Emails from our trip to Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali and Borneo - 2006-2007

So far this year I've had a lot of down time... still recovering from both total knees and then Feb'06 I had right foot reconstruction (no weight bearing for 3 months minimum... wheel chair anyone)... osteoarthritis = no fun.

Joann on the other hand has retired... yes I said Retired. TELUS was closing her office in Victoria, so she had the option of a position in Calgary... NOT! or a years salary handshake to go away. She quickly chose the latter. I call her Nurse Jellybean... it's a joy being waited on hand and foot.

In November we headed off to Asia again. Victoria > Bangkok > Siem Reap > Phnom Pehn > Sianookvile > Phanom Pehn > Bangkok > Trang > Krabi > Phuket > Kuala Lumpur > Bali > Nusa Lembongan > Ubud > Kuching > Singapore > Victoria... doing nothing on Siboya is still the best.

Nov 14, 2006 - The Escape from Canada

Hello to everyone... Whoppeeeeee!!!!!!!!! Today we are off on a 4 month trip to SE Asia. As time and technology permits, we will be sending updates of the journey. Not sure how many internet cafe's to be found in Cambodia.

We are flying to Bangkok and meeting Glenn around midnight... all flights to Bangkok seem to arrive late (no traffic is good tho).

We will chill out and acclimatise for a few days before heading overland to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Revisiting Angkor Wat will be a definite highlight. Absolutely fabulous temples; most surrounded/engulfed in the jungle (I think I see Laura Croft). We have some superb photos. The history there is incredible.

So we are sitting here with our compression socks on waiting for our wonderful neighbour who will whisk us away to the airport... lucky for us no wind storms today. We are both very happy and feel fortunate to be able to fly away to magical Asia. Who knows what adventures are waiting for us??

We saved our points for the last five years and are flying business class; anticipating a relaxing flight... can you see me smiling.

Please send us some emails of anything as news is so wonderful to hear when one is so far away.
Talk to y'all soon. Did I say we're over the moon!

Nov 19, 2006 - Bangkok, Thailand

04:00... yes the roosters are alive and well in downtown Bangkok... lovely to be back. We have found a superb hotel (one of the top ten on $21 for a double A/C, cable TV, hot water and a wonderful roof top pool.

Yesterday we went to Khoasan Rd... the backpacker/hippie ghetto shopping/sleeping district. It was so much fun having rivulets of sweat running down the middle of our backs while listening to old rock and roll music blasting away... Hendrix is alive and well... along with Neil Young... welcome to the 60's.

Our hotel is on a little soi ( lane) that used to be a sleepy hollow and now has been transformed into a mini Khoasan but more charming like it was 20 years ago. You walk along at night past the many cafes and bars with coloured lights and lotsa music. Great party scene.

Had a great Thai breakfast this AM over at the morning market where out Thai friends from 1988 (Chan family) still work every morning at dawn selling small offerings for people to buy and give to the barefoot monks with their begging bowls to gain merit. They kneel down while the monk chants a prayer. The monks only eat once a day before noon. It was interesting to watch beef satay offered to the wandering street dogs... more merit.

We purchased a little cage of 9 sparrows to set them free and make a wish. When my mom was alive and suffering with ALS I used to do this and pray she would get better.

Did some power shopping today... skipping in and out of A/C cabs. They are cheap and deliciously cool. Went to Jim Thomson House to get some silk for Glenn (making yet another lounging robe). Jim Thomson single handled received the Thai silk industry after WW2 then disappeared under a cloud of mystery while hiking in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia... was he eaten by a tiger?

We are off to catch the express riverboat (submarine) downtown... the grey-brown river has such an amazing array of traffic... cris-cross frenzy in and out of the traffic and tugs towing long trains of barges loaded so full the free-board is only inches. They really look like they are sinking. Families call the barges home so you can see kids running around playing tag on them as they go by.

Bangkok is such a feast for the eyes. The palaces and temples along the river are awesome in their beauty, but the real beauty is the Thais themselves. Land of Smiles. When people are so nice it makes you feel love in your heart for them. Thais love to have fun (sanuk), love to eat, love children and love life. It's contagious.

All the Internet cafes in this area are now 24Hr... at 10 Baht (30 cents) for 15 min.

My new longer hair do, doesn't in this humidity... can you spell Shirley Temple? Noel I want my money back. Luckily I only see myself once a day.

