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Blaine Neuls' South East Asia Travel Page

Welcome to Blaine Neuls' Travel Page. I'm not really sure how this works but I will try and update this site with pictures and blogs as I go. You should be able to read up on where I am and what I'm doing. Most importantly, you can leave me messages....thanks and enjoy!!!

Diary Entries

Monday, 11 February 2008

Location: Calgary, Canada

Well...I'm home now. I realize that nobody is probably checking this anymore, and that's ok. I needed some closure, and if anyone else did as well.....I hope you enjoy!

Been home for a week now and although some things are very very welcome...it sure is different! What I really liked about coming home were the simply things....my bed, having new clothes, a warm shower, and seeing family and friends. Other than those, it has taken some getting use to. The cold and dryness in Calgary is really a test of the will. While traveling my hair grew back, my skin felt better, I never had a hang over, and I could eat and drink as much as I wanted and still lose weight (lost1 0 lbs and drank beer every single day)!!!! If you think I'm exaggerating...go to Asia for a couple months...and see how the sun, humidity, food and stress free life has an effect on your appearances.

On top of that, it really seems a bit drab here. Don't get me wrong, it was so good to see all of my friends, but no one really had the same excitement in their breath or jump to their step as you see everyday while traveling. You meet sooooo many people, and everyone of them is excited about life and can teach you something new. Traveling is really a world university....you learn so much. Especially the dumb Saskatchewan boy who is a bit naive as to the rest of the world.

I don't want to paint the wrong picture.....Canada and Calgary has a lot to offer. We have a safe, happy, comfortable society....and it is one of the best places to live on earth. I just miss the pace of life I was use to. New people and adventures each day...not knowing (or caring) what the next day will bring.

Everyone has to come back to reality though....and I am excited about starting the next chapter in my life. Let's not kid anyone....30 is just around the corner and I have a few things I want to accomplish in the next short while.

Anyway...I know this isn't to exciting, and probably no one will even read it...but I wanted to close out my thoughts and give a one last kick at the can.

Take care everyone....I hope everyone gets to do this once in their life.
Signing off...
Blaine

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Location: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Hey everyone....sorry that I haven't been on here in a while.

There was only a few last days on the islands, and I wanted to spend every minute enjoying the sun, tours, and new friends. We are leaving today...to good old Bangkok. Have to pick up our new suits and do some shopping, hopefully it is a better experience this time. We both got fitted for two tailor made suits before we left Bangkok last time. They will be ready for us when we get back there. Rolfe and I can't stop drooling at the thought of them and can't wait to see them.

We are taking a night bus...only 14 hours of hell...hopefully we can sleep. After many flights, airconditioned rooms, and massages we have pissed away all our money and forced to backpack it for real. haha The night bus saves us tones of money plus you don't have to rent a room for the night.
meh.....maybe one more massage before we leave this afternoon.....

Koh Phi Phi is quite the island. Completely opposite as Koh Lanta......this island is Cancun....thousands of young people, beautiful beaches, and expensive shit.....
I've managed to have a bit of fun here nonetheless.

I went diving here, and besides skydiving, it was one of the best experiences of my life. We were all hoping to see Manta Ray's....
Well we did, and it was amazing. The first dive we were able to swim with one for 65 minutes. It played with us...circling and swiming 1-2 two feet from us! Apparently they like the bubbles. To put this into perspective the Manta is about 5 meters in width and one of the number one animals to see underwater (besides maybe the Whale Shark). My dive instructor has dove 1500 dives and only caught a glimpse of one. They usually pass by or maybe stay and play for 10-15 minutes. This one was there from the moment we went under, until our last breath (litterally our last breathe....a few of us ran out of air under water, just to get the most time with it as possible). I have a video that will shock even the experienced eye as my body is beside this thing....3 feet way....and I am maybe 1/8th his size. We are stuck motionless, weightless staring into each others eye and trying to figure each other out.

Our second dive consisted of 5 Manta Rays at once!!!!! All circling us......wow.

I haven't dove since as I can't top that......

Other than that we have been doing some island trips/snorkling, etc. We stopped by "the beach" yesterday....it was beautiful, just like in the movie, but it had about 300 people on it....not quite the same effect.....

