The Indochina and Oceania Tour.

So after a long absence I have returned to the Western World, or more specifically I am back in London after half year long stint of traveling around Indochina and Oceania.

The past half a year has felt like it has gone by in an amazing, surreal flash. One which I would repeat in a heartbeat. I will do many a blog post about individual places and countries that I visited but here is a quick snippet of my experiences. In the past 7 months I have visited  2 continents, 10 countries and an uncountable number of towns and villages.
Asia was without a doubt the biggest culture shock and I am so glad I had Jonathan with me to experience it with. Be prepared for a picture heavy blog post.Starting off in Hanoi, Vietnam, we truly jumped in at the deep end of South East Asia, where everything from ordering food to crossing the road was an experience. We stopped off at several destinations whilst heading south, including Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang whilst heading towards Ho Chi Minh City and then across into the Cambodian capital of Phnom Pehn.

Halong Bay
Hanoi Streets
Halong Bay

 

Hue
Nha Trang
 Big Buddha – Nha Trang

We hopped around Cambodia trying to take in everything it had to
offer, the beach life in Sihanoukville, the historic trip to see one of
the great wonders of the world of Angkor Wat, spotting 3 million bats in
Battambang and watching river dolphins in Kratie, before heading up
into the south of Laos.

 50 cent Beer.
 Phnom Pehn
 Phnom Pehn Palace Grounds
 Sihanoukville
 Otres Beach
 Exploring
 Pink Shorts.
 Battambang – 3 million Bats
 Angkor Wat Sunrise

Laos quickly became our favourite country, with an unbelievably chilled out vibe in the 4000 islands, then moving northwards towards Pakse where we discovered some beautiful waterfalls and the charms of riding a motorbike, moving further up again towards Savannakhet and the capital, Vientianne, where we discovered most of the population were hiding along with all the cars within the country. Northwards still, Vang Vieng became our adventure destination, full of zipling, tubing and trekking and Luang Prabang became our culture destination, full of temple visits, meeting monks, shopping in the best night market imaginable and elephant riding.

 Sunset on the Mekong

 

 Vientianne

Catching a small propeller plane across the border we then started our time in Thailand in Chiang Mai, our animal hotspot. Trekking with more elephants, stroking and playing with tigers and watching Pandas eat an unbelievable amount of bamboo. We then flew south to Bangkok to spend my birthday week in some overdue luxury. We then jumped on a train further south towards Phetchaburi to expand our thai tastebuds then headed further south towards the party islands, Ko Tao and Ko Phanang, two weeks which consisted of diving, snorkeling, drinking, and full mooning.  Then deciding to have a break and a kitkat we headed to Krabi Ao Nang, before heading over to the island of Phi Phi where the snorkeling and partying continued.

 

 Chiang Mai
Lebua Towers – Bangkok

 

 Train Sunset

 

 Koh Tao

 

 Koh Phangan

 

 Phi Phi

 

Maya Beach – The Beach (think Leo DiCaprio)
Moving on from Thailand we headed further south in South East Asia towards Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Exploring all parts of it, largely revolving around food. And then south again to beautiful and expensive Singapore.

 

 KL – Patronas Towers
 Batu Caves

 

 

 Singapore

 

 

Our tour then headed into Indonesia – Bali and the Gili islands to be precise to meet up with a couple of girls from home – much to Jonathan’s delight. We drank, we drove, we made our ancestors proud. (Please get the Thor reference there.)

 

 

 Gili T diving

 

 

 

 

 Pimping.
At some point we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Summer and hello to Winter – not too bad considering it was in New Zealand but still I had grown accustomed to constantly wearing shorts and flipflops.
We started off our tour of the land of hobbits in the North Island, renting out a campa van and discovering what it was to be a true hippie. We then made our way to the south island, discovering the shire, Sky diving and skiing.

 

 

 Breakfast in Coramandel

 

 

 

 

 Picton

 

 Queenstown

 

 Kaikora

 

Hello welcome to the Shire.
Our tour together finished off in Sydney to visit my sister and now brother in-law. Being Jonny’s first visit to the land down under we did all the typical tourist adventures.
 Walk to Bondi

 

 See the sights.

 

 

 Go to the O bar. If you haven’t been, then go.
We had an unforgettable time together and seeing that traveling as a couple was apparently meant to be a “true test of a relationship” we did pretty well. Jonny had to return back home 3 weeks before me as he had a prior commitment to becoming an officer at Sandhurst.
 I utilised this time of being in Sydney with not much to do and with some left over money by deciding to visit Fiji. Seemed rude not to really.

 

 Fiji Gold Beer. Drink it on a beach.
 Puppy Bamboo!
 Sand Boarding.

 

 Kava Ceremony

 

 Bula!

So when I said a “quick snippet of my time” – I may have lied. I apologise for this and thanks for sticking in there. The 7 months of traveling were literally life changing and I loved every second of it, I am counting down the days till I manage to save up enough money to do it all again.
Maybe South America next time? Who knows?

As Susan Sontag said : I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

 

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