Where am I?

Created this blog to document my travels, experiences & thoughts thru Central & South America but hell plan to blog my travels to where ever. Goofy harmless Free Spirit hoping to spend most of my time with locals & enjoy the world! So hang on as I travel, drink cervezas, raise a little hell, maybe piss off a few people & hopefully not give Canadians a bad reputation! Of course don't do these things on purpose but while having a good time well "Shit Happens"!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wow Tonsai in southern Thailand was the only chilled cool place in Thailand so chilled at a beach for about a week before catching an overnight bus for my final trip back to Bangkok for my flight home !!!!!

So got to Krabi late in the evening around 9 or 10 pm and must say wasn’t too impressed with the town as lot of young backpackers getting shit faced drunk!!!! Got a room in this slightly more expensive guest house Mansion (about $12 CAD) than usually stay but everything was full and wtf for one night!!! The peep working at the guesthouse were really assholes as had no time to help or give info!
Spent one night and early the next morning went down to catch a bus to the ferry in Ao Nang to go to Tonsai and Railay a more upscale beach area close by to Tonsai!

Most peep go to Tonsai to rock climb which is internationally renown for the cliffs!

Don’t do rock climbing tho have tried so hung around Tonsai for about a week just chilling, smoking and hanging out with the cool peep!

There were a lot of cheap guest houses so found a cheap place in the second row of guesthouses away from the busier beach area!

A person could find a few reasonable priced eating places around Tonsai! My daily routine was to wake up around 10 or 11 am and go down to get a Protien shake and / or muslei with yoghurt and fruit! Then head to this coffee hut where I got to know the owner as he would make me an awesome chai tea which I’d do a couple times a day cuz got kinda addicted to it!

Then would wander over to one of the many establishments with a hammock to chill and smoke some weed! One of the bars had a bong which I’d use to smoke up tho never had a beer! I’d usually hang out in one hammock or another most of day until it was time to eat or go back to my room!

Also got to know the local tattoo artist who would call me in to his shop when ever I walk by to have a hit off his bong! But shit found that he’d mix weed and tobacco so the first time I did a big hit and almost passed out cuz dislike tobacco as get a massive headache! When was at Tonsai one of the locals gave me a ½ meter long bamboo which he made a crude bong but it fell apart when taking it home in my bag so when got home made it into a more usable bong and was a good souvenir from my trip there!

I also walked over the back way thru the jungle to the next beach Railay beach which was more upscale as went to use the ATM to get some cash! Also for a bite to eat at a different hang out! But didn’t really care for the vibes in Railay as it seemed to be more for the tour travellers!

Most of the peep who came to Tonsai would rock climb everyday but I wasn’t that big into it! Hell Tomsai reminded me of the time went to Utilla island (off the east coast of Honduras) a big diving island which specialized in peep getting cheap diving certification http://www.aboututila.com/ Went there with a Dutch friend where we stayed for a week at a dive shop to just party and hang out and didn’t do any diving!

Some peep also rented boats or kayaks in Tonsai to go to surrounding islands to hang out for the day however I couldn’t be bother as I was strictly at Tonsai to hang out and chill before heading back to Bangkok to catch my flight home!

Have a check of my humble pictures with my new waterproof camera that bought duty free at Club Changi after losing my old camera in a river!

So when the time came to leave Tonsai caught the ferry back to Ao Nang by 3 pm to catch an overnight bus to Bangkok! Where I stayed for a night at the Lamphu House and then got bounced as full so moved to a cheap place around the corner for couple nights as met some chill guys to smoke and hang out! Then moved to the Plai Garden Guesthouse close to the airport as my flight to Tokyo and home left at 810 am so could use free shuttle to airport!

So that ended my trip to SE Asia which will probably be the last time I will visit the mainland countries of SE Asia as lost it’s adventure as too many high priced tourists and enjoyment!

Well so back to mainland Malaysia for about the 3rd visit for moi!

So my flight from Kuching took me back to Kaula Lumpur (K.L. or KL) as I had scored 2 Couchsurfing peep (1st was Michael) to host me for a couple nights each! But fuk when got to KL couldn’t believe how humid and hot it was there!!! Hell been to KL b4 but it wasn’t this hot or humid as shit it was really bad as never felt this humidity in Bangkok, Manila, Laos, Cambodia or Borneo! Fuk I had never experienced humidity like did in KL except maybe the first time went to Bali from Perth when got off the plane drunk!!!

I had been to KL before a couple of times but always thought it was an OK place but this time couldn't wait to get out as thought it was so friggin humid & hot that thought boy is it a shit hole!

But fuk at least the LRT/metro was cool / air cond as took a bus to downtown and ended up within a short walking distance to the LRT as KL is also planning a subway! Oh in case haven’t mentioned it b4 I think Malaysia is doing pretty dam good financially!

So I found that the CSing host of mine lived aways out of the city like the burbs but luckily could get out there on 3 LRT trains or 1 ½ hrs insha’allah!! Btw in case U didn’t know Malaysia is Muslim even tho they’re gotten a bit more conservative hell the muslim influence isn’t that noticeable!

Hell when I got out of the LRT station was a bit discombobulated as tried to figure just where Michael told me they lived cuz said was a short walk to his apt! But shit didn’t have a clue which direction to go so shit had to phone Michael for directions!

So hell being confused and kind lost got me thinking of an April Fool’s joke cuz it was the night b4 April 1! So I posted on FB like most peep are fuking annoying to others!

F*ck the worst nightmare that could happen to a traveler happened to me! Should I go to the Police or my Embassy as don’t know what to do??? Shit was on my way to a CSer home to be hosted! But f*ck ended up getting lost in a sketchy part of K.L. So asked a couple of guys standing around if they could tell me where I could grab a bus? Well the one dude says oh hell U should catch the LRT (light rapid transit) as it will take U to places quicker & there’s a station couple blocks away! Hell we’ll take U there so like an idiot well I follow them cuz it all sounded pretty kosher to me! But f*ck as soon as we go into this dark street well these 3 guys jump me trying to grab my bag! Well they took me by surprise as they put the boots to me so guess fell unconscious & when I awoke f*ck it was April 1 & April Fools!

