Nat & Steve's Tales From Around The World

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♫ ‘Thai Bride’-ings We Bring, To You and Your Kin ♫ December 15, 2009

Filed under: Southeast Asia — nomadtales @ 10:11 am

We only had a two week visa for Thailand and so didn’t get to see as much of it as we wanted, but we’re happy we saw what we did. We first looked around Chiang Mai, a city in the north of the country which is popular with tourists. The city was full of beautiful Buddhist temples and we did our best to see a few, but to be honest, after seeing one temple you feel like you’ve seen them all – and we’ve seen hundreds during our travels! Another interesting aspect to Chiang Mai’s ‘cultural’ scene was the bars and their clientele. Just a quick evening stroll and you would see hordes of young Thai women dressed up to the nines, in tow with creepy old Western men kidding themselves that these women wanted them for anything other than their money. It was quite uncomfortable to see, but we felt it was preparing us for what we might see in Bangkok. (more…)

 

Water Way To Have A Fun Time December 8, 2009

Filed under: Southeast Asia — nomadtales @ 8:51 am

After our motorbike adventure we got an overnight bus to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Usually we don’t get much sleep on overnight buses because the beds are so small, but this time we got no sleep for a different reason.

Firstly, there was an old woman travelling with her family opposite us who was either seriously ill or at death’s door. She kept being sick into a plastic bag all night. The noise was horrible and her son kept shining his phone light on her to make sure she didn’t miss the bag during her regular retches. (more…)

 

Motorcycle Diaries/Nat’s Day of Danger December 7, 2009

Filed under: Southeast Asia — nomadtales @ 8:38 am

Whilst in Paksé in the south of Laos, we decided to hire motorbikes for the day and get out into the countryside. We got up early and headed to the rental shop. We expected to have to show them all our documents – driving licenses, visas etc but all they asked for was one passport and the money. We got given our bikes and were quickly shown the controls and then sent on our way. Stephen immediately zipped off and was a little unsteady, but had grasped the general idea. I, on the other hand, had a few false starts before turning the accelerator fully; causing me to fly across the road, mount the pavement and crash full pelt into the wall of a fancy hotel. Thank God there had been no traffic or people in the way or a glass shop front at the end (although this would have been a fitting end to my Mr Bean style escapade). (more…)

 

A Whirlwind Tour of Cambodia December 1, 2009

Filed under: Southeast Asia — nomadtales @ 3:16 am

We were only in Cambodia for a week and visited only its two main tourist attractions, but felt we saw a lot and really enjoyed our time there. We arrived in Phnom Penh from Saigon by bus and instantly noticed a different feel to the place. For some reason unbeknown to us, the ‘loud and lively’ crowd from Vietnam had been replaced by calmer tourists who were content to see the sights rather than downing pints. (more…)

 

A Caffeine-Fueled Fortnight November 15, 2009

Filed under: Southeast Asia — nomadtales @ 11:14 am

Besides hoards of motorbikes that fill the busy streets, one of the first things we noticed about Vietnam was the sheer number of Westerners. From what we’ve seen, these appear to fall into two distinct categories – middle-aged couples on package tours and youngsters looking for cheap beer. Obviously, with the type of budget accommodation we’re staying in, we’ve had more contact with the latter. Although at times it can be a little hard to bear, often making long coach journeys drag as conversations such as ‘Oy mate, I was sooooo hammered last night’ get banded about, we have to hold our hands up and say we’re not totally innocent and have partaken in a few drunken nights out during our stay here – when beer is cheaper than water it would be rude not to really! I’m not going to go on about what happened on these nights out, the photos say it all and it wouldn’t make for a very interesting read. (more…)

 

The Journey from Hell November 13, 2009

Filed under: India & Nepal — nomadtales @ 6:16 am

Our journey from Pokhara, Nepal, to Hanoi, Vietnam, aka ‘The journey from hell’, began with a bleary eyed 5am journey to the town’s bus station. After arriving at that un-godly hour, we were then told that our bus was running late – typical. So we pulled up a chair and watched the bus drivers start their working day, trying our hardest not to fall asleep. Looking around the station we noticed that not only were all the buses new, deluxe tourist coaches, but the drivers were also thoroughly cleaning each bus inside and out – quite the novelty from our experience of buses so far. So although the bus was late, we felt pretty positive about the journey ahead. (more…)

 

Having a ball in Nepal October 30, 2009

Filed under: India & Nepal — nomadtales @ 5:46 am

Without wanting to sound cheesy, Nepal was everything I wanted from India. This became apparent as soon as we crossed the border when the scenery instantly changed from rubbish heaps into beautiful farmland set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. We’d originally planned to spend our first few days in a place called Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, but as we approached the town we encountered a police roadblock. They told us that no one could get in or out of Lumbini as the town was being visited by the Sri Lankan president and so security was at a maximum, so we had no choice but to turn back and rethink our plans. (more…)