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SE Asia Adventures: Part 8 - Bangkok & Koh Tao, Thailand
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Sunday, 02 December 2012

Thursday 25 October – Butterworth to Bangkok by train


The Butterworth, Malaysia to Bangkok, Thailand train was meant to leave Butterworth at 14:20 and arrive the next day in Bangkok at 11:24. I booked a KTM sleeper train with Air Conditioning in a second-class berth ANST. It was the 36-Ekspres Antarabangsa. On Coach 10 #10 at a cost of RM 111.90 (just over AU$34.)

The train arrived at the Butterworth station at 14:45 and finally left at 15:00. The sleepers were down as seats. An attendant had told me that you could sit anywhere until we crossed the Thailand border around 19:00 when the berths (beds) would be made up. A Finnish guy sat with me and we had a bit of a chat. He was studying herbal medicine and Muay Thai in Thailand and had been in Thailand many times.

A lot of people got onto the train until we were at Pandang Besar. This is where we all got off of the train to get our Thailand land visas at around 18:30. Because I was crossing over on land (train) and not by air, I could only get a 15-day pass. It’s 30 days if you fly over. I hope this will be enough time for Thailand. If not, I can always do a border crossing and back.

Top 50 Vegan Blogs: Institute for The Psychology of Eating
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Friday, 23 November 2012

The Institute for The Psychology of Eating has just released their Top 50 Vegan Blogs

Viva la Vegan! is on it - we're number 32!


SE Asia Adventures: Part 7 - Veg Events in Sumatra Indonesia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Thursday 11 October –Palembang

I arrived about 15:20 at the Palembang airport where I noticed a lot of smoke/fog/pollution when flying down. Santi and her partner, Gary picked me up. This was the hottest I’ve been since arriving in Asia on August 7. We drove to Santhi’s to pack some of her clothes as we would both be staying at Jhonson’s (the head of IVS in Palembang) house. We then drove to Taman Golf where Jhonson and his wife, Aphing (nicknamed Cece) live with their two daughters, Vanni and Cici.

Cece cooked dinner: tofu with sweet soy, soup with tofu skin, curry, kang kong, beans and corn with rice:


SE Asia Adventures: Part 6 - Veg Events in Java, Indonesia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Saturday, 17 November 2012

Friday 21 September – Solo Square talks

Today begins a month-long journey for me, speaking at various IVS veg events in Indonesia. Sumatra will be in a couple of weeks, first up is the island of Java.

Chindy and Santhi  from IVS picked me up at the Yogyakarta airport with our driver, Siti. We then drove to a hotel to pick up Avara from Living Food Lab and her work mate, Lukman. Avara and her business partner, Steve run the Living Food Lab at Bali’s Green School that I had meant to see when I was in Bali last but still haven’t.

Here's Santhi, myself and Chindy:


The Viva La Vegan! list of Interviews with Vegan Athletes
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Friday, 09 November 2012

2012 marked the beginning of the Viva la Vegan! interviews with Vegan Athletes, Fitness Fanatics and Exercise Enthusiasts worldwide.

As of the end of May 2015, all of the 130+ interviews have been published online here - below in alphabetical order.

Also see the photo albums on FaceBook, Google+, and Pinterest. The book editing process is now well underway!

Click on each photo or description to read the interviews.

Dr_Akilah_ElDr Akilah El: Natural Vegan Bodybuilder

Alan_DumondAlan Dumond: Vegan Exercise Enthusiast

SE Asia Adventures: Part 5 - Kuala Lumpur & Penang, Malaysia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Monday, 08 October 2012

Saturday 8 September – Kuala Lumpur

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur (KL for short) a bit after the scheduled flight arrival time of 00:20. I had met a great guy, Satri on the flight who works with Air Asia. He ended up giving me a lot of tips and helping me when we got to Malaysia. My Telekomsel SIM card synced up to DIGI as soon as I got to Malaysia, notifying me that I could use DIGI in Malaysia easily. Before I knew it I had bought a new SIM card for Malaysia from the DIGI counter and had another SIM card to add to the collection. Note: I had tried to use a "global" SIM card at the beginning of my journey but had not been able to call or receive calls and it was really expensive. Annoying to buy a new SIM card in each country, and not good for the environment or humans but it’s the safest thing for me to do.

I also got some money out of an ATM in the Malaysian currency, Riggit RM. I didn’t need to get a visa in Malaysia as long as I was staying under three months and had a return flight home. I just had to scan both my index fingers at the customs counter. Very easy process, especially after midnight.

I had been advised to only go in a taxi if I had bought a voucher at the taxi stand. So, with the help of Satri, I bought a taxi voucher to go to my hotel that was 50% extra due to being after midnight! RM 78.30 (approximately AU$26 – divide RM by 3). I arrived at Langit-Langi Hotel safely, text my Mum, heard from Vick - one of Dad’s work mates who is visiting his Mum in Malaysia at present - and went to bed.

Slept in and got a bit of computer work done. Checked out at 14:00 and walked around for a bit before Vick, his Mum Gnanma (pronounced “Yanum”), and family friend Sundrum picked me up. Vick was leaving to go back to his hometown Cairns via Singapore and wanted to meet me before he left. As my hotel was close to the airport, it was great that they could pick me up before Vick left. Here a photo (from Vick's camera on his phone) of Vick and I at the airport:


Upcoming Vegetarian & Vegan Events in South East Asia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Incase you're not aware, I'm in South East Asia where I will be until mid-February 2013.