But fuk a lot of my friends thought that this actually happened as they were really worried so had to write and explain that was only an April’s Food Joke!! LOL

So anyway Michael, my CSing host, was a Kenyan dude who stayed on in KL after he graduated from university! He had 3 roommates who were also either from Kenya or Ghana and they had all kinds of friends dropping by all the time! Hell they were all friendly and hospitable as was first time been CS hosted by an African cuz well only place CS’ed in Africa was in Ethiopia which is another story in my travel blog! LOL

Hell this trip made me think fuk KL is a real shit hole & will never come back mainly due to the humidity cuz it was very modern city now! Fuk it was so dammed humid as I can stomach heat but NOT humidity! So I thought fuk no way going to the 2nd of my 2 CSing hosts cuz when I checked where it was hell it was still further out of the city and would need to take another 2 train legs!! But hell would have gone if wasn’t so humid so thought hell I'd stayed with Michael for 4 days lol as didn’t go outside except to the next bldg (the Apt complex Michael lived is about 6 apt bldg’s as most were or had been students & most peep were peep from foreign countries) as had a restaurant so ate there! But I emailed the 2nd CS host to apologize and explain that hadn’t heard from him with his number, etc. so used it as the excuse even tho it wasn't true!!

So the day I left KL I took the LRT to the bus station to places outside of KL cuz had decided to go Cameron Highlands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Highlands
which is an area sort of north east up in the hills as name describes! It is one of Malaysias most extensive hill stations. The size of Singapore, it occupies an area of 712 square kilometres (275 sq mi) in the Titiwangsa Mountains. Hell it was about 20 degrees cooler and a 100 per cent less humidity than KL!

I got dropped off at Tanah Rata the main town in the Cameron Highlands! I got a 20 rm / $7 CAD room which was for a single room about the size of most peep’s bathroom in Canada! Tanah Rata was a quiet little town/village with some tourists who seemed to all be going on tours to tea plantations or whatever as don’t do tours myself which made me occupy my time on my own! So I did some trekking around to water falls, etc. but not to tea plantations plus after seeing all the awesome treks thru the jungle and hiking Mt Kinabalu hell figured don’t have to do strenuous treks here!!

One thing I found is a lot of awesome Roti Canai & other Indian food along with some delicious Chinese food but shit would prefer to have Indian over Chinese!

But shit a person can only stick around a town to eat for 2 days and then it was time to leave Dodge (my saying for leaving a town)! Well had talked to this old Chinese dude at the bus station and he told me there was a bus that would take me to this town Gua Musang about 2 hrs away where I could catch a jungle train which sounded cool to take me to the east coast (where I wanted to go) to Kota Baharu a city in the far north eastern corner of mainland Malaysia!! So I stayed at Denai Lodge a cheap chill place for a day to find an island to chill for a few days and the closest and one most peep advised were the Perhentian Islands

So caught a bus and boat to get to these islands where was told the South beach island was chill and cheap! However fuk when got to the island shit there were no accommodations available! So went to this other island but shit that island was dam expensive! So I thought I’m leaving this joint so waited for a boat to take me back to the main land! While waiting I started talking to a couple of Malaysians who were on the island to do some repairs! They told me if I wanted a cheap good island where the locals stayed they told me that most Malaysians go to Pulau Panghor! But unfortunately the island was on the west coast so I figured fuk why not go cuz there were no places to stay on this expensive island!
When got back to the mainland & went back to Kota Baharu where I stayed b4 as found there was an overnight bus direct to Lumat a small town on the west coast! Where after getting to Lumat had to wait a hr to catch a 30 min ferry to Pulau Panghor! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangkor_Island

Found that Pulau Panghor was mostly an island(s) where the locals actually lived and worked plus Malaysians came for weekends and vacations! Found a cool little place sort of like a reggae type chil place close to nature and far away from the main ferry docks and shopping area that most peep stay when they arrive on the island!

So spent my time going to the beach to chill on a hammock or at the guesthouse! Then met this cool Malaysian Indian dude who lived in Europe for a few years and had just moved back a couple years b4! He had built a house in the jungle and I ended up hanging out with him in the jungle for a few days as we smoked weed and chilled!

Then it was time to leave Dodge (again) to start heading back to Thailand and Bangkok for my flight home in 2 ½ weeks!

When I left Pulau Pangkor had to get up at 5:30 am to get to the first ferry back to the mainland! Then caught a bus to Butterworth a bigger town which is a major transportation hub where I was able to catch a bus to Hat Yai a border town on the Thailand side of the border!

An odd thing that happened is when got to Hat Yai just 2 of us got off the bus as the bus continued some place else! Well for some reason the bus driver told the chick who was Thai that got off with me to help me get to Krabi! Hell could get there OK on my own as it was the town in southern Thailand where I catch a ferry to go to Tonsai which was a world renown chilled rock climbing beach town/area!

Well this Thai chick started getting friendly with me as she gave me her phone number and wanted me to go to Chaing Mai with her! Shit was flattered and didn’t want to be a jerk but fuk had no desire to go to Chaing Mai again also wasn’t interested in meeting a chick in my travels! But this chick who separated with in Krabi kept phoning me to join her on a bus out of Krabi to Chaing Mai as I went on to Tonsai to chill !!!

Decided to check out Borneo via Singapore & KL on what airlines but discount Tiger Airways but not to Lombok & East Timor!!

Yeah so after doing my thing in the Philippines wanted to head to Borneo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borneo  Lombok and maybe East Timor while in that region of the world! But while shopping around for tickets found out I didn’t have enuf time left on passport b4 it expired as needed 6 months validity according to international airlines rules! But fuk my passport expired on Oct 1, 2013 so needed to buy and get my flying done by Apr 1 (not sure how got ticket on JAL to return to Canada in late April, lol) 

So could buy a ticket to Borneo http://wikitravel.org/en/Borneo to check out Sarawak & Sabah both states of Malaysia (but would have to bypass Kalimantan the Indonesian part of Borneo island that would have liked to see but next time & Brunei an oil rich country would bypass too as nothing to see but rich peep! ) but couldn’t go to Lombok or East Timor (parts of Indonesia but another set of islands) which fuking sucked!

