Category Archives: Asia

We’re going to INDONESIA!

7th August 2015

banner INDONESIA!!!

Yes I am shouting that. I was so stupidly excited to visit this place. I realise that this is quite a normal location for travel bloggers but for me it’s really exciting and completely new.

I am going to confess something to you all now and please don’t judge me but I LOVE THE BOOK EAT, PRAY, LOVE! I read it at a hard time and it inspired me to:

  1. Run around the world
  2. Leave behind me a very toxic part of my life

It was a very important book to me and I will always be grateful for each and every page of it. For those of you that have lived in a cave, this is a biographical travel book about a woman who gives up everything to travel the world. 3 months in Italy, 3 months in India and 3 months in Bali – Indonesia.

The second I read about the beautiful Ubud I knew I had to go. I am a massive cliché but I’m not ashamed. Any reason that makes you travel has to be a good one.

indo7 indo6 indo4 Lee on the other hand was a little wary of Indonesia. He is a Historian and had only heard about the conflicts and darker side of Indonesia, he hadn’t seen the beautiful photos and heard the wonderful stories from friends that I had. There are many dangerous areas in Indonesia but it is a big place. If you are worried it is important to check on your embassies website to see what they advise. Even after my constant sales pitch he still was quite reluctant.

So I did the thing any sane person does when being confronted with someone who doesn’t want to visit a country; you make them go for 3 weeks.

indo3 indo2 indo We started in Yogyakarta for the temples, then to Ubud for food and yoga, Nusa Cenigan for a quiet isolated island without roads, Gili Air for deserted island paradise, Gili Meno for an even more deserted paradise and lastly Lombok for expensive looking hotels at stupidly cheap prices. indo5

Our last stop on this trip is going to be nothing but relaxing and food. A holiday from the holiday. That’s a thing right? signature

IT'S SO CUTE and FLUFFY ..I'M GONNA DIE!!!!!

Big Kids in Universal Stuidos – Singapore

2nd August 2015

banner My background is not as a writer (as you may have gathered from my awful grammar and spelling). I am by trade an Animator. I love animation and everything that goes with it, which is normally films and television. Luckily for me Lee is also a huge geek and we have lost hours if not days to our Netflix marathons. The only thing we love more than films is a good theme park so combine those two together and Universal Studios was the obvious place for us to visit during our Singapore stay.

universalstudios13 We were jumping around like kids before we even arrived at the park. We took the subway to Sentosa subway station that is linked to the VivoCity mall and tried to track down the monorail that takes you to the island. What we later discovered was that you can just walk over the new bridge for free which takes about 5 minutes and is a really pretty walk so I’d definitely recommend it. Seeing the island that the Universal Studios is based in, called Sentosa, made us wish we’d left time to explore more during our stay but it’s a definite must for next time.

We arrived at the gate and bought our tickets, which was a bit of a splurge on our budget but once we were inside and saw all of the park we weren’t disappointed.

I’m an advocate for the phrase ‘if somethings worth doing, it’s worth doing right’ so the second we were in those gates I was wearing my park swag and even more excited.

universalstudios17 universalstudios11 If I could have bought this teddy (which was also a bag!) I would have but our budget and carry-on bags wouldn’t allow.

IT'S SO CUTE and FLUFFY ..I'M GONNA DIE!!!!!

IT’S SO CUTE and FLUFFY ..I’M GONNA DIE!!!!!

We spent the rest of the day getting soaked on the Jurassic Park rafts, surprisingly loving the Transformers 3d ride and generally enjoying everything the park had to offer. I’d recommend trying to make the Water World show but be aware that the splash zone is in the middle, the SOAK zone is at the front. We arrived slightly late and I can tell you that the soak zone lives up to its name.

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Lee got to be surrounded by his childhood heroes.

