A Travellerspoint blog

June 2018

Myanmar

Our last vacation stop

overcast 80 °F

Yangon Day 1 June 26, 2018

Myanmar is amazing. From the beautiful scenery, to the food and the kind people, it's a stop worth making!

We made it to Yangon, Myanmar! Another check off the bucket list. It was another early morning flight and after a 2.5 hour flight, and an hour long drive from the airport to the Chatrium Hotel on the Lake we were exhausted. This hotel has a beautiful view of the lake and the
Shwedagon Pagoda. Too bad it was raining we couldn’t swim in the beautiful pool. They let us check in about 10 am, and we took a power nap.
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Then it was off for adventures. Grab is super cheap here, and you can Grab one so quickly. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to meet up, but so far it’s worked out. We went to a market looking for all the gems they supposedly mine here. We thought we could pick up some gifts for friends and family really cheap. NOT! Small, like really small rubies were in the hundreds. Of dollars. The most interesting thing about the market was all the small children that were dressed as monks coming around the stores singing. The store owners would give them rice or money. Each one would carry a pot to put the donations in. So many of the children are orphans. Sad to see.
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Another interesting thing is the powder that is worn by most of the women, and some of the men. It is called Thanaka. They rub this powder from a piece of bark and make a yellowish powder which they rub on their face, especially the cheeks. Apparently it protects them from the sun and makes the skin more beautiful.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanaka

We looked at the food at the market and decided we didn’t want to get malaria or sick, so we headed to the local mall for lunch. Steak and baked potatoes.

We then headed to a store called Hla Day. It featured so many local products made by people with disabilities or mothers trying to stay home with their children.

We headed back to the hotel and then walked to the Shwedagon Pagoda. This is the largest temple complex in the world. And the oldest. The largest pagoda is plated with gold. The grounds were immense and because we came at night the lights were beautiful. You do need to walk barefooted, so it’s a little gross on the feet.
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We took another grab to the San Yoe Yar Restaurant for some yummy and flavorful food from the Shan State. We had stir-fried Marrow leaves, Stir-fried Pork with sour bamboo shoots, and for an appetizer Steamed Chicken and onion leek wrapped in banana leaf. We topped it off with some sweet mango for dessert. The food was rated highly on trip advisor, and deserves the top rating. We were treated so well.

It was off to the hotel and some rest.

June 27 Wednesday

We got up and made some airline and hotel reservations to head to HeHo airport and Inlee/ Inlay Lake. Walked around the lake for a bit and had some lunch at the White Rice Restaurant. When you order a dish, just beware it serves more than one person. We had a prawn sweet and sour dish, asparagus, rice and lime juice. There were leftovers, so we gave them to the guards at the gate, who looked at us a little funny. But we couldn’t take it with us.

It was a small plane to HeHo airport from Yangon. Then we got a taxi for a set price of 40,000 kyat, or about 30 dollars for a 2 hour ride out to the lake and our resort, Amata Garden Resort. It’s really a once lane bumpy road with all sorts of traffic, including herds of buffalo walking. We finally made it about 8 pm. We had opted to pay less for a deluxe room, but when we got here they said they wanted to upgrade us to a villa. And what a beautiful room. Large entry way, very large bedroom/living area, nice patio, and a huge bathroom. All surrounded by beautiful gardens, with a whole orchid area, and including many banana trees. Tourist season runs from November-April, and we totally missed that memo. So, because of that we are almost alone. There are 5 guests here. During the high season, this hotel and villas can hold 250 people. But the restaurant and spa are open. They are just waiting around for us to come.
We had some dinner and settled in for the night.

Thursday June 28 we got up early, had some breakfast and went to meet our tour guide at the hotel’s dock. Our tour guide’s name was Sai, pronounced sigh. He was wearing the traditional longi, the long “dress” that both men and women wear. His English was really good, and he was super informative about the trip.

