Thailand · 57 Days · 58 Moments · August 2016

Hannah Kate

Hannah's gap year adventures✌

4 days ago

Day 55: Singapore Today I have explored so much of singapore!! Good hostel breakfast with toast (loads of spreads) and fruits. Walked to kampong glam and got to visit inside a mosque, then down to espilades a theatre company and the waterfront before the art gallery with interesting history of singapore and china town. I chilled In the park and enjoyed a mango shake and then headed back along the quay for the evening. Grabbed some treats from a bakery and sat and watched a Malay dance show and then the water later show where they project holograms onto water being sprayed up to music and finally the lights show in the gardens by the bay where the trees lit up in time to the music, so so cool and so beautiful with the bright city lights down by the waterfront at night. Got the bus back and crashed after booking my ticket back to malaysia for tomorrow. H x

5 days ago

Day 54: Kuala Lumpur to Singapore Enjoyed an Indian breakfast of roti canai at the hostel which was so good, then headed to the bus station via city train. Bus left about 11am and had I change at 2, arrived at border control and international queues were a lot longer than others. Think I was only person with int passport on bus too and when I came out my bus had left without me! Luckily a very kind lady exchanged me some Malaysian currency to Singapore dollars so I could get another bus to the centre and find my hostel. Wanted to visit the art gallery as free entry on Friday eves, so wandered to it and grabbed some Indian food along the way. The gallery was beautiful and was amazing to wander through Singapore in the evening. Sleep well in one of the comfiest beds I've had! Hx

6 days ago

Day 53: Kuala Lumpur Arrived with no sleep and found my way to my hostel via monorail and walking at 6am! Got a shower and breakfast before exploring. Saw Chinatown, the main market, gallery square and then headed to batu caves on the train. It was really cool but very touristy.. which the monkeys knew taking advantage of any food visible and even in bags.. funny to watch though! Got train back and treated myself to some new h and m sports leggings and top and wandered round the more northern areas seeing the petronas towers and then grabbing some delicious Indian street food at a massive local food market. Crashed after no sleep last night, there's a guy in my dorm from cov.. what are the chances! H x

7 days ago

Day 52: penang (overnight to KL) Got up today and enjoyed the free breakfast, waited for pablo and we got the bus to a massive Buddhist temple, meeting some more Argentinian people along the way! The views from the temple were amazing and we climbed right up to the top of the pagoda. It's been so interesting experiencing different religions and traditions whilst travelling. We looked round a market then got the bus back. Then went on a walk to explore a bit more of George Town near to the waterfront. We came across some really cool art work, 'where a bear had been painted to represent each country in the world by a local artist and were placed in a circle to represent community and unity. found a right temple at the end of one of the piers and there was a celebration there with lots of food (including a whole cooked pig) and they invited us to try things, was so cool to be a part of it and really beautiful there. I chilled in the eve before bus ride at 12pm to KL. H x

8 days ago

Day 51: Penang Got up and tryed to see some of my go pro pics on the computer and had some fruit and toast at the hostel. We grabbed an Uber (3 French, pablo and me) to Penang hill. It was a very very steep climb up for 6km with monkey company. Came across a derelict house along the way and reached the top which was cloudy but still cool with a Hindu temple amongst other things. We got the train back down and then went and walked around the botanical gardens which were really pretty, got some fresh fruit and headed back to the hostel. Then wandered to the shopping centre and got some sunglasses as mine have been broke for majority of trip! And then headed into little India which was so cool with loads of street sellers, tried some chicken samosa and a gravy sauce thing with chapati type fried bread and was really good. Wandered back and a little more around George Town. Booked a hostel for KL as I will get a bus overnight there tomorrow and stay for a day before Singapore. H x

9 days ago

Day 50: Phi phi to Penang Today I got up at 7.30am to grab some food and be at the harbour for 8.30. The boat got to krabi for 10.45 and I got a mini bus from there to hat yai, then across the Malaysian border and to Penang, arriving there about 9pm (1 hour ahead). Met an Argentinian guy named pablo on the journey going to Penang too. We got directions to a hostel which was the wrong one so jumped in a cab to the right one! Met some French people at the hostel which is really nice and headed to a near by street food market and sampled some noodles and pork and won ton soup very tasty! H x

10 days ago

Day 49: phi phi Today I got up and explored some of the island, a German girl in the dorm had recommended going up to long beach via a jungle path. I went this way and found some monkeys, some people tried to feed them so thy went a bit crazy! Then I headed down over to another bay which was really beautiful and very quiet, I chilled there for a few hours, snorkelled and wrote some postcards. Then I headed back via long beach, it started to rain but was cool as sea had one right out so could walk along the long stretches of sand. I went back and chilled at the hostel then went and grabbed some food with an Aussie guy from the hostel who now lives in near by Phuket. Phi phi is quite quiet after the news of the Thai king across Thailand so I am going to head to malaysia tomorrow morning and go straight to Penang. H x

