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Gemma and Alex's Asian Adventure

Hey everyone, welcome to our 7 week Asian Adventure!!! Share our tears, our laughter, and please leave us a message!

Our trip looks like this:
China - Hong Kong - Thailand - Cambodia - ?Vietnam? - Thailand

Here we go...

Diary Entries

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Location: Our last entry, Thailand

We have had a great time and it has finely come to an end!! what we will be left with is great photos and even better memories!

HIGHLIGHTS:
- walking on the great wall
- terracotta warriors - xi'an china
- river cuise and bikeriding around the limestone casts - yangsho china
- riding our first motobike in vietnam - HCMC
- not the meekong delta tour
- Angkor wat and surrounding temples, climbing steep staircases in blistering heat - siam reap, cambodia
- street food - pad thai - bangkok

thanks everyone for following our adventure!!
See everyone soon!!

Friday, 26 January 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY EVERYONE!!!

we are listening to JJJ hottest 100 online!!

we have done some shopping, some sight seeing and a little drinking but not much eating as we both have dodgy stomaches!!!!!

alex also got a $2 hair cut and shave - the results are of $2 quality - its a bit asian looking, short back and sides - but i have a week before work to let it settle!!!!

we are off to have a beer to celebrate AUSSIE DAY! CHEERS

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

i think we got a scam bus to bangkok!

it took us 16 hours to get here - 1 motobike, 4 car ferries and 3 minibuses later and a lot waiting in between we made it, only to be dropped off on the side of the road. were staying in the backpacker district. just a bout anything goes here!!

we are planning to see the sights and hit the many markets in the next couple of days - and avoid bus trips!

see you soon

Monday, 22 January 2007

Location: Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Hello!! We have spent 2 days doing absolutely nothing except reading and swimming and having a massage. its a tough life. Honestly though we can't sit still for more than 2 days!! so we are off to bangkok tomorrow on a 10hr bus ride! yay! so on to the last chapter of our adventure

See you all soon!!

alex's mum - can you keep me posted on what is happening with my registration - thanks - i cant start work without it

Friday, 19 January 2007

Location: Siam Reap - Angkor, Cambodia

hey guys!
we have just finished a marvelous 3 days exploring the temples of angkor and beyond! what an amzing place! we hired a tuk tuk driver to take us around to the temples [far to hot to try and walk or ride between the various temples].
the temples were built from the 9th to 14th centuries and many are still in good condition due to restoration works. its hard to imagine something that old. At some stages the city had over 1million people living there, whilst london had 50 thousand and was stuck in the dark ages!
it would have been unbelivable to stumble across the temples in the jungle! there were so many tourists, but if you planned what temples you saw, you could get a few minutes of peace and quiet before the busloads of japanese/french/korean tourists arrived!
checks out the pics! there are too many great photos to choose from!

we are heading to the beach area of cambodia tomorrow. the beaches are supposed to be as good as thailand but with 1% of the toursists. then we are heading across the border into thailand

we deserve a break after 3 days of getting up at dawn.

hope everyone is enjoying the holidays

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Location: Phnom Phen, Cambodia

We made it to PP finally last night and stayed in the backpackers district over looking a very poluted lake. all was fine, until about 1am a party started up in our restaurent and finished around 3am. needless to say we didnt sleep. we also changed guesthouses in the morning to a quieter one!

we wandered around the city today. checked out the royal palace, a few wats and the silver pagoda. did some shopping, but everything is in US dollars and it is quite hard to get our heads around!

Cambodia is a very nice place, although it poorer and dirtier than vietnam, but everyone is so friendly! it is so hot here, and it is without the sea breeze of vietnam! but hopefully we will head to the beach soon!

Friday, 12 January 2007

Location: Mekong Delta, Vietnam

The Mekong Delta Experience!
we spent the last 3 days on transport with short stops along the mekong. we saw some interesting things and people! but the tour was very touristy!

we went on many boat rides along the mekong and up many tributaries - seeing how the people live off the land and river. went to a crocodile farm, with 2 random sun bears in a cage - they export most of the crocodiles ALIVE to china for meat and leather.

our 3rd day we got on a small boat at 730am and made our way to Phnom Phen - we got to the border at 12pm and left again at 130pm, getting onto a boat we might recognise as a refugee boat. 4 hours later we swapped to a bus and made it to PP fpr 730pm.

