Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia · 41 Days · 41 Moments · July 2017

Thailand, Vietnam & Bali

5 September 2017

Day 41 - the last pool day I got up and ran to the bank to retrieve my lost card, before joining the others for breakfast. We chilled by the pool most of the day and then headed to the beach for sunset. In the evening we went to a restaurant on Legion street that did enormous wood fire pizzas. The night ended with us munching Tim Tams by the pool and an early night ahead of our departures (at either end of the day) tomorrow! Bye bye Bali...

4 September 2017

Day 40- surf day number 2 Morning surf with Will, Anna and Kate- paid for 2 hours and it was a disaster! The waves were so big and I couldn’t stand up at all...disappointing after feeling I was getting the hang of it last time. Staying at the captain goose hostel which is nice, but walked to a nearby restaurant for cheap lunch. Then I headed to the bank to sort my bank card that had been swallowed the previous day. Went back to the beach in the afternoon to take pictures of Will while surfing and nearly drowned the waves were so enormous. The selling ladies were hilarious and wouldn’t leave Jess alone- massage for sexy lady 😂 Kate and Anna said goodbye and then me, Jess, Will and Abbie headed to a restaurant on legion street for dinner. Had Mahi steak! Later ended up at paddy’s club with a Michael Jackson act and lots of people on stilts! Not my kinda place so decided I’d rather spend my money on an ice cream, headed Back to hostel & chatted to Martin by pool + free pancakes

3 September 2017

Day 39 we were leaving for Kuta. Wanted to start the morning off with Yoga on the hostel terrace, which jess, myself, Anna and Kate attempted with jess iPad, but it was far too hot. Had omelettes in the hostel for breakfast but wished we’d headed to the pier early as there were so many breakfast places there! Ferry was sooo windy we kept getting sprayed, and the shuttle back to Kuta was fairly chaotic. Raj ended up arguing with the taxi driver. After we arrived we went to the beach to watch the sunset, then headed to the sky garden for unlimited food and drink 6-9pm got 115k!! It was roast night and actually fairly yummy- ate so many potatoes and lots of vodka cocktails, but we didn’t stay to dance.

2 September 2017

Day 38 our official tour was over, but some of us decided to head to Gili Air. Ran in the morning and packed. Half way to the pier with our stuff I realised I’d left my phone on the sun lounger! A manic speedwalk back followed leaving me arriving back with the group very sweaty, but with phone in tact. Got very fast chartered speed boats over rather than a ferry. Then another trek to the hostel- more like a hotel with pool. Jess and I shared a room with Ingun (lovely Norwegian girl living in Oz). Had lunch on the beach at the pirate cafe. The island is so quiet and deserted. Went to the beach with some of the girls but couldn’t get to the sea to swim due to sharp coral so headed back to the pool. Dinner was eventful with one person being given 3 peoples meals on one plate without being told! So when asked where the other two meals were they said we’d eaten them... was nice when we actually got food. I was up for a drink but most went to bed- Anna and I saw a band on the beach

1 September 2017

Day 37- flip flop hunt Woke up full of hope at a trip to town for new flip flops, borrowed a bike and proceeded to spend 2 hours cycling up and down trying to find some- wasn’t happy! Ended up buying some expensive roxy ones. Bought a quiche to cheer me up which got squished in my basket, and later realised I left my sandals outside the shop I bought the flip flops. Was a festival on so there was lots of wailing calls to prayer going on through the island. A group of us went for another bike ride In the afternoon and stopped for a smoothie. Got conned tho when paying as a few people left their money on the bar and it somehow dissipated! So ended up having to split the bill twice! Then cycled to another beach bar and had churros overlooking the sunset. Went back to the ping pong place in the evening and I managed to nab my sandals from back outside the flip flop shop! Wasn’t feeling drinking so had an ice cream They put this energy powered called joss into vodka here!

