Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Baby

Merry Christmas from Congleton in England.

Thinking particularly of those precious people absent this year.

With much love,


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Kim and I were so excited to return to Saigon after our earlier trip to Vietnam and we had some very particular places we wanted to go. I love the chaos of Saigon, however you have to be very careful with your belongings there!

We stayed at the Saigon Backpackers Hostel, definitely recommended for its clean rooms, comfy beds and included breakfast.
Awesome wallpaper at Saigon Backpackers Hostel...

Chilling in Phnom Penh

As we travelled through South East Asia and particularly Cambodia, most people told us that Phnom Penh was the kind of place you only need one or two days for. We ended up having an unscheduled (like our whole trip I guess??) 5 days there. And we loved it!

Kim exploring the city

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Siem Reap - The friends you meet

After a rather long boat and bus journey from the 4000 Islands we made it to Cambodia and our first destination, Siem Reap. We had been recommended a hostel called the Mad Monkey, so we booked it a few days earlier (yes, actual planning in advance!) and it turned out to be the most amazing decision!

I always think the best part about travelling is not the things you do and see, but the people that you meet doing them, and Siem Reap proved this tenfold.

What is the most important thing? It is people! It is people! It is people!

Monday, November 26, 2012

First world problems

I keep coming back to this hilarious cartoon whilst travelling.

Life is bliss at the moment, everyday is a mystery and I feel blessed to be meeting the people and experiencing the amazing things we have been doing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4000 reasons to visit the 4000 Islands

We left Vang Vieng at around 1pm for our trip to the 4000 Islands. We took a small bus, a sleeper bus, another small bus and a boat to get here. We were tired when we pulled up here yesterday at midday but happy to be on this little island paradise, Don Det.

I absolutely love it here on this peaceful island. I can't even begin to explain the beauty that surrounds the island. The clear water, long sunsets, lazy days, bike riding and swimming.

"Tubing" in Vang Vieng after the shutdown

To travel 160km in a mini van in Laos is rather labourious. You see the roads in this country are so bad that a 2 hour journey is around 8 hours. There are plenty of things to see though and the villages you drive through show people enjoying their day to day lives, kids playing and people working.

Cows wandering around on the road on our way to Vang Vieng
In the mini van we met an awesome German couple, Lina and Benny, and hung out with them whilst we were in Vang Vieng.

We stayed in little bungalows across the river in Vang Vieng. At the Banana Bungalows Sonja and I paid 25,000 Kip (of $3.00 Australian) each a night for our private bungalow with our own bathroom and beautiful view of the mountains.

Our accomodation at Banana bungalows

Backpacking in Luang Prabang, Laos

We flew into Luang Prabang, Laos on the afternoon of the 12th of November. It feels a lot like the town of Hoi An in Vietnam and has a real French feel to it (not that I have been to France yet). Lots of bakeries and cafes. Beautiful streets, many people cycling, beautiful scenery, the river is on both sides of the town and there are little restaurants where you can sit on a mat on the ground and eat dinner.

Street food in the markets

Saturday, November 10, 2012

YOLO - Trekking in Chiang Mai

View Larger Map

We have fallen in love with the moat surrounded town of Chiang Mai. This old style town with beautiful architecture, a slower pace of living and slightly cooler temperatures is the perfect place to put your feet up for a day before delving into some adventure tourism.

Josh recommended our fantastic guesthouse, Libra. We paid 250 baht a night for our fan double room with a cold shower and have been paying a further 70 baht a day each for a delectable continental breakfast of fruit, toast and coffee. 

Josh enjoying his breakfast at Libra

Monday, November 5, 2012


Leaving the islands to head to Bangkok was a bit of a  mission, but luckily a well organised one. We got a three hour ferry, a one hour bus and a 12 hour sleeper train from Koh Phangan to Bangkok (we paid 1500B or $45 Aus for an airconditioned second class ticket). James made friends with a guy called Josh from California on the bus (something about James attracts guys called Josh?). We ended up having dinner with Josh before we got on the sleeper train at 1am.

