Was Singapore like this…..?

Was Singapore like this…..?

Today we rode a couple of bikes (courtesy of our hotel) into the city, the round trip is 6km. People here drive on the left. Cycling to town was very enjoyable, it gave us a chance to see everyday life. Passing by the market you could see all he traders with their home grown produce in front of them, a long basket of chickens literally overflowing from the basket, yet they put more in. Children and monks going to school. It also gave us a chance to actually see litter. We rode over a small bridge and the litter was thrown over the bridge. We started from the hotel and headed east onto Lao-Thai Friendship Road then headed north on Phothisarath Road which turned into Chao Fa Ngum Road that turned into Sisavangvong Road and finally turning into Sakkarine Road.

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People here are curious as I do not think they have seen many people with turbans if any at all. They will look for literally two seconds before getting on with their everyday lives. People here unlike most other people elsewhere in the world do not involve themselves with other peoples business. It does not matter to them how people look. As long as people are friendly to them that is all they ask. They say ‘sabaidee’ (hello) to you with a smile without any ulterior motive!

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Whilst on Sisavangvong Road we enquired at various tour companies for a boat trip to the caves, prices varied from 50,000 kip to 60,000 kip….I know only 10,000 kip which is about 80pence but I am a Scrooge!

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We then headed onto Souvannabanlang Road, parallel to the Mekong River.

On the side of the road we could hear men laughing and what sounded like jesting at each other. We stopped to see what was happening and they were playing French boules. The game looked like fun, just wish we knew what the guys were saying. The atmosphere was amazing and very jolly.
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We walked up some stairs to
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Wat Xieng Thong
Luang Prabang
Lao

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An amazing temple. Wat Xieng Thong (or Temple of the Golden City) is a Buddhist temple (wat), located on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Phrabang, Laos. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art. There are over twenty structures on the grounds including a sim, shrines, pavilions and residences, in addition to its gardens of various flowers, ornamental shrubs and trees.
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Back down by the main road there are a number of steps leading down to the Mekong River. We walked down to see this amazing river. The Mekong is a river in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km (2,703 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 475 km3 (114 cu mi) of water annually.
From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China’s Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. In 1995, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekong’s resources. In 1996 China and Burma (Myanmar) became “dialogue partners” of the MRC and the six countries now work together within a cooperative framework.
The extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls in this river have made navigation difficult. The river is a major trading route linking China’s southwestern province of Yunnan to Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand to the south, an important trade route between western China and Southeast Asia.

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I am in need of a laundry, yes it is time for washing again, in an alleyway I saw a laundry service which just looked cleaner and more professional then the others, there charges are 10,000 kip for a kilo….will pop back later as I do not have my the laundry with me…….well what do you expect, me cycling around Luang Prabang with my dirty clothes?!?!

We then cycled towards Kingkitsarath Road, which runs parallel to Khan River. Here we stopped at
The Varanda by Villa Nagara

For a can of sprite…..we were overdue a trip to the ATM so only had 20,000 kip. The can cost 10,000 kip, about 70p.
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Selling artwork
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Afterwards we cycled back to the hotel so we could pick up the clothes for the laundry.

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Back at the hotel we spent a few minutes where I devoured some ritz crackers…..damn they are good!

We then got a tuk tuk back to town, it dropped us off near Wat Xieng Thong, we walked through the temple to the other side which is closer to the laundry. After dropping off the clothes we walked towards the night market. Yesterday I was fortunate to hear the monks chanting and I wanted Sangeet to experience this. So we walked to the temple and caught the last few minutes of the chant. The monks came out all looked at us and one said “Indian?”, I said Sikh. He was intrigued and sat next to me. His name is Kum Chi….not sure on the spelling. We chatted for a while asking each other questions…us about him being a monk and he asked us about Sikhi, England and football! He could tell I do not like football. He said he loves the sport and supports Arsenal. After about an hour of chatting we said our byes and carried on walking towards the night market. Sangeet browsed the stalls whilst I went to the ATM. We met back at the stalls and decided to go to the vegetarian stall for dinner. I really enjoyed.

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Before entering the shops, people leave their shoes outside
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Chatting with the monks
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Afterwards we took a tuk tuk to the hotel, the driver asked for 40,000 kip I said for the last two days I have been paying 20,000 kip. After playfully trying to negotiate more knowing it was not going to work, he agreed 20,000 with a smile.

Later I decided to go for a walk. It was dark but it still felt safe. I walked passed shops shutting up, families gathered around the television, other families around a big dinner table just talking, stalls holders cleaning up their area. Also a sports club where people were playing badminton and pool. I wonder if Singapore was like this 30 years ago.

Great company…..great food…..!

Great company…..great food…..!

Today I had a huge breakfast which consisted of fruit, cooked vegetables and steamed rice. I hope that it will last me until the evening, unfortunately I am hungry again by lunchtime!! I really need to cap my eating!

After a relaxed morning where I was digesting my food, we walked into the city to find a laundry. When we did find one, the lady behind a counter/desk/pile of clothes informed us that there are no self service laundries in Georgetown!! Just means we would have to hand wash the essential clothes and dry them on the back seat of the car.
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Afterwards, we walked to

Lilys
Vegetarian Kitchen
98 Ground Floor
Noble House
Madras Lane
10400 Penang
Malaysia
W: www.lilysvegekitchen.com

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Before you say anything…..I was still full from breakfast, so Sangeet had lunch here….okay I lie, I had a little taste for review purposes! It did taste nice but not a restaurant we would go back to.