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We were a little surprised by the prices of snack foods but the restaurants were well priced. We ate before we went in after our trip to a Theme park in Hong Kong left our pockets empty just after buying a bottle of water. universalstudios18

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universalstudios4 universalstudios3 universalstudios2 We loved the day and I really want to visit the rest of the Universal world’s studios now.

universalstudios17 universalstudios19 universalstudios15 universalstudios14 universalstudios9 universalstudios1 It’s great fun being big kids and I am so happy that my partner in crime is as childish silly as I am.

I made Lee pose by the star of Jimmy Stewart who is his second cousin. Can you see the likeness???

I made Lee pose by the star of Jimmy Stewart who is his second cousin. Can you see the likeness???

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Lee and I with the one and only Miss Monroe

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Serious faces for  these 3d glasses

Serious faces for these 3d glasses

Singapore – A City of Lights

30th July 2015

banner When we tell most people that we are heading to Singapore on our 4 month Grand Asia Tour they look at us like we are mad. Not because Singapore is a horrible place, but the opposite, because it is beautiful and VERY expensive.

We have to be honest that we probably wouldn’t have gone here, even though we really wanted to, if it wasn’t for our fantastic friend Miss Carly ‘mother of dragons’ Pearlman and her boyfriend the lovely Connor. Carly had just moved to Singapore (and by ‘just’ I mean 5 days ago) so it was extremely rude of us to just rock up at her new home but we love her and weren’t going to miss this opportunity to hug her face off.

We arrived in Singapore and were instantly excited as we walked passed the 7-11 to see every chocolate and drink we had missed during our two years in Korea but there isn’t many joys in life as exciting as seeing an old friend , especially at an airport. I may have cried!

singapore12 singapore6 We are slightly embarrassed to say that we spent our 5 days in Singapore mostly catching up instead of exploring. We did manage to see the incredible ‘Gardens by the Bay’. This was incredible and one of the highlights of the 4 month trip. The trees were pretty on their own but if you head down to these giant electric trees at night there is a huge light show to music. We lay on the floor with the trees up above us and listened to the movie soundtrack montage as the lights danced around us. It was beautiful. While we watched I thought about all the other beautiful moments on our trip and how lucky we have been to experience so much…once again I may have cried. Just when we thought our evening couldn’t get any better it was made even better with our trip to ‘Satay by the Bay’, which as you might guess is a fantastic ‘Hawkers centre’ specialising in satay.

singapore10 singapore4 ‘So what is a Hawkers Centre?’ Is the question I finally got the nerve up to ask since everyone in the world seemed to know what one was. I thought it was just one place in Singapore that you went for a meal but no. A Hawker Centre is the name for a food court full of deliciousness. They are really popular in Singapore and for an expensive city they are a really cheap and delicious place for travellers to head. Your mainly problem will be what the hell to choose.

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This is the famous Singapore ice cream sandwich, which is actually just ice cream in sweet bread. DELICIOUS!

This is the famous Singapore ice cream sandwich, which is actually just ice cream in sweet bread. DELICIOUS!

The other big bucket list item for me was to see a Singapore ‘Merlion’. The ‘Merlions’ are the iconic image of Singapore. These half lion, half fish statues stand all around Singapore Island and guard it from evil. I’m a sucker for stories like that so I was really happy to see them.

singapore9 singapore02 One of our days was spent being big kids in Universal Studios, but I’ll share that in another post.

The best way to sum up this city would be: A rich person’s playground. So much thought and detail has gone into every shopping mall and building. The light shows (Gardens by the Bay and on the river) were the best I’ve ever seen. We were extra impressed after looking forward to Hong Kong’s light show and being VERY disappointed. This city is just very polished and although I love a place with rougher edges like Hong Kong I did love visiting and I’d love to go back…but maybe for a long indulgent weekend.

singapore3 singapore1 The biggest regret of the trip was that I didn’t have a Singapore Sling. I KNOW!!!! For a cocktail lover like me it was almost painfully to not visit Raffles (where the drink was created) and have a tasty sip. I’d love to say it was the $24 price tag that stopped us but really it was the fact us scummy travellers had no shoes or trousers that were appropriate. Ahh well it’s the perfect excuse to go back and then I can give this lovely girl another hug.

