Hey all you LoveCandD’ers!! It’s been so long since we uploaded a blog but not to worry, we haven’t forgotten you. There are plenty of posts in the pipeline so watch this space. In the meantime we thought we would give you a whirlwind update of what we’ve been up to since you last heard from us.
We have had some great fun, met some amazing people, seen 12 more cities, travelled over 6,000 kilometres and have just arrived in Phuket, Thailand. Here’s a brief rundown of the last few weeks:-
After our luxurious night in the Avani Atrium, we jetted off to Hanoi, in Vietnam. We loved Vietnam; pure and simple. In just two weeks we visited Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City.
We had great fun traipsing around the narrow streets of the Old French Quarter in Hanoi, dodging hordes of scooters and watching real life happen right before our eyes.
Next up was a 2-day-1-night tour of Halong Bay on the “Party Cruise”. The views were spectacular and there was food and drink a-plenty (lots of the latter).
After an overnight train ride, Hue brought some much needed chilling out time after all the patying. We saw the imperial citadel and enjoyed some lovely food, but due to bad weather we mostly just relaxed in our lovely hotel room.
Da Nang is a city which has been allowed to develop in true Vietnamese fashion. We hired bikes and rode to see Marble Mountain and were lucky enough to catch a beach football match as part of the Asian Beach Games 2016! There were very few tourists in Da Nang, as most go straight through to Hoi An, which we also visited.
How An is an UNESCO world heritage site. It was cute, but again it was raining, and there wasn’t really anything on offer for us there during our day trip.
Ho Chi Minh City was our final stop in Vietnam. We took in the two big sights, being the war museum and the palace but overall we weren’t overly enamored by what is a bustling, very westernised city.
A short flight and we arrived in Malaysia. After a long bus ride and a journey on what felt like the world’s oldest car ferry, we were transported to Georgetown on the island of Penang.
In Georgetown, we spent two weeks “volunteering” at a party hostel. We worked the early shift comprising of opening up, cleaning the floors and bathrooms and setting out breakfast for the guests. We also got to play with the cats. Some amazing people passed through, whom we hope to stay in touch with; we drank way too much free alcohol and only managed to get out and explore Penang a few times. We did get up Penang Hill, see the famed street art, go for a short hike in the National Park and spotted some monkeys!
Before we knew it the time had arrived; A special visit from C’s mum! An extra bonus for D was that she had brought his new laptop with her. With no time to lose, and despite having just got off a 14 hour flight and some trains, we were on the move and on a 5 hour bus journey to the Cameron Highlands.
We hiked on some of the trails, visited a tea plantation, ate scones and drank tea (lots of tea) in true English fashion. We generally enjoyed the cooler climate which reminded us all of home.
Back to KL to finally see the sights in Kuala Lumpur. We saw the Petronas Towers, shopped at Central Market, visited the botanical gardens, caught a movie whilst it poured with rain and ended our time by catching a local show of traditional Malaysian dances. As a special treat C’s mum was “encouraged” to go up on stage and learn some Indian dancing.
We then jumped on a bus for the short trip to Malacca. We enjoyed a whistle stop afternoon of sight seeing, including a boat cruise. The next morning, we left for Singapore.
Singapore is definitely looks like a city of the future. Compared to the rest of South-East Asia, it is rich, clean and easy to explore. You can even drink the tap water!
We saw all the sights in Singapore; The Raffles Hotel, The Merlion and the Gardens by the Bay. We also splashed out a little and visited the rooftop of the … Hotel for a delicious Singapore Sling.
By the time we left, we had fallen in love with how much Singapore felt like home, reminding us that we have been on the road for 8 months now.
Return to Thailand
Our original plan after Singapore was to continue south to Indonesia. Our plans changed, and we’ll now be heading to Cambodia in December, so we decided to spend another month in Thailand to give us an opportunity to visit the islands in the South.
We’ll be catching up with everything from our apartment on Phuket, and hoping the rain finally stops following us around.