Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Today we went to The Elephant Sanctuary. This is place is just amazing! The woman who runs it is named Lek and she saved the majority of these big beautiful beasts from extremely harsh treatment such as abuse from their original owners, landmines, begging in the streets of bangkok, starving to death etc. If anyone is going to Thailand i urge you to definitely go to this elephant sanctuary where the animals are cared for and treated how they should be. The other elephant treks you can go on are only interested in the money they can make and not the elephants welfare.
I learnt so much here, we got to feed them and wash them which is the most amazing experience i think i've ever had. The baby elephants are so adorable. Only an hour before we arrived a new baby elephant had just arrived, only 7 days old! She had to stay with her mother the whole time but it was just so incredible to see. They are just such intelligent creatures and now i have a new answer for when my grade 7s ask me what my favourite animal is! :)
Location: Koh Pan ngan, Thailand
ok so arrived here a couple of days ago and have spent the majority of the time lying on the beach even though it's not very sunny... forgoing the sunscreen today, i need to get burnt!! slip slop slap ja nai yo! first night here, 29th, huge party outside of our cottage place which was went on until about 5am. the self-confessed nanas im staying with were in bed by midnight but i ended up going outside and talking to a few randoms. made a ladyboy friend who can dance better than any chick ive ever seen and had a chat to a few of the locals as well.
bummed around the beach and ate mostly since ive been here.
for new years eve went down to hat rin where the full moon parties are at. craaaaazzzyyy night, unfortunately dont remember all of it, which could be a good thing considering i stacked it down the stairs. would have made everyone laugh i guess. and my ankle is caining still. met some cool kiwi guys but the rest of the night was spent looking for aine and lynn... kinda lost em... with the amount people there im not surprised though. at least i was with my mates for the countdown! just another new years eve to add to the list of "lost some of my friends and cant remember a whole lot but my photos seem to be fun". i came home with my digicam so that`s a plus!!!! spent the next day nursing a hangover, tried to sleep on the beach but started raining... though i hear i was prepared to just put a towel over my head and stay there until aine dragged me back up to the cottage... haha good times good times... :)
Location: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
bright and early start to the morning to tuk tuk around and visit Angkor Wat, Bayon and another one which i've momentarily forgotten the name of... my bad. anyhow, Angkor Wat is such an amazing castle which took around 40 years to built way back in 1111 (roughly). a story is told in the carvings throughout the entire castle. there are loads of buddhas in there, which is why to top secition is called "the Thousand Buddhas". the majority of them have no heads though... climbed this massive rock stair case to get there, also to see the stunning view from the top. heading back to Bangkok tomorrow which'll be good since im extremely low on US dollars to spend here (since Cambodia's own currency isn't worth much). going to try and find a meal for a $1 tonight!!
Location: Siem Reap - Floating Village, Cambodia
made it to Siem Reap in once piece... our driver was the most horn-happy person i'd ever been in a bus with... don't need to mention how much little sleep i got... today we found a little hostel to crash at "sweet dreams". well for $2 a night i'm not bothered about whether my dreams are sweet or not. motorbiked (on the back!! not just me...) to the floating villages and then went on a pleasant boat ride down the river and saw, well, the floating village! although the people seem content and the children are playing oh so happily playing, it's hard not to feel sorry for them. the fact that they bathe, bathroom and wash their clothes all in the same water can't be healthy :( stopped at a floating crocodile farm/restaurant/tourist attraction afterwards. there must have been at least 50 crocs all in the space of 3 by 3 metres, all chilling out on top of each other. barely even moved when we threw some fish in! watched the sun set and then headed into town for food!! went to buddha lounge for din dins, curry for $2.50 and it was soooo yum!! off to Angkor Watt tomorrow!!
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
well merry xmas!! wouldn't really know it though. started off our xmas day by going to the Russian Markets, bought some cute little cambodia betel tins (typical cambodia souvenir). then we went to the S-21 museum, quite sad and depressing considering all of the torture that was carried out their only happened just over 30 years ago! there was loads and loads of pictures off all the people who were tortured and punished there. luckily we went to a yummy Khmer restaurant afterwards to actually half celebrate chrissy day... then went to the killing fields (via tuk tuk, one hell of a bumpy ride!!) this is where the people from S-21 were killed and burried in mass graves. the whole place is basically these huge holes in the ground... once again very very sad... there is a temple full of skulls there too. afterwards we went to the silver palace which was very beautiful and amazing. there is a buddha in there covered with diamonds. topped off our xmas day by going to the Frog&Parrot for fish chips and baked beans for din dins!! baked beans are somewhat amazing to me considering we dont have them in Okinawa!! tomorrow we're headed to Siem Reap...!!!