Love you Miss P xxx

Love you Miss P xxx

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Happy People at the Happy Elephant Home

27th July 2015

banner When I was young I use to have VHS tapes that I would watch over and over again (ask your parents what a VHS is kiddies). One of these was Dumbo. I loved the beginning when all the baby animals were brought by the stalks and would land in their little homes. But, like most children the thing I loved the most about the film was the elephants. I loved Dumbo. His big ears and his little trunk. I am not the only kid that was traumatised when he’s separated from him mum, and has to hug her through the bars. Even hearing the ‘baby mine’ song makes my eyes fill up. Since then I’ve always been fascinated by these huge, gentle creatures, and passionate that they shouldn’t be locked up. I learnt a lot about them as a kid and loved how smart they seemed. It was a huge item on the bucket list to see one.

When we went to Thailand two years ago we both knew that seeing elephants something we wanted to do. But once we started researching how horrible most Elephant excursions were we were heart broken. We didn’t want to give money to anyone who would treat these incredible animals badly. After a hell of a lot of research we found the incredible Elephant Hills in Surat Thani national park and the experience blew us away. As is the way with most travellers bucket lists we crossed off ‘seeing an elephant’ and replaced it with ‘see elephants again’.

elephants6 When we added Thailand to our itinerary this time around it was the perfect opportunity to have another heffa related experience. Unfortunately with us traveling constantly for 4 months our budget didn’t allow us to fly the length of Thailand to go back to ‘elephant hills’ so we crossed our fingers and hoped we’d find a place in Chiang Mai that we could catch a glimpse of the gentle grey giants.

elephants7 Our requirements for our elephant experiences:

. We do not want to ride them – they are not made to bare weight and their backs aren’t able to carry humans let alone a huge chair.

. We do not want them to be chained – enough said.

. We do not want them to do tricks – They have to be ‘broken’ when young to be trained and its impossible to achieve this without pain.

. If we can’t touch them but they are happy then we don’t mind – we’d rather see a happy dot in the distance than a sad animal up close.

I would honestly recommend that most people should stick to these rules when booking an elephant experience. Call the place, read reviews on trip advisor and ask around in your hostel or hotel. Just being the word ‘humane’ or ‘eco’ is on the leaflet doesn’t mean they are actually these things.

Our friend Kaleena , wrote a great piece about her time in an elephant home that you should all read. And as she points out, it’s incredible to be near these creatures but we are aware that it is only because of the past abuse they’ve experienced. If tomorrow there was no more elephant attractions but we could see them with binoculars in the wild, we would be happy. Anyway rant over…

 

elephants9 elephants14 We researched and researched, ignoring the many places in Chiang Mai. The only place that seemed reasonable was The Elephant Sanctuary. It was much more expensive than the others but we were happy to pay it. Unfortunately due to our awful planning (mine, not Lee’s. He is a jedi at planning) it was fully booked , but we were sent to another place they recommended , and it was also recommended by some friends of ours. We were pretty confident it would be humane and the elephants were actually being saved from horrible ‘eco-friendly’ excursions.

elephants12 Happy Elephant Home is where we went.

And we LOVED it.

We spent the entire day at the park. We prepped food and medicine for the animals (also dogs and cats), cleaned out their sheds, travelled to a local sugar cane farm and cut down the food for the elephants, watched them have a mud bath, got muddy ourselves, and watched them bathe in the river. It was a great day from start to finish. The elephants seemed happy and content. Playing with each other and enjoying their food and treats.

