The last time I ‘live blogged’ something was the Royal Wedding in May 2018 and I’ve had the crazy idea of live blogging this two week holiday trip to Thailand with my boyfriend. I’ve updated this blog post every single day for the duration of this trip with our adventures and travels!
Full disclosure: this trip and all activities were fully paid for by myself and my boyfriend. This blog post does not contain any sponsored content although it may contain affiliate links.
Day 1, London
We successfully made it to Heathrow airport (terminal 2) by braving the tube at rush hour in the morning but thank fully it wasn’t as busy as I expected it to be. Probably because we were heading away from London rather than into it. Security through the airport was an absolute breeze but unfortunately no free upgrades to first class! We stopped off for breakfast and a quick glass of fizz before having a wander through duty free and headed to the gate to board the plane.
Finally we made it to the gate and after boarding and taxing off to the runway we had to turn back to the airport because of a fault with the engine. Eventually they got it fixed because an hour later we were on our way!
The plane journey was really comfortable, I’ve never flown Thai airways before but I’d definitely fly with them again. The first thing I did was take off my makeup- id packed a small packet of makeup wipes and I also had some nip + fab glycolic fix daily cleansing page in a teeny travel size. Then I kept my skin hydrated using a Mini travel sized Dermalogica multivitamin power recovery masque and kept spritzing my skin with the Clinique moisture surge face spray throughout the flight.
We managed to get a few winks of sleep (read: about an hour) but not as much as we’d have liked. I did manage to get through three films though. We’re due to land at 7ish in the morning with a full day of Bangkok exploring ahead of us so sleep is critical.
Day 2, Bangkok
We arrived safely in Bangkok bright and early at 7.30 which is an hour and a half later than expected because of the delay we had in London. You can feel the humidity as soon as you step off the plane! The immigration process was super speedy and we collected our luggage with no issues at all. Phew.
When we came through the arrivals gate the first thing we did was head to TRUE to pick up a Thai SIM card each to stay connected while we’re away. Then we headed to the lovely lady from Kuoni (the travel agent we booked through) who took us to our air conditioned car that was waiting for us.
Soon we were whizzing through Bangkok at a snails pace because lol, Bangkok traffic is a nightmare!
We checked in at our hotel and where we dropped our bags off and got changed ready for exploring. We hopped into a tuk tuk for our first exhilarating journey (which included the driver driving on the wrong side of the road) to get to the Grand Palace which was rammed with tourists and the heat of Thailand quickly got to us. A quick check on the Apple weather app showed a temperature of 36 degrees which actually feels like 43 degrees (Apple says so). Ouch!! We explored the palace and it’s beautiful architecture, buildings and temples having regular sit downs in the shade because culture is exhausting! Let’s not forget that we rushed straight out after our 11 hour flight. I started flagging when we finished, feeling dehydrated and exhausted in the sweltering heat so we decided to hunt for some food.
After the grand palace we walked to a teeny tiny restaurant called The Sixth which we’d read about online before arriving. It’s only got six tables and thankfully it’s air conditioned BUT every single table was taken so we ended up sitting outside to wait for a table. Luckily we only had to wait for about fifteen minutes and we were joined by four other parties who also wanted tables at this little restaurant.
When we finally got seated the air conditioning was bliss and we guzzled water down to rehydrate ourselves. To eat we ordered chicken with cashew nuts which came with jasmine rice and pad Thai. Unfortunately because I wasn’t feeling great I only managed a few mouthfuls which is such a shame because it was actually delicious. The waiter and waitresses were looking at me like I was well weird! I was a bit worried because the dish looked like there was going to be loads of chilli in it but there actually wasn’t- it was so tasty and flavourful. The pad Thai was delicious too. Our whole meal came to 195 bhat which is about £4.65. Crazy!
We then grabbed another tuk tuk back to the hotel where we found our luggage had already been brought up to our room which is huge and has air conditioning (yassss). We had a quick wander around the local area of our hotel, sussed out the nearest BTS and stopped for an air con break in the local shopping centre before heading back to our hotel for a quick meeting with our super helpful Kuoni travel rep. She gave us lots of helpful tips about getting around in the city and helped us to plan out our days with the things we wanted to see and do.
We then headed over to the Jim Thompson house which isn’t far from our hotel and sussed out the nearby canal which we’ll use tomorrow to get around. We then went back to our hotel to grab a shower because we were seriously hot and sticky at this point and we got ready to go out on the town!
After watching the hangover 2 there’s one place that I’ve always wanted to go to so of course we headed to the Lebua tower using the BTS Skyrail to visit the sky bar for cocktails on the 64th floor: the views were incredible and we arrived just in time for sunset. Tomorrow Bangkok is having a general election and due to some strange laws it means that nowhere serves alcohol between 5pm the day before (so today) until 6pm tomorrow. We called up the bar before we left the hotel to check that they would still be open and luckily they were, but only serving non alcoholic drinks. This actually worked out better for us because it meant that the bar was actually quieter, we got great seats right by the views and ordered some mocktails; we’re not huge drinkers and actually just wanted something cooling and refreshing to stay hydrated.
We then headed to the night bazaar called Asiatique. To get there we hopped on one of the free shuttle boats which was a short walk from the lebua tower. Asiatique was lovely and not at all what I expected – there were lots of restaurants and shops. We even found one of our favourite Asian snacks which is quite tricky to get hold of in the U.K. so we stocked up with 20 boxes! Not sure how we’re going to find space for them in the suitcases though. Maybe I’ll have to eat some first 🙂 this is where I also found coconut ice cream which had been on my list of foods to try in Thailand. It was so delicious, cooking and refreshing and it’s vegan too so does that mean it’s healthy? I’m all for coconut ice cream every day of the holiday. Finally we headed back on the shuttle boat and the BTS.
By the time we went to bed at 11 o’clock, it’s fair to say that exhausted would be an understatement after a mammoth day, doing quite a lot more than we had initially planned for day 1 and all after being up for well over 24 hours! I’m pretty sure that we both practically passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillow.
Day 3, Bangkok
Slept for 11 hours last night and pretty sure I could have slept for longer because I was so tired but Bangkok is calling!
I ordered pancakes for breakfast because “when in Rome” and I also had a coffee. Apparently the Thais are really into their coffee because I’ve seen loads of coffee bars out and about. Iced coffee seems to be a favourite too, not surprising given the intense heat of Bangkok.