Tomorrow were of to Cambodia... stay tuned

Nov 22, 2006 - Siem Reap, Cambodia

06:30 we hopped into an A/C taxi in downtown Bangkok and took off for the Cambodian border. While en route our drive almost fell asleep twice, we had to nudge him back to reality... no shit! The border was a real DMZ... as we walked from the the Thai side to the Cambodian customs we were bombarded by very young begging children carrying babies. We gave them a bag of bananas. At the the Cambodian customs we had to apply for a instant visa. We had read of visa extortion and they tried... we refused guardedly... they had our passports and we didn't have the visas yet. "Sit over there." we were told. Luckily we won. Now we are in Cambodia... We doubt that Angelina Jolie has ever ventured this way.

On into the Cambodian border town of Poipet. "MEAN" would be an accurate description. Poverty, beggars, blistering heat, amputees all mixed with unbelievable filth and dust. We were ferried from Immigration to the bus/taxi depot by a service provided by the Ministry of Transport. Very friendly chatty guys. We had advance knowledge that a taxi to Siem Reap (154Km) was to cost US$30-35. Turns out the "chatty" ministry of Transport guys run the taxi cartel... they wanted US$70. Over the next 30 minutes we bartered hard while maintaining a smiling face and jovial banter. We came to terms at US$50. The US$15 we saved at customs gave us a feeling of breaking even.

Off we go in a late model Camry on the most horrendous road for the 4 1/2 hour blast. This road is kept in continuous disrepair because the airlines have a contract with the government creating much more air traffic into SR. Only three weeks before we arrived it was totally impassable due to the yearly monsoon flooding. The Toyota lurched at break neck speeds from each huge pothole to the next... horn blaring most of the way. What an endorsement for the durability of Toyota's. Ah, travel in SE Asia.

Anyway... we made it unscathed if not a little rattled. SR has exploded with tourism... huge growth since our last visit 4 years ago. We were dropped at the Mandalay Villa ( ) where we stayed last time. Our friends greeted warmly. Our room is brand new as the Villa only just opened last month. Marble floors, rosewood woodwork, A/C, satellite TV, hot water shower, daily maid service and breakfast... US$20.

We hired a SR style tuk-tuk... hybrid modern rickshaw attached to the back of a motor cycle for US$10 for the whole day. So off we go to do some shopping at the old markets which are absolutely full of silks, silver, souvenirs and all sorts of wonderful things to buy.

For lunch we went to the Butterfly Restaurant... 1500 butterflies in a huge netted luxurious garden setting with a Koi pond. Sometimes you have to splurge. Zooming around town was fun and cool in our little tuk-tuk darting through the frenzy of traffic.

Tonight we are heading for the French quarter to indulge in some more fine dining. The upstairs terraces are reminiscent of New Orleans. All the restaurants look so inviting at night with lavish rattan furniture all candle lit with sumptuous decor and potted palms. Take your pick... Khmer, Thai, French, Vietnamese or even a "Happy Herb" pizza.

We have booked a private car for the next three days (US$20 for car and driver). Tomorrow we start our reprise exploration of Angkor Wat, the most amazing and awesome temple complex you can imagine. Sunrise at the Bayon temple and sunset at Tha Prom (Tomb Raiders).

Over and out...

Nov 27, 2006 - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

It's like deja vu all over again... the temples of Angkor Wat were just as amazing this time as they were last time in 2003. Our entrance pass was for three days... twice we got up at 04:00 to go and watch the sunrise at the Bayon Temple. Sitting alone... just us three among the many faces of Bayon as dawn crept upon us. Very spiritual. 1000's of bats returning from their nightly sorties, the only audible sound was their whooshing wings as they returned to sleep in the voids of the temple. As the sun came up, the noise of the chatting monkeys and bird song added to the symphony. Magical! It's like time travel to imagine the past civilizations and how so much time has past since the Bayon King walked these temples. How many prayers and rituals have taken place on this spot over the many centuries? Our three favorite temple sites are the Bayon, Angkor Wat and Ta Phrom.

Ta Phrom is so unique with the 200' strangler fig trees that inhabit the this temple like aliens. Their roots have wormed their way through all the layers of stone joints lifting and distorting as they grew but at the same creating a supporting mesh throughout the centuries. Only photos do this imagery any justice. [ photos from 2003] The sandstone relief carvings are still exquisitely detail today. They depict every aspect of life from war to daily routines.

Siem Reap is bursting at the seams. Construction on every corner with the infrastructure struggling to keep up. We are aghast at the numbers of tourist here at Siem Reap now... and the projection for 2007 is 2,000,000.

