worst day traveling koh tao to bangkok backpacking malaysia thailand what not to do tips and tricks

Malaysia – A Cautionary Tale from your Bird Abroad

If you’re familiar with my blog the following story may not surprise you. I’ve been known in the past to make some poor decisions under the influence of alcohol and this story is no different. This is the trouble with being a hedonist with a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), I just can’t say no to a good time.

My trip to Malaysia started with some epically poor decision making. I hadn’t actually been ‘travelling’ (read: with a giant pack and comfortable footwear) for quite a while. I’d been too busy on weekend jaunts around Europe with my wheelie carry on and had forgotten a key lesson, one that I was set to be reminded of in a most cruel fashion. Continue reading

worst day traveling koh tao to bangkok backpacking

Koh Tao to Bangkok – My Worst Day Travelling

I’ve briefly mentioned my worst day in London before but I’ve never told all y’all about my most challenging day on the road.

The story starts where all the good ones do…with tequila, more specifically, too much of it. The night before we had been having a send off for a particularly beloved Instructor on Koh Tao where I was doing my Divemaster training, naturally this involved drinking more than usual as a sign of respect. The next morning I was due to travel to Bangkok to meet my family who were coming to visit my island paradise. I awoke at 7am feeling a bit dusty as you might imagine, I didn’t have to be at the ferry terminal until 8:30 for the 9 o’clock departure so I rolled over and hit snooze and here began one of those adventures that was hellish at the time but makes for a good story on reflection.

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scuba diving liveaboard in red sea egypt scuba diving

Liveaboard Diving – What you need to know

Stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean with 20 other sun-burnt salty sea dogs. No it’s not the premise for a terrible movie involving a mutant sea creature, it’s actually my idea of the perfect holiday. A liveaboard is a boat-based, multi-day excursion focussed on scuba diving. The name is pretty self-explanatory in that you LIVE, ABOARD the boat without coming into shore (you get it). You and your group will do several dives per day, usually visiting sites that would never be accessible on a day trip which is a major bonus of this type of diving. Continue reading

Vietnam Hoi An blog review tips and tricks backpacking blog

Vietnam Hoi An – A French village on the coast of Vietnam

So here I was in my favourite Vietnamese destination. Hoi An had struck a chord with me when we were here six years ago and I knew that this was one place I really wanted to come back to. As with any place built beside the water it has a great atmosphere and a history that is greatly influenced by its former status as a trading port. Hoi An has a beautiful old town with french inspired architecture built along the river. It is is also well known as a town of tailors and cobblers, with that in mind I set out to have some clothing made. Continue reading

vietnam easy rider day tour on motorbikes da lat vietnam

Vietnam Da Lat – An Easy Riders tour of the Countryside

Dalat sits at an altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level in the Central Highlands. It is known as the Paris of Vietnam and is well known for its flower gardens and rolling hills. I would liken it to Wellington, NZ with its wind and rain, I was properly cold for the first time in months.

For my second day here I took a countryside tour by motorbike. Along the way we visited various farms and factories and got a better look at life outside a major hub. First up we visited a coffee bean processor, Vietnam is famous for its coffee beans and Dalat is covered in trees producing just that. They flower once a year and are harvested by hand. They are then de-husked and laid out to dry for around three days depending on the heat of the sun. Afterwards they are bagged up and sent off for export.

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Vietnam – Nam Cat Tien

Another day. Another country. Another bus ride…I feel as though I have spent a good portion of my week on a bus making my way into and around Vietnam. From Phnom Penh I took a relatively nice bus with a sane driver into Ho Chi Minh. One night there, the highlight being having the dead skin taken off my feet (an island life of no shoes isn’t good for the sole). I then got a reasonably scary mini bus into Nam Cat Tien (a national park). I checked into my own bamboo hut which was dinky, but also came with a huge spider in the bathroom, and headed out. Continue reading

Phnom Phen – Killing Fields


People who struggle with the concept of causation often (jokingly) like to note that Hitler was a vegetarian and therefore his protein deficit must have had something to do with his genocidal tendencies. If that is the case then Pol Pot must have been the most self-righteous of vegans who won’t eat anything with a shadow because what he did to this country is almost unfathomable. The official definition of decimation is to kill one in every ten people, under the Khmer Rouge 3 million people were killed from a population of 8 million. Continue reading

Cambodia – Siem Reap

I finally escaped the madness of Bangkok and took a bus to Siem Reap in Cambodia which is the city near the temples of Angkor. I hadn’t booked ahead having realised that the online booking systems didn’t always show the cheapest room rates. Luckily the girl sitting next to me was also winging it so we decided to look for a guesthouse together. As we walked it began to bucket down so we sought refuge in a tuk tuk and asked the driver to take us somewhere nice and cheap. He picked the Garden Village which was great and super cheap (thank you Mr Tuk Tuk) he also got completely drenched on the ride but was happy to do it (I admire these people and their work ethic).

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