Hello! My name is Giuseppe Emanuele Giampino and I am a 37 years old guy who is a strongly passionate traveler and photographer and wants to discover the greatest of the amazing nature offered by the globe.
Since I am fashioned with the sporty philosophy of the journey, I have made decision to give my contribution by sharing with you my sporty travelling life experiences based on my travel background.
I have traveled mostly in Europe and Asia where I have discovered such amazing attractions like the one shown in the picture below! Now you may be asking: where the hell is that?? Grand-Canyon perhaps? 🙂 No way, just kidding!
My mission is to gather and organize all of my past and present travel experiences in order to convey you inspiration and enthusiasm in your travels!
I finally have the chance to post something new about a brand-new destination focused on the archipelago of Andaman islands.
Andamans islands belong to India although are much closer to Thailand, it might sound a joke but it is so 🙂 When I planned it out, my general criteria was to try a more off-beaten area than any other island or group of island situated in the SE of Asia, by this I am not saying that all the islands I visited earlier were all beaten. However, after performing an accurate research, appeared that on Andaman’s the tourism is mostly made by Indians and very few foreigners are willing to travel there.
In addition to that, it has to be taken into account that Andaman&Nicobar archipelago is considered to be a RESTRICTED AREA, therefore only some of the Andaman side islands are open for tourism, these are:
- Main land of Andaman (in which Port-Blair is situated)
- Havelock island
- Neil island
Apart from those three, all the other islands are either private, tribal communities live there or are military bases.
Having said that, you are good to plan your exploration withing the restricted circuit which offer more than enough for explorations then especially on the main land.
Being biased with SE Asia, my first impact with India&Andaman’s was by no means the best one,
the reason of that?
Unlike in the SE Asia, in India is normal to find spread-ed garbage and rubbish aside the roads, wasted plastic material by the seaside and so on. Sadly and disappointing as it may sound, that is a real fact of Indian environment , moreover get used to the fact that will always encounter wild-free loitering goats, cows and dogs! They are really everywhere.
Apart from that, in here, more specifically on Havelock and Neil island there lots of mangroves beaches which on a way look nice but on the other hand it is annoying then especially when you want to enjoy a swim and to cap it all at certain time of the day the mangroves are completely dried, in other words they get emptied of water!
I personally tried to enjoy a walk around the mangroves when they were filled by water, however be aware that wear the water shoes is a MUST and last but not least carefully watch your steps since you might suddenly either end up approaching a not-so-visible sharp rocks or walking through some broken corals, either way they can trigger you to fall down! Moreover, I personally saw a yellow-black striped coral snakes which was sliding away, as a first impact it was not such a great feeling overall, however at least now I am aware of a real danger in walking through shallow mangroves sea surface, this is just to give a warning alert that nothing in here is really safe by the sea!
However, on Andaman’s you can find the hugest amount of colorful shells
by the sandy beaches , you can actually end up collecting hundreds by yourself without buying them at the markets, just give a try for believing.
When it comes to the sunset, fortunately both the two islands offer a gorgeous spot to enjoy a great sunset shooting/recording, the achieved scenery with the rocks watered by the sea is breathtaking, for your reference you can refer to this screenshot from Google maps:
Just to impress you with an idea here below I have uploaded two scenic picture over the sunset at Neil island:
In conclusion, if it were not for the tons of spread-ed garbage everywhere, wasted plastic and glass, it could really be defined as a ‘Paradise’ like Indians proudly advertise it. Unfortunately the so-called ‘Paradise’ is shadowed by quite some environmental issues and this is something which Indian state should really take every effort to cut off any ecologic issues, someone might dispute on this point by affirming that it is easy to say than actual implementing a serious ecologic plan for the environment.
What could the main issue be in making it happen? Lack of funds perhaps?