First we walked to the BTS station and hopped on a train to Mo Chit, the nearest station to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Amazingly all the trains are air conditioned, when is London going to introduce this on the underground?!
The heat of the market was intense, particularly as there’s loads of street vendors cooking food fresh on the side of the street. We had a good old wander (thumbs up to the shops and stalls that had air con- we lingered here for a while) and bought a pair each of the typical Thailand elephant trousers that all tourists seem to have. There were also tonnes of stalls selling coconut ice cream so we grabbed some for 60 bhat (about £1.40) which was served in a coconut shell and you could actually watch them scooping out the coconut flesh to make the ice cream with.
For lunch we stopped off at Toh Plue which is clearly marketed towards tourists (the flags outside are a bit of a giveaway) but it had air con and the food sounded good. We ordered a bowl of Thai green curry and rice to share alongside some chicken spring rolls. The waitress asked what country we were from and when our food arrived it had little England flags on it! A super cute touch but definitely geared towards tourists. The bowl of Thai green curry was huge – way too much for one person so we were glad we only ordered one dish! We had tonnes spare but it was really tasty, it was packed with flavour, had shavings of fresh coconut on top and the curry itself wasn’t too spicy- it just had a little kick. Perfect for us! I imagine the Thais regard it as ‘mild’. The bill came out quite expensive at 610 bhat, more than three times the price we paid for lunch yesterday, for less dishes!
After a jam packed morning sweating it out at the market we headed back to the hotel for a quick rest and to plan out our afternoon of adventures.
Originally, we were planning on using Uber to get around as a good, reliable and cheap mode of transport but when we got here we realised that it’s no longer available in Bangkok for some reason. Luckily they have another version called Grab which is basically the same.
We took a Grab car which picked us up from outside of our hotel room and dropped us off at Benchambophot aka the Marble Temple. This is one of the temples I was most looking forward to visiting (it’s made of white marble – need I say anymore?!) and it was a MUCH more pleasant experience than yesterday’s visit to the Grand Palace. The grand palace shuts at 5.30 and we arrived at 4.30 which meant that it was a little bit quieter (actually quite a lot quieter) and a fraction cooler too. We had a lovely wander around the beautiful temple gardens, visited the inside of the temple with a rather large Buddha before the monks came in to pray and rang the bells in the temple courtyard. I’ve got a funny feeling that this is going to be my favourite temple!
Next we grabbed another grab and headed towards China town. We were planning on eating dinner at China town but we didn’t find anywhere that took our fancy – most places served strange dishes like shark fin soup, apparently this is a delicacy in China, who knew?! We then walked over to the flower market which was nearby which we took a few steps inside, spotted a couple of rats and decided to give it a miss. Frankly the flowers seemed pretty underwhelming anyway.
At this point we were getting pretty hungry as we still hadn’t had any dinner yet and after a quick google (those Thai SIM cards are coming in pretty handy) we realised we were only 7 minutes walk away from The Sixth, the tiny restaurant we ate lunch at yesterday. Winning! Excitedly, we headed there looking forward to more deliciousness and although it was only 7 minutes away it actually feels more like a 3 hour hike in the humidity. When we got there, it was bloody shut wasn’t it! Closed on Sundays, typical! Disappointment doesn’t even cover it. Yesterday this little Street was PACKED with tonnes of little shops and restaurants with loads of tuk-tuks hovering, touting for your business. Tonight it was absolutely dead.
So off we went again in search of food and we decided to head to the infamous Khao San Road, in the backpacker district of Bangkok. This was a long old slog because we walked there (I clocked 28,000 steps in total today!) but eventually we made it and the Khao SAN Road definitely didn’t disappoint. It was absolute chaos, loads of people shouting at you trying to get you into their tuk tuk or come into their restaurant. There were people selling scorpions and spiders on a stick (apparently you eat them?!) or a variety of different bugs where you have to pay to even take a photo of them. I guess they’ll do anything to make money out of tourists. We make the mistake of browsing at a menu for too long which resulted in us getting the two fingers from a waitress when we decided not to eat there – whoops – and eventually settled on a place called Buddy’s Beer.
By the time we finally sat down we decided we’d earned our dinner and an alcoholic drink too, our first since arriving! My boyfriend chose a Thai beer and I stuck to my standard favourite cocktail, a cosmopolitan. We ordered a pad Thai and a Thai green curry which we shared between us while we soaked up the atmosphere and gave our feet a rest. This is the first meal that we’d had outside, under the stars but because it was dark at this point the temperature had dropped so it was quite a bit cooler but much more bearable.
The food was okay but not as tasty as the previous meals we’ve had and it wasn’t exactly cheap but we did have alcoholic drinks which bumped up the price significantly. After dinner we had a wander round some neighbouring streets before getting a grab back to the hotel as this is much more reasonably priced than a tuk-tuk.
Another exhausting day in Bangkok and I’m now working to publish my day 1 and day 2 “diary” on my blog. I think it’s late afternoon back in the U.K. but it’s about 11pm here so time to crash.
Day 4, Bangkok
Very sleepy this morning, it was a bit of a struggle to get up. We stumbled down to breakfast but nothing that a glass of coffee / orange juice can’t fix! I opted for the waffles for breakfast this morning while my boyfriend ordered eggs and we planned out our day ahead.
Our travel rep had suggested that we get a boat from a nearby canal towards the old town. We wanted to visit one of the temples that was on our list and we headed to the pier. You have to walk through a kind of slum / small shanty town to get there and it really highlights the contrast of the different communities living in Bangkok. It seems like with the tourism industry booming in Thailand there are huge sky rise buildings popping up in downtown Bangkok and lots of investment and development going on but on the opposite side of the road there could be almost derelict buildings in disrepair that people live in.
When the boat arrives you literally jump on it (there’s no ramp or anything to help you) and soon we were speeding towards the old town. We couldn’t quite believe the lady when she said it was only 9 bhat for a single journey – that’s just 43p for both of us. You have to duck a little bit when the boat passes another boat because otherwise you’ll get splashed with the river water which looks absolutely gross or if you’re unlucky you’ll get a mouthful of it. The locals seem to chose their seat tactically because near some seats there’s a little rope you can pull to hoist some plastic sheeting down which acts as a barrier between you and the side of the boat. The boat journey only took about ten minutes and it was a really great way to see the city from a different perspective.
