Tag Archives: travel blog

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Nusa Ceningan – Wrinkly Fingers and Scooters.

11th October 2015

banner After relaxing in the tiny town of Ubud we did what any smart person would do and instantly went somewhere to relax even more…oh it’s a hard life.

We settled on the tiny island of Nusa Ceningan. While still officially Bali , this tiny island that is attached to Nusa Lembongan is a little off the coast of the main tourist area of Kuta. It is a forgotten island by most tourists so it is extremely untouched. No atms*, no real roads and beautiful untouched scenery are what you’ll find on this tiny island. There are some roads but they look like a blind giant got drunk and laid them.

nusacennigan17 The only problem with wanting to go to a tiny remote area is that getting there is a pain in the arse. There were quite a few boats but they basically wanted you to donate your kidneys to buy a seat. We decided to take the risk and take the local boat. After 3 months of travel we liked the word ‘local’. It normally translated to ‘cheap’. This local boat was A LOT cheaper, which should have been a sign. We soon discovered that we should have just paid through the nose for the other boat. At least there was a chance our nose would still be attached to our face after that trip…on this rickety, packed to the rafters boat…we would be lucky to be alive.

In the 5 foot waves we waded out with our bags to the floating shack. At one point a wave hit me that was so strong it took my feet from under me. We finally boarded the boat, soaking wet and ready to hit the (very) high seas. This is when we were told in broken English that some more cargo needed to arrive. We were already sitting on and among an array of boxes of all shapes and sizes so I dreaded to think what was on its way. What came aboard was two hundred ,ten foot planks of wood, a fridge freezer and of course, a motorcycle. Watching 4 men try to move a heavy bike onto a tiny boat while getting battered by waves was extremely entertaining and improved the trip immensely.

nusacennigan03 We were finally on our way and woozy from the petrol fumes. We pulled up to a beach covered in men screaming ‘TAXI’ at us. We knew we had a pick up from our hotel waiting so started looking for our people. They were nowhere to be found until finally one of the taxi men got excited and everyone started pointing at some people walking away from the beach. We ran up to these two and had to convince them that we were in fact the people staying at their hotel. They were having none of it. A recurring problem we’ve discovered while traveling on this trip is:

  1. Lee is an Asian name
  2. We booked our flights and hotels from Korea.

 

Everyone thought that Lee and I we would be Korean on arrival, most didn’t seem to mind but I could tell that some people had been brushing up on their ‘hangul’ for our arrival and were slightly disappointed in the pastie faced Westerners arriving on their doorstep .

 

nusacennigan02 nusacennigan01 We jumped on board their tiny scooters, covered in bags and started the ride to Nusa Ceningan and our hotel. About half way on our journey along the bumpiest roads I’ve ever experienced, I turned around slightly and couldn’t see Lee and his driver anywhere. I started to worry so shouted in the ear of the young girl driving that we’d lost them. I now knew her extremely well since I was clinging on to her for dear life. She paused for a while and waited but there was still no sign of them. She made the executive decision to carry on and hope they were just taking in the sights. What had actually happened was Lee’s guides bike couldn’t handle the weight of two grown men and three suitcases, so had given out. Lee had to get off and walk up any hill that lay ahead of their path. This is probably a good time to note that even mountain goats would come to Nusa Ceningan and think it was too ‘hilly.’

Finally Lee and his guide arrived at the hotel and we were given our beautiful room. It over looked our ‘private’ pool. It wasn’t meant to be private, but the two other villas were empty so for all intensive purposes we decided that it was our pool for the week.

nusacennigan05 nusacennigan06 nusacennigan11 We stayed at the ‘Da Fish’ Hotel and I’d recommend it to anyone. Great views, fantastic food brought straight to your balcony, lovely people and great location for seeing the blue lagoon.

We did nothing for the week apart from ride our scooter around the island and **prune our fingers. Hiring a scooter is something we never thought we’d do. Scooters are always part of peoples horrible travel stories. But without a scooter it’s impossible to get around Nusa Ceningan or Nusa Lembongan. We drove around, saw the island, ate at tiny restaurants and watched the sun set, but most 50% of the time was spent in the ‘private’ pool. We were definitely those smug annoying tourists for a few days.

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best part of travel? All the puppies and kittens

nusacennigan12 nusacennigan09 nusacennigan08 Nusa Ceningan is a tiny place but perfect for a couple. If you are travelling on your own or with your friends then I’d say Nusa Lembongan is better. More restaurants, music bars and even a local outdoor cinema. A bit more life to it and more places to drink, but for us Nusa Ceningan was where we belonged. Everyone needs to find a place they can pretend to be fancy tourists in once and a while. nusacennigan16

Lee throwing all the moves

Lee throwing all the moves

This is definitely the forgotten island and I’d recommend it.

*there is one atm but it is rarely filled. I think that it probably empties before the money delivery guy is even back on his boat. You can get money out from the money exchanges for a fee in an emergency, such as a ‘we need more pina colada’s’ emergency like we had.

** Pruning fingers is when your fingers have been wet for a long time and they get wrinkly. Lee laughed a lot when I used this term and I discovered it wasn’t a universal or even a local phrase.

angkorwatsunrise2

The Best Way To See Angkor Wat

27th June 2015

banner We were a little overwhelmed with information when were planning our trip to Siem Reap. Every one had different ideas about what to do , when to go, what to skip. It was too difficult to digest all of the information so we did what all good traveller’s do and moaned to our friends until they told us what they did.

This was the fantastic message I received from the one and only, the legend Tom Jones…no not that Tom Jones, a even better one that we met while living in Korea. Him and his fantastic girlfriend Lynsey are the kind of people you’d pay to be your friend if you weren’t lucky enough to know them.

1 Here was his advice:

Hi T.

As far as I remember (it was 2 and a bit years ago) we only got a one day pass. The one day pass is valid for 24 hours from the time of purchase. SO what we did (what the hostel told us to do) was this:

5/6 pm cruise down to the ticket office with your Tuk Tuk driver, get out buy your day pass (I think you need passport) jump back in the tuk tuk and he’ll take you to the main Angkor wat super famous temple. It’s f*&^ing magnificent btw. You MUST see the main temple area in the evening if you are to avoid the crowds. The tuk tuk guy will wait for you in the car park, when your done/it’s too dark go home.

Then the same guy picks you up at like 4am the next day. (Take torches) He’ll take you back to the main site in total darkness and you can find a good spot and take pics as the sun rises over the main part of Angkor Wat. F*&^ing nice.

THEN….and this is the best part as most people (idiots) start to arrive at the main part you do one (because you’ve already done the main site the previous night) and go to the some of the other temples. They’re pretty much deserted/really quiet so you can enjoy them to the max. We did about 5 all before 9am. We weren’t rushing but were conscious of time and was really glad because as it gets closer to 9 it gets busier and busier.

One day pass was more than enough we didn’t feel short changed and saved money. We could have stayed longer or gone back too so it’s flexible but so good to avoid the crowds.

Also tried the minced chicken dish in Siem reap. I know it sounds rank but it’s wicked.

 

And there you have it. We followed these instructions to the word and had almost all the temples to ourselves. Plus he’s right, the minced chicken is fantastic.

To see more from Tom follow his instagram here: https://instagram.com/tomfalcojones/

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