It was pretty hard case waiting for the train, there were lots of rats just running around and packs of street dogs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hello Koh Phangan

Our 'pilgrimage' to Koh Phangan began at Phi Phi where we and hundreds of other 20 somethings boarded a ferry. A day a hot bus trip, another ferry trip and a 30 minute Tuk Tuk ride later we reached our destination the Dancing Elephant Hostel. It is run by Frenchman, David (who first came here for the Full Moon Party seven years ago) and his family. The place is clean, the people are friendly and we have been staying in a 40 person dorm with disco lights, very fun and surprisingly quiet!

Partying outside our hostel before Full Moon

Friday, October 26, 2012

Paradise in Phi Phi

When we left Patong for Ko Phi Phi we didn't realise we would be stepping into true paradise. Kim was "so excited she couldn't sleep."

Phi Phi Don is two islands connected by a sandy isthmus, where the town sits no more than 2 metres above sea level. There are no motor vehicles here, only bicycles and some motorised bikes. James and I instantly embraced walking around in bare foot for 4 days, and have hated having to wear shoes ever since.

I went for a walk to get my bearings and stumbled across what would become our favourite food place on the way to the beach. I think I ate there about 6 times in the 3 days we were on Phi Phi! The 50B ($1.50 Aus) Pad Thai could not be beaten.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Phuket: let's have a bucket

We have arrived in Phi Phi after an extreme 3 nights of partying in Patong... which included a pimped out Tuk Tuk ride, a Ping Pong show, and 3 back to back nights of drinking in an adults fantasy land; anything is possible in Thailand!

Bro chilling out in our dorm at the Backpackers

Fancy some crispy bacon?

At the Tiger Bar, Sonja is about the ring the bell

Gangham Styles
My bro carried us all around, it was awesome

Team fluro

Patong Backpackers
250B a night - 8 person dorm with ensuite

Extremely clean and really friendly couple (Num and his wife) own this backpackers.

The backpackers is right in the centre of town by the beach and it has aircon!

Over and out,

Miss Bombshell XX

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Singapore on a shoestring

Kim wrote a blog post the other day that sadly disappeared, so I'm going to try and recreate something here! I'm doing it on my iPhone so apologies for the layout but we will sort it later!

We spent a couple of days in Singapore touring the sights and eating up a storm. The Botanic Gardens were as beautiful as last time I went and I insisted Kim take a ride down Orchard Road to see the contrast in the different areas of Singapore.

The Botanic Gardens in Singapore

Friday, October 19, 2012

Up and away: Here we go

So here we are in Singapore. We are pretty tired and have just got back from dinner at a local food court: Green Curry and Beef Rengdang to share, yum!

Scoot was a fantastic airline to travel. We paid $211AUD each to fly from the Gold Coast to Singapore. We had lots of leg room on the plane and there was even a free water purifier on the plane to fill up our drink bottles. We made some sandwiches and brought some fruit for our eight hour flight and it went really quickly.

We love our letter themed photos y'all (GC if you didn't already realise)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A little preparation...

Well here we are, one week to go! I finally feel like I have made headway in my list that kept growing. Every time I crossed something off that list I added something else.

You would think with a mostly unplanned trip there wouldn't be too much to worry about, but I've lost count of the amount of lists I've written. I even have sub lists! (Medical supplies ie; 50 other things)

One of the key things to organise for travelling is the medical side of things. Luckily both of us have had our travel injections already, so we don't need to worry about that. However, I dithered over whether to get Rabies shots or not, since every time I see an animal in Asia I remember my travel doctor telling me "If you get bitten you must go to a hospital, or you will DIE". This was repeated more than once during my 20 minute consultation...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sonja and Kim take Asia: Some planning

For those of you that do not yet know we are soon embarking on an 8 week backpacking trip with around Asia.

