A night in Bournemouth

After a gruelling 5.5 hour journey (never drive out the city on Easter weekend), we arrived in Bournemouth at 3.30pm. A quick check in and freshen up time later, we headed to the beach front to enjoy a lovely stroll across the beach and stop somewhere for a beverage.

The beach in Bournemouth is lovely! Probably one of the best I’ve seen in England. The tide was out and its safe to say it was very chilly. I was right on bringing a coat.

  

We had a lovely walk along the beach, taking some creative pictures and selfies along the way of course.. 

     
   
We grabbed a tea and cake at the restaurant pier while we looked out at the beautiful view

  
  

  

  

The we headed back to get our dancing shoes on for a night on the town. We stayed at Park Central hotel. This is right by the beach, the rooms are very clean although slightly small, yet still big enough for two to get ready in and the bathroom has great lighting for taking selfies. Ha.

 
  

At 8 we headed to a restaurant by the pier called ‘Aruba’. Its a very popular restaurant in Bournemouth, the food is lovely, affordable, and later on in the evening it turns into a club. Did i mention it was BOGOF on cocktails until midnight? This went down very well with us..  

 After a lovely dinner, we headed around the corner to the Lost Paradise. The music was great; a mix of cheese and pop songs, great for us to bust some embarrassing moves on the dance floor and have a good laugh with each other.

  We hung our dancing shoes up around 2am and hit the sack in our lovely and comfy bed.

We headed back to London early the next day, ready for my bottomless brunch!

It took 2.5 hours for us to get home, what a difference! I’d definitely recommend a night in Bournemouth if you’re looking to head somewhere new, beach, restaurants and good nightlife, everything you need for a fun night away.

LwL X 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Happy St. Paddy’s day my fellow Irish men and women! 

A day that commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. 

  
Did you know that Saint Patrick’s  day is celebrated in more countries than any other National day? Pretty cool huh, especially for such a small country.

   
I’m Irish of descent, yet i’ve still never managed to actually get myself to Ireland. Sorry excuse for a person I know.
Have no fear, I’m 100% heading to the green country this summer for a weekend. I’m just not sure where yet, any ideas? 
Anyway wherever you are, lets celebrate the heritage and culture of this beautiful country. A culture of friendly, family orientated people who love a good drink. (Me included). 
Grab yourself a Guinness, dress up in something green and cheers with a stranger.

You never know, you might just find your soulmate ha. 

  
LwL x 

The lowdown on Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island, Philippines.
Every time I hear someone say the name, the song ‘I like to move it move it’ comes in to my head. Don’t you think it has a striking resemblance to Madagascar? 

Unfortunately this small island, North of Cebu, doesn’t have any talking lions but there are a lot of other things it has to offer.

Water activities (And they’re super cheap!)

Other than the obvious of swimming in the sea, the serene clear waters of Malapascua makes the island a divers paradise. 

Diving 

You can swim with white tip and thresher sharks (if your trips not cancelled that is..). 

There are diving shops all around the island as the area is famous for two main dives. 

In the early morning you can catch sight of the Thresher Sharks feeding. Alternatively, if your not so much of an early bird, you can take a day trip to Gato Island to swim with White Tip sharks and through an underwater cave. 

We opted for a place called Sea Slug Divers to go diving at Gato Island. It’s the cheapest we found at 1200php (under £20) per fun dive. That includes the equipment too.

Unfortunately they cancelled our trip last minute on the morning of our dive. Something about a broken boat and no dive shops heading to Gato that day? I’m still not certain of what the woman was actually trying to explain. Anyway, this was our last day on Malapascua so unfortunately there was no shark diving for us!

Snorkelling

Because of the beaches low tides there are lots of great snorkelling areas around the island.

We explored 3 different areas of Malapascua including the WWII shipwreck. 

 
Watch out for a post on our day of activities here. 

Food

Stay inland as much as you can and food tends to be cheaper. 

There are lots of ‘eateries’ a couple of roads back from the beach. 

