South East Asia 2017

This was the first big trip I took with the mrs and yes, we’re still together. You never know how these things will pan out do you? Okay, so we get on just fine at home sat on the sofa binge watching Star Trek whilst shovelling Doritos into our chops, but would this translate well into living in each other’s pockets for weeks at a time in Tropical heat? You learn a lot about yourself and your limits when you travel, and we learned that we function well as a team. We also learned that there will literally be no mystery left in your relationship when you’ve spent the night in very close quarters whilst one or both of you projectile your stomach contents from one end or the other.

Scroll down for the blog, or if you’re looking for something specific you can use the search bar, or head to the map, there are links to relevant posts in the pin-drop descriptions.



Budget

In total we spent per human £3754.50. Most of that was on, it seems, entertainment in one form or another. We threw £847.01 each at that. This includes everything from Borobudur to activities at Danum Valley, gawping at Orangutans or visiting waterfalls.

Accommodation: £755.09, but that was more often than not based on two sharing.

Food was £575.71, booze was £493.88.

Getting around cost us £494.25 each. That doesn’t include any flights though, they came out of a separate budget and were mostly bought before we left the UK so I didn’t log them.

Everything else was all just day to day shit. Toiletries, phone credit etc. The usual stuff you need to function as a member of society.

Indonesia

Jakarta, Java

Well You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere

Right. We made it then. And if anyone ever finds themselves flying with Garuda Indonesia you probably will not be sad about it, especially if you like food and booze being handed to you by attractive people which is actually […]

Dieng, Java

Good Weather For Web-Footed Water Fowl

We’d heard tell of a place in the hills called Dieng where it was a little bit cooler and the mere act of breathing wouldn’t send your sweat glands into shock causing them to expel every drop of moisture from […]

Dieng to Borobudur, Java

Sunrises And Chicken Churches

So that bastard early start I mentioned? Yeah, that happened today. Dwi from the hotel runs guided tours around town that start with a ride up to Gunung Sikunir to watch the fiery skyball rise but given that we’d already […]

Borobudur, Java

The Biggest Buddhist Monument, Like, Ever

You’re meant to get up for sunrise at Borobudur. You can either pay someone to scoot you up the sunrise hill, or you can cycle there and walk up it, or you can fuck it off all together in favour […]

Yogyakarta, Java

Bit Of Time In Jogjia

There are two main tourist areas in Yogyakarta; Sosorowijayan in the north and Prawirotaman in the south, possibly because it’s amusing to watch foreigners try and pronounce unfamiliar words of more than three syllables. The latter is the kind of […]

Cemoro Lawang & Gunung Bromo, Java

The Roar Of Gunung Bromo

If you want to wrap your eyeballs around Gunung Bromo you’ll need to get to Cemoro Lawang which is easy as far as Probolinggo. Getting there is a piece of piss. It’s once you’re there when things start going tits […]

Banyuwangi & Kawah Ijen, Java

Blue Flames And Sulphur Lakes

We ended up catching an oven on wheels from Probolinggo to Banyuwangi, the latter of which is an absolute delight to say. “Y” over here is pronounced as a sort of “dj” so it’s Ban-dju-wangi. Love it. Love it less […]

Pemuteran, Bali

A Little Bit Of Snorkelling Heaven

Java, you’ve been wonderful. Apart from Probolinggo. You can go fuck yourself. We left Java via Banyuwangi on a ridiculously cheap ferry to Gilimanuk on Bali, the island everyone flocks to for lush, green scenery and all the beaches you […]

Lovina, Bali

Sunsets & Waterfalls & Shiny Little Plankton

Lovina Beach is more of a backpacker haunt than Pemuteran and the former can be reached from the latter by bemo, local mini van plying a set route, which you flag down on the side of the road. We were […]

Munduk, Bali

Chasing Waterfalls

Buoyed by my apparent newfound ability to ride a scooter with a passenger without crashing, having a nervous breakdown or generally terrorising the general public, we kept hold of the little Honda Vario for a couple more days. I mean, […]

Jatiluwih, Bali

The Human Buttocks Are Not Made For Scooters

When you want to get a super early start so you can watch the sunrise over some UNESCO rice terraces but the guy at the homestay won’t stop feeding you, though to be fair driving round the hills in the […]

Ubud, Bali

The Cheekiest Of All The Monkeys

We headed to Ubud with Candi and John, two humans staying in our hotel in Lovina who we’d befriended, and when you first arrive in Ubud after you’ve been relaxing on the beach or in the hills, all of your […]

Bali

Exploring North Bali

For what is essentially a relatively small chunk of rock sticking out above sea level Bali has a lot of shit going on for it, predominantly in the form of Hindu temples. Everywhere you look there’s a temple. Strolling through […]

