Thursday, 15 May 2014

Well over due Review

Believe it or not I haven't done a month review since 22nd March. I'm totally blaming it on crappy wifi, I have tried a few times to do it but haven't been able to. So I'm going to do a review from 22nd March to now. Then I guess the next one I do will be when we're back in sunny Leeds in the middle of June (ish).

Places visited - 

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City, Dalat, Nah Trang, Hoi An & Hanoi
Philippines - Manila, Puerta Galera (Sabang & White Beach) & Boracay
Indonesia - Bali - Kuta & Seminyak

Favourite place - It's been too long and we have done too much to choose 1 place so I will put them in categories.

Favourite city - Singapore. Singapore is such a great place to visit, we loved every minute of it (apart from the airport issues). There is so much to do and see I think we'll definitely go back at some point. It is more expensive than the rest of Asia but it is worth it, you can see where the money goes with the trippy gardens, excellent public transport and general feel of the place. Even China Town & Little India are colourful & clean. In fact - if I did HAVE to choose my favourite place from the above list I would choose Singapore.

Favourite Town - Hoi An in Vietnam was really nice. As soon as we arrived we noticed there was a really good vibe about it. It was relaxed with nice bars and an "Ancient Town" which is a UNESCO site. We loved the fresh beer at 8p a glass & had a right laugh cycling 5km to the beach - apart from when I fell off the bike into a ditch. Russell also found an excellent veggie restaurant & we did a cooking class there so Russell was happy constantly - 8p beer & nice veggie food, his idea of heaven.

Best Beach - This one is easy. Boracay in the Philippines. Not perfect but very close. Gorgeous white sand, turquoise waters, extremely clean and right on our doorstep, I loved waking up to this beach every morning.

Best Bits

There's no way I can remember them all but I'll give it a go - 

Universal Studios - Anyone who knows me know's how crazy I am about rides so when I realised there was a Universal Studios in Singapore & we were going to Singapore I started nagging Russ. It worked (as always) and we went on our first day there. It was sooooo much fun & quite quiet so we went on a lot of the rides more than once, never queueing more than 15 minutes. I love Universal Studios, rides + films, what's not to love?

Singapore Slings at Long Bar in Raffles Hotel - This was a Singapore highlight for me. We weren't going to go due to the cost but thanks to my lovely Mum & Dad who paid we sat there for over 2 hours & spent 167 Singapore Dollars on 2 cocktails each. I like to experience a bit of luxury now & then and this felt really special.

The boat trip in Puerta Galera - This was ace and we saw more fish & coral than we have ever seen before. 1 thing I forgot to mention (dunno how) was the funniest part of the day. Lorenzo diving down and coming back up with a big puffa fish between his hands. We were all in the sea going "oh my god" & Lorenzo just said , " I catch with my hands". Hilarious, poor fish. He let it go after a few minutes. No fish were harmed :)

My Birthday - If you don't know already I turned 30 2 days ago, it was definitely one of the best birthdays ever. Russell booked a private villa in Seminyak, Bali with our own pool. We stayed 3 days and I can't describe how brilliant it was. We drank loads of beer, wine, champagne. Ordered room service, played loud music & only left the villa once (to buy prosecco). I reckon it was the best place we have ever stayed, I thought Russell might have a hard time beating the hotel I booked him for his 30th but he beat it - this place ruled! In case anybody is going to Bali it is called Mahala Hasa Villas.

Bad times - 

Getting my purse stolen in Puerta Galera put a bit of a downer on the ace day we had in the floating bar. It didn't get us down too much though & we didn't lose much. Russell bought me a lovely new purse for my birthday too so I'm no longer purse-less.

Cash machine-gate - the 2 hours spent trying every cash machine in Puerta Galera was so annoying & then having to sort out leaving 2 days early with crap wifi - Grrrr. But - as normal it was for the best. We got to Boracay earlier because of this & Boracay was much nicer than PG.

Singapore Airport - Bloody hell, I hate Singapore airport. They are far too strict. Getting questioned by police on the way in over a key ring & on the way out needing proof of onward travel from the Philippines (which was never even requested in the Philippines). They need to chill out a bit!

Best thing we ate - 

Its been almost 2 months so it's impossible to choose the best thing so here a few delicious dishes we have enjoyed since March 22nd.

Delicious birthday steak

Pumpkin Risotto -  Lemon Cafe Boracay

Chicken with potatoes & vegetables - Lemon Cafe Boracay

Mango cheesecake -  Lemon Cafe Boracay
Extra spicy chicken curry from a beach bar in Boracay

Stuffed tofu - Minh Hien Hoi An - cooked by us!

So that's the last 7 and a half weeks all summed up, I probably forgot loads though.

Coming up - We're going to Australia on Saturday night! We haven't cemented the plans yet but due to Australia being so expensive it will probably just be a flying visit for a couple of weeks. We fly into Darwin then we have booked a flight to Cairns but that's as far as we've got up to now. We'll definitely visit Sydney and maybe Melbourne too. After that it will be time to make a move back to Europe. We haven't decided where to go after Australia but Berlin is looking likely. 

The next review I will be writing in a (hopefully) sunny Leeds!

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