Thursday, 16 July 2015

Thailand | Three weeks itinerary and budget

The final stop on our trip was the beautiful Thailand where we spent three amazing weeks. 

Our Stops

Chiang Mai, March 12th to 17th
Chiang Mai was our first taste of Thailand and we had an amazing time. We stayed at DeeJais Backpackers which had been recommended, and it was definitely somewhere I would stay again! Our first day we walked to the 3D Art Gallery, which was such an interesting experience! It was so much fun, we ended up spending quite a while there. We found an American restaurant for cake and ended up going back for dinner! That evening we watched Cinderella as we wanted a little break before a few busy days! The next day we headed to the Elephant Retirement Park and spent an amazing two days there. They look after the Elephants properly and don't let people ride them, rather they explain how they look after them and you get to play with them. I'm so glad we stayed the night, it was so much fun and we met some lovely people, it was nice being somewhere that didn't feel commercial. The second evening we got home and headed out to the massive night market, got dinner and went shopping. The following day we went to Sammy's Organic Cooking School which I would definitely recommend, they helped us make some authentic food which tasted so good! Chiang Mai was such a brilliant experience.

Phuket, March 17th to 19th (and March 27th)
The hostel in Phuket, the Karon Living Room Hotel, was the best hostel we stayed at in Asia, it was so nice staying there after the rest of our Asian hostel experiences, plus it was super quiet. We spend a couple of days on the beach and finding some nice places to eat and then travelled over to Koh Lanta.

Koh Lanta, March 19th to 25th
This was the most beautiful island. We had such a relaxing week here chilling out on the beach. We settled into a routine where we would get up to lay on the beach, eat lunch from 7/11, have dinner at a cute street food restaurant and chilling out in the evening. We had massages on the beach, ate breakfast on the beach and watched the sunset every night before evening walks. It definitely wasn't a party island, it was a relaxing break and I really would recommend this beautiful, friendly island. We stayed at Isara Lanta for the first two nights in our own bungalow, which was amazing and had a lovely Greek restaurant, although the beach was quite rocky.And for the last four we stayed at the Lemonade Boutique Inn further down the coast where the beach was much less rocky and left us lots of space for swimming and laying on the sand. 

Koh Phi Phi, March 25th to 26th
Phi Phi was a completely different experience to Koh Lanta and I'm so glad we went. It was crazy and we met so many lovely people. While we were there we had some great nights out, and we also headed to Maya Bay where they filmed 'The Beach' which was an amazing experience, and we were also able to do some snorkelling! I would have liked a couple more days as I would have liked to have visited some more of the island.

Bangkok, March 28th to April 1st
Our final stop and such a great place. We stayed at Chern Hostel which I could not recommend more. We had a really cheap private room which was perfect for the end of our trip. It was maybe a little far out, but we like walking everywhere anyway so it really didn't matter! Over our four days in Bangkok we did lots of shopping and visited MBK, Platinum Mall, Chatuchak Market and Khao San Road lots of times. We ate lots of nice food like 50p pad thai, mango sticky rice and condensed milk toast. We had massages and pedicures on Khao San Road, and visited Wat Pho. We had such a great time there. It is a crazy city and somewhere I would love to visit again. 

Thailand Spending
(In Thai Baht)

Transport: 2655 THB
Accommodation: 6891 THB
Food and Drink: 3470.5 THB
Day Trips (inc. Elephant Sanctuary/Wat Pho/Cinema/Cooking Class/ Maya Bay): 7156.5 THB
Shopping and Beauty Treatments: 2032.5 THB

Total in GBP: £472.94
Days spent in Thailand: 20 days
Average per day: £23.65

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Laos | One week itinerary and budget

We had a week in Laos, flying in to Vientiane and heading out of Luang Prabang. 

Our Stops

Vientiane, March 4th to 6th 
The first night we arrived quite late and ended up meeting people in the hostel straight away and going out bowling. Late night bowling is quite a big thing in Laos as lots of bars close at midnight yet bowling stays open longer. Our hostel was quite average but our room was nicely air conditioned and the breakfast was so nice! The following day we walked to COPE to find out about the UXO problem in Laos, which I had never heard of before. We wandered round the town that afternoon and found a 'Friends' restaurant, like we had visited in Cambodia, that evening to eat at before heading to the local market for some shopping. It was a short trip in Vientiane but we had a bus booked the following morning to Vang Vieng.

Vang Vieng, March 6th to 9th 
We got to Vang Vieng in the afternoon and were put in a bamboo hut, where they decided to quickly move us to a concrete room because of the heat! The room was average but there were no complaints for less than £2 a night! Our hostel was called Easy Go and was good value for the cheap price, although there were lots of geckos in the room and running water was not regular! We spent our first evening in a Friends restaurant where they play 'Friends' non stop which was so much fun! And then went back to our hostel, made some friends and went on a night out to a Jungle party. We went tubing the next day which was on our travelling bucket list! It was so much fun, I would definitely do it again! On our third day we visited the Blue Lagoon, which wasn't amazing but worth a trip there, and then spent the evening in the bars again. Next was Luang Prabang. 

Luang Prabang, March 9th to 12th
Our trip to Luang Prabang was really quick in the minibus we took, we managed to get there in just a few hours. We stayed at Kounsavan Guest House which I really liked! We went to get dinner that night and attempted to watch the sunset over the Mekong, however it was really cloudy so we didn't manage to see it. The following day we got up super early to go to and watch the giving of alms, which was interesting but there were lots of tourists being quite disrespectful. I met one of my best friends who was also travelling at the same time, and then we went to the waterfalls which were so beautiful! We also got to see bears there which was amazing to see. That evening we went to Utopia and then went bowling with friends we had met at the hostel. The following day we wondered round the town seeing the sights, and then headed to Utopia for dinner. We had such a lovely time in Laos! 

Laos Spending
(In Laos Kip)

Transport: 195,000
Accommodation: 289,000
Day trips: 98,000
Food and Drink: 580,000
Shopping: 43,000

Total approx. in GBP: £149.80
Days spent in Laos: 8 days
Average per day: £18.73