Well, if that is the case, I could advance a hint: India as a state could introduce the payment of a tax at the arrival on each island, like they do in some islands in Thailand, Malaysia and in Indonesia; in addition to that, the state could instruct the owners of the resorts on how-to gather the wasted plastic and glass materials, perhaps this all might help in creating an awareness campaign among the entrepreneur on the island(s) as well as the visitors in order to be respectful with the surrounding environment. Naturally, that is not the only one issue there are many others, but at least I hope that one day this could be one of the solution to improve the quality of the environment on such an unofficial paradise 🙂
Last but not the least, it is about the time zone GMT+5:30 which is equals like anywhere in India as land, just Andman’s are far in the east, as a result this time zone is a huge imbalance for the sunrise and sunset time, do you imagine that it is already dark at 5:30pm? I personally think that Indian government should grant a different time-zone for Andaman’s.
Any comments and remarks is warmly welcomed!
the autumn is now started, so I am here to dedicate this (first) post about my home-country. When it comes to Italy, someone might be thinking ton of things such as nature, food, drinks, fashion, arts and so on. However, I will just focus your attention on a specific tiny area of Italy which is probably not-so known by everybody but still it would be 100% worthy to spend free-time by forgetting the routine of the urban life.
The low Piedmont, more in specific the province of Asti as shown above is known to have the largest number of red-wine producers as well as a number of BIO-food farmers, besides that, it is also challenging for enjoying outdoor sports such as mountain-biking and running, and because I firmly believe that the real life is a balance between sports and healthy food, this area of Italy would likely 90% fulfill such a goal 😉
Below there are three pictures showing the scenery as well as the trail:
As a first thing, while in my living Country Slovakia the cold autumn got started since few days before leaving, here in Italy I was nicely greeted with such a pleasant warm weather which has been almost like summer with +25 during the day.
Secondly, from the Mt-biking perspective, the trail was like dry soil beaten by tractor which is a way more challenging on the up-going parts then especially if your MTB is not provided with tick wheels like a the ones of a fat bike, as a result for the first time I ended up pushing my bicycle half-way up to the top wine hill. Both pictures above and video below represents the surrounding landscape of San Paolo Solbrito, and right on that that the Real-feel temperature was of +28C, indeed it was like in the summer.
Coming to the culinary aspects, here there is lot of variety to mentions and I am not pretty sure whether I could cover off such a tough topic 😀
One sunshiny day, I enjoyed a BIO-farm food shopping and I ended up being at the BIO-farm store named ‘Pijte ‘L Piasì‘ better knows as ‘Anzienda agricola Gilli’, they just have the Facebook page which I have mentioned below:
As you enter this place, you will realize straightaway that here you have the embarrassment of choice which goes from the fresh cured meats, gastronomy until the organic green vegetables.
Every single thing bought in here comes from their own family BIO-farm GILLI and I can ensure you that it worths for every single €uro you spend out of your pockets, IE the reversed nine test was with fresh full-fat milk that I have been enjoying it over the breakfast time, normally I do not put up easily with the full-fat milk but this one I always digest it with no issue. On the other hand you are supposed to consume it preferably within three days as you freshly bought it.
In conclusion, having my parents living in this countryside are since quite some years I have become knowledgeable and I noticed that more and more of this BIO-farm producers have also arranged budget B&B accommodation which could give to some curious foreign visitors a great experience by stepping into such this countryside which is just 35km away from Turin.
Should you need for any recommendation, do not hesitate to contact me or just leave a comment.
Few more posts will shortly follows this one 😉
Dear explorers, after such a long time spent finally I am here to talk about something new and different!
One week me and my girlfriend, despite being very warm, we made the decision of driving from Bratislava to the central region of Slovakia denominated Banskobystrický kraj for a cultural summer weekend, we stayed over Friday and Saturday nights since our research came to tell us that it was 100% worthy to do so!
For such a purpose we chose to stay at a holiday apartment with garden on a small hill, the panorama view was simply nice because we could see by distance the scenery of the hilly landscape as shown below:
We drew two separated plans, one for Saturday and one for Sunday because having the considered the type of attractions and the locations they involved us a different mind-set, therefore on Saturday we went for visiting the outdoor attractions as followed:
- Kalvaria chapel
- Banská Štiavnica downtown
- Banská Štiavnica in miniature exposition
- Banská Štiavnica castle with city walls
The first attraction is a recently restored baroque-style chapel which before ten years ago was abandoned, it is situated on the top of a small hill and the restoration works took place from 2008 and were completed on 2016, it was supported by some private funds issued by the VUB Bank institution, it looks like a small architectural jewel which must really be visited to realize how nicely they made it, moreover, if you are with a girlfriend here you have a great chance to enjoy a romantic morning hiking 🙂 you just need max. 90 minutes, therefore you can’t miss it out!