Just behind Cocobana resort on the beach there’s a place called Ging Gings restaurant. They do poached eggs, yay! It’s super cheap here and the food is good so do try this place out.

If you head down to the beachfront, you can expect an expensive meal. Over a backpackers budget. In Ging Gings we got our breakfast and lunch for same price as one breakfast on the beach! 

If you really want to eat by the beach though, head to Oscars restaurant where you can eat while looking out at the sea for a reasonable price. Their chicken tomato and pesto in brown bread was amazing. 

My lunch and drink was less than £3 too, cheap on this island! 

Going out

Like most places in the Philippines, Malapascua has barely any nightlife. The south eastern side of the Bounty Beach has a couple more ‘bars’ if you would call them that. Generally it’s just very chilled restaurants with quiet music. Perfect for a group card game of Shithead! 

Other than all that you can lay on the beautiful white sands while sipping pins coladas without a worry in the world. It’s the perfect place for that. 

 Have you been to Malapascua Island?

Feel free to add your recommendations below 

LwL x 

Gili Islands: Swimming with Turtles

Did you know that Indonesia is one of the only countries in the world that inhabits all 7 species of turtle? Pretty cool huh?

Liam and I took full advantage of this and booked ourself on a tour to snorkel around all three of the Gili islands yesterday.
  We went on a mission to spot as many turtles as we could. 

We set off from the harbour in a small boat at 10am with Cha Cha tours. A mere 100k each paid for our whole trip that included the rental of a snorkel, mask and fins. 

We swam in 2 spots in the morning. The tour guide leads you around and luckily for us we found a turtle swimming near the surface as soon as we jumped in. 

 He/she was so calm, swimming gracefully through the water, not at all startled by us humans. I’m pretty sure they’re used to sharing the sands of the Gilis with us tourists by now to be fair. 

  After we had worked up an appetite in our first two sessions, we headed for lunch overlooking the beautiful beach at Sasak Cafe on Gili Meno. We had already seen 5 turtles by this point! 

    
At our last two swimming spots, not only did we see 2 more turtles, we saw a wide range of beautiful corals of all colours and lots of wonderful fish!

    
 
  We also found a very interesting display of bicycles and racks under water? We took full advantage of this unique and weird experience..

   
  How cool is that?!

We  finished up around 2pm and headed back just as it started to rain. How’s that for timing? 

We spotted a total of 7 different turtles throughout the day, some of them bigger than the torso of my body. Crazy stuff. I would say a very successful snorkelling trip wouldn’t you?

  
If your visiting the Gili Islands i’d advised you to do this tour. Such a bargain!
And don’t forget to visit the Turtle Conservations on Gili T or Gili Meno. You can see all of the newly hatched turtles that the locals protect and feed for their first year of life.

When they are big and strong enough to fend for themselves, they have a big festival and set them free into the ocean. 

Please try to make a donation too as its a non-profit organisation and all the money goes to feeding and providing for the turtles. We need to help these mammals as many species face extinction due to various causes! 

Sihanoukville: Sessions boat party

You’ll find regular English speaking holiday reps come round on the beach each day to promote their bars and other events. 
We met a lovely rep called Steph who told us about their new weekly Wednesday boat party ‘Sundance’. 

Here’s the impressive $10 package:

  • A boat party from 2-7pm
  • A free bucket on arrival of strong Whiskey and mixer
  • A free Sessions Tshirt 
  • A plate of BBQ food on your return 

Not bad for £7 eh? 

  
This party was actually one of our favourite days in Sihanoukville we had so much fun! 

The music varied in genre. There was some old Skool garage, house and the odd splash of R’n’B. A mix that I really loved.

Drinks on board weren’t too expensive either, you could grab a bucket for $5..as you can see, me and Simona took full advantage of this..

  
  There were lots of drinking games on board to keep everyone occupied. As 2 couples we didn’t partake in them. Think Ibiza/Malia/Magaluf style fun on a boat.

   

 Though it was thoroughly enjoyable to witness. 

