Koh Phi Phi (Part 1) – Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi

It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I would reminisce about one of my favorite destinations in Thailand – Koh Phi Phi. On our first stint in Phi Phi we were there for 2 nights. We took the ferry there from Koh Lanta, which took around an hour. Craig slept all the way there and for someone who told me he can’t sleep on public transport, he is exceptionally good at it!

Craig took this pic before falling asleep. The view from the ferry as we approached Koh Phi Phi from Koh Lanta
Craig took this pic before falling asleep. The view from the ferry as we approached Koh Phi Phi from Koh Lanta.


We got to the harbor, grabbed our bags, and as soon as we disembarked, we were blown away. The ocean views, the long boats, the shopping stalls, it was all so picturesque and we fell in love straight away.

The beautiful views as we entered Koh Phi Phi. Pic by Craig Reay
The beautiful views as we entered Koh Phi Phi. Pic by Craig Reay

We walked up the pier and found a gentleman from our hotel who put our backpacks in a huge trolley and took them to the hotel for us. We booked a stay in a hotel called Papaya, we were in a sea view room.

The man pushed our bags in a trolley from the boat to our hotel and then carried them up the stairs to our hotel room. Pic by Craig Reay
The man pushed our bags in a trolley from the boat to our hotel and then carried them up the stairs to our hotel room. Pic by Craig Reay

We had to walk up a lot of stairs and I mean a lot of stairs but it was worth it for the view. They’d even written on the steps to say how many calories you burned on the way up!

The steps on the way to our hotel room showed how many calories we had burned on our way up. Pic by Craig Reay
The steps on the way to our hotel room showed how many calories we had burned on our way up. Pic by Craig Reay

We arrived at our sea view room and were not disappointed. They were the best views to date. East to west unspoiled panoramic views of the entire island; lush green foliage, beaches, boats. You could see everything. It was like a postcard.

The view from our hotel was breathtaking. Pic by Craig Reay
The view from our hotel was breathtaking. Pic by Craig Reay

I had burnt my left leg really badly in Koh Lanta (blisters and everything) so I was on a mission for some more pants to keep my legs protected, as I was borrowing Craig’s til I could buy my own. My legs were layered in burn gel to keep the pain at bay and we had a wander down to the shopping stalls.

2x Ray-Ban glasses, 1 Adidas tee, 1 Chang Beer vest, 1 pair of pants, 1 sun hat and 1 snapback later, we decided to go for some food.

Koh Phi had plenty to offer. Amazing restaurants and hundreds of stalls selling all sorts. Pic by Craig Reay
Koh Phi had plenty to offer. Amazing restaurants and hundreds of stalls selling all sorts. Pic by Craig Reay

Food and Drinks

We were going to do the all you can eat BBQ near the harbor but we got there too early (and we thought it was quite pricey), so we grabbed a huge pizza slice each (80B) and sat by the beach to watch the long boats and get some photos. We found a place selling food for 80B, so we fuelled up there (pad thai for Craig, yellow curry for me) and slowly made our way back to the hotel, turns out the amount we spent on pizza and curries was less than the cost of just one of us getting the buffet!

Pizzas and amazing views? What more do you want? Pic by Craig Reay
Pizzas and amazing views? What more do you want? Pic by Craig Reay

We went out a bit later to find some bars and to see what Phi Phi had to offer. We started at an Irish bar which was offering 150B buckets of G&T, so we had one of those.

Here I am waiting to get served a bucket of gin at the Irish Bar. Buckets are very popular in Phi Phi. Pic by Craig Reay
Here I am waiting to get served a bucket of gin at the Irish Bar. Buckets are very popular in Phi Phi. Pic by Craig Reay

We went down to the beach and found a place called Slinky’s, it had fire performers, insane music (a Ghostbusters techno mix made an appearance two or three times, much to mine and Craig’s delight). I had a wine and received a free shot for doing the limbo.

The Fire dancers at the beach provided great entertainment. Pic by Craig Reay
The Fire dancers at the beach provided great entertainment. Pic by Craig Reay

They had other games on the beach featuring extreme musical chairs and double dutch skipping (with the ropes and the floor set of fire). It was awesome to watch the performers do their thing. We went back to the Irish bar and I received some amazing family news from home, so I celebrated from the other side of the world by getting another G&T bucket!