Anyway had to return to Club Changi in Singapore for a night again unfortunately! It was the same drill as when I stayed going to the Philippines however when I tried to score a free shower (only free for Singapore airlines pax) in the morning the dude caught me and charged me $5!

So anyway decided to fly Air Asia from Singapore to Borneo cuz well Air Asia is based out of KL so going on Air Asia should be cheaper as it'd be a domestic flight! However that meant flying thru Kuala Lumpur (KL) as that’s where Air Asia is based similar to Tiger Airways is based in Singapore so have to fly thru Singapore!

My Air Asia flight was to Kuching (which is the word for Cat in Malay so I was told)                                                                                           http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/5f/80/0f/caption.jpg
in Sarawak (state of Borneo part of Malaysia) even tho planned to also check out Sabah the other Malaysian state of Borneo!

I had done researched some more couch surfing and scored a place to stay in Kuching in Sarawak and also a place in Kuta Kinabalu in Sabah after CSing for a week in Baguio in the Philippines!! Well the CSing gig I scored in Kuching was with Franky in Kuching who also offered to pick me up at the airport! So wtf who was I to refuse that offer so when arrived in Kuching well next thing I knew I was wisked away to a cool little place by Franky! Cuz found out that she actually ran a sort of guest house / hostel called The Nook where the first 3 nights would be free for couch surfing!! Wasn’t too pleased that Franky used CSing as a means to score new peep to stay at her place!! But wtf I was no angel and while traveling if I could score even 1 free night well awesome!!

The main thing I wanted to see in Borneo and first thing wanted to do was check out the orangutans 

(http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/orangutan/) which was the main reason I wanted to go to Borneo! So wanted to ensure that I saw the orangutans in their natural environment so decided it would be best to check them out in a nature reserve so went to see them with a couple of Germany dudes to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve to make sure that would actually see an orangutan rather than tramping thru the jungle!

It was awesome as they fed the orangutans twice a day at 11 and 3 pm so we got there and checked out the various places and went to see the orangutans being fed as we walked out into the jungle to a platform for the orangutans to be fed! The worker there left a bunch of bananas on the platform and whistle for them as we waited for maybe 5 mins! The orangutans were natural show-offs for audiences as they would swing from a tall tree down on the ropes strung out for the orangutans! What impressed me was how they would swing by hanging by their arms and legs and reach down to scoop up a banana with their free arm!! I did take some pictures finally with my new camera that scored at duty free at the Singapore airport Club Changi! However realize that my photography skills still need some work but wtf have a look

Wow that trip to view the orangutans was probably one of the highlights of my trip to the SE Asia area along with my adventure to search and find Feng-Od the 93 year young tattoo artist in northern Philippines!

Also had flight on Air Asia to fly Kuching, Sarawak to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah return both on Borneo as the reason I flew is I didn’t have much time as had to do all my flying before April 1 cuz after that date my passport would have less than 6 months b4 it expired! 

So flew to Kota Kinabalu http://www.google.ca/search?q=kota+kinabalu+sabah+malaysia&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=-2AlUqG5O8abiALctoDwAQ&ved=0CEMQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=542  in Sabah which is in the northern part of Borneo. I was accepted to be hosted by a CSing dude in Kota Kinabalu but after he emailed me saying yeah will host me well he didn’t give me his phone number and I couldn’t get a hold of him! So hell just stayed at the Borneo Global Backpackers hostel!

I wanted to go to Kinabalu Park & hot springs but it was closed or go on a farm stay for a couple days to hopefully find out how the locals lived however they had cancelled them for a few weeks! So decided to take a day trip to the Lokawi Wildlife Park to check out the wildlife animals of Borneo! But fuk was really disappointed visiting this wildlife park cuz tho there were signs saying plz keep talking to a minimum so not to scare the animals espec. the orangutans (didn’t spend time watching them as saw them b4 in Sarawak) but still a lot of the peep also visiting were talking so loud which is friggin loud as is their custom & their language which is really annoying! Hell they came to visit in groups of 10 or so peep and a person could hear them talking from a 100 meters!

So fuk checking out things in Sabah was a dud so decided to hike up Mt Kinabalu! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kinabalu

However after further checking found out it costs like about $1000  (equivalent in Malaysian Ringgits) with guide and stuff which was a bit expensive for my tastes cuz it’s not that hadn’t climb a mtn b4 as did Mt Kilamanjaro in Tanzania! But thought I’d go to the base and check out the mtn however as stupid as it sounds well was given the wrong directions to the bus station to go to Mt Kinabalu! So finally caught the bus a bit late which was probably a blessing in disguise! Cuz found out instead of $1000 it would cost about $10 for going ½ way up the mtn which was cool for me as that would cost me a lot lot less!!

So I did that as could afford it so paid to go ½ up the mtn of about 2000 meters which didn’t mind! As it was the hike up to ½ only took me only about 2 ½ hrs each way to hike the mtn but when I got up to ½ way I was starting to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness (so it seemed it affected me earlier than maybe most peep) which I definitely felt on Mt Kilamanjaro!

It was still enjoyable and the fact that did the hike which wasn’t that difficult! Some Pics with my camera - https://www.facebook.com/FreeSpiritGuy/media_set?set=a.10152691517620527.1073741826.751750526&type=3

So after my hike up the mtn well took flight back to Kuching in Sarawak and stayed again at The Nook where Franky operated as there were a couple of CSing activities were organized!

There was a sort of Pot Luck dinner arranged the day I returned which was cool as met a few CSers both travellers and locals!