elephants16 elephants10 elephants8 elephants11 elephants5 elephants1 Being next to these creatures is very humbling. They tower above you and even though they aren’t aggressive in any way you are aware you are next to a wild animal and we were in awe of their intelligence. The only issue we had with the park was that they had a new baby who was tied to his mum with a rope. We asked about the rope and the onsite mahout who lives with the animals told us that the baby was a few months old (and he was adorable). Unlike most baby elephants who are taken from the mother straight away he was allowed to stay with his mum but since they only have 4 elephants it’s a lot smaller than the natural herd in the wild. The baby would normally be looked after by everyone. The elephants had acres and acres of space and the baby (when it wasn’t tied to mum) tried to see every inch of the grounds. This was upsetting the mum because she couldn’t keep up with him (due to her injuries after years of being abused) so they tied them together to keep the mum calm and to stop the baby getting into trouble or falling into the river when no one was looking. The relationship between the mum and baby was beautiful and it is a shame that they can’t both be free but it’s nice to see how happy they are in this new home. I hope that this place can keep growing and growing.

We felt extremely privileged to be near these incredible animals and as you can see from the photos, it was the happiest day of the holiday.

elephants15 elephants4 elephants3 elephants2 signature

Chiang Mai – A Town of Markets

12th July 2015

banner I was so stupidly excited for Chiang Mai. Every person we spoke to told us it was their favourite place on earth. After hearing similar things before arriving in Hoi An in Vietnam and falling deeply in love with the place , my expectation were sky high.

My first impression of Chiang Mai was that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I imagined small streets with lanterns hung on every corner, peaceful streets and quiet surroundings. This isn’t what we found, but it wasn’t nessesarily a bad thing.

chiangmai3 chiangmai6 The best way I can explain Chiang Mai to someone that hasn’t been there is , it’s town built to hold markets. Every single corner we walked around had a new set of canopied stalls selling all the clothing and trinkets a backpacker could ever need.

My disappointment that this little town was a lot more active and modern than first expected quickly dissipated when we were walking through the Saturday market. Locals playing instruments on our right , woman selling beautiful ornate jewellery on our left, and the delicious smells of Thai food all around us made me happy to have come to this little town.

I think the most surprising part of Chiang Mai was how modern it all felt . 7-11’s everywhere, modern trendy burger bars and fantastic health food shops are very common here. I suppose the fact that most travelers end up living here for a while has brought with it all the amenities from home. But I was expecting a little more. I was longing for the ‘old town’ as it’s named to have hidden secrets around every corner but everything looked very shiny and new.

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It seems that spirits love red fanta

That isn’t to say it’s not beautiful because it is. So much detail can be found on every building and even on the guard posts along the street. The temples, as always in Thailand, are a little bit bigger here, a little bit brighter and a whole lot more spectacular. We were extremely lucky to wander into the ‘City Pillar’ festival being held at Wat Chedi Luang Temple. Wat Chedi Luang is an incredible  temple on any day of the week but during this festival people from all over North Thailand come and leave flowers and donations at the temple . The town believe that all the souls of the past residents is housed in a central pillar contained inside the temple. People come and pray for rain and to thank the past residents for watching over them. Every inch of the temple was covered in about 4 foot of flowers  and people sang and danced through the night. The streets surrounding the temple also held a special week long market to celebrate the event (yes, another market). We were very lucky to experience the event. We’ll definitely remember it for a long time.

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Some fancy purple robes to help us get in the temple.

chiangmai2 chiangmai11 chiangmai12 The main problem I had with the markets was that we arrived on a Saturday so went straight to the Saturday market , which in our opinion is by FAR the best market.Unfortunately with no point of reference we didn’t realise this until the market was gone. I stupidly expected the Sunday market to be the same so I put off buying a lot of things and could I find the things again? Hell no. I will now sadly have to live life without a deathly hallows tank top…it’s a sad day.

