Flights taken: 4 (Christchurch to Sydney, Sydney to Bangkok, Hanoi to Bangkok, Bangkok to Phuket) Km’s Travelled: 11, 338
Buses taken: 11 – 1 in New Zealand, 2 in Thailand, 4 in Cambodia, 4 in Vietnam Km’s Travelled: 4366
Boats taken: 6 – 2 in Thailand, 2 in Cambodia, 2 in Vietnam
Photos taken: 4152 – YIKES, that’s a lot!
Countries Visited: New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam Places visited: Christchurch, Bangkok, Ko Chang, Koh Kong, Koh Rong, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Angkor Temples, Phnom Penh, Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Phuket, Ko Phi Phi
Total Amount spent: US$1624.46 Break Down Of Money: Flights = $225.85, Visas = $91.25, Currency Exchange = $81.48
New Zealand = $95.48 over 2 days = $47.74 a day
Thailand = $315.85 over 8 days = $39.48 a day
Cambodia = $249.16 over 7 days = $35.59 a day
Vietnam = $281.87 over 14 days = $20.13 a day
Plus $150 Halong Bay, $80 Hoi An Tailored Dresses and $35 Hoi An Photography Course
We started our first two days of this month in chilly Christchurch, completely blown away by the destruction there two years after the earthquake. There wasn’t a lot to do but I’m glad we made a stop there and got to experience how much damage was caused to the city.
Famous Khao San Road
Since then we have been jumping around Asia, starting off in Bangkok for a few days before heading out to Ko Chang purely because we missed the bus to Ko Samet… We took the chance to go on an elephant ride and bath a baby elephant in the sea, that was so much fun!
From there we headed over to Cambodia, stopping in the border town of Koh Kong for the night before making it to Sihanoukville and on to the crazy ferry for Koh Rong – I have never been on a boat that has felt so unsafe! Koh Rong was beautiful, complete island paradise and if you are prepared to walk 30 minutes you can find the biggest, whitest beach with barely anyone else around. We spent a night at Otres Beach before a long bus ride Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat temples, despite having a cloudy sunrise we thoroughly enjoyed our day exploring the temples but were thankful we had only planned one day as they quickly all started to look the same. Phnom Penh was our last stop in Cambodia where we learnt about the Khmer Rouge through trips to the Killing Fields and S-21 prison. Harrowing but very worth while.
From there we hopped over to Vietnam, arriving in Saigon to the craziest traffic I have ever seen. Motorbikes everywhere by the bucket load, crossing the road completely baffled me. We spent our time learning about the American War but after so many museums in a short space of time I was longing for the beach. Cue next stop, Nha Trang – a little touristy but so much to do be it on water or land. We took a snorkelling trip and had the best time. Beautiful coral and gorgeous weather, I even snorkelled without getting scared by the fish which is a first for me to actually enjoy being in open water. We endured our first night bus of hell and got to Hoi An for the beginning of September. My boyfriend had a tailored suit made from Peace and after much persuading I ended up with 2 dresses costing a total of $240 for all our clothes. We also took a photography course and celebrated Vietnam Independence Day there. Next stop was Hue, I was expecting much but the friendly people and yummy food made it worthwhile stopping. We also rented some motorbikes here and explored some of the surrounding area. Another night bus and we had made it all the way to Hanoi, greeted with pouring rain I can’t say I was impressed with the city. Then again I wasn’t there for the city, the one thing on my list was HALONG BAY and what a awesome time we had on our 3 day trip.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
For the last few days of this month we are back in Thailand and the island of Phuket for a bit of island hopping (First Stop Phi Phi) and some chill time after such a hectic 3 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Koh Chang, Elephant Fun
There has been so many awesome moments this month but my favourite has to be the time we spent on Ko Chang, it was the first place we visited outside Bangkok and the first proper sunshine we had seen in months. Arriving just in time for the last ferry to the island we felt so lucky, jumping in to the back of a ‘taxi’ to get around the island, wind blowing in my hair, the fresh sea breeze in my face I just felt alive and free. In that moment my life felt complete, like that was what travelling really was. The island visit was topped off by getting to ride and bath an elephant – something which has been on my bucket list for forever.
Honestly, how can I complain about this month?!
This month genuinely has been the best month of travelling yet, but if you were really making me pick a bad part it would be the two rainy days we spent in Phuket Town. It was rather dull and generally exactly as everyone had described to me. We had planned to take the ferry out first thing the next morning but our lack of planning saw us spending a second night in the dreary town to sort ourselves out and generally chill out after the madness of Vietnam.
We will be spending 9 days around Phuket, with trips to Krabi and Phi Phi on the agenda but it all depends on the weather. After a little island living we will be heading to our last country on this trip, Singapore. We have tickets to attend the F1 Grand Prix which includes concerts by Rihanna and The Killers as well as the famous night race. The last night of our whole trip will be spent in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. I cannot wait, however once that is over it will be time to board a flight back to England after nearly a year away.