Gili Air ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿข๐Ÿก๐Ÿšฒโ›ด

We were collected from our guesthouse in Nusa Lembongan by a open back Tuk-Tuk, it was completely rammed and we all wondered how the hell us and our bags were going to fit! I can confirm it was a tight squeeze but we did!

Seeing as we were so tightly packed (like sardines) we quickly were all cracking jokes and making the time pass. We arrived at the office for the boat and checked in, we waited roughly an hour before the people were split into two groups to board little boats, which would then take us further out to sea to climb onto a bigger boat. The boat was actually quite luxury, it was huge to! Leather seats, open top roof, TVs & films, food & drink and good A/C. The trip should have only taken 2.5 hours but ended up totally to around 6!

We arrived and it was still the middle of the day, so we checked into our guesthouse chucked our bags down and went to explore! The island only use bicycles, horse and cart & electric motorbikes, so it isn’t to hectic. Whilst exploring and finding our feet we were looking out for bikes to rent and boat trips and to see what deals we could find. We managed to find a boat trip for 100 IDR and bikes for 30 IDR absolute bargain if you ask me!

Tripadvisor has for sure become our best friend on this trip, it’s very rarely wrong! I searched for cheap eats and a restaurant called Ruby’s was very highly rated and has reasonable prices so for sure we had to check it out.

OMG heaven to my mouth ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜‹ I have never ever tasted anything so amazing in my life! This is hands down the best meal I have had the whole entire trip, I enjoyed it so much I came back about 5 times.. Oops! ๐Ÿ˜… The Beef Rendang was so delicious, it literally fell apart in your mouth the meat was so succulent. This was also served with steamed rice, peanuts, mixed pickles, mixed vegetables and a fried fritter.

We also had power cuts all evening as after all we are on an island!

To mine and Kye’s surprise we were woken up at 4am the following morning by the prayers chants coming from the local mosque, I found this utterly hilarious, Kye on the other hand was so angry! It was so loud earplugs didn’t even do anything ๐Ÿ˜‚ luckily after 20 minutes it had stopped so straight back to sleep for us.

The more time we spent on this island the more we realised how chilled it really was. It had a strong reggae, relaxed vibe to it. Everybody was happy, smiling and always saying hello. You would also often get approached and asked if you want mushrooms to ๐Ÿ„ of course we declined. Lots of people also had dreadlocks and everywhere played Bob Marley! On our second day we hired bikes from our guesthouse and headed around the island, it takes roughly 2 hours to cycle around the whole island (possibly even less). Although some of the roads are just sand so it can sometimes be nearly impossible to cycle. We of course stopped many times to get some snaps on the sea swings, to appreciate the views and to eat/drink. We stopped at one beach bar called Mirage, it had a lovely location right on the beach, great fruit & muesli, pool table & a cinema room. Me and Kye both ate here before taking an unexpected nap! It was so chilled the sound of the water around us, the peace and quiet and of course no mosque meant we had a lovely little nap. ๐Ÿ˜ด We decided to cycle back to the centre and treat ourselves to a massage. Kye went for the full body but I went for a foot massage. Very relaxing and just what we needed! After this we had a super chilled evening and an early night ready to be awake again at 4am with the mosque.๐Ÿ•Œ

Our third day was spent on a snorkelling trip. We had a decent sized boat but we had so many people on it, it was rammed! The trip was 9am-3pm. We visited all 3 islands Gili Air, Gili T & Gili Meno, I can’t say that the snorkel spots were very good, we didn’t see much sealife and the coral was pretty dead. We did see a turtle but a man from our trip kept chasing it and getting so close to it, it looked petrified!

We stopped off at Gili Meno for our lunch break, the sun felt so hot here! This island is the quietest of them all, with not much to do but chill and enjoy island life! We were lucky enough to meet some lovely people whilst on this snorkelling trip which made the day a lot better and such a laugh!

After our snorkelling trip we decided we wanted to stay on Gili Air for New Years.

1. It was lovely, great vibes and cheap!

2. Gili T’s accommodation was super expensive as we had left it so late

3. Gili T is apparently a crazy party island whereas we wanted to the option to party if we wanted to.

So we decided to extend our stay here at Gili Air but upgrade our accommodation somewhere far away from the mosque and with a swimming pool.

That evening we ate at Warung Bamboo a cheap travellers eat. I ordered chicken curry & rice and the portion was huge! So filling and it cost me a grand total of ยฃ1.50 it was super tasty and great for travellers but if you’re looking for something fancy I wouldn’t recommend here. But for a cheap eat perfect for backpackers this is the place to be!

I had found us a great place to stay just North East of the island called Colour Cottages. Little huts without outdoor bathrooms, balcony, free breakfast & a pool! Yay! ๐Ÿ˜ before moving here we spent our morning applying for our Myanmar visas. We decided to hit Myanmar as our last spot as a few of our friends mentioned it was a fabulous stop, untouched and not touristy and also super cheap! As the Philippines weather wasn’t great we decided we will go back another time as a holiday and enjoy Myanmar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ instead.

After applying for our visa’s we stopped off for lunch I ordered a fruit salad, and oh my I have never seen such a huge fruit salad in my entire life! I couldn’t complain for ยฃ2! We had finally arrived at Colour Cottages it felt like heaven! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great so we spent our afternoon chilling before enjoying a beach BBQ at Camilla Beach. Kye had some fresh fish of the day and I had a vegetable skewer, very delicious! Before heading home we had a quick (very quick) game of pool where Kye plotted most my balls and the black within 5 minutes.

Colour Cottages was only an 8 minute walk away but the heavens decided to open and I can confirm we got drenched, I also broke the guesthouse’s umbrella the wind was way too strong! โ˜‚๏ธ Oops! After getting home and stripping off it was so nice to finally have a hot shower even if if was salty!

Before we knew it, it was New Years Eve! 2017 was nearly over, where has that year even gone! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ we started our morning off the right way with a yoga class. Neither me or Kye are the best with being flexible or our balance but we try! This class was actually pretty cool, I felt very in my zone until Kye kept pushing me over when trying to balance on one leg ๐Ÿ˜‚ after the class we both had some delicious smoothie bowls. I’m such a sucker for a smoothie bowl they are definitely one of my favourite breakfasts ๐Ÿ˜ We spent the rest of our morning chilling in the pool, mucking around playing games to see who was buying the beers! ๐Ÿป๐Ÿบ after a couple of Bintangs we ate a local Warung. Sunnys Warung, where we tried Beef Rendang burritos and some cool sweet potato and sweet corn fritters. The food was pretty decent and cheap, this set us up perfectly for a nap to ensure we could stay awake until 12 to see in the New Year! โœจ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜‚ before we could go to sleep though the locals insisted we had a rice wine shot with them, it was actually so nice but super strong! Cheers Lads! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

We set out for the night to find somewhere cool to see in the New Year, we managed to find a restaurant with some great live music! The food really wasn’t all that but the music made up for it! We had a couple join our table as the restaurant was packed, funnily enough they were staying at Colour Cottages with us but we hadn’t seen them yet. After chatting for a while and swapping names we decided to move to another bar for some more live music and drinks. Mia, Jonas, Kye and me stopped at BelAir restaurant where we saw in the New Year, watching some crazy local rock band. It was a very odd experience but Kye loved it! ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜Ž the ex guitarist even came on stage and starting playing the shit out of the guitar, he was pretty damn cool! Before we knew it, it was 12am and officially 2018! โœจ๐ŸŽ‰ we watched lots of fireworks being set off from boats in the sea and I FaceTimed my parents & sister as we were currently 8 hours in front of the UK. We ended our night by ordered pizza and stumbling home to sleep! Happy New Year everyone! 2018! โœจ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿฅ‚

1st January 2018!!

I had set my alarm for 7:50am 10 minutes before the New Year at home. I spent the build up on the phone to my sister & dogs then once 12 hit my mum was quickly Facetiming shouting down the phone over the loud music bless her ๐Ÿ˜‚ along with my dad waving ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ back to FaceTime my sister again to wish her a Happy New Year and then try get some more sleep! ๐Ÿ˜ด

As cliche as it sounds I woke up feeling super positive and ready for the new year and what I want to achieve. I set myself some resolutions and hit the gym, starting the year off right and all that! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ we then had another morning chilling in the pool and enjoying the beautiful weather โ˜€๏ธ not a cloud in sight! We spent our afternoon trying to make plans for the next couple of days which ended up us extending to stay 2 more days!

Not only did we love Gili Air but neither of us realised when we applied for our Myanmar visa that the office was shut for New Year. Luckily once the office opened on the 2nd we had our visas confirmed within hours, thankfully as we only had 2 more days left on our Indonesian visas! ๐Ÿ˜…

This whole New Year thing was really working for me, I woke up again hit the gym and had a little swim ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ I spent this day as a chill day, chilled by the pool, chatting to Mia & Jonas who are super lovely, interesting and a very intelligent couple! I also used my spare time to catch up with blogging and trying to sort through my savings for this year when I return home ๐Ÿ’ท๐Ÿ’ฐ(which is one of my New Years resolutions)

We all decided to grab some lunch together at my favourite restaurant.. Rubys ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹ I tried the yellow chicken curry, i can confirm this dish was also delicious, huge and a great serving of meat to! Our Myanmar visa confirmation email came through so we went on a hunt for a printer, easier said the done on an island!

To no surprise we ate at Ruby’s again for dinner, I don’t think I could ever get sick of eating this food, it’s so delicious I spoke about the bloody place so much and recommended it to so many people I should have just worked there ๐Ÿ˜‚ our lovely friends we met at Nusa Lembongan, Alex & Hayley had arrived at the island so we invited them to dinner. Alex was super ill ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ˜ท but thankfully Hayley could join us!

Even though we hadn’t seen Hayley & Alex in a few days it felt so good to catch up! Hayley & Alex fell in love with a dog at Nusa Lembongan and named her Mango. She was a stray that lingered around were they were staying. Many nights she slept at the end of their bed, ate with them and followed them around the island. So when it came to leaving her, they were both super upset! Trying to rehome dogs in Indonesia is some what impossible, but the lovely Hayley & Alex are doing the best they can to get Mango to the UK and give her the forever loving home I’m sure she has always wanted. They have made some great progress so far and Mango has had her jabs/microchip sorted and are currently waiting for all tests results to come back clear before Mangos great trip to the UK can begin! ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งSadly on the island of Nusa Lembongan every 6 months the authorities search the island and kill any strays dogs by poison dart, so most dogs don’t live much after 2! So to get Mango to the UK before this happens is a lot of pressure and for sure a decent amount of money! So if you would like to help Mango get to the UK before its to late check out the justgiving page which has been set up below;

gofundme.com/bring-mango-home All money raised will go towards getting Mango home and helping all other strays in Indonesia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ ๐Ÿถ For sure this was mine and Hayley’s main topic of the night along with lots of food! I mean lots of food I went all out and ordered jalapeรฑos poppers to start, beef rendang (my favourite ๐Ÿ˜) and chocolate salami tofinish!Kye nearly had to roll me home I was so full! The day had come to say goodbye to Jonas and Mia, they were off to explore some more of Indonesia, so we spent the morning with them before hitting the gym and pool up again! ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ this day was again pretty chilled we booked our boat/travel to Lombok Airport, packed our bags and reflected on what a great time we have had travelling! I also enjoyed my last smoothie bowl ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒ Sadly also my last meal at Ruby’s to! ๐Ÿ˜ข thankfully Alex was feeling alot better after visiting a medical centre so he managed to join us for dinner to say our goodbyes, it’s weird to think we now won’t see Hayley or Alex until we are all back in the UK!

