Joined July 2017
  • Day4

    Overnight train / sapa

    October 4, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    The overnight train was an ... interesting experience .... it was A Vietnamese granny , grandpa , 3 year old grandchild , Aishling and myself all crammed into a tiny room meant for max 4 people . We started our journey winding through the streets of Hanoi , squeezing past cars and even shops and restaurants.
    It was so bumpy I was worried Aishling would fly off the top bunk and join me on the bottom bunk at some points !!. We managed a bit of sleep though and woke up about 4 am ready to get off the train at 5.
    Instead of taking the comfortable , air conditioned but way overpriced tourist buses we decided to take the local bus to Sapa . This involved a little old lady selling some sort of food - in the two hour journey we still didn’t work out what she was selling - someone getting sick , and a man holding a tiny kitten inside a water bottle !! - again no idea why .
    When we arrived in Sapa we headed straight to the hostel got into bed and had an actual proper sleep !!
    When we woke up we took a stroll around the town , it’s a completely different pace to Hanoi it felt almost like being in a different country .
    We went for dinner in this amazing restaurant that sat high up on a balcony looking down over the rice paddies , I think the food could have been horrible but we still would have enjoyed it because of the view !!
    Then it was back to the hostel for a movie night and an early sleep
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  • Day3

    Halong bay day 2

    October 3, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After an early 6 am start we had breakfast while cruising through the bay . We then got on the tender and headed out to a small floating fishing village , from there we we travelled by local bamboo boats through the bay into a cave where we all had to duck and swerve the stalagmites .
    When we got back to the boat it was time for a cooking lesson in fresh spring rolls . The chef told us that in Vietnam the women can only get married if they can make a good spring roll , so the pressure was on . I think we did quite well but no offers of marriage yet .
    We then headed back to port for the journey back to Hanoi. After 2 bumpy hours we were back but the travel day wasn’t over yet . We collected our bags had dinner and it was off to the train station for the overnight train ....
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  • Day2

    Ha long bay !

    October 2, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We received an email to say the cruise we had initially booked had been cancelled due to engine problems so we were being upgraded to their 5 star sister cruise !! This also meant a shorter transfer 2 hours on brand new road rather thn 4 and a half on bumpy roads and a later wake up call .
    After sleeping the whole way to the bay we got on a small tender before being transferred to our big cruise ship . As soon as we got to the boat we had a welcome drink and safety briefing where we met a couple from Carlow who we then stuck with for the rest of our trip and even had the room beside us .We couldn’t believe it when we go into our room and saw the balcony and jacuzzi tub in the bathroom !! After having lunch in the dinning room we went kayaking in a secluded part of the bay , it was so quiet when we went around one of the small islands it was only me and Aishling , we kayaked right up beside one of the island where there was hundreds of bright purple crabs crawling around , so many it looked like the whole island was moving !!
    We then attempted to get back to the tender, turns out neither of us can steer very well .
    Then we headed to another quiet spot to go swimming the water was so clean and clear compared to the part of ha long bay I was in before .
    We then went back to the boat for a shower and go ready for dinner . I don’t remember how many courses we were fed but it was a lot !!
    After dinner we decided to really milk the fact we were on such a fancy cruise and brought our cocktails back to our room and got in the jacuzzi !!
    Once we got into bed we both fell straight asleep knowing it was an early start the next day

    **More photos to follow from my camera **
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  • Day1

    Day 2

    October 1, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After a well needed lie in we grabbed some breakfast in the hostel and headed out for the day. We walked through the madness that is Hanoi old quarter and managed to avoid being hit by any Bikes - I’m convinced Aishling will walk into a bike rather than being hit by one cause she gets so distracted by everything that is going on . We then went to ha lao prison . A prison that was originally used by the french when they occupied Vietnam to hold and torture Vietnamese political prisoners. During the American war it was then used to hold American soldiers.
    After the prison we headed to Hoan Kiem lake to the note coffee shop , a cafe where with your drink your given a post it to write a message and stick somewhere in the cafe after years it’s now covered floor to ceiling with different colourful post its.
    We then headed back to the hostel to catch the rugby.
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  • Day0

    We have arrived !