31 August 2017

Day 36- first time snorkelling! First I ran around the whole island- it was amazing! Snorkelling was insane and I was proud of Jess for braving it (though felt dreadful for abandoning her to squeeze Alex’s hand in my excitement). Saw coloured fish and statues under water, turtles swimming! Needed the flippers as the current was strong. Lunch was in a bamboo restaurant on stilts on the beach of Gili Air- just unreal views. Went to an amazing pizzeria for dinner before having a hilarious pre’s with everyone with drinking games incl Roxanne. We headed to a beer pong bar which was hilarious and were all rather drunk by then! However the club wasn’t my fancy so I chilled on the beach. Was persuaded by the girls to go for a skinny dip in the sea and proceeded to lose my flip Flops= major tears. Meanwhile Will collapsed a chair at the kebab shop= majorly angry Russian guy for Alex to calm down Walked home barefoot and cried to Martin on the phone 😬
Day 35 we headed to Gili T! We’re up Very early to get the boat and sat on the deck with beautiful views (was also too bumpy downstairs and made me feel sick). Toilet was also interesting trying to squat with so much turbulence... Arriving at Gili was breathtaking with the clearest bluest water I have ever seen. We found the beach and had a drink, and the first of many swing photos. I also ventured for a run in the afternoon- such an amazing place to run with a path around the outside of the island. In the evening we cycled to dinner as a group in time to watch the sunset and then queues for the ‘best’ swing- felt a bit sad and overly touristy, but did make a great photo! There was a beach fire and Indonesian people playing drums, altho the restaurant service was awful. All 20 of us then cycled back in the dark which was rather interesting! Before settling in for the evening playing games around the hotel tables as a group (All except the couples). Was a great day 😀

29 August 2017

Day 34 we went to the rice terraces which were pretty impressive! But it was very hot. Then we went for lunch overlooking the volcano. We could see the dark rock from the lava flow of the last eruption. However food wasn’t so tasty and covered in flies- weren’t pleased as it was quite expensive. Had a lady trying to climb in the bus with us as we left to sell us stuff!! Looked around the markets in the afternoon and then had an early dinner before bed.

28 August 2017

Day 33 was a good’n. Went to the food market before our cooking class, which took place at a traditional family ‘house’- more like compound with lots of temple like buildings where a whole family will live. Got told about culture including weddings, births, deaths etc. Saw an enormous spider which they kept to as it ‘keeps the snakes away’! Cooked some awesome food including corn fritters and ‘basic sauce’. I loved it all, though a lot of people didn’t. Went to see the monkeys (Not my fav bit) and flip flop hunting in the afternoon with Kate and Anna. Then out in the evening! Everywhere plays live rock music with long hair Indonesian guys... this time with trilby hats playing stuff like AC/DC over dinner, so I was loving life. Kate had henna so a few of us ended up with that, including will with a giant penis on his hand. Left the club we ended up at early with Anna and embarked on a nervous walk home followed by barking dogs (very glad she’s a vet and knows animals!)

27 August 2017

Day 32 we travelled to Ubud and stopped at a waterfall on the way- the biggest one we’ve seen yet! Had fun with signs and taking pictures. A few of us walked along the ridge path once we made it to Ubud to see views of rice terraces and the jungle. Then went out for dinner, but had a pretty early night. You can order whatever you want for breakfast the night before at the hotel we’re staying at! Including continental (pancakes) or American breakfast! Then they bring it to your room at your chosen time, so looking forward to that tomorrow...

26 August 2017

Day 31 = surfs up Up super early for surfing- each got our own tru travels rush vest, had there was 3 of us to each instructor! It was SO FUN! Got pushed off into the waves the first few times, then was able to do it on my own. If you’re right handed you call it ‘regular’ and left handed is ‘goofy’- this dictates your leading leg on the board. In the second half the waves got bigger and then I struggled to stay standing. When the guy asked my name, his response was ‘ooo spicey like a chilli’. Had afternoon to chill. Sun bathed for a while but felt like I was burning so went for a swim and a run. Went to a beach restaurant where I had seafood capcay- just veg and prawns in sauce really. Went to a bar called pretty poison in the evening, was really cool with a skate boarding ‘bowl’ out the back. People were skating in turns and we could watch. The Indonesian guys had long hair and remained us of the quillietes in twilight. Left on my own when it closed- got a bike taxi= nervy.

