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Rafal's Travel log

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Life is a journey - enjoy it

Log entries 101 - 110 of 197 Page: 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Nov 09, 2009 09:00 PM Komodo dragons

Komodo dragons We woke up early and quick arranged a visit in the Komodo National Park (price per person is 190 000 rupias + fees for the guide). We choosed a longest path to see the famous Komodo Dragons (according to the guide they are living only here, nearby Rinca Island and in few places in Flores). The path leads throught the forest and hills (from where are great views over the island and the bay) but we didn't meet any dragons. We saw other animals like deers, wild pigs, parrots, but not the most importants. I was very dissapointed, when we come back to the rangers station finally we meet few dragons who were sleeping under people houses !!! We got crazy with the photos but anyway it was not the same thing as see this wild animals in their natural enviroment. Dragons (Warans) are amazing, huge (3 meters long), heavy (up to 100 kilos) and dangerous (normally the don't attack the people but we heard about such cases). After we decided to come back to Bima, so we took our boat we had a short stop for snorkeling on the Pink Beach and then we took a way back to Sape. We could see Komodo Island during the day, they are stunning and very beautiful. Our way back was only 4.5 hours and we reach Sape at 8 pm. As I hated this place we wanted to get away from there as soon as we could. We took a taxi to Bima. In the meantime the nasty people from Sape were trying to get as much money from us as they could. It was the worst place during my travels, if you can avoid it.

Nov 08, 2009 09:00 PM Reaching Komodo Islands

Reaching Komodo Islands We left Padangbai in early morning, then we took a flight from Denpasar (with Trigana Air 90 USD one way) to Bima. We landed quite early in Sumbawa and took a taxi to get to Sape. This was the only chance to get from Sumbawa to Komodo Islands. But shortly after landing we found out that exactly the same day was earthquake here in Bima !!! But we haven seen any of the signs of the earthquake also people here were very calm. When we get to the taxi we asked our drive to take us at the begining to Tourist Information (according to Lonely Planet it should be one in Bima), but we didn't found any and taxi driver took us to some general who was tourist authority on the island. When we finally reached Sape (small, ugly and not interesting port) we found out that the ferries between Sumbawa and Flores don't stop in Komodo. The only chance is to hire a boat. From the very first moment we had some touts who were annoying and trying to cheat us. Finally haven't any other solutions we rent a fisherman boat ( 2 500 000 rupias for retourn journey and the boat was waiting for us). But the things are not so quick here so we had to wait 3 hours for departure. Then instead of 4 hours journey took us 7 hours and we reached Komodo after midnight. We woke up the rangers and went sleep in Camping run by them. That was long and exhausted day.

Nov 07, 2009 09:00 PM Kings of the road

Kings of the road We wanted to go to Gili Islands today but there is no chance to go there and come back in one day, also ferry tickets are quite expensive (50 USD OW), so having nothing more to do we decided to rent a motorbike and see more of the island. We decided to go to Virgin Beach in Candidasa. We went through mountains, villages, rice fields. But the biggest adventure was to drive the motorbike here. Other drive rules as in Poland (or often lack of rules :). Virgin Beach itself is small, hidden and white beach (also to go there we had to paid entrance fee 2500 rupias per person). We took a sunbath, we had a time to read little bit and rest. Very nice afternoon. When we come back we got our flight tickets for tomorrow and in my opinion the biggest adventure for this trip will start tomorrow.

Nov 06, 2009 09:00 PM Discovering "the Liberty" wreck

Discovering That was second diving day for my friends. We went to Tulamben where is a great divers attraction, the Liberty wreck. It was a ship torpeded by Japanese during IIWW, after it was on the beach until 1963, when was a huge eruption of the Gunung Agunug volcano, which put the wreck into the water. From that time it has been taken by corals and divers. But also during the snorkel I could see some part of the wreck. Great impression, I was feeling as a great discovered. Then on our way back we saw some places in Bali like Culik, rice terraces around Gunung Agung, Candidasa and we went back finally to our base at Padangbai. We went againg to our travel agent and after long time we had a tickets from Denpasar to Bima (in Sumbawa), from where are also trips to Komodo Islands but much more difficult to organize. At the end of the day we joined local people who were celebrating a victory in cock fight. It was a great end of the evening drink a beer and listen to live songs.

Nov 05, 2009 09:00 PM Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon As I am not diver as my friends I had this morning only for me, they went for diving. I took the time to read little bit, go to the internet cafe, make a laundry.. But whole day without doing nothing is too much for me. On the second diving I went with them to do snorkeling. Coral reefs were not so spectacular as in Philippines, but anyway I saw some corals and very colorful fishes and I paid almost nothing for that trip - only 5 USD. After coming back to the city we were trying to book our flight tickets to Komodo Islands - and uppss, we had a huge problem. First of all you can only reserve a flight ticket for Indonesian airlines in the internet if you have Indonesian credit card, secondly the only travel agent in the city had no computer so he was calling all the time without any results. So we were very frustrated when we found out that there is no places in the plane for Labuan bajo. He promised us to find the solution, but we didn't saw any results of that. When we come back after an hour he forgot completely about us. So if somebody will need for the future: They are directs filgts from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo (Flores, close to Komodo Islands) daily. Flights are done by Trans Nusa Air and the price is 90 USD one way.