We would not recommend this tour to anyone and arent too keen to get on a boat anytime soon!

Tuesday, 09 January 2007

Location: Mui Ne, Vietnam

We went on a day tour to a Cao Dai temple (a religion of SW vietnam) and to the Cu chi vietnam war tunnels. the temple was a little wierd, we watched a pray service. the tunnels were very interesting and so small - alex actually fitted into a real tunnel (30x60cm)- we also crawled 100m through widened tunnels for westerners (60x80cm). but it is harder than it looks in the picture. we saw all kinds of booby traps and lots of bomb craters. We had a good day!!!

we spent the last 2 days in a sea side village relaxing at a resort, it even had a pool. we hired 2 motos with drivers and went on a tour to see the local sights (check the pics) - yellow sanddunes, red canyon, white sand dunes and lotus lake, and fairy stream. riding the motos was pretty cool, but the landscape wasalso amazing.
the rest of the time we spent reading our books by the pool. now we have a our energy back, tomoorow we are heading up the mekong river on a 3 day tour to Phnom Phen!!!

Friday, 05 January 2007

Location: Ho Chi Minh CIty, Vietnam

Well it is now hot hot hot and oh so humid - just the way we like it! Vietnam has a great vibe - so coulful and the people are very friendly! we found a place to stay last night and also for the next two nights.

we spent the day wondering the city. we went to the war museum and various markets. We are trying to understand the cost and currency as 1 auzzie dollar = 12000 Dong!!

We rode motorbikes for the first time he he it was fun!

We are going on a day trip tomorrow to the underground war tunnels and a temple. We are also organsing a 3 day boat trip along the Mekong Delta into cambodia!

thats all for now! by!

Thursday, 04 January 2007

Location: Hong Kong Airport, Hong Kong

hello everyone - we are about to fly to Ho Cho Minh City.

We arrive 10pm local time and we are catching a taxi to the main tourist district in search of accomodation.

we have no plan for the next few days - the world is our oyster - write again soon

Tuesday, 02 January 2007

Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

HK = another dirty great big city! the type of shop til you drop stop over city. everything is expensive compared to china and the atmosphere is hectic!

We have made travel plans today to be finalised tomorrow. We are going to fly Ho Chi Min city at 8pm on 4th instead of going to bangkok. we will then make our way overland through vietnam and cambodia into thailand and fly home from bangkok on the 28th as planned.

tonight was our liast night with our group, had a nice dinner in the night markets. we are looking forward to the next leg of our trip, when we will write again

Sorry everyone about not posting for a week, as a earthquake destroyed the internet cable to china (ahh technology), but HK uses satelite technology.

take care. xoxox

Monday, 01 January 2007

Location: LongJi Valley - Rice Terraces, China

Happy New Year!! We have been hiking in the rice terraces for 2 days - it is the 8th scenic wonder of the whole world?!! we had really good weather for winter, so the visibility in the mornings was good. it was all very nepal. we would have liked to walk longer, but cest la vi!

meet 2 minority groups - the yao and zhong people - yao women are very aggressive sellers whilst zhong people are very placid and freiendly. we had a cultural performance and dance on NYE, watched a horable movie and went to bed at midnight!
On the bright side the country food is much better -- awesome pancakes and deep fried banana and french toast!

Gemma reconfirmied her vegetarianism after inocently coming across a pig being killed for dinner - Yum!

The bus ride down the mountain was a little hair raising as it was drizzling with blind curves and landslides. We passed 2 car accidents!

Now it is time for our final leg out of China and into Hongkong. The last overnight train!!

Friday, 29 December 2006

Location: Yangshou, China

So...We arrived at Yangshou. xmas on the train wasnt as bad as you would think! cofortable warm bed, drinking games and secret santa! 26 hours of pure bliss!

we have really enjoyed Yangshou, a quite backpackers town. it was nice to see some grass! the landscape is amazing - there are 100-150m limestone karsts (we will post photos) everywhere, and this is why everyone comes here.