The Sunday market was more food and craft based. I got to try my first mango sticky rice . It was amazing! I’d would cover everything in that coconut sauce they put on the dessert…I want to bathe in it ! chiangmai9 chiangmai14

chiangmai Apart from the Saturday market and the temples the only other thing you MUST do if you are in Chiang Mai is visit the lady boy show. It was cheap, you got a free drink and it was filled with a good two hours of fantastic entertainment. Those woman on stage were stunning and they were pulling dance moves that I dream of achieving. I even got a bit misty eyed when one of the ladies un-did her beauty routine to the song ‘My Way’.

chiangmai15 Chiang Mai is also the place we got to visit the ‘Happy Elephant Home’, which was so fantastic that I need to dedicate a whole post to it. I wish I could dedicate every post to it because I loved it so much but Lee feels that may be slightly excessive

Chiang Mai was definitely our days of activities. I think we did more excursions and trips than any other place. We also managed to squeeze in a cooking lesson on a rainy day and Lee learnt how to cook his favourite food..PAD THAI! I am excited to get him cooking all of these meals he’s learnt along the road, but he has already been checking what Australian Mc Donalds sells so that may not be for some time.

chiangmai7 chiangmai10 Overall we did like Chiang Mai. Would I say it was my favourite place in the world? Probably not but I did love the experiences I had there and I’d recommend a visit to anyone but just make sure you hit the weekend on your visit since the market was my favourite thing in the city. In fact after re-reading what i’ve written I’ve realised there was so much I loved about this place so the town probably just suffered from our expectations being unattainable. So maybe I should tell you all it’s awful so that when you arrive you all fall in love. Chiang Mai is a place you some how love more after you leave. chiangmai5 signature

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Our Own Personal Hell: The Thailand border

8th July 2015

we were told this was for 'no kidnap' ?!?

we were told this was for ‘no kidnap’ ?!?

Our time in Cambodia had come to an end. We wanted to save money so instead of taking a flight into Thailand from Siem Reap we decided to take the bus. We heard it wasn’t the best trip but, hey how bad could it be? If this was a 80’s movie you would now cut from two bright eyed and bushy tailed travellers stood in Siem Reap to two angry, tired, hot and sweaty people in a 4 hour queue at the Thai boarder.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’ll start at the beginning.

Getting into Thailand by bus is a popular choice. We wanted to get to Bangkok, one of the closest cities to Siem Reap so it was the smart option. A bus would cost us from 7 – 14 dollars if we did it cheaply , where as a flight would cost almost 60 dollars. It was an easy decision.

We research and researched (and RESEARCHED) every company that does the trip and we established three things we needed to be aware of:

. Leave as early as possible. Arriving at the border after 11am will have you waiting in huge queues.

. Go with a company that uses a bus not a minivan since most people have horror stories of being left in service stations for hours until they bought expensive perfume or food and then also being packed so tightly into vans that they were sitting on their own luggage in the aisle.

. Don’t pay for the most expensive since its pretty much the same as the next cheapest.

 

So armed with these rules we approached about 6 companies and struck up a deal to leave at 8am, be picked up from our hotel and get a coach all the way through the border to Bangkok. We paid more than the average since we really wanted a coach. Lee’s long legs don’t allow for minivans and we wanted to avoid the evil scams mentioned above. We paid about 17 dollars which was quite an expensive option (they do go all the way up to 40 dollars but PLEASE don’t pay that).

We felt we’d prepared as best as we could. We were ready and waiting at our hotel at 7:30 , which is when they were due to arrive. So we waited, and waited……and waited some more. Any one that’s done any travel in Asia knows this isn’t surprising . We assumed that we were just on their route and everything would be okay. At 8:15 we got the hotel to call them. Apparently they were on there way….45mins later we still had no bus. FINALLY after it was very apparent that there was no 8am bus , a man on a tiny Tuk Tuk pulled up shouting our names. This was even more confusing since we were expecting a bus. He loaded our bags precariously on the tiny car and told us not to worry, he only had two more people to fetch. Unless they were sitting on the roof I don’t know where they were meant to go. Luckily they’d given up and gone with another company (smart people) .

3 When we arrived at the bus company building we were frustrated but happy to almost be on our way. another half hour later we were pulling our knotted traveler hair out. The bus pulled up at 9:45 and I will tell you that it was lovely. A huge bus for about 9 people, lots of room and even some drinks and snacks. This did make up for the morning issues and we arrived at the boarder in comfort. Yet again we were lulled into a false sense of security. Somewhere the boarder gods were laughing at our relief.