The whole boat emptied out at the station we got off at and it was only a short walk from the canal to Wat Saket which is the golden mount temple. It kinda says it on the tin but essentially it’s a golden temple on top of a hill. The walk up the hill was really nice, the steps were super shallow and there was a waterfall running all the way down the hill which was nice. Along the way there were lots of decorations and even statues of the three wise monkeys. This made me smile because we were talking about this at work just a few weeks ago – I always thought the monkey emojis were cute, I had no idea they actually meant something!
🙉 Hear no evil (monkey covering ears)
🙈 See no evil (monkey covering eyes)
🙊 Say no evil (monkey covering mouth)
Raise your hand if you’ve learnt something today, bet you didn’t think this blog would be educational huh?
As we walked up the hill we heard the odd clap of thunder but nothing seemed to happen. A quick check of the weather app showed the forecast to be 40% chance of a thunderstorm but it never came. We stopped off at a small cafe to grab a bottle of water and an iced coffee as we made our way to the top of the mount. There were lots of bells similar to the bells at the Marble Temple that rang constantly in the wind (it was lovely and breezy up there which cooled us off nicely) and you get amazing 360 degree views of the city. We could see the Lebua tower where we went for drinks on our first night and you can see tonnes of temples in pretty much every direction which are distinguishable through their decorative roofs. This was pretty good in terms of value for money (only 50 bhat entry).
We could see another temple nearby and decided to visit it too as we were in the area and we encountered our first dodgy tuk tuk driver. This is a scam that we’ve heard about and we ignored him as he approached and propositioned us, telling us that the temple was closed and it is only open in the mornings. It was just after 12 so it was only just the afternoon but the temple was definitely open all day. Apparently they persuade unbeknown tourists that the temple or tourist attraction is closed and that they will show you the “hidden gem” Bangkok sites for a small fee of course. Essentially they just waste your time apparently.
Basically we completely ignored him and strolled straight it. This temple called Wat Ratchanatdaram was really quiet as it’s not as popular as many of the other more well known temples so we enjoyed having a stroll in some peace and quiet. We then grabbed another grab and headed back to The Sixth (third time lucky) for some lunch.
We obviously made an impression last time we visited because the waiter greeted us with welcome back! This time we didn’t have to wait for a table as we were able to grab the last one and it wasn’t long before a queue was forming outside. I ordered the chicken with cashew nuts again because it was so delicious last time and I was disappointed that I couldn’t eat any more and my boyfriend chose the chicken Panang curry. In Thailand they serve the curry in a bowl and the rice on a separate plate so that you can add as much curry as you like depending on how spicy you’d like it. I’ve made the mistake a few times now of dousing my rice with curry sauce which is deceptively spices and ended up with my mouth on fire. Apparently my boyfriend can handle the heat much better than I can because the Panang had one hell of a kick to it. It also had these funny little green things that were in my Thai green curry last night. I tried one thinking they were vegetables or peas and nearly got my head blown off. I think it was a wasabi pea, whoops! And the Thais put loads of them in their curries so we carefully picked them out. Last time we came here we only ordered water so this time we ordered iced coffee and smoothies to hydrate and refresh ourselves from the spicy food. As part of our research I’d read about the chocolate lava cake with mango which essentially is a chocolate fondant with that oozy gooey melt in the middle centre with sliced mango on the side so we had our heart set on having this for dessert. Unfortunately we were told that it was already sold out for today so my boyfriend settled for sticky rice with mango instead, a popular dessert dish in Thailand.
Next we headed across the road (literally) to visit Wat Pho, one of the temples on our list. This was probably up there with the Marble Temple in terms of being one of my favourites that we visited in Bangkok. It had really beautiful architecture, beautiful buildings and a giant statue of a gold reclining Buddha which was 15 meters high and 45 meters long. I wasn’t able to comprehend how big it was until I actually saw it. We had a little sit down when we were at the temple which was nice and cool, but you can’t point your feet at the Buddha because this is really disrespectful in Thai culture so we sat on our legs with our feet pointing behind us. This is where my occasional yoga comes in handy, keeping me flexible! You also leave your shoes outside the temple before going in to show respect and you have to dress appropriately when visiting any temples (ie. no shorts, knees covered and shoulders covered) so we’ve tried to group lots of the temples together when we’re wearing the right outfits.
We’ve seen quite a lot of Buddhist monks out and about while we’ve been exploring Bangkok – we’ve seen them going in to pray in temples, walking around the city, on the bus or even catching a ride in a tuk tuk but at Wat Pho we saw a monk feeding a squirrel pieces of banana which was super cute. Thai massage is famous for its stretching and deep tissue movements along the energy lines and Wat Pho has always been the centre for medicine and traditional massage in Thailand for hundreds of years. It now houses the Thai Traditional school of Medicine and Massage where you train to be a masseur. Apparently this is where you can get some of the best massages in Thailand but they’re a little bit expensive compared to others (although this seems crazy cheap compared to the cost of massages in the U.K.).
The final temple we wanted to visit was on the other side of the river so we paid 8 bhat each to cross the river to Wat Arun. This temple didn’t really have an inside, it was lore of a giant sculpture with lots of steps. Some of them were super steep (like a foot each) and went fairly high. This temple was really busy so we didn’t linger for long, just enough time to appreciate the intricacies of the building.
We headed back over the river and grabbed a grab Taxi this time to get home. This was even cheaper than using a normal grab (which is a set amount) because it uses the meter.
After a lot of walking my little feet were exhausted so I had a foot massage at the spa at our hotel which was super relaxing before getting ready to go out again for the evening.
We headed east from our hotel and walked to the nearby shopping centers, Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and Siam Paragon. Shopping centres in Bangkok are nice and air conditioned so it makes a nice change from being outside but you have to step through airport style metal detectors when you go inside each shopping centre. A bit strange! Then it dawned on us that compared with shopping centres back home, it was really quiet. I think it just highlights the different communities in Bangkok.
We found a great big food court with tonnes of different restaurants and stalls to choose from. For dinner we fancied something a bit different to Thai and since we didn’t end up having any Chinese at China town yesterday we opted for a Chinese meal. We ordered some duck pancakes; very different to the duck pancakes we have in the U.K. – they only serve the skin over here, hence the ‘crispy’ I guess in crispy duck pancakes. We also got char sui bao from the dim sum menu which is one of favourites to order from our local Chinese takeaway at home. We also ordered a portion of chicken with cashew nuts which had tonnes of chilli in it and some jasmine rice. It was all delish.
