Susie Bruce

Joined February 2017
  • Day354

    KENYA

    March 19, 2018 in Kenya ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    After flying through the night we arrived in Kenya to start a 6 week overland tour from Nairobi to Cape Town. We met the rest of our group of 22 people who all seemed very nice and all age 20-30 which was good. We had a briefing from our guide from the trip, Wilson from Kenya. Next we boarded our transport, basically a pumped up bus that can cope with the African roads and day one was spent crossing the border into Tanzania.Read more

  • Day352

    Sukhothai

    March 17, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Apologies for the delay in our next post, both phone signal and internet are harder to come by when we are in Africa. So our last stop before leaving Thailand was going to visit the kingdom of Siam's first capital. Here there were ..... More temples (because we hadn't seen enough yet). It was very nice, we spent two days here cruzing about on our scooter checking out the temples and the local museum.
    After here we carried on down to Bangkok, and spent a day organising ourselves before we jetted off to Kenya!
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  • Day349

    Chiang Mai (part 2)

    March 14, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    The second part of our adventures in Chiang Mai. Firstly we visited the 'temple on the hill' - something everyone raved about. I think we have spent enough time in south east Asia now as to us it was just another temple. The next day we went on a tour to Doi Suthep national park. The morning was spent visiting temples (sigh) and gardens, but the afternoon was a walk through the forest which was much more enjoyable.
    Finally we finished our stay by going to a Thai cooking class. It was very good - we cooked more spring rolls, a curry, soup and the famous Pad Thai.
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  • Day347

    Chiang Mai (part 1)

    March 12, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We thought we would split this into to two parts as we have ended up staying here a good while.
    As the more astute of you may have noticed we are back in Thailand. So a quick flight and long bus from Bangkok and we are here. The nicest city we have seen in Thailand, small streets with gift shops and quite a lot of character. We heard many people compare it to Hoi An in Vietnam. It's nice....just not that nice. We arrived on the weekend and the weekend markets were definitely one of the best we have been to.
    The first day we took a day tour to Chang Rai, a smaller town north to mainly see the golden triangle. Which is a river border separating Thailand, Laos and Myanmar apparently it was one of the top tourist destinations. For us it was a river with land on either side.. however briefly we went over to Laos where we tried some whiskey in which they had put (initially alive) scorpions, snakes, tiger penises and opium ... we tried to get some for you but they were all illegal in Thailand, shame I know you would have wanted to try it! We also went to the famous white temple (I know another one!!) but this one was probably the best one we have seen! Otherwise it was a pretty average trip.
    Next day we went to an elephant sanctuary, it was the best thing to happen in Susie's life (her opinion not mine). I thought it was definitely up there I'll be honest! We got to feed, cuddle and bathe the elephants for a whole day. We were also taught about the horrible lives they had previously led which made us sad so we gave them more food!! It was pricey but when they explained that it coat them 80 USD per day to feed 1 elephant we got over it!
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  • Day339

    Sapa

    March 4, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Next we travelled to Sapa for a couple of days. Here we did a 12km trek to see stunning scenery mainly composed of rice flats. You can see from the pictures they create flat areas on the hills in order to create more space to grow rice. We also visited some communities who live in the countryside. The weather was beautiful which made a big difference!Read more

  • Day336

    Halong Bay

    March 1, 2018 ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Another night bus and another rubbish nights sleep. I think we are done with them, we possibly have 1 more in north Thailand (hopefully not though).
    Halong bay supposedly another highlight of Vietnam, and we weren't disappointed! The bay is made up of over 1100 islands. We opted for a 3 day 2 night cruise as we felt any shorter and it would be rushed, and we were happy we did. The boat itself was brilliant in comparison to all other cruises we have done so far! The scenery was amazing. Over the two days we went kayaking, to a pearl farm and to another cave. The kayaking and just sitting on the sun deck of the boat with a beer in hand looking around were the most enjoyable parts.
    There were only 2 downsides. The first was that unfortunately people here don't seem to care where they throw their rubbish, meaning most of it ends up in the sea. Sadly it certainly scarred this amazing place. Secondly, karaoke here is like their favourite thing in the world. Being British we don't normally get involved in such things (unless a few drinks are consumed) so we don't normally mind. On a confined relatively small cruise boat hearing Vietnamese people murder every good song was not enjoyable. They may like karaoke but god they are crap at it!
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  • Day333

