torsdag 16. april 2015

Diving, diving and diving. Sipadan, Bangkok, Phuket and islands.

Diving in Sipadan , Malaysia.

So after Singapore, I went to Borne, and Sipadan for a liveaboard on the Seaventures Dive rig as seen below. If, you stay here you are a part of a raffle for a ticket to a dive site that only allows a total of 120 divers a day. So since I stayed for 5 nights I got to go there twice! Quite beautiful and unique.

 So this rig is  an former oil rig, not a drill rig, but was used for  research. One of the more unique places to stay when you go diving i reckon. Beneath the rig they have a lot of artificial reefs made out of tires, scrap metal etc. And they offered unlimited house reef dives as long as you got a buddy. It is also the only place I've been diving where you got armed police looking after you in the evening. Previous years there have been so kidnappings, so I think the police is here to prevent that from happening again. This place is some of the best diving I've done, humongous school of Jackfish and Barracudas, and so much more as you will see a bit later on. Something weird here though was that sometimes while underwater we would hear a boom, that turned out to be dynamite fishing from the Philippians side the border. While here I also did a certificate, the deep diver, so I can go down to 40 meters. On the final dive, we brought down a can of coke and a straw. Because of the pressure, the coke won't spill out of the can and you can drink it with the straw, the last zip however is quite disgusting. Cool experience though, how many has had a coke at 35 meters below the surface?

 We also had a coast guard ship anchored up close by.

 The local town on the neighboring island. Looks like I'm in Farcry 3.

Following are some pictures of the interior, it is quite old and tight, but I was alright!

When I arrived there weren't that many people on the rig so I got a room for myself!

 The sundeck on the rig, good for relaxing!

 Bar, eating area, with some equipment,

The following pictures are from the island we used as a pit stop while we were diving in Sipadan. This is where we had breakfast and lunch. I you were lucky and got to go to Sipadan, the boat left from the rig at 0600 in the morning and got aback around 1400.

And here comes the mother lode, a lot of pictures from different dives sites we went to. I'm not going to comment on every pictures, but I'll point out if there are something really special or noteworthy.

 This little man, is a Remora, often seen swimming on the underside of sharks, this one started swimming along side our silver tanks, so we had company for several minutes!

 A crocodile fish

 White tip shark.

 Dun dun dun dun!

 A bat fish.

 A bat fish.

 This might be my favourite, it's a Peacock mantis shrimp and it has one of the hardest punches in the animal kingdom, and has been known to punch through aquarium glass. They also have one of the most advanced eyes and are capable of detecting cancer apparently. Read through the section on Wikipedia, quite interesting!

 The unclear red thing in the middle here is a small orangutang crab!

 We found some treasures as well, here a diaper.


Our dive instructor found a cuttlefish egg and warmed it up with his torch, resulting in the birth of a cuttlefish! Right after this, the cuttlefish was attacked by a Remora, so is sprayed ink and hightailed out of there, sadly I don't have this on tape.

Turtles and more turtles.

Turtle going for a breath of fresh air.


So Thailand, I flew of to Bangkok to met up with San that I studied with in Australia as well, free accommodation, whoop whoop! The pictures here though are not in correct order, time wise, the first pictures are from Songkran, which happened to weeks after I first got to Bangkok. But, I went back to Bangkok after traveling around.

Party scene during Songkran, playing music and hosing people down!


Some funny dressed people as well :)

I did a river cruise as well, for some sightseeing.

A floating restaurant.

Some of the houses are quite shabby.

Or they're not there at all.

Saw a lot of these guys along the river!

Got of the boat and went to the Grand palace.

View from the temple grounds.

Details on the pillars.

Along the outer walls, murals like this where painted all over, quite nice and cool!

So the guy you might see up there is the Emerald Buddha, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside so i tried my best to get a shot from outside.

Details on the temple walls.

The following pictures are from the actual palace grounds and not from the temple ground as the previous are.

So when I was about to leave I see these guys lining up, with buglers and everything, for some of my readers you might know why I find this interesting, but for those who don't, I served for one year as a bugler in the army back home in Norway.

So yeah, apparently it was the crown princess driving by, I didn't get my phone up fast enough to get the whole thing on tape, but you can hear some bugling in there. But, guys, you need to practice more!

Yeah, I think Nissan has a high security budget when they can hire predator as a security guard!