Afterwards we popped back to the hotel to hand wash the clothes. The things we have to do!

Whilst I was looking into Cambodia (Sangeet had given me the dates of where we should be and when,) Sangeet walked to the the Wadda Gurdwara, Penang

87 Jalan Gurdwara (Jalan Brick Klin)
10300 Penang,
Malaysia

Later, Sangeet came to the hotel and together we went back to the Wadda Gurdwara. On entering the Gurdwara we saw a couple of students from the camp, they were so happy to see us. They said to me “we are going to pray for you tonight” I asked “why?” They said “so you come back to camp next year!” I cannot emphasise the love given to us. The sangat of Malaysia have been fantastic.

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For email subscribers
Wadda Gurdwara, Penang

After evening prayers we went outside, it was raining very heavily. A couple who had also been at the Gurdwara offered us a lift back to the hotel which we accepted.

Later in the evening we met Gelinder, who took us out to a nice Indian restaurant in a location called Little India. We were later joined by her father and friend Shareenjit Kaur. They showed us so much love, her father said “next time you come to Penang, you are to stay at our home”. That is so nice of him to offer.

Sri Ananda Bahwah
25 Penang Street
Georgetown
Penang
Malaysia

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Gelinder’s father had to leave early. Gelinder and Shareenjit were very kind to show us around. We went to Straits Quay. Straits Quay is Penang’s first retail marina. Lapped by the waves of the Andaman and set over 12.4 acres, Straits Quay is a veritable hub of shops, boutiques and restaurants.

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We had a fantastic evening and were so glad and privileged that they all took the time out to spend with us.

Greetings from Auckland…..

We have arrived in Auckland, unfortunately there are very few free wifi spots!  We have plenty of posts and pics to upload, please bear with us!

Just looking for accommodation……..

A Packed Day…..

A Packed Day…..

Today was a packed day with hiking, shopping and food (of course.)

In the morning we went to the Gurdwara to witness the bhog of the Akhand Paath, bhog may refer to any number of situations having to do with completion, pleasurable gratification or sensual enjoyment. In Sikhism bhog may refer to the blessing or offering of food. Bhog also refers to the sublime pleasure enjoyed upon the ceremonial completion of an Akhand Paath, the continuous unbroken reading of Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holy scripture and everlasting Guru.

Afterwards we came home, I had an annoying email issue, which I resolved. Turns out a application I had installed was blocking all outgoing emails!!

At 11am we have a Hollywood Hike booked with LA active adventures:

Hollywood Sign Adventure-

Tour Length: 1 hour
Pick-Up: 1700 N McCadden Pl Hollywood, CA 90028 Living Social voucher holders please follow directions sent via email.
Season: Year round
Activities: Hiking, architecture, nature viewing, city views.
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous! Difficulty 4 out of 5.
Tour Cost: $50 per Adventurer
Number of Adventurers: 2-6

Without going into too much detail and spoiling it for you! This walk is off the beaten track and worth doing. Hargobind knows his history and you may even see somebody famous, we saw Moby.

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Also found out that LA is made in India!!

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Moby’s house

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This house has just recently completed build.

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Party town!

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Classic car

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Afterwards, Hargobind, Sangeet and I went to a vegetarian Thai Restaurant:

Bulan
Thai Vegetarian Kitchen
7168 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles
California
CA 90046
USA
+1 323 857 1882
Www.bulanthai.com

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Some dishes have egg and some dishes can be made gluten free.

I would definitely recommend the hot wings, absolutely awesome!!

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Afterwards we had to try some ice cream so went to Scoops:

Scoops
712 North Heliotrope Drive,
Los Angeles,
California
USA
+ 1 (323) 906-2649

Mon-Sat 12-10pm
Sun Closed

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Afterwards we went shopping on Larchmont and then the customary trip to Babycakes!

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After all this food we needed a walk to burn it off! So we went shopping at The Grove!

The Grove is a retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles, California, built, owned, and operated by Rick J. Caruso and his company Caruso Affiliated on parts of the historical Farmers Market.

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Santa Barbara…..

Santa Barbara…..

After leaving Carpinteria, we headed north to Santa Barbara and parked up on Chapala Street, as there was a vegan restaurant on the same street called Adama.
Adama
428 Chapala Street
Santa Barbara
California
CA 93103
USA
T: +1 805 560 1348
W: adamavegan.com

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For breakfast earlier Sangeet had nachos and guacamole, I had last night’s Chinese, so because we were pretty full, we only popped in for coffee and cake. All of the cakes are gluten free, as well as being vegan…..you could never tell the difference!!

After eating, Sangeet decided she wanted pizza and fries for lunch!!! They also tasted very good. The pizza was gluten free.

Afterwards we had a wander to the beach and pier, where we met a guy, Deepak, originally from India now living in Santa Barbara, he said Sat Sri Akal and asked if we are enjoying Santa Barbara, we said yes and he was happy to hear that. We chatted for a while before going our separate ways.

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More pictures coming soon….

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