We have been on a river cruise, bike riding a round the countryside, chinese cooking school (the food is a little better when you cook it yourself), gemma did watercolour painting and we had a foot massage! happy hour(s) made up for some of our xmas missery!

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Location: Shanghai, China

Arrived in Shanghai, a little tired and sick. however we walked around the city. the are lots of high rise shopping malls, it is all very expensive and western.

the area along the water (the bund) is very nice but, very touristy. infact we are felling quite city'ed out. we are going for a river cruise along the river this afternoon, and checking out some markets.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and santa is good to you. hope your day is not too stressful. have a beer and some christmas cake for us. cant wait to talk to you all!

We plan to go out for breakfast and lunch (probably have something western to celebrate xmas - maybe a brazilian bbq), before we get onto our overnight train in the afternoon. 26 hours long - so we are taking a case of beer to ease the pain.

our group has done a secret santa - the challenge being to get a present for 10 yuan - $1.80. we are giving them out on the train - something to break the boredom.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!!

Friday, 22 December 2006

Location: Xi'an, China

The terracotta warriors were amazing - "the eighth scenic wonder of the world". We are so glad we came here in winter (low season), as the tourists were minimal and we could actually spend time apreciating them!

We hired bikes and round 14km around the citywall - extremely bumpy and not to much to see due to incredible polution!

Alex caught Gemma's cold, and now we are both strugling! We spent a whole day slepping!

About to catch another overnight train (only 17 hours)

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Location: Xi'an, China

We arrived this morning in Xi'an after a luxurious overnight train ride from Beijing. We didn't get much sleep, but glad we were not on indian trains.

Xi'an is another big city. It was the place were the first emperor to unite every province in china ruled from. It is his terracotta warriors that guard his tomb, and that is were we are headed tomorrow.

We are heading out to explore the city today. Xi'an is one of the only cities in china to still have fully intact city walls. We plan to ride the 14km around the city, on top of the city walls, whilst we are here.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Location: Great Wall of China, China

We have spent 2 days walkign aong the Great Wall of China. There are so many stairs, it is unbelievable! The wall snakes along the ridge line continuously towards the horizon. It is so crazy and stupid that they bothered building the wall on such ridiculous terrain - many workers (slaves) would have fallen to their deaths.

We walked 11km along the wall between 2 little towns. Parts of the wall have been rebuilt and is just the way it would have been during the Ming dynasty. But lots of the wall is unpassable and the bricks have fallen down the hillside. Ladies trying to sell postcards, t-shirts and posters followed us most of the way along the wall.

We returned to the wall for sunrise, over an hour too early (thanks to poor communication from our guide)! It was freezing up there, about -10 degrees! The breath on Alex's scarf and his sweat on his fleece turned to ice. The light and atmosphere was beautiful, as we were the only ones on the wall, but Gemma scored a cold for her troubles!

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Location: Beijing, China

The Kungfu show was crazy awsome last night. It had losts of different styles from ballet dancing to breaking metal rods over their heads to laying on nails and also circus moves on hanging ropes. Their stength is just incredible.

It is so so cold again today that we are just taking it easy. Still no luck with up loading photos - today they won't let us use the USB port!! What!!

Any way we leave beijing to go to the great wall tomorrow. We hike for 16km on the first day and 10 on the second. It will be colder on the wall than in Beijing. CRAZY!

Hope that preparations for the big day are going well everyone!

Bye xoxox

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Location: China

Today it was extremely cold. - 4 degrees with an extremely harsh wind chill factor. we had 4 layers on and it was still cold. it was colder today than any day we spent in the himalayas in nepal!!!

we brave tianamen square - lined up and saw Chairmen Mao's frozen body and pay our respects to the communist regime.

also went to the forbidden city - where we saw amazing treasures from the ancient world. but sadly the 2 main buildings were being renovated.

unfortunately the day was unpleasant because it was just so cold!!! we headed straight to the markets to buy gloves and scarfs.