Koh Samui

At Koh Samui I did a few dives as well, and below is some of those pictures. Other than diving here, I just chilled out at the beach, checked out the night marked and had a few beers at the local beach club.
 The dive site, Sailrocks

Some angel fish.

A nice coral forest.

A yellow puffer fish!

These islands are beautiful!

So yeah, Valhalla is in Thailand apparently!

Koh Pangnan

 In Koh Pangnan I didn't really do much, I did two dives and then did my emergency first responder to be eligible for the rescue diver course which I started at the same time.
For two nights this was all I did, watching a dvd and studying, and I thought I was done at school.
And during the day we did all the exercises and scenarios needed to become a certified rescue diver. Non responsive diver underwater, how to surface him/her, check for breathing, provide rescue breaths while towing to shore/boat, provide CPR when on land. Quite the interesting and fun course!

So yeah, I guess the main reason for going here, the full moon party, this video is so rubbish and doesn't do it justice at all. But, several thousand people at the beach either drugged or drunk out of their mind, with eletronica blasting out from everywhere. Bars and food stands all along the beach. Since I'm the party animal #1, I had one bucket of jack and coke, got a kebab and left at 3 am. The others in my dorm got back at 7 am, jeeez. I didn't have a hangover at least and spent the day at the beach!


Had a pitstop in Phuket before Phiphi, quite a beautiful here as well, basically spent the days at the beach, and the evenings just chilling out.  I also checked out the famous Bangla street in Phuket.

I wrote a review for the street on Tripadvisor and I'll just paste it here:

"Okay, lets not fool ourselves, if you wanna go to strip clubs, this is the place, I'm sure you can get more than that as well if you are so inclined. Walking here alone as a male is nothing sort of asking to be harassed by every single bouncer, female or male trying to get you into their bar, strip club, or ping pong show. Mind you, they do have some cool bars there, can't speak for the strip clubs though. Oh yes, ladyboys as well if you like that. I guess it's just one of those things you go to see while in Phuket, don't get me wrong, if you're with a few mates and wanna grab some beers, this place is great, and a lot of nice birds to watch in the street as well, strutting around with most of their feathers on display. I guess Veni Vidi Vici, sums it up, or, been there, done that."

I probably should've checked out this bar (the sign, and disregard the punctuation), but I did not. Wonder if I could've claimed copyright infringements :)


Phi phi

Phi phi was really beautiful  and cool place to be, however if you're not into scuba diving and laying at the beach all day, you might be a bit bored, unless you go on excursions every day. Anyhow, this is an island where all the buildings kinda are all dive shops, bars, hostels, massage parlors, tattoo shops, restaurant, souvenir shops and now and then a family mart. Sadly I didn't take any pictures of the actual "town" but it's a small maze of crisscrossing streets and narrow passage ways, and the atmosphere is great! A metric shit ton of backpackers here going diving or getting drunk, pretty much one or the other. I did both :p I dived for three straight days, on the second night I can't remember how I got back to the hotel and I woke up from my alarm going off at 0645, it was a hard day for diving. But this was absolutely the best diving place in Thailand I think, saw so much cool, pictures below!

Huge schools of fish, obscuring the view!

Sea snake amongst sea urchins.

First time I've seen a moray eel out and about.

In one of the dives we also went into a cave, was quite dark, and this is taken from inside the cave towards the exit really cool. But the gopro is shit in dark environments.

A seahorse, YEAH, first time I ever saw one, it was only like 4 in total or something.

This weird creature is a ghost pipefish, looks like sea weed.

A lobster.

A lion fish at a wreck dive we did, It looks like a man'o'war (huge warship) when it's swimming about.

We did a wreck dive as well on a one year old wreck, I think we saw at least 15-20 Lion fish here, so you have to watch out since they're venomous.

In top of this picture you might see a scorpion fish, a lot of good camouflage going on beneath the water.
A stinger being eaten by fish!

Surrounded by small fish when snorkeling.

Mushroom rock!


More seahorse!

Beautiful scenery as well on Phiphi


 So this is apparently the place the movie The beach was filmed, I can see why though, quite beautiful!

More scenery!



Krabi was my final stop before heading back to Bangkok and Songkran, I stayed in a bamboo hut, so I had animal company, ants in my bed and geckoos on the bathroom! Cozy! It rained when I was here so not much to do, spent one day at the beach, some time at the pool, and the rest playing pool at the bar while drinking beer.

This little fella lived in one of the bamboo reeds in my hut.

Also had company while eating!

And my home!

That's all for now, off to Cambodia!