Some pictures below could be impressive to figure out how the spot it is:
The second one is the historical town of Banská Štiavnica which nowadays has become very popular and crowded, you can even find two Italian fashion boutiques!
Having visited it earlier on 2008 I can compare the difference and I can say that at that time was a peaceful town, however long time is spent since then and everything, like everywhere in Europe, is to be properly arranged for the ‘visitors’. If you like to have some small shopping then the market will not disappoint you.
Here below, few pictures are shown:
The third one is purely an indoor exposition of Banská Štiavnica and the nearby villages in miniature, it is something quite recent, it is worthy to be visited for 1.50€ of entrance fee, here below you there are two pictures:
The fourth one is the city castle with high walls, this castle even not that impressive has an outdoor courtyard and some sub-levels indoor rooms arranged for punishing some war prisoners, perhaps it might look scary at your eyes, however that was how it worked in our ancient world. Overall, it is worthy to visit if you are in Banská Štiavnica for the 1st time and it takes maximum one hour for visiting it.
Finally, the only Sunday plan was to visit a manor house situated in Svätý Anton , in Slovak is commonly defined as Kaštieľ that’s to say a huge noble palace which was built under the Austro-Hungaric empire and numerous rich family members lived in there over the past centuries. My personal feeling was to visit a Schönbrunn Palace in miniature, and I am not much in for visiting such palaces in which the luxuriousness is emphasized, however it is a part of the European history and we can not ignore it. Just I am not going to mention details on it but instead I will show you some pictures of it:
In conclusion, the summer trip itself had a good achievement as a combination of cultural enrichment with some soft hiking activity, it was useful to re-visit what the history was and what fabulous left over the past centuries, therefore if over the summer you are a bit bored of dealing always with just swimming or just hiking through the nature you may find a great compromise with such a trip, just go for it!
If any advice do not hesitate to contact me or just leave a comment!
Special thanks to my girlfriend who supported me on such a weekend trip.
Dear explorers, after quite some time spent I am back again to write the first article of my new registered blog!
Malang is the name of the town as well as the region which is situated in the hearth of east Java land, this region like Banyuwangi offers a variety of nature from volcanoes to plenty of waterfalls as well as some hot-springs, most of them are not known by any foreign traveler (perhaps I was the first brave guy getting there :-D).
Briefly, I summarize below what I have experienced over three and half days spent there:
- Night-Morning hiking trip to Bromo National park
- Waterfalls: Coban Putri , Coban Rais , Coban Talun and Coban Rondo
- Cangar (Hot-springs).
As first I made decision to start my challenge with the touristy night-morning hiking to Bromo volcano, here you have two choices to get there:
- Rent a proper off-road motor-cycle
- Book a basic package tour through your accommodation provider
I went for the second option since I just arrived in Malang exhausted after a no-sleep night spent on the train I had no time to look straightaway for a motorbike. What I could recommend is that if you want ride a motorbike to Bromo, get a motorbike with off-road tires and be with a travel companion; secondly, ride very carefully especially at night-time since you will get to ride through a steep hilly narrow road and then you will be passing through a Savana, the scenery will look like a desert at your eyes, once you arrive at the top viewpoint it will be very tricky to park your motorbike because of thousands of visitor will be getting there!
Even Bromo is very popular, it is worthy to go for it and practice your photo-shooting skills! Look at the pictures and a video below:
After the night-morning challenge at Bromo national park, I was back in Malang and I just hang around some noodles restaurant and cafeterias to chill-out and get ready for the next adventures.