We saw the famous fishermen who paddle with one food, while balancing on the other while putting out nets and catching fish. And the guy caught one while we were watching.
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We traveled thru the tomato floating gardens where they produce all the tomatoes for Myanmar. The process of obtaining the land by cutting up land from the other end of the lake, and floating down to this area is amazing. There are 7000 acres of gardens. They have 2 crops a year.
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We visited a building where the Long Neck women live. They are originally from Thailand, and I was able to see them there last year. Still can't understand why they would do this to themselves. For life.
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We visited the silver making shop, and picked up a couple of items. After making our own jewelry in Bali, we appreciated how much effort it takes to make it now.

We traveled thru a floating village and saw the school, where the parents had built up the land so the kids could have a place to play. We watched as women washed their clothes and dishes in the lake. Many people were bathing and even brushing their teeth from the water. Sai told us that they do bring in bottled water to drink and cook with. But the toilet water does flow back into the lake.

We stopped at a village and toured the Indein Village and Pagodas. 1065 of them. `
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https://www.renown-travel.com/burma/inlelake/indein.html
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Bought some handicrafts from the locals. One man had two arms that were not formed correctly, but he was using them to engrave these drawings. Melissa bought some jewelry that he said his brother made.
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We had some fresh fish, rice, and tomato/tea leaf salad for lunch at a floating restaurant.
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Then we continued to on to a floating weaving factory. Here we watched them making lotus leave threads from the stalks of lotus plants, and then weaving it into scarfs. The process is incredibly time consuming. And we watched the many women weaving, making about 200-300$ a month. Melissa got herself a nice lotus scarf.
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It was an incredible day.

Friday June 29.

We decided to have a down day today and enjoy this beautiful resort. And it is so beautiful and peaceful. We had breakfast and went for a bike ride. No electric motors on these bikes, unlike Bali. And it was hard work. We pedaled for an hour and didn’t find any reason to keep going. So we turned around and stopped at an elementary school we had passed by. They had grades K, 1, 2, 4 and 5. The younger kids sang songs for us. They are learning English. The teachers live at the school in these barrack things. Sai told us they make 150$ a month. Their retirement has now changed and they get 50% of their salary a month. These people live on next to nothing.
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We came back and swam in the lovely pool, and then relaxed and worked on videos and blogs. Shared some tomato soup and cashew chicken for dinner. Tomorrow we are starting our journey home. It's been an adventure!

Posted by dianeski4 06:34 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Bali

Part 3 of the summer adventure

overcast 78 °F

Part 3. Bali

Day 1
June 19 Happy Birthday to my mom, who would have been 95 today. I can’t imagine how they traveled with 5 children all over the world, I can barely take care of myself somedays. Another long travel day. Flew to KL and then onto Bali. Then a 2 hour car ride from the airport to Ubud where we finally got to the Healing House at 10 pm after leaving at 6 am. The not so fun part of traveling.

The next morning, as we looked out over the beautiful rice fields and swimming pool, and watched as the rain poured down, we realized that our plan of sitting by the pool all day wasn’t going to work, not just because of the rain, but also because we really had only 2 days in Ubud. So it was off for some adventures.
Healing House

Healing House

Healing House

Healing House

Healing House

Healing House

First off we went to Studio Terka, for a jewelry making class. We were able to design our own pendant, ring or earrings. I chose to make a heart pendant. The teacher, who has been making jewelry for over 17 years helped with the soldering, and other minor details, and told us what to do, but we had a big part in designing and making our pieces. Melissa is into pineapples and she made a ring, earrings and a pendant. Jane and Lisa made leaf pendants. They turned out pretty professional looking and we loved it.

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Next it was off for a little lunch, Indonesian curry and avocado smoothies. Then we headed for a couple hours at the spa, and what a treat that was.

Helena, our friend who lived in Bali for years recommended Nur Salon and Spa. It was the most beautiful setting ever in a Balinese garden with so many beautiful plants and water features. So peaceful. We started by getting undressed, in front of the lady, which was a little weird. Then we had an hour massage that was one of the best I’ve had. Followed by a full body scrub. Then we were rinsed off with warm water, and finally we soaked in a tub filled with rose and frangi pangi petals. It was so relaxing. It was about 30$ for the treatment, and well worth it.

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We left, wanting to stay all day, and did a few more minutes of shopping, and then decided to go for a facial. 5$ We went into what looked like a family home and they had a spa upstairs. Lisa and Melissa had some young girls work on them, and I had a mother, who had been holding the cutest baby earlier. More relaxation.

