The Five Best Places to Swim in Asia

By Jemima (aged 9)

Sugar Beach

Swimming at Sugar Beach outside Taka Tuka

Swimming at Sugar Beach outside Taka Tuka

Sugar Beach is in the Philippines. It has almost no rocks or sea urchins. Sea urchins are large or small spiky dark or any colour really but mostly black or an occasional black and white urchin. But as I have already said, mostly black. They are fish things and very simple creatures. Besides, even if there was an urchin or an occasional rock, especially if it was under the surface, there is amazingly clear water, though there are no fish.

The water is safe and has no current which makes it even safer. It is not too deep at all but just the right depth. The sand at the bottom of the sea is soft and there are no crabs.

It is a very nice place including the amazing resorts like Taka Tuka Lodge and the food, Lego and dogs at Sulu Sunset. All in all it was worth the journey. Sorry, am I getting carried away with resorts? Anyway, it’s time for Pu Kao Lak now. Here we go…

Pu Kao Lak

There is an infinity edge to the pool and it is a lovely thing.

There is an infinity edge to the pool and it is a lovely thing.

It was lovely swimming in Pu Kao Lak, which is in Thailand. The amazing pool had lots of different parts such as a large main part with the coolest water and a small part that we could make a whirlpool in. The water is cool in all of the places and a relief from the boiling weather of Thailand. There is an infinity edge to the pool and it is a lovely thing.

Also there is a water bar which we once got a drink from and it is lovely. With the water around our feet we sat and drank our lovely drink.

Dolphins sometimes spout water and we played at being mermaids and the dolphins were our showers. It was very fun.

I loved Pu Kao Lak. I absolutely loved it.

Legoland

All aboard a Legoland slide

All aboard a Legoland slide

Legoland Malaysia is amazing fun. There are good surprises such as, well I’m not going to tell you or you won’t find them surprising.

The water park is good and has great water slides and a lot of fun. Also in the water park there was a bucket tipping water. It is not really swimming because the water is too shallow but there is a wave pool you can swim in.

As well as the water park there is the main park which is even better. If you come while the rollercoaster called the Dragon is open then go first on the Dragon’s Apprentice to build up. All the other rides are amazing, too.

Go to Legoland Malaysia if you can.

Erewan Falls

Walking on a submerged log at Erewan Falls

Walking on a submerged log at Erewan Falls

Erewan Falls is in Thailand near Kanchanaburi. It is a good place to play and there are fish that nibble your toes. It is very, very nice there and good for relaxing in the amazing athmosphere.

The water is icy cold so I wouldn’t stay in for too long if I were you. It also feels natural to swim there. I love Erewan Falls.

The rocks were fun but quite sharp as I found out when I just happened to cut myself. I think that I slipped on the rocks because they were rather slippy.

It was absolutely lovely there. I loved it.

Komodo National Park

Jemima free diving near Komodo island

Jemima free diving near Komodo island

Komodo National Park is a good place to swim if you go to the right place. If you don’t get a tour then there are currents that could suck you down to the bottom of the ocean. If you are in the right place, there are amazing fish and coral. It is like another world under the ocean. You don’t even need a diving tank, just snorkeling is enough.

You might see a manta ray or a turtle, sea snake or octopus. Mummy saw an octopus and thought it was an alien because she only saw its head. It was very funny. You could also see komodo dragons on land.

It was amazing.

Five Tips to Stay Safe and Happy While Travelling

Definitely look before crossing the road in Bangkok

Definitely look before crossing the road in Bangkok

By Jemima (Aged 8)

Get a Rabies Injection

I think you should get a rabies injection if you are going travelling to stop you getting a disease named rabies. Also to avoid it you should stay away from street dogs and monkeys unless you are on a tour to see them – the monkeys, not the dogs. This will help you stay safe and happy while travelling.

Look Before You Cross the Road

Always look before you cross the road. If you do not look before you cross the road you might get run over. Sometimes cars can go the other way to the way they go in England. Sometimes you need to look left then right then left and sometimes you need to look right then left then right again before you cross the road. Sometimes there are tuk-tuks, motorbikes or even elephants to look out for! This will help you stay safe and happy while travelling.

Use Trip Advisor

I think you should use Trip Advisor to think of places to stay. It is very helpful and tells you if places have bed bugs, how nice they are, if you should stay there and if they are too expensive or not. Use it to help you decide where to stay and then you can write your own review. This will help you stay safe and happy while travelling.

Book Places Before You Stay

Once you have decided where to stay, book a room or they might get full. Only book the room for one night in case you don’t like it. If you don’t like it then look for somewhere else to stay on Trip Advisor and book in there for one night and so on. If you do like the first place, ask if you can stay however many nights you want to stay. This will help you stay safe and happy while travelling.