We were told to get off the bus at what looked like a market that sold nothing but bad dreams and our bags were thrown at us. Since we were told our bags would be staying on the bus our entire trip this was not a pleasant surprise. We worked out as a group , since English signs or telling us would spoil the surprise, that we needed to join the throng of people in front of us.

5 They should be a a Twilight show episode about the disappearance of queues in Cambodia boarders because we sure as hell didn’t see one. It was like a scene in a disaster movie .People screaming and pushing, ladies holding their babies above their heads. I was half expecting a alien race to appear and start shooting .

We made our way through the Cambodian border and then walked under the bridge that separated the two countries. I was hoping for a enlightening travel moment as I walked through one country to the next. I though that feeling the earth beneath my feet would transform me into an enlightened traveler with a soundtrack playing in the background…something by an indie band that wear flower head bands. Instead I was accosted by Cambodian men trying to steal/carry my bag for me, woman screaming at me to buy their bracelets and one woman in a shell-suit circa 1989 shouting ‘give me the money!’ like a bad Jerry Maguire..but this is why we like travel, the unexpected moments.

This was the smallest queue of the day

This was the smallest queue of the day

We rounded the corner and joined the huge queue to get into the Thai broder control building. It was annoying to line up outside but at least it wasn’t raining….it started raining. After 40 minutes Lee and I were called forward and we ran up the stairs triumphantly, trying not to get to the top and re-create the famous Rocky moment. We turned, walked through the door and realised , to our horror, that THIS is where the queue actually began.

A great lightning storm in the sky's of Siem Reap

A great lightning storm in the sky’s of Siem Reap

I’m not going to tell you every detail of our 4 and a half hour queue but I will tell you that i’ve never been so close to punching a stranger. That air con not working in a tiny space with about 400 people in it would be how I imagine hell now . And that if I ever meet the Chinese lady that was queuing behind us again I will punch her in the spleen. The entire time that we queued she  refused to believe she wasn’t pushing past us, like adults we should have just given up and let her past but we aren’t adults so we had to create a human shield with our bags and bodies. She even tried to push past Lee once and got a face full of sweaty arm pit. I’d say that was quite a punishment in itself.

To explain to you the anger every person felt in that line let me tell you that when we could almost touch the customs desk and had just one more lady in front of us a man walked up in a fancy suit, got a wad of money out of his jacket and offered a line of poor travelers a load of cash to let him cut in line…the line screamed ‘NO!’ and called security to have him removed.

We got to the other side of customs, found our bus and danced a little dance of happiness. I can only imagine it’s how people feel when they find water in a desert…okay that may be a little dramatic but at that moment I think we would have kissed the Thai floor if it wasn’t covered in spit and gum.

To celebrate our victory (and while we waited another hour for all the other people on the bus to get through customs) we treated ourselves to a 7-11 binge , which if you know Thai 7-11’s you’ll know that this is a great country to do this in. It was the best toastie and Big Gulp we’ve ever had.

4 hours later we saw the lights of Bangkok appear outside with the skyline out in front of us. We were so excited to return to a city we’d loved so much the first time around, even if we it had been a bit of a disaster. With our eyes fixed on the lights far away the bus seemed to slow down, and it kept slowing until it stopped and the driver shouting in Thai what we can only imagine was ‘get the hell off my bus you filthy foreigners’ …but it was probably something much more polite.

We realised we’d been duped yet again once the bus pulled off and then paid another 15 dollars for a taxi to our hotel.

skyline1 Overall it wasn’t the best trip…in fact I now imagine hell to be that customs room but every time you get to the end you enter into the exact same customs room only a few degrees hotter and the people a tiny bit ruder (if that’s possible).

So would we advice getting the flight in Thailand from Cambodia? HELL YES! for the small mark up (when you add up all the extra hours, taxi’s, water to live in the hellish heat of those offices and our sanity). I’d take the one hour flight any day.

