Jennifer Ewbank & Nathan Liddle-Hulme

Jen and Nath

Jennifer Ewbank & Nathan Liddle-Hulme

Jen and Nath are off on their travels on the 15th June 2009. Visiting Thailand, Laos and Vietnam over nine weeks.

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Ayutthaya August 16th 2009

After shopping ourselves to the point of death, we decided that rather than spent our last day in the oppressive dirty steam pit that is Bangkok, we'd go for one last culture injection. An early morning train dropped us an hour and a half north of Bangkok at Ayuthaya, former royal Thai capital and world heritage site. Motorbike travel became a fixture of this trip, and today was no acception. We jumped on another red rusty shit bucket and headed for the temples. There are a mixture of 14th - 17th century temple ruins and modern, working temples throughout the city. We enjoyed trotting round the sites despite the midday heat and made our way through most of the important sites. The 'new' temples were packed with Thais shaking fortune sticks, waving incense and lotus flowers ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok August 16th 2009

On Friday night we arrived back in Bangkok, for our final few days before returning home. So shopping and Thai massages were on the agenda! We spent approximately 10 hours shopping yesterday.... by the end of a stressful and exhausting day our feet wre blistered and our wallets were considerably lighter!! We began the day with a 7am wake up call, and headed to the infamous JJ Weekend Market, arriving there about 8.20..... perhaps a little keen as many of the stalls were still setting up. The market is unbelievably big, there are many thousands of stalls selling everything from vintage clothing, souvenirs, fish, silverware and fruit to puppy dogs. Pretty much impossible to navigate without a map, and prety much impossible to navigate with one! There is so many unique things, that we will struggle ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Kien Giang » Phu Quoc Island August 16th 2009

After our stay at Jungle Beach we were keen to spend a few more days relaxing on an idyllic beach sandwiched between our time in Saigon and Bangkok, so we headed to Phu Quoc, an island off the South West coast of Vietnam (closer to Cambodia) by plane. The Island is pretty big, so to explore it we hired a motorbike, the roads aren't great, most of the main ones are fairly flat, but not sealed, and pretty dusty, so a flashback to our time on the Boloven Plateau was unwelcomed..... at least it was hot and dry i guess. There's not much to see on Phu Quoc but beaches.... many of which are not the cleanest. The most exciting activity we undertook was a visit to one of the local fish sauce factories, not advised ... read more
Silly Boat Picture

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City August 10th 2009

Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City - A symbol of communism striving against the imperial oppressors and winning....or just a mess of fumes and motorbikes? Neither actually. We have found it to be just lovely. The right mix of Busy Asian City and Cultural Interest. We arrived after a overnight train from Nha Trang (which although we only passed through, looked like Blackpool on speed....ugh). After waiting around for guesthouses to open for an hour or so, we found one, and fell asleep for the next couple of hours. On waking we had a little explore and a lovely bowl of Pho. The city is like bangkok, but not as dirty and cramped. Like Singapore but not as expensive and hideously clean. In short we like it. We even enjoyed the 'cross the road game' in which ... read more
Uncle Ho watches over
100% Tourist

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang August 10th 2009

What can i say, three days of rest and relaxation before taking on the mighty Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. Jungle Beach Resort, 60km North of the horrific Nha Trang, is quite possibly paradise. With a long white sand beach and azure waters (occasionally plagued by apparently harmless jelly fish),this resort (not really a resort) is surrounded by jungle and mountains. The concept behind Jungle Beach, ran by a French Canadian named Sylvio, is guests stay in basic bamboo hut on the beach front, and eat communal meals twice a day. The way he runs the place which can sleep about 30 people, has made it a really laid back place to be, and a place where we made some good friends in a short space of time. There isn't a massive amount to tell, as we ... read more
Sand Tits
Busy days doing nothing

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An August 10th 2009

Probably my favourite place we have visited on our entire trip. Hoi An is a quaint little riverside town, packed to the rafters with Tailors and Shoe Makers. On the East Coast of Central Vietnam, Hoi An is just 5km from a beach, but since we were there for just two days we spent all our time in the Ancient Town. Sadly for the two days we spent in Hoi An, Nath had a debilitating migraine, so he didn't see many of the sights or experience it in the evening, when it was at its most enchanting. We stayed in a family guesthouse in the centre of the Ancient Town and overlooking the market. Minh A, the guesthouse, was really beautiful, with a Chinese/Japanese influence, the dark wood building looked like something out of Memoirs of ... read more
Our guesthouse at night

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Da Nang August 10th 2009

After a horrible 19 hours coach journey from Laos to Vietnam in which I (Nath) had the start of a pretty bad flu, we arrived in Danang. The flu / fever we decided was probably due to the previous 2 days in the cold and rain on the boloven plateau, exposed to the elements on motorbikes wearing shorts and a rain poncho. But being the careful people we are, we thought it best to get a quick Malaria / Dengue Fever blood test just to be on the safe side. BAD IDEA. Vietnam had recently been introduced to 'Swine Flu Panic' - nothing new to people in the UK but given the fact that a month ago Vietnam had no cases, now there are thousands - they were in the midst of paranoia about the 'Pig ... read more
China Beach Danang

Asia » Laos August 2nd 2009

After our three day trek, Nath was keen to see the Bolaven Plateau on motorbikes. Initially we had planed to spend the best part of four days exploring the Plateau, but after just two we were disilluioned and ready to head back down onto lower ground. Day one we biked, each on 100cc manuals from Pakse to Tad Lo, a distance of about 85km, to see the waterfalls. The journey was fairly painless as the roads were sealed and the rain held off, until we reached Tad Lo. We stayed the night on the river in a basic little hut, with great views, its fair share of gheckos and a massive flying scarab beetle. The folloing morning we headed up the road to a higher waterfall, which we had to be guided to by a couple ... read more
Miserable and Cold

Asia » Laos » South » Pakxe August 2nd 2009

So time for some adventure. I (nath) had wanted to do a challenging trek whille on this trip to SE Asia, perferably in Laos as there seems to be less 'mass tourism treks' and the companies that offer them are often linked into financially supporting the communities travellers visit on the treks. We'd struggled finding a company who did 3 days 2 night treks into the deep jungle during the wet season, even more so a company who already had interested travellers to fill out the numbers and therefore reduce the price of the trip per head. In Pakse we struck gold. The first place we walked into had such a trek leaving the next day with 1 dutch couple already booked on it, and it was to the area which we had originally scoped out ... read more
Lets go trekking
Dodgy ankles

Asia » Laos » South » Champasak July 26th 2009

Post Islands and in need of a culture injection we headed to Champasak to see the Ancient Khmer ruins of Wat Phou. Pre-Angkor in age, this impressive ruined templed complex sits in a sparsely populated province in Southern Laos. We arrived the day before visiting the temple at around 3 pm and found (as it often the case in Laos) 'you have to wait til tomorrow to go temple'. Slow buses and short opening hours for the countries attractions play havoc with those on a tight schedule.... So we relaxed and rode push bikes up and down the one road provincial capital town, which could have been a country village in the south of France. Crumbling colonial houses stood next to farms and children played in the road with little traffic for interference. After the best ... read more
Jen at Wat Phu

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