We then did more shopping for jewelry, and I picked up some nice pieces for my sisters and daughter-in-laws.

And then off to dinner for more Indonesian curry for me, with an ice-cream for an appetizer. Yum!

Day 2 June 20 Adventures in Ubud.

We woke up today and the girls decided they wanted to see The Monkey Forest before we went on our bike trip. We walked out from The Healing House and found a taxi. Of course they tried to charge us more, but we got them down to about 5$ and we should have booked him for a ride back, but thought we could catch a ride. There weren’t many people there, and the monkeys weren’t jumping all over. Although one did get into someone’s backpack and steal a bag of tissues. This place is best if you go early in the morning before too many people come.
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We couldn’t get a taxi back, but this nice older guy let us in with him and we got back to the place and hurried and packed up. Ebikes Bali picked us up and in large golf cart and off we went to meet the bikes nearby. The golf cart carried all our things and followed us the whole way. These bikes have electric motors and you don’t have to pedal at all if your don’t want to. It was nice as there were lots of hills. We mostly stayed on the roads in the country and spent a lot of time in the beautiful rice fields. We were able to go into a Balinese home and see the “compound”. We went into a cemetery where they bury the dead, and then when there are enough people to do a group cremation, dig them up again. The tour guides told us that it’s not so bad if they have been buried for a few years, but if its only been a couple of months it’s quite “tramatic” was the word he used. Only the rich people can be cremated just after they die, as it’s very expensive. Very interesting custom, and I can’t see myself digging up my relative.
We had dinner near a temple and were able to catch the end of a parade where they were going to a ceremony. The weather forecast has been super rainy, unusual for this time of year, but luckily it held off for our ride. And no one fell or got hurt. This is where I believe the true beauty of Bali is. And after watching the amount of work it is to grow rice, every grain is precious.

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We got a ride into Sanur and stayed at Villa Bunga, and airbnb. We walked out after putting our stuff down and got some dinner at a nearby restaurant.
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Day 3 June 21 Double ice- cream day. There is a fantastic ice-cream shop in Sanur with 30 different flavors of gelato. We passed it on the way to Villa Bunga, and walked back about 20 minutes to get it. My friend and I stayed at this Airbnb Villa called Villa Bunga last year in March and loved it. The house is lovely, there is a pool and it’s walking distance to the beach and shopping. And Surpani, the housekeeper lives here while the owner lives in another country. She cleans and cooks and takes care of the place. Her food is delicious and the price is perfect. It’s a great place to stay, although it’s a little noisier that I remember from before. And the dogs are barking more often.

Day 4 June 23
Uluwatu Temple

It was one of those 5% days. We spent a lot of time in the car. First the driver took us to this dance show, the costumes were unique, but it rather long and expensive. We then went to this temple on the cliffs. Uluwatu Temple We watched a monkey steal a guys cell phone. Luckily the worker there threw food at the monkey and he finally dropped the phone and got it from him, but it was next to the cliff and very dangerous. This is a rather small temple, but overlooking the beautiful ocean on high cliffs.
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We finally went Pandan Pandan beach to swim. The beaches were super dirty because of a strong storm, so we wanted to go to a different beach to swim. There were lots of people there. It was a long long day, I think we are all tired. Traveling is exciting, but it’s not always easy.
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;June 24 Sunday

Today Lisa and I attended church in Bali. We were able to catch a Grab for about 5$. Finding the church in another country is always tricky, but so far I have always been able to do it. Today it was a little tricky to find it as Lisa stayed with with the driver while I went and asked at a hotel. One thing I have learned is not to let the driver go until I find the place I want to go, it’s not fun getting stuck in the middle of nowhere without transportation. Anyway, the hotel knew where it was and it was in the back in an alley. There were about 40 people there, and most of them were visitors. In fact, they told us there are no Balinese members, and missionaries are not allowed in Bali. Seemed a lot like my branch, where there are few members and you help with many things. One guy played the piano, passed the sacrament, and even did some of the translating.
It was a good meeting and Lisa and I were asked to give the prayers. When I asked the branch president how he even knew we were LDS he said he could see it in our faces.