15 October 2016

Day 48: khao sok to phi phi This morning I got the bus across the krabi and then after a bit of a wait, the ferry to phi phi. Saw an English guy who'd been in khao sok on the ferry so we stayed at the same hostel. Wandered around and saw some of phi phi and the beach and then headed up to the view point to see the sun setting over the sea. It was a great view and really cool to watch the sunset from, I'm so lucky to have seen so many beautiful places already! Grabbed some Thai food for dinner - more pad Thai and then went for a wander along the front of the island and explored a bit before heading to bed. H x

14 October 2016

Day 47: lake day national park 2 Woke up about 6.30 to the mist coming off the incredible mountains and lake. We went out on the boat first thing and saw some monkeys before having some breakfast. I then went on a kayak and did a cool time lapse video, before seeing a gibbon in the nearby trees so headed over and was amazing to see it just sat there eating its breakfast! We headed over to another little island and climbed for around an hour up hill, through termite tracks and past some very big spiders to another cave. This one had vampire bats, snakes and huge spiders in, along with lots of bugs!! Never seen so many bats before. After climbing back down we had some rice and fruit for lunch and then headed back on the long tailed boat to the mainland to get the coach back to the town. I chilled in the evening, Skyped tom and looked at some plans for next week in malaysia! Made myself some Thai scrambled eggs for dinner! H x

13 October 2016

Day 46: national park lake trip Got picked up at 9am and we drove out to the lake, stopping off at a market along the way. When we arrived we took a trip to the floating lake houses on a long boat, the views were incredible!! Reminded me a bit of Halong bay in Vietnam. We had time to do some kayaking on the lake before enjoying some Thai currys for lunch. We then headed to the caves on a long boat and trecked for about an hour through rivers and jungle and thick thick mud! In the cave the water was really high and you had to swim to get through at some times - scary but really cool experience! After heading back we enjoyed some fresh fish for dinner and then went out on a night safari.. didn't see much but was amazing to hear the jungle sounds and stars out here at night! H x

12 October 2016

Day 45: khao sok national park I arrived at a hostel about 10am and met an American girl who'd been staying there. We went and explored a bit and visited the monkey temple, it was feeding time so all the monkeys went a bit crazy but was really cool seeing them. We then explored some of the more jungle like area and it started to pour it down but was actually really fun exploring! Met some more people from the hostel who's been on a day trip and went down to the river and paddled, then went for some traditional Thai food - I have pad Thai and was so good! Chilled and early night. H x

11 October 2016

Day 44: Koh Tao, overnight to Khao Sok national park Didn't get to sleep till 3am last night cause of the music and drunk people in and out of my dorm! Got up and checked out this morning then met Mia and kathrin and we walked across the island to another bay. The walk was quite a treck over the top of a big hill and very hot in the sun but we made it! And the views were great at the top. We chilled on the beach and did a bit of snorkelling, and I went out to some rocks and was snorkelling and saw a small reef shark swimming along the bottom! I was quite scared after that so swam back in ahah but amazing to have seen one! We headed back as kathrin was starting her diving course and I wandered along sairee beach and got some food for the journey tonight. I watched the sunset from the beach again, it really is the most incredible thing to see here. I headed to the pier with my big rucksack again and boarded the night ferry, we did get bed bunks all in one big room which was good. Hx

10 October 2016

Day 44: Koh Tao - snorkelling trip Today was so much fun! I got up and went to my snorkelling day trip, I was with 2 German girls, Mia and kathrin and Dutch and German family's. We stopped at about 5 different bays around the island and the snorkelling was amazing, I saw so many beautiful colourful fish which swam all around me and took so great go pro pics and videos I hope! Saw a sting ray too! Lastly we stopped on naang yuan island and climbed up to the view point and then chilled in the sea, it was such paradise! When we got back I showered and then went and watched the sunset on the beach, the best I've ever seen! Met up with kathrin and Mia and an English guy and went and got some food and had a drink on the beach watching the fire show before going to see the cabaret lady boy show which was an experience ahah but really good, had a really fun day with new people. H x

9 October 2016

Day 43: Koh Tao Sunrise reminded me what traveling was all about.. pushing you out of your comfort zone, but having spontaneous incredible moments seeing this beautiful world. The ferry took a couple of hours and when we got to Koh Tao I walked to my hostel and checked in, which is right on sairee beach. I had a wander and got some breakfast then showered and headed off to explore a bit. I wanted to see if the school was open as had seen advertised that you could volunteer there but had the same problem that it's the holidays. I wandered to the south of the island to John Surat view point which was totally beautiful, but strange to have no one to share it with- mixed emotions about travelling alone again. When I got back I got some noodles from 7/11 and booked a snorkelling day trip for tomorrow. Chilled down on the beach with some girls from my dorm and watched the fire show which was incredible! Went to bed about half 11, musics loud till 2am here but slept as was so tired! Hx