Then the next day decided to go to Bako park to do a jungle trek! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qMI1Qp5v88 A lot of peep stay overnight and return the next day however I just wanted to do an one day hike in the jungle! The odd thing is we had to take a bus to the ocean and have at least 4 peep to take the boat as the owners of the boats only wanted to take 4 peep as they charged a set price regardless of the number on the boat cuz of such a demand for their services! I had organized another couple but couldn’t find a 4th person! The trek was very different than an trek I had done cuz it was after all a jungle, hot and humid but like a fool I only took a single small bottle of water and it was gone after doing ½ the walk and I was gone for about 4 hrs as did various trails unlike many peep who only did 1 trail for about 2 hrs! Hell met a couple where the guy was doing it in flip flops plus his wife or whoever she was said he had diabetes and needed to eat and water quite often! So I shared some of my water and a bag of trail mix I was carrying! So all in all the jungle walks in Bako Park was well worth it even tho I was debating whether I wanted to do it due to time!

Then there was an Asian International Film Festival happening at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching for overnight! So a bunch of CSing peep went to the Cultural Village and watched movies! Well maybe most peep watched the films but I only watched about ½ of 1 film as fell asleep cuz well the movies were in Malay, Chinese or some foreign language to me plus the subjects of the movies weren’t very exciting! But what I really enjoyed was checking out the Cultural Village and the things about Sarawak as think spent all my time seeing and talking to the various peep from the tribes who had buildings in the Village!

But shit had a good time cuz about midnight a bunch of us met down by ocean to hang out, eat, etc. Most of us fell asleep on this one stage where a movie was happening! I just happened to have my sleeping bag with me so crawled in and slept till morning! It was fun and met a lot of local Chinese and Malays plus a couple Indians! Tho the majority of peep in Sarawak were of Chinese descent with of course a lot of Malays but few Indians! One thing odd was met a younger Indian female doctor who wanted to smoke some weed so being a stoner well never say no to a smoke!! LOL

One of the guys I met was a Chinese Malay named King Kong cuz think he said his name in Chinese translated to a name like King Kong (sorry but can’t remember his real name as he didn’t use his real name but his nick name & couldn’t understand him too well but he was really nice so couldn’t help but like him) but think we’re FB friends but not sure what his name is on FB! Think his sister’s name sounds like something like Ping Pong or something lol! Anyway the dude was such a nice guy even tho his English sucked and of course I don’t speak anything but English! Anyway he was a Mandarin language teacher who wanted to be a backpacker! LOL The way he spoke was so funny and he always wanted to pay for everything which I have a bit of problem as don’t like someone to pay my meals, etc as like to pay for my own things! Shit the night at the Film Festival hell he organized a meal outside the Village as we drove to this Chinese restaurant he knew as he ordered all this seafood which I’m sure was expensive! Well I don’t mind fish but not big on shell fish food cuz fuk have to crack and shell my food as just like to pop my food in my mouth! So didn’t eat too much cuz most was cooked in black bean sauce or some sweet sauce as think I’ve had enuf of those sauces in my Life so not into it much anymore as also wasn’t very hungry as had eaten at the Cultural Village! But was talked into joining them cuz for some reason most of the peep liked to talk to me cuz guess I was very outspoken and different than most of them! But they were all very nice and friendly so I tried to be too lol!

So the last day or so b4 I left Kuching and Sarawak well King Kong and his Malay friend who didn’t speak much English took an English guy and I out for Indian Roti Canai http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roti_canai which tho tasty is a bit fattening if that is an issue with U! Fuk have to find a place in Vancouver which sells them as believe the Banana Leaf restaurant sells them!

So all in all have to say really thought Borneo was awesome and totally enjoyed myself similar to Philippines! So one day will return to Borneo to see the rest of the island like Kalimantan the Indonesian part of Borneo island as will return to Philippines too! Insha'allah

So caught my Air Asian flight back to KL just b4 April 1 the drop dead date for me to me to flight as my passport would be within the 6 months time limit b4 expiring!

Finally made it to the Philippines which was the main country wanted to check out on this Trip!!

Sorry but in this blog I’ve included a number of links to other peep’s blogs with pics as didn’t have a lot of my own pics but that's OK as my pics prob wouldn’t have done the beauty of my journey to northern Philippines any justice lol!

So yeah spent the night at Club Changi (aka Singapore Changi Airport) in relative comfort considering it’s an airport! Then hopped the Tiger Airways flight (which was uneventful) to Clark Airport just outside Manila!! Sure glad I booked my flight to fly into Clark cuz that put me outside of that big mega shit hole – Manila! As got to see more of it later which justified my previous thought!!!

Luckily the flight landed at 2 pm as always try to arrive in a new place that never been b4 so try to get to the places during the day! Luckily Clark Airport is north of Manila so was part of the way to my destination of Northern Philippines! LOL I knew that the common cheapo method of transportation was the Jeepney!

The first thing I did b4 exiting the terminal building was get a Philippines SIM Card so I could use my phone! Then when I got outside a guy approached me to ask where was I going? Well I knew wanted to go to the Dau bus station near Angeles (yeah stupid me had done some research on how to get up north http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1475182) o knew there would be buses going north!! So the guy told me it was my lucky day as pointed to a Jeepney parked by the curb as it was going to the Dau Bus Station!  

So at the Dau Bus station found out when the next bus was leaving to go to Baguio (one of the main cities up north.
But my first thought was to get some more Pesos the Philipines currency! This kid at the Bus Station said he could show me the nearest ATM (but told him that wasn’t going to pay him anything to show me an ATM as against my tight budget & principles lol) but ended up going to 5 ATMs until I found one that worked or had cash! So that made me think shit better take out a bunch of Pesos which later proved to be correct!!