The day had finally come to leave, Indonesia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ and set off for our next adventure! We grabbed our bags and walked to the harbour to catch or boat to Lombok which roughly took 15-20 minutes. We then caught a minibus to Lombok Airport where we had to wait 7 hours for our flight, this most boring time ever! ๐Ÿ˜ด I decided to take a little nap on the airport floor leaning against my bag, I had woken up dying for a pee so I stood up looked down to put my flip flops on and seen a group of nuns staring at me with the filthiest look.. I didn’t know where to look what had I even done to upset them so badly?! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

We had finally arrived in KL and with 4 hours until we had to be up again for our next flight we thought it was definitely time to catch some flies ๐Ÿ˜ด

Indonesia has been an amazing stop, one we weren’t even planning! I’m so glad we fit this place in we’ve had so many great experiences and loved it so much we nearly overstayed our visas! I would recommend anyone to visit, me & Kye could have stayed for longer and will 100% be returning to visit places we haven’t seen! This place really is a gem! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐ŸŒ

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope 2018 brings you lots of happiness, health and of course new travel opportunities ๐ŸŽ‰โœจ๐ŸŒโœˆ๏ธ

Paige xx

Nusa Lembongan ๐Ÿโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผโ˜ƒ๏ธ๐ŸŽ„

Our next stop was Nusa Lembongan, we had spoke to many locals and they all said the island was so beautiful, I can confirm they were not wrong!

We travelled from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan by fastboat, it took roughly 30 minutes. We travelled with Rocky fastboat, the boat was very big, clean and the staff were very friendly. I sat myself by the window incase of emergency spewing lol! Luckily I made it the whole way with no issues. We had a young boy sat infront of us who started to get sweaty and not look great. I knew straight away he was not good lol, I also knew if he threw up I would very quickly be following after! So my good deed of the day was giving him my anti sickness band, hoping that would control the sickness ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ thankfully he also made it with no accidents! Praise the lord! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

We had arrived at Nusa Lembongan and the water was so beautifully blue, glisten in the sun! It was like a mini paradise! We had booked to stay at Chillhouse, we were located right in the centre and next to some amazing cheap eats, yoga shacks, cinemas etc. The room was fresh, bright and perfect for us! We loved Nusa Lembongan so much that we originally booked 3 nights and stayed for 9! The family who run the guesthouse were so lovely, and really just wanted you to have the best time possible. They even ran a shop infront of the guesthouse which had everything you will ever need. The children were so beautiful to, Gede who runs he guesthouse has two daughters one who was 4 and another who was 1 month old, super cute! It made Kye super broody.. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

On our first day we didn’t waste any time and rented a moped and headed straight to Devils Tear. We got lost on the way (roads aren’t the best) Kye told me to shut the fuck up many times (he apologises once he has calmed down ๐Ÿ˜‚) Devils Tear is a big cove located just next to Dream Beach. It’s a beautiful place to sit and watch the waves smash against the rocks and cause a spray of water rise into the air.

It’s pretty impressive, we even seen a little turtle in the area. If you visit just be careful to not sit too close, as the water is very strong and it would be pretty impossible to get yourself out.

After chilling at Devils Tear for a while we went to Dream beach. Here there is a beautiful little beach which you can surf at and there is a beach club that has an infinity pool. It’s a lovely spot, we spent the rest of our afternoon relaxing here dipping in and out the pool admiring the gorgeous views and having some delicious food which was actually decently priced for where we were. Happy days! What a great first day! We learnt out here to search for cheap eats on Tripadvisor, we have found some amazing spots for so cheap! For sure we found an amazing Warung (restaurant) down a dark alley, the place didn’t look to appealing but oh my! The food was delicious ๐Ÿ˜ we visited Ketut Warung many times in our stay (chicken & cashew nut, Omelettes, porridge, fruit salad & Balinese cake are to die for!!) all decent size portions and roughly ยฃ1-ยฃ2, you really cannot complain.

The morning of our second day was spent in the local Two Brothers Gym, it was very basic but only cost ยฃ1! There were a few friendly locals in there (one even trained in a coat, god knows how! ๐Ÿ˜…) unlucky for us we had a wash out of a day, after leaving the gym the rain just poured and poured. Kye still wanted to be adventurous so we went on a hunt for body boards, nobody would rent us one as they said the water was to unsafe. So we walked back to the room completely drenched so just chilled in our room watching films and catching up with our family/friends.

For the evening we ate at a local restaurant which has a huge screen and shows different films every night. You have to eat there for one meal to watch the film for free. We ate here one night and watched Forest Gump (great film!) very true quote to; Life is like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you’re going to get! Again our 3rd day here was a wash out, still couldn’t get a paddle board so instead we headed back to Dream Beach. If you eat here they offer a free pick up/drop off shuttle which is very handy! Gede the man we stayed with gave them a call and within 5 minutes we were in the back of a truck on our way! We headed there with full intentions of getting in the pool and chilling, but we got there and it was freezing I was wrapped up in my jumper so we ate and chilled for a little while before returning back. That evening we attended a Yin yoga class at The Yoga Shack, it was very busy but such a great class. Some super stretching and breathing techniques were learnt, we both left very relaxed and at peace with the world ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Thankfully our fourth day the sun had decided to reappear so of course we made the most of it! We rented a moped and hit up some spots on the island, we crossed the yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan and first stop was Twilight view a swing overlooking the sea. Next was blue lagoon, a massive cove with some of the bluest water I’ve ever seen! Impossible to swim in as the water is very strong! The best spot of the day was definitely Secret Beach, a small little beach with only a few people on we had a little swim and sunbathe for a couple of hours then went back to the good old Dream Beach for a dip in the infinity pool and some food.

Kye also made me try drive the moped in the car park, complete fail the bike was so heavy, let’s just say I need ALOT of practice, but hey practice makes perfect right? ๐Ÿ˜‚

We headed back to the Yoga Shack in the evening for a free Manta Ray talk. This sounds well nerdy I know, but me and Kye are completely fascinated by these huge beautiful animals and we really wanted to know more! The talk was very in depth and fascinating, we both left very excited to see the Mantas again to put our new knowledge to the test.

Our next day was spent at Mushroom Beach a lovely beach with a beach club, restaurants and a few dive shops. We finally managed to rent a paddle board yay!! After many and I mean many failed attempts me and Kye both managed to stand and paddle! We definitely had a few laughs trying! We spent the late afternoon/early evening chilling on beanbags at the beach admiring the views, eating fruit and chatting to my mum on Facetime. I also FaceTimed my workplace to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผโ˜ƒ๏ธโœจ

As the weather was getting better we decided to book a snorkelling trip, you hit 3 snorkel spots one was Manta Bay. The water here was very strong and it was very very tiring! Only three of us managed to stay out in it to see the Manta Rays. This time the Manta got very close and I could really tell how big it was! The Manta Rays are so peaceful and such a lovely creature to swim alongside with. One day I really would love to Scuba Dive with them! Also being so close to the Manta Ray meant I could put my new knowledge to the test and see if it was male/female, if it had babies, if it was feeding, any injuries etc. It was very fascinating! Of course you never touch the Manta Rays or chase them!! They will come to you if you’re nice and chilled and stay out the way.

The next stop was Crystal Bay, this spot is actually located in Nusa Penida the bigger island of them all. The water was so clear we seen so many different types of fish, even a puffer, sea snake and turtle to! Kye also got very lucky and found some money only ยฃ1 though haha! ๐Ÿ˜‚ but hey money is money! ๐Ÿ’ธ

I cannot remember the name of the last spot but the water was pretty deep, we’ve even seen a weird statue at the bottom of the water that had not long been put there by some conservation group. The snorkelling trip was from 8am-11am so swiftly after we finished we had breakfast (Kye’s second breakfast) I had a delicious dragon fruit smoothie bowl, these delicious bowls are my absolute favourite!!! We then spent our afternoon chilling on the local beach in crystal clear water, I decided I wanted to sunbathe so left the sea and within seconds my bikini bottoms snapped and everybody seen me in the nude ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ I quickly put my shorts on and made a run for it to a different spot on the beach. We then chilled on beanbags at the beach and got stupidly sunburnt as I fell asleep I was so relaxed, which then meant I spent the rest of the evening smothering myself in Aloe Vera! Ouch ๐Ÿ˜‘ we also tried BFC for the first time, you’ve guessed it not KFC but Bali Fried Chicken the locals love it so of course we have to give it a go! It was super cheap and so delicious! But instead of fries it’s rice, so tasty! ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ—

The next day was pretty chill as I was still recovering from sunburn and applying aloe Vera like 1937383 times a day! So I caught up with some blogging before the hunger pains started which meant I had to put clothes on and leave the room ๐Ÿ˜‚ my skin felt so tight even to scrunch my nose was painful ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ˜‚ for sure we went and ate again at Ketut Warung, I was struggling getting the sweats and having to visit the toilet multiple times. ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ’ฉ but a lovely couple Alex and Hayley who were on their honeymoon joined us in the Warung, the tables are set up all lined up against eachother so it’s impossible to not get to know one another. Before we knew it we had spent 4 hours just chin wagging with them. Travelling really is a great way to meet other people and for sure become good friends! We loved these guys and couldn’t wait to spend more time with them! They both work in the music industry so fore sure have some very interesting stories! They also rescued a dog from abroad which obviously is a massive win for me, I’m such a dog lover! ๐Ÿถโ™ฅ๏ธ

We spent our evening back at The Yoga Shack watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet. Which was super interesting and a great but upsetting watch to see how our ocean is slowly being destroyed ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฅ we then ate some delicious food and to get us in the Christmas spirit we watched Home Alone, it was Christmas Eve after all! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผโ˜ƒ๏ธโœจ

Christmas Day!!!! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผโ˜ƒ๏ธ๐ŸŽ„โœจ

My first Christmas away from home, it was spent very differently it was weird, but still a jolly good day. Me and Kye really missed our families and friends around this time and both said we probably wouldn’t go away for this period again, but definitely for New Year.

Of course the day started off with a well deserved lie in haha! For sure the rain had come back this time in bucket loads! We treated ourselves to a big breakfast aka smoothie bowl and egg/bacon bap ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿคค we then went back to our room had a nap before waking up and getting on the beers (Bintangs) with Hayley and Alex. Of course we were all in Santa hats trying to get into the festive spirit, Gede the man from our guesthouse dropped us to Dream Beach where thankfully the sun came out! โ˜€๏ธ

We spent the day drinking way too much as it was happy hour, eating pizza and garlic bread, playing in the sea and infinity pool. I spent a lot of my day face-timing my loved ones from home. It’s weird as we are 8 hours in front, so remembering not to ring in the early hours is the hard part! Our Christmas Day this year was very different, but a good laugh and definitely a day well spent. Although I definitely missed the Christmas dinner and cadburys chocolates ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿคค but not to panic my mum is a life saver and is making us a Christmas dinner when we get home.. win win! ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽ‰

Boxing Day was another chilled one, we pretty much just ate delicious food, watched a film and booked our boat to The Gili Islands! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜โ˜€๏ธ

Overall we loved our stay in Nusa Lembongan, I’m sure you guessed that from the 9 nights! It was a pretty chilled time, but very well needed. I think it definitely helped that it was super cheap there, we had a great location, lots of cheap eats, yoga and for sure the lovely family we stayed with. We can totally understand why people say this is a beautiful island, it’s like a mini paradise especially when the sun is shining!