8 October 2016

Day 42: Bangkok, overnight to Koh Tao Had a bit of a lye in but still felt quite tired getting up, think the past couple of days have just been quite stressful and emotionally draining! Got some Frosties, milk and banana for breakfast then showered and checked out. We chilled by the pool for the day and I managed to sort out some on ward travel bits and Skype home and Tom which was good. At about 4pm I said by to Shannon (😳 solo traveller again) and got an uber to near khoa San road where I got my overnight bus and ferry ticket to Koh Tao. I went and got my eyebrows tinted and grabbed some tasty street food (rice and spicy chicken and sausage) and wrote my journal for a bit before having one last wander down khoa San road. We boarded the bus and left about 8.30, I only got about an hours sleep.. find it too hard to sleep upright and we arrived at the ferry dock about 4.30am and waited till 7am to board. I watched the sun come up from the beach and it really was turkey beautiful. Hx

7 October 2016

Day 41: krasang to Bangkok (leave camp Thailand) Woke up at the silk village, air con was freezing so didn't sleep great but had some breakfast inc. bacon! We got picked up and were back to camp about 11am. Me and Shannon left about 11.45 after saying by to my roomies which was emosh:( we had to get one bus to another big city for about 3 hours... it was a public Thai bus with the door open, true Thai experience! There was also a massive flood at one point on the road due to monsoon season! Then got a bus to Bangkok which was much more luxurious and we got to the bus station for 9pm. Then had to get a taxi across to the airport (staying near there as Shannon flys to auz tomorrow) and then a shuttle to the hotel, where we arrived at about 11pm and were nackered but room was nice and comfy. Connected to wifi and then slept! Glad to have had Shannon to share the slightly crazy journey with! H x

6 October 2016

Day 40: silk village stay We got up and left for the silk village which was about half hour away. It was so nice, baths in rooms, swimming pool, free coffee..! After relaxing for a bit we went on the silk village tour, for which we wore straw hats and rode in the sky car which was the shape of an airplane.. very surreal. We wandered and watched them making he silk with silk worms and then making clothes from it which was really interesting. We also went to a temple and got to meditate there with a lady from the local village, finished off with some traditional Thai dancing! In the evening after dinner we had a bit of pool party, with balloons and drinks as was one girls bday soon. (Only found out next day that after I we'd gone to bed one of the girls slipped and broke her hip and is now having to fly home to be operated on🙁). Off to Bangkok tomorrow last night with camp girls - mixed emotions but I know it's what's best for me. H x

5 October 2016

Day 39: (05/10/16) kindergarten and catfish temple This morning we went and visited a near by kindergarten/nursery and played with the kids for a couple of hours. They were so sweet, I think a few were quite overwhelmed by us but made one little friend in particular who didn't want to leave me! Was a cool experience to have been able to spend time with them. When we got back we had some lunch and then went on a big group cycle to a near by temple and fed hundreds of cat fish that were in the lake there, some were the size of small sharks! Cycled back and had a chilled few hours, catching up on my journal and GBBO. In the evening our room went to a cocktail bar for dinner and I had a spicy prawn spaghetti and veg dish, and tried my first spy which is a wine cooler like the equivalent of Thai fruit ciders👌🏼 there was a massive thunder and lighting storm and when we were back at camp playing mafia all the power went off and we had to use oil lamps! Happy birthday Mumma, H x

4 October 2016

Day 38: primary school, football and local food Got up at 7 today to plan our activities and leave to the school for 8.30 (very bumpy truck journey!). we worked with the whole school in smaller groups and started by doing a song all together then smaller games. We were teaching different shapes to the children and had some running around activities and word repetition. We got lunch at the school and then did some more teaching ending with a giant talcum powder fight! After school we went and watched a Thai vs intake football match as the local park which was good and then enjoyed a delicious pad Thai at susie's down the road where she cooks all the dishes one by one on her own and taste amazing! H x

3 October 2016

Day 37: TEFL training and bike ride This morning we had some more TEFL training and then I went on a bike ride this afternoon through all of the paddy fields, farms and country side - really pretty. I've decided to move on from camp on Friday with another girl too as we're not getting the amount of teaching we were told we would as schools are closed which wasn't mentioned so I'm going to go to malaysia earlier and start my volunteering with children there for a bit longer. Hard decision as I've met some great people here but feel I'll get more from moving on. Watched the other Bridget jones tonight and chilled. H x

1 October 2016

Day 35: volunteer teach This morning I used the camp gym for a bit, enjoyed a coffee (or 2) and some fruit and then looked into some of my travel plans for after and other volunteering options. At 1pm some of the children from the local community came for English lessons. We did some number work with them involving addition which they were good at and then just some basic reading and picture card work, and one of the little girls wanted to draw me a penguin picture! Later in he afternoon I went for a walk along the river with Shannon and we explored around a bit, with the locals all very excited to see us! After dinner some of us got the train into Buriram for a night out there which was good, were went to a cool place called yellow bus bar (literally a yellow bus!) and had some very sweet slush cocktails, before having a look in some other bars and clubs, a fun evening and got back by truck about 1. H x

30 September 2016

Day 34: schools cancelled :( bike rides Today the schools teaching was cancelled, annoyingly it's nearly the Thai school holidays so we're not getting as much teaching as we should be :( but decided to go for a bike ride around the local area and found a couple of old temples which were half derelict, kind of creepy! Was nice riding through the green paddy fields and country side but there's very little around for miles and miles! Played some mind games in the evening which was really fun and some of the thai staff guys got really drunk and were doing karaoke and some hilarious dancing which was so funny! H x