Location: Bangkok; Cambodia (Phnom Penh), Thailand
Ok, well arrived safely into Bangkok airport early this morning (23rd dec) around 2am, shared a cab with random danish boy with crazy mowhawk and went straight to Khao San road to find our hotel. no bed bugs so that is always a plus... spent the day wandering around Khao San trying my bargining skills, which arent that great. got yelled at by random Thai man cos i dirtied up his floor "you buy nothing and dirty my floor", well look mate you shouldn't be mopping during shopping hours... then ran into Jennie and Gus for yummo pad-thai noodles for lunch. already feeling like a heffa! after shopping we met up with Perry's mate Toshi, did a bit of shopping then went to Club Slim where he was djing at... awesome club with 3 different rooms, we stayed in his hip hop room though. unfortuntely didn't stay too long cos we were all living off of about 3 hours sleep and we looked like ferals compared to the gorgeous Thai chicks. headed to Cambodia early early today on the 24th... can't believe it's xmas tomorrow, doesnt feel like it at all!! just had din dins at Tom's Irish Pub after a day of pizza eating, finding a hotel and crashing out for a few hours. big day tomorrow, celebrating xmas by going to Killing Fields... will update soon! jt xo
Location: Okinawa, Japan
had the second annual halloween party this past weekend. crazy crazy night, sooo fun!! even better since i remember it all this year! the costumes people wore were totally incredible. some of us chicks dressed up as school girls, originally going to be vampire school girls until we tried to talk with the teeth in... yeah that didn't work too well... mick's face paint was awesome!!! matt1 was a funny school girl too, voice and all. kawaii japanese talk yo! the night seemed to have flown by, even though we were there for about 7 hours... night mainly consisted off hannah and i finding our skanky friend dona (just playing dona... wink wink), dancing on the bar, seeing various people with their pants around their ankles (or this random man who decided to go as a sumo and had his ass hanging out for half the night anyways...) bit more dancing... left at 4 and straight to family mart for exactly what you feel like after drinking... a tuna sandwich and bar of chocolate... i'm in dire need of new york slice or a kebab at this point but i guess one's gotta settle for what's available... better than scoffing down zarusoba i spose... :)
Location: Kumejima, Japan
well this past weekend was sooo fun!! possibly one of the best one's i've had since being here! after we got off the ferry we went straight to this cool izakaya/day spa kinda place called Baude House. after demolishing pasta and cake a few people went to the spa and dona, dee, jennie and i did a bit of sightseeing. had yummy yakisoba for din dins and then went a little crazy with the marshmallows and bikkies around the bombfire... next day we were up and ready to run run run!!! dee and i ran our 10kms in 54min24sec so yay for us!! isla did an incredible run, her best yet, 42kms in 4hrs7mins!!! crazy girl, so fit!! the course was quite flat with only one hill and it was so lovely having all the little obaachans and kiddies cheering for us as we run by them. really beautiful atmostphere on kume island. afterwards we just chilled for a bit, got our free lunch of tempura etc. it's crazy the amount of stuff we got just for running. sure, we all paid the 3000yen (about $38 OZ) but we got a shirt, big bottle of awamori, free lunch, medals, massage, certificates and loads of water. got on the ferry to return to naha, most of us just passed out, or at least tried too! kinda sad the weekend was over but there's loads more to come so yayaya!!!
Location: Okinawa, Japan
A bunch of us went to the Orange Range concert a few weeks ago... well really it was a "music picnic" with a whole bunch of bands but mainly we just wanted to see Orenji Denji!!! They're an Okinawan band just outta high school basically... not much of a picnic despite the name of the day... all of our food got taken off us at the gate so being the chubba gaijin we are we just stood at the gate and ate it... haha all of it...
Anywho... Japanese concerts aren't anything like home... this one was held in Ginowan in kinda an ampitheatre like set-up... whole bunch of concrete benches facing a stage... no walking around, no cameras, no food, no water (unless you buy it there...) no alcohol!!! Some of us snuck in beer bought from the convenience store... the security guards even got all poopy when we took pics on our mobiles!!! they made us come and delete them!
Anyways, all in all it was a fun day and we got to sing along to the few songs we actually knew... going to add some pics tomorrow... haha that i illegally took... :)
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
So Taiwan... just Taipei really... from first sight i thought it was a pretty ugly city, an eyesore really, nothing nice about it at all... but then once you drive around it a few times you realise that there are a number of pretty streets lined with trees, some modern buildings and a beautiful well-kept Temple right in the middle of it all.
As soon as we landed, Dona, Dee, Aine, Lynn and I dropped our stuff off at our hotel and headed straight to JB's bar for drinkies!!! Wasn't long before we had a shot or two under our belts and decided to cab it to the next club, Roxy 99, which i heard is supposed to be one of the 2 best bars in Taipei... was actually a really fun night, would have sucked if it wasnt considering we were supposed to go to Ministry of Sound... anyways, this club was really cool, played all different kinds of music and most of the peeps were uni students who spoke english (cos they have to study english at uni there...).