Buckets seem like a good idea at the time but you may regret it the next day. Pic by Craig Reay
Buckets seem like a good idea at the time but you may regret it the next day. Pic by Craig Reay

We went to a bar called the Reggae bar which allowed you to take part in a Thai Boxing fight and win free drinks. To gain entry, all you had to do was buy a drink and you were in for the night. If our sunburn wasn’t so bad we probably would have given it a go! It was very entertaining to watch.

The Reggae Bar gives you the chance to fight in the ring for a change to win free drinks. Pic by Craig Reay
The Reggae Bar gives you the chance to fight in the ring for a change to win free drinks. Pic by Craig Reay

After that, we bought another 2 huge slices of pizza and eventually went to bed at 3 am.

Cheeky Monkeys

Breakfast was brought to our room by the hotel staff the next day. Orange juice, coffee, fresh fruit and yogurt and a warm bread roll with butter. Yum. Craig was feeling a bit fragile after the night before, so I wrote in my journal whilst sat on the balcony whilst he had a lie in. 

Once he perked up we found a laundromat and dropped off all our clothes to be washed. It was our last full day before we went to Ao Nang for Craig’s 30th. We already decided we were going to come back to Koh Phi Phi after Ao Nang as we underestimated how much the island would have to offer.

Finding a place to do our laundry with a slight hangover. Pic by Craig Reay
Finding a place to do our laundry with a slight hangover. Pic by Craig Reay

We did some more shopping and a guy at one of the stalls recommended a trip to the Phi Phi Viewpoint for sunset. We got back to the hotel, showered, changed and then headed to the viewpoint. All of a sudden we heard raised voices and shouting, turns out scores of monkeys had decided to pay the hotel a visit! A few people had left their balcony doors open and the monkeys had gone inside people’s rooms. They were ripping open packets of nuts, opening bottles of beer and eating and drinking everything that they could. Thankfully our balcony door was locked so none of our food or beer was stolen! Once they’d had their fill, they vanished as quickly as they appeared. After watching the entertainment, we headed to the viewpoint.

A Monkey sits on our balcony after raiding the mini bar in the room above. Pic by Craig Reay
A Monkey sits on our balcony after raiding the mini bar in the room above. Pic by Craig Reay

The stairway to Heaven

We were absolutely knackered by the time we got to the viewpoint, it was red hot and we were sweating. We had only packed 1 bottle of water, big mistake, however, the sunset was gorgeous. The viewpoint was littered with people but the sunset was amazing all the same, just not as peaceful as we anticipated. We went to a restaurant called Cosmic, as it sells pizza as well as curries and we couldn’t decide what we wanted. We ended up going all out. Massaman Curry w/ rice, vegetable stir-fry in Oyster sauce w/ rice, garlic bread, and a pizza. The staff thought they were taking the food to the wrong table as we had ordered so much. We ate it all, whilst they watched, gobsmacked.

Craig took this photo of me enjoying the sunset from the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint.
Craig took this photo of me enjoying the sunset from the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint.

We went back to the room to do our least favorite activity. Packing.

We got rid of quite a lot of clothes to make room for all the stuff we bought in Phi Phi. Craig bought more vests and I bought an additional pair of elephant pants, because, if you didn’t buy elephant pants, did you even go to Thailand?

We backed up all our memory cards onto our HDD to make more space for more footage. We are feeling very organized for our trip to Ao Nang, as we were leaving we were already looking forward to coming back!




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Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai

Chiang Rai was a great experience. As mentioned in the previous post, the majestic White Temple and the gothic Black House are a must see if you visit Chiang Rai. The clock tower is also worth checking out if you are in town, it comes to life briefly at around 8pm, so make sure you get there prior. The show only lasts 5-10 minutes or so. 

The White Temple in Chiang Rai

Our bus from Chiang Rai left at about 1pm. We were en-route back to Chiang Mai, one of our favourite locations to date. The bus journey was smooth and the staff were as friendly as ever. Free water and snacks to keep us going. I was in a particular creative mood on the journey back, so I decided to edit some of our GoPro from Bangkok. The video is below. 