29 September 2016

Day 32: pool day Woke up about 6.30am and have pancakes at the elephant sanctuary before leaving (they had Nutella, Jam, honey, marmalade AND PB!!!☺️👌🏼) got back to camp at about 9.30 after parting with the little baby nelly🐘. We got the train to buriram to go to a pool there, managed to get a little lost at the other end but found it eventually and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun, reading and swimming. Got the half 4 train back with all the Thai commuters. In the evening we went and visited the evening market in krasang for a bit and then had camp olympics which was so much fun! Had going races, giant hide and seek, water bucket challenges and fashion shows! Unfortunately our green team came last hahha but a funny night! H x

28 September 2016

Day 31: elephant sanctuary Had the most amazing day at the elephant sanctuary today! We set if at 7am and when we got here took 5 of the bigger African elephants down to the lake which was a couple of Kim away. We got to wash them and play with them and feed them cucumbers in the water which was so much fun! When we got back we had a tasty lunch (I had chicken omelette) and then after a mini monsoon we went and saw how they make paper out of elephant poo and got to make some ourselves. We also saw an elephant graveyard and got told some interesting things by our tour guide who's hilarious! I went and visited the baby elephant and it's mum, was amazing being so close to such incredible animals. In the evening we went and had a buffet dinner and saw the sun setting with so many pinky, blue and yellow colours, then once it had gone dark saw a lightening storm happening in the distance, lighting up the whole sky - really was an amazing way to end such a great day! H x

27 September 2016

Day 30: first day in school Got up and used the mini gym again, tried some BBQ'd bananas for breakfast from the market which are so good! We went into smaller groups and did some lesson planning in the morning, we were teaching different colours so came up with a range of games we could use with different age groups and abilities using flash cards and some different coloured balls etc. In the afternoon we it trucked to the school where we all introduced ourselves and then taught 4 sessions to groups of around 25. It was so much fun, and reminds me exactly of why I'm here and why I wanna do this! The younger children didn't understand much English at all but the older ones got much more into it and really good at the different colours, and they loved the competitive games! In the evening we went for dinner at a local restaurant which was really tasty and then headed to bed early as going to see the elephants tomorrow! H x

26 September 2016

Day 29: Orientation and TEFL training Today I used to mini gym and then we got an orientation where the reps told us about different days out, what I expect etc and a mini tour of the town (krasang) which has a mini Thai Tesco! We also had TEFL training which goes towards gaining our TEFL certificate at the end of camp, so involved teaching guidance etc. Was chilling in a hammock at the time and nearly fell asleep, they're great! For dinner I grabbed some sausage rice from 7/11 (Thailands local shop) and we had a team quiz, which we came second in (only due to cheaters ahah!) but was still fun, headed to bed ready to start teaching tomorrow! H x

25 September 2016

Day 28: lake day (1 month already!) Today we went to a big lake about an hour from camp, we went in the back of 4x4 so a bumpy ride! The lake was so nice, and we used the life jackets as nappies and just bobbed about in the water! They had big wooden raft hut things which got pulled into the middle of the lake for us to chill on. Me and 2 of my room mates went on a inflatable sofa bed pulled by a jet ski and it's was crazyyyy but so much fun, could not stop laughing!! We got lunch on the lake and headed back late afternoon. Enjoyed a tasty Thai green curry back at the hostel and then a big group of us played some round of mafia which got very intense but really fun! H x

24 September 2016

Day 28: Bangkok to krasang (camp Thailand) Today we woke up about 9, and packed up and grabbed a bit of breakfast before the 7 hour journey to krasang. Go to go in a super comfy mini bus though with leather seats which reclined aha. When we arrived at camp we got our rooms and unpacked a bit, was so nice to finally be able to empty my bag after a month of moving about! We had a group dinner, spag Bol which was tasty and chilled for a bit in the evening. The camps really nice it's all so clean and has a trampoline, bar and mini gym! H x

23 September 2016

Day 27: Bangkok (meeting all of my teaching friends from camp Thailand!) This morning was very drizzly but I checked out of lub d (would recommend) and walked to lumphini park and wandered around, so peaceful from the crazy city! Got some more bug spray and wandered round a shopping centre for a bit before getting a taxi over to the khoa San road area to the hostel everyone from camp Thailand's staying at. Checked in and wandered up a little street near khoa San and grabbed some tasty egg pad Thai for lunch before wandering down khoa San itself. Waited back at the hostel for people to arrive from the airport and met my roomie for the night, Lauren, and some of the others who all seem nice. 😊 At 6 we all met to go to a roof top bar for a buffet dinner and drinks which was cool and gave chance to speak to some more people. Then headed to khoaSan road bars and clubs which was totally mental but such a fun night experiencing a proper night out in Bangkok.. even tried some scorpion! Hx