25 August 2017

Day 30 I ran in the morning before cooling off in the roof top pool- lovely! We visited two temples- was very shocked to find women aren’t allowed in when ‘menstruating’. Also learnt that animals such as cats, elephants and cobras are holy, but only black dogs ate sacred, not others. They are Hindu and have different days of the week! The second temple was in the sea, and we had to walk through the waves to get blessed- you get a flower behind your ear and rice on your head. In the evening we went to a restaurant (Deuc) which sold the nicest western food we’ve had yet (been trying to avoid it), I had a Mahi fillet burger. We then went to a bar on the beach which stopped their shutting up and opened back up for us to have a drink. They got us each out a bean bag to sit on the sand in a big circle and chat! Got our first Bali swing picture.....

24 August 2017

Day 29 despite sleeping 4-5hours while travelling yesterday I still slept a full night. Woke up feeling better, but still not 100%. So excited by fruit and granola for breakfast instead of noodles again! Sat by the pool for a bit and met two girls and a guy on a tour. Another two girls arrived and we all went for lunch. There were lots of cute cafes (very touristy). Went to check out the beach on the way back and I couldn’t resist jumping in the sea, but the water was very rough! Had an organised bbq in the evening which was delicious! Jacket potatoes and roasted veg was my favourite. Then we played piccolo with the group on Alex our tour guides phone- have a very mixed group although nearly everyone is English. Some different ages and some people who have travelled before and others haven’t. Met a guy called Will who has been travelling for 11 months and spent a lot of time surfing in Aus, and a Scottish girl called jade. They do Bintang racket which is lemon beer and I love it!

23 August 2017

Day 28 Not many pictures today as we mostly spend it travelling. Got a Grab from the hostel to the airport for our flight, both disgusted by the driver gobbing in a tissue box. Felt horrifically sick the entire journey and couldn’t eat lunch. Also had this awful smell following me the whole way to realise it was my flip flops in my bag smelling the whole time after getting wet in the rain. Arrived in Bali to see loads of English billboards and advertisements- very touristy. No beeping on the roads though driving to the hotel! Very excited to have our own room, but I was still feeling so rough so we headed to the hotel restaurant for food and had another early night. Hotel is awesome with a rooftop pool! It’s a shame we couldn’t explore more.

22 August 2017

Day 27 Jess and I attempted our own walking tour as suggested by lonely planet. Saw the Notre Dam Cathedral and the Bitexco tower, but lots of the sights weren’t so impressive. Saw a fancier side of Ho Chi Minh! Attempted to get a taxi to china town to be conned by the driver driving us the wrong way, and then find the main market had been closed for months when we finally made it. We didn’t feel very welcome on this side of town so hastily marched the hour back to our hostel, not wanting to waste more money on a taxi. Went to the park to run in the evening and got drenched by a downpour that continued all evening. Everyone hid in the band stand! Gave into cravings and found Pizza Hut for dinner- the menu is so different to Home! Early night before our flight to Bali tomorrow.

21 August 2017

Day 26 morning run in local park where many people were doing Tai Chi. We then had a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels. Bus stopped at a plate and ornament decorating place where people used egg shells to hand decorate items & proceeds to agent orange victims (V expensive). Unfortunately tour didn’t speak great English and we struggled to understand the history of the tunnels. Saw some very scary traps left by the Vietnamese. Found going down into the tiny tunnels much scarier than I expected! Back at the hostel we had ‘cooking class’- they bought lots of ingredients and we sat around on tiny stools and chucked it onto hobs. Was very crowded and tricky to cook and not much veggie stuff- ate mostly corn, but the sauce was nice. Felt left out at times as everyone our end of the table spoke German. But did end up chatting loads by the end and went out with 2 Swiss and 1 Austrian guy and a German girl for drinks (got hassled alot). Interesting to learn the Swiss still do national service!

