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 

  Full Moon Party, Thailand

At the moment we are trying to figure out whether to pre-book our accommodation or whether to wing it and turn up.

Our good friend Katie we met in Vietnam stayed at the Dancing Elephant which by the sounds of it is central, clean, party hard and provides free water...

 Haad Rinn, Thailand

Our other friend skipped the Full Moon and instead chilled out at Haad Rinn which still looked wicked as! His friends that went to the Full Moon booked in advance.

Decisions, decisions. Will blog about what we end up doing.


A small town in northern Thailand an apparently crazy 4 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai Arcade terminal (150 baht). The town has a reggae/hippie vibe which should be really fun. The Spicy Pai Hostel for 150 baht a night and seems to be the place to stay, but we will have to be careful it isn't booked out when we go. Another option is the Darling View Point resort with dorms for 150 baht. It has a swimming pool and the sunset can be viewed from the hammocks outside.
Luang Prebang

A city on the UNESCO World Heritage List. An 18 hour 1200 Baht bus ride from Chiang Mai. The location of the famous Alms ceremony where the monks walk the streets at dawn collecting alms of rice from kneeling villagers. Im not sure how I feel about participating in this ritual as it has turned into a tourist attraction but I definitely want to see it. The Kuang Si Falls are a shared tuk tuk ride from around 30,000-50,000 kip, the cheapest seems to be near slow boat pier or JoMa bakery. A private tuk tuk should be around 30k each there and back with 5 people the driver waiting for 3-4 hours. There are a few cooking schools here which are meant to be good and a local dish to try is the Luang Prabang Khao Soi - spicy clear mince and noodle soup. An absolute place I want to go to here is Utopia, by the Nam Khan river, follow the signs from near Hive Bar. A very backpackerish place to relax! There are loungers outside with an amazing view over the valley. Lots of different backpackers so we will have to check out accommodation and when we are ready to leave it is a short and I'm sure very pleasant 6-8 hour bus ride to Vang Vieng. On that note, just saw on the Vang Vieng Wikitravel page that all bars on the river have been shut down as of 30th August. So will have to keep an eye on what is happening there!
 Ankor Wat Temple, Cambodia

Our friends went here earlier this year. A childhood computer game explored this temple and we hear the sunrise here is fantastic.

  Sihanoukville, Cambodia

For one of the best white beaches in Cambodia!

"Alex in Wanderland" was not particularly impressed with this place. 

We want to check out the Children's Painting Project in this town (and not make the same mistake we did in Vietnam with only bringing candy for children....

Investigate Travel Insurance

Does anyone have any tips for people on a long trip...

We want something especially comprehensive for Asia... tubing, rock climbing, motor bikes, boats, diving, etc, etc.

No international travel fees. Quite useful after the spanking that Westpac Australia gave us with fees on our last holiday, 5 dollars per transaction, plus ATM fee, plus conversion fee AND the ATM's would only let us draw out 2 million dong or $90 Australian at a time! Sonja is already organised, Ms Spikybombshell still needs to organise herself.

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