On our last night in SR we were treated to by our wonderful friends and hosts, Muang-Muang, wife Contie and their very well behaved son [] to wonderful Khmer meal at a great local restaurant. No tourist would likely ever find. Delicious Eel dish, table top BBQ for beef and prawns... what a delight and honor! Good bye SR.

Our Camry taxi picked us up at 08:00 for the 4 hour trip the Phnom Penh, the next stop. Much better road this time, traveling through emerald green rice fields dotted with wallowing water buffalo up to their ears cooling down visions of hippos. All along the highway the ponds were full of huge lotus blossoms in pale lavender and shocking pink. At one point the driver pulled off the road to purchase something... a family were toasting un-hulled rice... then putting it into a mortar to be quickly smashed while still hot. The result was that each grain of rice was left intact but flattened out, sort of like a rolled oat. A delicious simple snack food to eat as one would chips. Most of the houses en route were on stilts all very neat and tidy.

It's very hard to imagine the horror in Cambodia when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge terrorised the country killing 1/3rd of the population. He even evacuated the entire city of Phnom Penh so he could loot it. He wanted and uneducated slave culture. It breaks your heart to see how his regime set Cambodia back and created such misery and poverty. But the gentle spirit of the Cambodian people has somehow survived. They are gracious, friendly and sincere. It's almost like a shyness. You can still see the beauty in the young girls that was depicted in the centuries ago carvings of the "Apsara" [celestial dancers] at every temple. Angkor Wat alone has 1500 of these carvings, still stunning and vibrant. Every one is unique, elegantly dressed with exotic headdresses, fabulous jewellery and different enigmatic smiles.

In Phnom Penh we have been enjoying the legacy of the French colonisation... baguettes everywhere along with much varied international cuisine. Shopping at the markets is feast for the eyes... piles of hand loomed silks, antiques, Gap jeans, jewels [maybe] and just about anything you might want.

Out on one of the main streets that banks the Mekong river, as we sat in large rattan chair having a large cool drink, along came the famous elephant, Sam Bo lumbering down the street in the rush hour traffic. He was heading home from Wat Phnom where he spends his days blessing people visiting the temple by kissing their head with his wet trunk. We caught a tuk-tuk home near sunset and were surprised to see scores of Cambodians playing badminton in all the parks.

Tonight we are going across from our hotel to an Indian restaurant for a Thale... tomorrow we will visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. It has over 5000 silver floor tiles each weighing more than a kilo. It houses an emerald Buddha and a life size solid gold 90kg Buddha encrusted with over 2000 diamonds and precious stones from the royal jewellery.

Well my fingers are tired and this Internet site is not A/C... so... catch ya

Nov 30, 2006 - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

We received and email from Victoria that said Beacon Hill Park had been closed to pedestrian traffic because of the falling trees... heavy snow fall that hit Vancouver Island... WOW!! Well it's NOT snowing here... snicker!!! We do have refreshing tropical breezes though. We are in Sihanoukville on the southern coast of Cambodia relaxing on the beach. The taxi trip from Phnom Penh was great... this is the best road in Cambodia... even has a white line, although they are only a suggestion to keep the traffic on each side of the road. Unlike the Thai drivers, the Cambodians are really quite courteous and cautious. Lush green country side... rice fields and sugar palms.

We checked into the Jasmine Hotel (A/C, hot water, cable TV and daily maid service... a bargain at US$15) across the street from the beach. Charming and spotless. The 3 storey facade covered in orchids, bougainvillea and shower of all sorts of tropical flowers. The court yard is full of palm trees and bamboo. Every sunset huge flocks of birds descend into the bamboo with screeches that could wake the dead. Another gift from mother nature. The second floor hosts a huge veranda the full length of the hotel, so we sit with a cool drink and watch the setting sun disappear into the warm Gulf of Thailand. How do you spell fortunate???

We have been crossing the road to a little beach restaurant Dara's Shack and have met some great Cambodians. We have ordered a kilo of lobster for dinner tonight... they'll BBQ it for us on the beach.

Soon, very soon all this will change as the simple beach shacks will give way to the five stars. The government recently tore down a lot of them (they are squatters) and built a fence with sign announcing the "New Tourist Economic Zone"... the locals say that many of the displaced had made big investments, sold homes etc to finance these now destroyed businesses, their lives gone. Hilton is already building right on the reach just a few miles down the coast in the "National Park"

On the beach there are many vendors selling lobster, cooking BBQ'd squid over charcoal braziers, selling sarongs, fruit, massages, threading (removing leg or back hair by twisting thread, we watch one fella getting his back threaded... looked like he was regretting it... ouch!) and lots of kids selling handi-crafts. There are also a number of amputees asking for handouts... they wave their stumps crawling along the beach. We saw lots of people with missing limbs in Phom Penh too. Cambodia is the most heavily mined country in the world. Many tragic accidents maiming innocent people even today.