Oh.....I guess I should update you.....was thinking of waiting to do it in person, but..............wait for it...............I got a tatoo....hehe. I absolutely LOVE it.....
no worries...it's nice and hidden and I'll never regret what it is.
No Canadian flag, or scooby doo : ).....it is a symbol and reminder of this trip, and to always remember how happy and clear headed I am.....

What is it? Well...that I may wait to show in person.....I designed it myself though.

Other than that, we haven't been doing to much besides probably drinking to much and tossing the disk around on the beach.....

I hope you are all doing well...and speak to you soon as I'm home in 3 days. Holy f$#k.....it's all coming to an end....very very quickly.

I arrive in Calgary on Sunday February 3rd on Air Canada from Vancouver...on flight number AC216. I arrive at 5:10pm.
Would anyone be willing and able to meet me at the airport? It would be nice to see a warm, friendly face......

Take care.....see you soon!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Location: Ko Lanta, Thailand

Ok...so I totally forgot about a funny thing that happened.

While we were in Cambodia, Rolfe and I set out to shoot some AK47's and M16's......let me back up first..... Since Rolfe has arrived we have both been taken "for a ride" sort to speak...quite a few times actually. Yeah, we are the new white kids on the block, and they rip us off left, right and center in Thailand. For example, everyone tells you to stay away from the tuk tuk's on Ko San Road in Bangkok right? Because they take you from place to place and get credit from these jewlery shops and tour agency's for bringing u there....

Anyway, so we catch a cab (out side of Ko San Road) down to the Grand Palace (or something of the sorts)......well after a quick lunch, we run into this very nice and helpful gentelman who tells us that it is closed for the day BUT he can arrange a tuk tuk to take us to the standing Budha, a second temple, AND a tourism agency that specializes in cheap accomodation bookings (apparently only the local Thai's use this place for their holiday booking b/c it is 50% the cost!!). An the best part is....it won't cost us anything!!
Well....how could you pass up a deal like that?

.....you see where I am going with this eh.............

So 4-5 hours later as we are going to our third travel agency and I tell Rolfe to jump out of the tuk tuk at the next stop light as this f$#%ker isn't taking us back to our hotel anytime soon.

Poor Rolfy still doesn't know what was going on....but got out of the cabbie nonetheless. This was around the same time he says to me "Neuls.....we gotta get out of this city, I can't stay here anymore"....haha

Ok...point of the story is: we have gotten taken a few times to say the least.

Back to Cambodia:
We wake up bright and early to do the AK47's and along the way the tuk tuk driver tells us that we can buy "gas" to blow up out there!!! We soon realize that he meant we could buy a propane tank and shoot a ROCKET LAUNCHER at it....and blow it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well my eyes light up brighter than any Christmas tree I've ever seen and 3.5 seconds later, we pull into the nearest "gas" station. After I negotiate a fair price (got it for $45 dollars...they were asking just under $50 originally...yeah, didn't do so well....), I buy this 3 to 4 foot tall propane tank (Apparently you can't buy the small one as you may miss it....and you only get one shot). Yeah....they saw me coming a mile away.......

So, we load this thing up....imagine, two white guys driving in the middle of Phnom Phenn (capital city of Cambodia) in the back of a tuk tuk (which is basically like a golf cart) with a 4-foot propane tank sitting in our laps; at 9:00 am. haha. Everyone was on there way to work and were passing us with a smile on there face. Not a happy smile, more like "haha, you got another one eh?".

We arrive at the military base camp....agian the guard that opens the perimeter gate and lets us in has this funny look on his face. Meanwhile Rolfe and I are salivating at the idea of me shooting a rocket launcher at this propane tank in the middle of no where and watching it blow up to all smithereens (is that even a word?)....

So we get there and they say that it cost over $200 US to shoot one rocket.....christ almighty!! Didn't see that coming..... And they kinda got you by the balls now, because what am I gonna do with a 4 foot tall propane tank? lol

There was no way at this point I was ready to drop 250 dollars to do this, and I finally convince them to buy it from me for 15 bucks.....

Frick....the hotel we stayed in was only 20 bucks a night......I spent $30 on nothing. AND still had to pay for my turn to shoot an AK47.....which was pretty fricken cool nonetheless.