Half way through, the boat stopped at Otres Beach for an hour. 

   

 We jumped out and grabbed ourselves some food and cocktails from Ibiza bar. Then we all got involved in a game of ultimate tug of war. Europe vs. the rest of the world! 

If you fancy chilling there you can just simply enjoy the scenery. Otres beach is lovely and a lot nicer than Serendipity.

After returning to the boat, we watched the lovely sunset over the horizon and then partied the afternoon away. 

    
Making new friends along the way..  

Docking around 7pm, we headed back to Sessions bar where we were each greeted with a big plate of BBQ Chicken and rice. Yum! 
It was a really enjoyable day out and one I would recommend to anyone for the price. 
Be warned though, If you’re looking for a relaxing sunset boat cruise, please do not book on this one. 

LwL x 

Cycling through Siem Reap

On our last full day in Siem Reap we cycled over 20km around the city. Yes really, my bum was hurting for days!

Well technically we cycled to and back from the Bayon Temple, not really ‘around’, but we see some lovely scenery along the way. 

The good news is you pass Angkor Wat to get there. There’s also around 10 other temples and ruins to see just past Bayon so we really made a day of it.
I’d definitely recommend the cycling option. It’s too far to walk and there’s always the tuk tuk option but it’s nicer to be on your own time schedule. It’s also good exercise!

  
  Bikes are also only $1.5 to rent, or $3 if you prefer mountain bikes like us. 

 Paying to see the attractions

What no one seems to tell you in other posts, and what I haven’t seen on websites, (though it may be advertised and I’ve missed it?) is that a ‘1 day pass’ costs $20! This is an entrance fee you pay to get in the grounds. This does cover all the temples and area but Liam and I was still both surprised and slightly annoyed by this.

We have a £20 each per day budget (though we’ve exceeded this most days in Cambodia) and this entrance would cost almost 3/4 of our daily allowance. 

Reluctantly we paid. After all, Angkor Wat is the biggest religious grounds in the world so I felt that I needed to see it. 

We had some amazing views and took a fair few selfies along the way.

So here are a few pictures…

Angkor Wat 

  
  
  

Bayon Temple

  

  
Various

  

LwL X

Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

Yay it’s the year of the monkey, that’s me!

“Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart, but with the major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month.
This year it’s the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. The next Year of the Monkey will be in 2028.”

“The personality of the Monkey:

People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, but it is also believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.

The general image of people in this zodiac sign is of always being smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth.

In addition, their gentleness and honesty bring them an everlasting love life. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as an impetuous temper and a tendency to look down upon others.

Strengths: sociable, innovative, enthusiastic, self-assured

Weaknesses: suspicious, cunning, selfish, arrogant, jealous”

.. Taken from thetelegraph.co.uk

This is all pretty spot on! It’s a shame I’m apparently unlucky though ha.

We will be celebrating the New Year at a few beach parties tonight in Sihoukanville.

Hope you all have a good’un

LwL x

Siem Reap nightlife

There’s a Pub Street, oh yes.  

 A whole street dedicated to getting you super drunk. You can also try a crocodile burger from one of the restaurants here too!

Here were my favourite 2 bars..

Angkor what? Bar

 
This is seriously cool. The whole bar is decorated in graffiti and inside its glow in the dark.

  Try the cocktail ‘aspara’s blush’ for $3, it’s strong and slushy and was one of my favourite drinks 
  
Cheers

  This place is just passed the exit of Pub Street and it has a great mix of locals and tourists. 

Beers are $1 and strong house vodka is $3.

  Music is like a throwback to the 00’s, its serious cheese and they even have strobe lights. Winning. 

There are also lots of street vendor bars which are super cool if you fancy a rave in the road! 

  

LwL x 

Goodbye Vietnam

 So that’s it Vietnam. Romeo done. Another country down and a further 16 days into my itinerary.

I’m now some days into Cambodia.

What a wonderful and educational experience Vietnam has been.

