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 

Sightseeing in Nha Trang

It appears that there are 3 main tourist spots that get circled around Nha Trang. A lot of places operate half day tours that cost around 1.3 million dong (£40). What with us being ‘travellers’ and all, 40 quid for half a day out just couldn’t be justified. We therefore popped on our walking shoes, GPS in hand and headed straight for the hotspots
Here’s a map to give you an idea of our day. 

  
We headed to the Long Son Pagoda first, this was approx. a 3.5km walk from our hotel.

Long Son Pagoda

One of the oldest and biggest pagodas in Nha Trang. It was built in 1886 but has more recently been dedicated to the monks and nuns who died protesting against the US supported Diem regime. 

  
I’d be lying if I said I was unbelievably impressed by this site but that’s just my opinion. Let me know when you visit? 
  We then climbed the 152 stone steps leading to the giant white Buddha sitting on a lotus blossom. It really was giant! We also had great view of the whole city from here and we passed some other cool stuff on the way up too.

We stopped for lunch after this in a random restaurant that we found. It was really hard to find somewhere to eat around this area, we were looking for ages! 

The benefits of walking everywhere is that you truly get to explore the place you’re visitong. We see some great sites along the way

  The Cham Towers were a further 3 or so km. We weren’t sure if this was walkable. As you can see from the map, there is a motorway and an island to get past beforehand, but we decided to take the risk. This was actually super easy so don’t be put off by this. The bridges had pavements and so did the busy roads. 

Cham Towers

The Po Nagar Cham Towers is a sacred Hindu site. The towers were built between the 7th and 12th century in honour of the Cham Princess. Today it’s still used as a pilgrimage for the local people. 

  
I loved this place, so much detail on the buildings and lots of scenery to enjoy. 

  
Entry fee: 22,000 dong

Dam Market 

On our way back we popped into the Dam Market, the famous trade centre of Nha Trang.
The market is a circle shape with stalls both in and around the circle. Expect all the obvious merchandise being sold here. 

  
I’d say it was approx. a 12km walk all in all. We did the whole day in the space of 4 1/2 hours; including a stroll along the beach and a cake stop on the way home. 
Our total day cost 275, 000 dong (£8.60). This included our lunch, fluids for the walk, 2 big cakes and entry into the Pogar Towers. 

I also lost about 200 calories. Well, before I ate the cake. That was my reward for the exercise ha.  

That means we saved over £30 each by avoiding a tour!

You may have seen some memes taking Facebook by storm recently. So I’m going to join in, as I feel I deserve one. 

 
LwL x 

5 things to do on a night in Bangkok

I spent my second time in this city for the past day and a half. Although its one of my least favourite places I’ve visited in Thailand, I admire it and I will never forget the first night i walked in to Ko San Road. Culture shock city.  

  
When travelling across Thailand it’s very likely that you’ll see Bangkok more than once, as it is a main hub to travel North to South (We’ve just arrived in Chiang Mai). 

After spending a total of four nights there between two trips, I have come up with 5 things that I would recommend to do on a night in Bangkok. 

  

1. Buy friendship bands

If you’re with a group this is a must, or if you want to take small presents home. Many stalls do 25 baht each or 5 for 100 on bracelets and different necklaces. I am yet to see anywhere cheaper than that. I grabbed 5 of these for my friends back home, they don’t take up hardly any space in my bag either. Winning. 

2. Get a Thai massage

I spent a whole month in the South of Thailand and no where is cheaper for a massage or for shopping than Bangkok. A 1/2 hour shoulder, back and neck massage is just 3 English pound. (I have a further post to come on my Thai massage experience)
  
3. Grab a bucket (or 2, or 3) on the street

Street vendors off of Koh San road are much cheaper, you can get a bucket of rum, Coke and red bull for just 150/200 baht. If you want to take a stroll with a drink down the strip, this is the way to do it. Bars can charge as much as 350 baht a bucket. 