Nov 04, 2009 09:00 PM Ceking rice terraces

Ceking rice terraces In the early morning I rent (with one friend) a bike and we went to see rice terraces at Ceking. Place is about 15-20 kilometers from Ubud, and the road took us about an hour to get there, but it was worth. Green rice terraces just before harvest were something that I had no chance to see in Philippines - just stunning. I could take a walk through them and admire the views. Spectacular. Road back was much more easy, because was all the time down.. We come back Ubud after 40 minutes (during the road we wanted to see a temple, but we were not allowed, they even were not able to tell us why). Our next stop was Padangbayi, so we rented a van (20 USD) and went there. We had an arrangement that our driver will stop in few interesting places, that is why we saw Elephant cave and king palace in Semarapura. Those were palaces of the king Klung Kung Kingdom with amazing frescoes on the ceiling. After we reach Padangbai which is small city know from diving courses as well the port from where ferries are leaving to Lombok. At the end of the day we went to eat some great Indonesian specialties.

Nov 03, 2009 09:00 PM Ubud and Kecak dance

Ubud and Kecak dance This morning we had some time for ourselves. I slept little bit more, as I was missing a lot of sleep. Then we went to the airport to catch the flight to Denpasar (Bali). Be aware that they are charging here 25 000 rupias for departure tax. Garuda flight was on time and at 3 pm we landed in Denpasar. Shortly after landing we went to Ubud, where we had our first night. Hotel was great (Agung Raka Bungalows - 30 USD per double) worth of the money. We took some time to admire the view from the bungalows (rice fields at sunset). After we decided to see traditional Balinese dance - kecak. A lot of artists, singers, costumes, masks - great performance. At the end we saw some guy who was going through the fire. At the end of the day we took a walk through Ubud during the evening, but city was not so interesting as it was written in the guidebook. Generally I was little bit disappointed about Bali in the first day. A lot pf tourist, smog not so many interesting places to see. Maybe bit away from typical tourist spots will be better.

Nov 02, 2009 09:00 PM Magical names, magical places Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Prambanan

Magical names, magical places Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Prambanan In the early morning we took a van from our hostel to the airport (we paid 130 RM per journey). We landed in Yogya at 11 am, we went to the hotel (Rumah Mertua - 400 000 Rupiah per double room, 1 USD - 9 500 Rupiah, hotel is very nice but away from the city center). As we didn't have again to much time we decided to rent a car with the driver to see the highlights of Yogyakarta. We started with Prambanan. There is a great complex of Hindu temples (entrance ticket costs 11 USD). They were built between 8th and 10 th centuries AD, then shortly after finishing abandoned (when Hindu Javanese king moved to East Java), rediscovered by the Dutch, was badly damaged in 2006 earthquake. Now some of the temples are under renovations, other are already given for visitors. The temples are very beautiful and picturesque. Even if they have more than 1 000 years old, they have still visible sculptures on the walls. I think that after restoration place will be even more breathtaking. Then our driver took us through the small villages to Borobudur. This is colossal Buddhist temple (entrance fee 11 usd) built from millions block stones in the form of massive symmetrical stupa. We were in the late afternoon, so there was not so many tourist there. Temple is located on the top hill with the great view over the mountains. And the temple itself is fascinating - thousands of stories sculptured in the walls on the lover levels and 72 small stupas on the higher levels and central stupa on the top of the temple. We were delighted by this place. After our driver took us to the local restaurant where we could try local cuisine (spicy, but very delicious). At the end of this fascinating day we had quick sightseeing through the city. Believe me - what a great day it was.

Nov 01, 2009 09:00 PM Kuala Lumpur in one day - stop over

Kuala Lumpur in one day - stop over I couldn't find any convenient connections within a day between Cambodia and Indonesia, so we decided to spend a day in Kuala Lumpur. We took a morning flight from Siem Raep with Air Asia and landed in Malaysia at 11 am. Air Asia is landing in LCCT Terminal and from there is a lot of buses to the city center for only 9 RM one way per person. After check-in to the hostel (Classic Inn - 60 RM per person in 4 bed room) we went to see most famous building in KL - Petronas Towers. There is a chance to get on the top of it, but it is not that easy, only few days per week and only one thousand tickets per day. So we were watching from outside and walking around this great buildings. Then when we were going to the China Town it has started to rain. Maybe that was one of the reasons why I didn't liked at all this part of the city. If you want to do the shopping is ok, but otherwise, when it is raining there is nothing to do there. On our way back to the hostel, when we were trying to find a money changer we found a very interesting part of the city- little bit chaotic, with thousands of street sellers, neons, restaurants. I adore this part of Asian cities...

Oct 31, 2009 09:00 PM Wonders of Angkor part 2

Wonders of Angkor part 2 We saw yesterday Bayon and sunset in Angkor Wat so today we went to visit Angkor Wat temple during the day. Wonderful just wonderful. The only one change is that you can not enter to the highest terrace which is under reconstruction in the moment. Pity, I remember from my first visit that from there is the best view over the complex. After seing main temple we went to unfinished Ta Keo - temple which has already more than 1 000 years. Very dangerous and high steps are sign of this temple. After we went to Ta Phrom (which is in my opinion the best temple from Angkor Complex). This temple has been left in the same state as the famous Henri Muhot discovered it. Breathless, the roots of the trees are still a part of the temples/towers and walls surrounded the complex. Funny thing was that most of the tourist were calling this temple as "Angelina Jolie Temple" because one of the "Tomb raiders was shooted here. After we went to see Bantenai Kdei another great example of Khmer architectural style, pool called "Sra Srang" and at the end the day we climbed to Pra Rup temple just to watch sunset from here. But we had bad luck - sky just before the sunset started to be cloudy. For the end of this great day we went for whole body massage (only 14 USD), which helped us to recover little bit after all hard climbing day.

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