20 August 2017

Day 25 our bus arrived in Ho Chi Minh at 5.30am! We made our way to the hostel with two English girls who travelled with us from Dalat. The receptionist was asleep under the desk and didn’t speak much English, but managed to explain that we needed to wait until 12 to check in. Ask to use the loo and ended up tiptoeing through a room of people asleep on the floor to get to it! Wish I hadn’t asked. Wandered to find some food but not much was open so early that looked edible so we headed back to hostel to ask if we could have the breakfast the hostel provided on the roof when it opened. Headed to the war museum which mostly consisted of pictures depicting the horrors the Vietnamese faced- very biased (no mention of the role of communism in war!) Got roped into Japanese traditional tea too! Had a chilled afternoon and found the weekend food market, after which we felt remarkably awake. So we got dressed up and headed to the secret garden restaurant for a fancy meal! Was beautiful.

19 August 2017

Day 24 we woke up having had a great night sleep in the comfy beds! Got picked up to go hiking and biking and were delighted to see that these bikes had gears and we were given helmets! However despite them being mountain bikes we mostly cycled on roads until we reached the jungle where we got off and walked. For about 4 hours. Was very hilly and hard work! On the way he stopped and put stuff on our top lips that smelt like vapour rub, to apparently fend off the leeches... definitely made us a bit nervous! View at the top was amazing and we had a great time chatting away to our tour guide. Saw some tribe kids on the way back down carrying enormous knives! Guide stopped to let us try matcha tea on the way home (like bubblegum). Joined family dinner again at the hostel and played ‘spoons’ but with chop sticks. Then hung around for our final night bus at 11.15pm! This time we had allocated seats and it was slightly smoother! Although the driving was still manic.

18 August 2017

Day 23 at 5.25am we were all kicked off with no explanation even though we hadn’t arrived in Dalat yet. Told to wait until 7am, a bus finally turned up at 7.30. Once again the driver let all the Vietnamese on before us. A million stops later we arrived in Dalat about 11.30- much earlier than expected. It was pouring with rain and chilly, so we headed to the shopping centre to look around and get coffee. Found food on the way and guessed what to eat with no English menus or speakers. There’s a lake in the middle so I took the opportunity to go for a great run with the cooler temperatures. But tired myself out and felt rubbish after. Had family dinner in the evening with everyone at the hostel where we could try loads of dishes- was great! Little camp hostel guy tried to get us to play drinking games including ‘let’s get fucked’ (hand clapping game counting from 1-21, but with rules for numbers). Had shots of rice water and karaoke as forfeits! Early night + very comfy beds!

17 August 2017

Day 22 we decided to have a beach day. We rented bikes from little Leo’s and cycled along to find a more secluded bit of beach in the hope of finding cheaper sun beds- with success! However both of us ended up very burnt despite being smothered in sun cream and trying to spend lots of time in the shade. We got lunch on the beach and then headed back in the afternoon. Tiny (homestay owner) let us use her family bathroom to wash- all their rooms are very simple! Mini bus picked us up and then left us on the side of the road to wait for the sleeper. Despite us using our system of jess putting bags in and me waiting to get on the bus, and me being first in the queue, the bus driver let the Vietnamese on first so when I boarded there were no obvious seats left (thanks to the remaining passengers putting their bags on them and not thinking to move them). Ended up in the worst seats in the back row jammed in with 3 guys and got no sleep for the nearly 12 hours we were on there. Furious.