(sorry for the lack of photos but you weren’t allowed to use cameras inside the offices and I didn’t want to remove it from my bag in case I used it as a weapon to get to the front of the line). signature

 

 

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The Best Way To See Angkor Wat

27th June 2015

banner We were a little overwhelmed with information when were planning our trip to Siem Reap. Every one had different ideas about what to do , when to go, what to skip. It was too difficult to digest all of the information so we did what all good traveller’s do and moaned to our friends until they told us what they did.

This was the fantastic message I received from the one and only, the legend Tom Jones…no not that Tom Jones, a even better one that we met while living in Korea. Him and his fantastic girlfriend Lynsey are the kind of people you’d pay to be your friend if you weren’t lucky enough to know them.

1 Here was his advice:

Hi T.

As far as I remember (it was 2 and a bit years ago) we only got a one day pass. The one day pass is valid for 24 hours from the time of purchase. SO what we did (what the hostel told us to do) was this:

5/6 pm cruise down to the ticket office with your Tuk Tuk driver, get out buy your day pass (I think you need passport) jump back in the tuk tuk and he’ll take you to the main Angkor wat super famous temple. It’s f*&^ing magnificent btw. You MUST see the main temple area in the evening if you are to avoid the crowds. The tuk tuk guy will wait for you in the car park, when your done/it’s too dark go home.

Then the same guy picks you up at like 4am the next day. (Take torches) He’ll take you back to the main site in total darkness and you can find a good spot and take pics as the sun rises over the main part of Angkor Wat. F*&^ing nice.

THEN….and this is the best part as most people (idiots) start to arrive at the main part you do one (because you’ve already done the main site the previous night) and go to the some of the other temples. They’re pretty much deserted/really quiet so you can enjoy them to the max. We did about 5 all before 9am. We weren’t rushing but were conscious of time and was really glad because as it gets closer to 9 it gets busier and busier.

One day pass was more than enough we didn’t feel short changed and saved money. We could have stayed longer or gone back too so it’s flexible but so good to avoid the crowds.

Also tried the minced chicken dish in Siem reap. I know it sounds rank but it’s wicked.

 

And there you have it. We followed these instructions to the word and had almost all the temples to ourselves. Plus he’s right, the minced chicken is fantastic.

To see more from Tom follow his instagram here: https://instagram.com/tomfalcojones/

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Giveaway : Tickets to Seoul’s BNK event (FREE BEER!)

25th June 2015

Hello lovely people.

So here is a treat for any readers out there in Korea land. The organisers of BNK (Business Network Korea) are holding an event in Seoul on the 13th July. This is the kind of event where you will get to talk to other bloggers, online companies and meet some lovely people – both Korean and Westerners. You can check out the event info here.

The tickets are usually up to 45,000 won  but we have two free tickets for two lucky readers. Oh and did I mention it’s ALL YOU CAN EAT CHICKEN WINGS, QUESADILLAS and BEER!! That’s right we’re offering you FREE BEER.

If you would like to be entered into this giveaway please leave a comment below and I will raffle the names on the 1st of July and announce the winner.

20150617_ BNK flyer Event Info:

 

  • Monday, July 13, 2015

    to

  • On The Border – Mexican Grill & Cantina

    2F, 211, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul – Line 6, Seoul (map)

  • Take Itaewon Station (Line 6) come out of Exit 2. Walk straight 200 meters until you reach Hannam Building. On The Border is on the 2nd floor.

 

Angkor Wat – Temples , Temples Everywhere

23rd June 2015

angkorwatsunrise When people say they are going to Cambodia it’s normally an un-said assumption that they are also going to Siem Reap to see the beautiful ruins of Angkor Wat.

We were really excited to go to the ruins but at the same time we were a little worried that we had heard and seen so much of it online and in people photos that it would be a little under whelming.