Thought I'd pass that story on.....
Cheers to all!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Location: Ko Lanta, Thailand

Ok, so I wanted to give an update, which was inspired by a few lovely emails received from you...thank you, you know who you are....
And, which I'm not sure if I've already mentioned, as Sean mentioned...the best thing about this site is that you donb't have to read it if your not interested, unlike sending out a mass email.

So...rock climbing in Railey Beach....hopefully you have gotten a chance to look that the pictures...this activity is a must for anyone in Thailand. Rolfe and I will probably even go back as we didn't have enough time there, and totally loved it. There is a great vibe on Ton Sai Beach...full of backpackers, and full of climbers from beginners to extremly mess up in the head skill level. lol Poor Rolfe didn't get a chance to do as much climbing as he would have liked...he didn't eat much, so was weak, and the Thailand bug was starting to slow him down. He is living what I did in Cambodia...grumbling stomach, pains.....and yes plenty of bathroom visits. If you have ever been to SE Asia, you understand.

So the fricken guy has actually made quite the name for himself over here. WE have ran into 3 seperate groups of girls along the way over the past week or so, and each one of them (separetely) have commented on how he reminds them of Shaggy, off of Scoopy Doo!!!!!! They laugh there heads of at him and he leads them on....it is so fricken funny. The people here just call him Shaggy now...that's it (the bitter side to this is that I'm referred to as Scoopy doo).

Here in Ko Lanta it is veeeerrrryyyy chill. What we were looking for no doubt, but it still was a bit surprising when we saw how chill. I think 80% of the backpackers has made there way to Ko Phangan for the full moon party that starts in 2 days. I'm glad we arent there....just would be 20,000 young drunk people partying thier heads off. Ok....a part of me wishes we went there....haha...

The good thing about Ko Lanta is that it is beautiful, we are living cheap and there is suppose to be great diving. So tomorrow I'm gonna check out what all the fuss is about, and I think Sean is going to do a 4 day course to get his Open Water Certificate. Should be fun.

"Till next time....keep fit and have fun"

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Location: Ko Lanta, Thailand

Hey guys....we just arrived in Ko Lanta....and I loaded some fun picutes of us rock climbing yesterday in Railey Beach....(wicked fun).
No time for an update right now, but hopefully you enjoy the pics!
Cheers,
bn

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Location: Phnom Phen, Cambodia

Hi guys....thanks for all of the emails, it is great ot hear about what is going on back home. first off....this keyboard sucks so you are gonna have to read through all the spelling errors and mistakes : (

Rolfe and I are in the capital of Cambodia today, Phnom Phen. We took a bus here yesterday from Siem Reap....not without a few stories from there though!!!!
Angkor Wat was everything you could have hoped for...it exceeded my expectations. I loaded some pictures trying to give you a sense of the buildings and beauty....but they don't do it justice.... These were built back in 1100AD, and still are amazing sites that the rest of the world has yet to top.

Enough of the boring historical crap....we went out the last night in Siem Reap....this time to a local disco bar called Zero One. Dance, hip hop and techno music filling the place, but you haven't heard any of the songs...all local.... The place is jammed back with Cambodians dancing like its 1989. Rolfy is in heaven...dancing up a storm..... 3 minutes after we walk in we each have 5 girls on us asking us to dance. Don't get to wierded out.....I realized later that they were probably all hookers.... "do you love me?" they constantly asked....as they battled for your attention and pushed the other girls aside. "No....no I don't love you at all...matter of fact....can you please let go of my arm?"||:"|

If I ever lost Sean....just had to scan the room...you could spot him from any corner as he is at least a foot taller than the rest. haha....got picutes of that. Although limited pictures as every time you pulled your camera out, a guard got very upset and made you put it away.

Cambodia overall is actually a pretty safe and good place. Siem Reap has went through a major overhaul and with the millions they are making off of Angkor Wat...it is actually quite nice. With that said the people here are mostly extremely poor. YOu cannot go through an hour of the day without someone begging for money. They fight for it too!!!!! If there are 3 pineapple ladies...they will push and fight to get your business. Cabbies wait outside the bus stop to get your attention....One legged men and women beg uncontrolable for a dollar..... and I swear to god that the children are all taught english at a young age, and pulled aside to get special training in guilt. I have bought milk for mothers, gave sandwiches to children and even bought a few of them lunch. We have so many guide books, postcards and random memorabilia that I hope we did what we could.