22 September 2016

Day 26: Bangkok Today I went for a run to Lumihinj park and back, which reminded me of Central Park in NYC.. a bit of peace amongst the total chaos! After having some breakfast I headed to the Siam shopping area and tried to explore a bit of central world a ridiculously massive shopping centre (found a H&M and topshop!). Then went to the arts and cultural centre which had some good exhibitions on and was a really cool building with cute art cafes. Visited MBK another big shop on centre and grabbed some lunch next to the national stadium but couldn't get in. Then went and saw some views of Bangkok from a really tall hotel before heading back on the sky train and seeing a cool vintage modern outdoor market space. Then just had an evening chilling and did my washing! H x

21 September 2016

Day 25: Bangkok (round 2) According to my phone I have walked 23.9km today!! Started by going and grabbing some fruit at the market, got some of the bright pink dragon fruit! Then got the ferry up river to China town area and got chatting to an American girl who's just arrived along the way. I walked down some crazy streets selling everything possible, before getting to the golden Buddha (solid gold!). I wandered through the textile market and found a 'Tesco lotus'.. home from home! Headed across the river by ferry and saw 2 more temples one of which had a massive very impressive Buddha! I then wandered past the royal palace and up to the national theatre before heading back to the river and getting the boat back. Met up with Olivia my French friend I was with in Siem Reap and had a tasty pad Thai dinner with her and then went and saw the views from the 64th floor sky bar (before slipping off to avoid the ridiculously expensive drinks!, opted for a drink at the hostel instead! H x

20 September 2016

Day 24: Siem Reap to Bankgkok Think my body's used to waking up super early now and doesn't want a lye in annoyingly! But went and explored a bit of Siem Reap this morning... more markets and got some more elephant pants and a cute little oil painting of the floating villages. Posted a card home and wandered around pub street downtown area. Spent a couple of hours chilling at the hostel before getting a tuk tuk to the airport. Flight to Bangkok went smooth (even got food in the hour it took!) and got talking to a crazy American lady on the plane! Managed to navigate 3 of Bangkoks trains and sky trains to get to my hostel which seems really cool. Showered and headed to bed. H x

19 September 2016

Day 23: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat temples). A fab day Today was an early one... 4.15am wake up to get the tuk tuk to Angkor Wat to see sunrise but it was sooo worth it the sky was amazing colours of pinks, oranges and yellows - a never forget moment! I went back and rested for a bit before having some breakfast and then renting a mountain bike for the day for a whole $3 dollars! I headed off back to the temples and took grand tour loop, as yesterday we had done the small one. I saw 6 new temples and all of which unique. One was surrounded by a sort of swamp you had to walk across on planks. The views of paddy fields whilst cycling were amazing and I really enjoyed biking it for the day and must have done about 30km! Chilled for a bit before heading out for food ☺️ wandered around the night markets then had to say goodbye to girls I've been with the past few days which is sad :( exciting things to come though, and not long Till my teaching! H x

18 September 2016

Day 22: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat temples) 18/09/16 Another early start and tasty big breakfast at the hostel before getting picked up at 7.15 with the 3 girls to go to the temples. We started with some smaller ones before heading onto Ta Prohm (where tomb raider was filmed) Bayon and the mighty Angkor Wat. Each one is so individually impressive and unique, it really felt like walking through a fantasy land at times! Saw more monkeys and monks, before heading back to the hostel to shower before dinner. Another tasty Khmer meal and some frozen yogurt before skyping Rach (thanks;)) and heading to bed early to be up for sunrise tomorrow! H x

17 September 2016

Day 21: (3 weeks already!!) Battambang to Siem Reap This morning I caught the 7am boat with my Korean friend I'd made, to take the 6 hour journey to Siem reap. The journey was great, I sat up/lay on top of the boat for a lot of the time and took in the green views and floating villages. I also saw some crocodiles that the locals must catch to sell on. One local on the boat had a load of fish with her and an eel escaped out of her bag at one point along the boat! We arrived and me and 3 girls got a tuk tuk into Siem reap and checked in at our hostels. In he evening we went and saw the sun set at a temple near Angkor wat (i also enjoyed a tasty corn on the cob🌽) and then headed back for some dinner - a local Khmer street food place where i tried grilled aubergine with chicken! The hostels lovely that I'm staying in too ☺️ H x

16 September 2016

Day 20: Siem Reap to Battambang Today I got up and ready for my bus at 8am which was all locals and me! Got to Battambang around 2pm and a tuk tuk to the hostel. When I got there I asked other people what they were doing and 3 other girls were getting a tuk tuk up to the killing cave and to see the bats coming out so I joined them. After lots of climbing the views from the top of the hill were amazing of the surrounding countryside and you could see for miles across Cambodia. The killing cave was very surreal and quite creepy, there was another stupa with skulls in again. The bats all came out of the cave around 6pm and there was around 10 million, it really was quite something! We got a tuk tuk back in the rain and went for some traditional Khmer food. I Skyped dad and Rach and then headed to bed where everyone in our dorm was nackered so all in bed by 10pm! For me before another early 6am start. H x Ps also saw monkeys and monks and Buddhas at the top of the temple on the hill!