The next day we managed to crawl out of bed and be at the grounds by 10am ish to play gaelic footy. Wasn't at all keen to play originally but it ended up being a pretty fun game. It's pretty fast paced but somehow managed to get the ball down to the correct end of the field... we played the Taiwan team yet had to give them a few of our players since they only had about 4 girls. We (Japan...) had players from all over there, Nagano, Tokyo etc...
Headed to the Brass Monkey after that and watched some footy, All Blacks vs. British and Irish Lions and then Oz vs. South Africa. Became a little too patriotic during the Oz game... hell during the All Blacks as well (it's all down under really...). Sang the Oz national anthem and Waltzing Matilda as loud as i could into my microphone (VB bottle... yep, they had VB there!! and i actually drank it... i've only been trying to drink beer since i was 18...) So after about 100 AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI 's it was time to leave and go and get ready for the next outting... dinner at this Dinosaur place which was pretty cool then off to the LUXY... very expensive to get in (about $50AU) and we were supposed to get free drinks (got about 1 JD and coke...) but still... it was an awesome club with lit up dancefloors and various rooms upstairs, we got one of the VIP rooms where lotsa table and lounge dancing occured... in the middle of the night the bar tenders lit up some vodka bottles with fire and juggled them... would put Tom Cruise in "Cocktails and Dreams" to shame... there were chicks dancing on the bar and also some other dude dancing on the bar lit up with more fire. Nothing seemed to have burned down that night...
The next day was a bit of sight-seeing... went to a market and bought a bracelet... was kinda disappointed though, expected more stuff than just Jade jewellry to be there.... then Pizza Hut for lunch was no disappointment though (there's no Pizza Hut in Okinawa, only on base and we can't get it...)
The awards were presented at night, with Japan GAA (us!!) winning, yay for us... and after that we went to some more markets and bought a few things... got a top and bag etc. The night markets were really cool and fairly cheap.
We caught our flight back on the Monday after going to the Confuscious Temple (absolutely beautiful!!) and having subway for lunch (yet another luxury Okinawa doesn't have... except on f*%king base!!!)
So yeah, awesome time had by all... wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of Taiwan at some stage since it's only just over an hour flight from Oki.
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Ok, so perry had a canada party in his apartment. Was quite impressed with the effort he went to with all the decorations!! Actually, i know anna had a part in that... :) So we basically just sat around and ate and drank and took pics and started watching this fairly crap but famous Canadian movie with like two morons in it.. can't remember what it's called but call these two wanna do is drink beer... anyways, watched that...
was so proud of myself for bringing some canadian bikkies which i found in the internation aisle at the supermarket... only to have them put on a shelf next to 4 more boxes... haha... maybe you just had to be there... anyways, here's some pics from the day... :)
Location: Okinawa, Japan
well, i've just spent the last 30 mins typing up this stupid journal and i lost it all....!!!!!! argh... you will now get the shortened version...
the end of year party was held at the BEACH ROCK HOUSE in Yomitan, awesome location and the house was kinda like a funky surfer looking shelter with cool pics on the wall and a cute little bar. started off the day just bumming around at the beach chatting with some peeps who i hadn't seen in a little while... until it started raining a little... but not to worry, that wouldn't stop us from starting the craziness of what is know as oki jet end of year party!!!!! yay!!!
so we started up the barbie around 7, mama gaijin (aka dona) did an awesome job on the veggie burgers... however the smoke from the barbie managed to make her look wasted before the 3 hours of all you can drink drinkies even started... haha no worries dona, it didn't last long... so once we started the three hours of drinkies we went a little crazy, no such thing as pacing your self when there is only 3 hours of all you can drink right!? right!! ne!!
the little mid-evening entertainment was provided by the ever beatiful lynn with her hula dancing and lovely costumes. you could tell the room was so quiet and still with eyes only on her, it was really pleasant and pretty to watch. loved the flowers in yer hair too!! nick played guitar in between her three dances. he has such a lovely voice and is really talented on the guitar.
the rest of the night was spent listening to amul and levia djing (awesome job you guys, otsukare!!), table dancing (seems like a good idea when under the influence), wandering down to the beach being sure to not stack it down the not so safely built stairs, to where enthralling coverstations were to be had (hmm... don't quote me on that one, not sure exactly what was discussed but hell i'm sure it would have been interesting...) and the end of the night, after people had somehow dropped like flies and ventured into the sleeping quarters (frikken hottest tents in the world... bugs included... but if you like sleeping in saunas then whatevers...) was spent dancing and carrying on inside with a few other people, crazy irish chickies aine and her sis clare included :)
so yeah, almost one whole year here in oki... it has flown by and although i will miss a lot of the people who are heading back to their home land... well, somewhere on earth... i'm excited for my second year of fun here in OKINAWA!!!! crazy times which i'll never forget.