Today everything hit home:

We visited the killings fields and the genocide museum. Wow....I had no idea that not more than 20 years ago there was a government that exterminated his people here (well, didn't know until I read up on what there is to do in Cambodia about a month ago). They tortured and killed more than 1 million people...some estimates have it near 2 million... Basically he wanted to kill anyone who was educated (teachers, engineers, intellects, etc.) He did this so the country would consist of peasants and farmers...therefore fastracking the country to socialism.

There were killing camps worse than Germany...and this happened in 1977!!!! Once they found someone educated they would tourture and interrogate them. This would get a signed confession that they were part of the CIA or communist party, and then they would find anyone related to them so they could kill the entire family. This was so no one would know it was happening (and no revenge). They trained and brainwashed the youth to carry out these aweful deeds, and the powers that did this still haven't been procecuted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They smashed babies against trees, and smashed heads together to save bullets.
We saw the massive graves where hundreds of people were burried: bones sticking out of the ground....skulls everywhere....this was a bigger genocide than Hitler!!!!!!

unbelievable.....

It is a sad day in this world when something like this is allowed to happen in our day of age.....and governments do nothing. Although most of the people in Cambodia didn't even know this was going on.....

It really frustrates you to experience this....

Tomorrow we leave to the islands of thailand....it will be nice to get back to that life again (but with that said, wouldn't take Cambodia out of my trip for anything)....but we only have a couple weeks there, so may want to stay longer.....

I know I'll want to stay longer, and the bad thing is that I can.... Although to calm a few family friends, this was the first week that I have seriously wanted to start my next path in life. What my desires are, and what I want to do. I feel excited to start them and hope that I can keep my spirit and energy level this high when I get back home. I feel clear headed for the first time in a long time.
Everything happens for a reason....you just have to trust that this wisdom will move along at its own peaceful pace. Once you trust that, life is a whole lot easier.......

Sorry that this blog wasn't inspiring or funny....it is not a day for that.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Not really time to give an update here....just a quick one to say hi and let you know that some new pictures are up...hopefully they explain themselves.

Lots of sight seeing, traveling...and one crazy night.

Take care all
Blaine


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Recent Messages

From Brandy
I am sad that I will miss you at the airport. I will call you when I get back on Wed. Kaden and I are going to surprise mom and dad. See you soon Brandy
Response: all good
From
Hey Blaine,
Good to hear from you,beginning to wonder.How are you ever going to be content back here and working!!!! We have enjoyed hearing about all your travels.
All is good here , just a tad cold though! -39
Cliff & Cheryl
Response: Yup.....it is quite the change!!! I wonder if you could get away with not working....
From Chewks
Hey bud if you can can you send me your tenants name and number, I need a valuable piece of mail from him, thanks.
Response: hey man....sorry, I don't have it....it's on the old blackberry at home. Turn it on if you can find it....or just stop by the place, I'm sure they are around most nights....
Cheers
From Rob
Neuls - it's -45 here with the windchill today (you bastard!)... I hope you're getting sunburnt! haha.

See ya soon!
Daintree
Response: Wow...that is fricken COLD. Holy shit.

Yup...nice and tanned up here. haha...see you soon buddy.
bn
p.s. It is plus 30 today......
From Chewks
Plants, you had plants? I will have to look around to see where they went, lol. Hey can you send me your rental guys name and phone number I need some very important mail from his place. Cheers!
Response: Sorry man...wish I could help you more. His name is Sean Delsnider.....
again..my blackberry has his contact info, or just stop by....
ttys
From mom6dad
Hey Blaine-was able to get into your link today. Sounds like you two might get into trouble yet! Having a great time here in Mexico--weather good and lots to do. Snorkled for the first time in an underwater cave Both really liked it-going in another snorkle afternoon to a reef and sandy beach should be good! TTYS
Response: Sounds great!!!! We are actually doing the exact thing tomorrow....
Gald your having fun...can't wait to catch up!!!! Not long now...
Enjoy...ttys.
From Brandy
Where the heck ar eyou???
Response: I'm in Koh Phi Phi....island in Thailand....sorry...not much time for computers right now...update soon.
Cheers.
From Chewks
Hey bud when are you arriving back in Calgary?
Response: February 3rd.....