15 September 2016

Day 19: Phnom Penh Woke up and went for a wander before having a mango smoothie and PB toast at the hostel. I got Tuk tuk out to the killing fields, and saw the mass graves and stupa with the hundreds of skulls and bones of those killed during the genocide, very hard hitting. I then went to the genocide museum at the s-21 prison (a former school) and saw a survivor from the prison. I walked to the Olympic stadium from the 60's which was great! Walking through the streets and seeing children with such little smile at you as they run along really hit me and enraptured the strength and spirit of the country. It began to monsoon so I sheltered in the hostel, before wandering round near the royal palace a more wealthy area, stopping to get some veggie egg fried rice for din and the getting caught in the monsoon! I fell asleep at like 8pm must have been shattered from all the walking but woke up and spoke to a girl in the dorm from Surrey and booked my hostel for tomorrow, then sleep! Hx

14 September 2016

Day 18: Ho Chi Minh city to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) Jess got up around 5am to catch her flight back to England, said a surreal emosh goodbye and Skyped Tom before he went to bed back home! I went and used the gym and then had breakfast, my bus to Phnom Penh was at 10.30am. I sat next to a lovely Cambodian family, the father was a teacher too and had some good conversations along the long journey! The bus got a flat type about 1 hour in so was stationary for 2 hours. Boarder crossing into Cambodia was smooth and E-visa was all fine, another country stamp in the passport! We saw the most incredible sunset skies when heading into Phnom Penh over the river, and arrived around 8pm. Got a tuk tuk to the hostel and played cards and uno with 2 German girls, a polish and a Caribbean guy and a crazy Indian man who's been travelling for 3 years around Asia! Showered and headed to bed, strange to be without Jess and miss her but I think I will soon adapt and meet lots of people along the way. H x

13 September 2016

Day 17: Ho Chi Minh city (Jess' last day😥) This morning I went to the cu chi tunnels where a lot of the Vietcong tunnels had been during the Vietnamese war. We got shown different traps they would use and got to go down inside the tunnels, they were so narrow you had to crawl/crouch along it was quite scary, but amazing to see and even crazier to think so many of them lived in them. I collected my Thai visa in the afternoon which is all sorted (yayyy!) and then sorted out a bus to Cambodia for tomorrow. Had a swim in the hotel pool which was amazing as it had just gone dark and the moon was out and you could see lol the pretty city lights. We went for dinner at the hotel restaurant but portions weren't very big so went and got a hot dog and some frozen ice cream! Then finished off with an amazing cocktail up on the sky bar. I've had the most amazing time travelling with my best friend and will miss you lots Jess-a little scared about being on my own now but exciting too! Hx

12 September 2016

Day 16: (12/09/16) Ho Chi Minh city I got up early today to go the the Thai embassy and get my visa for when I'm teaching there. The buffet breakfast was amazing and had PB (fav) and bright pink dragon fruit-a new fav. Sorted out my visa after a bit off stress with booking tickets then wandered to the art gallery, Saigon square, the main market and the reunification palace. I met Jess at the notre dam and we wandered into the old post office and had a free drink int the Hard Rock Cafe to get out of the monsoon! In the afternoon we visited the war remnants museum which was very hard hitting, in particular about the horrendous consequences the spreading of agent orange and other chemicals had on defecting generations of both Vietnamese and Americans, with some very tough images. We had some dinner at a modern street food area, tasty sticky rice and pork, and then headed back. Enjoying the hotel gym and bath and then a drink on the sky bar! H x

11 September 2016

Day 15: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh city This morning we had a by if a lye in before heading down for the breakfast buffet! We packed up and headed into the old town, wandering around the dainty shops and street stall markets. Mid afternoon we got back to the hostel and chilled by the pool, Skype home (happy anniversary mum and dad!) and read for a bit. At 5pm We got the shuttle bus to the airport, where our original 8.15pm flight was delayed so they put us on an earlier one at 7.05pm meaning we got safely into Ho Chi Minh by 8.30pm. Found out they have uber taxis in Vietnam so we got one to the hotel, costing £3 for a half hour journey! The hotels sooo nice, (a treat for Jess' last few days😥), we went up to the sky bar on the 14th floor and took in the views which are amazing before heading to bed. H x

10 September 2016

Day 14: Hoi An Today has been a lovely chilled day, I woke up and went and did my own very slow park run around the streets of hoi an between motorbikes. We had some breakfast and then headed to the beach. It's the most tranquil of places so un touristy with white sands and palm trees, we read and relaxed and I watched the crabs dosing in and out of the tide! The water is so warm to swim in too. I wandered back to the hostel seeing the sun going down and all the school children coming out on their bikes. We booked our flights to HCMC for tomorrow eve and then went for food and drinks I had a delicious traditional won ton dish and we enjoyed the 10p beers a lot!!! We then followed the bar crawl and went to a couple of bars where we had a good dance to some classics, a really eve in cute hoi an💃🏼 H x

