I cannot believe I am writing our final blog post already! The last 8 months have flown by, I can still picture what the countryside looked like in the UK, all dry from the August sunshine as we were leaving on the Eurostar for our big adventure. As I explained in an earlier post back in November, we didn’t manage to get the whole way from London to Vietnam without flying as we had hoped to do. Still, only 5 flights in total is still pretty good going I think.
Now we are having a couple of chilled out weeks in Thailand before catching our flight home at the start of April where the daunting task of getting back to reality will begin. It has been great travelling for this long, but I certainly couldn’t do it forever. I am looking forward to getting somewhere to live, cooking my own meals and being able to source a decent cup of tea when required!
As this is our last post I am going to dedicate it to the highlights of our trip.
First up, favourite moments from each country:
Europe (yes, I know it isn’t a country, but we only spent 2 weeks whizzing through on our way to Russia!): Hanging out with Andy and Jane in Berlin and getting to see all the places they liked to go to.
Russia: Our hike from Listvyanka to Bolshie Koty.
China (entry number 1): Seeing the baby pandas in Chengdu.
Taiwan: Visiting Taipei and getting a local point of view from Shirley.
China (entry number 2): Surviving our hike in Tiger Leaping Gorge when it turned out to be more eventful than expected!
Thailand: Learning how to scuba dive in Koh Tao and transforming from someone who was scared to someone who was hooked on swimming with the fishes.
Laos: Learning how to kayak properly on our epic three-day journey from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang.
Cambodia: Marvelling at the temples of Angkor.
Vietnam: Exploring the caves in Phong Nha National Park.
Next up is the category section, here we are going to announce our favourites of the trip as a whole:
Favourite Country: The judges were split on this, so there is a joint winner. Laos was my favourite and China was Alan’s.
Best Food: Another split opinion here… I vote for Vietnam, Alan has gone for Thailand.
Most Beautiful Beach: Otres Beach in Cambodia (if you block out all the people hassling you for stuff). The sand was silky smooth and the sea crystal clear. You could wade out for ages and still not be out of depth.
Favourite Trek: Tiger Leaping Gorge for its breathtaking scenery.
Best Scuba Diving: Technically this one shouldn’t be allowed to win as it is post the London to Vietnam adventure, but the Similian Island liveaboard trip we have just done here in Thailand was fantastic.
Best Historical Site: Angkor Wat.
Most Unique Transport Experience: Riding on the Maglev train in Shanghai on our way to Pudong Airport. This train has no wheels and floats using a magnetic current above the track. It reaches speeds of 430 km/hour. Just wow!
Favourite Beer: Beer Laos.
Best Country for Accommodation: Vietnam. Our budget went a lot further in Vietnam and we could stay in places that felt mildly luxurious but in actual fact were cheaper than two dorm beds in Europe.
Best Waterfall: A clear winner in this category is the Kuang Si Cascades near Luang Prabang. The colour of the water, the numerous swimming opportunities and the scale of it was spectacular.
Favourite Animal Experience: I’ll be honest, there have been a lot of cute kittens on our trip, especially in Laos on Four Thousand Islands, but the best animal experience has got to be our day at Elephant Nature Park outside Chiang Mai.
Place I could most see myself living in: Taipei.
Most Extreme Day Out: Throwing ourselves off of cliffs and down waterfalls whilst canyoning in Dalat.
We have enjoyed writing this blog, we hope you have enjoyed reading it too.