Get prepared for all that Bali has to offer – you will have it all brought to you on a golden platter, you will have to try hard to shake off all the hawkers, you will be offered all that you don’t need from drinks to stone massage to zipline to banana boat; and you will be expected to pay a much higher price than a local would… But once you get out of those ultra-touristy areas (that cover a big part of the island, but not all of it …yet) Bali can still impress you – beautiful landscapes, thousands of family temples, delicious street food, smiling and kind people (protip: when on tight budget and not willing to spend money on transportation, politely refuse all the scooter drivers that pull over offering to give you a ride for money, by telling them you will just walk; once he realizes you are serious and he won’t be able to squeeze…

Camiguin - a typical nipa hut

“I’m not a child molester but…”

“…just look at those fine young girls, slim, tiny, beautiful! But what happens when they grow up? The become fat, round, al the charm is gone, fat cows! This is all because of the way the Filipinos eat! They munch all day, every meal heavier that the other. Look at them, this is supposed to be a poor country but they can always afford a big fat chunk of pork! You see, in Thailand a poor girl will eat a little pad thai and she will be full. But here? I’m telling you, you need to take them before they’re ripe” – says Joe, turning his head around in search of colourfully dressed high school students and waving at the skinny ones. He is quite slim himself – one detail that makes him different from the typical white guy living in the Philippines: wrinkled American pensioner with that special kind of suntan and…

One of the three famous islands in Gulf of Thailand (two others are Koh Samui and Koh Phangan), in theory it is the one that is the least damaged by tourism. At least this is what I was hoping for when boarding the ferry to Chumphon (a small but very comfortable ferry with air conditioning; the return trip will not be so comfortable anymore – I get on board of what could be described as chickenboat – 150 people stuffed on narrow mattresses, toilet with no water, windows that won’t shut…).When I get there I discover that Koh Tao is full of Europeans who came here to admire underwater views (the island is famous for its transparent waters and rich sea fauna) and taste the evening alcohol.However, if you leave the partying whiteys and hotels invading the land more and more out of the frame, you can still be amazed by the island. Numerous beaches of all kinds (sandy, stony),…

This is southern Thailand already. I chose a place with literally nothing special to see (except for one temple – Wat Thammikaram, visited often by locals as well as by monkeys). Just sea and beaches (I recommend the beach within air force unit – clean, orderly, reasonable infrastructure and friendly soldiers offering a ride).

To już południe Tajlandii. Celowo wybrałem miejsce, w którym właściwie nic nie ma (no, może poza jedną świątynią – Wat Thammikaram, odwiedzaną chętnie przez miejscowych ale także przez małpy). Tylko morze i plaże (polecam plażę na terenie bazy wojskowej – czysto, schludnie, rozsądna infrastruktura i żołnierze, którzy chętnie podwiozą).

Tourist visa tends to expire rather quickly, and when it finally does you can extend it in SH. But when your new one month visa expires, too – you have to go to Hong Kong. Depending on current regulations (and those tend to change quite often) you can extend it for a shorter or longer period.

Again, perfect timing for my arrival. The city is “celebrating” the 15th anniversary of handover to Mainland China. The Mainland put some funky decorations here and there but not too big and not too many in order not to irritate the already unhappy locals who definitely do not like the way Beijing manages things.

Evening firework show gathers a crowd smaller than that participating in the annual march against everything and everyone. July the 1st of each year is the ultimate opportunity for expressing their opinion about local policies, Biejing policies, violating human rights in China, lack of…