9 September 2016

Day 13: hue to hoi an Today has been AMAZINGGG! We got off the sleeper train about 9.45am and straight onto our tour guided motorbikes to hoi an (we weren't driving them just to clarify!) We stopped at the most tropical tranquil beach along the way, floating in the sea and drinking from coconuts, and picking up a slightly red glow throughout the day! then drove along the hai van pass (ft. on top gear!) the most beautiful journey I've ever taken and even more incredible from the back of a motorbike. We got to hoi an and checked in, chilled and did some lengths in the pool. This eve we wandered into hoi an old town which is very pretty, with little lanterns everywhere, and the river passing through- like the scene from the end of tangled! We had some dinner and 10p glasses of beer and a drink back at our hostel before heading to bed☺️ H x We've now traveled by plane, car, tuk-tuk, truck, bicycle, motorbike, train, trekking, boat, taxi, bus, minibus, kayak, raft, ferry and elephant!

8 September 2016

Day 11: Hanoi: sick day! Woke up and tried to eat some fruit for breakfast but did not feel good so went back to bed and extended the stay to lie in bed all day, although did manage to catch up on some great British bake off! Jess was amazing and fetched me water, crackers and cold towels.. so lucky to have a best friend that's a medic! Decided to stay here another night as not up for getting the night train to hue as planned, as just moving made me feel faint and throw up! booked into a private room down the road with much better air con and more space and got a much needed good nights sleep. Travel is certainly unpredictable, just so grateful to have such a great friend to look after me. H x
Day 12: Hanoi (overnight to hue) Woke up after falling asleep at 7.30 obviously nackered! Felt more refreshed and so grateful to feel more normal again, must have been a 24 hour travel sickness bug just adjusting to such different food and climate. For breakfast we had some toast, yogurt, fruit and banana pancakes! We went back to our old hostel to ask about book an overnight train and motorbike ride along the coastal route tomorrow. Bit drizzly in Hanoi today but we wandered across town to Ho Chi Minh's stilt house and mausoleum. Jess went to a cafe and chilled and I saw the stilt house and gardens which were pretty, along with some Vietnamese soldiers practicing their marching. I then went and saw the hoa lo prison where the French had kept powerful Vietnamese during their take over and then where USA air soldiers had been kept in the 1960/70s. This eve we headed to the station and got on our 8pm overnight sleeper train with our cosy bunk beds- due to arrive in hue at 9.40am. H x

6 September 2016

Day 10: mai chau trip Today we woke up from home stay under mosquito nets after a pretty good nights sleep and had some banana pancakes for breakfast. It started to rain but we set off on the bikes to the 1200 step cave, it was hard work but we made it to the top. The cave had once been used by villagers, including our tour guides parents, to hide in during the USA attacks. On the way back we stopped off at a market and saw some more strange 'delicacies' including live grubs, toads and a dogs head. After a nice warm shower we had some lunch before relaxin and getting the coach back to Hanoi. We arrived back about half 7 but began to have a bit of tummy bug, so tried some fruit and yogurt but settles in the dorm. Unfortunately the bug got worse and was sick in the night, but luckily I had Jess who was amazing to help me! H x

5 September 2016

Day 9: mai chau trip Got up and had breakfast before leaving the hostel at about 8.30am with our tour guide freddy. The journey to mai chau took around 3.5 hours and we stopped of and chilled in a hammock! When we arrived we had a delicious lunch of omelette, salads, meats, and the sweetest tastiest bananas - it's all so good here! After going for a little walk we got on the bikes with our local guide Tom and cycles through the villages in the valley, the views were absolutely breathtaking and we stopped and spoke to some of the local villagers and a sweet little boy, and were taught how to use the silk threading machines the women use to make beautiful scarfs. The families are all busy in the rice fields and growing crops, they work so hard here. In the evening we had another delicious dinner with chop sticks and stayed in our home stay room which we had all to ourselves (despite seeing a mouse before bed we slept well!) H x

3 September 2016

Day 8: Halong bay trip Can't believe I've been out here for a week already.. It's flown by but we have done so so much!! Today we woke up at 6am to have a quick tai chi class on top deck before a refreshing breakfast of jam and banana on toast with some watermelon! We went kayaking through the limestone peninsulas at 8am and spotted lots of blue clawed crabs on the rocks, it was amazing to be amongst such a beautiful place with the rocks towering over you. I chilled and wrote my diary on top deck for a bit taking in the incredible views. We had a quick spring roll cooking class, and then enjoyed some lunch before heading back onto main land and travelling the 4 hours back to Hanoi passing vast paddy fields, Vietnamese cows and of course scooters! In the evening we chilled out at the hostel on beanbags in front of a film in the cost area and went and got some street food and brought it back☺️ H x
Day 7: Halong bay trip We had breakfast at the hostel, And then got picked up about 8.30am before a 4 hour bus journey to Halong bay. We boarded the boat and checked in our rooms; me, Jess and Helena sharing. More delicious Vietnamese sea food, salad and meats for lunch before being able to enjoy the incredible views of Halong bay from the top deck. We visited 'surprise cave' in a smaller boat, found by 2 French women in 1902, David our Vietnamese tour guide pointed out the rocks looking like different animals. We then went to a beach off one of the 2000 limestone peninsulas and swam in the waters! In the eve we toasted Vietnamese style enjoying the other pretty boat lights looking so pretty. Dinner of meats, fresh prawns, rice, salad and home brewed Halong beer-they brew their own beer as little at 10p a glass on street food stands (dad you'd love it!). Played cards with some guys who were out here to teach English for 2 years at a international school. Amazing place 😍🌍👌🏼 H x