Bangkok – The Wanderlusters UK – GoPro Footage

Some GoPro footage of Bangkok that I edited on the bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. This is just a glimpse of what Bangkok has to offer. – Craig

Posted by The Wanderlusters UK on Samstag, 29. April 2017

The journey took about 3 and a half hours. We arrived back in Chiang Mai at approx. 5pm. We then got an Uber to Wayside Guest House, where we were staying. The room was the most basic we’ve had until this point. A bed, wet room, balcony with a view of a brick wall and our first time with no air con, but the room was cheap and in a good location; besides, we were only there one night.

Wayside Guesthouse - Chiang Mai

We gave ourselves 30 minutes or so to relax, sort our things and then head out for one last night around Chiang Mai. Just as we were about to leave the room, Rach hit her knee off the corner of the bed, which resulted in a big green and blue bruise that would stay there for a few days, ouch. 

Wayside Guesthouse - Chiang Mai

The staff at the hotel were very friendly. They printed our boarding passes off for us for our flight to Krabi the following day and asked us if we required anything else. Food was the only thing on our minds, so off we went. We wandered the relaxed city of Chiang Mai. I came across a stall selling Chang Beer vests and replaced my old one with a new one. This one was a better fit than the last. 

Lanterns in Chiang Mai

We walked around for a while and stumbled across the main area of night life where the Zoe in Yellow bar is located etc, before hearing a loud noise and seeing lights coming from within some of the inner walls of the city. We ventured towards them and as we were walking through one of the gates, I felt a sharp pain shoot through my foot. I had somehow managed to impale my toe with a toothpick! It was sticking out of my toe. This was a freak accident, the city itself is quite clean. We found a Boots store nearby where I got some antiseptic and plasters, problem solved and on we went. 

Nightlife in Chiang Mai

The noise and the lights was actually coming from basketball tournament within the square. There was quite a large crowd watching the games. We stayed to take a few photos and then decided to try a nearby bar that we had heard about, the THC Rooftop Bar. 

Basketball in Chiang Mai

We ventured up several flights of stairs to get to the THC Rooftop Bar. It was a cool, trendy, reggae style bar as the name probably suggests. The bar did look pretty cool and it had a very chilled feel. The neon lights, cushions to sit on instead of chairs, great view overlooking the ongoing basketball games in the square but the drinks were stupidly overpriced. Water, for example was 80B when it is normally 10B. We had one drink of water each and then left.

THC Rooftop Bar in Chiang Mai

The popular weekend market was too far for us to walk, so we decided to venture to our favourite night market that we frequently visited on our last trip to Chiang Mai. The night market was much busier this time as it was a weekend and stalls went on for as far as the eye could see. This meant one thing… lots of food! We indulged in some giant chicken spring rolls, which were so tasty, then ate Thai Dumplings, which were delicious and then we ventured to our favourite little food stall. We ordered all sorts, so much food that I can’t even remember what we ordered!

Night Market in Chiang Mai

Then the heavens opened and within a few seconds everything in sight was covered in rain. The locals reacted fast and pulled covers over their stalls. The customers dispersed to get to somewhere dry but me and Rachel only cared about our food. We sat in the rain and ate until the rain came down even heavier, not moving because we were getting drenched, oh no, the only reason decided to move was because the rain water was ruining Rachel’s soup. We took shelter under a tarp at the food stall we had ordered from and finished our meal. The food was amazing as always but the cockroach that decided to crawl over my soaking foot wasn’t as enjoyable. We waddled back home to the hotel with happy tummies.

Throwback to our last night in Chiang Mai. Probably our favourite night market and street food to date. This was seconds before we got caught in a downpour (ūüďł@craigreay )

Posted by The Wanderlusters UK on Dienstag, 20. Juni 2017

The next day we packed our bags, checked out and went for breakfast. We ventured for an English and American breakfast as we were craving some western food. As a boxing fan, I also caught up on the highlights of the Anthony Joshua Vs Vladamir Klitschko fight which had taken place the prior night.