Time for our next adventure:

The Gili Islands ๐Ÿโ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Labuan Bajo & The Great Trip to the Islands!! โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ›ฉ๐Ÿšค๐Ÿ

We added the Labuan Bajo stop into our trip so Kye could tick off a childhood dream from his bucket list! We only spent 2 days here, the flights, trip and entrance cost us roughly ยฃ200 each but was well worth the money!

To start we caught a tiny plane from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo. We arrived collected our bags and got our free transfer from the airport to our hotel. We were staying at Komodo Boutique Hotel. It was a ten minute drive from the centre but offered a free shuttle to wherever you needed, which was perfect for us! The hotel was basic, clean and provided breakfast for ยฃ10 each a night!

Once we had arrived we started googling tours to the famous islands we wanted to visit! I picked up a leaflet from the airport and gave the company a Tripadvisor search. They had great reviews and used a fast boat which meant you visit more islands then most of the tours. It was ยฃ65 for the trip and ยฃ15 roughly to get into Komodo Island. We booked into this trip via email and couldn’t wait our day of adventure! The whole day trip started at 6am – 4pm! It was a great full day.

We had some delicious food in one of the restaurants in the town and headed back to our hotel via the free shuttle for an early night ready for our 5am wake up call.

The day had come for the long awaited trip to Komodo Island, Kye was over excited lol! Firstly we arrived at the dock and climbed onto our little speed boat, it normally seats 12 people but only 5 of us had booked. Which meant it was very spacious, comfy and even had a toilet!

Our first stop was Padar Island, I’ve seen many photos of this island and really couldn’t wait to visit! We climbed the viewpoint which took roughly 10-15 minutes. From the top you see a tremendous view of the three beaches. It’s definitely not a view to be missed! We spent a little while at the top just admiring the beautiful views and getting to know our tour guide and the family of 3 on our trip. The water from above was crystal clear and luckily we had a blistering hot sunny day! One of the beaches is even called Pink Beach as the red coral has died the sand slightly pink.

Second stop was Komodo Island. We had 2.5 hours on this island, it was huge! Firstly we met our ranger who gave us a safety talk and introduced himself then we set off for our medium trek. As the Komodo Dragons live in the wild you cannot guarantee when you visit that you will see any, but we got lucky and seen 5 in total. I can confirm they are huge, scary and everything else you imagine lol!

We seen 2 young females and 3 males (one which was bloody humungous!!) they walk around very slowly, but for sure pick up their speed when they have seen something they like the look of! They are really strong built animals so they’re walk is really bulky they have such swagger lol! The are continuously sticking out their tongues as this is the way they smell their prey!

Our ranger was very knowledgable and was able to answer all of Kye’s questions (I can confirm there were millions๐Ÿ˜‚) he carried a stick with him, to protect himself and us incase of an emergency. Seeing the size of these dragons and the size of his stick I didn’t fancy the chance of anything going wrong. The Komodo dragons can pick up speed very quickly so if you’re being chased by one the key is to run in zigzags as this will slow the Komodo’s down. Although when you’re panicking I’m sure you would forget this!

We were lucky enough to come across a nest, we didn’t see the eggs but were told they babies would hatch some time next year. Once the babies are born they need to quickly run upto the top of the trees otherwise their mum will eat them, yeah you heard me right! Only the young Komodo dragons can climb the trees as they are small and don’t weigh no way near as much as adults.

Being on this island we all had eyes in the back of our heads ๐Ÿ˜‚ our ranger explained that no women are allowed to work on this island as they menstruate, the Komodo’s are attracted to this smell and it can be very dangerous. At this point I thought I’d better not mention I was currently on my lady time ๐Ÿ˜ thankfully I survived!

We even managed to get some photos posing behind the dragons as they cannot move quick enough backwards. We seen one male which looked very skinny, this freaked Kye out as he knew the male was ready to eat!

Komodo dragons have around 60 different types of bacteria in their mouths, so when hunting for food they only need to bite their prey once for it to die. From the time of the first bite it can take the animal roughly up to a month to die, but for a human we would die within a week if it treated. The Komodo dragon will bite its prey and follow it around until it dies, once it has it will then eat the animal in one sitting (normally dear or buffalo) so very big meals!

After leaving Komodo Island our guide told us the weather & water was perfect to try spot some Manta rays. We got to Manta Point where the baby Mantas hang out, we were super lucky and seen 11 in total. I was completely amazed and really couldn’t believe how big they are! The baby ones wingspan is only 3-5 metres long but the adults can grow upto 8 metres!! Of course me and Kye jumped straight into the water with a local to snorkel with the beautiful Manta Rays! One day I really would love to scuba dive with them!

Our next stop was a beautiful little island called Taka Makassar the sand was pure white and the water was so blue! Absolutely beautiful and a lovely way to spend an hour! Me and Kye did a bit of snorkelling then just chilled on the beach playing in the water. This island really was dreamy and super hot! โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ

We had one more stop (Kanawa Island) before our trip was over, nobody snorkelled at this point but we all chilled in the restaurant had some food/drinks and spoke about how amazing the day had been! We did spot many starfish which were super cool! Before we knew it our day trip was over, but we had the best day! Me and Kye both said it was probably the best trip we had done!

We had a chilled evening, grabbed some food in the centre and packed our bags ready to depart back to Denpasar in the morning. We had an early flight so we were back in Denpasar before noon, back with the lovely Mumma Arie! We had a complete chill day; blogging, catching up with family & friends, sewing badges onto our big backpacks and just relaxing it was well needed! We did also book a boat to our next destination.. but where are we heading?

Find out in the next blog ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ

Bali – Seminyak & Ubud โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿ

A few weeks before we planned to hit up Indonesia Mount Agung (an active volcano) had erupted and people were evacuated and flights were cancelled which left people stranded. Thankfully our flight went ahead to Denpasar, we were checking flight updates daily worrying we wouldn’t be able to make it to Indonesia! We woke up at 2:45am ready for our next destination! The flight itself was fine except some pretty severe turbulence, but we made it through!

On our first day we arrived the sun was shining and we were super happy to be in Bali! We stayed at Verra Guesthouse with my most loveliest lady Mumma Arie! She is an absolute diamond! ๐Ÿ’Ž it was roughly ยฃ8 a night breakfast included and our location was spot on, walking distance to everything you would need. Mumma Arie welcomed us in and told us to make ourselves at home, she delivered us the most delicious smoothie bowl and Balinese sweets (which are to die for๐Ÿ˜) Our first day we spent napping and just finding our feet, we took a visit to the beach which was black sand and full of looky looky people selling stuff. Our driver from the airport suggested a local Indonesian eatery so of course we stopped their for tea. On the walk there we walked past many up market restaurants and shops which are way out our price range as backpackers! Kye even got offered Valium multiple times, very weird! ๐Ÿ˜‚ we made it to the restaurant and had a delicious local meal, it was self service so we both went for rice, veggies and beef! It was delicious, and spicy ๐ŸŒถ

On our second day we had the best lie in and didn’t wake up until 11am, pure bliss! Again Mumma Arie served us the most delicious breakfast ever! She is the best cook โœจ๐Ÿ˜ after this we took a 10 minute walk to the gym where we got our sweat on before visiting Potato Head Beach Club, which of course was beautiful but also had the prices to match! Actually to be fair the prices weren’t bad at all, but the Tax and Service Charge ramped it right up! So us being the scabby backpackers we are ordered Diet cokes and made them last the whole afternoon ๐Ÿ˜‚ I forgot to mention they remove all water/drinks from you before entering so it gives you no choice but to order something before you dehydrate ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ญ this being said we enjoyed a very chilled time soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the infinity pool which overlooked the beach. This place is also a great spot for sunset, we got some pretty amazing snaps! Our 3rd day also consisted of the delicious breakfast, gym and visited the beach. This time we walked further down and explored what else there was to see. To our disappointment it consisted of LOTS of rubbish ๐Ÿ˜ข it honestly isn’t a beach you want to spend time on! There were also lots of stray dogs! Which made into a pack when a dog was being walked by there owners. We managed to find a cool bar with beanbags where we chilled enjoying a fresh homemade juice ready for sunset. There was also some crazy fitness/yoga/praying looking thing going on by lots of local men, one man even started looking like he was fitting on the beach, so the instructed worked his magic and before you know if he was chilled back in his sitting position again, it was a weird watch ๐Ÿ˜‚

It was our day to leave Seminyak and explore the beautiful Ubud. We caught a Grab which most locals hate as they want you to use the local taxis which cost a bomb! So the Grab drivers have to be very sneaky but for us backpackers it’s perfect and only cost us roughly ยฃ7 between us for a 2 hour drive. It should have been one hour but the traffic was super heavy! Our first day we decided to walk around the town and look for some things to do. We tried to make plans for our upcoming days and enjoyed some local very cheap food!

I can confirm Ubud is a lot cheaper then Seminyak and there is lots to do, we loved Ubud! On our second day in Ubud we hired a moped for ยฃ3.50 and headed straight to Tegalalang Rice Terraces. We had a wonder round, you only have to pay a donation to enter so it can be as expensive as you want it to be. The rice terraces from above look so beautiful and are definitely worth a visit. We walked round getting some snaps and some how managed to get a little lost, we managed to find a path finally and walked ourselves back up the street. After enjoying some breakfast over looking the amazing view, we headed off to Tirta Empul Temple.

In this temple they have the holy springs, the name ‘Tirta Empul’ translates to ‘Holy Water Spring’ which is the name of the water source located in this temple. People bathe in this water for purification. Me and Kye bathed in 13 in total, 10 in the first section and 3 in the second praying under each one. We had to wear a sarong in the temple and swap to a special green one to enter the holy water. There are also a couple of fish in the water which may take a nibble at you! The Holy springs were very busy and locals were even filling bottles up to take home. The local man showing us round told us which parts of the Holy Spring to pray under (some we weren’t allowed, I’m unsure of why). We splashed our face and put our head under each tap. This was a great experience which I’m glad I got to take part in.As we headed back to our Homestay we booked the famous sunrise Mount Batur trip for the following morning, so as this was going to be an early start we had a very chilled evening and ate some delicious local food in a restaurant just 5 minutes walk away cool Yoga Bali. It was super cheap and had the cutest dogs called Debbie & Debo who of course cuddled up to us for dinner. I tried a local dish called Redang, It’s a beef dish served in a spicy Balinese sauce with rice & vegetables. It was absolutely amazing, definitely a dish I would recommend if you’re visiting Indonesia!

