Kate Mills

Kaaate

Kate Mills

Hello!

I have just finished my undergrad science degree and am off travelling for 5 months around India and South East Asia. Here I will keep you up to date on my latest adventures and post my award winning travel photographs.

Look forward to seeing you all in 5 months,

Kate



Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao April 22nd 2009

So I've been lazy... very lazy in fact. So lazy, that a year and a half after actually returning from Thailand I finally decide that for the sake of completeness I should probably post a short blog on the final leg of my epic asian adventure. In short (cause lets face it... it was a year and a half ago), the final week and a half of our adventure was spent lying on the beaches of Koh Phi Phi, partying on Koh Phangan and snorkelling with reef sharks and numerous other colourful fish on Koh Tao. It really was the perfect way to cap off the adventure of a lifetime. I'm not going to lie, returning home to modern luxuries and friends and family was very welcome, but it wasn't long till the travel bug reared ... read more
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa April 11th 2009

After spending a few days in Ninh Binh it was time to move onwards and upwards to Hanoi. Leaving Ninh Binh was a much less stressful affair than it had been arriving with Hanoi only a one hour local bus ride away. On arrival in Hanoi we checked into what seemed like an OK room, unfortunately for us its seediness only became apparent after we had checked in and handed over our passports. The quilt on the top of the bed concealed the soiled inner sheets and the chewing gum all over the wall the bed was up against didn’t help either. In a desperate attempt to escape the soiled room we set out to explore the streets of Hanoi. After getting lost and almost run over (Hanoi is totally hectic with motorbikes everywhere… even the ... read more
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - Hanoi
Water Puppets - Hanoi
View from hotel - Sapa

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Ninh Binh April 3rd 2009

Upon arrival in Hoi An at 6am, we were mobbed by touts. We managed to shake most of them off and go in search of a room for some much needed rest. Arriving early has its benefits, as it means you get a free choice of basically every hotel because sooner or later someone will check out. We managed to bag a nice but cheap room with a pool and massive breakfast which was ready for us an hour after our arrival. After a somewhat long sleep we set out to explore the town. Hoi An, as we soon learnt, is very touristy. The main attraction is the pretty old town, which now unfortunately just seems to be streets lined with tailors and shops selling tourist junk. Consequently, we felt Hoi An lost a lot of ... read more
Hoi An
Hoi An
Hoi An

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang March 26th 2009

The first thing that strikes you upon entering Vietnam is the absolute motorbike madness that surrounds you. It seems as if as soon as you are able to walk, you are also able to ride a motorbike. The result is seemingly chaotic, with everyone from the huge population taking to the streets (and the footpaths) whether it is a 12 year old boy on his way to school or a middle aged woman with her groceries and baby on board. The second thing you notice (if you are on the ball), is the amount of scams aimed at foreigners. Getting from the airport was a chore in itself - firstly some guy attached himself to us, claiming that he would take us to town which was ‘very far’ for the ‘very cheap price’ of $70AUD. We ... read more
Reunification Palace - HCMC
War Remnants Museum - HCMC
War Remnants Museum - HCMC

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi March 21st 2009

After a sticky 8 hour bus trip from Sukhothai we arrived in steamy Bangkok and found ourselves a cell of a room for a very expensive price. We had decided to spend 2 nights in the Siam Square area rather than the surrounds of Khao San Rd (which we were to do upon our return), which turned out to be a rather expensive decision. Anyway, the main reason for this location was that it would allow easy access to Bangkok’s famed shopping centres. I (Merric was sick) spent the entirety of the next day browsing MBK, Siam Discovery Centre, Siam Centre, Siam Paragon and the MASSIVE Central World Plaza. I’m not going to lie, it was amazing. After months trekking through dirt and rubbish (I think I neglected to mention previously that I fell through the ... read more
Some asian pop band - Bangkok
MBK by night - Bangkok
Central World Plaza (only one wing!!) - Bangkok

