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The Thai Islands

After an amazing month in Chiang Mai, Thailand we extended our Thai visas and spent two weeks island hopping in the south. We were joined by two friends (Dan S. and Cory) who flew out from Vancouver to travel with us for a couple weeks. We all first met in Manitoba working for Kiewit (our employer before we quit to travel the world). For two weeks we island hopped across the southwest coast and southeast coast Thai islands. Dan and I upped our budget a little to stay in nicer resorts and hotels and treated ourselves to a bit more partying and alcohol (that is, if you can call being incredibly hungover a “treat”; also, when did I start getting so old that I actually get hungover – oh how I miss my early 20’s.) Continue reading

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Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

The infamous Koh Phangan Full Moon Party supposedly started in the mid-1980’s and has since gained fame throughout the world of travellers. An experience to be remembered (at least through the photos on my phone), the party now draws somewhere between 5,000 and 30,000 people to Haad Rin Beach. The bars stay open all night and the party stops sometime after sunrise (if you can make it that long). It’s a hot travel spot for many travellers (especially young party-goers) and while Dan and I missed it last time we were in Thailand, this time it was part of our itinerary. Continue reading

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A Month Living in Chiang Mai

After 142 days of not staying in any place longer than a week and almost a year since we started our around-the-world trip, we arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we had booked an entire apartment (through Airbnb) for a whole month! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to unpack my bag, wash everything we owned and hang up all the clothes – yes, we even had a closet! I was suddenly no longer restrained to what I could fit in my luggage and decided I deserved some Christmas shopping. Note: A month later, as I attempt to squish everything back into my luggage I may or may not be regretting the shopping. Continue reading

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Our Food Highlights from Chiang Mai, Thailand

After a month in Chiang Mai, I’m literally drooling over the food we had there. This is quite possibly related to the fact that we’ve been on the Thai Islands for the past two weeks and the food does not even come close to comparing to the quality of Chiang Mai food. To be honest, we didn’t even eat out that much in Chiang Mai – I cooked probably over 80% of our meals. While eating out is cheap, it’s still cheaper to cook, especially if you want a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) to accompany your meal. I was also pretty happy to have a decent kitchen and a month of free time to experiment with some new meals – anything that didn’t require an oven. Some of my home-cooked favourites included: smoked salmon and mango spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce, beer-battered tofu and eggplant, panko-crumb chicken and zucchini, blended spicy sweet potato and carrot soup, making tomato sauce from scratch for the first time ever and our morning smoothies. Unfortunately, fresh fruit wasn’t as cheap as I had imagined but fresh vegetables, tofu and chicken were plentiful and reasonably priced. Continue reading

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Siem Reap: More Than Just Angkor Wat

We spent over a week in Siem Reap and got to see a bit more of the city than the typical one to three night stopover meant only for visiting Angkor Wat. The touristy part of the city is quite small; almost everything is within walking distance. And walking is exactly what we did, due to the fact that tuk-tuks charge absurd prices just to take you around the corner.  Continue reading

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Angkor Wat in 3 Days: A Photo Guide

Angkor Wat is undeniably the main attraction in Cambodia – and a symbol of national pride, even appearing on their national flag. Originally a Hindu temple built by the Khmer Empire, Angkor was transformed into a Buddhist temple in the 12th century. It is the largest religious monument in the world and the temple complex is absolutely massive: you could spend weeks exploring the area. That said, if your time is limited it’s important to know what temples are a ‘must-see’. Passes are sold as one-day ($20 USD), three-day ($40 USD) or seven-day ($60 USD). The system is set up such that for the three-day pass you have a week to use your days and for the seven-day pass you have a month. Not having to go every day in a row is a huge plus as visiting temples all day can be exhausting – especially in 30+ degree weather. Continue reading

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Phnom Penh: Happy to be Back in Southeast Asia

I love Southeast Asia and when we landed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I couldn’t have been happier to be back. I first visited the area just under two years ago on a two-month backpacking trip by myself where Dan joined me for two weeks in Thailand – our first trip together. My love of SE Asia is hard to explain – it has something to do with hectic cities that are somehow calm and refreshing; the amazing mix of nature and ancient cultures with hints of westernization everywhere and of course, the people. Continue reading

My First Christmas Abroad

After our first six months of travelling and constantly being on the move, we needed a break – and took a month off at home in Vancouver. Six months later we were due for another break, but not at home this time. Instead, we booked ourselves an apartment for one month in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we experienced our first ever Christmas abroad!  Continue reading