September - December 2019
Our super extended honeymoon all around the far east. Read more
  • 54footprints
  • 9countries
  • 111days
  • 321photos
  • 0videos
  • 29.3kkilometers
  • 23.0kkilometers
  • Day 1

    London to Bangkok

    September 1, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    The long awaited start to our Asia trip! And 'Long' was definitely the word to describe today. 3 flights with stops in Amsterdam and Guangzhou (China), serious bum ache from sitting down for so long, and completely confused about what time it was and whether our beef noodles were breakfast or dinner.Read more

  • Day 2

    Arriving in Bangkok

    September 2, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 29 °C

    We finally arrived in Bangkok, exhausted and jetlagged but excited to be here. Our very friendly but totally useless taxi driver took us from the airport to the wrong hostel (she did provide free weird fruit on the journey though) so we then had to take a tuktuk for an extra few minutes to get to the right place.
    After a brief 5 hour nap we did a small exploration of the area where we are staying. There is a fantastic temple complex around the corner and lots of little street food stands and restaurants which we are excited to try in the next few days. In the evening we had cashew nut chicken rice and pad thai, both delicious!
    Read more

  • Day 3

    Khaosan and Chatuchak

    September 3, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We started off with a breakfast of iced coffees and Thai style fried chicken while it poured with rain outside. Luckily, it had stopped by the time we finished so we could go off exploring.
    First we headed to Phra Sumen Fort which is next to the river not far from us. We stopped for a drink and a sit down on a bench in the park, the humidity had made us very thirsty already.
    We then walked to Khaosan Road, a famous street for backpackers, which was quite calm in early afternoon but the market stalls and street food vendors were getting set up ready for the evening. We also went to Wat Chana on the other side of the main road, this horseshoe shaped road also has lots of hostels and bars and restaurants aimed at tourists but is much more peaceful and pleasant to walk around. It also has a monastery which we could go inside and see all the statues and enormous candles.
    A random man in the street persuaded us to go to visit the temple of the Happy Buddha, or maybe Lucky Buddha, we thought we heard both, in any case he was a nice buddha. Another random man also visiting told us that we were very lucky to get the chance to see him because he was only open to the public on a couple of days of the year. He didn't seem much different to any other buddha we've seen but apparently we have good luck now, so that's a bonus!
    A tuktuk driver took us back to Wat Chana, with a brief detour to a suit factory (we didn't really understand why, if it was supposed to be a scam it was a very half-arsed one), after explaining that we didn't really want a tailor made 3 piece suit we were back on the tuktuk, dodging traffic again.
    In Wat Chana we ate green curry and tom yum soup for dinner before going back to Kaosan Road for a drink. By now the street was packed with everything from musicians to an alligator being roasted on a spit. We had a cocktail and listened to 4 different songs at once from each of the surrounding bars before heading home for a much needed shower.
    Read more

  • Day 5

    Wat Arun and Lumphini Park

    September 5, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Unfortunately our master plan of getting over the jetlag in Bangkok didn't work out at all, we still go to bed at 4 o'clock in the morning and being spacey for most of the day, anyway we pushed ourselves to see as much as we could and accidently checked out the beautiful Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun (the local boat didn't stop at our station and ended up on the other side of the river). The boat ride was authentic with Buddist monks and other locals, it was in a turbo mode and the passengers only had seconds to jump on and off it, also the only place where you can get some breeze in humid Bangkok (or on the speedy tuktuk). Then we went to Lumphini park where local goes for relaxing, runnning and exercises. Twice a day an openair free aerobic class is available for anyone who would like to join. We think at least a 100 thai joined in, it was super interesting to see. In the evening a quick look around the Patpong night market, red light district and Asiatique market (combined shopping mall and night market place) before heading to our local for more Thai food.
    On our last day we decided to take super easy (also it was pouring) some big sleep, thai massage for Vera, photo taking time for Tom, sesame chicken and Pad See Ew before heading to the airport for our night flight to Japan.
    Read more

  • Day 6

    Arrival in Tokyo, Komagome

    September 6, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    A 6 hour flight later we arrived to the second destination of our Asia trip: Tokyo. We could only check in at 4pm but we decided to head to our neighbourhood, Komagome with our big luggage and chill out there (also we only slept 2 hours on the plane so we weren't too energetic). After some Japanese curry and Gyudon (beef and rice) in the local cheap place we went to the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens which is a "unique garden of the Taisho-period with a harmonized mixture of Japanese and western taste" - as the leaflet says. It was beautiful and perfect for relaxing/half sleeping, what the leaflet doesn't mention is that there are many invisible mosquitos (well how useful our mosquito repellent would have been if it wasn't taken away from us in China with the 'it is too dangerous' reason).
    When we arrived to check in our street seemed like the most surreal place ever. Light, classical/computer game music was played from speakers and everything seemed tiny, the streets, the cars, no rubbish anywhere - like we were in a computer game or virtual reality.
    As it was 30+ degrees we were looking forward some refreshing shower in our tiny apartment (as big as our two futon beds so they are folded up during the day) followed by instant noodle pots and a big sleep.
    Read more

