance of fish.

I have noted that after a few days on this side of the island I can’t help noticing the number of Germans. I would like to point out that I have no issues with our European friends however they are everywhere. This must be the time of the year that they get good deals to travel to Thailand. The older gents are particularly easy to spot on a dive boat or the beach prancing about in their black skimpy speedos….its so wrong.

The next few days involve sunbathing, diving and studying for yet another dive course. This time Nitrox/enriched air training.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Arrival in Koh Toa   Leave a comment

After a few days in Bangkok is was off to the island of Koh Toa. We had an early start from Cha Am at 7.30 to take a taxi to Hui Han, then a 4 hour (luxury for a change, which means no dripping air con in Thailand) bus trip to Chumporn. From there an hours Catamaran journey to Koh Toa.

For our first couple of nights on the island we decided to get away from it all on the less populated east side. We booked a hillside bamboo cottage with amazing views of the deserted bay. The resort we stayed at was called Moondance. With its interconnecting wooden gantries it reminded me of a set for Planet of the Apes and that old computer game Myst. With an outside bathroom, great balcony, a fantastic snorkeling spot and friendly staff what more could you want…….

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

The Great Ocean Road – Day 2   Leave a comment

Day 2 of our Great Ocean Road adventure started again bright and early from our overnightbed and breakfast stop at Butterfly Farm in Nirranda.  Mistakenly we decided to travel further along the road to Port Fairy which for the extra distance wasn’t worth the effort or the petrol.  Our trip back towards Melbourne gave us the first chance to see a kangaroo……11 months in Australia and our first!  The improved weather made it safe enough to visit some of the more exposed cliff areas and see the rock formations called the Blow Hole and London Arch which was formerly known at London Bridge before corrosion and the elements led it to collapse into the sea.  We managed to spot Kuala’s in the trees (not easy to do initially) and enjoy the Englishesque countryside.

A great great couple of days.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

The Great Ocean Road – Day 1   Leave a comment

Our final activity in Australia was hiring a car and driving the great ocean road which runs south of Melbourne along the south east coast of the country . We set off in our little rented Nissan Tiida very early in the morning. The plan to get to our booked bed & breakfast ready for bedtime. The scenery was spectacular with rugged cliffs, secluded beaches and far far reaching piers. Day one was mega windy and showery but didn’t damped our spirits. It was just like a summer day out in the UK . On our first day we visited the 12 Apostles rock formation, Lorne lighthouse and Apollo Bay. The reception we got at our B& B was fantastic and made even better still by our bed having an electric blanket.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Timeline update   Leave a comment

Hello readers.

I have updated my Timeline page (click here) with the final legs of our journey.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Posted 11/10/2012 by Stefan Palmer in Site updates

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