We fly out of the GC on the 19th of October. Apart from a couple of days in Singapore, a day in Phuket, a couple of days Phi Phi Island and a long local bus and boat trip onto our Full Moon Party (Booya 30-30 list). We have nothing further planned and am going to take it as it comes, we have up until the 14th of December when we are flying out of Hanoi all the way to London.

We are making a to do list of sorts 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lihn Trung Tran

I cannot get enough of Vietnamese artist Linh Trung Tran's work at the moment... I saw his Google piece in a bar in Hoi An, I have since come across his work when looking at images of Vietnam.When I return to Vietnam I most certainly will try to see some more of Linh's work.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A 20 something year old's highlights of Vietnam:

So some more comprehensive posts are in the pipeline but here is a brief outline of the Vietnam trip...

27 May – Gold Coast - KL Airport, 28 May – KL - Saigon Airport - Hanoi- saw the girls, 29 May – Hanoi - Halong Bay Tour- stayed on the Jolly Roger boat, 30 May – Halong Bay - stayed on Castaway Island, 31 May – Halong Bay - Hanoi - party times, 1 June – Hanoi - Water puppets, prison visit, History Museum visit, ate a snake, 2 June – Danang - Hoi An - met the girls, swimming, relaxing, 3 June – Hoi An - Shopping and Full Moon Festival, 4 June – Hoi An - My Son ruins and Marble Mountain motorcycle trip, 5 June – Hoi An - Danang - BMT - Lak Lake- 3 day motorcycle tour - stayed in BMT, saw a sugar factory, bears, a waterfall, a scorpian, 6 June – Lak Lake - visited minority village, rode an elephant, 7 June – Lak Lake - Da Lat - visited minority villages, visited silk factory, had a beating massage8 June – Da Lat - Saigon - shopping, 9 June – Saigon - Phu Quoc - saw the girls, 10 June – Phu Quoc - drinking with the girls, 11 June – Phu Quoc -motorcycling, night markets, massage, 12 June – Phu Quoc - boat tour, 13 June – Phu Quoc - Can Tho - markets, 14 June – Can Tho, Floating markets, 15 June – Ben Tre, Kiwi Hostel!, 16 June – Saigon, Partying and seeing Katie, 17 June – Saigon - drinking and shopping: went to the tunnels, went to the war museum, 18 June – Saigon - drinking and shopping, 19 June - Gold Coast - Home and over and out!

Highlights of Vietnam:

#Motorcycling around the Central Highlands with Easy Rider

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Easy Rider: Vietnam

We are 2 weeks into our trip! 

The Full Moon Festival in Hoi An on Sunday night was really neat. All of the local shops closed and the locals all made offerings outside of their businesses. The river was lined with thousands of candles. The girls and I went out in a boat and put candles on the river too, you make a wish as you float out your candle, mine was for you Mum.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hoi An: Pimping it!

We went to Alen, 104 Ba Trieu Street, Hoi An, to get our custom made to measure handbags and shoes made.

I paid 409,000,000 VND (or just over 200 AUS) to get my black sandals copied, brown high heeled clogs, black boots, blue heels and a blue and orange handbag (with amazing orange lining and blue zips) custom made just for me! All in leather - of course!

If I was to do this again I would get more outrageous heels made, you have the choice of anything so you may as well get something very different.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vietnam: partying, shopping, drinking...

Well it has been a week since we flew out of Brisbane and I am sitting in my Hotel Room in Hoi An relaxing before the Full Moon Festival tonight.

We got into Hanoi on Monday afternoon, met up with the girls and settled in at our hostel The Hanoi Backpackers Hostel (best backpackers, easy going, good atmosphere, wicked people).

Below is us enjoying our first night's dinner at a local restaurant (I had spiky chicken, vegetables and a Tiger beer). Food here is amazing and very cheap, around 5 Australian dollars for dinner and 2 Australian dollars for a beer! We had an early night on the Monday so we were ready for an early start and our Party Boat and Island three day tour of Ha Long Bay and the Islands.