   
 4. Eat the street food

40 baht for a chicken pad Thai made fresh in front of your eyes? Yes please. Not only are the vendors 3x cheaper than going in a restaurant, the food tastes twice as tasty! 

  5. Beetle on a stick? 

Bear Grylls eat your heart out. There are many a stalls that serve some lovely insect treats! With a varied range for you to choose from, including small maggots and scarily oversized cockroaches, I’m sure you’ll find something that ticked your fancy. 

I have to admit, I’m a scaredy cat and failed to have one of these but the boys did. Go for it if you’re brave enough. 

Any other recommendations for Bangkok? Feel free to share below!

LwL x 

Merry Christmas from Thailand!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Waking up to 30 degree heat in a beach resort by a pool really makes it hard for me to believe it’s Christmas!

  
This is the first time in 23 years I’m not with my family so mixed emotions today but other than that I’m living the life! 

  I even got to FaceTime my beautiful Neive and nephew 😊

  I hope that everyone wherever you are, has a wonderful day filled with happiness and love and I’ll be posting soon about all the parties we have planned here to celebrate the festivities 🎄

Love from LwL x 

Chillin’ in Koh Lanta

Hi all, to be honest for the last 3 days and nights we’ve done absolutely nothing here in Koh Lanta. Though after 2 weeks of full on activities I think it was definitely overdue!

We’re staying in the Riviera Resort which I will post about tomorrow.

  Koh Lanta is a lovely chilled place. It has a beautiful beach, bars and restaurants along the beach front and a lot less tourists than the other places we’ve been.

  To be honest though that’s about it. Koh Lanta is somewhere you come to do absolutely nothing. All we’ve done is eat, sunbathe and swim. I got a bit carried away today though and burnt my forehead

  
Bad times. Oh and I found a swing..

    This place is full of beach huts and reggae bars creating some seriously cool vibes. 

Here’s the great sunset we witnessed last night  while sipping on a Caribbean sunset (de-lic-ious  by the way, grab yourself one from Freedom Bar)

  
 

  
 
  For our last night tonight we went out for a lovely dinner along the beach. I ate this..

  A real fish staring at me on a plate and I didn’t even scream, haven’t I progressed?! 

Then we went to, yes you guessed it, a reggae bar.

 All the pretty lights make it feel quite christmassy, we even found a Christmas tree yayy!

   
  I have this wicked app called maps.me which pinpoints everywhere you go.. So here’s my Koh Lanta trip

  Next stop, Krabi! 

LwL x 

Riding & Rafting: a day in the river

Our second day in Kanchanburi was another packed day of activities. I haven’t even been travelling a week and we’ve done so much! The day started with a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast and off we set to the Elephant camp. 

  
I have to say, riding, washing and feeding the elephants was absolutely amazing, but I wasn’t a fan of the elephant show we watched when we got there. Have you ever seen the film Water for Elephants? It reminded me of that a bit. 

  
These beautiful animals have tough enough skin for people on their backs but I don’t believe they should be prodded and poked into performing tricks for people as it isn’t natural.

  
After the show we took them down to the water where we all played together. It was lovely. They are such gentle wonderful creatures, playfully blowing trunks of water at us and lifting us up in the air. 

   
   
It was a memorable experience with my friends that I won’t forget, however, if you come to Asia I would recommend that you go to a Sanctuary over a camp as it is more ethical and the elephants roam more freely. I’ve heard there is a great one in Chang Mai, which I plan to go to in January so keep an eye out for that post. 

Bamboo Rafting

After this we were driven back to Kitti Raft to spend the early afternoon bamboo rafting.

  
What a great experience! The river current here is so strong that the raft moves freely down the river with no engine. The boats are made of bamboo, ropes and plastic barrels.

   
 They reminded me of being back in school when we used to go on field trips to places like Gorsefield and Stubbers. As part of the ‘team bonding’ exercises we would be given the same material and was instructed to build a raft. I have to say, these were built a lot better and stronger than the ones I ever attempted ha. 