The following day as a first thing I decided to rent a motorbike from a rental point which was recommended by a local CS guy Makki, here below you have the google-link: https://g.co/kgs/iCHqQV
The name of the lady owner is Ibu Larasati and her whatsapp contact is +62 822-4040-1929 , she was kind as well as funny, since I ran a bit late with the time she came to my accommodation to deliver the motorbike, she greeted me with a warm hand-shake and then asked me for a picture with her (as usual in Indonesia) to cunningly promote her local business whose the link is mentioned below:
(for more details just check out https://wuzz-rental-motor-malang.business.site/ )
The motorbike itself was a brand-new Yamaha Aerox 150cc which was comfortable and powerful powerful to deal with the hills.
When I was all set, I started off the waterfalls mission which I listed before, in my opinion the most challenging one was Coban Rais because the path was really wild with rocks and flowing water streams in-between, so because all of that, a good practice would be to hike through the path with bare feet as most of Indonesian people do otherwise if you are picky with the waterproof shoes then you will get water inside and the result for your feet will be a way worse! So next time just bare feet 🙂
The second thing was that here I was just the only European alien, all the others were either locals or few guys from Singapore, when I reached the bottom of the waterfalls to record the scenery, some members of a numerous family approached me for few group-photos, YES, still here the alien is a news for them!
Finally, the last half-day I visited Coban Talun and the Cangar hot-springs, none of those places were touristically touched, apparently only Bromo attracts the burden of foreigners and locals from Jakarta who come there for the weekend only for that purpose. I am not going to drill down into much details on those attractions, just you need to experience it personally, however here below you can check out few pictures taken by my Sony alpha 6000 camera:
In conclusion, I spent in Malang three and half days, however I ensure you it would be worthy to spend there even five days because I hadn’t much time to check for some spots in the town of Malang suggested by Ibu Larasati such as Kampung Warna which is a kind of street artist.
A special thank to Ibu, Makki and Iik who assisted me as local advisers and I wish I will travel there back soon in the future!
Every comment and remark is welcomed!
Thank you in advance for your contributions 🙂
after being back from quite some time spent in Indonesia, now it is time to provide you with an overview of my motorbike tour on East Nusa Tenggara commonly known as Flores. So far, Having explored in Indonesia Java, Bali and Flores, I venture to say that Flores compared to the others two is still conservative:
There is not yet a properly-developed tourist infrastructure, apart from Labuan Bajo, over the entire land, out of twelve spots checked out I found only two touristy-appealing sites: Bajawa and Moni (which is the town close to the Kelimutu crater). All the rest are mostly old-fashion villages or just not-westernized small town.
As an organized European traveler, before my journey came I drew a daft itinerary plan of the places I would have explored by riding a motorbike:
When in Flores, the rental of a (proper) motorbike is a MUST because of the following reasons:
- There is no public transportation network (only some mini-van by tour agents)
- If you like to challenge yourself with the sense-of-discovering then you have no other way then just getting a motorbike.
As you noticed above my drawn plan consisted of eleven days and I nicely fit it by including even an extra stop at Mbay, naturally depending on your time you can plan it longer and juicier, however generally speaking I would say that eleven days is a proper time to discover what great Flores offers to the motor bikers.
I am not going to drill down into many details because those are countless then especially when considering every single happening day after day, however every day was a discover of something new, as first when in the early morning (around 7:30am) I started riding the motorbike I felt very keen to say a warm ‘Hello!’ by raising the hand to almost everybody as I crossed on the road either on the feet or just riding on the opposite way, their common spontaneous reaction was a loud ‘Hello Misteeer!!!’, yes ‘Mister’ as a sign of a respectful welcome to the alien in Flores 🙂 I would say roughly the 90% of locals, even the kids, had such an energetic reaction (imagine yourselves doing the same warm salutation in Europe…) and in some cases they were even intimating me to stop for chatting with them and perhaps be offered with a baked green banana and a Kopi (coffee) as shown below:
One day being curious of a uphill concrete surface road I decided to ride up there to see what I would have discovered and well guess what?
