Page 5 of Gemma and Stephen Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 4th 2009

Getting our Cambodian visa in advance paid off and we crossed the Lao/Cambodian border with ease. We arrived by a shuttle bus taxi and went into a small wooden hut where our passports were stamped by Lao immigration officials. We then walked about a kilometre down wide gravel road with all our gear to the Cambodian side of the boarder. The wooden barrier was lifted for us and in we went to another wooden hut where our passports were stamped, we paid a small ‘administration’ fee for the service, a complete bride by the immigration officials but at only a few US Dollars we just paid it and got the stamp. Once in Cambodia there was a bus waiting for us and after waiting a few hours for it to fill up we left the border ... read more
Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom

Asia » Laos » South » Don Det June 28th 2009

Having left Pakse, we made our way south towards the 4 Thousand Islands. We had intended to go to Don Khong initially, but our bus driver ended up going further south and dropped us off at Don Det. So we just went with it and adjusted our plans, we checked into a small place overlooking the Mekong River, we had a bamboo room with enough room for a small double bed and a little attached toilet & shower and a big long shared balcony overhanging the river below. It was a great little spot and we spent the afternoon drinking on the balcony with other travellers, and into the night we stopped at a local reggae bar where the menu served everything and anything including Happy cakes, happy shakes and the 'hangover breakfast' as it was ... read more
Don Det
Don Det
Don Kon

Asia » Laos » West June 27th 2009

We spent three nights in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. We didn't arrive until 6pm and thankfully we found somewhere to stay given the later hour, it was a bit more expensive than we have been paying, our room was 100,000 kip a night which is €8 and this got us air con, en-suite and a television- we are living the high life. Anyway, our first full day was spent getting our visas for Cambodia. We had got our visas for Lao at the border crossing which worked out well for us but we had read that the border crossing between Loa and Cambodia was much more remote and we didn’t want to be stuck in no man’s land with but no visa to enter Cambodia so we decided to make the trip to our embassy ... read more
Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng June 18th 2009

What do you say about Vang Vieng? Only that Stephen Loved Vang Vieng and after the culture of Luang Prabang it was different to say the very least. Stephen can sum up Vang Vieng in four words- Vang Vieng is awesome! Job done! Basically it is the drinking capital of Lao as far as we could tell. After arriving late in the afternoon, we decided to pop into a local pub for food & a quiet drink. We stayed in the same bar for three days. (Well, not literally but that’s how it seemed.) Every bar has televisions that just show Friends, family guy and Simpsons all day every day, after watching Asian television for weeks in languages that we do not understand it was very hard to leave these bars. We just sat there, drank ... read more
BAR #3
BAR #3
BAR #3

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang June 18th 2009

Well, after a long two days on the slow boat we decided to spend a few nights in quaint sleepy Luang Prabang. Our first full day there was spent wondering around and taking in the sights until about mid-day when we then found a bar, we sat and chilled the beans for no other reason apart from that fact that it was too ridiculously hot to move. At about 6pm it had cooled down a little (only about 2 degrees, but it was noticeable I tell you!) so we took a stroll around the lovely Hmong night market, buying a few souvenirs (we could have brought so much more but had to stop ourselves). Day two and we decided to take a trip out to the local waterfalls at Kouang Si, you could swim in the ... read more
Kuang Si waterfalls
Bear sanctuary
Bear Sanctuary

Asia » Laos » North June 13th 2009

After nearly 3 weeks in Thailand we finally made our way to the border between Thailand and Laos. We arrived from Chiang Rai on a three hour journey on a local bus to the border town of Chiang Khong, we’ve never been on a local bus before and it was strange being the only foreigner’s on the bus. Then a tuk-tuk to a small wooden building on the banks of the Mekong river where we got our passports stamped to say we were leaving Thailand; and after a short wait we got into a small thin wooden boat that barely floated above the water with us and our gear in it and over we went into Laos. Once the other side we spent just 10 minutes getting our visa and we were officially in Laos. We ... read more
Slow Boat
Slow Boat
Slow Boat

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Rai June 13th 2009

We spent only two nights in Chiang Rai, after spending so long in Chiang Mai we were keen to push on a little and we were eager to get into Laos. So, we made the most of our time here and did a day trip out to the Golden Triangle which Ste especially wanted to do and as timing had it, it was on his birthday. The golden Triangle is more an area than a place, and in years gone by majority of the opium trade originated here, but now there are more tourists than there is opium, well, on the Thai side of the triangle anyway. We took a day tour with several stops, the first of which was to the monkey caves. This was in a Buddha temple complex, there were dozens of monkeys ... read more
Monkey Caves
Monkey Caves
Thai/Burma Border

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai June 6th 2009

Not to rest on our laurels the very next day following on from our jungle trek we opted for an activity a little more relaxing, we decided to take part in a Batic Art class. This is an old Thai art, a form of drawing with very hot wax on a fabric (Hot wax burns off hairs on your arms very very quickly. Trust me). Was a great day to some something different and it was like being a child again, Just spent the day colouring inside the lines of the drawings (A steady hand I am not!) We came away with some great pieces of art which we are going to sell on the street for a good price of 3 euro. The course cost 15 euro!!! (Marketing genius' we are not!) That evening we ... read more
BATIC ART
Thai Cooking Claas.
Thai Cooking Class

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai June 3rd 2009

We arrived in Chiang Mai on Saturday morning after catching the sleeper train overnight from Bangkok and found ourselves in a very chilled out little guesthouse by the name of Julie's. After getting settled we formed a plan of what we wanted to see and do, with a three day jungle trek starting the following day. Our time in Chang Mai was going to busy and we couldn’t wait to get started. Morning dawned on the first day of our jungle trek and we were picked up early, our first stop was to a local market where our guide stocked up on all the food we would need. The market was held in a big industrial opened sided unit, and it sold everything, we found it amazing as we wondered and took in the sights and ... read more
Elephant trek
Lahu people
Lahu people

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok May 30th 2009

We have finally arrived in Bangkok after a long 12 hour flight from London and as soon as we walk out of the airport terminal wow, we were hit with the heat and humidity of South East Asia! It is about 30 degrees and near 100% humidity (Which turned out isn’t hot at all. I happened to disagree with this, while standing soaked in my jeans and what had by this stage become a see through t-shirt. I know what you're thinking - is this Gemma writing this? Well I’m sorry, but it’s not. It’s Ste (now, there’s an image for you.) We got settled into Shanti Lodge, a lovely traditional Thai guesthouse about a 15 minute walk from the Khao San Road and spent our first day getting our bearings. We caught up on a ... read more
BANGKOK
BANGKOK
BANGKOK




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