On on our way out we picked up some Ben’s cookies which we took back to our hotel room for pudding.
Sat in bed writing and editing yesterday’s activities to publish on my blog and I posted my first Instagram post of the holiday. Annoyingly, I posted a nice long comment about culture and the weather and Instagram deleted it or didn’t save it or something. Gah! I can’t remember what it was now so I guess that’s the tiredness getting to me.
Day 5, Bangkok to Chang Mai
If I’m being completely honest I’m not sure what the correct spelling is for Chang Mai. Is it “Chang Mai” or “Chiang Mai”? I’ve seen it spelt both ways, maybe one is the way it’s spelt in Thai and the other is how it’s spelt in English, a bit like Nuremberg is the English spelling for Nürnberg. Not sure.
But hey ho, today we’re off to Chang Mai for a change of scenery. We got up, had some breakfast, crammed our stuff back into our suitcases and got into out waiting car to head to the airport. The journey only took just over half an hour but I think most of the traffic was towards into Bangkok rather than away from it.
We passed what looked like a slum on the way and I decided to read about Khlong Toey on the way, which is Bangkoks largest slum area home to around 100,000 people on low incomes. There are some really humbling blog posts and articles online which helps give an insight into this part of Bangkok. I found this one really interesting and we actually saw the book “Cooking with Poo” later on at the airport and I’m ashamed to say that we had a giggle at the name. After reading the article about Poo living in the slums for 24 years and the many other articles that I’ve read this morning about the conditions in the slums I remember how lucky I am to be a tourist in this incredible country and how fortunate I am to have a home in London and a stable job which so many people all over the world don’t have.
When we arrived at the airport our travel rep was super helpful, helping us at the bag drop off (no queue so we sped though) and waving us off at the security gate. We whizzed through security and grabbed a quick McDonald’s because it’s always good fun to try McDonald’s in other countries to see what other options are available, I’ve had maccies in Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, China, Australia and now Thailand too.
We headed to the gate and didn’t have very long before we were ready to board. We had to get on a shuttle bus to get to the plane and we were directed towards a large bus which is normally used for business class. The seats were absolutely huge and really comfortable but we were only on it for two minutes before we boarded our flight.
The journey was good and super quick, it was only an hour and ten minutes but it feels like twenty minutes after our really long flight from London. I was quite surprised that we got free drinks and snacks while on board because you definitely don’t get this with any of the U.K. budget airlines. They also had entertainment in the back of every seat so I started watching one of my favourite films – sex and the city while I catch up with writing yesterday’s diary up. I didn’t finish the film obviously but hopefully I’ll be able to finish it on one of our other flights.
Our next super friendly travel rep was waiting for us and quickly whisked us into an air conditioned car to the hotel. She helped us get checked into our suite (wahoo) and gave us a quick overview of the history of Chiang Mai. We spent a little while unpacking and getting sorted before going straight out to explore the new surroundings. We walked into the old town to find the Dash! Teak House which serves traditional Thai food and we’d both read excellent reviews as part of our research (Chiang Mai is supposed to serve the best food in the whole of Thailand).
The food didn’t disappoint, to start we ordered chicken satay which was a much more generous portion than what we had at the Khao San Road although it was a bit spicier too!
We ordered the Khao Soi which a typical dish for northern Thailand of noodles in a coconut curry sauce with crispy noodles on top and we also ordered some Massaman curry and rice which we’d both share. Both dishes are regarded as mild in Thai cuisine, particularly the Massaman curry which is quite cinnamony but we soon turned into fire breathing dragons as both dishes blew our heads off. We sucked it up and ordered another bottle of water because apart from the spice, the dishes were absolutely delicious. The funny thing is that the waiter asked us if we wanted it to be spicier (extra chillies are served on the side to increase the heat) and we both said nooooo but the table next to us (Germans by the sound of it) said sure they would like it to be a little bit spicy and ended up having to send it back to the kitchen! Lesson learnt; next time we eat we will ask for our food to be SUPER MILD.
We then headed to the far side of Chiang Mai, past the old city to head towards the night bazaar to check out the buzz and atmosphere. We enjoyed having a stroll around and stopped for some ice cream rolls for dessert which were really good and lots of fun to watch them being prepared in front of you. It was also fun to people watch at the market, we saw a few ladyboys who weren’t exactly inconspicuous in their gigantic heels, leotards and feathered hats but you can only tell that they’re men when you hear them speak!
We were walking back to the hotel when it started to rain and we ordered a grab to get back to the hotel although a couple of drops was all it turned out to be in the end.
Day 6, Chiang Mai
So I’ve decided that it’s spelt Chiang Mai after exploring yesterday. We’re up and ready to explore! Breakfast definately isn’t as swish as it was in Bangkok, it’s a bit more chaotic with a huge amount of variety. I didn’t really eat anything for breakfast (one bite of croissant) but then I’ve never been a breakfast kind of person. After a year in my job my team at work have just about gotten used to my strange eating habits!
Our hotel in Chiang Mai is based in the trendy “hipster” part of town which is near the local university so it’s turned into a popular hangout spot for tourists. This is great because it means that there are some really cool cafes and coffee shops close by to our hotel.
I’d read about one called Ristr8o which was the world latte art champion in 2017 and only 7 minutes walk from our hotel so we trotted there and ordered a coffee. I chose a classic cafe latte and my boyfriend who isn’t a coffee drinker chose a hot chocolate. It’s absolutely boiling outside already and it’s still morning but Ristr8o is famous for its latte art so we opted for classic hot drinks and my my they definitely didn’t disappoint. They were almost to beautiful to drink and they played great tunes too. What I really loved about this coffee shop is that you could pick it up and put it down in London because it would fit in so well.
We then headed back out into the heat and walked to the old town which is about twenty minutes away (my boyfriend likes to walk everywhere but hey it keeps us fit and active). We then strolled towards the main temple that we wanted to visit and popped in on two other temples on our way (Wat Dap Phai and Wat Pha Bong). The nice thing about Chiang Mai is that there are temples everywhere (over 300 across the city) and you can just pop in to have a look. The main event though was Wat Phra Sighn which was honestly beautiful. It has these stunning gardens with lots of greenery and lots of smaller temples dotted about. We enjoyed having a slow wander through, stopping in each temple (taking our shoes off of course) and having a sit down in front of the Buddha in each temple. The garden had lots of lovely quotes attached to each tree like “until death there is nothing enough”, “constant dripping wears away the stone”, “better to speak an unpleasant truth than to tell lies” or “good to forgive, the best to forget”. I really enjoyed reflecting on these quotes and will endeavour to keep them at the forefront of my mind.
