Saturday afternoon Liam and I went out for a fabulous socially distanced lunch out with his family, where we had some delicious lasagne at Bonnie’s Brunch. A newly opened family run cafe in Plymouth we have all given two thumbs up to. We got back home and decided that even though the promised heat wave wasn’t quite as strong as anticipated, the weather was still far too nice to pass up! We packed up our bags and headed up to Venford Reservoir on Dartmoor, somewhere we had visited earlier this year with Liam’s parents (link). This time however, Liam had something new and exciting in store for me. I couldn’t wait!
Jeju is a beautiful, but surprisingly big island. As with all islands, the coastal beauty is scattered in every direction, meaning that wherever you stay you are likely to end up doing a fair amount of transit if you want to see everything! With the price of renting a car vs the low cost of public transit, Emily and I decided to use the many bus routes to visit everything we wanted to. We did learn on our first morning however, that when trying to work out transfers on country buses (which often run late) you need to be prepared to be flexible with your itinerary!
Our last stop in Vietnam was all about getting away from the city of Hanoi and resetting ourselves ready for the chaos we imagined super industrialised Korea would bring! Emily and I headed to the mountains and a homestay 8km outside of Sa Pa for fresh air, trekking, altitude and a much slower pace of life for 3 nights.
Planning out trekking routes with a mountain doggo
After a long and bumpy bus ride Emily and I arrived at Dalat, leaving the coast for mountains. Mountains in Vietnam nearly always mean coffee. So, while getting to grips with the city, our first afternoon was spent in a coffee shop enjoying the local brews and planning the days ahead.
Emily’s former life as a barista hasn’t gone to waste in Vietnam!
Our first bus journey in Vietnam took us from Saigon to Mui Ne. A five hour journey on a bus filled with sleeper seats. Liam and I spent the journey laying down at the back of the bus eating mini pancakes and watching Bob’s Burgers. Needless to say, the journey flew by! Mui Ne is a town known for its vast stretch of beach, relaxing environment, and sand dunes. Something we didn’t really expect to come across in Southeast Asia!
Nightbus from Vientiane to Bangkok, 12 hours, a land border, sleepy taxi ride to guesthouse at 6:00am, chill out until room is ready and sleep until it’s after the midday heat. Emily and I really have our Asian night bus routine down to a tee. A one night stay in Bangkok, enjoying the capital of street food (where you can get 3 amazing curries and rice to share for less than £4) and we were back in a minibus heading the short (3 hour) distance to our next destination in Thailand – Kanchanaburi!
Luang Prabang is a town that gets mentioned whenever you meet someone traveling to Laos, and for that reason I always pictured it to be a big bustling place. In actuality Luang Prabang is a relaxed smaller town, around 55,000 people live here. The streets are filled with the smell of fresh herbs and Laos coffee, you pass by locals eating family style just enjoying their days. It’s easy to see the charm this city has.
Emily here! Pai. A small village nestled in the mountains of north Thailand known for its relaxing atmosphere and popularity amongst backpackers, especially the more “granola” crowd. Liam and I decided to stay at a place more removed from the vegan / western restaurant filled town itself and do our bit of R&R at the Pai Village Farm Homestay. During our time here we got to hang out with ducks, bunnies, sheep, goats and some prehistoric looking chicken with feathery feet. We also took long winding walks through mazes of rice paddy fields and did some reading on our covered porch while we listened to the rain fall around us. As if all of that wasn’t serene enough I also got to see my first few fireflies! It was perfect.
Doesn’t this just look like a postcard for relaxation?