Page 3 of Rat on the Road Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Cambodia February 5th 2012

Even though we just had a holiday in England for Christmas....another holiday was forced upon us as preparations were made for another new year. Lunar new year. Tet in Vietnam, Chinese new year around the world. In China they're leaving the year of the rabbit, in Vietnam they're leaving the year of the cat (for undisclosed taxonomic disagreements), but they're both entering the year of the dragon. Which is what Kate is, appartantly. I'm not being rude. She was born in the year of the dragon, 1976. I'm a goat (1979). If anyone sees that as appropriate, you've known us a while.... Anyway, it was Tet. So we went to the Kingdom of Cambodia! Cambodia again??? We worked out en route, on the bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh, that we've visited Cambodia 6 times. Sometimes ... read more
Colonial style buildings along the river in Kampot
stunning sunsets on the river cruise in Kampot
The  view over the jungle from our room

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Kien Giang » Phu Quoc Island November 3rd 2011

It's not all palm trees and clown fish One of the lovely things about living here (which makes up for the terrible rain for about 9 months of the year - didn't imagine that, did you?) is that you can get to tropical postcard-like beaches quite easily. Not as easily as some people think - quite a few friends back home mention that they imagine us lying on a beach every weekend. The problem we have is that the Ho Chi Minh City sprawl and the dreadful public transport/road system means that it the nearest beach - Vung Tau - is about 2 hours away and an oil port (not the white sand, lapping waves and palm trees you were imagining) and Mui Ne takes about 5 hours to get to. It's not really doable at ... read more
Arrival beer by the sea
View from our room
Having my leg hair removed with cotton

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 8th 2011

Just a short blog this time around to get some pictures up of our most recent trip home for a visit. No, we weren't invited to the royal wedding, but we were invited to our parents' and our friends' houses. Which is even better. We left Saigon and landed in Heathrow...and then got straight on a National Express bus for a day-long journey almost the full length of England up to County Durham. By that evening I was standing in the fish and chip shop ordering some homely English fare with Vietnam seeming a very long way away (which, of course, it is!). We spent the next week with my family then headed to Leeds to meet a new friend - Logan! Mark and Helen's son. Then it was on to Kate's family and a weekend ... read more
A Harrod's bear
Me and Kate
Me and my sis

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gili Air February 10th 2011

After three days and night on Gili Trawangan we decided to move on to somewhere quieter. We jumped on an island hopping boat (all of 23,000 IDR for a half hour trip) to Gili Air, the nearest island to Lombok. This island proved to be much more like what we were expecting. Really quiet and peaceful but still with a few bars and restaurants to keep us stocked with Bintang beer. The snorkelling a mere meter or so off the coast is great and you can see thousands of brightly coloured fish darting around coral outcrops. The current is quite strong though and you need the flippers to stop you being swept out to sea. We walked around this island in less than an our. On our coastal trek Kris narrowly missed falling over a goat ... read more
Our beach hut
Chilling on our balcony
Boats docked on the beach

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gilli Trawangan February 8th 2011

As if one paradise tropical island wasn't enough, we headed to more. After our stay in Ubud we went by minibus and speedboat to Gili Trawangan, near Lombok, a mere 4 hour journey away. The steep $140 + return trip pricetag may have put us off but this is the wet season and therefore off peak. This added to several different speedboat companies and thus there were bargains to be had. Our journey out there cost us 350,000 IDR each (less than $40) Of course, when we only had a single ticket, the blokes arranging the boats tried to talk us into buying the return ticket, as it would be full price on the island, but we've heard that sort of talk before and decided to risk it. As it was, our return ticket, bought on ... read more
Local transport
Cats, cats everywhere!
magic mushrooms?

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud February 5th 2011

Kris Before you read - if you are a 'wellness therapist' and/or believe in the healing power of crystals, you might not want to read on. If you do, remember the contents of this blog are the exclusive opinions of the writers.... Ubud has a great location. Nestled in the hills in the island paradise of Bali and surrounded by bright green rice terraces and lush forests filled with tropical flowers, brightly coloured birds and 'serene' (see later) monkeys. The hotels, houses and shops are in the same style as the hundreds of Hindu temples and monuments so it's hard to tell which is which. The shops sell art, sarongs and handmade jewellery and every now and then a local appears in traditional dress to leave an offering of flowers outside their home and business. ... read more
Statue in a lake
Clever monkey unscrewing a water bottle

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island August 30th 2010

Kris This blog is late. Really late. We went to Hong Kong on a 3 night stay en route to the UK back in August 2010 and I'm writing this in Vietnam in January 2011. Ah well, better late than never... That was Hanoi This is Hong Kong As I mentioned above, we ended up in Hong Kong following the mini-tour of Vietnam with Kate's parents described in the previous blog. We flew to Hong Kong for a connecting flight home but decided that it was too important to miss out on. We flew from Hanoi to Hong Kong and we were wisked between two different worlds. Just the flight into Hong Kong was impressive - with the sea, the islands and the mountains and the view of the skyscrapers from above. It was all ... read more
Kowloon from Hong Kong
View from the cable car
Surely this is so irreverent it's illegal?

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City August 28th 2010

Hello! Nice to see you again! It's been a while.... Wow, it's been a while since we last blogged and there's loads to catch up on. Life in Ho Chi Minh City goes on as normal. Perhaps that's part of the reason for the lack of blogs - it seems less like travelling when you live somewhere for a long time and you forget about writing about it. Whilst it probably seems like it's all exotic when you're at home in cold, snowy Britain (or where ever you are), it's generally just day to day life here. You know, get up, go to work, go home, eat tea, go to bed.,....go out with friends at the weekends - eat and drink too much, go to work a little sleepy on Monday morning. However, some really ... read more
View from the Independence Palace
Chilling by the pool in the Grand Hotel, HCMC
Hue Citidal

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 17th 2010

It's been a long time since we blogged anything, so it seems like as good as time as any for an update. We have been in Ho Chi Minh City for about 3 months now and everything has fallen into place. We have jobs, an apartment, have joined a gym and have spent many a weekend exploring the city and meeting people. A few friends from Haiphong have also moved down here too so our social life is taking off. All in all we are settling in well. The search for the ideal teaching job Finding jobs took a little longer than we expected. Well, not finding jobs exactly, but finding jobs we wanted to do. There is a lot of teaching work in Ho Chi Minh City, but not all of it is in good, ... read more
Decorations on Dong Khoi street for Independence Day
Dried squid to go with your beer anyone?
4 kids on a motorbike. Only Mum wears a helmet

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City April 1st 2010

Finding somewhere to live For the first month of life in Ho Chi Minh City we lived in a hotel on the backpacker street of Bui Vien. It was perfectly comfortable but you can't live in a hotel for long. It's cheap enough here (you can get a hotel room with en suite, air con and cable for $12-20 a night) but two people in one hotel room is a bit much for your personal space and can get really boring. So our priority was finding somewhere more permanent to live. We found a flat through an agent near our hotel. We wandered down a small alleyway to a glass fronted room with motorbikes blocking the entrance. It didn't look very promising, but when we climbed over the bikes and went inside three young smiling ... read more
View from the river
Vegetable stalls on Ba Chieu market
Bowls of fish ready to go to the table

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