After finishing up at the temple we got a grab and headed back to the hotel where we got changed and waited to be picked up for our Thai cooking class, one of the highlights of the whole holiday!
After lots of research through Pinterest and online before the holiday, we chose to do our cooking class through Galangal (which means Thai Ginger) because of all of the great reviews so we had high expectations. We were picked up by one of the owners right outside our hotel and chose the dishes we would each like to make from a menu of different choices while we were on the way to the market to get fresh ingredients for our dishes. Our cooking teacher, Tae came with us and talked us through each item at the market. We then bundled back into the car and made our way the short distance to the cooking school. We were really fortunate that there were only three of us in our class so it felt like a really intimate experience where we got 1:1 tuition. We were given little aprons and started making our first dish – I’d chosen chicken with cashew nuts and my boyfriend chose Pad Thai. All of the ingredients we would need were laid out ready for us along with chopping boards and knives and Tae slowly took us through everything, explaining and showing us what to do as we went. Behind us we each had a stove with a wok ready so we could each actually cook our own food. After we’d prepared our first dish we were shown to a table that was prepared for us to sit and eat (it was SO DELICIOUS) before we started on our next dish. Next up was the soup and we’d all chosen the chicken coconut soup to make. As if by magic, when we returned to the kitchen everything from the previous dish had been cleared away and the next set of ingredients and pans / utensils were laid out ready. This dish was very fragrant and had an interesting set of ingredients but it definitely wasn’t my favourite of the evening. Again, we sat and ate our food before returning back to the kitchen. Next we started getting our curries ready; I’d chosen Khao Soi which is the same dish I had for dinner last night and my boyfriend opted for a Thai green curry. We all had fresh woks ready and prepared our curry dishes and left it to stew a little bit while we moved on to preparing the sticky rice which goes with sticky rice and mango for dessert. We made this together as a group and turned some of our rice blue using some butterfly flowers as a natural colouring scent. Then we left the rice to soak while we started to work on our spring rolls. This was one of my favourite things to make because it was so much fun! Together as a group we chopped and stir fried our vegetable spring roll mix and then took it off the heat. Tae showed us exactly how to roll the spring rolls so they don’t burst and go lovely and crispy when they’re fried. We all had a go but it’s much harder than it looks! We then popped them in the deep fryer and cooked them until they were golden brown and crispy. We chopped and presented our spring rolls so they looked pretty and moved back to our sticky rice where we put this onto the plate and chopped up our mango to go with it. Finally, we put our curry on top of our noodles and topped it with a huge pile of crispy noodles. It was so so good, probably one of my favourite dishes I’ve tried so far and I enjoyed it a little bit more than the Khao Soi yesterday because it didn’t below my head off (although it did have a tiny little kick). We tucked into our three dishes (practically a feast and don’t forget we’ve already eaten two dishes already) and even took some spring rolls and my portion of sticky mango rice home because I was absolutely stuffed. Five courses of food is a lot to handle! This has been one of the best experiences of the trip so far so we came away like grinning idiots.
We finished off the day with another stroll round the night bazaar and then stopped for a drink at a tiny little bar in old city before getting a grab back to the hotel. The spring rolls we took home didn’t last long either – we’d eaten them before we even got into bed that evening!
Day 7, Chiang Mai
This morning we headed to a cafe for breakfast as we were pretty underwhelmed by breakfast at our hotel (despite the huge variety of choices). The cafe called SS1254372 was only five minutes for down the road from our hotel. We were hoping to have avocado for breakfast which is our absolute favourite (we have this every week at home) but it’s obviously popular as they’d already run out! Instead we opted for some eggs and bacon and a cheesy croissant. I chose a caramel latte to drink and my boyfriend opted for a banana and berry smoothie. The dishes almost looked too good to eat when they arrived.
The plan for the day was to head to the mountain Doi Suthep to visit a temple at the top but first we had to get there! A grab was going to be quite expensive (not surprising as they have the luxury of air conditioning) so we decided to take a songthaew instead which is a red taxi truck which is shared and if you pay a bit extra, they will wait for you and bring you back down the mountain for an all in price.
The journey up the mountain was hot, sticky, steep and windy and I was full on ready to vomit by the time we got to the top with jelly legs. Next we had to climb the 300+ steps to get to the actual temple, Wat Phra That right at the very top!
We headed back down the mountain which was just as queasy as it was going up and walked back to our hotel in the 37 degree heat by which point we were feeling pretty exhausted and in need of a rest. There was one experience that had been on our to do list while we were away and that was to get s traditional Thai massage. We chose a couples full body Thai massage for 60 minutes and it was AMAZING. Thai massage is not the same as a typical Swedish massage that you’re likely to have in the U.K; it’s not as relaxing, much more acrobatic and quite a bit more painful because the masseur will put your body in all sorts of positions including sitting on top of you to stretch every single muscle in your body. A quick google shows that these types of massages are typically around £70 for an hour in London and we paid about £6 each!
This was pretty hungry work so we took a grab into the old city to visit one final temple, Wat Chedi Luang, before returning to the Dash Teak House for dinner. We ordered the chicken satay again and I chose the Khao Soi again (third night in a row) because this is a northern Thai dish which you can only get in this part of Thailand so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to try it again. I asked for it to be super, super mild which it obviously wasn’t but it was a little bit less ferocious than the other night! My boyfriend ordered the Lang nok and that looked tasty too.
Finally we headed back to the night market where we had some more ice cream rolls for dessert before heading back to the hotel for the evening.
Day 8, Chiang Mai to Krabi
This morning is a struggle, the busy days are starting to catch up with us and it’s been an early start this morning to get to the airport. This is where it gets a bit tricky because we’re catching a flight to Bangkok and then picking up our connecting flight to Krabi but we’ve only got 55 minutes between flights. Yikes!
To make matters worse, we found out when we arrived at the airport that our scheduled flight was delayed. Luckily the super helpful airport staff and our lovely travel rep quickly booked us onto an earlier flight. Security was super easy and we quickly made it to our gate. Annoyingly, this flight was delayed too but hopefully it means we can still get our connecting flight in Bangkok (running might be involved!)