16 August 2017

Day 21 I got up early to avoid the heat and ran to the beach and back, was nice to not run in circles. Went past the guy sitting on a buffalo on the side of the road to make money and had to take a picture. Walked to town to see some of the sights of the old town but they weren’t very impressive. Lots of women trying to sell us tailored clothes saying ‘lovely jubbly’ when they found out we were British. Headed back for some aircon and then took bicycles back into town in the afternoon to try and catch the Vietnamese singing and dancing show- missed half of it cycling in circles trying to find it. Did some tea tasting afterwards. Met Ben and his friends for food in the evening. Went to a bar where they offered us a free bottle of vodka, but the catch was spirits were extortionate! Had some deep chats about drugs and benefits and stuff with the Lithuanian guy who was a mental health nurse living in Cambridge. Love all the different people you meet.

15 August 2017

Day 20 we got an early bus go Hoi An. Got picked up by a ricketty old mini bus on which Jess and I had to share a seat, but luckily this was just to take us to the larger bus, which turned out to be a sleeper bus even though we were travelling in the day. Stayed in little Leo’s homestay which was lovely, and no bunk beds! Only a 1km walk from town. We were surprised to find out you have to enter the old town though which is basically the main bit. Didn’t really like the markets and things they were very hectic and there was some cooped up animals! Got to try green oranges though (orange ones are impossible to find). Stumbled upon an amazing place for lunch- people were queuing out the door and down the street so we thought it must be good. They sold Bahn Mi which are traditional Vietnamese baguettes- I had tuna although traduationally its pork. Trekked for ages to the beach in the afternoon. Hoi An comes alive at night! Spent a while trying to find food.

14 August 2017

Day 19 we had a lazy morning planning Hoi An before walking to the Citadal- we were told it was too far to walk but we made it fine. Struggled a bit looking around as it was SL hot, but managed to spend about 3 hours there seeing all the sites. Bumped into Ben who we had met in Phong Nha in the afternoon, so went for dinner with him! Went to a bar and ended up buying spontaneous pizza as we were still hungry. Been stopped multiple times today by people on peds offering ya drugs!

13 August 2017

Day 18 it was too hot to run In the morning so had pancakes for breakfast instead (easy tiger does good food!) We rented bikes again to ride to the botanical gardens this time, despite the reception lady trying to dissuade us as it was 'too far and too hilly'. As it turns out most of the trip was fine, until you reach two enormous hills near the gardens, so we ended up arriving absolutely boiling and dripping with sweat. Just did the short loop of the gardens and walked to a waterfall which seems to be the place to go for family outings here as it was heaving with Vietnamese families. Cycle back was far less hilly but my chain got jammed so we had to be rescued by a taxi driver. Got a bus to Hue in the afternoon- another insane driver. Hue is pretty cool! I tried Hue cakes but they were gross and jelly like. Met a nice Vietnamese guy at the hostel who wanted to hear all about my placement as he's studying medicine. Then we Skype Emily before bed.

12 August 2017

Day 17 went out for a very hot early run before an info talk. Learnt so much: Phong Nha was the second most bombed place in the war; there are loads of unexploded bombs if you go off the beaten track; collected explosives are often detonated on New Year's Eve. We're also warned off riding mopeds in this area- non-Vietnamese is always at fault! Had breakfast and a lazy morning by the pool- but the 37 degree heat meant we couldn't stay in the sun any longer, so rented bikes for the afternoon. Cycled along dirt tracks stopping at Moi Mou restaurant, the infamous pub with cold beer (served by the cutest little girl), past the duck stop, finishing at a farm stay for sunset. Had children running and shouting to say hello the whole way- amazing experience, would recommend. Although we ended up riding back in the dark with little light after our promise of a taxi didn't deliver- bit scary! Bad played more good music at easy tiger in the evening and we had a great sing along.

11 August 2017

Day 16 we did a cave tour with an 8.30am start. First we stopped at a temple for those who died trapped in the caves during the war. Our guide explained all the trees in the National park were only 40yrs old as they had been destroyed by napalm in the war. Then went to paradise cave which was huge but so busy with tourists. The second cave was the dark cave. Had a big lunch provided before we zipped wired across the river to swim into the cave entrance (Jess was pretty stressed by this but it wasn't far). It was pitch black in the cave and we had head torches, we crawled between crevices to get to the 'mud chamber' in the cave- was a real adventure. Out of the cave we kayaked on the river while some people did some swings and jumps into the water, and got given free rum and coke! Did some laundry and ran in the afternoon, having to dodge cows on the road. Then chilled in the pool with free beer! Had a live band and good atmosphere! Was a dog hiding under my bed tho!