Amed, Bali

Making Bubbles Around A Bali Wreck

By the time you make it from one side of Bali to the other you’ll have built anti-scam defences to rival Fort Knox and you’ll be so used to getting ripped off you don’t even blink when someone tries to […]

The Gili Islands

Gili Island Chill Times

The Gili Islands are known to be idyllic paradises free from dogs and motorised vehicles, not that dogs are much of a thing in Indonesia. Muslims don’t tend to like dogs so they don’t keep them around and even the […]

Boat Trip From Lombok To Komodo National Park

Lombok To Komodo: Day 1

So we bought our boat trip from a bloke called Ludi who had a stall outside of the $5 shop on Gili T which kind of serves us right really. We paid Rp2,000,000 each for all-inclusive deck class and it […]

Lombok To Komodo: Day 2

It was bang on 2am when the engines, as promised the previous night, fired up. I can sleep through noise as long as it’s constant. Even constant-ish, like traffic or music or radio chatter. The engines weren’t an issue, but […]

Lombok To Komodo: Day 3

I wouldn’t have rated my sleep as quality last night but the back and forth rocking of the boat was much less traumatic than the side to side of the other night. I opened my eyes and peered outside. The […]

Lombok To Komodo: Day 4

So it turns out that travel sickness tablets block up both ends. Who knew? I kind of just figured my colon had gone on strike in protest at the whole being on a boat thing which not many of my […]


Labuan Bajo to Bali

Back To Bali

Turns out that spending the night on a boat docked at a port isn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep. Fuck me, ports are noisy places. Add to that I’d developed a mean cough over the previous couple of days, […]

Ubud, Bali

A Right Good Spiritual Cleanse

There’s this water temple just north of Ubud that I’d really wanted to see but by the time we got to the area during our Big Bali Scooter Tour it was too late, but now I’m out of hospital and […]

Bali

Screw Bali And The Broken Scooter It Rode In On

Generally, admitting yourself to hospital during a trip isn’t something you look back on with fondness but it’s not often you get your own room with AC and a reliably hot shower, decent WiFi and three meals a day which […]

Singapore

The Superest Trees In All The World

Singapore is the perfect antidote to the trauma (*dramatically presses back of hand to forehead*) of spending the best part of two weeks face down in a pool of your own rancid sweat because your left lung somehow managed to […]

It’s Not Breakfast If It Doesn’t Stop Your Heart

So kaya toast has been added firmly to the list of “shit I enjoy applying liberally to my facehole.” We went to Ya Kun Kaya Toast where you can choose from set meals which include two soft boiled eggs cracked […]

A Brief History Of Singapore

All of the moisture in my head had been replaced with sand in the night. I looked around for the badger whose arse I felt like I’d been licking. Ugh. Fuck alcohol, I’m never drinking again* (* Terms and conditions […]


The Philippines

Sagada, Luzon

Another Little Mountain Town

In all of my infinite wisdom I booked us a super early flight from Singapore to Manila, the method in the madness being that we’d get to spend a whole day in Singapore then head to the airport and not […]

Caving For Pussies: Sagada Edition

We’ve not dragged out sleep deprived carcasses out of bed for a sunrise for a while and apparently Kiltepan Peak is the place to go. We knew we could get a car to take us there for ₱350 (good for […]


Buscalan, Luzon

Buscalan Part 1: Hills, Corned Beef & Pigs

That thing when you’re idly Googling for information on a region with little to no tourist infrastructure and all your research keeps coming back to one particular village which just happens to be home to a legendary traditional tattoo artist […]

Buscalan Part 2: Getting Dangerously Inked

Just the village of Buscalan alone is worth the lung searing trek, but the reason people flock here is Whang Od. If you want to be tattooed by her it’s absolutely possible if you’re happy to wait, and many people […]


Batad, Luzon

It’s Not All About The Rice

Getting from Buscalan to Batad is a three jeepney effort with Francis, our Buscalan guide, getting us to Turning Point in time for the 8.30am public jeepney. The walk out is mercifully less traumatic than the walk in and was […]

Yeah Okay, So It’s Predominantly About Rice

We did want to check out some manner of lookout way up yonder but Germaine quickly talked us out of that by simply pulling a face like we’d just told her we wanted to hop to Manila on one leg. […]


Naga, Luzon

Necessarily Dull Down Time

I pretty much had to be dragged away from north Luzon. I’d have been kicking and screaming but it’s unseemly, plus I had no fucking energy left from climbing up and down hills that could legally be defined as vertical. […]

Caramoan, Luzon

Caramoan Island Hopping – Part 1

Not far from Naga is a place called Caramoan which has a group of islands made famous on account of many of the Survivor programs being shot there. I’ve not seen any of them, I like reality TV about as […]

Caramoan Island Hopping – Part 2

With Matukad being closed our boatman tried for another island but we were shooed away by Survivor security. He exchanged a few words with the boy then started heading towards a cove on the mainland which looked way too populated […]


