Page 4 of Rat on the Road Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 28th 2010

Returning to Cambodia We first visited Cambodia at the very beginning of 2007...when we crashed a friend's honeymoon in Sihanoukville (the usual reason then..). But after that, during our time in Thailand, we popped over the border quite a lot - largely during visa-runs, but also to visit the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap. Our snapshots of the place from these visits varied from corrupt border officials, muddy undeveloped roads and poverty, to incredible temples, fancy hotels and a fascinating, if often disturbing, history. But then we hadn't been to Cambodia since the end of 2007. And we'd never even been to the capital. So there we were in Ho Chi Minh City with time to kill and buses leaving every day to Phnom Penh. We thought - "What the hell..." Into the capital... Previously, ... read more
Colonial style building by the river
Enjoying a happy hour Angkor beer on arrival in Phnom Pehn
The promenade beside the river

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang February 16th 2010

After a few days in Dalat we moved on to Nha Trang. Nha Trang is a beach resort about 5 hours by bus away via many a long and winding road down through the mountains. The scenery en route was pretty spectacular - even the toilet stop was at a roadside cafe surrounded by luscious green mountain scenery. A pretty amazing place for a loo. Nha Trang is actually quite a big city. It's not the place for someone looking for quiet huts on the beach and rattan beach bars. The beach is a strip of sand sheltered by palm trees and covered in little beach beds and their accompanying wooden umbrellas. A promenade style road then flanks the whole beach. On the other side of the road there are a few of the big international ... read more
beach beds
The beach from inside a temple
Women selling and cooking fish on the beach

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat February 7th 2010

We're back. This time in the south. We flew from Kuala Lumpur to Saigon and checked into our usual hotel on Bui Vien in the affectionately named - "backpacker ghetto". It's actually not that bad. Plus our hotel's familiar and the staff know us as the English teacher from Haiphong. When we arrived our room wasn't ready so we dumped our bags and did the only decent thing we could do - went for a beer. We wandered along the street dodging motorbikes and sunglasses salesmen and settled on a flimsy plastic chair outside a bar. In the space of one Saigon beer we'd seen more mopeds than we had in the proceeding 6 weeks...and after two beers it felt like we'd never left. Jobs! Our week in Saigon was spent meeting people in various schools ... read more
Us and a windmill
The lake in Dalat
The bear room at the Crazy House

Asia January 31st 2010

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... Kris We left England in the early hours of the 21st of January. We were meant to leave on the evening of the 20th, but a delay meant that we spent longer than we wanted to in Stansted airport and were rewarded with 15 quids worth of vouchers to fill our faces in Costa Coffee. Which we did. Anyway, we finally landed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia sometime in the night. I'd like to say on what date or on which day, but it's hard to recall as our ability to separate days was knackered. It was dark. Actually, it was dark when we left England....then during the 14 hour flight the sun rose...and the cabin crew quickly pulled down all the window screens. We lost an entire dose ... read more
Eating in Chinatown
Kris looking for umpa lumpas
Beware nasty beasties.....

Europe » United Kingdom » England January 18th 2010

Britain, Britain, Britain! After 14 long months of adventures in South East Asia (largely Vietnam, but also Thailand and the Philippines), it was finally time to return home to our little island off the coast of France. 14 months is quite a long time, probably too long, and we were very pleased to get back to Blighty and our friends and families, particularly during the festive season - so off we went on tour! Stop 1: Brewood and rock After our night in the hotel in Stansted (where I enjoyed my 1st cornish pasty since October 2008) we set off by train to Wolverhampton. Unsurprisingly, my O2 SIM card had expired over the year and we bought a new one in the airport and spent the 1st part of the journey texting or calling people ... read more
icicles on the christmas tree
Horden beach banks in the snow
Horden pit wheel

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong December 17th 2009

Another chapter ends I'm currently sitting in Kate's house in Brewood near Wolverhampton writing this. The sun is shining, but the temperatures are low and snow is falling in many parts of England adding a festive sparkle to the holiday season. All this must mean that we left Haiphong and I'm writing this blog to cover our last few events in Vietnam, plus the journey back to Blighty. "Goodbye" means have parties! ...the first of which happened at work. With several members of staff leaving Apollo at the end of their contracts in December we had a surprise party one afternoon in our final week. It was such a surprise infact that everyone was late! We'd just had 2 days off and had been in Hanoi shopping for Christmas presents. When we arrived back at our ... read more
Kris, Troy, William and Harry.
Christina and Nicole enjoying a singsong
Kris's longest running kids class

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong November 20th 2009

The end is nigh Kate It's coming to the end of our contract here in Haiphong. We finish teaching for Apollo on the 5th December and we fly back to the UK, via Kuala Lumpur, on the 12th. We are really excited about coming home now. We are not the sort of expats who can stay away from the UK for long periods of time. We don't live abroad because we hate the UK, but simply because we love the life we lead away from it. We left the UK this time nearly 14 months ago now, and for future reference, it's too long. After 9 months away we were itching for a pint of real ale in a real local pub, for a long autumn walk in the countryside with crisp leaves and fluffy ... read more
Good friends
Flowers, me and Susan
Coca Suki Japanese restaurant

Asia » Philippines » Boracay October 22nd 2009

Kate Prior to Rich announcing his wedding in the Philippines, it wasn't ever a country we had considered visiting. Somehow it's position in the sea on the edge of SE Asia put it outside our radar. Prior to coming to Asia we didn't know much about it other than it was a big group of islands with some beautiful beaches and that it used to belong to Spain and America. I'd heard of Imelda Marcos and her shoe fetish, but I couldn't have told you which country she came from. As we admitted during the first blogs of our SE Asian trip back in 2006, we were sadly lacking in our knowledge of SE Asian history. At our school in Thailand we taught alongside many Filipino teachers so we became aware of a few more ... read more
Transport on Boracay
The beach through the bamboo and plastic weather barrier

Asia » Philippines » Bohol » Panglao October 17th 2009

The Philippines - live your dreams (a registered trademark) Kris Contrary to popular belief of many friends we really do proper work in Vietnam and we aren't spending our months lying on a beach. As a result we are even entitled to paid leave from our job. So we booked it well in advance way back at the beginning of the year so we could visit the Philippines. One of Kate's friends from University was getting married to a girl from the Philippines and we were invited to the wedding. Having never been to the country before we thought we'd combine the wedding trip with a holiday and with that, we were back on the road... How not to smuggle your feathered friends on holiday with you Before we get to talking about the Philippines, an ... read more
The Alona Tropical Beach Resort
Rules for the swimming pool

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong August 3rd 2009

The Rat on the Road expat guide to Haiphong So it's come to out attention that our travel blog for Haiphong has a new purpose. As well as updating all of you friends and family out there about what we are up to and showing you photos of our lives, it is being found by people in the UK and elsewhere who are thinking of moving to Haiphong. A few people have contacted us through it, and become part of our happy little group of Haiphong pals. The other day we were all in Maxim's cafe, drinking some beer, when a guy came up to us who recognised us. He was relocating to Haiphong from Holland and had been using our blog to find out more about the city. It's great that our random ramblings ... read more
Giang guitar bar
Texas BBQ
Some friends in Giang Guitar

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