10 August 2017

Day 15 we woke up in Halong Bay early in order to see the beautiful views. Breakfast was gross, but we went out kayaking which was amazing! Although we did get snapped at by dogs on the fishing islands. Made it back to Hanoi in the afternoon to jump on a sleeper bus to Phong Nha national park- but what picked us up definitely wasn't a sleeper bus- a cramped normal bus picked us up leading to a very unhappy Jessica. Through lack of communication we didn't realise this was just our transfer to the bus station to get on our actual sleeper bus! A guy unloaded jess' bag and broke the strap which added to the aggravation. Sleeper bus was really cool- had seats that recline almost vertically with 3 aisles of single seats. Felt a bit like a roller coaster with the crazy driving, but I did sleep a bit. Arrived at Easy tiger hostel at 4.30am and promptly fell asleep on a hammock by the pool!

9 August 2017

Day 14 waiting for the bus to go to Halong Bay as nothing is on time in Asia. Bus was rammed, there was even a guy sat on a fold out chair in the aisle! Had a long journey of two buses and two boats! The final boat had incredible views and an amazing lunch of potatoes and fish and prawns and rice! Lots of people joined us from our hostel including the Dutch couple we met (Rennes seen in photo), and Natalie our American friend. Went swimming off the boat despite being petrified of jelly fish. Was incredible. Though some tried to climb rocks and cut their feet- my first aid kit came in handy! Stayed in huts on the side of a rock with private beach. Had BBQ and drinking games in the evening including my first taste at slapcup. Met a German guy studying medicine and 4 Spanish guys who were actually like gods towering over the Vietnamese! Everyone here is so intelligent and has learnt so many languages. Days achievement is losing Jess' white top which I borrowed after losing mine...

8 August 2017

Day 13 we had a lovely lie in and then went on a walking tour of Hanoi organised by our hostel. We learnt about the Chinese influence in Vietnamese religion and temples and also the catholic influence from the French- there is a massive church in the centre in place of what was once a temple. Tried egg coffee- so sickly! Saw the lake with the legend of the turtles, and wandered around some markets! (Also had a sad incident with an injured cat ☹️) Jess and I did the women's museum and war museum in the afternoon. Ate at a cafe recommended by the tour guide which had awesome veggie curry. Had a few beers at the hostel before heading to the lake- it is so beautiful all lit up at night. All the Vietnamese people keep trying to tie Jess' laces and clean her shoes!!! So funny.

7 August 2017

Day 12 started with my 3rd morning running in a row! Slightly stressed Jess as our bus to the airport was late, and flight was delayed. Flying over Vietnam was so green and beautiful! Hostel arranged for our airport pickup- crazy driver who was on two phones at once. Junctions and traffic in the centre is insane; literally a free for all with so many mopeds and beeping horns. Hostel had free beer 7-8pm so we quickly ran out for food round the corner before joining pres. The American guy told us stories about his run ins with guns. Didn't join the hostel bar crawl, but instead headed to the hostel where Ed and the boys from home were staying as we wanted to meet up with them. Had a great time playing games- learnt a new hand tapping one- before we went on to a club joined by a Malaysian brother and sister from boys hostel. In true me style I was ready to go home at this point though! Was surprised by how big laughing gas is in Vietnam- everyone is constantly with a balloons!

