My original plan for November was to spend the first 9 days in Cambodia and then the rest of the month in Vietnam. But after two weeks of terrible weather, constant rain, and a similar forecast for the rest of the time I had planned in Vietnam, I made the decision to book a flight to Thailand.
Thailand is one of my favourite spots in Southeast Asia so I was ridiculously excited to return to Bangkok and stuff my face with delicious street food. I also loved returning to Chiang Mai, a city I had fallen in love with three years before. As I write this I’m in the quaint hippy town of Pai, a new place for me in Thailand and one I just know I am going to love.
1/11- Siem Reap, Cambodia
2/11-4/11- Koh Rong Samloen, Cambodia
4/11-7/11- Kampot, Cambodia
7/11-9/11- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
9/11-12/11- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
12/11-15/11- Mui Ne, Vietnam
15/11-18/11- Da Lat, Vietnam
18/11-20/11- Nha Trang, Vietnam
21/11-24/11- Hoi An, Vietnam
24/11-26/11- Bangkok, Thailand
27/11-1/12- Chiang Mai, Thailand
Some Interesting Statistics
Countries Visited- 3
Things lost- 1 (I lost my bloody cardigan in Chiang Mai again!)
Rainy days- 7
Chilling out at Arcadia in Kampot- Arcadia is one of the most famous hostels in Cambodia, and hands down my favourite in all Southeast Asia. This hostel, located on the river about a fifteen-minute drive out of Kampot is incredible. It isn’t just a hostel but also a waterpark where you can be launched off giant inflatable pillows, soar down a huge waterslide and take a zipline into the river. But my favourite thing to do was to sit in a tube in the river and just relax and soak up the atmosphere. I absolutely loved my time here and would recommend a stay to anyone passing through Cambodia.
The Killing Fields in Cambodia- Visiting the Killing Fields, home to hundreds and thousands of victims of the Khmer Rouge is not the easiest travel experience. But as someone that loves history, especially modern history, a visit to the Killing Fields was an incredibly moving and emotional experience. The audio guide that came free with entry to the site was super informative and gave me more of an insight into a genocide that I had studied and read about before.
Mr Rot’s Secret Tour in Da Lat- More than a few of my friends that had been to Vietnam had insisted that I must do Mr Rot’s Secret Tour if I was passing through Da Lat. At $35 USD per person, it was a bit of a splurge for Vietnam but I decided to follow the overwhelming advice of my friends and sign up for it anyways. It was totally worth it. The secret nature of the trip means I can’t speak too much about what makes this tour so special. But just know that even though every tour operator and hostel in Da Lat tries to sell a similar tour, there is something very special and unique about what Mr Rot has to offer. You won’t get the same experience anywhere eels.
Wandering the streets of Hoi An- Hoi An is often a city that tops the favourite lists of all visitors to Vietnam. Unfortunately, my time in the city was almost ruined because of the constant rain. We spent most of the time indoors binge watching the 100 on Netflix and only venturing out to eat or to go see the tailor where I was getting some suits made. But one morning the weather was relatively ok and we finally got a chance to see what Hoi An had to offer. The beauty of the city and its little lantern-covered streets made me even more sad that the weather had been so bad for our stay. I can really imagine myself loving the city if the weather had allowed us to explore a little more.
Rediscovering Chiang Mai- I absolutely loved Chiang Mai when I visited almost three years ago. It was lovely to discover that not much had changed and Chiang Mai was as incredible as ever. I was also so happy to be able to find some of my favourite haunts from the last trip, including the little lady in the market serving delicious fruit bowls and shakes, and the pizza shop that still offers some of the best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy.
Favourite Food Moments
Eating my way across Ho Chi Minh City- I’ve always been a huge fan of Vietnamese food so I couldn’t wait to eat when I reached Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City, my first stop in the city proved very fruitful when it came to delicious street food. Some of the highlights for me were incredible Bahn Mi (Vietnamese Baguette), bo lat lot (beef wrapped in betel leaf), Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) and Bun Cha (pork patties served with rice noodles and salad). Even though the weather in Vietnam didn’t cooperate, at least the food made the trip worth it!
All the street food in Bangkok- Bangkok is hands down my favourite city in Southeast Asia and the main reason I love it so much is because of the delicious street food that can be found anywhere in the city. Usually before I arrive in a city I do tons of research on where to eat and what to eat. In Bangkok, it’s easy enough just to wander around in any direction and you are sure to find something incredible. Some of the best food I ate in all of Thailand was from the street stall directly in front of my hostel!
Almost losing my phone in Ko Rong Samloen- At the Mad Monkey on Koh Rong Samloen I found myself on the losing side of a battle with a bottle of cheap Cambodian vodka. The result was that I woke up the next morning with no phone. I frantically looked and asked around the hostel, thinking to myself that I would never find it again. Luckily, some guy had also lost his phone and when searching the beach for his lost property, had found mine.
The weather in Vietnam- In two years of travel I don’t think I’ve ever been so let down and depressed by the weather as I was during my last week in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh and Da Lat were sunny and beautiful for the most part but I got absolutely rained out of Nha Trang and Hoi An. Not only that, but the forecast for the next two weeks I was going to spend in the country was bleak. I’m so happy I made the decision to fly to Thailand instead.
Money Spent- $1479
I was within budget this month, although I haven’t counted the $300 I spent on tailoring in Hoi An. As always there were some expenses that I could have reduced, such as some nice western meals in Vietnam and Thailand. But for the most part I was happy with the money I spent this month. As always you can see every expense here.
Top Five Instagram
Ok guys I was a terrible instagrammer this month and I actually only posted four months. I promise I’ve got at least 10 photos lined up for the first two weeks of December!
I was also a terrible blogger this month and only managed to hit publish on one post.
I’ve got just over a week left in Thailand that I’ll be spending in Pai and Chiang Rai before I head into Laos on the two-day slow boat up the Mekong River. I’ve got to head back into Siem Reap for a night on the 21st to catch my flight to Kuala Lumpur where I’ll be celebrating Christmas.