is our place still standing? are any of my plants alive? haha
From Brandy
lol Not you, her!!! I am so sad that she is moving back, so I'm being mad at her. ( Not really) SOrry you thought that I was calling you a jerk!! Sorry
Response: haha...ok
From Terri
LOL. You're not the jerk, I believe she is referring to me :) As I have heard it a couple times :) But that is how it looked. Anyways, yes we are moving back. Now that there is going to be another litte one (did I mention its another boy??) it will be nice to be closer to family. I will miss Kendra and Brandy here as they are a party of my day to day life now but... I am hoping soon everyone will see the light and come back :)
Response: A BOY.....man alive...you and Brandy are leaving some work up to the rest of us to produce girls...haha.

Congrats Terri...I am so happy for you and Dean....also a bit upset that I won't get to see you guys as much when you move!!!! Damn...it already was to few and far between.

maybe I'll move back too.....as close as I'm coming is toontown though....

ttys...miss you...
From Brandy
SHE 'S MOVING TO REGINA...JERK!@!!!
Response: Why is that being a jerk? Should I have know that or something?
From Terri
Heh Blaine,
You are making me miss traveling like crazy. I had forgotten what it was like... different things occupy my brain now :) I love that every day you see something that just makes you think "Huh... never would have even thought about seeing that in my life." Like moms holding their toddler over a garbage can on the street while they take a shit... Anyways...
Reallly missed you at Christmas. Seemed like lots were missing... you, Krista, Kimberley, Brandy... Oh well it is better to have everyone miss in one year so everyone can be together the next year. I can't wait for you to get back so we can sit and you can just tell me story after story while we look at pictures. When are you back?
About us, pregnancy is going well. I am 5 months along now and looking like I am 7 :) AND we bought a house is Regina. Posession date is June 16th. We are totally pumped and scared at the same time. Anyways take care, and have fun... that's what you're there for :)
Response: Hey Terri...thanks for the message....haha, ya you see some crazy shit. I totally agree about xmas...I hope this isn't the start of a trend!! Everyone loves that time together so much, I hope we never stop it.

I am back on Febrary 3rd....it would be great to get together after that.

You bought a house in Regina!!! Are you moving there or just for an investment??????!!!!!
From brandy
That is the funniest story I've heard in a while, I will be chuckling all morning. Keep up the stories, we all check every morning!! Misss you
Your favorite sister!!
Response: hahaha...good stuff. See you soon...almost done!!!!
Miss you too.
From Chewks
Hey Blaine sorry I haven't been messaging you. I took off for 2 weeks, did a little travelling of my own. I went to a french island in the eastern Caribbean, drank a 1000 beers, caught up with some friends and made some new ones. I realized that I miss my old sun and fun easy lifestyle..... I am glad to hear you found Rolfe and give him some advice from me....."Immodium twice a day will keep the green shits away". Can't wait to sit down and chill with the new relaxed you and hear your adventures and how your mind is at ease and how much you are enjoyed your trip. Those trips truly are for finding those emotions that you feel for life and adventure, and that only being in a truly inspiring place can bring you that . Be safe and tell Shaggy I say OLa!
Response: Thanks bud...., sounds like you had quite the little trip of your own. It will be nice to see you again too...longest we've been apart for a while! haha