    September 30, 2019 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After a very sleepless night we got our rucksacks and headed to Gatwick . The journey actually flew apart from a bit of a sleepy grump lay over in Dubai that involved sleeping on the floor and not much else. We arrived in Hanoi luckily with no visa problems and headed straight to the hostel .
    The hostel has comfy beds , free drinking water , good WiFi and £2 drinks so we’re both very happy.
    The jet lag started to hit us so we just went for a bit of a stroll around the city while Aishling practised crossing the roads and dodging mopeds . We ended up meeting a group of Irish in the hostel bar and a group of us all went to a little nightclub about a 3 minute walk from the hostel then it was back to bed for a well needed sleep .
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  • Day41

    The Long Journey Home

    August 24, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    After a 7 am start we got to the airport for one of the best airport experiences I've ever had. We were the first up to the check in desk with no queue, managed to check our bags all the way to Dublin and got seats together on both flights. We then headed to passport control and security.

    When we got there the queues were the longest I have ever seen in an airport but just as we arrived they opened their second security section so we didn't have to queue at all, the same with passport control. After a ham and cheese panini it was time to board the plane. 12 hours later we arrived at Heathrow for the last leg of our journey back to Dublin. The first thing I did when I got home was get a drink of water from a tap (so sick of paying for water) and after giving Mum, Dad and Conor their presents, it was time to have a much needed sleep in my own bed .
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  • Day40

    Bangkok- the final day

    August 23, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Today was the hottest day yet and we decided we couldn't manage another day touring around Bangkok, so we went to the MBK shopping centre. It is one of the biggest shopping centres in Bangkok with over 2000 shops. Although I didn't buy anything it was so interesting to look around the 7 floors at the different things in the shops. When we got back to the hostel we finished our packing and made sure we had everything ready to go home the next morning. That evening we went to a lovely restaurant for our final dinner and then headed to the night market to spend the last of our baht. Going to bed it was sad to think it was our last night, but I was excited knowing the next day (technically it was two days with the flights) we would be home and get to see everyone.Read more

  • Day39

    Bangkok

    August 22, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    The day started with a tuk tuk around the city. Everywhere we looked there were beautiful gold and white palaces and monuments covered in jewels. We walked down to the very smelly pier and got a taxi boat down the river towards the grand palace. Unfortunately we were told to get off at the wrong stop and had to wait for the next boat going back down the river. When we eventually got there most people were dressed all in black because Thailand is in a year of mourning after the King's death.

    We finally got in to the grounds of the palace and started to look round, but were then told the palace actually closes at 3 pm so we would have to leave. We decided we didn't want all that travel to be a waste so we walked down to Wat Pho, otherwise known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It's a huge temple with a 46 metre gold reclining Buddha inside. The grounds also contain other smaller temples and stupas as well as a school for monks. There are sculptures of guardians protecting the gates of the temples. It was one of my favourite places we went to in Thailand, which made up for us not getting a good look at the palace. We then got a tuk tuk back to the hostel and went to the Koh San road for dinner and to have a look around the famous market.
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  • Day38

    Chiang Mai - Bangkok

    August 21, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Our flight to Bangkok wasn't until 8 o'clock in the evening so we had the whole day to spend in Chiang Mai. We had to check out by 11 so got up and packed all our bags and left them in the hostel. We wandered in to the old town for one last look and bought a few postcards. We then decided to get a traditional Thai massage which was an interesting and slightly painful experience but was still funny. Afterwards we headed for a late lunch before getting our taxi to the airport. Unfortunately our flight was slightly delayed but we managed to entertain ourselves for a few hours and finally arrived in Bangkok where we were very relieved to arrive safely at our hostel following an interesting taxi journey!Read more

  • Day36

    Chiang Mai - Canyon Water Park

    August 19, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    All night and most of the morning there was a massive storm so we did a bit of washing, caught up on some sleep and then made our plans for the day. We got a taxi to Chiang Mai Canyon Water Park. It is set in an area that looks like a mini Grand Canyon. We were given our life jackets and headed to the water course. It was much harder than it looks and I don't think we were very good, much to the lifeguards' amusement. After a few hours we were completely wrecked and headed back to the hostel. When we got home we showered, changed and headed to the famous Saturday night market. One of the big streets in Chiang Mai is completely shut down and filled to the brim with hundred and hundreds of stalls. After spending way too much money we went back to the hostel for a well needed sleep.Read more

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