Anyway caught my bus around 4 pm and the trip took about 5 hrs to get to Baguio! What I noticed was the terrain & weather was really changing as the closer we got to Baguio! It was starting to get more hilly and also it was starting to get windy and rainy! Hell by the time we got to Baguio well it was really quite miserable and dark!! When we got to Baguio we arrived at the bus station there was a Service desk where a guy offered to take me to a cheaper guest house! But the first one was too expensive for my taste so ended up staying at Angelita’s Tuvera a cheap little place close to the bus station! The room wasn’t much but wtf was only sleeping there so went out to grab some thing to eat as found a place with cheap food - what else? Well at least my room had free wifi so had something to do until I crashed!

The next day was beautiful as I went back to the bus station as found a bus to take me up north to Sagada a small town in the Mountain Province which I figured would be a good starting point to starting searching for Fang-Od the 93 year young manual tribal tattoo artist who the Filippino dude met in Cambodia told me!!

The bus ride from Baguio to Sagada had some awesome scenery as the views of the mountains were amazing as well as the steep drops by the side of the road! 

Guess I’ve been on higher mountains but suppose what made this road so awesome was the road seemed to be all up on the top of the mountains. The ride took about 6 hrs (with a couple stops for something to eat & the road was really windy with some switch backs) to get to Sagada which is a cool little town to hang out as it seemed to have a few fellow travellers staying there to do whatever!


Of course the first item of business in Sagada was finding a place to stay for however long it would take for me to find Fang-Od the tattoo artist and see about getting a manual tribal tattoo! So I found this guesthouse which was quite homely, nice & was in a price range that I could handle however it didn’t have an electrical outlet in the room which meant I couldn’t charge my phone or my computer! So I went to this guesthouse across the street to stay which had an electrical plug in the room! I decided to stay one night as found out that there were a group of older loud Europeans eating and drinking in the common eating area where I was using my computer for wifi! Now I kind of dislike peep who get loud when they drink but I put up with them for 1 night!

The next day I was walking around Sagada (the village isn’t very big and the 1 main street runs up and down a bit of a hill but still it doesn’t take long to walk around the place) asking if anyone knew where to find Fang-Od which surprisingly not many peep had heard of her but was told that this one dude who ran this restaurant maybe knew about her! So I wandered over to this place to find out where I could find the tattoo lady! Well the dude wasn’t in but the workers showed me a very nice picture book that turned out to be one of a kind book published for this dude so I had to come back to meet the dude! I also wanted to return cuz there was a sign saying they served exotic Fruit Bat which was a bit pricey but thought shit may never get a chance to try it again! But was told they needed a hr notice to prepare the dish so I ordered it and said would be back in a hr! So in the meantime I wandered around Sagada checking out what was interesting! When I returned to the restaurant and saw my Exotic Fruit Bat dish wow I thought shit that’s a lot of fruit bat!! But found out the reason it was a bit pricey was because the assholes didn’t tell me it was a meal for 4 peep! Shit there was no way I could eat all of it but would give it the old College try as there’s no way was going to pay that price (prob about equivalent to $8 which is a lot for a meal in the Philippines!) and not eat the meal! I was the only person in the restaurant eating my meal but then in walked this dude so I asked if he was hungry and wanted to try some exotic fruit bat! So he sat down and ate with me but we still couldn’t finish the meal! The fruit bat was different but still looked like a bat/mouse which even tho I don’t care for it’s appearance I kept eating! It was tasty but the wings which probably stretched about 1 meter when it was alive wasn’t that tasty! So anyway that’s how I met Bapiste a French guy living in London! The funny thing was he had already gotten a tattoo from Fang-Od so could give me the low down of how to find her, etc along with showing me his tat! Well it seemed Bapiste was even on a stricter budget than moi which is why he didn’t hesitate to join me in a free meal! I never did find out why he came into the restaurant except think he came for a coffee! Anyway he mentioned that he was staying at this guesthouse at the bottom of the hilly main street for about $5 a night, had wifi, was quiet and nice plus he could cook a meal in the kitchen! So I thought shit that was a better deal than I was getting except it was a longer walk down a bit of a steep street but wtf after we finished our meal I got my stuff and moved to his guesthouse!

However I still hadn’t met the guy from the restaurant to get info on how to find Fang-Od but Bapiste filled me in on some of the details! He told me to take the regular jeepney which went to this other town Bantoc, a larger town, where most peep from Sagada went when ever they needed something! Then at Bantoc I’d have to catch another jeepney to this place on the main road where I’d get off and walk up the mtn for a couple hrs to reach Buscalan in the Kalinga area where Fang-od lived and worked!

However Bapiste recommended that I get a guide to show me how to find Buscalan and talk to Fang-od as she didn’t speak English! He gave me the number of the dude that he used as his guide but spent 2 or 3 days trying to get a hold of him or his brother but had no luck! Shit than spent another day or so checking around town for other guides but most had no idea where or who Fang-Od was or lived! But finally met Jerry a real nice dude who ran a restaurant but also did some guiding, spoke Fang-Od’s language & knew where Buscalan is cuz his family is from that area!!

In the mean time since Bapiste and I stayed in the same guest house well we’d ended up cooking meals together cuz the lady who ran the place would make extra rice and other Filippino food and leave it for the peep working there plus us! I didn’t think the price of eating in the Philippines was expensive but always up to saving some cash! Then we’d both go out on the balcony and have a smoke as he was into weed too! Shit can’t remember where we got our weed but think I may have brought some with me (yeah I know that's a fuking NO NO in most countries) but shit I didn’t bring much as wasn’t smoking as much as back home! So we’d smoke and then hit the sack but some times we’d go a block away where this dude ran a night only bar! But since we both didn’t drink much well we’d go there to hang out as peep would hang out on the street with a fire and have a beer or 2 or 3 while Bapiste and I would have a smoke! There weren’t any cops or whatever in Sagada that we saw plus the village was a cool chill place!!!

Hell Bapiste was kind of broke plus he didn’t want to go back to London or Paris to live and work! Shit can’t blame him cuz thought both cities were not the best environments to live and work! So Bapiste was always looking on line for a job in the Philippines plus he had some sort of part time work online! Hell last winter I scored an online job but didn’t do it cuz well was too much hassle lol! So the 2 of us hung out for about a week in Sagada both b4 I went to search for Fung-Od and after I returned! Bapiste wanted to go back to see Fung-Od to finish his tat as he didn’t have enuf cash b4 & still didn’t so I bought a ring off him to sort of help him out!

