Koh Samui : Cocktails, Secret Beaches and Villa Life

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Okay so I'm actually only starting to write these posts up on Thailand now I'm home, and I've actually been home now for well over a month. Apologies to anyone following my blog! As anyone who has been travelling knows, coming home is a HUGE shock to the system, and I'm actually considering doing an entire post focusing on 'Post Travelling Blues'. Anywho, you didn't click on this post for a lengthy explanation as to 'what the frig have you been doing this past month' you've clicked cos you want the 411 on the Thai honeymoon island that is, Koh Samui. ALAS! I shall begin.

A Day Pretending We Were Lara Croft and Indiana Jones

Friday, 1 September 2017

Before I move on to all the awesome Tomb Raider stuff I wanna briefly mention our short but sweet stop in Otres. After Kampot we visited a little beach town called Otres about a 15 min drive from Sihanoukville. Although a really cute little town with a few nice restaurants we were unfortunately cursed with terrible weather, and in Otres there isn't much to do when the weather is crap. We ended up only staying for a couple of nights, at a hostel called BOHO - which was a lovely hostel with the cutest cats, it was 100% worth visiting just for them...

Super Kool Kampot

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

After spending some time in the city of Phnom Phen we drove a couple of hours south to a little town called Kampot. As soon as we arrived we both loved the feel of the place. Chilled out vibe, beautiful blue skies and smiley friendly faces - it was a refreshing break from city life. Jumping straight from the bus to a local tuk-tuk we made our way to, probably mine and Craig's favourite hostel of all time, Karma Traders! Set a little bit out of town in the stunning country side, Karma Traders looks over a lush mountainous backdrop, where the sun performs a breathtaking sunset each night - watching this on the rooftop bar with a few ice cold beers is a magical experience. The staff at the hostel are also amazing, super friendly, accommodating and provided THE BEST cheese toasties in town. The fact Karma's is set in Kampot definitely helps make it our favourite hostel. Kampot really is a little gem in Cambodia and it's no surprise they have a huge expat scene. Although Kampot isn't the sort of place to stay long if you are after thrill seeking adventure or a bustling Asian city, it is however the perfect place to relax, participate in fun day trips and get to know the Cambodian people. We ended up extending our 3 night stay to a full week as we loved it that much!

The Killing Fields and S21

Thursday, 24 August 2017

After a very sad day exploring the War Museum in Vietnam we got a bus across the boarder to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, where our harrowing history lesson continued.

I'm going to start by adding a few cheery notes to this ultimately depressing post. Firstly, the hostel we stayed in 'Eighty8' was amazing, great food, cool setting and massive beds! Secondly, the Cambodian people are incredible. I am writing this post on our penultimate day in Cambodia and I can't quite believe just how smiley, welcoming, loving, family orientated, funny, kind hearted, polite and interesting the Cambodian people are, especially considering everything they have so recently been through; which is what I'm going to be addressing in this post.

I will never forget June the 13th 2017, as that was the day I visited The Killing Fields and S21. I was already aware of some of the atrocities and the brutal murders that took place in Cambodia from my own research and word of mouth from fellow travellers. Already I was shocked, disturbed and couldn't quite believe what I was hearing/reading, but nothing could prepared me for what I saw and learnt that day. This next part will not be an easy read, but it's the information I learnt and feel it's important to share. In order to fully enjoy and appreciate a country you must educate yourself on their history, no matter how sad it may be. Here goes...

Cosy Cafes and an Unforgetable History Lesson

Sunday, 2 July 2017

After a very sweaty stay in Hoi An it was to mine and Craig's relief that our next stop was going to be somewhat cooler in temperature. Way up in the mountains Da Lat is a favourite amongst backpackers for its super cheap accommodation and canyoning. Unfortunately for us we had started to dramatically run out of money and therefore had to sacrifice some trips we once had planned to do (canyoning being one of them). True to the rumours Da Lat was so much colder that Hoi An (around 22-28 degrees) and although back in England those temperature would send myself and Craig down to Camber Sands, those temperatures for us now, since being in hot countries for up to 6 months meant leggings and sweatshirts - it was bliss! For me personally Da Lat didn't have too much going for it. Our hostel 'Lucky's' was really cute and Lucky was so friendly and helpful, providing us with breakfast every morning. Plus he had two of the loveliest doggies ever that he thankfully saved from the cruel dog meat trade - what a guy!

Hot and Heavenly Hoi An

Friday, 30 June 2017

Desperate to see the ocean again and swim in the sea it was no surprise that we were excited to finally make our way to Hoi An. I heard great things about Hoi An, from the pretty lantern lit streets to the sprawling beach; it was a place I was looking forward to explore.

After a short but sweet stop in Hue, enjoying an incredible mint chocolate chip shake in a cafe I can't remember the name of (apologies) we were back on the road to Hoi An. Already the scenery was a lot more up my street, passing beautiful Danang on the way (which we were very sad about not stopping at). When arrived at Hoi An the first thing we noticed was the heat! Blessed with blue sky's and scorching temperatures (between 32-40 degrees) we made an agonising trek to our homestay 'Petunia Gardens' - recommended by the lovely Emily and Sam (thanks guys if you're reading this!). The owners of Petunia Gardens were so accommodating and friendly and made our stay V special - the breakfasts are also ah-ma-zing (I can vouch for both the banana pancakes and the omelette). The location also worked really well for us as it was equal distance from the old town and the beach - perfect. Although most people rented scooters or push bikes we were mad and walked - which if you like walking is really not that bad!

Manic City / Mysterious Caves

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

From Chang Mai we flew to Hanoi in Vietnam. We opted to stay at Chien Hostel in the city - which was a brilliant find! We arrived fairly late but were greeted by the friendliest, warmest staff ever. We got a free cup of iced coffee on arrival and were showed to our dorm, which was easily one of the coolest dorms I've ever stayed in - me and Craig got our own double bed bunk! Chien provided free breakfast and free beer, which to Craig's delight we arrived just in time for. After serval beers and an AWFUL shot of snake infused rice wine (Craig, not me) we headed to bed to get some well earned rest for a day of exploring the following day.

Hanoi itself is a manic Asian city! The traffic is mad and it's impossible to walk about safely as a pedestrian! Pushing this fact aside, Hanoi is home to some beautiful French colonial buildings that are so instagramable! Plus the city itself has such a unique buzz.