2 September 2016

Day 6: Bangkok to Hanoi I love Vietnam already! Been awake for 19 hours today, woke up at 4.45 from our amazingly comfy airport hotel bed to catch our flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. We arrived in Hanoi by 8.30 and got to our hostel in time for the walking tour of Hanoi where we explored the streets, saw markets, art galleries, and tried some spring rolls and sweet egg coffee which tastes incredible! Met a girl Helena who goes to birm uni and then went to book our tours to Halong bay and mai chau (a rural homestay). We then explored some of Hanoi and walked around the lake, it is Vietnamese national Independence Day so the streets are so busy with people celebrating! After showing and freshening up we went for some dinner at a traditional Vietnamese and then wandered around to see the celebrations with people skipping, dragon dancing, marching bands and giant tugs of war. After such a long story we headed back to the hostel for bed which is crazy lively place! H x

1 September 2016

Day 5: Chiang Mai to Bangkok Today's been quite a chilled day, we slept in a bit and then had our breakfast at the hostel. We went and had a look around the Lanna folk museum about Buddhist history in the area and then spent a while trying to find cash points as none would work! I'm the afternoon we met up with Liam and izzy again and had some food with them before getting a red truck to the airport at about half 4, we got through quickly but unfortunately our flight was delayed for 3 hours so didn't board till half 9 and then got to Bangkok at about 11 before checking into the hotel room at the airport which was literally incredible: although we only had 5 hours there to sleep till our next flight in the morning to Hanoi in Vietnam, but it was still so worth the money for such a comfy bed. See you soon Thailand! H x
(Part 2) we made a very steep decent down before stopping at another waterfall (but we couldn't slide down.. In the words of our Thai guide Tommy.. Yes you go, if you want to die!) also saw a baby monkey named lucky there, and We then rode on elephants and then went white water rafting which was so much fun if not a little scary too! After some lunch we headed back to Chiang mai and to a different hostel were staying at which is very cool with a hammock and pond chilling area and cafe (breakfast inc and again only £3 for the night!!). In the eve we met up with Jess' cousins Liam and izzy who have been travelling Thailand for the last month and had a nice dinner with them before drinks and a bucket at Zoe's in yellow bar which was the main night scene in Chiang mai.. An incredible 2 days seeing such beautiful world scenes. H x

30 August 2016

Day 3 and 4: Northern Chiang Mai trek and hill tribe stay Part 1 On tues morning we got picked up and went on a truck into the northern Thai jungle, stopping at a butterfly farm and market along the way. We were on a the trek with 2 American and 3 Spanish girls who were all lovely and very interesting to talk to. After lunch we started the accent soon to stop at a waterfall which we could slide down into a plunge pool (one of the most scary but exciting and adrenaline pumping things I've ever done!) we climbed for around 2 and a half hour through steep jungle terrain in very humid weather before reaching the hill tribe bamboo huts and having helping each other have a very cold shower! Dinner was Thai curry and stir fry and we shared stories in candle light before going to bed. It was like a massive slumber party with mosquito blankets! Although quite hard to sleep in such surreal surroundings and with loud dog and cockerel noises! In the morning we set off about half 8.

29 August 2016

Day 2: Chiang mai Today we headed off on our flight to Ching mai with an early start. Only took an hour on the plane and you could see the northern jungle of Thailand when landing. We have booked ourselves in for a 2 day treck tomorrow! Today we visited another couple of wats (temples) and then had a Thai body massage which was very relaxing! This evening we got a tuk tuk to the night bazaar market and wandered around and found a nice restaurant with some live music on, now back at the hostel which has cost us a grand total of £3 for the night!

28 August 2016

Day 1: Bangkok Been a long fun day starting by taking a tuk tuk and the sky train to the weekend market - a crazy vast market full of Thai street food, nik naks, and the famous Thai elephant pants which we purchased! Then back (slightly the wrong way but got back on route via a taxi ride) to wat pho the temple with the reclining Buddha inside and a great place to wear our elephant pants! Took a ferry across the river and back and then went for some Thai dinner, I had a delicious shrimp pad Thai, near the khao San road which is a crazy place and reminds us of kavos! Back via some coconut ice cream to the hostel for an early night before our 9am flight up north to Chiangmai tomorrow! H x
Arrived and reunited with my bestie.. A trip down khao San road and sampling some sticky mango rice and beer, wow Bangkok is quite something!!!
Quick stop in Dehli.. and have just seen a 27 carriage train go by! One curry down on air India no doubt another to go before Bangkok👌🏼✈️🍲

26 August 2016

Off I go.. Goodbye England🌍✈️