That sun and fun easy lifesyle is a hard one to give up eh? We'll definitely have to catch up......
From Katie
Leaving for a week so don't think I am dead if I don't reply to your emails (LOL). I will be soaking up some sun and trying to stay upright! Miss ya
K
Response: Hey Katie, thanks for the note....have a great trip! Take lots of pictures, can't wait to hear all about it.
Get some rest, read and relax....and when you have time, have a drink and toast me from accross the world.
Miss you too, talk to you soon.
bn
From Mom & Dad
Hey Blaine-- we're all packed and ready to go --Next time you hear from us it will be from Mexico! YA HOO! You two be careful over there news reports are scarey!
Response: All good....no worries at all....
From Mom&Dad
Hey Blaine ! We're all packed and ready to leave tomorrow--Can't wait! Dad talked to Parker today and gave him the web site . Anyway next time we talk will be from MEXICO!!!!Ole till later!
Response: Have a great time in Mexico!!!! Write if you're able...
talk to you soon.
From www.planetranger.com
hi sounds like still hving a ball dont worry about us back on the flat lands we are all ok u hv fun ttu whn u return cliff cheryl
Response: Cheers!
From Cheryl & Cliff
Blaine,
Glad to hear from you.I'm like your Mom, when you haven't sent anything for a bit, start to worry. Can't imagine you over there. But sounds like you are having a good time. Enjoy hearing about your travels etc. and pics.
And yes, aren't we fortunate people to live in Canada! What others have been through , none of us should ever complain, should we!
Take care
Cheryl&Cliff
Response: Hey there!.....thank for the message, but honestly no need to worry at all. If I don't reply for a while...just not around a computer or traveling.
I'm glad you enjoy the website!!
Take care and hopefully see you guys soon.
bn
From dad
sounds like a lot of fun,but ge the hell back to work in CANADA.
Response: Work? What is that?
From Brett
Hey man finally got a chance to read all this. And u know what it is probably the only thing i have ever read from start to finish, and never had my A D D kick in. so interesting and neat the your doin all that, trully jealous. Wish i was there with ya and the longer your gone the more i miss ya so thats a good thing i guess lol. Anyway keep the updates coming, cant wait. Later......... Brett
Response: Thanks Brett...I miss you too....
I'm glad that I can inspire you to read at longer periods than any book. haha

I never fathomed that this trip would be such an adventure, and growing opportunity. I am so clear headed: it has inspired my life, and I can't wait to start my new path. I just hope I can keep my energy high in the Western Culture we call home.

Thanks for sending the note....truely good to hear from you, and I've never missed beer and wings so much in my life!!! Every Wednesday I try to toast you all with a beer and chicken chop suey (hey, at least its chicken...).
: )
From Trish
Hey hey. And you were worried about travelling alone. Look at you...lose a buddy and instead of worrying you just go party with strangers haha. Love it. Sounds like you are having the time of your life. You write like you talk so I can honestly picture you attempting 100 shots. Keep the stories coming :) Have fun in Cambodia.
Response: Thanks Trish.....miss ya!
How are the wedding plans coming?
Take care,
Blaine

p.s. ya....love being out there by myself.....never would have thunk it....
From Chad
Neuls, I am pumped to here you've relaxed and made the TRANSITION... Did I hear you right that "gone are the days I am looking for a beach full of people. The secluded, unknown places are WAY better!!!"
I love you buddy and I am glad you are enjoying the simple, beautiful thing in life that we often overlook in the western world. I love reading about your adventures and you've got me pumped up and wanting to fly over and join you right now!
Light up Thailand!
Response: Hey Chad....love you man. lol. You of all people definitely understand eh? I am sitting in Cebu airport waiting to leave to Manila, then Thailand/Cambodia. I know it will be fun man....but I honestly don't want to leave Philippines....I see now why you extended your stay to 9 weeks. I have to come back.......
Take care man...hopefully see you soon.
From cchuber@sasktel.net
hi blaine looks like ur hving a blast good for you we just got hooked up on this email stuff kurt bought us computor for xmas i quess time to get into the times catch you in saskatchewan some time take care cliff cheryl
Response: Hi there!!!!!

Wow, I did not expect to hear from you guys. So happy you wrote a note.
That's great that Kurt bought you a computer...I just did the same for mom and dad, and it has been quite the useful tool while traveling.

I hope you had a great holiday season, and hope to see you both soon.
Cheers,
Blaine
From Chewks
Hey bud glad to hear you are "just going with the flow and not making plans anymore" lol, now you understand why I never plan ahead.........because you just don't need too. Take care, have fun with the Rolfmeister.
Response: haha....It was kinda a bitch to not be able to leave places when I wanted to. Because I had to book ahead for xmas and NY's anyway.