Before we knew it we were in another tuk tuk and on our way to the airport again. This was our first domestic flight of our trip. The check-in was very easy and straight forward. We drank some super strong coffee, that was like rocket fuel and then an alarm went off in Rachel’s head – she had left her purse with her bank cards in! Rach went back through security, trying to stay calm as possible and luckily her purse was with a friendly member of staff. She described the contents of the purse and luckily she no issues in retrieving it. We were soon on the plane and on our way to Krabi. 

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Chiang Rai in 24 hours

We did a one night stay in Chiang Rai and it was a busy trip. We got the bus from Chiang Mai, which took approx 4 hours. Tickets were 166B each.

On the way to Chiang Rai we could see a huge thunderstorm in the distance, it was the first time we have seen anything like it, driving through 35 degree heat and watching thunder and lightning a few miles away. However, once we arrived, the thunderstorm was there to greet us, and it had no intention of stopping.

We got a tuk tuk from the bus station straight to our hotel and got a deal off the driver to take us to the Black House, the White Temple and to the bus station (3 hour trip) for 350B each, which we were happy with.

Chiang Rai Room

We got sorted in our little hotel room, more basic than what we were used to, but very clean. It had an electric fly swatter, which proved handy. Craig however thought it was a child’s toy and stuck his finger in it, safe to say he got a bit of a shock! (See what I did there?!). We went to the hotel lobby and were loaned an umbrella and called a taxi to town, the gentleman on reception recommended a Northern Thai Restaurant for us to visit called Barrab. The taxi driver got out of the taxi, came to fetch us, and walked us to the car with umbrellas over our heads, opening the doors for us. We have never known such good service!

Chiang Rai Rain Taxi

Town was a short ride away, 40B each. The taxi driver gave us his number and said to call when we were finished. He recommended that we walk to the clock tower for 8pm, which was duly noted.

The restaurant was really, REALLY good, we had a mixture of authentic Northern Thai food (Hang Lay; a spicy pork curry and Larb Nuer; marinated minced pork with chilli flakes on lettuce leaves) and the more traditional Thai food (Pad Thai). 

After we ate we paid a visit to the clock tower for 8pm as the driver advised, even though it was pouring down! When the clock struck 8, it started to change colours and music started playing, it was quite the show and we both really enjoyed it, it was worth getting drenched for!

That night we chilled in the room and Craig started going through all our BKK footage and trimming it to make a short video (said video can be found here).

The next day we grabbed breakfast (buffet style, much to our delight) about 9am ready to be picked up my our tuk tuk driver at 10. We visited the Black House first as I read that it shuts at lunch hours, where as the White Temple stays open all day.

Black House Chiang Rai

There are approximately 40 different structures at Baan Dam (The Black House), created by Thawan Duchanee, a Chiang Rai born Thai artist who has developed a style of work representing the darkness in humanity.

If anyone reading this has ever played the game Oblivion, Baan Dam must have been behind some inspiration for the Gates. We both fell in love with the complex. Black wood structures contrasted with gold and red detailing and smaller engraved pale wood panels, decorated with various skulls and buddha images. It was very striking.

The main building is definitely the main attraction, with eerie music playing as we approached, and inside was furniture that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Lord of the Rings, with giant dining tables with alligator table runners and chairs made out of antlers.

Once we had exhausted ourselves with all the sights of Baan Dam, we met our tuk tuk driver and made our way to Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple).

As soon as we approached we instantly thought of the quoted “Heaven and Hell” contrast between the two. 

Wat Rong Khun is one of the most famous and most recognizable temples in Thailand. Made with white plaster engraved with small glass shards, the temple sparkles as you approach, it reminded us of something out of a childrens film where the castles are made from snow and ice.

White Temple

Towards the end of the 20th century Wat Rong Khun was very run down, artist Chalermchai Kositpipat completely rebuilt the temple using his own funds. To date it is not yet finished, Kositpipat has plans for an additional 9 buildings including a meditation hall, monks living quarters and art gallery. 

The walk into the main hall was very different, with hands reaching up from the ground. It’s said that it’s a symbol of desire.