  • Day 7

    Shibuya and Shinjuku

    September 7, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Our first full day in Japan and finally we managed to get out of bed at a reasonable time to make the most of it!
    First we headed to Shibuya, a famous district of Tokyo where there is a crazy multi-direction zebra crossing, huge station, lots of shopping centres, and a little statue of a dog called Hachiko. He became famous for waiting for his master at the station every evening, even after the master died, poor little Hachiko.
    We explored a huge department store full of weird things including sweet potato flavoured kitkats and hats for cats. Then we went to an arcade which had hundreds of games and grab machines and even a virtual reality bungy jump.
    Next we walked to and around Yoyogi Park, where we stopped for a picnic of mixed bread rolls (quite nice actually) and colourful blobs (not quite nice actually).
    Next to the park is the Meiji shrine, there are big wooden arches, old fashioned japanese buildings and a place to write prayers for peace and prosperity.
    We finished the day in Shinjuku. First we explored Golden Gai, a small area of tiny streets with even tinier pubs. Then we went to the red light district called Kabukicho, home to a robot restaurant, giant Godzilla statue on top of a skyscraper, French maid bars and millions of neon lights.
    Read more

  • Day 8

    Asakusa and Yanaka

    September 8, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After discovering some of 'new' Tokyo we decided to see older, more traditional parts.
    In the morning we took a train to Asakusa where we straight away found old fashioned streets and much smaller buildings than the skyscrapers we were surrounded by the day before. The oldest and one of the most significant temples in Tokyo, Senso Ji, can also be found here which is known for its big red lanterns. While we were there we met a Japanese man who spoke a bit of Hungarian and had fried mashed potato sandwiches. In a little shop we bought a postcard with an old painting of the temple and we also bought some souvenir chopsticks from a 100 yen shop which had lots of beautiful bowls and other Japanese cooking stuff.
    Later we walked over to Yanaka, another famously traditional qurater full of temples and shrines. On the way there we saw an amazing drum performance in the street. After a picnic in a Japanese garden style park with some real cheap streetfood (as lack of English signs we accidently but happily ended up with more fried mashed potato), we visited Nezu Shrine. Here there is a long tunnel of red gates which were great for taking photos.
    We headed home not too late with aching feet ready for a rest and to get safely inside before the typhoon arrived!...
    Read more

  • Day 9

    Roppongi and Metropolitan Observatory

    September 9, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Typhoon Faxai threw a spanner in the works of our plan to visit Mount Takoa today, the strong wind and heavy rain in the early hours of the morning messed up the trains for the day so we decided to stay in Tokyo instead.
    Luckily there was still plenty left to see and we started off in Roppongi where we saw a pond full of space fish (the descendents of the first fish born on the International Space Station) and a giant spider standing guard outside a huge skyscraper. Then we visited the Fujifilm photo gallery and camera museum.
    In the evening we went back to Shinjuku for a brilliant dinner, ramen noodles, fried rice, miso soup and gyoza dumplings. Really fincsi and Vera invented a new chopsticks technique. We also found a cool alley full of pubs called Omoide Yokocho.
    After dark we went up to the 45th floor of the Metropolitan Building where there is an observatory with amazing 360° views of Tokyo.
    Read more

  • Day 10


    September 10, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We exchanged our vouchers for our Japan Rail passes and boarded the Shinkansen bullet train to Takayama. Aside from obviously being very fast, the train journey was beautiful and our first look at the Japanese countryside.
    We chose Takayama after reading about its old fashioned style and picturesque location in the Japanese Alps and we weren't disappointed at all. The town is lovely and full of old wooden buildings. We enjoyed exploring the streets and markets and visited a couple of sake breweries where we could do some tasting of traditional Japanese booze (we couldn't actually see the process as it is made in winter time). We also followed a walking route which goes around the outskirts of town in the hills where there are lots of temples, shrines and a big graveyard. Several posters warn you that bears have been spotted lately around the mountains, perhaps it's not so bad after all that we didn't have time for a hike.
    We tried a few new foods in Takayama; Hida beef, steamed dumplings, rice ball skewers with soy and Hida beef croquettes.
    To save money we stayed in a dorm which had a capsule style feeling, only here there were wooden "boxes" to sleep in, quite cosy actually!
    Read more

  • Day 11

    Hida Folk Village

    September 11, 2019 in Japan ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

    Hida Folk Village is a skanzen type place 40 minute walk away from Takayama. It is a place to preserve traditional houses, lifestyles and professions. The buildings have been moved from different parts of the Hida region.
    We spent a few hours wandering around learning about Japanese traditional architecture, silk making, wedding traditions and lifestyles.
    No suprise anymore that even in this place you can find a few vending machines (they are literally everywhere) so Tom tried macha (green tea) ice-cream.
    Read more