Legazpi, Luzon

A Typical Drenching

There’s no direct way of getting from Caramoan to Legazpi so we endured the mission back to Naga but this time we took a jeepney from Sabang to Naga to avoid paying the extra for our bags because we really […]

ATVing At The Foot Of A Volcano

One of those “oh you simply must!” places near Legazpi are the Cagsawa Ruins. Cagsawa was a town from 1587 but Mayon gave no fucks about that and on the 1st February 1814 she erupted and rained rocks and sand […]

Random Little Legazpi Tour

We duly rocked up to Bicol Adventure ATV by 7am, shuffling past the touts because shuffling is the only forward movement possible when you’ve been up since some god awful hour again, easily fending them off this time with a […]


Bohol Road Trip

Bohol Day 1 – Tagbilaran To Anda Via A Small Ditch

We decided to fly from Legazpi to the Visayas rather than travelling overland/water via Leyte just so we could spend those extra few days up in north Luzon, and so we could squeeze a cheeky little trip to Caramoan in. […]

Bohol Day 2 – Chocolate Hills And Creepy Statues

There are these waterfalls called Can-Umantad Falls and we really wanted to see them but we also really didn’t want to end up in a ditch. Again. We spent ages bouncing along an unsealed road that, of course, got worse […]

Bohol Day 3 – Scary Tree Rats And Fireflies

There are pros and cons to visiting waterfalls in the wet season. On one hand you know there’ll be water in those bad boys. We’re not talking a trickle, I mean there’ll be full on gushing torrents of H2O. They […]

Bohol Days 4 & 5 – Panglao Down Time

A notable difference between scooting around Bohol versus Bali in Indonesia (aside from the obvious lack of elaborate Hindu temples here) is the abundance of petrol stations in Bohol. Of course they have them in Bali too, there just doesn’t […]


Moalboal, Cebu

A Surprisingly Active Day

Next stop was going to be Moalboal on Cebu on account of it being a cool little backpacker enclave and a good base to explore a load of stuff around the south of the island, but by the time […]

Hungover Canyoneering

Yesterday was Tarrant’s birthday and we decided to rent another scooter and head up to Osmeña Peak, the highest point in Cebu, because nothing says “happy birthday, baby, I love you” like hiking up a massive fucking hill. Never […]


Siquijor

Chasing Waterfalls. Again.

Siquijor very nearly didn’t happen for us. On account of parts of Mindanao currently being a war zone the foreign travel advice map wasn’t looking good for travel to several Filipino islands. Large parts of the south are swathed […]

Beaches Of Siquijor

Weeeellll yesterday was the write off it absolutely deserved to be. I was tempted to chuck several of my internal organs into the pool at the balete tree just to have the fish give them a good clean. I […]

Journey To The Centre Of The Island

We’d decided to have a look around the middle of Siquijor today on account of there being some manner of cave there and also the highest point on the island. There’s also, somewhat randomly, a butterfly sanctuary. It’s ₱100 […]


Borneo

Kinabalu National Park, Sabah

Kinabalu National Park

This is probably the first time my sister has come to meet me overseas and we haven’t done something utterly terrifying like a bungy jump or a skydive or a trek up a fucking hill to altitudes that your respiratory […]

Sepilok, Sabah

Big, Orange Monkey Balls

Getting to Sepilok from Kinabalu National Park involves sitting outside the park in the hope that some manner of transportation heading through to Sandakan has space for you. We flagged a bus which was full but we were happy to […]

Kinabatangan River, Sabah

Very Definitely In The Rainforest

We had plenty of time to fit as much scrambled egg, beans, unidentified battered stuff, and weird, tiny sausages into our faceholes as possible at breakfast before waddling to the meeting point at the cafe at the Sepilok Oranguatan Rehabilitation […]

Kinabatangan Adventures With Mr Aji

It was probably around 6am when we rolled out of bed and shuffled (because shuffling is about all my feet can do at that hour) to the restaurant for breakfast. It was misty as fuck! The restaurant is right on […]


Sepilok, Sabah

Sun Bears, The Other Sepilok Sanctuary

So yesterday we’d bumped into two of the Brits from the boat at breakfast and they told us that the other couple, the Yorkshire folks, weren’t well at all. Apparently they had it coming out of both ends, probably some […]

Danum Valley, Sabah

Getting To Danum Valley

I don’t recall where I first read about Danum Valley Conservation Area when I was researching Sabah, possibly the Lonely Planet, fuck knows, but I knew that we definitely wanted to try and visit. It’s a largely untouched swathe of […]

Stuff To Do In Danum Valley Besides Sweat A Lot

There’s nothing like watching the sun rise over the canopy of a primary rainforest, and it’s even better if you don’t have to walk up a massive bastard hill to do this. We were picked up from the dorm room […]