After only managing to get 3 hours sleep and Kye getting none, it was time to arise from our bed for the Mount Batur trek for sunrise! We got picked up from our homestay at 2:30am and took a 1 hour bus trip to the meeting point to start our trek! We had arrived there was 12 of us in total, with 3 local guides who were lovely! In total we walked 10km (just over 6 miles I think?) up and down. From the bottom to the summit of Mount Batur is 1717km. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath but for sure I made it to the summit! I must admit I did think twice that I wasn’t going to make it! The trek takes roughly 11/2-2 hours to climb, it isn’t the easiest path as it consisted of hardened Lava which was very uneven and spiky, slippy black dust and many steep big steps. Kye bless him waited for me the whole time and refused to go on ahead, even though I know he could! He’s superman! We made it to the viewpoint for sunrise and of course admired the most amazing view of the sunrising behind Mount Agung. We really couldn’t believe our eyes, it was so beautiful and what the hell we had just climbed a volcano?! ๐ŸŒ‹ To the summit was another 20 minutes, this climb is a lot easier! At the top there is a little hut selling hot drinks (apparently the hot chocolate is delicious as I’ve read in others blogs) but I was sweating and did need anything to warm me up lol! I must admit the descend is a lot harder, you have no grip and just have to hope for the best lol! I fell once but luckily my big bum saved me! The key is apparently to walk down with your feet sideways and making zigzags. We slid out many times on the black dust and uneven rocks but managed to save ourselves! Pheww! ๐Ÿ˜… the locals made the whole trek look so simple, in the busy period they climb this volcano everyday and sometimes even 3 times a day!! They can climb it in an hour, which is very impressive! Me and Kye were going to attempt to climb Mount Batur without a guide to save some money, but I really wouldn’t suggest it. It wouldn’t be safe or fun! But most of all apparently there is a Mafia who are very aggressive and threaten you with weapons to hire a guide and of course being there they will charge you a lot more! Luckily me and Kye managed to get a great deal of 300,000 IDR which totals roughly ยฃ15. So you can definitely bargain a price with locals. Me and Kye both read many blogs beforehand of people saying not to attempt to climb Mount Batur without a guide as many people have had bad experiences with the so called ‘Mafia’. So just for your own safety get a guide!

We had finally made it back to solid ground around 8-9am, so headed back to the centre but visited a coffee plantation ion before getting home. As I’m not into coffee I opted for a free hot cocoa which for sure helped with my sleepiness and I was 100% ready for bed now! We got back to our homestay and ordered some breakfast in from a local cafe which took 1 hour to arrive, people really struggled to find our address lol! At this point in time this is definitely not what we needed! Me and Kye were so tired and of course starting to gain bad moods (well Kye not me) ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿคฃ finally food had arrived they had overcharged us but I really couldn’t be assed to argue it. So we ate our food and headed straight to bed!

The next day, feeling all fresh and far from tired we did a little bit of planning, we had booked our flights to Labuan Bajo for our next adventure! More about that in the next blog though!

We had a pretty chilled day, we rented a moped again and went off to visit Tukad Cepung Waterfall. It was a little climb down to it, but oh my it was worth it! I haven’t seen a waterfall like it before. The water was very shallow, beneath you but still so beautiful! People were down there having photo shoots (which I’m sure will look amazing on Instagram) haha! We climbed back up and before we knew it, the rain had started to pour down! We waited under a little shelter for 20-30 minutes before the water started to rise and we had to get out of there ๐Ÿ˜‚ After getting completely drenched we spent our evening chilling and eat some delicious food again!

Flores/Labuan Bajo our next destination has a high risk of malaria, so we had to start taking our tablets tonight to ensure we were covered against it. We had bought the more expensive tablet which had less side effects, but for sure me and Kye did suffer from some. Thankfully this is the only time in our trip we’ve had to take them and hopefully the last ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ

The morning had arrived where we make our trip to Labuan Bajo. So we got up nice and early and headed back to Seminyak. We stopped off at Verra Guesthouse where Mumma Arie said she would take care of our big bags for us, as we only needed small backpacks and had only a 10kg baggage allowance. We then headed to Denpasar airport and caught our tiny plane to Labuan Bajo!

Question is, do you know why we have flew to Labuan Bajo? And what is our plan for being here?

Find out in my next blog, it’spretty epic! ๐Ÿ˜

The adventures of Chiangmai & Pai โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ›ต

Where do I begin…

That’s right so after a dreadful 30 hours travel from Luang Prabang we had finally arrived in the centre of Chiangmai. Luckily for us right next to McDonald’s! Yay ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ so we scoffed some food and went straight to our hostel. It was so nice to finally and shower and brush our teeth after that long 30 hours! It was the best feeling ever! I had a great 12 hour sleep, but even after all of this I felt dreadful headache, sick and the shits AGAIN!! So my first full day in Chiangmai consisted of staying in bed and trying to mend myself.

On our second day we headed off out to visit some temples, Chiangmai is well known for the hundreds of temples they have here! We only visited 2-3 as we’ve seen so many already! We visited one which was so beautiful, very golden and colourful and the staircase either side had dragons! There was also a mini one next to this ‘men only’ women are not allowed in as they menstruate. ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿผ of course Kye went in and said it was the most beautiful temple he had ever seen in his whole life! Such a wind up merchant!๐Ÿ˜‚ After visiting a few temples we treated ourselves to another amazing foot massage! Mine was a little to hard and painful as I was still feeling a little fragile and trying to not shit myself on their bed ๐Ÿ˜‚ thankfully I held it together! We then headed to get ourselves a thanksgiving dinner (anything for a roast) omg it was dreadful and it cost ยฃ11! It had nothing on delicious Toby Carvery ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ—๐Ÿฝ although I tried pumpkin pie for the first time and it was delicious! Every cloud has a silver lining right?

Our third day we spent doing something a little different, we searched Tripadvisor on things to do and thought why not?! We headed to Art in Paradise, which is a 3D art gallery which was a laugh, we got some great snaps and was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. The entrance fee was around ยฃ8 so a little pricey for backpackers! Kye had arranged to meet his friend George from home who he used to compete in Strongman with and his girlfriend Evie, we met them on the evening had a few drinks, caught up/met for the first time and enjoyed a little walk around the local market. We agreed we would get an early night ready for a couple gym session the next morning.

So for sure the next morning we all met for breakfast then followed by a couple gym session! For once out here I really enjoyed it and could have stayed for longer! ๐Ÿ˜… never thought I’d hear those words come out my mouth! We then headed straight out to the Chiangmai Grand Canyon! Oh my what a laugh! It was like an assault course on water pretty much like total wipe out! It was such a laugh and so tiring! I managed to climb myself back on twice the whole time, poor Kye and George had to keep dragging me up. Lesson learnt I need to train pull ups! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ this was a really great way to spend the afternoon and to tire yourselves out! Before we entered the water we did notice a stretcher which made me a little scared ๐Ÿ˜‚ George, Evie and Kye were pure daredevils and climbed everything me on the other hand I was like a little baby slug just slugging along! ๐Ÿ˜‚ After an eventful and tiring day we were all starving and so ready for the Sunday walking street. I have never ever seen a market so big! It would take literally a whole day to get around it all! Me and Evie were in our element with all the beautiful souvenirs and jewellery and the boys were pleased with all the food stalls! It was super busy but had so much to offer even massages for ยฃ3.50 an hour! Yesss ๐Ÿ˜ it definitely was a highlight to my trip!

Our fifth day in Chiangmai was pretty much a chill day, George and Evie treated themselves to some rad new tattoos which look amazing! If you were interested in getting a tattoo whilst in Chiangmai give Celebrity Ink a visit, some amazing artist with even better art! ๐Ÿค˜whilst Evie and George were enjoying the pain, me and Kye spent some time chilling in the local bars playing connect 4 which was such a laugh and passed a few hours! Kye then enjoyed a yoga class whilst we all got ready to watch our first live Muay Thai fights. This was an interesting evening to say the least! Some great fights, lots of manly ladyboys and very drunk/high weirdos! Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ but a great evening had by all. There was even an English girl called Hayley fighting she was originally from Coventry. Kye and George were making bets on drinks who would win, so both were very drunk come the end of the evening. So of course they asked Hayley for a cringe photo ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ“ธ Literally every night we spent with George and Evie we did not get back to our hostels until atleast 1am, sleep deprived but we had so much fun! ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽ‰

Sixth day in Chiangmai was spent relaxing in the morning then followed by a cooking class in the afternoon/evening. We were a group of 8, the other 4 people were from England to so we had a great laugh. We travelled out of the town and first visited a local market, we then arrived at the cooking camp put our aprons on and were ready to cook! We all chose the dishes we wanted to cook before entering the garden and picking their home grown vegetables and herbs. This consisted of us dressed in aprons, hats and a basket each to collect our goods. It was a laugh! ๐Ÿ˜‚ after washing our food and hands we began to cook, firstly a stir fry dish and spring rolls, then followed by making a curry paste, curry and soup. It was so much food I couldn’t finish it, but it all tasted great and we even got a recipe book to take home, I cannot wait to try make some of the delicious meals at home ๐Ÿ˜ I nearly forgot to mention our teacher was a middle aged lady called Pooki (means fatbaby in Thai) ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป she was a delight! So funny and had a great vibe about her, she took the piss out of my name and took a shine to George and Kye calling them Mr.George and Kye some weird Thai name which translates to bald monk she was hilarious and definitely helped us enjoy our cooking class ๐Ÿ˜‚ the class roughly cost us ยฃ20 each but this includes transport, food and recipe book. So a bargain in my eyes! The next morning we were all enjoying our breakfasts when our minibus turned up which led to us scoffing food, putting it into containers and wondering where the hell our bus had gone? Luckily he was just re-looping! Off we set to Pai for 4 days! The journey there is pretty windey roads non stop, but good stable road. After 3-4 hours we had arrived in the centre of Pai, super chilled vibes and very hippy! โ˜ฎ๏ธโœจ Me and Kye had read someone’s blog about Pai and they recommended staying in Hommeys camping rooms, you guessed it a huge room with lots of tents inside. It’s sounds unusual, but it was perfect! So comfortable and we had most of the room to ourselves! It was nice to have your own privacy yet be with your friends at the same time. The people who run this guesthouse are so lovely! Man, wife and 15 month year old Hommey who is so cute and the place is named after! We spent many times singing ‘Old Mcdonald’ with Hommey. After settling in we headed straight out to explore, every evening on the Main Street there is a night walking street, with lots of food stalls and pop up shops. All relatively cheap and delicious food! The Falafel lady always has huge queues, the Indian stand is to die for ๐Ÿ˜ and there is one restaurant I have forgot the name of that makes Pad Thais to order for ยฃ1 and they are huge!!!! Oh and I cannot forgot the delicious mango sticky rice and waffles! ๐Ÿ’— I love food if you hadn’t guested already ๐Ÿ˜‚

After travelling South East Asia for 4 months we had seen Durian fruit advertised everywhere! It’s quite pricey and stinks so bad, you’re not allowed to take it into hotels or shopping malls etc. So between us 4 we bought a little piece and gave it a try! Worst mistake ever!! ๐Ÿคข it tasted so bad, and had a onion after taste but worse lol! I beg you do not try it ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿผwhilst walking along the streets and trying little bits from many stalls we had found some delicious Samosas, meat and spicy sausages! I had waited a few minutes for my sausage to cook and was so excited to tuck in when a homeless man came towards me and tried to grab it, so unexpected I freaked out and shouted Kye lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ after all that the sausages wasn’t very nice anyway he should have taken it!

Our first night in the tent was super comfy and we were up and ready for our day of exploring! Firstly we walked into the centre walking past the local 7/11 store, when a old, blind, very ill dog was outside. Me and Kye couldn’t help but stop and feed the poor thing. He had a collar and coat, but was still so thin! Many tourists were feeding it. We bought him some rice which he scoffed down and we continued to do so every time we seen the poor fellow ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ• We hired ourselves some mopeds and headed straight for Pai Canyon. With a lovely short ride we had arrived the sun was scorching hot but we were ready to explore! After a 5 minute walk up some steps we had arrived, what a beautiful site! Of course being the daredevil backpackers we are, we started to scramble up and down the canyon which I can tell you wasn’t the easiest! It’s pretty slippy as it’s covered in sand and if you were take a take a wrong step you’d be in a lot of trouble! Eeek! We had got to a point where you had to walk pretty confident and fast as slow would have meant sliding! George told me to go fast so to me this meant run! I started to pick up pace and before I knew it i was hanging onto a little tree for my dear life! ๐Ÿ˜‚ thank god the tree was strong enough!