I’ve learnt so much about the history of this country and how far Vietnam has come in recent years. Visiting all of the museums and attractions gives you a great insight into the physical and mental scars that the people have endured over the decades of war with the US. 

I can truly say that the Vietnamese people are an inspiring and determined bunch. They are a generous and caring culture and still promote peace despite everything. Us westerners could learn a great deal from them. 

Here’s my highlights and low points of travelling Vietnam

Highlights

Favourite place

Hoi An   

 This place felt most like Vietnam. There isn’t a vast amount of touristy things to do but I think that’s what make it great. So pretty and so much culture. This place is super relaxed and truly reflects Vietnamese living. 

Favourite activities

Quadbiking on the white sand dunes, Mui Ne.  

The dark cave and the mud bath, Phong Nha. 

Favourite new experiences 

Tasting Vietnamese coffee: did you know it’s the third best coffee in the world?   
Brazil is the first and Columbia is the runner up

A few Vietnamese eats were amazing too. There is a post on this to come! 

Low lights 
Headaches from the sound of bibbing horns. God don’t you guys like to honk? Honking for indicating, honking for warning, honking for fun. It’s highly unnecessary and it really hurts my ears! 

We’re in Cambodia now and I’m glad they don’t enjoy this as much. 

Crappy weather: 10 of those days were a mixture of clouds and rain so we didn’t really get to enjoy the beauty of Ha Long bay or Nha Trang beach. We did however, get some great Anorak photos..
Vietnam, it’s been emotional.tạm biệt người bạn của tôi.(Goodbye my friend)
LwL x 

Vietnam by foot

Ok let’s not take this literally. I don’t mean that we’ve actually walked from city to city, I’m not that fit. 

What I mean is that we haven’t got one taxi in the whole of Vietnam, we have walked everywhere, yes I’m very proud of myself. 
Every site, every museum, every park and every market. Our legs have done a lot of walking and every glide was worth it. 
  
We only had four exceptions, but all were very necessary. 

 Sleeper buses

Here’s the whole city to city part. Vietnam is 1000 miles in length from North to South, it would probably take a while to walk. 

Easy Riders

  Remember my post about Thangs easy riders in Phong Nha; the ex-hunters who take you around on bikes for the day? We used transport then, as the National Park is too long to walk and too dangerous for bicycles, so we had no choice but to drive to see the sites. 
Ha Long Bay & Cu Chi tunnels 

  
  The tunnels are built a 2.5 hour drive out of Saigon, and Ha Long Bay is a 4 hour drive west of Hanoi. So both are only really walkable if you have a spare few days and want to camp along the way. 


Bigs pro’s

We’re helping the environment – We’ve had no real contribution to pollution here (I think they have enough of that, what with all he motorbikes). 

We’ve saved money – with no pennies spent on cabs each day, we’re have lots spare in the kitty to either indulge or save for a future activity.

You get to know people better – When you have company along the way, you have endless amounts of time to really gets to know the person/people you’re with. Que the ‘what did you want to be when you were younger?’ type questions. 

Your keeping fit – Did you know that most people burn 120-160 calories per kilometre. That means in 10 kilometres you’ve burned a women’s full day of calorie intake, crazy hey.
Best of all.. 

You don’t realise your exercising – there thought of exercising pains me. I want to be thin but refuse to work hard to get a good body, so subconcious exercise is the way forward. 

It’s been lots of fun, and surprisingly you don’t realise how far you go, I haven’t even moaned about the walking; can you believe that??

The not so pro’s 

Safety on the roads – Some areas do not have a pavement so you have to walk beside the road. Just stay alert at all times and walk against the traffic so that you can see everything coming in front of you.

The noise – Vietnamese people just love to beep their horns, a 4 hour walk on main roads can start to give you a headache.
It takes up time – On foot is not advised if you’re on a tight schedule, but hey I’m a traveller, all we have is time. 

Pat on a back, well deserved I think. I challenge you to try it yourself! 

Pop on your walking shoes, grab a water from the VMart and go and explore. You never know what you might find! 

LwL x