Frustratingly, they weren’t showing movies on this flight so I wasn’t able to finish Sex and the City but hopefully I’ll be able to watch the rest of it on another flight. Luckily the flight was pretty quick and we landed with an hour ten minutes spare. I didn’t realise how much more humid Bangkok is compared to Chiang Mai, the heat hits you like a train as you step off the plane. A quick check on the weather app shows that it’s 34 degrees but it feels like 42 (heat index) and it’s sooooo sticky! It wasn’t too tricky to find the gate for our next flight and we got some more coffee more waiting for our next flight. Three down, three more to go!
After our fourth flight of the trip and seven hours after we left our hotel in Chiang Mai, we’re finally in our last location for the final part of our holiday, Krabi for a week of beaching. After a very busy week we’re both looking forward to spending some time relaxing but we’re quite active people so I think we’ll do lots of exploring too.
Our luggage made it as well, phew! I was very nervous about our luggage getting stuck in Bangkok but thankfully our red suitcases appeared on the luggage carousel in Krabi. We were soon speeding to our hotel in another private car with air conditioning. thank goodness because it’s hot outside; the weather app shows 36 degrees with a heat index of 42 degrees (apparently that’s the fancy way of saying “feels like”).
We got checked in and quickly got settled into our room before going straight out to explore our new surroundings and our home for the next week. We took a stroll by the beach and sat down together to watch the sunset which was pretty special.
Finally we went for some food, bought some snacks from the seven eleven (they’re everywhere) and just sat on our balcony relaxing and played our favourite card game.
Day 9, Krabi
Our final destination! It feels good that we have a few days longer here and we can relax. Breakfast was good, they have so much selection so I’m looking forward to breakfast tomorrow.
At ten o’clock we had a meeting with our super knowledgable travel rep and then we headed out. We went to Ao Nang beach first before going on a monkey trail hike. Unfortunately we didn’t see any monkeys (gutted!) but the hike was pretty fun, there were lots of staircases made from bamboo, bridges and lots of trees to duck under. The end of the trail led to the sister hotel of where we were staying with a secluded beach. We spent the afternoon sitting in the beach in the shade and just chilled. Obviously we went for a dip in the sea to cool off and it was literally like stepping into a warm bath! We took the same trail back to Ao Nang where we stopped off at a cafe for drinks and a snack.
It’s amazing how quickly the day goes when you’re having fun in the sun and we were soon cooling off in our hotel room and getting showered ready for the evening. Our hotel has got a happy hour in one of the bars so we decided to have a cocktail to kick off the evening.
We headed out for some street food because last night we’d passed a place which was really busy so we decided to give it a try tonight. Thailand is famous for it street food and we’ve not really tried much of it so far. We chose chicken with cashew nuts and some steamed rice (are our favourite Thai dishes starting to emerge?) and it was our cheapest meal so far coming in at only £3.38!
We then headed to the local street market where we also picked up some fried chicken on a stick for 50p and mango sticky rice (a traditional Thai dessert) for £1.20. All in all a pretty cheap evening.
Every time we’ve checked the weather app for Krabi it’s showed crazy thunderstorm weather all day, every day for the whole week which is really bizarre since we’ve had perfect weather since we arrived despite 90% chance of a thunderstorm at 10pm last night but we were sat out on our balcony and it just never happened so we’ve not really got much faith in the weather app right now!
Day 10, Krabi
This morning we got up slowly, had a leisurely breakfast and headed out. We’re in full on holiday mode now!
We walked to Ao Nang beach and boarded a long tail boat to Railay which is a beach not far away but it’s only accessible by boat so you can’t get to it any other way. The boat ride was short, it only lasted about 15 minutes and we stepped off the boat to crystal clear waters and golden sands. We decided to walk to the farthest beach, across Railay east where we’d landed, through Railay west on the other side of the island and over to Phra Nang beach.
It’s paradise and everything I expected Thailand to be. Golden super soft sands, amazing limestone cliffs and islands everywhere you look and lush greenery with palm trees. We put our towels down in the super soft sand went for a walk down the beach to explore. As we wandered we found a LOT of jelly fish (Portuguese Man O War – the type that cause crazy stings and in rare cases can kill!) so we decided not to go swimming in the sea!
We got some food from a beach version of a street vendor who’d turned their long tail boat into a stall and ate fried rice and chicken with cashew nuts which was delicious (and cooked fresh to order). All for £1.93! We also got a ‘young coconut’ which is where they have a green coconut which is still ripening and cut a hole in the top of it, poke a straw through and you’ve got a deliciously fresh drink of coconut water, straight out of the coconut itself. Yummy. We sat on our towels on the sand to eat our food and chilled for all of ten minutes before we were up again, this time heading to the other end of the beach to explore the caves. I should also mention that there’s a small little temple where people come to worship the princess Phra Nang with gifts of flowers and incense but since she is known for fertility the entrance to the shrine is full of wooden penises! Very strange.
We decided to head back to the beach on Railay East and saw lots of monkeys on our way, they just walked right past us and sat down! They didn’t seem bothered by our presence at all although I think they were hoping for food from us. It’s actually illegal to feed monkeys in Thailand and you can be fined quite a lot of money so we took a few photos before moving on.
We relaxed on the beach for a while before boarding another boat back to Ao Nang and heading back to our hotel. We got showered and ready for the evening and decided to head to the hotel bar again for a happy hour cocktail.
For dinner we decided to have some Indian food as we fancied a change and had a delicious Tikka Masala with lots of tasty accompaniments. Thailand isn’t very far from India at all and there are quite a few Indian restaurants dotted about Ao Nang so I think this could be the closest thing we get to an authentic Indian curry. The curry was super tasty with a little bit of a kick (despite asking for it to be mild) and the naan bread was amazing, it was much thinner than what we have in the U.K. which is much denser and ‘bready’.
After dinner we explored further into Ao Nang before turning back to return to our hotel. Not before we grabbed some of our favourite vegan coconut ice cream which is possibly the best thing since sliced bread.
We’re now sat in bed watching the Top Gear Burma special where they drive into Thailand. Today has been the best day, my favourite of the whole holiday so far.
Day 11, Krabi
We’ve decided to just stay by the pool today, we kept saying in Bangkok that we were going to chill by the pool and then we said in Chiang Mai that we’d like to spend some time by the pool and never actually had the time! So today is pool day. Our hotel had got a great pool with lots of lovely Sunbeds and and a pool bar that you can swim up to so we’re all set for the day. Most of the Sunbeds are in the shade which is absolutely fine because we spent a lot of time in the sun yesterday so we don’t mind a bit of shade today.