After enjoying a couple of hours at the Canyon and getting some great snaps we headed to The Memorial Bridge. Just a little history I learnt whilst here; Japenese soldiers were invading Burma and needed a bridge to cross over so made the locals make them one. Once complete the soldiers made use of it and so did the locals. After the soldiers work was done they took down the bridge, which left locals very upset as they had also started to use the bridge daily. So the locals of Pai asked for the bridge which was currently in place at Chiangmai, a very cheeky request but it was granted! So the bridge was dismantled and re-built in Pai. The bridge is still used today even if it is a little ropey! ๐ŸŒ‰ After a great day of exploring Evie found a cheap but high rated restaurant on Tripadvisor so we headed out for some food! The place was called Bigs Little Cafe, it’s a tiny little hut which is based on the main street and it serves amazing western food! Me and Kye have tried a few western meals whilst travelling and nothing ever gates like home! But to our surprise the main man running this place is Thai but used to work in London for many years, so his food was exactly like home! Everything homemade and prepared/cooked infront of you! I had a great jacket potato, beans and cheese! Which to most people sounds like nothing but trust me it was delicious๐Ÿ˜ I would highly recommend this place, the boys even had HUGE hash browns with there breakfast the following day!

We spent our afternoon/early evening chilling by the river playing and cuddling with many puppies which we named, we all fell in love and wanted to keep them! We also finished chilling by doing handstands and cartwheels ๐Ÿคธโ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐Ÿ˜‚ we then of course headed backto the walking street for some delicious food!

On our next adventurous day we headed to two waterfalls, neither of them much of a hike! The first one was hidden behind a cave which was pretty cool. On the way back we visited ‘The Land Split’ this is literally what is says on the tin! One day a farmer woke up and his land had split in half, every year the split grows! So he has now opened it up for tourists. It’s free to visit but donations are welcome and includes some free nibbles which are grown on the local farm. This including star fruit, nuts, dried banana and jam, bananas, sweet potato and even wine and juice! You can also walk through the split and get some cool shots! I made best buddies with a lovely dog at the land split, he was petrified to have cuddles but soon warmed to me waving its tail, I even made Kye feed him some tuna ๐Ÿถ After the landsplit we visited the 2nd waterfall, this one you had to climb up through mud it was pretty slippy! Kye, Geroge & Evie all went in for the kill and slid down part of the waterfall, obviously after witnessing somebody else do it first ๐Ÿ˜‚

After a pretty chilled evening of a few drinks, games and lots of street food we were up and ready to go the following morning to visit some caves. To get us going for the day we stopped at Plan B restaurant, serving food from home. I had a delicious sausage, bacon and egg sandwich ๐Ÿ˜ after this we headed off into the hills to find the caves!

The ride was freezing cold and was sometimes a struggle on our little bike. We stopped off half way at a viewpoint and even had a go on this weird swing thing, which was hilarious but as soon as somebody got off the thing went bloody flying! When we arrived at the caves we discovered it was a rip off and decided to only visit the one cave, after all we are backpackers! You have to walk round with somebody at all times as it’s pitch black inside and they have a lamp plus they show you things inside the cave. The only interesting thing I seen was a HUGE spider ๐Ÿ•ท and lots of fish under the bridge.

On the way back to town me & Kye booked the bus back to Chiangmai for the following day. Evie and George had decided they were going to hitchhike I save some money. To their luck they pretty much got a ride straight away and arrived in Chiangmai before us! When we arrived we went straight to Archers restaurant who serve a mean roast dinner! We were not disappointed it was delicious and we all left very satisfied! We also visited the Sunday market a second time but we were all too tired to enjoy it, apart from Kye who treated himself to a full Thai body massage for 1 hour.

My tips for visiting Pai..

1. Rent your own moped and enjoy the sites for soooo much cheaper! Most sites were free so paying ยฃ1.50 for a bike instead of ยฃ13 for a daytrip will save you lots of money!

2. Always eat where the locals eat, it’s always cheaper and delicious! Even if the place looks grotty take the risk!

3. Over indulge in the delicious street food on offer in Pai, there is lots of choice and you could easily be full on ยฃ5!

4. The fruit is delightful here, especially the strawberries they are so sweet! ๐Ÿ“

5. Lastly, and most important look after and cuddle the stray dogs. All they want is love and attention, they are so beautiful and it costs mining to be kind. ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿ’—

Our last final day with Evie and George was spent in Chiangmai, we visited the gym again for a couples training session, we all worked extremely hard! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜… me and Kye then visited the train station to attempt to book a sleeper train to Bangkok, which worked out very pricey! So instead we booked a flight. We then spent our evening drinking Changs, Sangsom and playing bedroom and visiting GoGo bars ๐Ÿ™„ we had an early wake up call so drinking was probably a bad idea, but before we knew it we had landed back in Bangkok for the second time.

We spent 3 days in Bangkok

On our first day we were pretty sleep deprived, so as soon as we checked in we had a nap. We stayed at Baan Nampetch hostel, it was perfect location 5 minute walk to the centre, away from the loudness, staff were so polite and friendly, free breakfast, super clean/cosy rooms, very clean shared bathrooms, really secure and even a nice chilled terrace area. After awaking we headed straight out to Rambuttri village, this place is magical! It’s similar and very close to Koh San Road but a lot more chilled out and cheaper! We enjoyed some delicious food, had a nose at all the stalls and enjoyed a foot massage!

On our second day we planned to hit the gym, we had to cross the river to get there so went on a little public boat and hoped off the other side, it was only 15 bhat what a bargain! After our gym session we headed back over the river and stopped off at most amazing public toilets.. aircon, electric doors, super clean I honestly thought I would sleep in these ๐Ÿ˜‚ to no surprise we did a bit of planning for our next stop and went back to Rambuttri village again for some street food and of course another foot massage! I’m going to miss the massages when I go home lol๐Ÿ˜ข

Whilst enjoying our lovely massages the bar next door had live music, the guy was great! Even a local tramp thought so and started to dance in the street and try help people sell there goods to tourists, it was hilarious to watch ๐Ÿ˜‚ he was trying to sing along but had no clue what the words were bless him! To end a very chilled day we watched the film Elf in bed to try get us into the Christmas spirit! It really doesn’t feel like Christmas here, it’s warm which is strange and nobody has crazy decorations up or anything advertised. I have a feeling Christmas Day whilst travelling I going to feel like an ordinary day!

On our final day in Bangkok we had a super chilled day visited the MBK shopping centre so Kye could buy some goods and eat at their great food court! I got my shit together Aka did my washing and FaceTime my family at home for a catch up ๐Ÿ˜ to no surprise we visited Rambuttri village for the third night in a row and enjoyed our last Thai meal of the trip! Of course it had to be curry ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ›๐Ÿด

After a great few weeks spent in the North of Thailand we were ready to venture onto our next place.. but where will it be? Check out my next blog to see what we have been upto! I have a feeling we’re going to get some magical pictures and even better memories to treasure!

Paige ๐Ÿ’—

Luang Prabang – Laos. Another amazing stop ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ’ฆ

The journey from Vang Vieng was a lovely short 4 hours minibus ride, but it was on the worst road ever! Very sharp corners, windey and bumpy! I was warned the road was bad so made sure I took my anti sickness tablets, wore my pressure band and stocked up on the plastic bags, How I wasn’t sick I don’t know! ๐Ÿ˜ท Kye was worried I was going to get whiplash as I fell asleep and my head/neck was bobbling around everywhere!

Even though the road was terrible the scenery was beautiful, so green and fresh. We arrived early afternoon and the midday sun was out, and burning! We headed to the Utopia bar which is on the river. It was a lovely chilled bar by day and apparently the party place at night time. We stayed for a few hours before the mosquitoes came out to play! Around 5-6pm every night, on the Main Street the night market opens and oh my! It’s a bloody amazing market! Full of lots of delicious food and lots of tourist goodies! I bought a magnet for mum, a very colourful bag for myself, a beautiful lantern and of course a badge to add onto the travel bag! ๐Ÿ˜ Our first meal at the night market consisted of a bowl of vegetarian food which you could pile and pile until you physically couldn’t pile anymore! It was delicious and for sure I couldn’t finish it! Most shocking thing is it only cost ยฃ1.50, what a bargain! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿด We had opted to stay in a 4 bed dorm as on our second day the famous ‘Jess is a Wanderer’ was joining the adventure! We’ve only known our good friend Jess for just over a year but we’ve had such a wonderful time together! This would be our third meeting, in our third country in our third continent pretty impressive right! ๐Ÿ˜‰ After a very shift time of travelling Jess had arrived with a quick catch up we jumped straight into a Tuk Tuk and headed straight to Kuang Si Waterfalls! This was Jess’s first time swimming in a waterfall so for sure we made the most of it with many photo opportunities! For some reason I was the only person being nibbled by the fish! ๐ŸŸ Kuang Si waterfall has been the most beautiful and eye opening waterfall I have ever set my eyes on! If you ever get the chance you should 100% visit I was not at all disappointed!

Again we visited the night market with Jess in tow this time and showed her all the goods! Swiftly after getting home I some how got the shits and sickness bug again ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ˜ท this consisted of me not getting much sleep, climbing down to the bottom bunk to cuddle Kye for comfort lol and forgetting I had the shits finally drifting off and farting to then shit my pants and be in the shower at early hours of the morning! This trip has completely ruined my belly and even being slightly ladylike lol! At this point I’m now used to it and laugh it off ๐Ÿ˜‚ it makes for one of the better stories I guess!

On our second day with Jess we headed off to the less known Waterfalls called Tad Sai, we had to grab a Tuk Tuk then catch a little boat across the river to the national park. Sadly they have monkeys in cages here which are very obviously distressed and elephant riding ๐Ÿ˜ข it was heartbreaking to witness! Here there are 3 waterfalls, all a bit of a climb so you have to be fit but a positive they were a lot less touristy! I managed waterfall 1 & 2 before feeling unwell, but proud of myself for battling the shits and sickness! So Kye and Jess powered through to visit waterfall 3! In this trip I also needed to poo so had to go into the bushes, but being nervous I couldn’t, although an unlucky girl seen my bare white ass through the bushes ๐Ÿ˜‚

We headed back to the hostel were I had a nap attempted to feel better, this day I ate baguette for breakfast, lunch and dinner to attempt to stodge my stomach. Being woken up by Jess and Kye with my next plain baguette ๐Ÿ™„ and a lovely surprise of a Elephant sanctuary called Mandalao which do not believe in riding, chains, hooks etc.

This I was super excited for and was totally worth the ยฃ75! After enjoying my baguette we headed to the night market again where Jess gave Kye a photography lesson and for sure he got some great snaps! ๐Ÿ“ธ

Me and Jess had set an early alarm of 5am to join in with The Alms ceremony, which happens in Luang Prabang every morning 5:30-6:15. This is when the monks walk around the streets and locals and tourists supply them with food. Locals sit along the streets with buckets of rice and snacks and when the monks pass they place the goods inside there baskets. Me and Jess bought our treats and were ready to join in for this great religious ceremony, but to our surprise lots of tourists were pushing their cameras in the monks faces and trying to get selfies with them, they had completely ruined the simpleness of this beautiful ceremony. I gave the monks my food and swiftly left to the morning market. Me and Jess were in complete shock of how rude some of these tourists were, it was then topped off by a Chinese man shoving his camera in our faces trying to get a photo of us, this is when jess had enough and shouted no and put her hand infront the camera, when the man quickly laughed and apologised!

