Tag Archives: Thailand

One year of Travelling… Our trip in numbers!

ONE YEAR AGO ago we set off from Australia attempting to get back to the UK without flying and so far we have made it to China! So how exactly have we done it? Well heres a short post on our trip so far in numbers….

Countries Visited:  10 (Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and currently in China)

Distance traveled without a plane: 47,000 km or 29,200 miles (6,500km longer than one full loop around the earth)

Beds slept in: 177

Transportation – we have used:

111 buses, 41 boats, 21 cars (taxi, private or rental), 32 trains, 13 subway systems, 6 mopeds and a variety of tuk-tuk type vehicles.

Our most expensive accommodation (per person): £28.54 ($55 AUD) – Boss Legend Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam (Christmas Treat)

Our cheapest accommodation (per person): £1.27 ($2.33 AUD) – Aman batik house, tuktuk, Sumatra

Our Most expensive meal (Per Person): £13.98 ($27 AUD) – Moose and Roo Pub for Christmas Dinner, Hanoi, Vietnam

Our Cheapest Meal (Per Person): £0.24 ($0.44 AUD) – 1 Naan Bread, 1 Bowl of Curry, 1 Fried Bread Pastry and a cup of coffee. – White Cafe in Hpa an, Myanmar

Books Read: 30

Bed Bug Experiences: 3

Pairs of sunglasses Broken: 13

Pairs of Flip-Flops worn out: 9

Celebrity Spottings: 1 (Hugh Dennis in Laos)

Free Things we have been given: 4 x Free bus rides, 2 x Ice Tea, 1 x Longhi (traditional Myanmar skirt), 1 x Free lonely Planet guide book, 6 x pieces of fruit, 2 x Bars of Chocolate, Free clothes wash, 2 x Bowls of traditional Thai Fish soup, 5 Malaysian Ringet, 1 x key ring, lots of flowers (mainly little Myanmar girls giving them to Ella), 2 x Cups of coffee, 1 x toilet fee (The last two were from a monk), 1 x free night of accommodation, 4 x bottles of water, 5 x noodle soups, 1 x free breakfast, free rice and chilli sauce, 2 x free coconuts, 2 x silk scarves, 1 x free tuk-tuk journey, 1 x free snake (edible), 2 x Banh Mi Sandwiches, lots of free potatoes and bananas, 1 x free tote bag, 1 x free ferry ride, 1 x free tourist boat trip, 2 x free ice coffees,  beer (we have actually lost count of how much), 1 free stick of BBQ goat’s udder, 4 x free dinner, 1 x taxi ride, 4 x bananas, 1 x chocolate dessert, rice wine…, 1 x free use of a motorbike, 2 x Jagermeister shots, 1 x free xe om journey, 2 x free bike hire, 2 x bowl of noodles, 1 x blueberry juice, and even more rice wine…..

We will keep writing stuff like this down and update it again in another 3 months…

R&E

One Year Ago…

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Today…

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How many scammers does it take to cross a border? Thailand to Cambodia

The crossing between Aranyaprathet to Poi Pet, from Thailand to Cambodia, is notorious. Dodgy tuktuk drivers, fake visa offices and even bribing officials are just some of the underhand tricks played. Really its a big “lets see how much money we can make out of tourists” fest! So as you can imagine we approach the border with some trepidation…and researching the hell out of it on other people’s blogs! So this is our experience.

We like to call this scammer football…..

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The hot and the cool…back in Thailand

This would be our last stay in Thailand, for this trip at least, and we were headed to the east of the country, to Isaan where the weather is hot and the food is spicy. If you want to see ‘real Thailand’ or get ‘off the beaten path’ here’s the region for you! There probably wont be any western food options and few people will speak English, but in return you’ll get a glimpse of Thailand without the tourists and you’ll be called farang at least four times a day!

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Almost across the Mekong…Getting to Laos from Thailand!