We weren’t allowed to take photographs inside the main hall, but the mural inside was strange but spectacular, featuring various scenes such as Neo from The Matrix, Sailor Moon, Michael Jackson, the burning Twin Towers, various Star Wars characters and Kung Fu Panda. We aren’t exactly sure of the meaning behind the artwork, but enjoyed it all the same, as it is so different to the other temples we have visited.

White House Chiang Rai

After tiring ourselves out taking photos in the blistering heat, we went back to our Tuk Tuk driver and got dropped as the bus station to head back to Chiang Mai for one night before our flight to Krabi. Hopefully with a visit to our favourite night market.

Craig and Rach x

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Chiang Mai Day 4 – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

This was one of our favourite experiences to date, and definitely one the most unforgettable.

We booked Elephant Jungle Sanctuary after doing some thorough research on Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand. A lot of “Sanctuaries” in Thailand are actually training camps, as they promote riding on elephants, which is very cruel and painful for the elephants. We were stuck between two but settled on doing a full day at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project located approximately 60km from the city of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Founded in July 2014, it is a joint initiative between members of the Karen hill-tribes and Chiang Mai locals who were concerned about the welfare of elephants in Thailand.

Elephant Jungle Sacntuary

We booked the day direct with the company and thought we would be getting picked up at 08:00 from our hotel, however, due to a bit of a miscommunication with payments and confirmations, we ended up doing a half day instead of a full day. We were picked up at 11:30 from our hotel and given a refund for the half day that we had missed. We travelled on the back of a pickup truck to the sanctuary with two German guys, two French girls and a Canadian couple. They were all awesome people and the 90 minute ride to the Sanctuary flew over. We arrived at the sanctuary approx 1pm. 

Elephant Jungle Sacntuary

When we arrived we changed into Karen Tribe clothing and were given a quick crash course on feeding the elephants. We were given a several bunches of bananas each. We had to hold the bunch behind our backs and feed the elephants bananas one by one. Elephants are very smart, even when you hide the bananas behind your back, they know that they are there!

Elephants Banans

We also fed them sugar canes and they were given huge corn crops which they stripped themselves, which was awesome to watch. We got lots of photos and video footage with the elephants. 

Karen Tribe Clothing

After feeding the elephants we took them for a mud bath. The elephants literally collapsed in the mud whilst we gave them a good scrub with the mud. You could actually see them smile!

Elephant Scrub

After the “scrub” we took them to the water and gave them a bath and washed off all the mud. They were very relaxed and were loving every minute of the attention.

Elephant Bath

Once we had finished giving them a clean, we had a Thai buffet style lunch which was very tasty. Yellow Curry, rice, vegetables, omelette, lots of fruit. Yum.

There was a baby elephant at the sanctuary called Christiano Ronaldo, who we both fell in love with. On arrival to the sanctuary, he became very attached to an older elephant. This older elephant was very sharp and realised where we were sitting eating our lunch was the same place that they stored the bananas; and she came over and ransacked the place, everyone found it hilarious, except maybe the Karen Tribe men, who had a job on their hands getting her away from the banana gold mine. The baby elephant came back to me gave me a quick high-five before running after his foster mother, as if to say “Did you see that Ma’?! How badass am I?!”

Elephant Bananas

We learned that the Elephants are given a random name from the tribe on arrival to the sanctuary but after a year they choose their own name and have a ceremony. They will pick a name based on it’s personality and say the name. There is food placed in front of the elephant and if the elephant is happy with the name, it will eat the food or if it doesn’t eat (which means an unhappy elephant) they will pick another name. The ceremony can last up to a week.

We got changed back to our normal clothes and got in the pick-up to go back to our hotel, we slept all the way back. We both agreed that the half day was the perfect amount of time to see and do everything we did. A definite once in a lifetime experience.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is based in Phuket and Chiang Mai, we would recommend this company to anyone; they love what they do and take such good care of these amazing animals.

Once we got back we got packed ready for our one night’s stay in Chiang Rai to visit the White Temple and the Black House.