tomorrow it is going to be atleast -9 degress. wish us luck, but now we are off to see kung fu.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Location: Beijing, China

today we changed from our windowless room with a hot shower to a fancy hotel, being renovated with a luke warm shower.

we went to the Temple of Heaven - the emperor would sacrifice young calfs and prey for a good harvest. the buildings are sqaure on bottom to represent earth and circular on top to represent heaven.

we are getting around by walking many kilometers and catching the subway (50c to go anywhere)

we can now count to 10 in mandarin and have found one hot drink - hot surgery milk

we meet our intrepid group tonight - everyone is great and all seasoned travellers of vary agers - there is a family of 4 from oz that we havent met yet.

we have great photos, but having trouble uploading them, post them when we can.

Leave us a message everyone!

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Location: Beijing, China

we spent all day at the Summer Palace! it was so beautiful, the architecture and history is spectacular. most of the buildings were burnt down in 1860 by the anglo-french and then rebuilt again in 1901 by empress Cixi, but still older than most things in oz. it was a great thrill to walk accross a frozen lake!

so we went to the opera - it was amazing in so many ways but disapointing cause it was very short and didnt have much singing. we got scammed for the price, but what can you do! lots of fighting scenes and acrobatics!

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Location: Beijing, China

We have had two wonderful days of exploring the city. It has so many contrasts between the old and the new. Our back packers is the old part of the city (hutong), but these parts are being knocked down to make way for highrisers.

the people are shy but very friendly. we got told "chinese people are like dumplings (closed) and westerners are like pizzas". we played diablo in the park, learnt how to count to ten and practiced mandarin with tennagers.

seen many sights - all very old - including drum and bell towers (time keepers before watches), many beautiful parks, lakes and temples. lots of shopping, but very dissapointed as it is not cheap because of stupid americans paying too much! It took alex 30mins to bargain for a pair of jeans.

we are off to see the summer palace (where royality escaped the summer heat) today and see the opera tonight.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Location: Bejing, China

well we are here! Finally!!

We had a very eventful flight as Bejing had a fog as thick as pea soup! So first of all we had to refuel in Hongkong in case we had to circle above Bejing airport, so that added an extra hour! Then when we landed (blindly) and the fog got so thick they closed the airport ( at least they let us down i suppose!). But this ment that all craft had to remain stationary and wait to be towed by a tracter as there was zero visibilty and they did not want any collisions! Well 1 hour later the tracter arrived but the captain told us the mechanic who needed to connect us was lost in transist - yep he couldn't find our jumbo! so we ended up being a grand total of 5 hours late!

Today we managed to crawl out of bed after 3 hours sleep and walk around the city soaking up the sights. Bejing is so cold but very beatiful with lots of temples, gardens and frozen lakes (with ice skaters)!

so, now off to bed!

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Location: Newcastle, Australia

Hi everyone!
Thanks for veiwing what we hope will be the diary of a fantastic adventure!
We are leaving tomorrow morning and arrive in Bejing at 8pm. Hopefully we have someone waiting to pick us up and take us to our hostel - but you never know! We are expecting it to be -5C or so!

We are really excited and Gemma can't wait to see the great wall. Alex wants to try peking duck (priority one)! he he!

well here we go - wish us luck!


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Recent Messages

From Francois
oops a little late to be posting but the site does look great. I'll catch up with you guys later.

From Ryan
Hey Guys,
Well not long until we see you again!!! :) we spent Australia day at the annual Calford Boating day out west of sydney. It was a Great day! Bronwyn is celebrating her birthday tomorrow with a Big Partay. so that should be fun too! you were invited but obviously you arn't here anyways Can't wait to see you soon! enjoy the flight. :)
From mum
Saturday 27 January 10pm
Hi Gemma and Alex!
Well, this is my last message before you come home!
What an adventure you've had!
You have seen and experienced so many amazing things! There have been many ups and downs...but everything will merge into wonderful memories once you're home. Holidays are like that! Often the worst experiences turn into the funniest stories!
I'm sure everyone that has read your travel site has really enjoyed sharing your experiences, especially with the great photos. Thank you so much for all the effort you both went to.
Have a good flight, take care and we'll see you very soon. We can't wait to see you! Lots of love, Mum xxx
Response: thanks for your messages too! we have seen so many amazing things, that just wont sink in to we get home.
see you all soon
From Mum & Peter
Hope you had a great Australia Day ! Stll don't know who won hotest 100? I listened to some of it, but missed the end. We had a fairly quite one went out for breakfast and tea with Gudrun but lazed aroun during dy as Peter's knee is stil a bit dodgee from his arthriscope

