Day 185 – 213 Terima kasih – wonderful Indonesia

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!! 🙂

We arrived Bali in Indonesia some days before New Year’s Eve and had planned to meet some friends and family from Norway. Together with Bertha, Lina and Maryann we explored Sanur town, restaurants and beaches. A biiiig thank you to Maryann who showed us how to get around in Sanur. 🙂 On New Year’s Eve we went out to eat and dance at the local bar “Casablanca”, We all had a great time listening and dancing to some nice reggae music all night. Our time in Sanur can be summed up like this – Morning walks with Maryann, breakfast by the pool, swimming, reading books, experiencing heavy rainfalls, getting leg-massage, doing schoolwork with Luna Noor, walking by the sea, talking to friendly Indonesians, taking pictures of the nature and flowers, playing cards, shopping souvenirs and eating late dinners. We even experienced our very first earthquake one morning in bed. That was a bit scary… However it was not too big so we only noticed the beds were shaking a bit. Lucky us!

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Day 167 – 184 Joyful Christmas in the Philippines and Norway

Thanks to all of you for making Christmas 2016 full of everlasting memories! 

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Our family spent Christmas three different places in December 2016. Ole Martin went to his hometown in Norway, Narvik, to spend some days with his father Reidar and the rest of his family and friends. Ib Margido spent it with friends in Trondheim in Norway, and Emeric Philip, Luna Noor and Siv Johanne spent it with Siv’s father Ingar and Jenifer and their family and friends in Dumaguete in the Philippines. As I am the one staying in Dumaguete in the Philippines with Emeric and Luna – and took a lot of pictures (“as usual” – I hear Luna Noor says…) I will attempt to summarize the main happenings as best I can.

Dumaguete is situated in the Negros Island in the Philippines where there lives about 150 000 inhabitants. The official languages is Cebuano, Ilongo, Filipino and English. The currency is Pilippine Peso and the temperature varies from 24 to 32 degrees celsius all year round with one wet (June to November) and one dry season (December to May).

During our stay in Dumaguete we experienced the colorful and diverse flora, the green and lush mountainsides, the helpful, smily and relaxed people, an interesting geothermal power plant in the mountains of Valencia, the busy town center, a very joyful Christmas spirit, early morning walks with my dad and his dogs in the neighbourhood, Christmas parties, local food, a local fish market, swimming, a beautiful hotel resort, Philippine fishing, happy karaoke nights, a confused Santa Claus on Christmas eve, and a magical church on our way to Cebu :-). Hera (my little sister) and Luna Noor were having a great time together playing, singing and swimming in the pool. Frances (Jenifers son) and Emeric also spent some nice moments together. 🙂

Jenifer, dad, Hera and Frances

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Early morning walk with the dogs, Rushka and Mali

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Visiting the Geothermal power plant in Valencia (using hot water steam from vulcano heat many thousand meters into the earth soil to generate electricity)20161221_102533

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Day 161 – 166 Mourning Bangkok in Thailand

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Arriving Bangkok in a period of national mourning (already lasted for over a month) over loosing their king Bhumibol Adulyadej, made a huge impression on us. He is the longest-reigning king  in the world with over 70 year at the throne. The prime minister has now declared a one year mourning for state employees and it seems like the whole country is going to follow this long-lasting mourning period. For many people he was seen as a demigod or as a close family member because of his wise and caring way of reigning the country. He administered with his daughter over 4 000 environmental, rural and self-sustainable projects throughout the country to help it grow and develop for the benefit of Thailand and it’s people. On several occasions at the cinema we were kindly asked to stand up in order to remember and honor the late king for a minute watching a video with highlights of his deeds and life. I have to admit that I got tears in my eyes while I stood there understanding what a great and unifying king he must have been…

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Our experience of Bangkok is that it is full of culture (museums, monuments and art), cosy night markets, riverside hotels and restaurants, river cruises and taxis, good food, interesting activities, modern buildings, skyscrapers, and technology. People are busy but friendly and try to help whenever you ask. The low prices make it easy to enjoy the diversity of the many possible activities and cultural sites and art of the city. We visited Wat Pho, The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Khaosan road (backpacker’s road), Asiatique The Riverfront (night market), as well as travelling by water taxis, Tuk Tuks and SkyTrain to visit the city center Siam where we went bowling, shopping and watching movies. Both Luna Noor and Emeric ended up buying their very own ukulele… I hope we will have much fun and pleasure listening to them in the future when they probably will be able to entertain themselves and us with nice music! 🙂

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We also spent our last days touring with our oldest son, Ib Margido in Bangkok, as he went back to Norway after half a year touring the world with us. He decided it was time for him to continue where he left off before the worldwide family tour started back in Trondheim. We miss you already and wish you all the best in your future life journeys! Love you soooo much! We will be checking up on you from time to time… 🙂

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Hua Hin

We arrived in Hua Hin in the evening after leaving Siv and Luna at the airport in Bangkok. They went to Serbia and the boys was going to wait in Hua Hin. Ole stayed in an apartment resort north of the centre. Emeric and Ib stayed in a hotel in the centre of Hua Hin. After one day, we had experienced the same thing. Young girls offering all kind of services and we did not feel very good about it. My apartment was nearly 1 km from the nearest restaurant. The resort I stayed in was nearly empty but with a fantastic pool and training facilities. After renting a car the boys often visited me to work out.