Put Suncream On Every Day

If you put suncream on every day. It will stop you getting sunburnt. If it is an extra hot day (for Asia) put suncream on regularly. Also, if you are in an extra mosquito infested kind of place you should put deet on.Also carry a bottle of deet and a bottle of suncream around with you. If you get bitten by mosquitos, put Anthisan on, and carry a tube of Anthisan with you. Deet is a liquid that you spray on your skin to stop mosquitos biting you. This will help you stay safe and happy while travelling.

A Jungle Journey — A Swampy Surprise and an Anty Attack!

by Jemima Hadley

It was on the second day of our boat trip to see orang-utans in Borneo when it happened. We were on a muddy river in the south of Borneo which, after one day on a boat, became a glossy, black river even though it was clean.

We were going on a walk to see orangutans. The walk took us along rotting, wobbling planks that often went underwater. We had to keep on the planks because they kept you off the mud. If you stood on the bed of leaves resting on mud you would sink past your knees if you were a child. The planks that were above the water sometimes bent under. We found out that you sink in the mud when there was a round, fallen tree instead of a plank. Evie decided to walk in the swamp so she got in and started to walk towards the next plank. She was almost there when she took one step and SQUISH! She was up to her bum in – mud!

When we pulled her out again her feet were covered in gunk so we washed her shoes. We carried on.

Soon the swamp ended and the pain began! Bum – bum – bum! There was jungle on either side as we walked along every now and again the guide pointing out fire ants. We stopped to look at a stick insect when our guide said, “Owch!” and moved away! We moved after him, then we realised we had been standing in a fire ant patch. I realised I was still in it and sprinted quite far away. Evie started crying, Daddy picked her up and swatted the fire ants off her feet and hurried up to me. He didn’t get bitten. Tettie and Mummy went back the way we came to get out of the patch. Daddy went back and carried Tettie back through the patch. Mummy ran.

When we were safe Evie realised she had 5 bites. I cried in sympathy and cuddled Daddy and we went on.

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Fire ants – nasty little things!

After loads more sprinting through fire ant patches and leaping over lines that crossed the path we reached the long wooden walkway and started to walk along it.

When we reached the boat we had a rest then realised it was orangutan feeding time and hurried off. There were no fire ants on the way. There were loads of orangutans when we got there. About 16. The guide book said you were lucky to see 4 or 5. We saw an enormous orangutan who we thought was Tom (the biggest, strongest orangutan in the forest – the king).

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We thought this was Tom

As we went back, we saw the real Tom lying on the ground. He was even bigger than the other one! We looked at him for a bit, then we went to look at the visitor centre.

There were loads of fire ants crawling around the steps and we had to sprint through them and run up the steps then quickly take off our shoes. We looked and Mummy, Daddy, Tettie and Evie all had fire ants on their shoes. I was the only one who didn’t.

We had a look inside the visitor centre. There was a family tree inide and lots of other interesting things. I learned that the longest living orangutan lived to 58, but I’ve forgotten his name. It began with G.

On the way back there were possibly more fire ants outside the steps. We put on our shoes; the fire ants had crawled off them. Our guide had said that the best way was to walk slowly through them as there were gaps all along the patch. Daddy tried and at the very end a fire ant got him. He didn’t complain except saying, “Owch, one got me!” Mummy went and carried Evie across the path, running. Then our guide carried me and did the slow method meaning that I got the longest ride. Daddy went back and ran with Tettie, who yelled, “I’m on a dinosaur!”

On the way back to the boat, we saw Tom in a tree. Our guide tried to feed him bananas by putting them at the base of the tree, but he wasn’t hungry.

But this was Tom!

But this was Tom!

We went back to the wooden walkway and started to walk along it. Daddy dangled me over the swamp which the walkway was built over. Then we started talking about how Mummy would get really cross if I lost my shoe in the swamp. Then slop! Tettie’s shoe was in the swamp! Our guide stepped off the walkway, into a tree and just about managed to pull it back and give it to her, then climb back onto the walkway himself.

A couple of minutes later we were back on our boat and we could carry on with our beautiful boat adventure. After a painful and sloppy explore, we were glad to be back on the boat at last.

Orangutans kissing, while the smaller babay hangs off the side

Orangutans kissing, while the smaller baby hangs off the side

A Tunnel Full of Emerald

Emerald Cave, Ko Muk (Image from Google as we didn't take a camera)

By Jemima

Today we did something totally amazing!  Well, it doesn’t start off sounding brilliant.  First we were woken up by mummy, and then we got dressed.  Then she realised she hadn’t suncreamed us – disaster!  We had to get undressed again – even more disaster!  It was kind of lucky though because I realised I had normal knickers on, instead of bikini bottoms.  We got dressed for the second time, and Daddy got back from his run.  Then me, Evie, Tettie and Mummy went to the café for breakfast.  We ordered muesli, fruit and yogurt.  We ordered Daddy fruit and yogurt.  In a couple of minuites, Daddy came and ate his up.  YUM! YUM! YUM!!!!