Can't wait to see you tomorrow night, travel safe
Love Mum & Peter
Response: how is peters knee?
augie march - 1 crowded hour won hottest 100.
see you tomorrow night!
From Max
sounds like you guys had a great time!!!
im so jealous, bring me back a present!

see you soon

p.s. take me to the beach
From mum
Thursday 25 January 11.30pm
Hi guys!
Just read your last post from Bangkok. Your "bus" ride sounds horrendous! It reminded me of India...no doubt it reminded you too!!. Surely this trip couldn't have been any worse than some of those overnight Indian buses...or was it!!?? You didn't hit anyone did you Gemma?!!
I loved your photos taken at Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It looks like such a picturesque place...a great place to chill out! You both look very relaxed in the photos...but that was before your 16 hour "bus" ride!! How did you find Cambodia? Would you recommend it? Or did you prefer Vietnam? Can't wait to hear all your stories!!
I'll send you an email soon, Gemma! Take care in Bangkok and get home safely. Lotsa love, Mum xxooxx
PS Don't forget to spend those Singapore dollars!!

Hi Michael!
If you want to call in to see my parents, Bill and Val, at Forster they would love to see you. Their phone number is 65 558519. Val loves making cups of tea and cooking for visitors! Yum!! They live in a nice house opposite the water! Seeya soon, Cathy X
Response: Yep that bus ride took every ounce of self restraint not to kill someone! In fact one pommy nearly did!! Shoppping is ok but i swear you have to asian to pull of most of the clothes they sell around here!!
From Michelle
Hey Guys,
Just thought I'd tell you before you come home and think I am a total snob for not catching up, I finally got into summer school at Western Sydney. So when you come home, I will be leaving for 3 fun filled weeks of lectures and tutorials, and come back just in time for the start of uni.
Can't wait to see you, don't tell all your good stories to Belinda will you!
Shell
Response: Summer school yuk! but just think how nuch easier it will make your life in the long run!! don't worry i'll save you some stories! Take care.
From Bill and Val
Your beaut travels are nearly over so we look forward to hearing all your adventures. Have a great time in your last few days. Take care. Much love to you both and see you soon, Bill and Val xxx
Response: Hello! i hope you had a great birthday Bill! Can't wait to see you both when we come back!! Take care!
From Mikey
Wazoo! You guys are in the tailend of your amazing trip! Enjoy the last of it! Looking forward to you guys coming home safely! Remember to have your flags ready for Australia Day! (even though they 'banned' the flags at the Big Day Out pfft)

We'll all be up in Forster playing at a public gig (2 of em!) and them heading to Benn's farm for an Aussie Day Bash! Wazoo! So no speers pt park this year :( But Forster! Will have see Bill & Val! lol ;) Anywayz, behave kids!

Hi to anyone else reading this! Wazoo! Love yas! Ni hao!!

Mike.
Response: Yo Mikey, i do wish we would be their for Australia day! Oh the bbq's, beaches, fun in the sun and the hottest 100!! oh well back to the land of oz soon!!
From Alex's Mum
Hi Alex- no need to panick I have rung them and as long as everything is inpost on the day after you get back its OK. Anand has done your character reference, and I will get onto Ron re your licence.
Enjoy Bangkok
Luv Mum
Response: Thank you so much! Ah i was a little worried! Home soon xox
i'll send an email detailing the arrangments for when we get home!
From Ron
Hey guys, I haven't written for a while. Sounds like Vietnam and Cambodia (and hopefully Thailand) are all really interesting. You have experienced some serious weather differentials. Speaking of which, it was 41 deg here yesterday and people were treated for both heatstroke and hypothermia at Newcastle beaches as the water temperature is 14 degrees! All is fine here and we can't wait to see you both soon. Don't forget all those good stories!