  
We also jumped off for some fun in the water, and had life jackets so that we could float along next to the boat as we went downstream. We floated all the way to the place we stopped for lunch. 
Some Yummy Pad Thai (I’m not sick of it yet!)

LwL x 

Kanchanaburi: Tiger Temples 

The Tiger temples were really cool, although it was completely different to what I expected. I literally thought it was a temple with some tigers in (yes feel free to laugh or point me out for my ignorance). The Tiger Temple more like a zoo of lots of different wild animals to see, not just tigers (and there isn’t any temples).  
There were monkeys, Buffaloes, birds and warthogs. There are even wild deer walking round that you can feed leaves and berries to. 

  
I had a few pictures with the Tigers but most of them were sleeping. It was very hot and they were out in the sun all day. I don’t know how I’d cope if humans had fur, I get hot enough as it is! 

   
   
To finish the day trip we went to a small waterfall close to Kitti Raft, the floating hut we stayed in for two nights. (I’m going to post about this place as I would highly recommend). 

  
Here are a few pictures of us at the waterfall..

   
 
Does anyone know the name of this waterfall in Kanchanburi? (It’s not the Erawani Waterfalls as we went there the next day) 
LwL x

A dragon and a tropical thunderstorm 

I have no wifi in our new cool hut were staying in in Kanchanburi. But lots of stuff to come. 

Thursday was our last day and night in Bangkok. We’d done lots of the tourist attractions already so we decided to have a wander and see where we end up.
We was talked into a river cruise which included a view of Wat Pho temple amongst other things so we thought why not?
After bahtering down from 1000 to 700 each, off we went. 

  
    
  
 We even see (what I think was) a Kimodo Dragon just chilling on the side.. I’d only ever seen one enclosed in a zoo before so seeing a wild one was amazing. 

  
Cruising through the shanti towns was a real reflection and culture off the lifestyle in the land of smiles and it really hit home. A small house was for sale for 100,000baht. Just over £1800. Someone’s whole life is worth that it’s crazy. Especially when you pay at least 200,000 for a 1 bedroom flat in london, and I’ve save up 8x more than that in a year to travel the world. 

   
 This is exactly the reason I wanted to travel in the first place, to make my mind richer and really appreciate what I have. I am surrounded by such wonderful people that have a fraction of what most of us westerners do yet all I do is moan! So I am really going to try to stop on my return, though I think it’ll be hard ha.

I had a pretty chilled night as we had to catch a 7am bus to a fun packed day in Kanchanburi. I decided to take a walk through Koh San Road market and grab some rehydration salts from the pharmacy. I’ve unfortunately been feeling a bit crappy since I arrived, probably due to the change in climate etc. I also purchased these lovely elephant shorts..

  
Do you like them?
On my way home I was caught in a huge tropical rainstorm and ducked for cover. I was stranded under a small roof for about 20 minutes before taking the plunge and running just over the road to maximise my time and get a Chicken Yellow Curry – it was so good! It also made sense not to walk home super wet and make myself more I’ll. 

I wonder how long it will take me to become sick of rice and noodles? We’ll see ha
LwL x 

A night in Koh San Road

1 crazy road, hundreds of cheap shops, rows of bars and restaurant and unbelievable street food!

I thought it may be best to sum this up in pictures… 

     
 
Scorpion and cricket tasting, yum. I’m yet to pluck up the courage. 

    
Street food here is amazing though and its twice as tasty as restaurants, and half the price! My chicken pad Thai was 50 baht (approx. 90p)

My friend Nathan ended up eating 5..

   

  
   
We made some new friends, they were lovely.

Buckets of Samson whiskey and mixer was 200 baht – I think it’s fair to say I was quite drunk by 2am when we got home.

Today we have been doing lots of touristy things like temples and landmarks – I’ll post this tomorrow 😊

LwL X