It was a primary school building, moreover the pupils at that moment were doing some outdoor activities, they all came close to me as I was on the motorbike and naturally asked me for pictures “Photo photooo“, then also the teachers and the headmaster realized me and also they want photos with me, look at below picture to get impressed with an idea:
Naturally as usual in here I was offered with a coffee and then one lady wanted to get my Facebook contact, even the purpose was not clear to me I had nothing against that, once I left the school I thought that I could even be hosted by her so I didn’t think twice to talk to her and ask for hospitality, then she agreed with her husband to host me for one night as I was on my long way back to Labuan Bajo.
It was a great chance, even better than staying at a known traditional village, to get deeply involved on their rural village life out the ‘comfort zone’. Both wife and husband work as teachers part-time, so the 2nd half of the day they just enjoy their simple life characterized by social meetings with their neighbours which most of them don’t even have a conventional job, instead their profession is to take care of their cultivation of coffee, green vegetables and their chickens, one of their neighbors they also produce a strong alcoholic drink which I personally tried and it was even stronger than a shot of whisky!!!
Just a social consideration, the couple who hosted me told that everyone in the village was staring me because of my height above the (Indonesian) average, my long-pointing nose and the colour of my skin which sounded funny to me since most of us Europeans consider the South-east Asian people to be exotic 😀
Here below I have attached few pictures of my stay at a ordinary Flores village:
In conclusion, If I had not been enough curious I would have never get into such a situation, however life itself means a lot, we can’t always just be focused on itineraries advertised by Google maps and similars. I can proudly affirm that I got a very meaningful life lesson from the motorbike tour in Flores, especially when I consider that they don’t care at all about how many belongings they live with, the consumerism is still a way far from their habits, moreover they are truly tolerant and humble regardless the skin and the religion.
Having said that, I would encourage anybody of you to try such a life experience, if you believe that a simple lifestyle is possible at this world!
Any remarks and concerns are warmly welcomed!
PS: special thank to Enu and Chen for the generous Coffee bag roasted on your village!
Hello to everybody!
After so long time spent I am back to write more about JAVA of Indonesia.
I state that I have totally spent fourteen days by travelling through Java and the Banyuwangi regency was the one in which I mostly focus my attention. The reason behind that was because in there I spent four full days in exploring without hopping into any next other location.
Banyuwangi is basically the east JAVA and there are at least four reasons why you should be dedicated at least four days in visiting it:
- Trekking to Ijen volcano crater with blue fire (if lucky to see it).
- Exploration of Baluran national park
- Exploration of Pulau Merah (Red Island)
- Exploration of Alas Purwo national park
The list above is based on what I managed to visit out of four days, however it could be longer since I heard about few more spots that could be checked out 🙂
Even it is touristically advertised, if you like to enjoy a night trekking experience then it is worthy 100% , just before booking it with any tour agent be aware that the price of the package should be max. 400.000IDR (about 24€), if more then they are trying to rape the pockets of the foreign western tourist. Me and a two German guys managed to get a negotiation for 250k IDR (about 15€). If you want to hear more about the tour agent details feel free to contact me and I will share the details.
The trekking itself is very intensive since the uphill path is aggressively steep, you will be hiking from about 1600mt of altitude up to about 2400mt, and the highest peak is 2799mt, so ensure yourself that before starting with that at night you will have taken a nap before 😉
Once you reached the top point you will enjoy a gorgeous scenery over the sunrise, so be provided with a camera and proper trekking shoes since you will get to walk quite a long way along the perimeter of the crater! Last thing but not the least keep in mind that you are supposed to wear the gas mask since the smell of sulfide is heavy to be breathed by your naked nose. Just take a look at the below pictures:
Why Baluran national park ?
If you like exploring a savanna which is full of buffaloes, colorful birds and snorkeling on the coral reef which is 100mt from the beach at the edge of the park then do not miss it! Of course you need to rent a motorbike to get there unless you want to go by a tour agent.
Why Red Island?
This spot is really chilling and ideal for enjoying one of the best sunset when in Java, all you need is patience to get there, it is two hours and half of riding from Banyuwangi.
If you are curious to see monkey taking a bath on the water streams just get there and record some funny movies (I will soon upload one), this park compared to the Baluran one is much bigger, I personally did not manage to get to the very end point because it was getting late and the off-road was muddier and muddier so ride carefully!