Love Dad
Response: yeah it has been a few crazy weeks of weather!! 41 wow thats hot! it is more humid here than hot but there is a lovely sea breeze at our beach side retreat!!
From mum
Monday 22 January 10am
HI guys!!
All's well here...we're just gearing up for your return!!
Angkor Wat sounds so incredible! We'll have to see it sometime! You have certaunly had an amazing adventure over the past 6 weeks. You'll have so many stories!! Can't wait to hear them all!!
Brad returned to Melbourne on Saturday. We had heaps of fun all together but missed you guys. Brad has some big decisions to make...
It was soooo hot here yesterday...41 degrees...but the water is freezing...only 14 degrees!!!
It's Bill's 82nd birthday today!!
Happy birthday Bill!!
Hope the next few days are fantastic. Enjoy it to the full!
Hi Mike...hope to catch up with you soon!!
Keep up your postings and photos. Lots of love, mum xxx
PS Maree is reading your site too! She loves your stories and photos.
Take care. Only 6 more nights!! Seeya!
Response: Hi Maree!! How are you!! only six nights now thats just not nice to point out!! actually we start the last leg of our adventure tomorrow with a 10hr trip to bangkok!! its so lucky we have trained ourselfs to read for hours on end on bus trips without feeling sick!
From Mum & Peter
Hi Alex and Gemma

Photos are great as usual - you will have to see what Aunty Sue and Maya have done with their Dubai and Paris photos onto CD - it has music and effects are great.

Everything is going well here . Peter and I are off to Sydney tomorrw to check on stuff for Feb event and Confernece in May. Pappou is in hospital getting a few tests done after a mild heart attack - no need to worry its under control from what I understand. But he will probably need to go into a nursing home soon.

Everyone else is good.
Looking forwrd to seeing you next Sunday - have a great time at the beach. look after yourselves
Love Mum and Peter
Response: called dad today, things seem ok. hop e sydney was good. can you keep me posted on what is happening with registration - it is really important, i cant start work without it
From not a slef
Hi!!!!
Just got back to Melbourne after three weeks of fun and frivoloty with the fam. Your photos are great, you've put so many up - it's so good seeing what you've done! Enjoy the last leg of your trip, it sounds like you've both had a awesome time! I have lots of news and things to talk about too! Anyway, I've gotta go and get some food as my larder is empty.
love Brad
Response: lots of news and things hmmm...intreging! Good to here you had a great time at home! hope you come back again soon so we can catch up! xox
From Mikey
The fam are great! We had an absolute ball together! I saw your brother day - Hi Ryan! We went to Talbot and Eleisha Smythes wedding! Wazoo! It was great! only 21 more sleeps til my birthday! Wazaoo! Havent totally planned the entire week but will explain all when you get back! Love the photos and the stories! Keep them coming! Love you guys! Miss ya's! Behave! Wazooooo!!!
Response: 20 more sleeps now! Not the entire week?? i'm shocked! Did things slow down for you over the festive season? see you in a week!
From Mikey Mike
Heya Kids!
Wowzer! I've had the best time reading up on your crazy adventures! Your pictures are amazing and Im incredibly jealous! I wanna be there! lol Cant wait to go on a crazy adventure lol Tassie is on hold at the mo because I have to go to Perth instead :( but never mind... it will happen lol

And if your fam are reading this - HARROW! I've tried calling you guys back and will try again today, because I've been in Bathurst with NO mobile phone reception for almost 2 weeks and Brad had my old number :( Wish I could have made it to dinner with you guys - miss yas heaps!! but anyway I will give you a buzz :)

