Apr 11, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 15 – photo of the week – cycling around Van Vieng, Laos

Talking about cycling this week… Well I must say I am not a great cyclist myself but there’s something magical about a laid back, slow paced cycle around SE Asian towns and villages.

Macca’s talking about cycling around Sukhotai in Thailand.  I am taking you all slightly North-East of Sukhotai this week. The infamous Vang Vieng in Laos.

week 15 - cycling around Vang Vieng

If you’re a globe trotter yourself or planning to conquer the world with nothing but a backpack on your back you’ve probably heard of Vang Vieng. Whether you got drunk while tubing down the Nam Song river, while it was still in its full swing or missed the all the craziness once the dangerous swings and slides got banned after way too many lives were lost due to drunken shenanigans, tubing is what majority of us travellers know Vang Vieng for.

C and I were there in late November 2011 and limited our tubing experience to watching everyone come back around 5-6pm, totally intoxicated and ruined  from their day on the water.

What we did instead is immersed ourselves in the local area renting bikes and motorcycles and exploring using super awesome Hobo Map that we accidentally found and bought in Vientiane.

From local villages, caves, hills, streams and rivers to riding our (city!) bikes in rice fields on C’s 27th birthday those few days we spent in Vang Vieng were some of our most memorable and chilled our days.

cycling in laos

I loved visiting local villages, eating chicken fried rice at the back of someone’s house. Watching kids play with a plastic water bottle as this was the only toy they had and creating stuff our of sticks and twigs using their imagination as their best guide was just so inspiring…

Don’t get me wrong, we did spend a few hours in local cafes that play episodes of Friends, South Park and Family Guy on loop and had a good laugh but if you do find yourself in Vang Vieng, do yourself a favour and go explore! It’s just too beautiful, peaceful and friendly to be missed. I found it mesmerising.

lao countryside

And don’t forget the Hobo Map! They’re awesome and will take you places you’d never find on your own.

Till next week :)

 

Apr 4, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 14 – photo of the week – life in the slow lane

You can almost feel your heart beat slow down…

Being used to the western world pace of life, at first you may freak out a little, but if this is your daily view and your routine consists of waking up with the roosters, cooking fresh out of the sea mahi mahi with coconut cream, you can’t help but give in into the slow paced island life.

week 14 - slow life

Macca wrote about diving in Malaysia this week and even though I don’t dive I knew exactly what he meant talking about your whole life slowing down once you settle into your island routine. I mean, I loved it in Aitutaki, one of the stunning Cook Islands. It’s claimed the title of one of the most beautiful Pacific lagoons for a reason.

That’s where I met some of the friendliest, nicest and most chilled out people I’ve ever met.  It may have taken me 20min to buy a couple of stamps at the local post office and even longer to buy a (rather choppy) internet voucher but who cares if your only worry is to make it to the stunning lagoon beach and then back again to the west side to watch the sunset.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that for the locals the island life is not always plain sailing with cyclones, running out of food supplies before the next cargo arrives or having to wait over 8 weeks for anything you ordered to turn up from Oz or New Zealand but quite a few of those that I spoke to have either tasted Australian or New Zealand (just slightly) faster pace of life and came back to their Pacific oasis or actually have never left and spend their weekends on one of a few deserted islets in the lagoon, having a bonfire and playing guitar with their friends under the full moon.

aitutaki lagoon cruise

After a while your days roll into one, one motorbike ride to another, one deserted beach to another amazing swim in the crystal clear waters. I cherished every minute, every bite of my fresh fish and locally grown veg. I enjoyed every chat with friendly islanders. Every trip to discover yet another amazing place to stop by and snap a few pictures.

I wish you all to at least once taste the life in the slow lane.

And do I sound like a broken record saying I can’t wait for more?

Mar 28, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 13 – photo of the week – life on wheels in Oz

When I read Macca’s post this week I knew exactly what was going to be my photo of the week this week…

camping in Oz

C and I spent over 6 weeks, driving over 5000km down the East Coast of Oz in early 2012.

It is fair to say, life on wheels takes a few days to adapt to, especially that we’ve never done it before but boy is it worth it! Not only for the stunning views you wake up to every day that Macca talks about in ‘Park Life in Australia’  but also the interactions and new friends you make while on the road.

And by that I don’t necessarily mean other backpackers and travellers but some of these guys:

 IMG_3938

 

kakadu

 

IMG_4058

 

possum

 

dragon

I thought it’d be best to just share some of the pics above as words can’t describe Australian wildlife. Apart from plenty of sanctuaries and nature reserves where you can see rainbow coloured birds, kangaroos and koalas all you really need to do is pay attention and look around you when camping.

All of the pics I shared with you today I took in various places alongside the East Coast, whether directly on a campsite or wandering around. It’s just amazing!

Even though, when travelling in a tiny camper as this is all you can afford as backpacker may seem a bit of a pain. (I won’t lie, we had a few sleepless nights as it was just to hot to sleep.) Your dirty feet and chipped nail polish won’t matter as what you see around you blows you away each day, every day! So think twice when you make a decision between jumping on a bus where you can only stop when they let you or actually having a jelly bean on wheels as your home for a few week, which I promise you’ll never forget and once done once you’d want to repeat over and over again.

Well… apart from meeting those lovely ‘little’ huntsman spiders that sometimes decide to visit when you wake up in the morning (the only wildlife I didn’t get to photograph as I was too busy freaking out)!

Till next week x