After one week Emeric and I went to Bangkok, and I had an eye surgery that with fantastic results.

 

Below are some pictures from our stay in Hua Hin.

Day 154 – 160 Sunny and funny Pattaya in Thailand

This sign was put up in front of the immigration entrance in the airport 🙂 Good to know…

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After a tiny stop in Europe (two weeks in Subotica in Serbia) we headed for Asia again. Our plane arrived Bangkok in Thailand one early november morning after some 10 – 11 hours flight from Europe. Luckily Ole was at the airport to pick us up and we went for some relaxing days in Pattaya at the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand (about 100 km south-east of Bangkok and a 1.5 hours drive by car). Our stay consisted of lazy days in the sun and shade, late breakfasts and dinners eating yummy food, going to the beach or the rooftop pool area to swim, read books and play with Luna, visits to the rainforest to try zip-lining from scary heights (oh my!) and a watching animals at a zoo not far from the coastline. Pattaya is well-known as a tourist magnet, late nights, beautiful beaches and playful people. We even ended up watching a Jet-ski world cup competition there. The city consists of only 100 000 inhabitants but if you count the bigger area around the city there is over 1 million people living there. We stayed in Jomtien a little outside the city center and that was a good choice as the beaches there had white sand and extended over many kilometers… After chasing many attractions and famous sights in many countries on our worldwide trip, this place was a nice and relaxed experience for our family. We got some rest and are gathered strength to our next stop on this journey – which we had planned to be Bangkok!!! I think gathering strength before going there was a wise thing to do…

On our visit to “Flight of the Gibbons” nearby Pattaya

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Flying (zip-lining) through the rainforest in Thailand

Ole and Emeric – here they come

At the zoo in the rainforest

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Day 122 – 137 Gorgeous lantern village Hoi An

Lantern shop in the town center

20161102_172616 Hoi An is one of the loveliest, charming places you can imagine. This small town with its 100 000 inhabitants is situated along the coastline in the middle of Vietnam. The name Hoi An means peaceful gathering. Even if there are lots of tourists visiting Hoi An from all over the world it still manages somehow to remain charming and relaxed. The small, narrow walking streets, the river and riverboats, the cyclos (bicycle tuk-tuk), the lanterns and the smiling and lovely people all make you feel relaxed and peaceful. Our two week’s stay consisted of swimming, easy riding (bicycles), late breakfasts by the river, exploring the city center and its surrounding areas, visiting different restaurants eating good food, getting tailored clothing, reading books, good conversations, getting to know some locals,  and visiting My Son Sanctuary, Da Nang and HuĂ© by motorbikes. We absolutely adored this wonderful place on earth – a place we would definitely visit again… On our trip in Hoi An we were lucky enough to run into friendly Catherine, Lucy and Paul (from Ireland) who we met earlier in Halong Bay and RĂ©gine and Philippe (from France). Thanks for some lovely time spent together! Hope to see you again soon!

Evening outside our hotel – Ylang Garden…

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In town – the river flowed over its banks in rainy season

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Day 116 to 121 Energetic Hanoi and natural gem Halong Bay in Vietnam

Hanoi (old town center) by night

Hanoi seemed like a very energetic city with friendly and hardworking people. They all seemed to know how to be a salesman but , in our opinion, few knew how to follow the traffic rules!!! We had to be very careful walking in the streets (as the pavements were chock full of parked motorbikes we were nearly unable to use them for walking). The motorbikes and electrical bikes were all over the streets – on the left side, on the right side, in the middle of, in addition to being on the inside of us and on the outside of us… 🙂 Still we managed somehow to maneuver us safely across the old town which was teeming with life. We all loved our stay in Hanoi from day one and had some really nice eating experiences there as Hanoi people seem to be very good at cocking… Yummy! We also did some sightseeing in the old town of Hanoi which was interesting. Lastly we had a marvellous trip to Halong Bay at the northeast coast of Vietnam meeting some very friendly and loving people from Ireland, Germany, Singapore, the Philippines and Canada that we hope to stay in touch with for a long time. The natural gem Halong Bay with its thousands of isles, limestone pillars, pearl farms, emerald water and the Dau Go Cave gave us the goosebumps because of its stunning beauty. Other great things we experienced on this trip was kayak paddling during sunset, to practice Tai Chi during sunrise and how to make Vietnamese spring rolls (superyummy :-)) before we ate them. Luna Noor had her best experience ever on this “worldwide family tour” getting to know Susan from Canada who was very patient talking English with her for hours… She got over her fear of talking English after those precious hours. Thank you sooo much, Susan! I think you have made a friend for life in Luna Noor… 🙂

Dau Go Cave in Halong Bay

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