Of course there is more and more to talk about East Java, just it is too long to just fit it in a single article, however if you are curious about any detail, I will be glad to provide you with the needed information(s) as long as my knowledges support me 😀
Every comment is welcomed!
I have had the chance to dedicate two and half intensive days in this city of central Java to check quite some Buddhist and Hindu temples as well as exploring some breathtaking landscapes inside the land and by the seaside.
As I approached Yogyakarta commonly known as ‘Jogja’, my first concern was to rent a motorbike instead booking rides by GO-JEK over and over again, however I state that it is not such an easy challenge to juggle by scooter then especially when stumbling into several traffic jams in the city of Yogyakarta, but instead is pretty tiring and my impression so far about Indonesian cities is that they might be ones of the most polluted of the entire globe, as a result not a few riders wear a mask for the mouth, most probably you would not see anywhere else outside the SE Asia such a huge number of bikers which are more than cars.
Having said that, keep calm and carefully plan your itinerary: when it comes to the temples just avoid over-planning because the more you plan the fewer will be the chances for you to achieve your target. I personally dedicate one day for visiting the temples and the last day top explore the landscapes on the way to the sea and of course by the seaside too 🙂 If you plan to go for a similar challenge by riding your motorbike, be aware of the fact that the roads in Indonesia (like everywhere in SE Asia) are very convoluted and often seem like labyrinths.
So, if for example you plan to explore four beaches, often there will not be any straightforward connecting road along the sea but instead you will have to ride through hills inside the land to reach the next beach.
Here below a small photographic overview of some landscapes by the sea:
Here a summary of beaches I have explored:
- Pantai parangtritis
- Pantai baron
- Pantai kukup
- Pantai krakal
Naturally, the list of the beaches is much longer, however not all of them are worthy to be checked on the purpose of a great photo-shooting.
What I feel to recommend as first is to start riding between am 8and 9am from Jogja so that you will ensure yourselves that you will have enough buffer of time to explore four beaches at least and then be back by the sunset time which is around 5:30pm, during that day I count that I had ridden for about 150km through altogether and on the way back to Jogja I took a different route since I first rode to the closest beach which is pantai parangtritis and from that point I kept riding much further so that it made sense to return over a different road.
Second thing, if you are not knowledgeable of the routes and you don’t want to fully rely on mapping application then hire a local guy, for 100k Rupiah he will be very willing to drive you without any map navigation which could mislead you from time to time, besides that he will show you what are the key-spots 😉
Last but not the least, be mentally relaxed with the fact that for every parking at the beaches you will always be asked for the parking fee which is between 2.000 and rupiahs (not a big deal), be aware that if you park your motorbike out of the dedicated areas it might be removed: a local guy warned me that to have it back then you may end up paying a huge fine like 15 millions of rupiahs.
Having said that, now its up to you what and how you want to plan it, meanwhile I am keeping to exploring further the Java region, new posts will follow soon, just stay tuned!
Everybody is welcomed to comment!
PS: once my mission Indonesia will be completed, I will also show proper pictures taken by a proper camera! (the ones shown were taken by smartphone)
Hello to everybody!
After so long time of non-posting finally I am here back to bring a real-time post about the beginning approach of my long journey being spent in Indonesia.
Since last time was only focused on Bali which is not that meaningful this time will likely be a proper challenging Mission Indonesia.
Being here one day, I can not judge much, however I will draw your attention on the fact that the maximum length as a tourist in the Country is of 30 days, if have planned to stay longer just be aware of the fact that you will have to require the extension of your visa, perhaps this reference may be helpful for your future reference:
That was my case, I knew I would have stayed longer than thirty days, however I was not aware that the limit was of only 30 days so I got to pay the fee of about 35$.
Coming to Jakarta, the first impression is that the city itself appears to be a mixture of poverty and richness which are twisted with each other, e.g. cab drivers sleeping in their own cabs, homeless people everywhere sleeping on the benches and modern shopping centers spread-ed everywhere, perhaps I could notice by far similar things in Bangkok.