Mabul Island & Sipadan, Sabah

Some Proper Expensive Scuba Diving

Diving at Sipadan Island costs the kind of money that makes all of your internal organs contract and you have to go and apply lots of beer to them and calm down a little bit before you return to the […]

Macro Diving At Mabul

I woke up with crippling stomach pains and a sphincter looser than Indonesian road rules. Holy fuck, what had I eaten to deserve this? I was meant to be doing four dives today and no way did I want to […]


Poring, Sabah

The Biggest Flower In The World

After Nat and Laura buggered off back home myself and Tarrant decided to go to Poring for the sole purpose of looking at a massive flower which may or may not be there right now. We really wanted to wrap […]

Tip Of Borneo, Sabah

The Closest Thing To Paradise

Fuck it. I’m staying here forever. I’m in love with The Tip Of Borneo and I never want to leave. It’s one of those places that you have to get to before it goes the way of Lands End with […]

Beach Camping In Kudat

At the moment everything up here at the Tip of Borneo is pretty much free. I say at the moment because I still can’t believe a place this perfect exists in 2017 without being overdeveloped to the point of destruction. […]


Beaufort, Sabah

Rafting The Padas River

I like rafting but I don’t like rafting enough to be picked up from my hotel at five fucking twenty in the morning to travel for a million hours to a river that I’ll only be spending about ninety minutes […]

Pulau Labuan

Adventures On A Tax-Free Island

I did originally want to go wreck diving around Pulau Labuan but the two dive centres I spoke to had four human minimums for their trips and no groups going out so that pissed on that bonfire. Not to worry, […]

Lambir Hills National Park, Sarawak

A Park Full Of Waterfalls

We’d flown into Miri from Labuan on account of the fact we didn’t want to go through Brunei. Shit to do around but not in Miri includes Lambir Hills National Park which is an easy day trip from the long […]

Niah National Park, Sarawak

To The Bat Cave

So you could probably see Niah National Park in a day trip from Miri but we were heading this way anyway so we figured we’d just go there and stay overnight. It turns out it’s ridiculously easy to book accommodation […]

Similajau National Park, Sarawak

Leech-Free Strolling At Similajau

Similajau is a nice place to just chill the fuck out. Yes, there’s a hiking trail, there’s always a hiking trail, but the accommodation is a very short shuffle to the beach where you can watch the sunset for as […]

Belaga, Sarawak

Getting From Bintulu To Belaga

You’ve got to get a 4WD into Belaga if you’re heading in from Bintulu, you need to be a little bit time rich and there’s no other option, fourby is where it’s at. I searched all over the Interwebs to […]

A Socially Awkward Guide To Visiting Longhouses

Over breakfast we attempted to gather our lady balls. Fucking hell, mate, this ticked all of my anxiety boxes. Walking into a village and descending on a longhouse unannounced with no one who speaks the local language? Potentially being confronted […]


Kapit, Sarawak

Longhouse Touring In Kapit

The express boat that runs between Belaga and Kapit is apparently nicknamed the flying coffin on account of its long, thin shape and not because it causes slow death to every single one of your nerve endings with its brutal […]

Kuching, Sarawak

Out And About Outside Of Kuching

There are a metric fuck tonne of stuff and things to apply liberally to your eyeholes around Kuching and we’d rented a scooter to go and do just that. There are a couple of caves they reckon are about a […]

What’s Cooking In Kuching?

I fucking hate cooking and cooking hates me. We used to have this death-oven that served as the gateway to hell itself if the jacket potatoes I tried cooking to Google’s specification are anything to go by. I ended up […]


Kubah National Park, Sarawak

The National Park-A-Thon Begins

The first national park we decided to check out for our ten day Sarawak NP Extravaganza was Kubah, home of palms and frogs apparently, which left us in no doubt on what to expect. We figured we might as well […]

Frog Bothering At Kubah

You don’t come to Kubah National Park and not indulge in a spot of nocturnal frog bothering. They’re all over the place but the best place to find them is at the frog pond, 1.3kms from reception and just off […]


Gunung Gading National Park, Sarawak

Even More Massive Flowers

Gunung Gading is home to the rafflesia, the fuck off great big flower we’d seen in Poring but wanted to put in our eyeholes again, largely because we were on a Sarawak National Park mission. It’s pretty out of the […]

Mount Santubong National Park, Sarawak

The Beast That Is Mt Santubong

Mount Santubong is the big, pointy mountain that you can’t fucking miss as you ride into Santubong unless you’ve had your eyes gouged out by an angry macaque because you refused to hand over your crisps. It looks steep. It […]

Bako National Park, Sarawak

Bako Is The Best

Our final Sarawak national park was to be Bako which is probably the most popular of the lot despite it being an absolute ball ache to get to. You can’t just nip there, you can only get in and out […]