Posts tagged: bungalow

Colombia: Lost In Tayrona

By , October 25, 2010 5:00 am
Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park

It seems wherever we go the rain comes with us. We were hesitant about going to Tayrona with the bad weather, but our friends who went before, convinced us it was a must-see. We stocked up on some snacks and on the local bus to Tayrona we went.

Through the jungle we hiked in our sandals. It was wet most of the way so we had to walk in mud. There were many moments when the mud actually reached our knees. We quickly realized we were better off wearing nothing on our feet. Over time, I still did not get used to stepping in the wet mud but I got good at it. There were so many ants, especially large red ones, and when we weren’t watching where we stepped, those suckers bit hard. Worse than that, there were many thorny branches so we had to be super careful not to step on or bump into one.

Hiking In Mud

Hiking In Mud

After two hours, we were finally rewarded with sun, soft sand, and sounds of waves crashing. It was a beautiful moment and all we wanted to do was to jump in the water but unfortunately we had to hike 30 more minutes to a safe swimmable area. Along the way, I kept seeing scenes from the television series, “Lost”.

Backdrop Of Palm Trees And Jungle

Backdrop Of Palm Trees And Jungle

Feels Like Paradise

Feels Like Paradise

Our final stop in Tayrona was El Cabo. It was truly a postcard shot with the beach, large rocks, and a backdrop of palm trees and jungle. In the middle of two beaches was a two story wooden bungalow. On the first floor were just hammocks and on the second floor were four private rooms. We rented two hammocks and had a great sleep under the star lit sky.

Welcome To Cabo

Welcome To Cabo

Hammocks With Memorable Views

Hammocks With Memorable Views

We are so thankful the bad, turned to good, weather we had during our three days in Tayrona. Ironically, my favorite moment was when it rained. It was just a wonderful feeling to be swimming in the cool seawater and having raindrops fall on us at the same time. Also, it was kind of nice having the entire beach to ourselves.

Let It Rain

Let It Rain

Rainbow After Rain

Rainbow After Rain

What We Paid: Colombian
Pesos
1800
USD eRate
2500
Euro eRate
Taganga
– Local bus from Taganga to Santa Marta: 20 mins 1,200 0.67 0.48
– Private Double Room at Casa Felipe Hostal:
fan only, private bathroom, shared kitchen, wifi, great staff, highly recommend
40,000 22.22 16.00
– Meals: DIY, supermarket in Santa Marta
– Bus from Cartagena to Taganga: 6 hours 40,000 22.22 16.00
Tayrona
– Park Entrance 34,000 18.89 13.60
– Shuttle Inside Park: Or walk 1 hour 2,000 1.11 0.80
– Hammock @ Cabo 25,000 13.89 10.00
– Breakfast 8,000 4.44 3.20
– Lunch 14,000 7.78 5.60
– Dinner 21,500 11.94 8.60
– Local Bus From Santa Marta To Tayrona: 1 hour 4,000 2.22 1.60
Tip 1: Buy Snacks in Santa Marta before going to the park
Tip 2: When leaving the park, there are lots of taxi’s who did a one-way drop off and would bring you back to Santa Marta for same price as the local bus

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

4000 Islands: Don Det

By , June 30, 2010 7:47 am

The 4000 islands are located at the widest section of the Mekong River between Laos and Cambodia. Among these 4000 islands, only 4 have power since a couple years ago. We decided to visit Don Det, a small island with many cheap family owned bungalows.

During the French colonial times, the 4000 islands were a transit point for gold from the Mekong to France. While we can still see remainders of an old railway and ancient locomotives, the railway was never actually completed. The gold was always transported using bamboo rafts.

Making the transit of gold more difficult, there is a large impressive waterfall between the islands. At this point, they would take the gold off the boat, let the raft go through the waterfall, and then put the gold back on.

Our trip to Don Det was relaxing for the most part. We spent the first day riding our $1-dollar-a-day rental bicycles to Don Khon, another island linked to Don Det by a bridge. We saw the old French locomotive and the famous waterfall.

The second day was too hot for movement. We spent most of the day in a small bungalow restaurant chatting with Audrey and Antoine, who we always manage to bump into.

During the day, the immense blue sky was filled with large white clouds. Wherever you were, you got the same view that promised better days ahead.

During sunset, the sky lit gold then raged with fire. From our hammocks on the porch of our bungalow, we cherished the quiet and alone time we had with the sky, water, and land.

While there are not any not-to-be-missed things to see on the 4000 islands, it is a very nice and cheap place to relax for a few days before going to Cambodia.

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Khao Sok: Sleeping in the Wild

By , April 24, 2010 10:45 pm

After an overnight boat and bus ride, the scenery completely changed when we arrived at our next destination, Khao Sok. We went from exotic beaches and swimming pools to the wilderness.

As we got off the public bus, there were lots of locals trying to sell us different guesthouses. We had found one lodging in the Lonely Planet, Art’s Riverview Lodge, and wanted to check it out. One gentleman, by the name of Tawee, said he would bring us there and if we did not like it, he had a nice guesthouse we could also look at.

While Art’s Riverview Lodge was in a great location, they were asking three times the price indicated in our book so we went to see Tawee’s guesthouse, Green Mountain View.

We instantly liked it. It was next to a large mountain with only a few bungalows. The bungalows were very clean and had mosquito nets. The bathroom was my favorite. It had high stone walls but no roof. While showering, you can just look up and see nothing but trees.

During the night, we had a few tiny frogs in our bathroom. They were so adorable as they would hold still thinking we did not see them, and then they would croak loudly.

There were only sounds of the night critters then came the rain. There is something soothing about hearing only raindrops and the creatures of the night. We ended up having one of the best sleeps so far in Thailand.

The unforgettable part of the guesthouse was Tawee and his family who ran the place. Tawee’s wife was the chef and her cooking was super yummy. It was great to get home cooking. We loved her cooking so much that we ate there for every meal.

Tawee drove us wherever we needed to go. On our first day, he brought us to a place to see monkeys. Upon our arrival, we heard something swinging from branch to branch and when we looked up, there were about 5 monkeys in the trees. Since this was our first monkey sighting, we were super excited. These monkeys were super friendly. If you had bananas, they would come close to you. If you were Anthony, you would try to pretend you had bananas but luckily the monkeys were smarter. :)

We cannot express our thanks for Tawee and his family for their hospitality. Tawee never tried to oversell anything. He was always honest and told us our options and went with the flow. Thank you for treating us like family!

Khao Sok Green Mountain View
219 M.6 Klongsok A.Phanom
J.Suratthani 84250 Thailand
Owner: Mr. Tawee Nakpradit
www.khaosok-greenmountainview.com
Tel: 66(0)87-2632481, 66(0)87-2750929
E-mail: green_mountain_view@yahoo.co.th

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

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