Friday, 21 February 2014

Month 8 in Review

Chomreabsuor from Siem Reap, Cambodia! Today is our 8 month travelling anniversary & quite a month it has been. Here's a re-cap.

Places visited

Malaysia - Langkawi

Thailand - Phuket, Khao Sok, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Koh Chang & Koh Kut

Cambodia - Siem Reap

Favourite place

This was a bit difficult to choose this month but the winner is Khao Sok. We loved the nature, the quiet, the clean air. Everywhere you looked was just beautiful. Very unspoilt and not busy at all, we were really happy there immediately. Just as an example of the beauty surrounding us, this was the view from our hotel restaurant.

I think we have to give a mention to Kanchanaburi too. We haven't posted about this yet (it's next) but we really liked it, however, that was where we went immediately after Russell's Grandad died so we weren't exactly happy at the time. In different circumstances it definitely would have had a chance of coming first.

The bridge over the River Kwai

Best bits

The 4 days we spent with Russell's mum & dad were ace. We hadn't seen them for ages (7 months) and we had a great time, we really enjoyed showing them around Bangkok and really hope they enjoyed their time with us as much as we did.

We had a crazy night out with a couple called Lizzy & Jeff from Oxford in Koh Chang which was lots of fun, when we got home we immediately packed our stuff and got on a speed boat with them to a tiny island called Koh Kut. We even checked out of our room a day early - and we had alreay paid. Nothing like being spontaneous.

Koh Kut

We did a day trip in Kanchanaburi which was really good. We went to Hellfire Pass (more on this in a later blog), we rode the death railway, went to the Bridge over the River Kwai and Erawan Waterfalls. The whole day was great but we especially loved the waterfalls - we walked the 1500 metres up to the tallest one and swam but there were fish in there that nibble your feet like in a fish spa - we didn't like that bit.

Bad Times 

The worst thing that has happened on the whole trip happened in month 8, Russell's Grandad died & his mum & dad had to leave after 3 nights in Bangkok. It was a terrible time for everyone involved and we are all still heart broken.

Leaving Thailand was bittersweet. We had kind of got tired of it, we had spent almost 3 months there but we also love it and I love how I understand how things work there. The people are so warm & friendly, the food is brilliant, the beaches are the best, I could go on & on. On our last few days in Thailand we strolled down to the beach to see elephants in the sea - only in Thailand.

We entered Cambodia from Thailand at an overland crossing & we had been told to watch out for scams. We had been told about 4 different prices for visas because they just charge what they want so we were prepared but we got scammed twice before we even crossed the border. Although it was on the Thai side the people scamming us were Cambodians. Bit of a long story - will go into more detail on the full post about it.

Best thing we ate 

Russell has 2 things this month. The first being a papaya salad he bought on the street in Koh Chang. It came in a plastic bag and cost next to nothing.

His other favourite was a Paddle Pop. Also known as (to people of our age in the UK at least) a Zap. Remember that toffee flavoured ice cream lolly thing from the ice cream man? He bought one at a rest stop on the way to Cambodia - the mini bus was boiling so it cooled us down & provided a bit of nostalgia.

I don't have a picture of my favourite food & I don't have a specific favourite. I just loved the minced chicken with chilli & basil leaves. I ordered that everywhere & I miss it already.

Coming up in month 9

We're going to explore Cambodia for a few weeks, there are a few places we want to check out including an island with no wifi!! Not sure how long we will last. Then we'll go to Vietnam for a few weeks.

Pub Street here in Siem Reap

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