We had been given the perfect plan of attack for this big complex by our friend (which i’ll post for you guys soon). We decided that because we have been traveling so much that just the one day would be the perfect amount of time for us in the complex…we were also warned from many people that unless you are a History graduate studying the building , you will probably be ok just doing the one day.

angkorwat3 We payed our tuk tuk driver to take us to pick up our tickets the evening before from the Angkor Wat offices. This allowed us to see Angkor Wat while it was quiet (with the added bonus of the beautiful dusk light as the sun set).

The next day we woke up at early o’clock…4am…urrrrr and headed to see the rest of the temples. I am no expert what so ever on the history of the temples but I will say that my favourites were the temple of faces named ‘Bayon’ and the temple made famous from the movies ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘Tomb Raider’ called Tah Phrom. Tah Phrom is recognizable because of the tree’s that have been left to grow out and around the buildings making the stone structures more jungle and artifact.

Pictures can’t do this place justice but here are a select few.

bayonwheelpose bayon2 angkorwatsunrise2 angkorwat2 angkorwat1 angkorwat 1 spiderweb tahphrom2 tahphrom3

The town of Siem Reap itself is like an adult Pleasure Island from Pinocchio. We really liked it and it was a shame we didn’t have more time to spend there. I got to have a drink in ‘Angkor WHAT?’ and drink a Costa coffee (the british style starbucks) so I was a happy camper.

I don't care what anyone says...this is a dinosaur carved into tha phrom

I don’t care what anyone says…this is a dinosaur carved into tha phrom

A great lightning storm in the sky's of Siem Reap

A great lightning storm in the sky’s of Siem Reap

Small and Tall do Angkor Wat

Small and Tall do Angkor Wat

Koh Rong Samloem – Our Paradise Found

13th June 2015

b12 Oh Koh Rong Samloem. How I miss you!

As I write this we are in Indonesia and it has been a month since our visit to Cambodia’s Saracen Bay. I don’t think there has been a day that Lee and I haven’t talked about how we miss it. It honestly was our little paradise.

b14 b10 Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem was our home for a week and also the place I was turning 29. Because of this Lee decided to book a slightly nicer place for us , which I wasn’t going to argue about. We choose the delightful Saracen Bay Resort which was 45 dollars a night. I am not exaggerating when I say they should be charging 200 dollars a night. This place was heaven.

dock view b5 We arrived via the fast boat from Sihanoukville (which you can read about here) and suddenly all the travel and pain was worth it. We were taken to our bungalow that was right on the beach and a few meters from the calm and still ocean.

The second we dumped our bangs, we threw on our swimsuits and hit the water. The water was so shallow you could just walk and walk in water warmer than any sea i’ve ever experienced.

There isn’t too much to write here since we spent a serene few days drinking gin and tonics* on the porch, swimming in the sea and star gazing.

no fridge...not a problem.

no fridge…not a problem.

I spent a fantastic birthday the same way we had spent the rest of the week and it was incredible. The main thing to point out to all you techie bloggers out there is that there was no wifi. The first day I was almost strickend that I couldn’t instagram the incredible sea views but I quickly loved the lack of contact with the world and didn’t really want to return.

The incredible sunrise was worth waking up for

The incredible sunrise was worth waking up for

I did debate not talking about this place just to see if I could keep it a secret a little bit longer but I loved it so much that I want you all to instantly run there and soak up the sunshine. If you are looking for the real desert island experience then this is the place for you.

There were other bars to explore but everything closed at about 8:30 for food and 10 pm for drinks so if you are after a bit more of a party feel then Cambodia’s other island Koh Rong, is more for you. We really liked the quiet few days we had there. In fact we liked it so much that when someone compared Koh Rong Samloem to Gili Meno in Indonesia we instantly changed all our plans to add it to our list. We’ll arrive there in a few days so we’ll let you know how they compare.

beach1 b13 dog b8 We loved our little bungalow on Saracen Bay and we definitely will be back as soon as possible.

*We stocked up on snacks and alcohol before heading to the island because we heard it was expensive. It was actually quite affordable there but I’m glad we brought our own supplies.