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We get caught by the charm of the island Ko Chang. Not far off the Cambodian border is this island with white sandy beaches, green jungle and turquoise sea the ideal refuge for people looking for tranquillity. Spending two Euros a day we rent a small hut at the sea's border and make holiday. No temple-visits, no driving for hours - just relaxing, bathing and diving around the island!

For people arriving by car this name sounds like traffic jams, smog and chaotic traffic. But we found out that its not as bad as we thought: without any problems we found the way into its centre and back out again. And in between we use the ferry along the river Chao Phraya to take us to the famous temple Wat Pho with its famous reclining Buddha and the Grand Palace which is also very impressive. After visiting these two highlights of Bangkok extensively we leave the city as quick as possible to avoid searching a place to sleep in between millions of people.

We get in touch with Thailand, a country so close to Malaysia but very different. The scenery stays the same - coconut palms, nice beaches, jungle - but everything else is new: the faces are more Asian, the Muslim scarves are rarely seen, the language and even more the letters are quite strange to us. And then there are these temples!
We realise that the Thai live a lot according to their spiritual life, the Buddhism manages everyday life. The temples are rich, colourful and fascinating: old but perfectly maintained or new and giant. Fortunately our visit matches with the festival of the Tenth Lunar Month, an Buddhism festival that is in the South of the country as important as Christmas in Europe. The whole community gathers in the temples for praying, merit-making , to get in contact with the ancestors and to have fun. And the temples are filled with markets where the whole assortment of fine Thai cuisine is for sale and many demonstrations of art, culture and joyful life are to be seen.

After we spent nearly two months in Malaysia the road takes us up North to Thailand! We choose the small border post at Betong for our crossing into the new country. Being easy to distinguish as travellers, every officer at the border welcomes us in Thailand and everybody does his best to help us entering their country. Without any problems we two and Gypsy start into the next chapter of our trip!

In the state Kelantan many traditions are still alive. Kota Bahru - its capital - isn't a very impressive town, but it gives us the opportunity to get to know some of these traditions. During a demonstration at the cultural centre we see Seni Silat, the Gasins Uri and the Rebana Ubi, later we visit someone who knows how to make Membuat Wau. Really a nice introduction to the Malaysian culture in the north of the country!

The best diving spots of Peninsular Malaysia are at the Islands Redang and Perhentian. We leave our car on the mainland and take one of the many "fast boats" to Perhentian Kecil and get off board at the "Long Beach". For four days we explore the underwater world of these little islands. We see many for us unknown fishes and are astonished by the corals and its many inhabitants, big and small. And we have the luck to see turtles on some of our excellent dives!

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