Today we had Surpani make us her curry for dinner. It came with rice, corn cakes, vegetables and fruit and this crispy rice/shrimp crackers that are so gross. They have them in Malaysia too. But the rest was delicious. We played a little cards, golf, and headed to bed early as Melissa and I had a 4 am wake up for the trip to the airport. A day in KL and then off to our last stop, Myanmar.
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Posted by dianeski4 04:11 Archived in Indonesia Tagged waterfalls beaches monkey forest spas Comments (0)

Vietnam

Part 2 of the girls trip

sunny 100 °F

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Day 5 Malaysia to Vietnam June 13 Lisa’s 60th birthday! It's good to have someone older than me!

Day of travel. We flew to Kuala Lumpur, had some breakfast and the boarded our 3 hour flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. 4 hours total travel time, but with all the connections and getting there and back, it takes time. Not the favorite part of traveling for me.

We had a taxi waiting for us at the airport and took us to a lovely hotel. Hanoi L’Heritage. It was a beautiful older hotel with very clean rooms. Malaysia needs to take some pointers from Vietnam. We dropped our things and left to walk around the busy city, trying not to get hit from all the traffic. We ate dinner at this fancy restaurant called Grandma's Kitchen, and the food was so flavorful and tasty. What a beautiful setting. We over ate, and although it was an expensive place, our total bill for all of us was 60$ US.

Day 6 Vietnam June 14

After a yummy breakfast at the hotel, that included real bacon, we were picked up by the Dragon Legend Cruise company and taken to Halong Bay. The ride took 3.5 hours and we had wifi, somewhat spotty, but chargers too.
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We stopped at a tourist trap and I told everyone not to buy anything here, that we could get it in the market cheaper, but I didn’t listen to myself. LOL. There were about 30 people with disabilities that were making these beautiful silk handmade sewn pieces of art that looked like painting. I fell in love with one. It started at 1000$ US But, I got it down to 550$. The workers make 150$ a month working everyday. I hope they get a bonus when something sells. The lady that made my piece was a deaf/mute. The only regret I have is that it doesn’t fit in my suitcase and I have to carry it around for the next 18 days. (But I fixed that on the way back. They repacked it for me.)

We stopped and were shown a water puppet show and had lunch.
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We arrived about noon and got onto the boat. Melissa and I had taken this same company cruise back in December and froze. We were looking forward to the same accommodations, and warmer temperatures. We had done the 2 day, one night cruise. But this time we did the 3 day, 2 night one. Imagine our surprise when we saw the room and realized how small it was. And with only 1 bed. But we managed. Once we were getting on the kayaks and Melissa was on first and a lady said wait for her partner. LOL. I had to set her straight. Pun!

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They fed us such wonderful food. So many fresh veggies and fresh fish. We also had pork and beef. Lisa is a vegan now, but they catered to her and she had plenty to eat. 3 substantial meals a day.

We spent our time relaxing on the deck, kayaking and swimming in the bay. And enjoying the fantastic views and the 1969 islands in this area. The water was warm and wonderful to swim in, but there were a lot of jellyfish and one lady got stung.
There were 16 people on the boat, plus the crew. Australia and the French and Americans and Asians, and Malaysian. No kids. Which was nice. One guy is here from back east. He is a tennis coach in the Maldives. Worked 4 months on, and then travels the rest.

The last day we went to a fishing village. These people used to live in caves, but the government kicked them out and now they live in these floating villages. Bung Bieng lagoon is where they stay because of the calm waters. 2700 fishermen. 7 fishing villages.
The people catch Mackerel, grouper, squid, sea bass and oysters. It takes them 4 hours to get to the city, or 5-6 hours with waves and weather.
One family fishes 12 hours a day earning 260k dong or 12 dollars a day. They buy three main things. Fresh water, diesel and rice. Little veggies. They eat mostly rice and fish.
One drum of water costs $1.50 and lasts about 3 days. They use the drums to take fish to Halong City, and then fill the empty drums with water.
The floating school opened 1994-2014. Kids were needed for fishing, so many of them didn’t attend. The children were expected to work from ages 6-16, and were married at 16 by arrangement. They buy the couple a new boat and they live next door.
The floating school has closed down, and now the government brings the kids to the mainland for school. They live in the city Monday-Friday, and then come home on the weekend. 95% of the people in the villages can’t read or write.
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We enjoyed our 2nd trip to Halong Bay, and both trips were similar. I’d recommend taking this trip one time with the 2 night, 3 day trip.
We headed back in the van and were dropped off at La Suite Hotel in Hanoi. This hotel I wouldn’t recommend. Very small rooms, and Melissa and I get to share a bed….again…but at least it’s a king size.

