Goodbye WordPress!

WE HAVE MOVED TO theWeegs.com !!!!!!!!!!!

We’ve changed the name from Travel Mementos to The Weegs (our last name). This inspiration came from the idea of making the blog more personal and representative of us.

We have also updated the design entirely, including a new logo. We’ve added new content like: “Map”, “About Us” and “The Blog” in order to provide a better description of who we are, what are we doing, and how we do it. Check out the latest welcome post for more info.

If you subscribe to our blog via WordPress, we have made it easy for you and automatically transferred your email subscription to the new website. You should receive an email about it soon.

Finally we have become independent from WordPress.com for a variety of reasons. Many thanks to the WordPress.com community for your help and support with Travel Mementos! We couldn’t have done it without you. Our new website will include all past content and any new posts to come!

Please take a look around the theWeegs.com and tell us any thoughts or suggestions, they are always welcome.

Cheers!

Pamela and Adam (The Weegs)

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A few days in Bangkok

Most travelers agree on their feeling toward big cities in developing countries: traffic, pollution, tons of street markets selling all kinds of things that no one needs with tons of people everywhere. Bangkok fits the bill, but add the Thai flavor, canals, temples (more than one can handle), intense heat and naughty nightlife. It’s also very travel-friendly with amazing food everywhere, affordable and safe.

Bangkok canal

Some memorable moments:

Unexpected dancing at a Thai restaurant/cooking school. Before I get into the story I want to give props to Thai food. So good and so cheap! Adam was finishing his all time favorite, green curry extra spicy with rice, when a lady with a golden crown came to our table and asked us to stand up and follow her dance moves. Adam pretended not to hear, but she insisted and I had to stand up while Adam started to take pictures… good excuse Adam! It was fun but I am much better at salsa 🙂

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! (re-reading this I found out I am a Thai piggy!).

Adam’s favorite dish: green curry and brown rice.

Street entertainment and people spotting (including Koh San Road). One of the things that I liked the most when I first arrived in Bangkok was all the stuff going on in the street. It can get old after some time, but as a first experience in Thailand it was fascinating to see! Lady-boys, lost tourists looking at maps, temples, palaces, street food that I couldn’t guess what it was, sex-paths (old man with young Thai women), the typical European tourist backpacking in Southeast Asia with a fluorescent shirt and a hungover face, more street food, Buddhas, the Hip-Thai type, more Buddhas, the professional Thai type, all very entertaining to watch.

Khao San Road

A 20 baht (70 cents) all day Tuk Tuk ride. We were a little surprised when a tuk tuk offered to take us to four different temples and palaces for only 20 baht, it sounded too good to be true, but at the end we took the risk. True to his word we visited the different places he said he would take us to. A big Buddha temple, a happy Buddha temple, another Buddha temple with amazing city views and a gorgeous marble palace. Then, of course, the “too good to be true” part kicked in.

Tuk tuk driver: “Let me take you to the jewelry/fabric/tourist store.”  Us: “No thanks, we have no interest in buying anything at the moment, plus we are very tired.” (it was extremely hot btw). Driver: “Please, please, do it for me, only five minutes, they pay me gas.” Us: “Ok, only five minutes…”

And the same story happened again and again. We ended up spending five minutes in two different suit/fabric stores, one jewelry shop, and a travel agency. All the while pretending we were interested in custom-made suits (when we are wearing surf shorts and Adam has a homeless man beard!), precious gems and tourist info. Sigh. Adam and I still agreed in the end that the extra half hour of visiting shops was worth the four-hour tour of town for less than a dollar.

Big Buddha temple

Marble palace

Some other notes:

-Transportation: A taxi is a good way to go in Bangkok, but be aware of the ones that refuse to use the meter, they will charge triple the price. This happened to us one time. We got into a taxi and asked to take us to the train station. He said “300 baht”, we said “meter”, he said “no, 300 baht”, we got out of the taxi and took the next one. He had no problem using the meter and the price was only 60 baht!

Sky-train and metro are other options, but not as accessible because you can only take them from certain parts of town.

-Accommodation. Sivarin Guest House, highly recommended. See my TripAdvisor review.

Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple

Unlike the rest of Bali, the Bukit peninsula, better known as Uluwatu, doesn’t care about pleasing anyone but laid back surfers and unworried travelers.  This is where we chose to spent our last week in Indonesia. While here we rented a motorbike for about four dollars a day and wandered around. We found amazing fish tacos (San Diego would be proud), cool little bars to catch the sunset over the ocean, and not much more but that was all we wanted.

One of the main attractions of the area is the Uluwatu Temple. We visited it twice. The first time, we walked around the temple and took pictures over the cliff while the sun was making its way down giving a pinkish color to the sky.  There were many monkeys playing in and around the temple. One of them surprised Adam from behind and quicker than he could imagine, snatched my camera case with both of our sunglasses inside from his hand! Adam was so mad! “How can a monkey get the best of me?!”, he said. The monkey managed to open the case, pull out both pairs of sunglasses, and held all three for ransom high up in a tree. One of the guides jumped the fence to get closer and threw snacks, one by one, to the monkey in exchange for our things. A well-deserved tip for the guide’s snacks and the effort, or were he and the monkey in on it?! Who knows but Adam felt obligated to tip the man, after all he successfully recovered our stuff.

The temple was not the most amazing we’ve seen, but what makes it more attractive is the stunning view over the ocean from the cliff. While taking pictures we heard chants and songs drifting our way. Later we found out that a local dance is performed there daily at 6pm but we just missed it. After a few days we came back to see the “Monkey Dance”.

Balinese traditional dance is performed by making very slow body movements guided by the arms, hands and fingers. The many facial expressions are part of the show.

The rest of the time was spent reading, working, planning our next stop through Thailand, sunsets, more fish tacos and the last day we visited Kuta for a day of fun in a huge water park.

Adam’s favorite!

Until the next time, from Thailand!

Searching for Dragons (Part 3)

Komodo Dragon

Komodos only exist in Indonesia on the Komodo, Rinca and Flores Islands. There is nothing like them anywhere else in the world. Although they are mortally dangerous because of the poisonous bacteria in their saliva, there are only a couple of incidents per year. They stick to water buffalo and deer. The giant lizards kill by biting and waiting until the poison takes its effect. They follow their target until they die a week later. It was very exhilarating to see them up close. Keep reading!

Searching for Dragons (Part 2)

We made our way to Gili Bola, our first island stop, to spend the evening. (“Gili” means island in Indonesian) The highlight of that day was seeing thousands of bats flying above us at sunset. They were “flying foxes”, a species of huge fruit bats. We weren’t sure where they were going, but it was spectacular.

Flying bats at sunset

Keep reading!

Searching for Dragons (Part 1)

We had been entertaining the idea of going to see Komodo Dragons for some time until we finally arranged a 4 day boat trip from Lombok to Flores while staying on the island of Gili Trawangan.

A quick mention about the Gilis; they are 3 small islands north-west of Lombok. One of them; Gili T, became a popular backpacker destination in the 80’s. Back then, there wasn’t any law enforcement and it was one of the few places where people could experiment with drugs, usually mushrooms. Even though it’s not quite the same now (although we did get many random mushroom offers in the street) it continues to be a very popular destination in Lombok, mostly for diving and the party scene. We spent five days here. The second day we went scuba diving at Shark Point. The dive was about average, but it was good practice before diving in the strong currents of Komodo. After the dive we had some beers at the beach with five Australians and a couple of locals playing the guitar and singing. They knew some “Mana” songs, which surprised me. I really like being in Indonesia and listening to music in Spanish, familiar words in a faraway place are nice. At night we wandered down to a big street food market for dinner. I had a soup but don’t ask me what was in it. The last three days in Gili T we both caught some sort of flu and spent most of the time shivering together in bed. It was a good chance to catch up on our movies 🙂

Gili Trawangan

Back to the dragons, Keep reading!

Exploring Lombok Island

We had a great time in Bali, but as many people warned us, it was all very touristy and crowded. So looking for a more local feeling we made our way to the next island east of Bali: Lombok. We opted to pass up the flight and fast boat to Lombok options, instead joining the locals on the slow boat (ferry). This by itself was quite an experience. Aside from one other traveler, we were the only foreigners cruising on the boat.  Inside was hot, humid, crowded and smelly. We went to the deck and found a little corner underneath some shade. It cost us seven dollars total and it took five hours to get there.


Keep reading!