Glenn and I have been walking while Bwana Bob has been availing himself of motorcycle taxis... the front wheels nearly lifting off the ground. (reminiscent of a time went he got into a little horse drawn carriage in Sulawesi and lifted the pony off the ground at each bump... I just keep Bob around for comic relief.)

Tomorrow we will head back to Phnom Penh for a few days... great little town on the Mekong River with a few rough edges. On Monday we are flying Air Asia back to Bangkok... new Malaysian discount airline. (US$60 each) Would you want to take THAT taxi ride back to Poipet? I don't think so. We even met people who to the bus from Poipet to Siem Reap... the A/C didn't work and the windows didn't open on the 7 hour... how do you spell Hell?

The Internet has sure changed the face of our travels over the years... Now we can research on the fly, book hotels and air tickets. Not to mention the instant gratification of sending and getting news from everyone. Especially in times of needing favours!!!

So everyone... loving your emails and hope everyone is making snow angels in Victoria.

H&K (hugs and kisses)

Dec 12, 2006 - Bangkok, Thailand

Leaving Cambodia with found memories and heavier luggage... some great shopping, too bad it's at the beginning of the trip. Thank goodness for porters!

We left at dawn winding through the waking streets of Phnom Penh. Tuk-tuk and cyclo drivers looking for their first fare of the day, small motorcycles usually with 4 female passengers heading for work in the various garment factories throughout PP (US$2 per hour) to make all those familiar labels... GAP, Calvin Klein, Eddie Baurer and Diesel to name a few. Morning markets selling everything from fruit to squealing pigs. People setting up small food stalls with customers sitting on very small stools sipping tea and eating noodles, getting ready for their day. Our taxi driver was very nice... he asked where were we from... turns out he has a mentor, Bernadette Donnolley in Victoria, BC. She purchased the taxi for him and is financing his children's education. We hear many stories like this all over Cambodia. The country is full of NGOs providing help of some form or another. Cambodia IS moving forward but there are still huge problems with HIV/AIDS, pedophilia, child labour, land mine victims and the intense poverty of the masses. It's so hard to imagine the brutality of the Khmer Rouge when everyone you meet is so friendly and earnest. We would make a habit of leaving tips for the chamber-maids on our pillows and invariably when we return later in the day the room would be spotless with the money still on the newly pressed pillow case. They are not used to getting tips. (we had the same experience in 1994 in Vietnam) Our departure from Cambodia was in stark contrast to our entry... the AirAsia US$60 one hour flight to Bangkok was a breeze.

Back to Bangkok... Grabbed a cab... it's good to be home again in the land of smiles.

Today is the Kings 80th birthday. Just about everyone you see is wearing a yellow T-shirt. The king was born on a Monday and that's a yellow day. As we strolled out to dinner there were yellow candles burning everywhere. Many Thais saying small prayers... then the sky over Bangkok lit up with a superb fireworks display. The Thais just adore their King... his Majesty has been very good to the people... He was instrumental in the recent and past coups... just a whisper in the right ear and everything falls into place. His mother was a destitute orphan who was employed by the royal family. They soon took her into the family and sent her overseas to the USA for an education in nursing. Here she met a handsome prince, the now kings father. What a fairy tale... the prince and the pauper... long live the King! She was instrumental in setting up many rural health clinics all over Thailand.

We are hanging out in BKK for a few days sorting out this and that and will soon take an overnight train to Trang in the south. We plan to explore some new (to us ) islands off the coast of Trang before heading to Siboya for Christmas and New Years. Can't wait to see all our friends again.

That's all for now... stay tuned... it's time for breakfast.


Feb 19, 2007 - Ubud, Bali

"Pass the 1000 Islands Dressing"... Bob's comment to me while we were stretched out on the massage tables having a yoghurt and cucumber facial. (Bob's first but not last). Then almost immediately snored thru the next 15 minutes. Remind me never to have a couples room for spa treatments again.

We flew into Bali on Feb 1st after spending a wonderful relaxing 6 weeks on Ko Siboya... our little paradise in Thailand. We had a superbly magical time with all our friends on Siboya... (local and foreign). The entire crew at Siboya Bungalows are amazing... their hospitality just comes naturally.