Kye had now got the shits so stayed in bed whilst me and Jess took part in a yoga class as Utopia bar, we weren’t very flexible compaired to others but we enjoyed ourselves and had a laugh! Whilst waiting for Kye to awake me and Jess had some down time looking through photos, planning our trips and FaceTiming my sister at home.

Me and Jess felt like we had a very productive day, so we made Kye join for an hour foot massage. Very relaxing ready for our little climb up Phousi hill for sunset. It only took around 20 minutes but once we were up there it was rammed with tourists so we quickly got some snaps and made a swift exit back down. We enjoyed the night market again, Kye and an early night ready for our elephant visit tomorrow and I made Jess stay awake with me until midnight so I could FaceTime my grandad. It was lovely to see and hear from him after nearly 4 months, it was definitely worth waiting up for.

The day had finally arrived for trip to The Elephant Sanctuary. I was overly excited and this was something I had planned to do at the start of the trip. We arrived at Mandalao and had a short talk to a gentlemen who started the first cruelty free elephant sanctuary in Chiangmai which he started 27 years ago!

He had great knowledge on these beautiful animals and it felt amazing giving our money to a company who actually care and look after these animals. We started by booting up in some watershoes and headed over the river on a little boat to meet the elephants and bathe them in the river and feed them multiple bananas. ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒ

they are so fast my little hands couldn’t keep up! It was a laugh and they were sneakily trying to eat more from the basket.

We then bathed them and our elephant took the biggest poo, Kye caught a very good photo of it to! We then walked through the jungle alongside the elephants, were they could do what they pleased and it was so natural. We caught some snaps of them, and even got to smooth and kiss them when saying our goodbyes! These animals are so huge yet so gentle, it is such a shame that people still ride these poor animals, hopefully in years the publicity will open people’s eyes to enjoying these animals in their natural habitat rather then riding them in a tourist area for fun! I am just so thankful we visited a sanctuary which didn’t use the elephants for work or riding and no using of hooks/whips as discipline.

What a cute photo โฌ‡๏ธ

After walking back through the jungle and catching our boat back across we enjoyed our lunch and chilled on the sun deck just chatting shit with Jess and cuddling the dog called Panda who was super happy and cute!

Me and Jess the previous night bought handmade Christmas cards for our loved ones at home so headed to the post office to send these badboys off! There was nobody to be seen in the post office so me and Jess started singing ‘hello, is anybody there?’ In as many different voices as we could! ๐Ÿ˜‚ before a little local boy shouted and pointed at us another direction of where we should have been! He clearly didn’t appreciate our singing ๐Ÿ˜‚ we then had a chilled evening of many beers, Jess being a pissed up mess and indulging in the delicious cake at the night market ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ˜

On our 6th day sadly Jess is a Wanderer left us to travel the world again so we had a massive chill day, got our shit together (booked our flight home) like holy shit its official we are going home ๐Ÿ˜ฑ then went to the night market and sewed my Laos badge onto my backpack which is looking pretty cool now! When jess was pissed up she met another girl at our hostel called Kathryn, she was so lovely and travelling solo! So on my 7th day Kye stayed in bed ill so I headed off out to explore with Kathryn. We walked across the bamboo bridge, which gets taken down every rainy season and re-built! Cmon that’s pretty hard work and impressive! I also tried my first smoothie bowl which was delicious ๐Ÿ˜ hoping to get some more in Indonesia!! I also booked us a night sleeper bus to Chiangmai for ยฃ37! It should have taken 24hrs but you’ll find out how that trip went next..

The day had come we were leaving Laos after an amazing two weeks! Heading to Chiangmai for our next adventure! With our bus leaving at 6pm, we had a chilled day ready for this travel! We got picked up and dropped to the bus station, then a vehicle which looked like a large golf buggy picked us up and took us to some sketchy looking bus station, which we then didn’t leave until 7pm, an hour late already! We had made it to midnight then broke down 3 times!!! Not once but three! The driver then tried to get us onto an already full sleeper bus which meant we had to sit in aisle on rice bags, all the westerners declined! We then got back onto our bus until our driver flagged down another bus. This one being a local sleeper bus, with space thankfully not comfortable but space!

We then finally arrived in Borkeo at 11am, which is close to the boarder. After asking many staff where we needed to go or when our bus will be turning up, a random lady pulled up in a car and gave us all stickers and we just had to trust in her that our pick ip would be coming! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ unfortunately we all then had to wait until 4pm for a Tuk Tuk to take us to the boarder as they only run at 8am or 4pm! So 5 hours wait in a bus station which wasn’t really a bus station.. great! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป thankfully our Tuk Tuk arrived just before 4pm and took us to the Laos boarder where we then had to pay ยฃ1 to get out LOL!

By this point we are all exhausted and had really had enough! I had three up twice and was ready to give up! We then had a bus to the Thai boarder where we got stamped through very quickly and then had to wait for our mini bus! Another 5 hours on this bus and we had finally arrived in Chiangmai, it’s only took us grand total of 30 HOURS!๐Ÿค” Without this dreadful bus journey, Laos has been hands down the best place yet! Lots to do and see, beautiful scenery, super cheap, delicious western food and just such a great laugh! If you haven’t visited you should all put this on your places to visit list, it’s a must see!๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒโœˆ๏ธ

Here’s a few more snaps of the beautiful elephants we met whilst at the Mandalao sanctuary, it was a truly magical day which has left me with the perfect memories to treasure forever ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’—

Fighting the weight demons whilst travelling..

So weight for me has always been a big problem, I’ve always been ‘The Big Friend’ put me against all my friends and I’m always the ‘chubby’ one.

I have battled with my weight since being a young teen, got depressed and upset most days. So in 2015 I finally bit the bullet and joined slimming world at my heaviest weight of 13 stone 4.5lbs. I cannot believe I ever let myself get that big!

I was so tired of being the fat one, not being the confident attractive one that any boys would ever glance at. All my friends are stunning and have the perfect bodies, why would anyone second glance at me right?

The slimming world plan worked so well for me, meaning I could eat so much and still lose weight! I completely fell in love with this diet! I successfully lost 3 stone and some lbs. I left for travelling weighing 10 stone 5lbs, after indulging in goodbye meals. I wasn’t completely happy with my body but it was a lot better then my original body.

I cannot believe I once thought I was fat here! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Everybody told me I would lose weight travelling, all the exercise, the heat and most of all the upset stomach. But I’m nearly 4 months in and I’ve gained a tonne of weight. I’ve thought about my body and weight everyday out here. It’s impossible to stick to the slimming world plan as everything is cooked in Oil and I have no weighing scales/jugs.

Don’t get me wrong we have walked miles some days, visited the gym mostly 3 times a week, hiked and much more then I would do at home sat at my desk. But obviously the food is more important then the exercise. The food out here is so cheap and really delicious so it’s hard to portion control! I’ve upped my water intake to try control the food portions, but I’m really struggling.

I’ve spoken to many people at home at people we have met travelling all telling me just enjoy the experience and worry about your weight when you get home. This is so easily said, but for someone like me I worry daily about this! Don’t get me wrong I’ve indulged in a lot of food out here so I won’t go home thinking ‘what if’ but it’s also made me down about the weight gain!

Today I hit a massive wall, when I showed my boyfriend my original fat photo and he thought I took it today. This gave me the kick up the bum I needed, I’ve been trying to be good but failing miserably when I see something yummy!<<<<

My before photos are the ones in black undies and today in the purple!

At home I stick to my diet religiously but out here I’m really struggling! I know when I go home il be straight back on it, but it makes me sad knowing it took me 2 years of commitment to become slightly happy with my body, and in 4 months I’m nearly back to where I started! ๐Ÿ˜ข

As of today it’s lots of fruit, water and exercise for me, in an attempt to lose some of this weight before I get home! As in my mind all I’m thinking is how much people will judge me, thinking she left small and came back fat! I know this probably isn’t he case but this is what I have stuck in my head.

Being on this amazing journey and trying lots of delicious food, I haven’t let me weight get in the way until now. Being on the boat trips, seeing all the girls with the ‘perfect beach body’ and me hiding behind my towel super conscious of what people are thinking of me.

Kye always tells me he fancies/loves me for who I am and i appreciate that, but the weight is something I am doing for me and nobody else. Even if Kye finds me perfect, I wont stop until I’m happy.

Overall I have nobody to blame except myself, I know better and should act better with my food. Here’s to being positive and not letting the weight demon ruin my travels.

Here’s to enjoying the 2 months I have left of my trip, enjoying new food but not over indulging and trying to become happy with myself and body again.

โ˜ฎ๏ธ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

Vang Vieng – Laos ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿžโ˜€๏ธ

Our first two days in Laos were actually spent in Vientiane but oh my what a pile of poo! So I’m not going to spend anytime talking about my experience there! The only interesting thing me and Kye saw was the Mekong River which separates Thailand from Laos! It was very weird to see Thailand so close!!

After two not very great days, we were beginning to think was Laos a mistake?! But oh my it was not!!

We arrived in Vang Vieng after a 4 hour bus ride from shitty Vientiane. We checked into a really cool hostel called Pans Place, where we stayed in a garden bungalow very basic; beds, lights, power socket and fan. It was perfect we spent hardly any time on our phones and enjoyed everything around us! We also couldn’t complain as it was only ยฃ3.80 a night! We had arranged 3 days which soon extended to 5 then 7, we honestly loved it that much! There is so much to do and see, don’t get me wrong the tours are very pricey but if you’re brave enough to rent bikes or mopeds you will save a tonne load of money! = Happy Backpackers!!

Our first day we arrived around 1pm, we were meeting Mike the guy we met in Halong Bay for a piss up whilst doing the famous ‘tubing!’. So we hopped into a Tuk Tuk, rented our tubes and got straight into the freezing cold water! We totally missed the first bar as the current was so quick and there was no rope to grab so we obviously floating on down to the second! (We didn’t realise the water wasn’t that deep and we could have jumped out!) we managed to stop and paddle our way to the second bar, where there was some charts music loudly playing and lots of pissed backpackers! We had 3-4 beers each and just enjoyed the atmosphere, the scenery was beautiful! Backpackers dancing on the pool table, playing football, balloons and oh so much more!

As we were the most sober people there we hopped back into our rings and floated down further, time was quickly passing and for sure the sun was very fastly disappearing to! Before we knew it, it was pitch black we couldn’t see a thing and we were still floating down this bloody river! Scary much! Luckily we had formed a group of 12 with the drunk backpackers so for sure this made it much more fun! We had totally lost Mike and we’re calling his name for what felt like forever, 30 minutes had passed and somehow Mike had appeared! Hallelujah! ๐Ÿ˜… we had many obstacles in the way such as trees and rocks which of course we all hit our asses and backs on, so painful! We were getting torches pointed at us asking for Tuk Tuks where of course they would rip you off, so we opted to stay in our tubes and carry on floating!