Craig & Rach x


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Chiang Mai Day 3 – Doi Inthanon National Park

Following on from our last post, we arranged a Doi Inthanon National Park tour via www.bonvoyagethailand.com. This website was at least 500B cheaper what we were quoted when going to travel agents in Chiang Mai.

We had an early start in the morning, the earliest since we landed in Bangkok (excluding our Night Bus arrival in Chiang Mai!). We were up and ready in the lobby for 08:00 for the minivan picking us up.

It took approx. 90 mins to get to the National Park, whilst in the minivan on the way there we got a brief history about the park by our very enthusiastic tour guide, Julie. We learnt that the mountain in Thailand used to be called Doi Luang, which is Thai for “Big Mountain”. It was then later changed to Doi Inthanon in memory of the last king of Northern Thailand.

We stopped at a 7 Eleven for breakfast on the way, I opted for wasabi peas, Craig opted for chicken rolls and a huge family bag of crisps.

We started the tour near the bottom of the park at Sirithan Waterfall. It was in a beautiful jungle setting, measuring approx 40m high; we couldn’t get very close to the waterfall so got a few photos in front of it, before we knew it we were back in the minivan to the next part of the tour.

We went to the White Karen Hill Tribe next. All of the houses in the tribe were made from bamboo (or teak if you were more well off). The houses were all elevated to prevent animals getting in whilst seeking shelter during the wet season.

We learnt that the women at the tribe wear white dresses when they are single and still have their virginity, so men know that they are available, once they marry, they wear a skirt and top as opposed to a dress, and can wear any colour they like, except red, as the men wear red when they go hunting.

The Karen Tribe are experts in training elephants, they even have a special language that they use with the elephants. The Karen tribe also have their own language altogether, and they don’t speak Thai. We were taken to the rice paddies at the outskirts of the tribe’s land, there was not much to see as it was dry season, they get more green during the wet season.

We were taken inside one of the homes where Karen women were making scarves.

The smaller scarves take 3 days to make and sell for 250B. They also do throws for beds which can take up to two months to make. Considering the majority of the scarves were only made using two colour fabrics, they were stunning to look at.

We then went outside to have an explore and I tried some of the tastiest and strongest homegrown Arabica coffee I’ve had in my life. I am a bit of a caffeine fiend, however having been off the coffee for a few weeks it instantly started causing havoc with my stomach!

After the Karen Village we went to Wachirathan Waterfall. This one was approx. 70m high, and it was stunning, Craig said it was on par with some of the waterfalls he had seen on his trip to Iceland. We were allowed to adventure on our own with this one, and spent a good 30-45 minutes walking around and getting some photographs.

We then had a Thai buffet lunch with the group we were touring with (approx 15 people, Thai, Latvian, Canadian, Spanish and French). We had omelettes, chicken and green beans in a spicy curry paste, tom yam soup, sautéed vegetables and of course, loads of sticky rice. It was so tasty, and the seconds and thirds were inevitable. I then purchased a necklace made out of watermelon seeds made by one of the locals, one of my favourite purchases to date.

We then went to the Royal Projects flower garden. The Karen Tribe used to make their money by selling and trading opium, however once opium became illegal in Thailand, the king and the government came up with a plan. Without opium, the tribe had no source of income so the king devised a plan, he gave the tribe various seeds for plants that could not grow in hot city conditions. He gave them seeds for coffee, various flowers and fruits such as strawberries, for these could only grow in cooler conditions, such as those in the mountains as it higher above sea level. This was named The Royal Project. The tribe could then grow legal produce and receive money from the government in return.

We witnessed where the Karen Tribe were growing their new produce and the gardens were stunning, we had a walk around and got more photos and went onto the next part of the tour.

We then went to the highest point in Thailand; 2,565m above sea level. We were told that it was going to be cooler at the top of the mountain, however when we got there it was 29 degrees C, meaning that Chiang Mai town was approximately 40 degrees that day!

We saw the King’s Stupa were his ashes were kept and we got a photo under the famous “Highest Point in Thailand” sign.

We then made our way to the final stop (and the one we had been looking forward to the most), the King and Queen Twin Pagodas.