We also checked out the things to see and do around Sagada like the caves but I passed on it cuz had to hire a guide and I didn’t want to see them that bad cuz figure seen enuf caves in Laos! LOL But shit Bapiste and I sort of thought alike cuz we both liked traveling and didn’t like working lol! No there were other things too like smoking but not drinking lol!!!

So after finally finding a guide to take me to Buscalan to find Fang-Od we finally caught a jeepney to Bontoc! It was maybe a 1 ½ to 2 hrs drive to Bontoc with the same beautiful scenery high in the mtns!

When I got to Bontoc had to go to the ATM for some Pesos since Sagada didn’t have an ATM (that worked with my ATM card) to get some cash! Bontoc tho a bit of a shit hole (Sagada is definitely a more chill village to hang out) was also the town to go to get things U couldn’t get in Sagada!
Then after getting some Pesos we had to find the place to find the jeepney which would take up to the place (believe the place was called Mar-o?) where we would start walking up the mtn side to Buscalan! The ride was crazy cuz we felt like we were hanging on a precipice and could fall down a steep side into a valley! We traversed the one-way winding road of the Cordillera mountains. There were towering cliff on one side, a deep ravine on the other. One wrong steer and any vehicle would be sent plunging to the depths below. We passed by a couple of landslides and had to avoid the debris that weren’t yet cleared and were blocking the way. I spotted tiny waterfalls along the road and big ones among the lush greens of the mountain across the valley. Waterfalls are common in this landlocked region of the country. What is amazing is there were a bunch of peep sitting on top of the jeepney as it wasn’t a place for peep who are scared of heights!!!!

Then after about a hr ride Jerry told me this is where we get off the jeepney and start hiking up the mtn!! 

The hike up the mtn wasn’t that difficult as have done steeper and harder hikes however it was strenuous enuf to know that U've done a climb! LOL We got to Buscalan after about a 2 hr hike over trails, a road and along rice paddies and got there about 3 pm or so! Speaking of rice paddies it was interesting that the peep in Buscalan would catch small mud fish in the water of the rice paddies along with some small crabs which I tried eating but they were just too small to open! Reports also say sometimes eels invade farmlands here are capable of burrowing into mud or creating holes.

Buscalan is a small village with kids, chickens, pigs & dogs roaming around everywhere! Fang-od was busy doing a tattoo on a Swedish guy and his friend was waiting! So it seemed she wouldn’t have time to do a tattoo for me that day as the sun would soon be going down as it was getting kinda dark and as figure Fang-od at 93 yrs young would have a hard time seeing!!! But we were treated warmly by the villagers as we waited our turn!! Seemed it was a stall tactic (lol) cuz Fang-od’s 2 nieces (family members) asked if I wanted to buy any weed or hash! Well I was never one to turn down an offer of weed so bought a bit from both of them! Cuz hell we were smoking openly in the small village!

We were served a meal of rice and canned fish which tasted good to me prob cuz we were high up in the mtns! Jerry had spoken to Fang-od and made arrangements for us to spend the night in her house so I could get a tat in the morning! There wasn’t electricity in Buscalan so when it got kinda dark well it was time to go to sleep!!

In the morning we got up with the chickens (just a saying! lol) to eat breakfast of rice & canned fish again which I never eat in the morning but was starting to enjoy!! So Fang-od would do her chores feeding the pigs and a lot of days went out to do field work in the rice paddies! Then she had to do the tattoos on the Swedish chick! We walked around the village seeing the sights and talking to the peep! Then we spent another night in Buscalan and the next day after Fang-od did her chores she started doing a tattoo on me! I wanted a tribal tattoo of a centipede which had meaning of strength in their tribal customs! I also wanted what I thought was a symbol of male fertility but not that I wanted to have more kids but it was rather a symbol of health and long life! Back in the day of head hunters of the tribe it seemed every time a man had a kill he got a tattoo! So the more tattoos a man had it showed the more kills, however these days headhunting was no longer in vogue lol so mainly the women had tattoos! Fang-od had no trouble doing the centipide as she was familiar with doing it! However if a person requested another type of tattoo she wasn’t familiar well she perfered it drawn on the person b4 she did it! So Jerry drew the outline of the Male fertility symbol on my left arm while I got the centipede on the right arm!

It took Fang-od about 3 hrs to do my 2 tattoos and then we had another meal and started our walk down the mtn side! The walk down the mtn side was a bit less strenuous than the walk up the mtn!

When we got back to the highway well we waited for the regular jeepney coming down the highway to take us back to Bontoc! When we got back to Bontoc I thought maybe I should take some more cash out of the ATM cuz thought shit most ATM’s either didn’t work or had no cash which I found out later as the ATM I went to b4 had no cash! So I went to the other ATM in town and of course it didn’t work! So went back to the first bank and told the peep inside the bank there was no cash in the machine! When I told the girl inside that the machine had no cash well she slowly told me they’d get around to putting some in it later this afternoon! Well I told them that there were customers outside waiting for some cash! But she still took her time and after about 30 mins she finally put some cash in the machine & I got my cash! Well after my experiences with ATM’s in the Philippines have to say that they probably have the worse ATM’s in any country I’ve been!

I had been telling Jerry that it would be cool to try eating dog meat as like to have new experiences and tho they tried to make a meal of dog meat in Buscalan well they couldn’t find a dog of the size big enuf for all of us! I guess they only eat larger dogs not small ones tho it seems a bit gross when thinking of U’r pet family dog!

So Jerry asked around and found a place which would service us dog meat for a good price! I found that dog meat to be a bit greasy not as in a lot of oil but kind of greasy like in a cooked goose! But other than that it wasn’t much different than most meat I've eaten tho I’m not a big meat eater these days!! Also I didn’t get all emotional about it being a dog but just thought it was just an experience of eating some different food on the road of Life!!!

