Page 3 of Chris and Lisa Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 3rd 2011

Well, here I am writing this edition of our blog whilst sitting outside our bamboo hut, overlooking a fishing lake surrounded by lush green mountains and a bright turquoise sky and seriously contemplating the merits of lying in our hammock. Such is the torture of staying in Pai! But first to Chiang Mai, the kingdom’s second biggest city, which has a completely different atmosphere to the chaotic, bustling Bangkok we just left. Firstly, the laid back lifestyle and pace of life in the north impacts not only on those who are lucky enough to visit but also the locals who are chilled out and friendly. Secondly, its layout lacks the high rise city feel and in the moated old quarter the buildings are limited to four storeys. This, combined with the small alleyways leading to traditional ... read more
Doi Suthep
Shhhhhhh
Over the top

Asia » Thailand January 22nd 2011

OK, so things didn’t quite go as planned. We left Koh Phi Phi and arrived in Phuket Town and went straight to the bus station which Chris had sussed out on our last visit. The problem with Thailand (or any Asian country really) is that you have two choices if you want a bus ticket, you can buy one from a travel agent in which case it is highly likely that you will get ripped off or at the very minimum not get the service you thought you paid for. A ‘guaranteed’ VIP bus ticket will turn out to be 15 people cramped onto a 12 seater minibus, plus backpacks, or you’ll have been charged a 1500% mark-up on the face value of the train ticket. This isn’t always the case but 50% of the time ... read more
Hidden Treasure
Not in danger any more
Jungle Ashes update

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phi Phi Don January 3rd 2011

On the bus in Laos, off the bus at the Laos border, back on the bus and over the Mekong River via the Friendship Bridge, off the bus at the Thailand border, back on the bus at Nong Khai and we were at our next destination for a few days – piece of cake. Because we loved Laos so much, and thought we might suffer withdrawal symptoms, we decided to book at the Mut Mee Guesthouse so we could sit on the riverside terrace and gaze across the Mekong at lovely Laos! Okay that was not the reason, but rather a really good recommendation from Rough Guide and almost everyone on Trip Advisor who raved about its relaxing atmosphere. As we were now well and truly into relaxing mode this seemed like the place for us. ... read more
Chillin in Nong Khai
Railay Rocks
Angel in the Andaman

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane December 22nd 2010

OK, we booked early for the decent bus from LP to our next destination Vang Vieng. Unfortunately what this meant in practice was that we had two seats in front of a huge glass window right at that the front of the top deck of a bus driven by an Asian bus driver, through small, windy mountain roads while the rain was hammering down, nicely slickening the already miniscule amount of tarmac on the roads. It was a long 6 hours. Having said that, the views of the mountains, even through the clouds and the rain, were amazing and the driver was kind enough to try to get us even closer on a few occasions!! We arrived in Vang Vieng and, true to Asian form (the Thais run most of the businesses here after all), they ... read more
The mighty Karsts
The Lady Cave
Frog Rock

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang December 21st 2010

Well that’s something we said we’d never do. Fly Lao Airways. Yep we had heard all the stories about planes dropping out of the air and the worst safety record in the world but that’s the wonder of the internet. As it’s turns out, due to a link up with Air France (the French theme will continue), the airline now has a very good safety and engineering record, a new fleet and European standards. We turned up at Pakxe’s tiny airport 90 minutes before our flight and they said “Oh good you’re here, you’re the last passengers”, well that hadn’t happened before. Turns out our plane was already there so we all boarded and took off an hour early. Wow, that doesn’t happen on BA. Most of the flight was fairly uneventful but coming in to ... read more
Beware the Mafia
Cheeky Monky
Wat Xiang Thong

Asia » Laos » South » Bolaven Plateau December 15th 2010

We soon found ourselves back in Pakxe which we were going to use as a base for a couple of excursions to the surrounding sites. We felt that Pakxe itself had very few star attractions to recommend it for more than a day (two at most), but it was in a great location for a visit to Wat Phou and the Bolaven Plateau, and more importantly for our onward flight to Louang Prabang aboard Lao Airlines (yikes). Also one of the evenings we had planned to treat ourselves to a night in a real life palace – the Champasak Palace, but more about that later. For our two days seeing the surrounding area we had decided not to pay out for tours, which would ultimately limit us to someone else’s itinerary, but brave it and hire ... read more
Older than Angkor
Easy Rider
The Entrance

Asia » Laos » South » Don Det December 5th 2010

Firstly, sorry for not posting for ages, the main reason for this is that when you are paying £2.50 a night for a bungalow on an Island on the Mekong River, free (or any) internet is rather scarce, but more about that later. When we last posted we were off to Laos, and given some of the things we had read about the bus journey were a tadge nervous. However it does show that a little research can make the journey a lot easier. We managed to buy a ticket on a decent bus that goes all the way to Savannakhet from Hue rather than dumping you at the border. It was helped by the fact that there were only about 8 people on a 28 seater (and no chickens). Passing through the countryside in Laos ... read more
The town square
The drum tower
Local Bus

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Binh Thuan » Mui Ne November 25th 2010

A flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, an overnight stay in the reliable and friendly Madam Cuc’s, a reliable Sinh Tourist bus down to Mui Ne and we arrived for a bit of R&R (our treat to ourselves). Not that we aren’t having a treat all the time on this adventure, but a bit of chill time is definitely needed every now and again! Everything we had heard about Mui Ne led us to believe that it might be a bit more upmarket than we were used to lately, but we would turn up and try not to lower the tone of the resort too much! As the principle activity here is lying on the beach and catching the rays it would be just what we needed after the chill of China, as long ... read more
Do we look
Flora
Chillaxing

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa November 12th 2010

It’s quite amazing, we can’t read or speak Vietnamese but within minutes of stepping off of the train at 5am it feels like we have come home. Firstly the taxi driver understood where we wanted to go and we were able to negotiate a price. Hello Hanoi, we’re glad to be back. All trains seem to arrive in Hanoi at stupid o’clock, luckily the hotels are all used to this and we were two of many when we turned up at 5.30. They were really nice, asked us if we would wait until 7 when they’d serve us breakfast and then they would let us have a room as soon as today’s occupants cleared out and they could clean it. By 9am we were settled in, wouldn’t get that at a Premier Travel Inn. It was ... read more
Sweet Sapa
Amazing countours
Tru Love?

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin November 5th 2010

Our China trip almost finally over and one of our last destinations was the city of Guilin. The reason we decided to come here was to take a cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo and hopefully get a brief glimpse of the more rural China. Due to the airport delays we arrived late to our accommodation, Riverside Hostel, but once again we were really impressed with the standard. Down a little backstreet by the river (as you would expect because of the name) made the location fairly quiet even though close enough to all the action! Guilin means “osmanthus forest”, which is probably why there are an abundance of these trees planted along the rather nice promenade. Even sampled some tea made from its leaves - very nice. Probably the first thing you notice about ... read more
Twin Pagodas
Ronery Boatman
Loving the Li




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