We made it! We’ve now been travelling for over 300 days! We hope you all had a great Christmas, we certainly did and we’re looking forward to what 2017 has in store for us.
We haven’t done a favourite things post for a long time, our last was when we reached 150 days. Since then our travelling has taken us to Thailand both north and down south on the islands; we did a whistle-stop trip down through Vietnam and spent time in Malaysia. We volunteered at a party hostel, had a lovely visit from C’s mum and D’s parents came to see us for a week in Cambodia. Now we’re in Sydney where we’ve spent Christmas and New Year.
C: Singapore, is that a country or a principality?
D: For the purpose of this we’ll include it. Unless you want to be a favourite city?
C: No I have somethings different for that, so Singapore because it was so clean, modern and I loved the public transport network. Also it has loads of iconic things to see like the Merlion!
D: I’m trying to decide between Thailand which I got kind of used to and it felt quite home-like, or Vietnam because it was so different than expected. I think I’ll say Vietnam. It’s a country I knew very little about other than the “war” stuff so it was very interesting to see it. I definitely want to go back though to experience more of rural Vietnam and see the rice terraces etc.
D: Ah so many to choose from! Chiang Mai was our home for a whole month and I grew to love it; Da Nang in Vitenam was refreshingly un-touristy and George Town was great. I think I’m going to say Chiang Mai overall.
C: Pattaya, because it was really nice to go back to my old home town and see how things had changed. Unfortunately it was very sleazy in places, but it was great to see old our old haunts, including our house.
D: I guess there than can only be one really can’t there?
C: Yes. The Tara Angkor in Cambodia that we stayed in with your parents…luxury!
D: What about the Avani Atrium in Bangkok? That was lovely.
C: The Avani Atrium was wonderful but I think the Tara Angkor was just that bit more luxurious. It was quieter too and we got to stay with your parents.
C: My favourite day was the day we did our Thai cooking class. That was great fun and then afterwards we went and got a Thai massage together. I think we also went to see Muay Thai in the evening.
D: Oh yeah that was an awesome day. I think if I had to pick one day, it would be the day we went to Angkor Wat. My parents were with us which was great and we got to see one of the top sights to see in Asia. In the evening after a swim in the pool, we ate at the hotel and I got to taste a Cambodian classic – Amok fish curry – Yummy!
D: I didn’t include this in my Quirks post, but in Vietnam there were lots people out for a constitutional walk, arm swinging, or hip twisting whilst holding on to a tree. It was bizarre but wonderful to see. Even better was the sort of foot-badminton which we saw in Cambodia too.
C: I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but my favourite oddity is toilet based again. Especially in Malaysia in public toilets they have both regular and squat toilets (just a hole in the ground). There would be little signs on the door showing which was which and different queues would form depending on who wanted to use which type of loo.
D: Hands down getting my PADI Open Water diver scuba diving qualification. It was brilliant!
C: Spending a whole day in an airport! Lol, jokes! No I really enjoyed going to celebrate Loi Krathong on Patong Beach in Phuket. It brought back childhood memories and it was on your travelling bucket list.
D: It was! We can check that off now, That was fun and cute although our Krathong wasn’t very successful.
FAVOURITE THING YOU PACKED
C: This is getting harder as time goes on. Umm…our foldable toothbrushes. They’re compact and as they fold the bristles don’t get ruined when stuffed in the bag.
D: I’m going to sound like an old man, but my handkerchief. I’ve had lots of runny noses and it’s nice not to have to buy or go through tissues or toilet roll. Especially useful when on the move.
C: Yeah you’re right, you do sound like an old man!
FAVOURITE THING YOU BOUGHT
D: A glasses based theme is starting here for me. I bought those really cheap (£16) prescription glasses in Kuala Lumpur. They’ve been a life saver since I broke my glasses on the farm, (and then they got trodden on and thrown away).
C: My notebook, it’s been very useful for planning and studying. I’ve also turned it into a travel bullet journal.
D: A what?
C: Travel bullet journal. I’ll do a blog post on it later so you can find out then!
D: Despite all the amazing food we’ve eaten I’m going to go for that place in Pattaya called the Beer Garden. The outside tables were out over the water with a great view of the coastline and we ate all-day breakfast, at around 9pm and had big glasses of beer!
C: I loved that place! For me it would be the Salsa kitchen in Chiang Mai, we went there twice! The first time it was our saviour when we were tired and hungry and it was late after a long walk back from the night market. The food was absolutely delicious and a great break from rice and noodles.
D: Wow now this is going to be hard, food is favourite thing about travelling! Remember Roti Canai and Butter Chicken Masala in George Town? Or Massaman curry on Koh Samet? But I’m going to say Banh Xeo we had in that vegetarian place in Ho Chi Minh. Little omelette type things filled with beansprouts, which you rolled up in rice paper with salad and peanut sauce – delicious!
C: I think last-night-in-a-country pizza in Singapore. It was delicious and it came with wine!
D: Yeah that was a good night and some awesomely delicious pizza.
FAVOURITE TRAVELling TIP
C: Don’t keep travelling just because you feel like you’re supposed to. Everyone has a travelling limit and it’s perfectly okay to stop earlier than planned and head home.
D: This is probably more aimed at me, but sometimes being a tourist (as opposed to a “back-packer”) is okay. Go on an organised tour, buy an ‘I Love’ t-shirt or follow the crowd. It’s better to have seen or done something amazing, than try your best to do it on your own and cheaper, only to miss out. (We would never have seen Machu Picchu otherwise).
What are some of your favourite things when travelling? Are there any “favourite thing” questions you want to ask us? Let us know in the comments below.