We ate at a local street restaurant called 72. We had yummy Pho and fresh egg rolls. The dinner, which was totally filling was only 4.50$ each.

Then we went to the street market and did some shopping for various things, like cards and clothes and coconut bowls. And to top off the night we had massages at the hotel for $15.

Day 7 Hanoi
June 17
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We were up early this morning and enjoyed breakfast at the hotel before heading to find The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. We paid a grab to take us, about a 30 minute drive for 5$. Although the website said 8:30, it didn’t start until 9. The branch president and his wife came in on a motorbike. It was fun to see an older couple from Arizona come to church that way. There were 3 sets of missionaries and even sister missionaries. One of the sisters was from Cedar Hills, but not in my ward. It is such a small world.
The speakers spoke in Vietnamese, and the missionaries translated. It was a good meeting. And I especially enjoyed the primary children when they sang, “I’m trying to be like Jesus.”

We headed back to the hotel and then went out for a walk. About 10,000 steps of a walk. Which was nice after sitting on a boat for 3 days. We shopped, and shopped and walked and finally found our first destination, Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton. What a somber visit. It was portrayed as being a nice place for the American Soldiers. A place where they were treated well. Hmmm
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Next we walked and walked more and came to The Temple of Literacy. This was a beautiful garden built in honor of Confucius. Well worth a visit, but probably better when you’re not so tired and hot.

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We finished and got a Grab back to the hotel and ate at the same restaurant as yesterday, called 72, or also called A New Day. More Pho and vegetarian spring rolls. Delicious and fresh. This evening I stayed in and relaxed while the girls went out and did more shopping. Sometimes you just need some downtime

Day 8 June 18 Monday

We slept in today and had breakfast about 8. Then it was off for more adventures. First we took a golf cart tour around Old Town for an hour. Then we caught a Grab over to West Lake and took another golf cart tour around the lake. It took an hour to get around the the lake it was so large. We checked out a pagoda there. Then caught a grab back to the hotel and had some lunch. Then more shopping. Never ending shopping. And tired feet.

Tonight we ate dinner at a more fancier restaurant called Butter Butterfly. It had good ratings on Trip Advisor. The meat eaters had the set meal, and it was so much food for about 17$ each. A little more shopping and then we headed back to pack and get ready to leave early in the morning.

Vietnam has been an exciting adventure. The streets are always busy with never-ending traffic. And in all our rides we have never seen an accident, which is totally amazing as there are hardly any traffic lights. The people have been kind and friendly, and even though the weather has been terribly hot and humid, we have been able to enjoy the air con at the hotel. I did run into a guy today that we met on the way here. He is a teacher from Kuala Lumpur. He told me he was walking and a motorcycle went my him and stole his phone. Bummer. He decided to cut his trip short and head back to KL tomorrow. Things like this really put a damper on things. And reminds us to be more careful as we walk around.

We enjoyed some durian. It didn't taste as bad as some I've had in the past.
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Posted by dianeski4 00:46 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Asian Adventures

Part 1 Malaysia

sunny 103 °F

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Day 1
Melissa and I were supposed to meet up with Lisa and Jane on June 9, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We went to catch our flight at 9:40, but we got distracted and didn’t pay attention to the gate. When we finally realized how late it was, and ran over to the correct gate, we watched the plane take off without us. So, we went back home to Melissa’s house, took a nap and hung out with Amanda. We also booked another flight and went back out at 9:40. Of course by the time we got to the hotel it was late, and we went to bed, setting the alarm for 3:30 am. We stayed at the Tune Hotel. The room was the size of my bathroom at home, but it was clean and only 25 a night. Good thing we didn’t share rooms that night. Wouldn’t have fit our luggage in the room.