The Christmas and New Years feasts were the most amazing gastronomic events we've ever enjoyed... each was a buffet of up to 40 different sumptuous Thai dishes. Mr Chung, Keow and everyone in the kitchen went above and beyond. Christmas was attended by about 60-70 people from everywhere, and then about 50% left and were replaced by new attendees for the New Years extravaganza. We danced under the twinkling Christmas lights strung throughout the dwarf palms around the restaurant. The rest of January was... lay in hammock, read books, float on air mattresses, bike around the island ( for me anyway... I bought a used 18 speed mountain bike in Krabi) and generally goof off! It's always sad to say goodbye to Siboya.

From Thailand we flew to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for 1 night. Our hotel was in the heart of china town... so lot's of dried ducks and gruesome looking whole roasted suckling pigs around. It was a special time as Cowboy Bob turned 60. We went to an amazing rooftop bar... The Luna Bar on the 34th floor of an apartment hotel… Tres trendy. The roof was open to the sky with a full size swimming pool. (it's a spa in the day time and a bar at night) The views spectacular views go on forever... one side you view The Petronas Twin Towers... 88-floors designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. On the other side you view the KL Tower (421m).

On arrival in Bali we spent the first night at Sanur Beach before heading off the next morning to Nusa Lembongan. It's a small island 1 hour off the east caost of Bali. A local population of about 3000 either fish or cultivate seaweed for the production of agar-agar. When the tide goes out the crops are revealed. A strange site to see the patchwork of seaweed. Lembongan is a very laid back place with 2 small villages. Decades ago it was where criminals were sent from mainland Bali. Because of the close proximity of the reef breaks a surfing culture continues to grow and several accommodation choices have been developed that cater to this hard core surf crowd.

We stay at Bungalo No7 (Bob did a simple web page for them awhile ago... we were here in 2004) Putu Yasa is the 7th generation to live here. His dad started the bungalow in 1986... we were allowed to photograph a generations old document outlining the family tree back more than 100 years. Very delicate piece of rice paper... a surreal privilege. It will be included in the updated website later this year along with info on the newer upscale accommodation at a new location. Fabulous rooms with 4 poster beds and views of the surf.

We stayed at the original No7 in a beach front room. Often at high tide , the thundering surf would crash against the seawall to our delight. Lovely to lay in bed and listen to the sea.

Hired a brightly coloured outrigger to take us out to a couple of reefs for snorkelling. At the first place we plunged into the rolling sea and find ourselves in jellyfish hell... thousands of them... mostly benign but some of the bright violet coloured ones packed an electric like burning sting. The next spot was much better with a huge number of small electric day glow coloured reef fish. We fed them bread... but the little buggers were extremely aggressive... the little parrot fish kept mistaking fingers for bread... great fun.

After 5 days we headed back to the mainland and up to Ubud in the center of Bali. We are ensconced in a great losman... Narasoma. Our 2 rooms are at tree top level, on the 3rd floor with a huge balcony on the front facing Bali's largest volcanic mountain... Mt Agung. The back balcony faces the western panorama of sunsets over the emerald green rice paddys. We snuggle up in our intricately carved, 4 poster bed. The front door is carved in Balinese style with ornate Hindu creatures. Our tree top location allows us to be with the birds (not for the birds). Many swallows, herons, hawks, doves and one pair of spitfire like bright fluorescent turquoise blue with fire-engine red heads all cavorting in the palm trees.

Our included breakfast of jaffles (Australian grilled sandwich) or pancakes and fruit salad and tea or coffee is served to us on our balcony by our gracious Balinese hosts. We can hear gamelan music most of the time... the Balinese people live their lives filled their with religion Hindu and adore music, art and nature. The everyday architecture is out of this world with all the gods intricately carved into everything. Such beauty. It's very easy to hangout here... Glenn and I have joined the Ubud Fitness Centre. This morning I walked there as usual and as I turned down the lane to walk the last 500m this mangy white stray dog started barking at me in a menacing manner. (the never bark at Balinese... I think they can smell foreign) Well... now every flea bitten mongrel along the entire lane has joined in the chorus and threatens all the way up the lane. My automatic umbrella helps to thwart them (thanks Brenda). On the way back they all ignore me. And the same thing happens to Glenn in the afternoon. Bali dog culture. Lifting weights to Indonesian covers of Michael Jackson or Cindy Lauper is fun. The staff are very friendly and helpful.