A quick check of the weather app says it’s raining in Ao Nang?! It’s definitely not … but at 28 degrees it’s noticeably cooler than it has been. I think it’s going to get up to 32 later with a heat index of 37 which is much more refreshing.
We ordered some chicken satay by the pool which was so yummy and just chilled all day, dipping in the pool to cool off and getting cocktails at the swim up pool bar. We spent most of our day here and finally headed back to our room at about 5pm ish where we got showered up and watched part 2 of the top gear Burma special before heading out.
We’d heard good reviews of Bussaba Thai Restaurant which was a short walk away from our hotel so we walked there and it just started to rain as we arrived so great timings. We ordered some of our favourite dishes; chicken satay to start alongside some cheese sticks (basically mozzarella dippers) and chose a Thai red curry with steamed rice. The satay skewers were delicious and probably some of the more ‘peanuty’ satay that we’ve had since we’ve been here. The Thai red curry went straight up to the top of the list as one of our favourite dishes, it wasn’t too spicy but it was full of flavour!
We had just finished eating and with full bellies we were feeling like pretty happy customers when the waitress came along and delivered us a watermelon smoothie each! I suspect it was to keep us here a bit longer as we were sat at a prime table right at the front of the restaurant which made it look a bit busier. It was very refreshing and really kind of the staff as we weren’t charged for it.
By the time we left, it had stopped raining and the ground was already dry which is a bit of a shame, I was kinda hoping for a thunderstorm while we’re here but I guess there’s still time.
We wandered around Ao Nang for a bit longer and took a slow walk back to our hotel, picking up some coconut ice cream and mango sticky rice on our way back. We finished up our evening by watching the new episode of Line of Duty.
Day 12, Krabi
Today we decided to start the day off at the pool and chill out with the intention of going to the beach later. We got ready after breakfast and laid out by the pool, it’s hotter than yesterday with a tempest of 33 degrees (heat index 39) so we decided to stay in the shade and cooled off in the pool when we thought we were in danger of turning into roast potatoes. We were absolutely in our element, listening to tunes, reading and snoozing when, after a few rumbles of thunder, it started to rain.
To be fair, we’ve been pretty lucky with the weather so far because the forecast shows rain and thunderstorms all week that we’re here and it’s been fine so far. We stayed at the pool for a little while longer under our parasol which kept us dry but decided to pack up and head back to our room to change.
We took advantage of a break in the rain to headed to the 7 eleven opposite to grab some pork bao buns (we love these in the U.K. and we’re thrilled to find them here), some snacks and drinks to take back to our room and we sat and had a picnic on our balcony which has a lovely little roof which kept our balcony dry. On our way back we could see a big black cloud coming our way and we settled down to wait for it’s arrival with snacks. Sure enough the heavens opened! It much much heavier than the first batch of rain and much heavier than anything we’d see back in London. We’d been feeling a little jealous of the rooms on the level below us which have much bigger balconies and sun-loungers to relax in but they weren’t covered over and so those balconies were absolutely drenched and we started feeling pretty smug about our little balcony that we could sit on and enjoy the rain. Still, it wasn’t a proper thunderstorm though – just a bit of rain with a couple of rumbles of thunder. Nothing like the electrifying storms we’ve seen in Italy which are spectacular shows of lightning.
The temperature has dropped massively down to 25 degrees which is the coolest it’s been all holiday, I practically need a scarf!
We chilled out on our balcony and in our room for the rest of the afternoon before getting ready for the evening.
For dinner we wanted to go to a restaurant called the Jungle Kitchen which is on the other side of Ao Nang. It took us 30 minutes to walk there so we’d worked up an appetite by the time we arrived but it was so popular that we had to wait for a table. We ordered some vegetable spring rolls and had some chicken with cashew nuts and some Thai red curry which we asked to be super mild. It was so delicious and creamy because they’d added extra coconut milk to make it less spicy.
We finished up the day by watching some mire Top Gear in bed, this time it was the Vietnam special.
Day 13, Krabi
Today it’s road to Phi Phi day (pronounced pee pee), or rather boat to Phi Phi day which would be more accurate. It was a VERY early start this morning (we are far from morning people) and we were picked up outside our hotel at 6.45 looking very bleary eyed and sleepy but soon we were on our speedboat whizzing across to the Phi Phi islands, one of the reasons we wanted to come to Thailand and this would undoubtably be one of the highlights of the trip.
Our first stop was the Pileh lagoon with crystal clear turquoise waters surrounded by amazing limestone cliffs. The high salt content in the water means that you can float in the lagoon, one of the only places in Thailand where you can do this. This is also the spot where at night time the plankton in the sea actually glows but obviously we didn’t see this as we arrived in the morning. We stopped off for a quick swim here before heading to Maya Bay, which is where the Danny Boyle film, The Beach was filmed, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The beach has been closed for the last year, probably because of the crazy amount of tourists that go to visit it. We had a peek at the golden sands, turquoise crystal clear waters and lush green palm trees from the boat and moored up in the bay for some snorkelling in the water next to the cliffs which was amazing, we saw loads of fish!
Next was a trip to Monkey beach where we saw tonnes of monkeys clinging to the rock sides. Some people were throwing bananas out to the monkeys which was funny to watch the monkeys jump in the sea to try and catch them. We stopped off for more snorkelling in slightly shallower waters next to a coral reef where we saw lots more fish. Then we docked at Phi Phi which was paradise, more so than Railay with white gold soft sand, clear waters and palm trees everywhere. I immediately took a picture to send to our mums, if anything this picture sums up the whole holiday. It’s paradise and the best day of the holiday by a mile.
Next, we hiked up to the top of the mountain where there’s an amazing viewpoint of the whole island. It was a pretty intense hike of about 25 minutes to get to the top which was made harder by the intense temperature (33 degrees with a heat index of 41) but it was worth it when we got to the top. There were over 300 steps to get to the viewpoint (I know, it doesn’t sound like a lot does it?) and on the way up we saw lots of coconut trees (apparently most accidents in Thailand are a result of a coconut hitting you on the head!), mango trees and even cashew trees (I got very excited about this). We also saw how pineapples are grown which aren’t from a tree, they’re planted directly into the ground a bit like a potato or a carrot – who knew?!