We finally found the finish line, god knows how but we did! I lost my flip flop (very pissed!) ๐Ÿ˜ฅ but we made it out the river and returned our tubes in time to get our deposit back! Just an FYI it’s 50,000 Kip for tubing and 60,000 to the tube which you get back if you return the tube by 8pm. 11,000 Kip is roughly ยฃ1.

Me, Kye and Mike sat down in a restaurant and had some food, when a bar next door was advertising free beer and whisky from 10-11pm, surely there is a catch here right? I headed back to our garden bungalow to get my head down but Kye and Mike chose the free Whisky and beer which for sure was completely free with no catch, which meant Kye came back pissed right up ๐Ÿ˜‚

Luckily most of our time in Vang Vieng we had blistering hot sun, with one evening of pouring rain. So of course we made the most of the lovely weather, we rented pushbikes from our hostel for ยฃ3 a day and headed straight out to Blue Lagoon 1! This was a 15km bike ride for there and back, the views were absolutely beautiful and was a lovely trip so the 15km didn’t seem difficult! Don’t get me wrong we had to swerve to avoid the cows and locals speeding past, but the journey was very enjoyable! Hot air balloon rides are very cheap here only $90 so we seen lots of beautiful balloons in the sky to! Before arriving at Blue Lagoon 1 we stopped at a volunteers restaurant, where local people are employed to improve their education and tourists volunteer to keep the business running, you can volunteer here as long as you have 2 weeks plus available! We had finally arrived at Blue Lagoon 1, ยฃ1 entry fee absolutely full of Koreans but oh what a laugh! Trees to jump from, rope swings, slides and just lots and lots of fun! I only managed to jump from the lower part of the tree but Kye was Billy big balls and jumped from both! After a quick dip to enjoy the lagoon we dried off and hiked 200m to the cave above. Which is 500m deep and you need a torch to enter as it goes pitch black, we only made it as far as the golden Buddha as the cave was so slippy I didn’t want to fall and break a leg so early on ๐Ÿ˜‚

Our evening was spent chilling in the hostel eating their delicious massive portions of food and making the most of the movie room! We managed 3 whole nights of films before someone else got there first ๐Ÿ˜‚

Our third day in Vang Vieng was spent visiting the gym to burn those calories, then we rented a moped and drove to Blue Lagoon 2. This road was not great, very bumpy and not good for your nether regions, especially after our cycle ride our asses were very sore ๐Ÿ˜‚ Blue Lagoon 2 isn’t very well known so this meant it was a lot less touristy. This lagoon had again trees to jump from, a rope swing and rafts! The views here were absolutely breathtaking and we easily spent a few hours here enjoying ourselves! We met a lovely family of 5 who were staying at our hostel who were travelling for 1 year to many cool destinations, it took the parents 6 years to save and they were a pretty cool family! We hiked our first viewpoint in Laos and it was so beautiful and worth the rock climb at the top! We had the whole view to ourselves and it only costs ยฃ1. I would definitely recommend it, it took me roughly 30 minutes to reach the top. It was called Nam Xay top view but I’m sure any viewpoint around this area would be delightful! Everything here is so cheap, we are saving so much money! We were loving The Blue Lagoons, so of course we visited 3 too! This lagoon is manmade and very ideal for tourists. A zipwire, rafts, tubes and ropeswing! So much fun ๐Ÿ˜ I shit myself for the first rope swing I over thought it but managed to throw myself in after a second attempt. The road to get to Blue Lagoon 3 is also very bad, so hold on for dear life!! But trust me it’s worth the ride. Whilst at The Lagoon we witnessed our first double rainbow, it was so beautiful๐ŸŒˆ but you cannot see the second in the photo ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐ŸผAfter the lagoon we headed to the village where apparently there is a waterfall, don’t get me wrong we could hear the blood thing but couldn’t see it for the life of us! We got back to our hostel but not before travelling back down the shitty road and watching a local drag a snake from a bush and literally whip it on the floor until it was dead then wrapped it in leaves ready for tonight’s dinner!

We got back to the hostel and the very helpful staff informed us that the waterfall is one that goes under a cave so we wouldn’t have been able to see it! What a waste of time ๐Ÿ˜‚

On our 5th day we decided to treat ourselves to a chilled day, this consisted of a visit to the gym, chilling time in the garden chill area at the hostel which was pretty cool, indulging in an Indian meal and watching The Accountant in the movie room! The perfect relaxing day! As you guys may have gathered i โ™ฅ๏ธ a viewpoint and waterfall! We found out there was another waterfall we could visit which wasn’t too far away. We rented another moped and started searching! This one wasn’t very well sign posted so we relied on locals directions and understanding of English ๐Ÿ˜‚ we made it! Again only ยฃ1 to enter, and only roughly a 450m hike, perfect! This waterfall isn’t very well known so not many tourists come here so it was lovely to see the locals enjoying it!๐Ÿ’ฆ we posed for some photos in front the beautiful waterfall aswell as posing for some photos with the locals. This bad boy was so powerful I struggled to stand for the perfect photo, Kye found this hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜‚ We spent the rest of our day chilling at The smile bar, down by the river which was recommended to us by the staff at the hostel. This is the bar where tubing should end, but the water is so fast many people float past and end up walking back up the riverbank 10 minutes later.

On our final day in Vang Vieng we visited the gym one last time, chilled in the hostels garden chill area and socialised with the other backpackers.We met a lovely couple from Australia called Brit and Jake ๐Ÿ‘ซ we shared stories of our travels and even went out for some free whisky at Sakura bar!

You really do meet the best people when travelling! You can share your travels, places to visit and recommend places to stay, all these little things are so helpful and seeing as me and Kye don’t book anything in advance this is super helpful for us!

Our first experience of Laos has been truly amazing! Our next stop is Luang Prabang where we meet up with the one and only Jess is a Wanderer, the traveller with the crazy hair! โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒ this is our third meeting, in our third country in our third continent! How impressive aye ๐Ÿ˜‰ let’s see if this amazing adventure continues..

Hoi An โœจ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒˆ

We jumped onto our morning bus to Hoi An from Hue, to our luck it was a really clean sleeper bus! So comfortable and probably one of the best travel we’ve had. What a great start to the day!

Me enjoying the sleeper bus ๐ŸšŒ

We arrived in Hoi An around 1pm where we got ambushed by Tuk Tuk drivers offering to take our bags and rip us off with their ridiculous prices! I don’t think so!! We checked into the Jade Hotel Hoi An which was recommended to us by Nick and Matt our friends we met whilst travelling. What a great recommendation, free buffet breakfast, swimming pool, 10 minute walk to town it was perfect and the bed was bloody huge!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

When we arrived the staff were so helpful, taking our bags, offering us places to visit and giving us free fresh fruit and juice! Winner winner! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป 

Our first evening we spent just chilling In a  local restaurant 1 minutes walk away which I found on Tripadvisor. This was not a mistake, easily the best food we had ever tasted ๐Ÿ˜ It’s called The Claypot, a little family run this restaurant and cook everything from fresh, Trang the lady visits the local market daily to buy fresh products, on our first evening we tried a pork hotpot and BBQ beef. Both delicious and massive portions, the food takes around 20 minutes to come out but it is so worth it! You can taste how fresh the ingredients are! Absolutely Devine, so great that we ate here for atleast one meal each day! ๐Ÿ˜

Our second day in Hoi An was spent visiting the gym getting our sweat on ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ฆ followed by 50 metres done by me in the pool at our hotel whilst Kye stood and stretched lol! We spent our evening visiting the night market and ancient town, it was so beautiful! Lanterns on every street, romantic music playing, many stalls selling tourist gifts, food and much more! This place really is something special โœจ

To beautiful to not post ๐Ÿ˜

 I even bought a tiny lantern from a local lady for 30p which I placed into the river myself and watched it flow away with all the others, so beautiful! 

Me placing my pretty little lantern into the river โœจ

Many local women sell fruit, nuts and other goodies on the streets they carry these goods balanced on their shoulders, so of course we wanted a go! For a small price of some bananas! ๐ŸŒ 

Kye showing off his muscles ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

Whilst wandering around the centre a lady approached us and said come visit my shop. Vietnam is very well known for tailoring cheap clothes, most of these items were absolutely beautiful! But after all we are scummy backpackers, so we politely visited her shop and declined any shopping even after she tapped my stomach and laughed as in to say you a fat cow! I had to laugh or I probably would have cried ๐Ÿ˜‚

On our way back from our first successful night in Hoi An we came across a very frighten tiny kitten, no older then 3 weeks at a guess! He was sat right next a to a busy main road, so of course me and Kye snuggled him into our arms and tried to find a solution! Kye’s was let’s take him back to our hotel (bad move if it shits everywhere!) ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ’ฉ so we chose to take it round to Trang at The Claypot restaurant we love and see if she could help us find our adopted kitten Carlos a home! She told us there is cat cafe but it’s closed now but we could leave him with her for the night. What a lovely lady! Kye barely slept a wink that night worrying about him, bless him! 

Kye and our adopted kitten Carlos ๐Ÿฑ

Our third day was spent with the ever so lovely Trang from The Claypot doing a cooking class. What are great day! We cannot wait to come home and cook for our friends and family now, the food is so delicious! The night before we chose the dishes we wanted to cook. These were;

  • Chicken curry
  • Pork Claypot
  • Pork Hotpot
  • Vegetable soup

Our Pork Hotpot, Pork Claypot & Chicken Curry we made ๐Ÿด๐Ÿ˜‹

We started our day at the local market, where Trang showed us around and told us about the ingredients we would be using and naming some of the funny fruits we had never seen before! This was a great experience as we would never normally visit a local market but the tourist ones! Plus it was lots cheaper too! 
Trang buying us some unusual local fruits to try!

We spent from 8:30am-2pm learning and cooking our favourites dishes from her menu and they didn’t dissapoint! Carlos also didn’t forget about us and was following us everywhere throughout the day! 
Me, Kye and Trang after completing our cooking class ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿด๐Ÿฅ„
Trang is a truly lovely lady, fed us well everyday, taught us lots about Hoi An and things to do, introduced us to her local family and most of all rehomed Carlos the kitten as she had fallen in love with him! Truly the happily ever after we wanted! ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ’—

Trang built her restaurant herself, came up with all the recipes and even lives there witt her family in a back room. She’s been open for around 7 months and has amazing reviews on Tripadvisor so it’s definitely worth a try! She also had amazing English which is a massive bonus when trying to learn how to cook! She is very eager to learn, help and make everyone happy! She is an all round amazing lady! 

Our fourth and final full day started with a  visit to the gym, we also visited the ancitent beautiful town one more time before we left. Unfortunately it was a complete wash out, the storm had hit and mostly all the centre was flooded! Trang had suggested a local shop that isn’t very touristy that serves the famous Vietnamese baguettes that everyone knows about. Kye bought two  for 40p, what a bargain! For the 100th time he told me this is the best meal I’ve her had! ๐Ÿ˜‚ the shop is called Madam Khans if you wanted to pay a visit! 

Kye being a piggy as per usual with his two baguettes for 40p! ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฅ–

We had to order a taxi back to our hotel as the weather had gotten so bad, we were drenched and I was freezing! We stopped off just one more time in The Claypot to say our final goodbyes to Trang and her lovely family. Also Carlos who had become best friends with Tranga dog LuLu. 