When we had finished we waked down the beach, then we waded out a little way to the boat where we climbed up the ladder; we were on the boat!  We sat on hard wooden benches for a while, talking.  Then the engine started up and the boat turned around.  Soon we found ourselves zooming through the sea, with a cliff on one side.  In a matter of minuites we came to a group of other longtail boats, where we stopped.  The man – our guide – put down the ladder again.  We put on our lifejackets – Daddy didn’t want one.

On the boat I had been scared that the rocks would fall on top of us.  But when we got into the tunnel it wasn’t that bad.  We swam along around dark corners we didn’t know were there.  Mummy nearly bumped her head.   It was pitch black, but our guide had a torch.  When we arrived at last, I saw Emerald Cave.  I was surprised.  I hadn’t expected it to be like this.

We were in a secret cave or beach.  There were cliffs on all sides.  On one side, there is sand – the beach.  If you stand on the beach and face the sea, you can see an enclosure of rock, except for the tunnel.  In front of you there is a sheer cliff face with the tunnel poking through, like a straw.  On the left, there is another sheer rock face but with no tunnel, and on the right there is another sheer cliff face with no tunnel.  The strange thing is that there were no crabs on the rocks, not one!

We played for a bit then began to swim back down the tunnel.  As we went along people kept making spooky ghost noises which helped a lot – not!

Soon we began to see light.  We swam along into glowing emerald water and got out in the open at last.  It was good to see light all around us – we could see!  There were fish all around us too.  We boarded the boat and the engine started up for the second time and we were off again.  Soon we were back on our beach.  We had a little swim, then we went back to the bungalow and Daddy had a little sleep while mummy read us Harry Potter.

When Daddy woke up, we went and had some Thai tea.  After that, we went to bed.

Thank goodness it’s the end of the day.  That was a very long blogpost – my arm is tired.  Phew!  Zzzzzzz rec.

[Jemima and her sisters all wrote about our trip to Emerald Cave as part of homeschool. You can read the other accounts here and here. The “rec” at the end is because we have been learning about recurring decimals in maths…]

The Worst Animals on Earth!

by Jemima

I hate mosquitos!

We hate them because they bite you and it really itches. They can bite you anywhere but they can’t bite through clothes. They come out about six o’clock. We’ve bought a mosquito repellant called Deet which keeps them away quite well, although sometimes we still get bitten.

Goodbye mozzie!

Goodbye mozzie!

The most mosquitoey place we’ve been in travelling is Chitwan where there were loads of giant mosquitos which didn’t even go to sleep in the day.

NOT FAIR!

The Zapper!

The Zapper!

As well as buying Deet, we bought a mosquito racquet. It looks like a tennis racquet with a big lightning flash in the midde and when you turn it on a hit a mosquito with it, it electrifies them and they die. We have used it on bees and wasps as well.

Jemima with a captured lizard

Jemima with a captured lizard

There are lizards that you will see in Thailand, Laos and Nepal called geckos. They eat mosquitos and are friendly. They wait near the lights because mosquitos are attracted to those places.

Mosquitos used to bite Mummy the most but now they hate (or love eating) Tettie as well. She had more than 20 mosquito bites on her legs – they were covered! She couldn’t stop scratching them but she shouldn’t do that because it makes them bigger. Luckily, they hardly bite me at all.

WE ALL HATE MOSQUITOS!

First Impressions of Thailand

Evie

Thailand has a lovely sea and a warm beach. The sea is not as cold as England. The weather can be cold but most of the time it is warm. Bangkok is a bit busy but the islands are nowhere near as busy. The thing I like best is the sea.

Scarlett

Thailand is very hot. It is good that it is hot because it warms you when you have been in the cool sea. Thailand is also fun and exciting since we’ve never been here before. The people are also very friendly especially to children.  My favourite thing is the people acting very friendly towards us.

Jemima

Here on Koh Samui it is exceedingly hot and every morning you feel like you want to jump in the sea but normally you are out on other business and we only get to go in the sea in the afternoon. The sea is not exactly cold – not as cold as in England – but if you are a child then if you get cold you can go and lie down on the sand in the sun because it is warm. The sun seems to go down very quickly and I don’t know if I’m imagining it because I like it here so much. My favourite thing is how every day you can splash into the refreshing sea.

Janet

The food is every bit as good as I remember. The smell of the warm air feels like coming home, almost. The language feels so much more familiar than Napali; I understand snatches of it and it makes me feel excited and I want to learn more of it. My favourite thing is the night market food stalls.

Fergus

Thai people smile and laugh so much. It feels so safe and friendly travelling here. Just how I remember – but even better with kids. And the food: wow! I’d remembered that it was good but since arriving I’ve also remembered how I grew my first ever belly here. Curse you fried honey bananas! After three months in the mountains, seeing the sea was such a relief. Is there anything better than throwing yourself into the cool sea on a blazing hot day? My favourite thing is… eating.