The King and Queen Pagodas were built in 1987 and 1992 respectively, funny enough the same years me and Craig were born, so it’s easy to remember. The King’s pagoda is mostly brown and the Queen pagoda is a lilac purple.

When we arrived the scene just took our breath away. It was a beautiful clear day and when we got to the viewpoint at the King’s Pagoda we could see for miles, I felt like I was up in the clouds. We visited both Pagodas, got some amazing pictures and had a wander around the flower garden next to the Queen Pagoda. The photos we got looked like something off The Lord of the Rings, with the surrounding areas of the flower garden reminding us of Hobbiton.

We slept all the way home from the park, we arrived back at the apartment about 17:30, a great day and money well spent. The whole day was everything we had hoped for and possibly more. We would recommend a Doi Inthanon tour to anyone who is visiting Chiang Mai, it really is a thing of beauty.

Next post, which will be the day after. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary!

Craig and Rach x

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That’s It! We Quit!

So, we have now both handed in our notices at work and now everyone knows we are leaving, no more secrets. Our last day at work is Friday 7th April – 4 weeks tomorrow.

I was initially going to work right up to the end, but following recent events I want some time to unwind, see my family and actually enjoy the days leading up leaving, as opposed to risking my mental health doing too many things at once.

It’s slowly starting to sink in that we are leaving and we are really doing this; I’m starting to feel a pang of sadness about leaving my family.

I can’t go longer than a week without seeing my brother (he moved out last year and I felt like I’d lost a leg) and I have never been away from¬†my parents for¬†longer than a fortnight. My Mam is my guiding light for everything; her advice is sound and although I never said it when I was younger, she was always right; about everything.¬†My Dad and little brother (he’s 22, I don’t know why I say “little”) are my heroes, my Dad always says the right thing, we worked together for five years (how many of you can say you worked with one of your parents and loved every minute of it?) and he is my brain twin, best friend, my first love, he’s just everything.¬†My brother makes me laugh almost every day, he’s my shadow and my right arm. I can feel myself¬†welling up as I type this, my love for them is just unparalleled.

That being said, how many people can say that they¬†have given up everything to go¬†travelling the world with the love of their life? I am literally living a dream and I am so lucky and so blessed to have met someone who wants the same things out of life that I want. We have planned pretty much all of Thailand now¬†(I found a gorgeous place for us to stay in for Craig’s 30th birthday, right on the beach!) and now starting to make a dent into our Vietnam route.¬†The places we have found are just beautiful. It’s going to be paradise.

Honestly, if you are planning a trip away, you must use booking.com and get an account with them. The discounts and perks you get for multiple bookings are amazing – I was initially a fan of Air BnB but this is so much better for when you are on a budget.

I am meeting some old work friends tonight for a catch up meal before I jet off – again seems to be sinking in now that I’m saying my goodbyes. You’d think we were never going to come back ūüėČ

Rach x




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Research, Research, Research

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, and I must admit, I am a lot less nervous than I was the last time I posted.

A lot has been ticked off the list, we have our backpacks (Vango Freedom matching backpacks! Mine’s an¬†60 litre purple with a detachable 20l daysack, Craigs is a¬†80 litre black, again¬†with a detachable daysack), our landing date in Australia and our first 7 days accommodation in Sydney, which is really exciting, we also have planned our route around Cambodia (albeit a small one).

The best thing we have done is researching online and asking others about their experiences; we have got some invaluable advice under our belts. I am currently devouring multitudes of stories about peculiar places and amazing strangers from all of my friends that have came, saw and conquered and oh my god, I am so excited.

We have been dealing with a travel agent but if I am honest, excluding one flight and one hostel stay, we have done the entire trip DIY – I didn’t really think¬†we knew what¬†we were doing but it has not been as difficult or as¬†daunting as I had anticipated, I actually think we are quite good at this!

We have stopped going through a travel agent now, and are doing all our research and booking ourselves.

Back to the task at hand – we finish in less than 50 days now with only a few things left to do on our list (routes, travel insurance and SE Asia visa’s). We both have Monday off so will do a¬†few of those things¬†and hopefully a nice trip somewhere to enjoy the long weekend!
Rach x


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