Carlos and LuLu sleeping side by side ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿถ

The morning had come for our flight to Laos. We had our last delicious buffet breakfast and ordered a taxi for our next journey. Hoping that our plane would take off because of this dreadful weather. Find out if we made it safely to Laos in my next blog ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ฆโœˆ๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

The beautifulest sunset I’ve ever seen ๐Ÿ˜

Paige xx

Vietnam, 1st Hanoi! ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณโœˆ๏ธ 2nd Halong Bay ๐Ÿ›ณ๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿ—บ 3rd Hue โ˜”๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ›

Our first stop in was to Hanoi, the bustling capitol of Vietnam! On our first full day we walked into the centre/old quarter with someone not being run over by mopeds, how we managed this I do not know! Mopeds are everywhere!! ๐Ÿ›ต

The Old Quarter consists of lots of coffee shops, street restaurants and tourist shops. My mum has requested I buy a fridge magnet for every country we visit and for sure Vietnam has the best one so far! ๐Ÿ˜

In the same day we visited the famous central lake which has a temple in the middle which you get to by crossing a red bridge. I didn’t wear long trousers so had to borrow a dress, which really wasn’t flattering! The famous story to this lake is that the king had his sword stollen by a pig nose turtle who swam to the bottom of the lake with the kings sword, this was then later played out in a water puppet show we had  attended. It was roughly ยฃ3 and lasted 45 minutes, it was an interesting experience! 

The water puppet show, definitely worth a watch!

Whilst walking around the centre a lady forced a mini doughnut from her basket in my face and told me ‘free, try try!’ So I began to walk away and share it with Kye when she chases me with a bag and tells me I have to buy them! Don’t get me wrong they were delicious, but what a cheeky cow ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿฉ

We found a little restaurant which looked very dirty and not somewhere you would want to walk into but it was super busy and in the street food area of the centre. So we gave it ago! This wasn’t a mistake, the food was delicious and so cheap! We both had a pork roll and Kye ordered an extra hot plate with chicken and potatos. The rolls were 80p, such a bargain! Vietnam is so cheap for food! ๐Ÿ˜

On our second day we had a lovely 6:30am alarm clock ready for our day trip to Ninh Binh Tam Coc! Firstly we visited two temples belonging to the royal family, the king had died so it meant the one of the sons took the throne, the Middle aged son was known as the smartest so he was crowned king. The eldest son didn’t like this and was very jealous so killed his brother, the chef who catered for the family didn’t like the older brother so poisoned him and killed him, which then meant the queen had to re-marry to find a new king as the youngest son was only 8 and not old enough to take the throne.

The beautiful entrance to the temples

After the temples we visited the lake where the locals paddle you down using their feet! The scenery was beautiful and we seen many animals on the way goats, kittens, birds and pigs!! The boat ride included going past a cemetery, going under caves and even visiting boats at one end of the lake for refreshments (which are pretty much forced upon you!) 

Me, Kye and our boat lady using her feet to paddle us!

It was a pretty long day we didn’t get back to our hotel until 8pm-9pm it includes a 5 hour bus journey for there and back, walking around the temples, cycling (optional) boat ride and buffet lunch! 

On our 3rd we had a pretty chilled one we booked a tour to Halong Bay and visited Lotte Financial Tower. It’s a hotel which has a bar/restaurant on the 65th floor where you can see a tremendous view of Hanoi! It was a little foggy when we visited so we didn’t get the best photos, we also didn’t eat or drink there as it was way out our price range!

We had another delightful 6am alarm clock this time ready for our three day trip to Halong Bay and Cat Ba island! We caught a bus for 5 hours to the port of Halong Bay, where we then changed into a little boat to get the the cruise boat. The cruise boat was very simple but we were only staying on here for one night so we weren’t to worried. We spent our afternoon visiting Sung Sot Cave where our tour guide Kevin was pointing our animal shapes in the cave along with a penis shaped rock (which the whole group enjoyed!) ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

A cute little ๐Ÿ’— in the cave wall
Just one of the many views of Halong Bay

We also visited Titop island for an hour where you could swim or hike (we did neither as the jellyfish were huge and the queue for the viewpoint was unreal!) instead we chilled and got some pretty cool photos! 

My photo of the day. The sun setting ๐ŸŒ„
 

Just a message to anyone thinking about doing this tour, the food and activities are all included in the price. The food is mostly fish ๐Ÿ˜ท which was you either eat or go hungry! So I tried crab, squid, red snapper and many more! I can still say I am not a fan! It’s also a very strict schedule and it feels like you are back at school, but overall it’s a great trip and you meet amazing people! 

Our second day we were awake and eating breakfast at 7pm, right on schedule! We then visited the Pearl Farm where we learnt the process of how Pearls are grown and how to find the perfect and imperfect pearls. It was generally quite interesting! 

Urbana chose an imperfect pearl!

We then enjoyed 30 minutes of Kayaking around the beautiful Halong Bay! Me and Kye teamed up and headed straight to the rocks to get some cool snaps whilst trying to pick huge jellyfish up with our paddles! 

Putting our skills to use in the kayak!

Shorty after this we visited Monkey Island where you could either trek to the viewpoint or enjoy the sea. The sea was beautifully blue and clear! The viewpoint was a no go for us as we didn’t have the correct footwear for the climb (gutted I love a viewpoint) ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ so we opted to chill and get to know others on our trip. Whilst doing so lots of monkeys appeared, I have learnt to stay away after watching many people being bitten or scratched, so scary! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Apparently on this island the monkeys attack the the children as they are an easier target this being said a little boy was sat next to a little monkey when it scratches him on the back, he was screaming for around 10 minutes his dad rubbing his back and bought him a snickers bar! The boy had finally settled when the bloody monkeys appear again and steal his snickers bar right out his hand! So mean but so funny ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ’๐Ÿซ

Kye enjoying the beautiful water at Monkey Beach

After a great day of adventures we caught the boat to Cat Ba island, where we stayed in a hotel for one night. We checked in and finally had some free time away from the plan lol! Kye set off to the beach to meet with Roi and Urbana two people from our boat trip to do some Krav Maga. Which meant I had some free time to catch up with friends and family on FaceTime yaya! ๐Ÿ’— after our free time came dinner time and lots and lots of alcohol. Our program leader on the boat suggested we visited a certain bar, so we did! Happy hour all night, cocktails ยฃ1.75, 9:30pm free balloons, beer pong(I swear the more I drank i got better!), pool and never have I ever kept us here until 2am, I think? Lol! It was a really cool bar writing all over the furniture and walls from visitors in tipex. It was very busy with tourists and super cheap!
Some people from our boat โ›ด
I was pretty smashed rapping and dancing to Eminem in front of he whole bar, everyone else seemed pretty pissed to especially Kye (seeing as he fell off a stool backwards) ๐Ÿ˜‚ here they don’t serve McDonald’s 24 hours so our sober us up food was chicken Pho! Let me tell you now this shit did not sober us up! Instead we use the chopsticks to become otters haha!! ๐Ÿ™ˆ we then went on a hunt for Oreos but instead found crepes full with Nutella and banana, most of the ingredients ended up all over mine and Urbanas face! With what felt was seconds my alarm was going off! For once in my life I generally woke up still feeling drunk ๐Ÿ˜ท
The only way I know how to use chopsticks!
My attempt at breakfast was a few pieces of bread and watermelon. We had met some local Vietnamese men who were casually drinking rice wine with breakfast, they poured some for the boys, I couldn’t stomach it. We couldn’t understand eachother but one of the Vietnamese men used his finger to make a boner and laugh, so we guessed the rice wine makes you horny ๐Ÿ˜‚ swiftly after we caught a little minibus to the boat where we learnt how to make spring rolls pretty simple and very tasty then enjoyed our last lunch together as a group. I made sure I was first to practice the spring rolls as I wanted to return to the table and chill my mind couldn’t cope with much concentrating thanks to all the cocktails from the night before. We arrived at the dock and jumped onto another coach for 4.5 hours returning to Hanoi. We were staying here for one night before flying to Hue. Kye hadn’t booked us any accommodation so Roi one of the men on our trip insisted we stayed with him at the Hilton. Roi was part of the special forces team in Israel and he was in Vietnam training a team. Kye learnt a lot from Roi in regards to self defence and he came was a truly lovely, helpful guy! So we jumped at the chance of a free night stay in Hilton hotel! 
Roi took this as a mission and gave us demands on when we should enter what we should do and timings. He took our big travel bags in and made the workers at the hotel wheel them to the room whilst he videoed haha! Me and Kye entered the lobby and I clocked Roi in the reception area, we made it to the lift and he said I was a pro but Kye gave us away by moving his head around so much looking suspicious. We arrived in the room and noticed there was only one double bed, this wasn’t a problem for Roi. He made me a makeshift bed on the floor and it was perfect! So comfortable! Even though he insisted he slept on the floor, but I refused I couldn’t wait to sleep on this bed it looked perfect for me the hungover mess! 
My lovely makeshift bed ๐Ÿ›
Roi invited us to join him in the business lounge where we enjoyed lots of delicious free food! So smug I know haha! Later on in the evening we met up with Mike and Urbana two others from the boat and went for food. The main roads around the lake are shut off to all vehicles on the weekends which allows everyone to walk in the road . This felt like heaven as Mopeds are everywhere otherwise! Absolute ciaos! This also created a really good vibe, it seemed like a mini carnival street food/drink, street acts, souvenirs being sold on the street it was pretty cool! 
The main centre on the weekend without traffic, absolute bliss!
After a very long day of being hungover it was time to say our goodbye to some more great people we have met on our journey! Travelling opens your eyes a lot to everything! meeting new people is not a problem and everyone is so friendly and you some how gain so much trust for someone you barely even know, it’s crazy! But somehow it just works! 
I was not wrong my makeshift bed was amazing I fell asleep very promptly! Morning had come and it was time to fly to Hue, we tried to make a quiet exit without waking Roi but we did leave a note of our thanks for letting us gatecrash his room! 

We had arrived in Hue and we were staying at the Sunshine Hostel, ยฃ4 a night and breakfast included, great location next to all the tour operators and many restaurants. We had arrived and it was pouring with rain, so we headed out for some food at Zucca restaurant, bloody delicious food and cheap to! Then had a chilled night watching films. 

Our only full day we spent visiting the imperial tomb of Dong Khanh, the Citadel and Pagoda. The tomb was mine and Kye’s favourite, the inside was absolutely beautiful, lots of gold and mosaic. You first walk in and there are three big staircases under a frame, great photo opportunity! Followed by statues of animals and people, then followed the tomb. The Pagoda was also impressive to the eye, very busy here with tourists but definitely worth a visit! The citadel grounds are absolutely massive you could spend hours there although me and Kye only spent 1 hour, that was enough for us! 

The front of the Pagoda

Kye climbing to the steps to the Tomb!
The very beautiful tomb of Emperor Minh Mang
We took a visit to the gym where I used the Prowler for the first time! My oh my that shit is hard! ๐Ÿ˜‚ followed by a lovely meal at Zucca restaurant again, this time we got free bruschetta, passionfruit and wine! Me and Kye both tried a Hue special grilled pork, peanut sauce, pickled vegatbles and noodles, delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹

We didn’t spend much time in Hue, but the time seemed about right for us, one thing we didn’t visit and it does look pretty cool is the closed waterpark, it looks very spooky and photos look great so that maybe worth a visit! 

Our next and last stop in Vietnam was Hoi An, everybody we have met that has been there has raved how good it is! We had seen photos and it looked beautiful, the locals say it’s very romantic so let’s see what it’s all about in my next blog..

Paige xxx