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Sukhothai March 13th 2009

Our arrival in Thailand felt like we were being reacquainted with modern society. Thailand is by far the most developed country we have visited thus far and I’m not going to lie, I did feel a little warm and fuzzy inside upon sighting my first 7-eleven. Coming from Laos, our first port of call was the city of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is pretty much THE place in Thailand to learn how to cook the local cuisine, so on our first evening we set out to do just that, enrolling in a two day cooking school where we would learn to cook ten Thai dishes. As a result, the next few days were spent cooking up a storm of curries, stir-fries, salads and desserts. I should also not neglect to mention that we ate EVERYTHING we ... read more
Curry Paste, Cooking School - Chiang Mai
Cooking School - Chiang Mai
Cooking School - Chiang Mai

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang March 5th 2009

Next stop on our journey through South-East Asia was Vang Vieng, undoubtedly the party capital of Laos. Despite the spectacular scenery surrounding the town, Vang Vieng seems to exist for the sole purpose of catering for people looking for a party. In addition to the many bars, most of the restaurants show “Friends” on the television all day long, for those recovering from the night prior. The main attraction in Vang Vieng is tubing, which involves floating down the river in a giant donut visiting various dodgy bamboo bars on the way. The end result usually involves hordes of drunk, loud tourists wearing next to nothing being delivered back to the main street at 7pm. I’m sure the Vang Vieng locals have a great impression of Westerners. This is not to say we didn’t enjoy Vang ... read more
Bomb Bell - Vang Vieng
Water Cave - Vang Vieng
Water Cave - Vang Vieng

Asia » Laos » South » Champasak February 24th 2009

Our journey to Laos started off in typical Cambodian fashion - we were squashed into a van with about half the population of Ban Lung and a lifetime’s supply of grain. So after driving around the town for an hour for some unknown reason we proceeded back along the bumpy, dusty road to Stung Treng with Khmer karaoke blasting in our ears. On arrival in Stung Treng we found ourselves dumped in front of a cafe with no idea what was going on and when we attempted to find out our enquiry was met with “Oh yes, you can go to Don Det”. Yes, we very well knew we were allowed to go to Don Det, but exactly how that was going to happen remained a mystery to us. About an hour or so later a ... read more
4000 Islands
4000 Islands
4000 Islands

Asia » Cambodia » East » Banlung February 17th 2009

After enduring 5 hours of Khmer karaoke blasting from the bus television, we arrived in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. As a tourist, experiencing Phnom Penh is (without being too clichéd) an emotional rollercoaster. On one hand, you have the grandeur of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and on the other hand, you have the horrors of Toul Sleng and the Killing Fields. Throw a beautiful sunset over Boeng Kak into the mix, followed by food poisoning and you will get an emotionally turbulent few days. Our first day in Phnom Penh was spent primarily exploring the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda complex (home to the King of Cambodia and a vast array of Buddha images). Whilst not as striking as the Grand Palace in Bangkok, the compound was still impressive, with ... read more
Royal Palace - Phnom Penh
Royal Palace - Phnom Penh
Silver Pagoda - Phnom Penh

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap February 7th 2009

Arriving in Cambodia was a culture shock for us and definitely not in a bad way. Compared to India, it was cleaner, the streets were wider and not so overpopulated, sometimes there were footpaths and there was not a cow in sight (apart from on our dinner plates)! Unfortunately for us, Cambodia is also more expensive than India, mainly owing to the fact that the US dollar is the major currency in use. This would have been great 5 months ago... not so much now. We spent 4 nights in Siem Reap - the gateway to the temples of Angkor, the first of which was spent primarily recovering from the flight and eating lots of beef (first time in 2 months there has been beef on the menu, oh yeah!!) and the latter 3 days exploring ... read more
Angkor Wat
Churning the Sea of Milk - Angkor Wat
Bass Releifs at Angkor Wat




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