Found that hanging out with Jerry for a couple days was very enjoyable as he is a real nice guy and anyway I get along great with Filippinos as feel they’re all nice peep and speak real good English tho they tend to be a bit religious and conservative for me but hey doesn’t hurt to hang out with all kind of peep!

So when I returned to Sagada well stayed a couple more days hanging out with Bapiste! I also visited Jerry’s bar & cafĂ© as he told me most evenings they had peep over to sing karaoke which I wasn’t keen on cuz I’d always either be ahead or behind the words on the monitor!!!!

Bapiste liked to go to this coffee shop as he had this friend who also liked to go there! I don’t drink coffee but what they sold were small bags of the coffee made from beans that were pooped from wild cats!! 

Though I didn’t drink the coffee I bought a few bags of the expensive coffee (approx $20 for a small bag to make one pot of coffee!) to take to peep back home who loved their coffee!

I took the same bus back to Baguio but this time I didn’t stay at Angelita’s Tuvera but went on Couchsurfing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CouchSurfing  and scored a place to stay at this chick named Cherry in Baguio! The bus took me to the bus station downtown as was given the directions to get to her place by jeepney! She lived in a sort of basement suite in a 3 story house! When I was there her cousin Paul was staying with her as they both were between jobs! They were both very nice and even let me eat some Filippino food with them that Paul made as he was a good cook! So I gave them some cash for food cuz Couch surfing is usually only a place to stay not meals!

I asked them about Balut which I wanted to try as heard a lot about it which is really gross when U actually see it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWvtRhJ5sFo Paul told me that every evening a guy comes by selling balut on the street and yells “Balut”! So I went and bought 4 of them – 1 for each of them and I decided wtf I’d eat 2 of them! So I had a flavor beer and 2 baluts which I managed to eat with not trouble! But fuk later on that night I got a really bad upset stomach and couldn’t sleep! The next day they told me if U eat 4 baluts and 4 beers and there is a history of heart trouble in Ur family that U could have a heart attack! Fuk now they tell me cuz my dad died of a stroke when I was really young and don’t really remember him! Boy had Balut once well had 2 of them and drank flavored beer both new to me but probably never again!

I had planned to go to southern Philippines to check out the beaches however I thought shit I don’t have enuf time as I had to catch my flight back to Singabore in less than a week! So I decided to just hang around close to Baguio for the time and maybe check out the local beaches!! Cuz well Cherry didn’t mind me stay as long as I wanted well within reason & of course there was no way would stay longer than needed cuz well to be blunt Baguio was a bit of a shitty place for a student city!!

One day I took the bus out to the ocean on the west coast of northern Philippines! It was a beautiful drive out to the coast like the rest of the northern part of Philippines! Thought I’d check out San Juan La Union (where Cherry suggested I go to see a beach) as wanted to see what the beaches were like there! I’m not a big beach or sun tanning person but wtf heard about the Philippine beaches as beautiful but maybe that was in the south! So was a bit disappointed in the beaches as can find beaches that compare or better than the one I saw west of Baguio! But wtf was cool to get out to see the ocean after all the mtns!

So yeah after spending a couple more days in Baguio (couch surfer at Cherry’s place) well it was time to take off to catch my flight in Manila! But fuk that kind of sucked too cuz in my hurry to buy a return ticket I bought it out of Manila and NOT Clark! So checked how could avoid going thru Manila (as it was a sprawling quagmire of peep, bldg & vehicles lol)! So found if I went to Pasay a town near the Manila airport than wouldn’t have to go thru Manila! Also found a Victory Liner (major bus company) bus to take me directly to Pasay & than a taxi to the airport! Then my biggest concern was which of 4 terminals (each one spread quite far apart) to go to as didn’t want to catch multiple taxis! Finally decided on going to Terminal 1 as my researched indicated!

But got to the airport earlier than needed so waited in the check in lounge with the 1000’s of other passengers! But wtf I got on my Tiger Airways flight back to Singabore!!

Btw here are my poor pictures of my adventure in northern Philippines.

Yeah so flew to Singapore 2 stay at Club Changi cuz Tiger Airlines flew there on way to & from Philippines as was really stoked about checking out the 90 year young lady (Fang-Od) who does tribal tattoos!

Hell know this sounds weird but was looking forward to staying at the Singapore Changi airport (aka Club Changi) is listed in top 10 of Airports to Sleep in! has a swimming pool for guests and places to sleep and chill! Fuk Singapore city is a real shit hole & anyway had to stay in the airport (won't go out of security) from 12 noon Mar 5 till 1030 am next day to fly to Philippines!
My plan (as if had one) was to fly to Clark Field by Manila and then go up to the northern part of Philippines to check out the cool Rice Terraces in the mtns that been there for 100 of yrs! Would be cool to see them harvest rice like they have for 100's of years! Then hell met a Filippino guy who told me that if going to northern Philippines that should check out this 90 year young lady (Fang-Od) who does tribal tattoos! Telling U all this maybe a bit premature as could show this video of her in my Philippine's blog but wtf may show it there too!! Lol

So yeah was going to check it out as she does this manually with a bamboo stick! Hell going to get one cuz it would be memorable!

So after going to the Northern Philippines still hadn’t decided where I’d go next as may even head down to Palowan & can fly to Puerto Princessa as want to check out El Nido a small village which is suppose to be cool & has a nice beach like all of Philippines! Also the Filippino dude told me can get weed in the north & on Palowan as U just have to ask the right peep! LOL

Shit was thinking of maybe try to to the south where the Muslim terrorists hang out to catch a boat to Borneo/Malaysia! Then will prob just fly to Borneo instead as unsure of Philippino ferries!

But shit don’t want to get ahead of myself cuz hadn’t even gotten to the Philippines! Cuz fuk still had to stay at Club Changi in Singapore! So yeah got on the flight on the 1st leg of the Tiger Airlines to Singapore and the 2nd leg to Clark Field outside of Manila Philippines!