    Phong Nha

    February 26, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Next we visited the national park and world UNESCO heritage centre Phong Nha. Due to the price of tours we reluctantly decided to hire a motorbike again to visit this but I'm pleased to say we enjoyed it way more this time due to the roads being much quieter.
    The scenery was lovely and we visited a couple of caves. The first cave, paradise cave was very impressive - it was over a kilometer in length. The second cave, dark cave contained a mud bath and was also where we did some zip lining, kayaking and fun water activities.Read more

  • Day330

    Hoi An

    February 23, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    From the previous destinations we seem to have had a bit of a upsurge of fortune, or we just went to a place we really liked. We arrived in Hoi An on another night bus, these are shite in comparison to the South America busses. Bunk bed like seats with bugger all room and no on board toilet. Personally this was a issue for me having the bladder the size of a child, or a prostate problem (not sure which) I was constantly on edge. I needn't have feared though, as the bus consequently stopped what felt like every hour meaning time to sleep was restricted to a minimum.
    Anyway Hoi An, we could have spent an age here. The centre of the town was dedicated to bicycles and pedestrians only, meaning we didn't constantly feel like we were going to die! The town centre itself was very picturesque with little alley ways which were lit up by coloured chinese lanterns at night. We spent a good portion of our time here wandering the streets looking in small shops. We also went shopping!!! Hoi An is also famous for tailors! I was determined to get at least 1 suit. Turns out I got 2 and Susie an outfit as well! It was difficult to decide first where to go and what to pick with countless numbers of fabric and over 400 tailoring shops. In the end it took only 2 days to get measured up and our clothes made from scratch at a fraction of the price it would have cost at home!
    Here we also took bicycles and went around to neighbouring villages such as the vegetable village which was pretty much a giant vegetable patch for a village green. Also the pottery village where they made all sorts of ornaments out of pottery, and Susie made a rather rubbish jug (I think it was a jug anyways?)
    Lastly we went on a tour to the coconut islands where we were taken around in a bamboo boat, which was surprisingly good fun. After which we did a Vietnamese cooking class. This was also a highlight for us. Mainly because there was food, and a lot of it. It also tasted amazing so Susie has volunteered to cook you all some traditional Vietnamese food when we get back. Me being a man/child I like to burn things, so the chef let me flambé our rice pancakes. So in summary Hoi An - a definite highlight of our Vietnam road trip so far!!
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  • Day327

    Da lat and Nha trang

    February 20, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I have combined two places we visited next for reasons that will become clear. We decided to go to Da Lat mainly to do a 'secret tour' we had read about. We wanted to do this tour on Chinese New Years Day so decided to email beforehand to check that would be okay. 'Yes, no bother' was the reply. However when we got there we were told of course the tour would not be running as everything shuts down for New Years! So basically we had a day in Da Lat drinking coffee and visiting the only attraction that was open which was the flower gardens.
    We moved on the next day, it was then that we realised that Chinese New Year does not last for one day, but 10 days! And during this time most tourist attractions shut down, the rest are double the price. Buses were packed and so expensive! We visited Nha Trang next, a popular beach resort. Again, everything we tried to do was closed, and it rained so the beach was a no go. We managed to visit some mud baths which passed the time.
    So by the end of this week we were pretty fed up with Chinese New Year and there was still another 3 days to go!
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  • Day319

    Ho Chi Minh

    February 12, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Next we crossed the border into Vietnam, our first stop was Ho Chi Minh or Saigon. With more people in this city than the whole of Cambodia it was a bit of a shock going back to the urban life style and placing your life in danger every time you tried to cross a road! Apparently it's best to close you eyes and just walk, at least that way you don't see the near misses.
    We went on 2 day trips from here. One to the Mekong delta which is meant to be amazing... we were both underwhelmed. Maybe we should have gone for a 2 day tour which a lot of people were doing. We felt it was more aimed at selling us things rather than showing us the delta. The best part was getting a boat ride through the small canals of the delta which had some nice scenery.
    We also went to the Cu Chi tunnels which were used in the French/American Vietnamese war. We both found these amazing. Three floors of underground tunnels 3, 7 and 12-15 meters underground. With places for people to live and in total all the tunnels combined were over 200km in length. We got to go down into the first floor. It was hot sweaty and small, not something I would want to live in for years at a time.
    On the last day we wandered around the city itself looking at cathedrals etc, we also went to the museum dedicated to the Vietnamese war. Again apparently we are uneducated on the topic but I'm fairly sure this was a one sided view if things. However there was a lot we hadn't really appreciated before. In particular that the wars within Vietnam had lasted about 30 years non stop which included the French colonial war and the American wars which had been back to back. There is a particular anti American feel about the place. On the bright side, there are baguettes and crepes on every street corner to eat!! Susie was happy!
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