Southeast Asia Top 5

It wouldn’t be the end of a big trip without a spot of Instagram-heavy reminiscence. Here’s a few of my favourite bits from the past few months…

Favourite purchase

Even though I got home and, after so long with so few belongings in my backpack, wpid-IMG_20130421_205942.jpgimmediately shipped off two whole bin bags of old clothes to Oxfam, I can’t really say I’ve come back detached from the material world. Finding all my old makeup at home was like Christmas x10.

So I brought back a few things, my favourites being the Burberry-rip off mac I got made in Hoi An; also a litre bottle of extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil from Koh Chang. I’ve been over-zealous in moisturising with it, and now I’ve nearly run out. Well, if it’s good enough for Miranda Kerr

Best all-rounder

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Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai

Vietnam was a perfect first destination (Hong Kong doesn’t count- hello jetlag) for its delicious food and adventure opportunities.

But the best country for ticking all the boxes has to be the original backpacker’s favourite: Thailand. We couldn’t get enough even after nearly 3 months there! Cheap food that’s always delicious, your choice of islands to sip cocktails on, stunning mountains in the North that were just made for scooter rides… we understandably maxed out our visas here.
What I’d go back to do again

wpid-IMG_20130421_203649.jpgA little bit spoilt for choice- scuba diving, elephant trekking, and whitewater rafting were among the now-redundant skills I learnt in SE Asia. Without a doubt, though, I’d go back to do the 12-day massage course again. Who’d have though that 12 days of living in a bamboo shack, waking up at sunrise and being deprived of meat and alcohol would be so enjoyable..? Since then I’ve given a grand total of two full-body massages- totally worth it.

Best accommodation

The Island Hotel in Bali, with its gooorgeous pool, comfy dorm beds and cafĂ© with its own pizza oven (and the world’s best smoothies), was the ultimate flashpacker hostel. A close second was Pai Chan, where we stayed at the beginning of the Mae Hong Son loop.

Favourite moment

Matt was a great travelling companion. People are still astounded that two siblings travelled together for so long without killing eachother, and the secret was probably that we can always make eachother laugh- an invaluable quality when you’re hungover, skint, and a long way from home. Favourite moment still- hungover scuba diving. Delirious giggling after 2 hours’ sleep combined with probable nitrogen narcosis.

And a pick of the worst…

A few hitches along the way include Matt being the most illness wpid-IMG_20130421_205356.jpgand accident prone person in tropical climates (example: he chopped his finger half off on our very first night. And sliced his shin open by falling through a wooden bridge in the last week.) Obviously won’t miss cockroaches, mice and other friendly creatures wanting to share your bedroom at night… But ultimately the worst moment has to be that boat ride. On Christmas Eve!!

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