Well, old friends, this is it. The final blog we'll be writing from Asia. It's hard to believe we've been gone for thirteen months. It feels like only yesterday that Shayne was writing his great blubbering farewell to Canada magnus opus.
We fly from Singapore to Hong Kong and then from there to Vancouver. We'll be traveling for around 17 hours and we'll definitely be in need of some slurpees and donairs upon arrival (Jo's note: Shayne will...I'll settle for some KD).
But enough about us...on to Thailand.
So we last left off in Bangkok and from there we took a midnight bus to the small island of Koh Tao. Koh Tao is famous for diving and not really for its beaches so we weren't expecting much.
Still, as you can see:
It wasn't all that bad.
Awww just like home.
As a little travel advisory if you ever end up on Koh Tao avoid AC Resort at all costs. The place was absolute rubbish. We've stayed at some of the cheaptest, dirtiest places you can imagine (we're talking cockroaches, garbage left all over the place, etc) and yet we'll always remember this as the crappiest place we stayed at in Asia.
The worst part is we paid quite a bit to stay there expecting to have a semi-comfortable place to relax, but from leaving toilet waste in the room for days (you can't flush over here) to yelling at us when we were brazen enough to ask for more toilet paper when we ran out, the place sucked in all ways imaginable. Anyway, just remember: AC RESORT SUCKS.
Thanks for that rant.
Now, on the other hand, Crystal Dive Resort was everything we hoped for. Clean, affordable, full of friendly staff, and they even had HBO.
And check out the bathrooms they have:
That's right, you can sit on the toilet while you enjoy your very own waterfall. They upgraded us to this deluxe suite when our TV broke. Lovely fellows.
We had planned to just snorkel for a few days but after seeing how much fun the divers were having we decided to finally get our scuba licenses.
We got our open water diving licenses and liked it so much we decided to keep going and get our advanced open water licenses and our nitrox certifications. We've now completed nine dives and done night dives, deep water dives, and we even managed to swim with some sharks (a life changing experience to say the least).
Jo on the dive boat with a friend from Belgium.
Our instructor Justin Mayers. Contrary to the picture (it was weird hat day) he was a great great guy and we were really lucky to have him as our instructor. We didn't hold the fact that he was British against him.
Here's some fish that we saw on our dive (photos are courtesy of Justin). He has the photos from the shark dive too and hopefully we'll be able to post them soon. These are buttefly fish, by the way.
More fish: squirrelfish this time.
And yet again...more fish...this time some species of angelfish.
After spending a few weeks in Thailand and falling in love with diving we didn't have enough time or money to continue on to Malayasia, so we made the decision to fly directly to Singapore (truth be told the idea of a 24 hour bus ride wasn't that appealing).
Singapore's like a dream. It's safe, has drinkable water, toilets that flush paper, and is probably the cleanest place we've ever seen (thanks to iron clad laws that involve death and caning).
A part of modern Singapore's skyline.
Shayne in front of a famous theatre (whose name he's much too lazy to look up).
Jo shopping up a storm in Little India.
This is from Orchard Street which is home to the best shopping in Singapore. Needless to say we looked around for a few minutes and got our sandal wearing, sweat covered, empty walleted butts back to the wrong side of the tracks.
And here you can see a bustling alley in Chinatown.
Well there ya' have it. The final two weeks of our trip in blog format. I'm sure you noticed that the quality of our blogs got less and less as our trip got longer and longer.
Hopefully a few of you stuck around long enough to make it to the end. Anyway, overdrawn goodbyes are nonsense... so
See ya soon.
Shayne and Jo
P.S - check back for a few more trip related blogs. Hopefully we'll post once we recover from jetlag.
P.P.S - always dive with the French...words to live by