It is always a strange sensation to know, when you wake up in the morning, that by the time you fall asleep you will be in another country. Breakfast in Thailand, lunch in Loas. So after quickly eating our meal of rice and spicey sausage we grabbed our backpacks and climbed aboard the local bus to Chang Khong, the Thai town on the border.

The friendship Bridge

The friendship Bridge

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A bamboo nest in the sky…Chiang Rai province

We had wondered why there was a group of damp tourists, huddling under umbrellas, looking hopefully up at the clock tower. It was dark and raining hard, but as the hands moved to 8pm we found our answer. The elaborate golden clock tower was suddenly illuminated with changing coloured lights accommpanied by a cheesy backing soundtrack of traditional Thai music. Imagine a clock tower sponsored by Disney and you have the picture. The group of tourists took their photos and pointed while we went to find some delicious street food nearby. Tasty chicken rice tick. Clock tower illuminations show tick…I think we were going to like Chiang Rai.

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Hippies, canyons and fruit smoothies…Pai

“Are you coming out tonight? Its gunna be rage.”

Not since the east coast of Australia, at a hostel in Noosa, had I felt this old. Watching the 19 year old at our hostels bar pour my pint glass of g & t, two thirds gin to tonic, I realised I no longer wished to get totally smashed on a couple of drinks. In fact I may actually really just enjoy the taste. Pai seems to attarct the younger backpackers away from the beaches of the south when its not full moon party time. And there are enough bars and even a club to keep their nightlife cravings at bay. But luckily thats not all this tourist destination nestled into the mountains has to offer. The alternative hippy community got here first and its hard not to feel your shoulders drop and yourself slip into the relaxed vibe. There are yoga retreats, meditation centers and organic cafes at every turn.

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Soi 6…Chiang Mai

Chiang-Mai… a city thats likely to be on the list for all tourists and travellers who make their way to Thailand, and we where no different. The second biggest city in the country has managed to avoid the frenzied feel of Bangkok, and instead has a more laid back approach to life, with students and expats soaking up an alternative lifestyle of yoga, meditation and massage with a lot of organic smoothies thrown in to aid digestion… I guess you could describe it as Bangkok’s little Hippie sibling.

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Ruins, ruins everywhere…Ayutthaya and Sukhothai

WARNING: If you are in any way sensitive to self indulgent pictures of ruined Buddhist temples, look away now….

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Bangkok…the best bits

A train official in a smart uniform came and made up our beds, pulling out bunks, tucking in sheets and clipping on curtains. Hey it was only 9pm but we were excited to be on our overnight train to Bangkok and seeing ‘The Big Mango’, so we got into the spirit and our comfortable births for the night. The only hazard of the overnight train is the danger of rolling out of the top bunk with the bumpy journey, but we survived, arriving to early morning Bangkok before 7am. To our surprise, only a few days after the military coup, there were no soliders to be seen at the train station so after a strong coffee we made our way to our accommodation in Silom.

press reporters taking a photo of people taking a 'selfie' with some soldiers outside the Art and Cultural Centre

press reporters taking a photo of people taking a ‘selfie’ with some soldiers outside the Art and Cultural Centre…

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A military coup? Oh really, let me just get the leeches off my feet!

Now a lot of people seem to really like Koh Samui, its one of the most famous places in Thailand for holiday makers, people we’d met travelling said they’d loved it and there were a hell of a lot of Russian speakers staying to fill up the hotels. But I’m sorry readers we didn’t. Maybe its because we’ve been totally spoilt by the beauty and tranquillity of the islands we’ve seen so far, or that the crowds were too much for the beach or that we just really really didnt want to buy a suit or  pay three times too much for a taxi. Anyways, theres pretty beaches full of pink westerners socking up the Thai sun and plenty of places to party if thats your cup of tea. I think also it was our first introduction to the seedier side of Thai culture, with visable prostitution and hostess/strip bars, which wasn’t very palitable. I apologise if you love Koh Samui, but its not our idea of an island paradise.

This Picture doesn't do much to explain why we didn't enjoy the place….

This Picture doesn’t do much to explain why we didn’t enjoy the place….

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