Ans yes here like in Thailand here there are electric pylons everywhere!
What is enjoyable is the fact that here you have the choice to get a ride by scooter by using the GO-JEK application, just ensure to get an Indonesian card in order to set it up: you will benefit a lot out of it then especially if you are a backpacker! Just 0.5 € for a 3km-ride.
So after sorting out some hassle with my general journey plan then it was easy for me to hop from one attraction to another one and so on.
If you like to record great scenery I warmly recommend you to get to the ‘Monas’, which is the national monument with a huge wideness of green area all around, just pity that today as Easter there were hordes of people getting there so I gave it up to get to the top of the tower, it was too appealing 🙂
Then I decided to jump into two more attractions which were:
- Jin De Yuan Buddhist temple
- Taman Suropati park
Having said that, I am done with the short visit in Jakarta, and I will get ready to head to the next stop(s) for which I will soon post a new real-time article!
Every comment is welcomed!
Once again I am here to talk about a South-East Asian society which is the Thai one, just this time it isn’t related to a volunteering action: after three years since last time, I decided to visit a new Thai island which is close to the border line with Malaysia. The island is Koh Lipe which is part of the Tarutato National Park:
The aim was to explore new breathtaking landscapes by hiking and snorkeling dive; for such a challenge I planned to stay on Koh Lipe for just two days and after that I would have kept travelling to Malaysia which is by far less touristy than Thailand is.
My approach to Koh Lipe was nothing like surprising as I previously traveled to other gorgeous Thai islands, however as I arrived on Koh Lipe, I was keen to start exploring around the walking streets, as first and usual thing I needed to withdraw some Thai-Bath money by catching a cash dispenser, I asked one Thai guy what the way to the “centre” was, then he offered me to give me a ride there by motorbike as a warm welcome, as first I thought that he’d have expected a tip from me, in fact he didn’t but still I found nice to provide him with a 50-฿ tip.
As a second thing, I needed to find an accommodation with modest claims since I don’t like to have everything super-planned: in the worst case scenario I’d have slept one night on the sand by sleeping bag which wouldn’t have been the end of the world 😉 However I succeeded in finding one, that took me less than an hour 🙂 It was SHANTI hostel with air-conditioned for 400฿ per night which was reasonable.
The walking streets on Koh Lipe are full of restaurants, cafe, shops and some diving schools like in any other well-developed Thai island with the only difference that this island is much smaller and quiet if compared it to Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi.
In addition to that, if you walk further to the sunrise beach you you’ll discover an area which is populated by local Thai nomads, these people typically live in rustily-furnished shelters and conducts a simple and cheerful life-style, obviously as a curios photographer I didn’t renounce in stumbling into their village, I know they wouldn’t have ripped me off by any means 😀 but instead they appeared to be pleased by my photo-visit, moreover they started to play some random folklore music which made everyone in a cheerful mood as shown in the short movie below:
As I kept walking through their village I noticed they were even provided with a small bazar for food and beverages which was owned by themselves, and not far from their village there were the shelter of most of Thai and non-Thai residents of the island, not only do the gypsies live in such a simple conditions but also all the rest of residents do, including the Italian owner of SHANTI hostel, since the island life doesn’t involve them to live with any formal clothes.
Further to that, on Koh Lipe unlike other Thai islands, only residents are provided with motorbikes, I mean that nobody rents motorbike to the visitors since the roads are narrow and with no asfalt which makes pretty much sense because it is part of the Tarutato National Marine park; basically they want to protect the natural park from the any source of pollution.
To sum it up, although I expected Koh Lipe to be busy like Koh Phi Phi is, in fact it wasn’t like that, at least on November, besides that, here there no disco-clubs attracting bunches of youngsters who are willing to get drunk and that’s all 😀 Here the environment is chilling and relaxing which conveys the right harmony in the evening, then especially when you you want to enjoy a tasty sea-food dinner and a chill-out just after that, perhaps with a healthy hot herbal tea with butterfly pea as shown below 😉
One questionable point is: having considered how the Thai gypsies and all the local residents live, are we Europeans really sure that our happiness and fulfillment depends on how many gadgets and belongings we have on our hands?
