Travel Journal Asia 1982 Day 15

Wednesday June 30th 1982 With me feeling slightly better, the three of us decided to head further north and boarded a bus heading to a fishing village called Krabi. The white-knuckle journey lasted four and a half hours. The bus driver didn't appear to have a will to live, and we had several near-misses throughout the drive. He eventually stopped and let us off the bus in the middle of nowhere. We were around 5km outside of the village. We waited for a while wondering what to do next and decided to start walking. A little while later a pickup truck offered us a lift although we could only communicate through sign language and had to trust these people would take us to where we wanted to go – not that we were sure where that was! I was still feeling weak when we arrived, and the realisation dawned that I was a long way from home in a country where people didn't speak my language, or I, theirs. My head felt muddled. Thankfully the truck dropped us in Krabi and we headed to a small hotel mentioned in my guidebook called Veung Thong. After a fair bit of sign language, we managed to secure two rooms. Krabi, Thailand Our fisherman tourguide! We walked around the village, people smiled but it felt a little oppressive. The village consisted of tiny wooden homes (shacks). Black and white televisions appeared to be the only luxury these people had. We paid a fisherman to take us for a ride on the river. Falcons soared in the skies above. The wonders of nature made me feel glad to be alive. Everywhere we went we were followed by curious people who obviously hadn't seen many foreign tourist before. I can't say I like being centre of…

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Travel Journal Asia 1982 Day 14

Tuesday June 29th 1982 Haadyai, Thailand I suffered the whole night with d&v, mostly vomiting so hardly had any sleep. J went outside and found a doctor's surgery and came back to drag me there. I was feeling so weak, all I wanted to do was lie down, but we walked – rather staggered – to the place. We arrived at a rundown concrete hut packed with people. The people in there looked really sick but the doctor saw me straight away. It made me want to cry, I felt so guilty but I also felt really ill. The doctor was Chinese, pleasant and spoke good English. He handed me three lots of tablets, one an anti-emetic, the other was an iodine compound and I have no idea what the third was. After staggering back to the hotel room, J went to buy me some bottled water. I stayed in bed the whole day and J met Bernie. I think they went out for dinner but I could have been hallucinating! It's not fair on Haadyai as I didn't pick up the bug here, but I hate the place.

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Travel Journal Asia 1982 Day 13

Monday June 28th 1982 We left Penang this morning, but we weren't sorry. Although it was beautiful with golden beaches and plenty of sun, there was a dark side to the island always lurking beneath the surface. That said, our day on the beach yesterday helped us rest. It was perhaps good for us that Suzie and Bernard had decided to join us. We got the ferry over to Butterworth where we decided to get a taxi up to Haadyai, rather than the bus. It was a four hour journey and there were no issues crossing the border into Thailand. On arrival in this dusty, run-down town, apparently famed for its nightlife, we were at a loss to why Suzie's father would have recommended it to us! Bernie told us to checkin at the Oriental Hotel which we did. He's going to be joining us tomorrow after taking Suzie back to Singapore. I've go ongoing gastro-enteritis so not feeling at my best.

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Travel Journal Asia 1982 Day 11

Saturday June 26th 1982 Today, we diced with death and hired motorcycles. I had never ridden a motorbike before except as pillion. I had to learn to ride in 5 minutes! Not only that, I had Bernie riding pillion. We managed to get used to the bikes and drove to the Monkey Gardens followed by Penang Hill. We took a train up a funicular railway up to the top at 2,000 feet. The journey was almost vertical – or so it seemed. There were beautiful views of the whole island from the top. Bernie and Suzie Penang 1982 Afterwards we travelled to the Snake Temple. I was disappointed there were only three snakes, but as I don't even like snakes, not broken by it! We had to drive through Georgetown on the way back and J crashed into a car. Thankfully she wasn't hurt but the car driver was not happy. As his car looked like it was falling apart – most of them did – I couldn't see what all the fuss was about! We were driving in the dark when my motorbike kept cutting out and the lights were intermittently failing. It was scary as we were driving in pitch darkness along winding roads with cliff edges. I prayed all the way down, driving as carefully as I could. I've never been so pleased to get anywhere in my life when we arrived at the hire place. Bernie had turned pale and we were all filthy from dust and fumes. We happily returned the bikes and went back to the hotel to shower and sleep, deciding to have a beach day the next day.

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Travel Journal Asia 1982 Day 10

Friday June 25th 1982 We met Suzie and Bernard at the ferry port thinking they were never going to arrive as their bus was late. Finally they did and we had a happy reunion. We found another hotel to stay at having been put of by the flasher the day before. We found a place where we could stay all in one room. This evening, we went to a barbecue on the beach. I've been having stomach issues over the past few days but managed to enjoy the food anyway. After dinner we went for a walk and paused to watch a Lion Dance which was entertaining but a bit silly at the same time! It was great to have Suzie and Bernie with us and made us feel more secure. We were all tired, though after the travelling and had a relatively early night.

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Travel Journal Asia 1982 Day 9

Thursday June 24th 1982 During the evening when we left there was tv switched on. We could see that Princess Diana had delivered a baby but didn't know whether it was a boy or a girl as the news was in Malay. Prince William had actually been born on the evening of June 21st but news didn't travel quite so quickly back then. The journey was eventful. We crossed the Malaysian border without any delays and stopped at 3:30am at a roadside stall in the middle of nowhere. A lot of people got off the bus and bought food at this unearthly hour. During the stop a guy who was clearly insane got on the bus. J pretended to be asleep so I decided that was a good option only to be bashed over the head with a newspaper! I still pretended to be asleep but he continued to whack me over the head with the paper. I was muttering to J to do something, but she ignored me. In the end, I opened my eyes and looked at him. With wild eyes, he informed me he kills people and then he left... scary. We arrived in Butterworth which is about halfway up Malaysia and well north of Kuala Lumpar which we had decided to bypass. The main reason for being here is to go to Penang. We spent 14 hours on the overnight coach arriving at 9am this morning. We froze most of the night as the air conditioning blasted through. I had almost the whole contents of my bag draped over me by the time we arrived! As soon as we got off the bus we had to fight off crowds of men trying to carry our bags! We went to the ticket office to buy tickets to go…

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