6 August 2017

Day 11 started with a super early 5.30am wake up call on the train- no fun after a terrible night sleep! Had another crazy tuk tuk driver who didn't know what he was doing. Arrived at the hostel very hungry so set off to find breakfast... thought Khoa San Road was an obvious option... we were definitely wrong; it is GROSS during the day. Smelt revolting. Ended up at a dodgey tourist cafe and definitely didn't enjoy our food. Filled our day with a trip to a small floating market by tuk tuk. Wasn't as much there as we expected so we hopped on a long boat river tour, stopping at temples along the way and generally seeing the more run down areas of the city as we passed. Also got to feed ENORMOUS fish in the water. Another trip to the park in the afternoon for some exercise- never seen so many Thai people running! Ate at a fairy lit restaurant on the way to Khoa San Road in the evening to see it in all its glory and do some last minute shopping- testing my bartering skills!

5 August 2017

Day 10 Last day in Chiang Mai, stayed at the Hug Hostel this time. Got up to run circles around the canal in the boiling heat- hadn't managed to go for a few days. Met Phil and Emily to walk to the cafe that we liked, but very sadly it was closed. More of a quiet day... did some washing and travel planning before getting the night train to Bangkok. Had a much nicer train this time!! Lacking photos as we didn't really do much...

4 August 2017

Day 9 began with a morning yoga session- it was so hard! At first he kept telling us to keep trying harder, and then he changed his tone to 'know your limits'. Had breakfast at a lovely cafe, although it was a little stressed trying to figure out our Vietnam visas. We then got a taxi to the hot springs (had to wait 45 mins). It was definitely warm! Got the bus back to Chiang Mai in the afternoon and had a quick turn around to meet with Phil and Emily at Zoe in yellow. Ended up singing our hearts out in the pentatonic rock bar again.

3 August 2017

Day 8 The lovely lady at the hostel got a member of her staff to drive us to the bus station for free! Got the mini bus to Pai, had beautiful views but the fast driving and super twisty roads meant we both felt pretty sick. Our hostel is right around from the bus station and the main walking street with all the street food- so much to choose from! Ended up trying spinach and ricotta lasagne (tho not actually that nice). Jess and I took a taxi to Pai canyon (everyone else goes by scooter), but didn't stay long as we could see the storm cloud coming. Spent the evening chatting to so many different people in the common room of the hostel and then a huge group of us headed out into town in the evening lead by the bare foot maniac Australian guy who possibly owned the hostel. Went to a few bars and tried Samsong (Thai rum) and orange. Ended up at the 'dont cry' club before Jess and I headed off home.

2 August 2017

Day 7 I got up determined to go for a run- everywhere around the hostel seemed a bit dodgey so I settled for running up and down the 100m strip outside the hostel. This lasted for 4 reps before dogs started barking and chasing me; definitely halted that idea in its tracks. Breakfast included stir fry and noodles, and toast and cold eggs- definitely missing normal breakfast food now! Spent the morning by the pool before walking towards the park for lunch as we had seen lots of bakeries. Unfortunately they sell a lot of coffee and cake but not much actual lunch! I settled for a chocolate mousse. Wandered around the monastery and temple, but ended up heading into town early. Ate at a sports bar as paranoia about food poisoning was high! Had a few drinks in the fairy light lit garden of zoe in yellow. Tried the reggae bar but it was too mellow. Sang our hearts out as the only ones in the rock bar, before ending up back dancing at zoe to old school music. Great night :)

1 August 2017

Day 6 we decided the organised bike tours around Chiang Mai were too expensive, so we rented bikes ourselves and attempted our own tour- this included 4 temples and some very scary roads, along with lots of stuff we couldn't find on the map. Jess had a dodgey tummy too- all leading to us taking the bikes back early to move onto our next hostel, the 'fancier' hostel. It was very lovely but I was feeling a bit disheartened as there really wasn't much around at all. Until we found a Japanese/ Thai restaurant with no english on the menu or spoken by the staff. A lovely lady sitting at the table next to us translated a few dishes and so a hilarious evening ensued. First they brought out the 'soup' or so Jess and I thought it was as we were trying to force down the spicy liquid. Finally we clued onto the fact that we were meant to boil our meat in it and the meal started having a bit more success. Ended up being an evening full of hysterical laughter.