Or are there any other key-factors which determine our fulfillment and joy of life?
Having said that, I will leave it up to you to figure out what make you feel happy, and base on that we can identify our room for improvement for our life-style.
I wish you all a Happy and Joyful Christmas day! 🙂
Everybody is warmly welcomed to comment and make suggestions on it!
One day later than the riveting kayaking experience that I described in my previous article, at a good morning time I went for the Temurun waterfalls which are situated in the north-west side of the island, although the way to get there might seem long and juicy I had no rush since after the kayaking this was just a chilling trip with some hiking involved 🙂
I arrived first at a sport which was characterized by red rocks and some water pools both at the bottom and top side of the rocks as shown below:
Being an attractive spot, I stop by, and I took some pictures of the scenery with the rocks on the left side of the road, meanwhile some monkeys were nearby among the rocks, they looked like they were just woke up from sleeping therefore hungry and seeking for food as they usually do over the morning time, they were moving around and me as a keen of recording ‘wild animals in action’, I started shooting some pictures as they were getting close; one of them came to the edge of the road, still I couldn’t resist in doing further practice by zooming in my lens to make a proper foreground for him so that I slightly stepped away from the motorbike I rode and guess what next? He targeted the motorbike by jumping into it, so that he gave me a further chance to take one more picture of him sitting on the saddle of the motorbike! 😀
So far, everything may just look like funny and harmless, but as he jumped out of the motorbike he turned out with a funny and unpleasant joke, guess what?
He ripped off my smartphone which I accidentally left placed on the open slot-pockets of the motorbike, I’d have never imagined they would have grabbed my smartphone by believing that it was something eatable :O
My first reaction to such a funny ripping was to call the attention of the monkey to convince him to give up the booty, however there was nothing to do and instead he was turning into an aggressive way by showing off his teeth like to say ‘Do not dare to step into me otherwise I’ll bite you!’. Unfortunately there were no natural weapons to hunt him 😀 , moreover one more monkey joined the thief monkey so I was in minority, all I could do was to let them to go and hopefully he’d have left the smartphone somewhere on the red rocks! Our healthy life is always more important than a ripped smartphone, perhaps not all of us are aware of the fact that if bitten by a monkey you might get the HIV virus so now everybody knows it 😉
As a last but not the least attempt, I asked for help to an american guy who was by change riding down on the road, he didn’t think twice to support me, moreover he was very-skilled in climbing up and down through the red rocks, he managed to find the closed-cover of my smartphone but without it! OMG! They must have frighted hardly for my smartphone…unfortunately there was no track of the smartphone, so there wasn’t anything else the kind US guy could do for me 😦 and the monkeys were run away into upper-level jungle surrounding the rocks. I felt there was really nothing to do, on the other hand it wasn’t the end of the world.
In order to release myself from what happened, I went through the path of the waterfalls and I continued my photo-tour as best as I could, here below some amazing pictures:
After cooling down myself, I wanted to attempt again to look for my smartphone, this time I found at the red rock spot a local malay guy Gurkha who were stopping there by his motorbike, so I approached him to ask for some assistance, the goal was to get through the jungle where the monkeys ran away, however it didn’t appear to be feasible because there were lot’s of bushes and brambles spread-ed which made the jungle impenetrable for humans :O At this point, I decided to give it up and forget. So I smoothly finished my half-day trip and headed to the small town where I stayed in Langkawi and I bought a brand-new smartphone.
In conclusion, waterfalls scenery is always amazing, you’ll never regret it! When it comes to the wild monkeys in action the story changes: perhaps I was a naive, however I have seen many of them over my past journeys into the South-East Asia, but the ones I met in Langkawi are really aggressive and they pick-up everything what they find.
The learned lesson is: Never step away from your motorbike even shortly for just two meters by leaving any unattended valuable stuff when there are wild monkeys in action, they will attempt to rip off whatever they find on the front slot-pockets of your motorbike what exactly happened to me!
Short version: NEVER TRUST THE MONKEYS!
Everybody is welcomed to comment on it!