We rented a car for a couple of days and zoomed off to explore the back roads and see the amazing terracing rice paddys... some of the roads deteriorated into paths in the jungle... but we followed the sun back. Watching the duck farmers herd their flocks just cracks us up... these are meat birds that are almost flightless. They waddle along in panic that they will be left behind... the last ones are always scrambling.

We are leaving Bali on Mar 1st and flying to Kuching in Sarawak (Borneo) for 2 weeks then home to Victoria in time for spring. It sounds like we missed a terrible and at times, dangerous winter, missed walking the snow though.

Thanks to those who have kept us in the loop with news from your lives... it's always great to hear stories from home.

Bye for now...
Jellybean, Bali Bob... XXOO

Mar 13, 2007 - Changi Airport, Singapore

Sitting here in the Singapore Airline Raffles/Business Class lounge surrounded by a sea of men fixated on their laptops! ... I seem to be fixated on the western style food... and I am certainly indulging. Wine, exotic water, Italian pasta, salads and decadent desserts. Soon I will have a nice hot shower (gotta love business class) and head off home to beautiful Vancouver Island. It seems that it is very cold at home... read 8 degrees (oh my god...after 33 degrees...yikes!). Bob and I are looking forward to sleeping under our big fluffy down quilt and waking up to the sounds of our Great Blue Herons and ducks across the street.

We've had a marvelous time in Kuching (Borneo) with our friends Nelson, John and Angie. Great to get to know the locals and experience their lifestyle and meet their families. We have been taken out to all the best restaurants for lunch and dinner. We have eaten amazing seafood Sarawakian style. The people we have met are so welcoming and friendly. Watching Glenn add to his huge collection of Sarawak primitive art was infectious... We have purchased some wonderful Chinese and Sarawak antiques. One of the jars (pots) we are shipping home is from the 12th century (unreal).

Spent some time at Bako National Park. Very old rain forest. Most of the trails are elevated over the tangled roots and vines of the forest floor. Glenn and I ventured out one night in the dark and later turned off our flashlights! Just imagine deep blackness with the loud sounds of a Tarzan movie... so very, very noisy!!! Sounded like the rain forest was moving... kinda creepy if you let your imagination and fear get the best of you. We saw lots of interesting creatures in the park. Saw huge bearded boors with giant yellow eyes with big black pupils rooting through just about everything. One sunset we saw a few heading down the beach with their little brood of piglets with the beautiful setting sun behind them... cute. We spied some bright green pit vipers in the low bushes. We were so very fortunate to see some really huge proboscis monkeys. The can weight up to 45 kilos... so a bit unnerving. We saw one throw itself from tree to tree while hanging on to a dead Macaque monkey (they eat them) in his grasp. My goodness the tree just groaned and swayed with the weight of it... awesome. The next morning Glenn and I hid out on the beach and waited for some of the Proboscis monkeys to come down to the beach to feed on the young Mangrove roots. After about 1/2 hour we could hear them coming. They were in the trees behind us... we were very brave with our umbrellas as our weapons. They eventually came down to the beach... took one look at us and settled back in the forest in the Pandanas trees to eat the fruit. It was wonderful to see them with their big noses. I definitely have a new respect for them.

Speaking of Macaque monkeys... when we first arrived and I laid down on the bed to gaze out at the fantastic forest I was surprised to see a little hand appear on the edge of the roof of our hut... then before I could comprehend what I was seeing we were surrounded by lots of naughty monkeys who were trying to get into our room as the windows were open. They did succeed in entering the adjoining room (stupid tourists didn't think they knew how to slide open the screen windows)... anyway we scared them off. These are the same rascals that we have on Koh Siboya and the Thais hate them because they up-end to little coconut cups that collect the rubber on the tree trunks and my friends who have houses are constantly on guard as they steal or destroy lots of stuff. Whenever we hear firecrackers on Siboya we know that our friends are trying to scare them away. But I must say the babies were lots of fun to watch as they were many and were everywhere swinging and falling from the vines and branches. Saw cute little monkeys hanging upside down from their mother's bellies. I had brought my bathing suit to go swimming until I found out about the salt water crocodiles there.......hmmmm!! The rain forest itself was spectacular... such diversity with lots of waterfalls... beautiful hot and humid!

So... starting to think of home now... actually started a grocery list... will be fun to cook until the grim reality of having to clean up sets in (smiles).....

See y'all soon darlings
Jellybean and Tarzan