Sorry Gemma and Alex... this blog is meant to be for you, not your families haha. oopah! Well I am looking forward to the many more photos, stories and adventures you guys are having! Miss you guys heaps and heaps - looking forward to seeing you both when you guys get back! Wazoooo! Behave. Ni hao!! Tzi Tien!
Luv Yas,
Mike.
Response: yo mike! whats been happening? perth? SE asia after tassie is a must! how is your fam? how are the bday plans coming along? ebe home soon, cant wait to catch up!
From mum
Saturday 13 Jan 1pm
Hi Gem Gem and Alex!
Great to hear that you have been relaxing at a resort! But you're trip along the Mekong doesn't sound too good! Looking forward to hearing more about that...
We are having a great time in Norfolk! This morning we went on a 3 hour boat trip to circumnavigate the island in a small boat with an outboard. The driver put out some fishing lines and caught 3 big kingfish. We saw heaps of birds, flying fish (which were awesome!), large green turtles and a few small to medium sharks right near the boat. It was fantastic! The driver took us through a huge cave and out the other side after waiting for the right swell. It was very exciting!
Tomorrow morning we are leaving at 7am. Wish us luck as the runway is really short!! (The island is only 8 km long!)
Lots of love from all of us xxx
PS Have you cashed the Singapore dollars?
HAVE FUN!! Stay safe. Bye...
Response: sounds really awesome! Its good to here you are all relaxing and enjoying the holidays! How was the flight? He He
From Michelle Gaffney
Hey Gem and Alex,
Sorry it has taken me so long to write to you. Belinda and I Forgot the web page that you told us to go to, so by the time that you get this message you will be on your way home, oh well, better late than never. As I see from all your photos and letters, you have both had a great time. Miss you both heaps and can't wait to hear all your stories.
Love Shell
Response: Hi Shell! Hope you have had a great Holiday and have not been working more than swimming at the beach!! Southeast Asia rocks and should be at the top of your to do list!! see you soon
From Jess D.
Hi Alex and Gemma,

I am SO jelouse Cambodia and China are both on my to-d list! Andrew and I are talking about Croatia, Italy and Hungary next Christmas and all your travel stories are making my feet ITCHY!

I'm pleased you like Vietnam it's my fav country that I have visited so far!

Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Jessica


Response: you should be itchy travelling is awesome. croatia is on our hit list when we get some money together an go to europe!
From Mum & Peter
Hi Alex
we will consider your lovely offer of picking you up - Should be Ok at this stage, will keep you posted
Luv
Mum
Response: thaaaaaaaaaanks! kepp me updated on registration situation - ronald had my licence when we left
From Mum & Peter
Hi Alex and Gemma
Glad you survived your Mekong experince - you may look back with a different view in time. Phnom Phem looks incredible - buildings look so intricate. If you get a chance check your email there is some stuff regarding your registration
Talk to you soon
Love Mum, Peter and Max
From Belinda
Hi Guys
Photos are great, Vietnam sounds really interesting, I will be picking your brains on your return. Cant wait to see the photos. Guess what, am moving to Merewether on Saturday! 2 mins from beach, awesome!
Being seeing you soon, love Belin
Response: wat wat youre moving? have to catch up on the goss in 2 weeks. hope the move goes well!
From Brad and Ryan
Hey!!

It's our last day on Norfolk today - we just went on a cruise around the island and saw sharks, turtles, and got about 2 metres from flying fish! YAY!! It was Über cool! It looks like you guys are having heaps of fun. The trip up the Mekong sounds awesome! V & B send their love! Keep having fun kids!
Love Brad and Ryan
Response: we have been cruisng up the mekong - just rice paddies, water buffalo in a prison boat.
From Lauren
Hi Guys!
Hope you are both well and enjoying your trip! Sad not to see you over christmas and new year but should see you in march! Stay safe and well. Happy new year! loz xx
Response: Hope you enjoyed christmas in newcastle with all the family! see you in march at mia's wedding.
From Lucy
GEMMA!!!! ALEX!!!! Wow your trip sounds fantastic! I finally got on the internet! Can't wait to see all the photos when you're back! (when r you back!) Miss you heaps! and so does Effie!!!! (WOOF WOOF!) (SLURP!) Enjoy the rest of your time and i'll see you when your back for a good old ozzie barby (vego, of course...) and a swim at the beach! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Luc
Response: hi lucy, hope you have been keeping that surf board in action! i would kill to go to the beach right now! we get back 29th of jan. does effie still like her house mates! XOXOXOXOXOXOX