Day 2.
4:00 am we took a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and flew to Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. We caught a GRAB taxi to the Jetty where we waited for our 9:30 departure on the ferry. Now, I took a really nice ferry in Seattle where we drove a car on, and had a beautiful view of the harbor and nice scenery. This ferry, however, was not like that. We were packed on, and you couldn’t see out of the windows unless you stood up. The views were lovely with small islands, and so much green, with beautiful seas. But it was a bit choppy. The ferry took about 1.5 hours. It was pretty packed. Probably about 100 people. And lots of kids.

We were dropped at Redang Island, checked into our rooms, and had our typical Malay/Chinese food. Lots of noodles, rice, chicken, and fresh melon, papaya and pineapple. We are surrounded by beautiful green tropical forests. And the water is beautiful colors of blue. We took a nap and then went snorkeling and wave catching. There were tons of fish and we even saw a monitor lizard getting into the water. That is when Melissa got out. The water was quite rough, and it was reminding me of when my dad taught me to dive under the wave as it starts to crash down. LOL I was the only one way out the doing it. These asians don’t really like getting in the water. And we are a minority. Very, very few foreigners.

We cleaned up and went for a repeat dinner of what we had for lunch. With the exception of some additional meat items, like steak and satay.
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Day 3
We decided to go on a jungle trek to the other side of the island and find some turtles to swim with today. We packed up our snorkel gear, had some breakfast and head out. Luckily we brought along our new friends Jane and Lisa, who the mosquitos were attracted to. I think Melissa and I have been here long enough that they don’t like our blood. LOL. The jungle was hot and humid. And filled with so many colors of green plants. A couple of times the trail wasn’t very well traveled, but we made it in about an hour. Where we are staying it is so populated by tourists, but when we came out onto the beach there were only a couple of people. This is the Malaysia I know and love. We snorkeled for a while near the shore and saw tons of beautiful fish, but no turtles. There were a couple of boats filled with people in the middle of the bay and one of the locals told us thats where the turtles were.
Check out the GoPro video that Melissa put together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXoYwmjn3g4&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

So we swam out and were amazed to see about 6-8, including a baby turtle. We were able to swim with them, and were even close enough to touch them. They were amazing! There were these bigger fish that would swim right under the turtles, maybe to clean them? And lots of other fish around.
We stayed in the water about 30 minutes and then decided to try and get a boat taxi back to the other side instead of walking back. The locals on the beach couldn’t believe we walked thru the jungle without a guide. They told us there were money 1/2 the size of us that attack people. We never saw any. Lucky for us. We found a guy with a boat that took us all back for 100 RM. The water was super choppy. When we got back we went and had lunch. Melissa took one bite and immediately had to throw up. Not sure what that was, but after that she felt much better.

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We took a little rest and then headed to the beach near our hotel for a little more snorkeling. I have never swam with so many fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. It was totally amazing. It was quite shallow and you could really stand up most places. The coral was beautiful too. And there were sharks? About 5 of them. They are small sharks and apparently they don’t hurt humans. But it was so cool to be swimming with them.

What an amazing day, and so happy that we were able to have our Alaskan friends experience the beauty of Malaysia. marks
Day 4 And some days it’s just not that great. Like this quote.

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Anthony Bourdain

We didn’t do much today. It was spent mostly waiting for the ferry, waiting for our room at the hotel to be ready and waiting for a new room because the one they gave us was filled with bugs. And I’m not kidding. There were dead and alive bugs all over. Our beds were full of them.

We left the island about 11 and got in Terengganu, Malaysia about 2. We took a Grab to the hotel, checked in and had some not so good lunch. Then we headed to our rooms to be grossed out. It took a while but they upgraded us and the rooms were better. Melissa stayed back to relax, and the rest of us headed into town to look at Chinatown. Which wasn’t too big. We had some dinner of sweet and sour pork, and veggies, and rice. And then tried to Grab it back. But its Ramadan, so finding a ride took a while. Finally arrived back at the hotel.