My friend Chindy who is the General Manager of the Indonesian Vegetarian Society (IVS) and the Vegan Society of Indonesia (VSI) - who I met in Yogyakarta has organised me to attend, speak and/or give food demos at the following events in Java and Sumatra, Indonesia in September and October.


Please come along and say hi if you're in the area!

My SE Asia Adventures: Part 4 - Amed & Nusa Dua, Bali
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Thursday, 13 September 2012

Friday 31 August – Ubud to Bunutan, Amed

At 15:30 we started our drive to Bunutan – just a bit outside of a seaside town, Amed. Jean Paul had got a great price from a local driver in Ubud: for Rp 385 000 (this is about AU$38 – move the decimal place 4 places) he would take the four of us (Jean Paul, his friends Elisa and Verena and myself) about three hours up North East to our new home for the next 2-3 nights. Verena and I had found the place on Agoda last night and were quite impressed with ourselves finding a bungalow for all four of us with a pool and so near the ocean.


My SE Asia Adventures: Part 3 - Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Thursday, 06 September 2012

Tuesday 21 August – Home Sweet Home & Rice Fields

Had a bit of a sleep in. There are a couple of vegetarian options available at Yuliati's House. I had the fried banana served with fruit and tea:


Ramona and Frank ended up changing from where they were staying to Yuliati's House for the next two nights.

My SE Asia Adventures: Part 2 - Java, Indonesia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tuesday 14 August - Jakarta

I arrived just after midnight in Jakarta with the tune of The Boys song from K-Pop group, Girls Generation in my head - the plane had this song on repeat as we boarded and exited the plane! My FaceBook friend, Angela met me at the airport and accompanied me in the taxi to my hotel, Onyx Residence, which took a long time to find. It was about AU$10 for the BlueBird taxi (the company that many say is the only taxi you should trust to travel) and the airport fees.

Go Vegan Essay Competition Winner - How Did I Become Vegan?
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Friday, 17 August 2012

One minute I was a young red-blooded, rugby loving, beer swilling Kiwi male and then all of a sudden – vegan.

Phill Spear is the winner of the Go Vegan essay competition run by Go Vegan in New Zealand.


My SE Asia Adventures: Part 1 - Bali, Indonesia
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I am off on a new adventure. This year instead of escaping the Australian Winter and going to the USA again, I have finally decided to go to SE Asia. I am going for 6 months in total and plan to go to Indonesia, Malaysia, then up North to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Depending on the Visas I will stay for as long as I can in each country. I don't have much of a plan other than to catch up with friends, take some time out, continue to complete various books I'm in the middle of writing and to explore other cultures for awhile. Can't wait!

My USA Adventures - The Book by Leigh-Chantelle out now
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Friday, 10 August 2012

I have a new book out, My USA Adventures:


You can purchase the Print book (ISBN 978-0-9808484-2-7) on the following websites:

Wholesale info on Ingram Books - for Retail Stores, Libraries, Colleges, Schools, Universities etc

What Do Vegans Eat? the NEW Book by Leigh-Chantelle
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Monday, 30 July 2012

My book, What Do Vegans Eat? is now out:


Here's the Press Release

You can purchase the Print book (ISBN 978-0-9808484-0-3) on the following websites:

Wholesale info on Ingram Books - for Retail Stores, Libraries, Colleges, Schools, Universities etc

Go Vegan - Vegan Essays wanted for New Zealand Competition
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Thursday, 26 July 2012

The fledgling New Zealand vegan outreach group, Go Vegan is running a short essay competition on veganism. Writers must be from New Zealand but the winning entry/entries will be publishing internationally including right here on Viva la Vegan!


Love Us by not Eating Us - Art as Activism Part 2
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Thursday, 19 July 2012

Following on from the success of my Papergirl art instillations and the original Love Us by not Eating Us - Art as Activism blog; plus the t-shirts and the immense positive feedback, I have some more of my photos with various animal friends, with lil' animal facts.  All photos are from animal sanctuaries, friend's animal friends and other animals I've met on my adventures.

This is Lily the pig from Our Place on Earth:


Be Kind: A Visual History of Humane Education - Online
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Wednesday, 11 July 2012

There's some wonderful art online representing the Humane Education movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries entitled Be Kind: A Visual History of Humane Education.


Detail from Latham Foundation brochure, 1930s. Featuring artwork by John and Miriam Lemos. Collection of The Latham Foundation.

Most Popular Pinterest Boards from Viva la Vegan!
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Thursday, 05 July 2012

Pinterest has grown so much in the last 6 months to become a great place for sharing visuals of all types through social media interaction. Visuals are a great way to get the Vegan and Animal Rights message out. VLV! have quite a few different Boards and even more Pins on the VLV! Pinterest page:


The most popular Board is a tie with both the Vegan Food - Dessert & the Vegan & Animal Rights Events boards being just as popular as each other.

Top Five Blogs, Articles & Videos so far this year
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Sunday, 01 July 2012

This year is flying by so fast. A lot has been happening online at VLV! I hope you're able to stay on top of it all.

We've had some new Article writers to contribute their own take on Health (Mondays), Environment (Tuesdays), Animals (Wednesdays) and Fitness (Thursdays) from the vegan perspective. There's also been a lot of blogs and videos.


The Top Blog for the year so far is Vegan Fitness individuals wanted for Viva la Vegan for Q&As

The Top Article for the year so far is Veganism: Necessary But Not Sufficient by Vegina

The Top Video for the year so far is How to make Quinoa Sushi Rolls

How to make an 8-page zine from 1 sheet of A4 paper
Written by Leigh-Chantelle   
Created Friday, 29 June 2012

I've recently uploaded a new video onto the VLV! YouTube channel, this time it's all about 'zines.



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