My City Guide: Singapore

I went to Singapore as part of my Great Big Gap Year Adventure in 2010. After America and Australasia, it was my first ever experience of Asia. I was only there for a couple of days but during this time I stayed with the Gap Year Buddy’s aunt and uncle, who took us out and recommended some sites. At the time, I thought that a couple of days was enough to explore Singapore – a sentiment which I have heard expressed by others – but in hindsight I’m sure there is much that I did not get to discover. This guide, however, tells you what I did get to see.  Continue reading “My City Guide: Singapore”

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My Top 10 Travel Experiences

I’ve been pretty lucky over the last few years. I’ve been to many incredible places and done and seen some pretty amazing things. But there’s some experiences that do stand out above the rest. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten but since I have to do so (well I don’t have to, but I’m making myself do it) then I’d say that it would probably be these, so in no particular order: Continue reading “My Top 10 Travel Experiences”

Thailand Part Three: markets, tigers and Johnny English

20-24 September 2011

After my tour through Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, I had a few days left in Bangkok to explore and enjoy myself. I moved from the Bangkok Centre Hotel, where my tour ended, to a hotel on road parallel to Khao San Road. I realise when you’re backpacking in Southeast Asia, you should be spending your nights in a hostel bunkbed for a couple of pounds a night, but when I found a very reasonably priced hotel room, with an en-suite, a double bed and breakfast, I decided to indulge. Continue reading “Thailand Part Three: markets, tigers and Johnny English”

Thailand Part Two: the tour comes to an end

19 September 2011

After a surprisingly good night sleep on the overnight train from Chiang Mai, I was ousted from my bed at 7am by staff who wanted to put the beds back. An hour or two later, we finally pulled into Bangkok station and we walked the short distance over to the rather nice Bangkok Centre Hotel, before popping to a nearby 7-Eleven for breakfast. Since my steamed pork bun was a bit disappointing, I ended up with popcorn chicken from the station’s KFC. Never mind. Continue reading “Thailand Part Two: the tour comes to an end”

Thailand Part One: pad thai, a white temple and the sleeper train

17 -18 September 2011

After my boat from Laos docked on the shores of Thailand, I passed through passport control in Chiang Kong easily enough, along with the rest of my tour group. We loaded up two tuk tuks with our luggage and, just like the last time, we were too heavy. The driver pumped up the tyres and we set off, almost immediately getting stuck behind a coach that was barely moving. Unlike in Laos, the tuk tuks were not trucks with us in the back but bikes with trailers for us to sit in, meaning we got blasted by fumes coming in from all directions. Continue reading “Thailand Part One: pad thai, a white temple and the sleeper train”

Laos Part Four: the long journey to Thailand

16-17 September 2011

We had an earlier than usual start the next morning. Our guide had told us that the local monks walk through the streets of Luang Prabang, past our hotel, first thing each day as they collected food donated to them by the local people, so we went to see them for ourselves. Soon enough, a line of monks clad in orange robes walked past, whilst villagers sat at the roadside offering them something to eat.  Continue reading “Laos Part Four: the long journey to Thailand”

Laos Part Three: elephants, waterfalls and dodging water buffalo

14-15 September 2011

The journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang was an unpleasantly bumpy one. Our tour group of six piled into a mini-bus along with our tour guide and the driver. Since there were three sets of three seats in the back, we divided into pairs and sprawled across them.  I get car sick at the best of times and, as we swung around mountain corner after mountain corner, I could barely sit up straight. In fact, I couldn’t sit up at all – I had to lay across the seats with my travel buddy holding onto me, acting as a seatbelt to stop me from falling off. In that position, the ride was much more comfortable. I think I even dozed off. Continue reading “Laos Part Three: elephants, waterfalls and dodging water buffalo”