It’s been one of those days that wasn’t too exciting. But we are safe and sound and off to Vietnam tomorrow.

Day 5 Malaysia to Vietnam

Day of travel. We flew to Kuala Lumpur, had some breakfast and the boarded our 3 hour flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. 4 hours total travel time, but with all the connections and getting there and back, it takes time. Not the favorite part of traveling for me.

We had a taxi waiting for us at the airport and took us to a lovely hotel. Hanoi L’Heritage. It was a beautiful older hotel with very clean rooms. Malaysia needs to take some pointers from Vietnam. We dropped our things and left to walk around the busy city, trying not to get hit from all the traffic. We ate dinner at this fancy restaurant and the food was so flavorful and tasty. We over ate, and although it was an expensive place, our total bill for all of us was 60$ US.

Posted by dianeski4 22:57 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Raffles American School! It's a wrap!

Outstanding 2 years in Malaysia!

sunny 102 °F

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One of the most rewarding things about teaching is knowing that you have made a deep impact on a students life. After school today, the Mehrin family came to have photos with me. The kind words from the father touched my heart. I was happy to hear that Tasmia loved her teacher and class this year, and that she wants to become a teacher, because of my influence. There were tears on both sides. This is the kind of family that will produce our future leaders and citizens that make a difference in our world. It's what teachers hope and dream for! And I had the privilege of working with many students who are smart and capable and will do great things in the future.
I have been so blessed to also have other parents come and thank me for the impact I had on their children. I believe that my students knew that I loved them, even when they didn't deserve it. Especially one that started with a K and ended with an I. LOL I loved them all, and I suppose because I raised 3 boys, and a girl, I understood their activeness, and we ran lots of laps to get it out so they could settle down and learn. And the girls loved hugs!

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It's been a wonderful experience living and teaching in Malaysia, at Raffles American School, these past 2 years. It has not always been easy, for at every school there are kinks to work out, difficult children to be patient with, problems to deal with. But I have been able to work with fantastic teachers and 2 classrooms of kids from around the world. My class this year consisted of 12 children. China, Ireland, Australia, UK, China, Japan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Spain. 5 girls and the rest boys. They loved learning and having hands on activities. They loved math, GoNoodle, music, and were the best little artists. They memorized poetry and were fantastic at it. The last poem they memorized was The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.
I will miss them.

I will also miss the fabulous teachers and staff I was able to work with. Today was a bittersweet day. I had so many good friends come and make me cry, because they were crying. They have made an incredible difference in my life. I can't imagine leaving them behind, but I just keep saying, We will meet again. And I believe we will. This world is smaller than we think. And I would love to come back to Malaysia again.

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I have not had the opportunity to make any Muslim friends before I came to Malaysia, (because I really never lived near any) and I didn't know what to think honestly. But I have learned to love and respect them, and they have become my dearest friends. I always new that us Mormons are a little different, and so are they, but in many ways we are so similar in our devotion to what we believe in. And we share the same values of not drinking alcohol and not having sexual relations before marriage. We both fast, although we don't go all out like they do. We believe in being honest and kind. I am so grateful for the chance I had to meet and live among this wonderful culture.

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At our teacher farewell party, Melissa honored me with this sweet speech:

Three years ago today, Diane was saying goodbye to everyone In Bolivia. And here we are again saying our goodbyes in another beautiful country. Even though I tried to keep her here another year, I'm happy she will be home with her family. There's a lot that we are going to miss about Diane. From her charming wit to her amazing baking, but what I'm going to miss most is hanging out with my dearest friend. I know she's a friend to all of us, but rest assure we will see her again. She has that restless spirit where she must travel so I know she will visit again. Diane will always be remembered for being a wonderful teacher, faithful member at her church, and having an adventurous person. But most importantly, a teacher that never complained. Jk

Anyways, Diane You will be missed. We love you and we wish you all the best back in Utah. Enjoy retirement and those grandbabies.

And so, as I end this school year, I do so with fond memories, and a grateful heart that I was able to teach and learn here.

http://www.raffles-american-school.edu.my/usr/page.aspx?pgid=2

Posted by dianeski4 07:06 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

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