I just wanted to let you all know that I’m going to move this site to here – my life’s been a little hectic lately, so hosting this blog independently has been a little tough. So I decided to move to WordPress for the time being!
Thanks for your love – hope you tune in to the next part of my travels! 🙂
These past two weeks, I slept in a van and lived out my wildest fantasies. Not just any van – the mystery van. (No, we didn’t solve any mysteries). Two amazing, wonderful weeks spent exploring the beautiful mountains of New Zealand. We started in Christchurch, and did a big loop of the South Island.
As cheesy as it sounds, I left a little piece of my heart in Hanoi. It was an unlikely romance – through the stressful chaos in the streets and the fact that we were stuck there for a few days with not much to do due to my sudden but very real lack of a passport, I expected to run from Hanoi screaming and never look back. But, now that we’ve left it, I so desperately long to return.
I can’t really describe what about this city charmed me so – maybe it’s the fact that it’s a restless, constant moving organism with so many different stories moving through it. Or maybe it’s the easygoing attitude of the locals. Chances are, it’s the countless hole-in-the-wall restaurants that never fail to amaze. Or, maybe even the incredible Vietnamese coffee we had on all too many occasions.
Most likely it’s a little bit of all these things mashed together – regardless, Hanoi stole my heart like no other city has so far.
Here are my top tips for a few lovely days in this charming, crazy city.
Less often trekked by tourists than its close-by cities Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Chiang Dao is a small town in the very north of Thailand. In it you’ll find local restaurants and shops, but, also, beautiful views, hikes, and temples.
If you have a couple of days to spare, Chiang Dao is a gorgeous, rural retreat when you get tired of exploring the bustling cities Thailand has to offer.
Chiang Mai is the third largest city in Thailand, and a lovely representation of the northern Thai culture. Chiang Mai was one of my very favourite parts of the country; it has the fun of a big city, without the intimidating air that Bangkok has. We stayed in the Old Quarter, and didn’t really venture out of it, with no regrets. Here’s a breakdown of what your stay in Chiang Mai may cost you, provided you are budget travelling:
Accommodation: Hostels here range anywhere from 5-20$ for something reasonable (or maybe with lizards in your vents – but they’re harmless). Ian and I are able to share private rooms since the cost for each of us comes out to about the same as if we each payed for a hostel bed. We stayed at Tommy Huts, which cost 13$ per night, or 6.50$ each. This got us a private hut with air conditioning, at Thai style bathroom with shower, and a bed. Pretty good deal!
Did you know Bangkok is the most visited city in the world? Bangkok is a bustling city that can seem too intimidating to navigate and explore at first; it’s made up of several regions, all with their own individualities. However, with a little research and knowledge of the city, it’s a charming place with many local amenities. Here were my favourite things to do in Bangkok.
Losing your passport while travelling can feel like the most stressful thing ever – I know from experience. My passport was stolen in Hanoi, Vietnam, along with all my ID, credit, debit card, and all of my cash. On top of this, I had a dead phone with no charger, because it had, by fluke, broken that very same day. It felt like drowning. Everything that kept me going away from my home country was removed from possession. Luckily, Ian was with me, and so I didn’t have to worry about ordering a credit card to my hotel, or getting a cheque sent to me – what a mess that would have been. (If you are in that situation, though, notify your bank right away, and they can send you new cards. I’m with CIBC, and they covered the costs of international calls for fraud. Check with your bank – they likely do the same).
After only a week here, I have absorbed a few things about this country that I feel make it unique to anywhere else in the world. You can see it walking through the streets of both big cities and small towns, see it in the way the locals speak to one another, in the hospitality they show us, and even in the traffic.
Hey everyone! If you’re reading this when it’s first publicized, you’re seeing it while Ian and I are on our flight to Bangkok – woohoo!
We decided to go with backpacks instead of checked luggage this time, after AirCanada lost our luggage on our last trip to Portugal. However, seeing as we’ll be away for over a month this time around, packing everything I needed into a 40L travel bag was quite a challenge. Let me tell you what I brought, to ease your time should it come around.
Hey everyone! How was the week been? It’s been a super crazy time for me – I moved, I finished classes, exams are underway, and to top it all off, we’re wrapping up all the loose ends in our planning for Southeast Asia where we’ll be hitting Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.