But left again with mixed emotions cuz was suppose to meet J as we both had ticket on the flight! But J had emailed to say that got sick and would try to get on the flight if feeling better! But as kinda figured hell J prob didn’t bail as was still sick so didn’t show up at the airport so there went $300 for the ticket! Cuz couldn’t change it as no way to contact Tiger Airways to change it! J told me that would come to Philippines later but yeah would believe it when & if see it! Cuz J accidently left some shit on the computer I was carrying on the trip which came across!

“i had a ticket already paid to go to phillipines but just said fuck it”! F*ck talk about being surprised and hurt as oblviously didn’t give a fuk if it bothered me or why leave the file on my computer?? Yeah not really sure believe in Karma but wonder if this is kind of Karma but one day it may come back to bite U insha’allah!!!!

But hell figure life is beautiful so like why lose sleep over it now or get all shitty and pissed about life cuz well a lot of peep start out on a trip together and then find out that they have diff interests and enjoyments they want to explore! So it may appear that the other person is acting like a jerk but in reality they are just doing what they want to do which is cool! It’s just too bad that we didn’t communicate very well also shit if had to do that trip again well shit would have got Sim Cards for our phones there so could keep in touch better & not create a lot of problems that communications would have solved! Cuz feel that J’s an awesome person as hell a lot of the blame for our misunderstandings was my fault! But wtf shit happens so now who gives a fuk (which has been the basis of our friendship) as we all live and learn from it! Sorry to blog about it but shit just telling it like it happened like always do as usually just blog about the Philippines, Borneo, mainland Malaysia & Tonsai in southern Thailand where felt carefree as thoroughly enjoyed myself !!

So decided wouldn’t waste any more time thinking about why, if & whatever happened cuz shit its all water under the bridge now! Cuz in reality thought hell was free to travel, meet peep to do crazy shit & enjoy myself like I always do when on the road! So figure why waste time worrying about the negative downers but get on to what is important in my Life - be Happy and meet any adventure head on as learned a lot from all this!!

One thing I did learn is IF U GO TO THE PHILIPPINES U should buy a return ticket!!!! Cuz when I arrived in Singapore Changi airport we have to first go to the counter in the Transit Lounge!

So found out that shit when U go to the Philippines U needed a return ticket!! Now can understand why Canadians should maybe be required to have a return ticket to get in and out of the Philippines cuz some may actually stay beyond their allotted time limit! But take a country like Mauratiana cuz why the heck would peep require a return ticket if one flew there (OK so no one would fly there cuz it’s a land lock country in Western Aftica) cuz it’s the biggest shit hole ever been to in the world! So can’t figure out why anyone would ever think of staying there so yeah they’d want a return ticket cuz who in their right mind would stay there! Shit was just passing thru the country to get from Morocco to Senegal and needed to pay to get a Vias!! But no one in their right mind would go there to Mauritania & want to stay unless they’re Terrorists LOL as it’s the biggest shit hole ever been to in the world!                 

Anyway back to my blog cuz when I was told needed to get a return ticket to Philippines or couldn’t stay overnight in the transit lounge! Well got on the internet and bought a one way return ticket back from Manila to Singapore at a higher price than buying a Return Ticket from Phnom Penh!!!

Then after bought my return ticket from Philippines well was able to stay in the Transit Lounge and spend the night! I don’t know what the heck they’d have done to me if I said I couldn’t afford a return ticket to the Philippines??? Yeah know they wouldn’t let me fly there but what would they do make me leave Club Changi or go back to Phnom Penh?? Just a thought!!

So anyway I had a look see about the facilities they bragged about on their website! What I found out is if U have a ticket to fly on Singapore Airlines then U get the perks! But if U fly on a shitty discount airlines like Tiger Airways well it’s like staying in any other airport!! What I found was there was a nice business lounge area to chill, have free drinks, use the internet if U’r a Singapore Airlines pax! Hell there’s a type of small airport hotel rooms for pax which of course low life peep like me can pay to stay! But hell if was going to pay as could sleep on one of their reclined chairs in a number of areas around the terminal! Btw they have about 3 or 4 terminals all connected by a mono rail type train!! There was also a games area where peep can play video games, watch videos or movies! Also a eating lounge but shit there were all kinds of eating areas for all pax!

Shit I saw a duty free electronic shop so checked it out & saw a water proof camera which interested me cuz had lost my camera in a river when hiking in the hill tribe area of Thailand!! But just checked the prices and kept that in mind! So anyway checked around cuz wanted to get something to eat but seemed all the places were like e$pen$ive! But found a couple of cheap Asian quick food kiosks so got myself some noodles as it was getting fairly late and wanted to crash!

So headed for this area that passed when got off my Phnom Penh flight! There were a lot of other pax already sleeping on the various reclined chairs when a person could pretty much stretch out and get a fairly good night’s sleep! So found a reclining chair off in a bit of a corner for less traffic! Then got my sleeping bag out cuz hey didn’t have a blanket! So brushed my teeth and went to the bathroom and went back to crash for the duration!

Then got fairly comfortable and fell asleep but wtf about 4 am some security guards came by and woke us up to ask for our passports and tickets! But thought shit man yeah I snuck into the airport just to sleep U douchebags that wake a guy up from a deep sleep to ask for ID!! Duh so after that well wasn’t as easy to sleep but still wtf a free night’s sleep is still a free night’s sleep! LOL

In the morning I went down to the lounge area to take a shower and clean up to wake up! So all that was cool as then went to get more Chinese food for breakfast???

Anyway had a good night’s sleep and even tho it was the best airport to sleep but it seemed to cater to peep sleeping there but have to say that think Singapore prides it’s self as an upscale type of airport and country! Cuz feel money talks for Chinese which Singapore is about! So WTF what was a poor smuck like moi doing in Singapore but bumming a ride on to the Philippines! But thought knowing this place well would help cuz would be back staying there on the way back from the Philippines!!!!