31 July 2017

Day 5 Awoke having slept more than expected to find myself sprawled diagonally over the French man who had joined Jess and I in our mosquito net. Dogs had howled all night and then the cockerels woke us up. Toast and boiled eggs was provided for breakfast and I wasn't allowed to help clear up! Headed out through the village via the little school where the children wanted to play football with the boys. We then headed down hill through the jungle on a single track path for about an hour before stopping at a big waterfall, and finally an elephant sanctuary for lunch. The elephants plodded down to the river when we arrived so that we could bathe them. We then went white water rafting- Jess was terrified but other than one rapid we basically floated along the river and saw wild elephants along its banks! Finally went to the MuayThai boxing when we made it back in the evening- was shocked to see both children and women fighting! Ended night with snack trip to 7/11...

30 July 2017

Day 4 was the day of our jungle trek! Got off to a bad start with our pick up being late leading to a very stressed Jess. Stopped at a butterfly sanctuary on the way and a Karon village we weren't allowed to enter, before stopping off for a warm noodle lunch wrapped in leaves that I really didn't like! The trek started with a waterfall that we could slide down and even jess had a go! Very hot up hill walking and very tired people. The village was full of bamboo huts where the La Rou tribe lived. We had to shower before dinner- a nice pipe in the wall, but it was a separate hut. All 20odd of us on the trek were staying in the same room with 3 to mosquito net. Spent the evening sat on balcony watching storm come in over the jungle. Sat crossed legged to eat rice and curry potatoes for dinner. The tour guide got very drunk and high and had us playing all sorts of puzzle games. Amazing! Was a bit wary of the dogs the whole time though.

29 July 2017

Day 3 we woke up at 6am to the most incredible views of jungle out the window for as far as you could see- made the train worth while for me! We slept pretty lightly all night as we were worried about our bags. The Eden walking street hostel was lovely and Ning Nong at reception was really helpful. Much quieter hostel though- not much socialising with the girls in our room. Jess and I visited two temples, but it was very hot dressed in long clothes as you have to have your knees and shoulders covered to show respect. In the afternoon we found a really cool park where I went for a run and Jess did some hit- although we ended up doing this in the boiling 2pm heat like mad women. After this Jess persuaded me to go for a massage; it was actually really relaxing. Went to the night bizarre (market) in the evening; we were told it was smaller than Sundays but it was mental! It was very hot and there was disabled people in walkways which wasn't so good. Great food and clothes tho!

28 July 2017

Day 2 started with waffles and toast and egg provided free by the here hostel- very yummy. We then headed into town with everyone to see the flower market, it smelt amazing but was rather chaotic with lots of mopeds riding through it. We then walked along the river, which looked pretty filthy, and ended up at a roof top bar chatting away about American sororities and frat houses (which really exist!!) We also learnt that Dutch people swear using diseases. In the afternoon Jess and I walked around the grand temple, which was very cool. Thought we got caught in the rain coming back and got thoroughly drenched. Got the night train to Chiang Mai in the evening- was a little run down and staff constantly walk past offering 'chip chip chip'. Ended up bartering for a Tuk Tuk to get to the train station. Haven't ended up eating much today! Stopped for a Thai green curry before hopping on the train but it was rather small so I am pretty hungry!

27 July 2017

Left for our trip very excited but also very nervous! Day 1 in Bangkok started with us driving around while the taxi driver pretended to know where he was taking us. Bangkok is definitely the smelly crazy place I expected! We walked to the train station to collect our tickets for our night train the next night, and spotted multiple temples on the way. The hostel is great, with a slide in reception! No shoes are allowed inside, which seems to be the custom for most of Thailand. Met a nurse named Will from the UK and soon a group of us gathered to head to Khoa San Road for street food and drinks. It's like some sort of mini vegas strip! Had a delicious Pad Thai, and even tried scorpion (well Jess just posed with it), along with my first taste of Chang beer. The night didn't go on for too long though as we were both pretty shattered from all the travelling.