In the ten months of travel I recently completed there was only one place which I would skip in hindsight. There are hundreds of extra places and different places I would go, including Myanmar, but Huangshan was the only place that was an ill informed choice for our budget and time constraint.
Our general time constraint was quite liberal but more specifically we needed to get to Hong Kong due to having a dual entry Chinese visa and the first half nearly being used up. We had intended to stay five days in Huangshan, or Tunxi as the actual area was called and in this time we ended up doing very little. One thing to be aware of is that the only train to Shenzen comes from Shanghai and so is a very busy route in which you are unlikely to be able to get a bed as they prioritise people doing the entire route and only open the leftover a couple of days before, if there are any. In a town with no English spoken we managed to get around the ‘No’ situation at the train station by getting a quieter train to Guangzhou which then has regular bullets to Shenzen. After doing a few hard seat journeys already I didn’t fancy one for 20 hours. Read More »
Travel is amazing at the time but I can’t help but think the come down of it is disproportionately difficult, but maybe that is only so in the case of being confused about your future and having very little monies to your name. Basically when your only option is to knuckle right down and forego any luxury.
I’m working back in my previous customer service job. It’s not bad, the staff are the best part, the lack of ability to use your mind is the worst. I’ve realised recently that a lot of people don’t seem to have goals of any sort, no ambition and no aims. If you consider what their life will be in five years time quite a few people would be content to be doing the exact same thing but with a few more wrinkles. But these same people are the ones who get frustrated at the job, at the management and at the customers but make no effort to change. Read More »
Before setting off on my travels I did lots of research into every little detail. Most of the information I found was pretty helpful, some was too paranoid and some was just ridiculous. When I started looking into shoes it was a bit of a minefield. There were so many specific recommendations about make, type etc. everyone insisted on specific hiking shoes or those weird strappy sandal things that Europeans seem to love to wear ( as well as bum bags, I have never yet found a time when I have wished I had a bum bag/ fanny pack as our American friends call them).
Read More »
International events are always enjoyable, whether they are music, sport or even gardening there is always a special atmosphere that everybody has gathered for something they’re excited about. After being a Formula one fan since about the age of ten, living in England there was no realistic way to get first-hand experience. Just for the Sunday ticket you will be paying roughly £150 to be in the field area. Secondly the track is in the middle of nowhere and I don’t own a car so would have to pay for extortionate public transport. Thirdly it will probably be cold and rainy. Read More »
Since being in India never again will I take the simple hostel for granted. The things I learnt to expect from a budget place flew out the window the second I checked into the guesthouse in Delhi to share my bathroom with Bob the Pigeon and his pile of poo.
Comparatively, price wise to Thailand, or South East Asia in general the rooms and facilities are quite shocking. For £6 in Thailand you can have a clean double room with en-suite, including Wi-Fi and towels and hot shower. For the same price in India, which is a cheaper country you will have what looks like a prison cell, no towels. It will normally be en-suite but the bathroom facilities are quite something. The idea of a shower is quite rare and if it does exist it will almost definitely be cold only. If there is no shower then the washing facilities will be a tap on the wall and a bucket and a dirty/mouldy concrete floor. This is surprisingly something you can get quite used to, in warm weather that is. In cold weather such as the minus temperatures experienced in the north this can become so much of a disturbing ordeal that you toy with the longevity of possibility of going without shower. Wearing a hat and hiding your hair is really the commonplace over choosing to get a cold from washing it. Read More »
After having never been to Thailand before I entered through the North and spend my first three weeks in this area. With never being any further south than Udon Thani I think I’ve seen a very different side of the country to the regular tourist. The South is, of course, yet to come and I’m sure it will be a completely different experience, for one there will be no need for a hoodie morning and night. I really like what I’ve seen of the country so far and its all been really well priced, I’ve not done much in the way of tourist attractions, rather, just hanging out and I’m getting by on less than £10 a day, which is what some people told me I’d be paying for the room alone. Read More »
All three of these countries share a similarly dismal past, were ruled by the French a hundred or so years ago and have huge amounts of trauma in living memory. Vietnam was never a particularly powerful country, it was part of China on about four separate occasions, was taken over by France and then dealt with an internal war between the north and south over communism. Because at the time the Americans hated anything even close to having a sickle on it they decided to join the south and bomb the hell out of the border area. The Americans didn’t stop at this as there were sporadic bombings in Cambodia, who I think had been letting the northeners walk down through their land, and blanket bombing in Laos, who as far as I remember had very little to do with anything. Laos is now officially the most bombed country in the world and many areas are scattered with UXO’s (unexploded bomb stuff that kills adults and children regularly, in some provinces as many as one per day). Read More »
For those of you not familiar with the phrase ‘same same’ it is what you will often hear round the streets of SE Asia from people such as market sellers comparing two things which are at the same time similar but often very different, i.e different qualities of product. In a way I think this phrase really sums up the three countries; Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In a way the three countries are quite similar, the streets can look and function the same and the food has very similar staples but at the same time any two can feel worlds apart. Read More »
I’m having a bit of an inspirational lull at the moment as I’m just loitering around in Phu Quoc, I’m staying here for 10 days, which is really far too long but I need to bide some time before going to Cambodia and seeing as I paid for the boat to get here then I may as well take my time, there is a beach with crystal clear water just 100m away so it’s a good place to choose.
My breakfasts will be a bit repetitive as they are included with the room, there isn’t a great selection but what there is is good. I’m staying at A74 hotel which is $25 a night for a sea view double room, we get 10% off for staying 7 days so $22.5 or £14. I only really need 2 meals a day so my lunches can be a little absurd. As I’m not doing much here this is most of my spendings, though a motorbike will be hired one day and a snorkelling trip was done another. I tend to have one fresh coconut water a day which costs 12,000/36p and is a truly healthy treat. Apparently it is so close to the substance of blood plasma they used it for transfusions in the Vietnam (American war) war. If you’re lucky they will then chop the coconut open and let you scoop out the flesh. Read More »
After travelling from hotel to hotel/hostel to hostel for three months we
decided it was time to take a holiday from all the hard work and chill out in a beach resort for a week. For this we chose Mui Ne and managed to find a beachside resort with a pool for £9 a night between us. Being far more interested in quaint towns and people watching this was quite a unique experience. The entire town (being one road about 6km long) is there for the sole purpose of tourism.