The views at the top of the viewpoint were amazing – you can see both beaches and the entire island. There’s also lots of information about the catastrophe on 26 December 2004, the tsunami that claimed the lives of so many particularly here in Phi Phi, Krabi and Phuket. We learnt about the giant 10 foot waves that came in from the north side of the island that claimed the lives of thousands here on Phi Phi as the waves quite literally washed them out to sea. To give you an idea of the devastation, the population of Phi Phi in the peak season is around 10,000. People, trees, buildings and even entire resorts were destroyed almost immediately after the first wave hit. I read a blog post that really hit home by Josie Girl Blog written by Laura Wales which gave me goosebumps and rocked me to my core. This is her story of 26 December, 2004.
The Phi Phi viewpoint is the safest place on the island as it’s so high and it’s the evacuation point for future natural disasters. There are signs all of the island and many other beaches that we’ve visited including Ao Nang and Railay beach warning that this is a tsunami disaster zone and thankfully the tsunami warning systems have been greatly improved since 2004, ensuring the safety of both locals and tourists who come to Thailand. I’ve read that a tsunami of this scale (in 2004 the earthquake measured over 9 on the Richter scale) occurs every 150 – 300 years so hopefully we are unlikely to see another disaster of this scale in our lifetime. A few days before we arrived there was an earthquake in Phuket measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale but thankfully there hasn’t been a tsunami warning alert.
After coming back down the mountain, we boarded the boat and sailed to our final destination, Bamboo Island. I don’t know how to describe it without sounding like a stuck record. It was beautiful, the biggest beach we’ve seen over here. No palm trees but lots of greenery and clear waters.
We sat down on the beach to eat our lunch in the shade; delicious glass noodles and chicken Massaman curry with rice before we had a few hours to relax before setting sail again. You could sunbathe, go swimming, explore the island but we chose to do some more snorkelling. There was a great reef on the coast and we spent two hours in the sea ogling the amazing sea life – the highlight being seeing several ‘Gill’ fish from Finding Nemo. In hindsight we may have spent a little too long in the water which resulted in some spectacular sunburn on our backs despite multiple applications of factor 50 throughout the day. Whoops!
As we were snorkelling, we could see a huge storm approaching with lots of rolls of thunder. It started to rain just as we were boarding the boat ready to leave at the water had become super choppy. The journey back to Krabi was knuckle whitening, a bit like being on a rollercoaster for 30 minutes but eventually we arrived back on mainland and got into our waiting car that took us back to our hotel.
By this point we were knackered, so we showered and had a little nap before going to a restaurant very close to our hotel because we didn’t feel like going far. We ate our dinner, came straight back to our hotel and started watching Finding Nemo in bed but we only made it about 45 minutes through before falling asleep.
Day 14, Krabi
Our last day in Krabi and after yesterday’s adventures, we’re both exhausted. We had a slow morning relaxing, we finished watching Finding Nemo and headed to the nearby 7 eleven to get some drinks and snacks before watching the Beach which was a strange film; the first half was really good but the second half kinda lost me. It was good to know that we’d seen the beach that the film is centred on yesterday as part of our trip and that we’d swam in the sea just off of the bay.
We then started to get packed because our trip had come to its end and we got ready for early evening. We visited the hotel bar to get cocktails in celebration of our last night and hailed a tuk tuk to take us back to the Jungle Kitchen which is at the other end of town.
This time we ordered spring rolls and chicken satay to start, and the chicken with cashew nuts with a portion of Thai red curry. It was all delicious and we realised that in every city we’d visited when we found a restaurant that we really liked we always went back (Bangkok – The Sixth, Chiang Mai – Dash Teak House l, Krabi – Jungle Kitchen).
We walked back to our hotel to work off our meal and finished packing before getting an early night, ready for our journey tomorrow. I’ve got one more update to do before the end of this series, this trip has gone really fast. I’d love to hear which bits of our trip you’ve enjoyed reading about, you can comment down below to tell me.
Day 15, Krabi to London
It was another early start this morning because today is travel day back to the U.K. We got up and got ready but with a sligh problem – yesterday I’d had the genius idea of handwashing my travel clothes as, standard Freya, I’d managed to get chocolate all over them on the flight out here. I’d thought that they would dry overnight and be ready to wear this morning but in between the dry air conditioning inside the hotel room and the humid moist air outside on the balcony where I’d left them overnight they were still very damp this morning. This meant that the pair of us were hairdrying my clothes at 6.30 in the morning! Sorry neighbours …
At 7.20 I abandoned ship and put them on, they were nearly dry anyway and we checked out of our hotel and got into our waiting private air con car and zipped off to the airport. We had a slight hiccup in that the driver dropped us off at the terminal for domestic flights, which makes sense as we were flying to Bangkok however, when we got there we were told that we needed to go to the international terminal because our connecting flight in Bangkok was to London. No matter, we didn’t lose much time and when we arrived at check in there was an empty, decorated checkin lane for our flight so we speedily got our luggage checked in, collected our boarding passes for both flights and made our way through security.
We had to go through passport control and immigration here at Krabi because of our connecting flight so we went through that but it took a while to queue. We finally made it through to the other side when we found out our flight was delayed by 30 minutes. Not good considering we only have a one hour and ten minute window to change flights when we get to Bangkok (now only 40 minutes). This could be interesting …
Ok so we just full on ran from our first flight to the gate for our second flight at Bangkok airport. Annoyingly we had to go through a second security scan which slowed us down especially because the guy insisted on everyone taking their shoes off. We had airways people shouting at us (helpful shouting, not nasty shouting) asking which flight we were on and pointing us to the right gate. We started sprinting because obviously our gate was THE FURTHEST ONE AWAY but it was what I imagine running a marathon is like because every so often there was a member of staff holding up our flight number and pointing us in the right direction which was very much appreciated. Finally, we made it to the gate, went through the tunnel that attaches to the plane and tagged onto the very end of the queue to board the plane and find our seats.
And we’re off, bye Thailand you’ve been awesome!
Day 16, London:
Just been unpacking and we’ve found a 500 Bhat note in our kitchen which we left behind. Bugger …
If you’ve made this far then I seriously applaud you for putting up with my ramblings for two weeks! Seriously – this mammoth post was over 11,500 words. This is the end of my daily updates but I’ll be posting guides for each city when I catch up on sleep and life! While I’ve been away I’ve received so much really lovely feedback about my blog and the updates during our trip so thankyou. A year ago I couldn’t imagine sharing this blog and little corner of the internet with anyone. Thank you so much, your support means everything to me.