Is Vang Vieng Worth Visiting?

Where is Vang Vieng? Apart from its location, I literally knew nothing about Laos before going there. After deciding it was on our itinerary while in South East Asia, I started reading up on the country. A place which soon appeared on my radar was Vang Vieng. Located near the capital of Vientiane, over the years, Vang Vieng has earnt a reputation for being an alcohol-drinking, drug-taking, Friends-watching, river-tubing town for foreign tourists. The whole situation got out of hand a few years ago as numerous tourists drowned due to excessive drinking while tubing. Many locals feel like the original culture …

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How Travelling Has Increased My Environmental Awareness

Global warming and climate change are two things we keep hearing about frequently. Unlike some high authority figures, it’s not something we should be ignoring. However, it’s always been difficult to really grasp the effect global warming is having. It’s easy to get caught up in our day to day lives of finances, work, and personal relationships. My most recent travels have opened up to my eyes to the impact our livelihood is having and has increased my environmental awareness. Air Pollution in China Since being home, the question I often get asked is “How was China?” By now, I’ll admit that I …

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Top 5 Travel Destinations for 2017

Since being home in Bristol I’ve met up with a lot of friends and the number one question is “When are you off again?” or equally as popular, “Where are you going in 2017?” Truth be told, I have no current plans to travel in 2017, yet. In fact, 2017 is a total blank at the moment. There is a possibility of staying in Bristol, or moving elsewhere; I really don’t know. Whatever happens, there are certainly some travel destinations that I would love to visit in 2017. Lonely Plant has compiled their top list of travel destinations for 2017 and so here is my …

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56 Photos of Our USA Travels

For those who enjoy visuals, here is a selection of photos of our two month USA trip. Thanks to Mitch for many of the great photos. Seattle, Washington Portland, Oregon San Fransisco, California Los Angeles, California     Incredible sunset in LA Phoenix, Arizona Grand Canyon and Sedona El Paso, Texas San Antonio, Texas Austin, Texas Houston, Texas Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas     Memphis, Tennessee Nashville, Tennesse Brief Stop in Kentucky Atlanta, Georgia Miami, Floria   Washington DC New York, New York                            

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Being Back Home in Bristol

On Friday 25th November, Mitch and I touched down in the UK after being away for fifteen months. We lived in China for ten months and travelled for another five. We had the luxury of visiting Vietnam, Laos, South Korea, Canada (albeit briefly) and the USA.  However, now I’m back in my hometown of Bristol. To be honest, I was looking forward to coming home. That’s not to say I haven’t adored where we’ve been and what we’ve done. I’m so happy and am so grateful to been able to have our lifestyle. But fifteen months is a long time to …

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Visiting Texas: Not What I Expected

Our route across the USA involved heading down the West Coast and then along the South to make our way to Miami. Texas seemed like a good route to take and we ended up staying there for quite a while, mainly because the state is so friggin’ big, but also because there’s lots to see. Prior to arriving, if someone had said Texas, I would have thought of BBQ, a Southern US accent, and cowboys. My experience, however, has been a lot different. Here are some things I’ve learnt about Texas. Texas is Huge Texas is bigger than the UK. …

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Travelling in the USA: What I’ve Learnt So Far

Mitch and I have been in the USA for just under a month now. While, at first, travelling from Asia to North America took some adjusting, we’ve gotten into the swing of it and are enjoying the American lifestyle. Before visiting any country you have pre-conceptions about things, but the best thing about travelling is learning that these are not true, or, perhaps, that they are truer than you first imagined. Here’s a round-up of some things I’ve learnt so far from travelling in the USA. Halloween is a Month Long Celebration I always knew that Halloween is a bigger deal here than …

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From Asia to North America

A lot of people have asked me how the USA is – “Great!” I reply. I’m having an awesome time, with a backlog of blogs to write when I eventually get time. Still, as great a time as I’m having, it’s certainly a bit different after spending so long on the other side of the world.     Living and travelling in Asia for over a year means you get use to certain things. Culture, language and food are three of the main things which I can safely say were the biggest shock coming over to North America. “Asia” is a …

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Climbing Grouse Mountain in Vancouver

Mitch and I are what I like to call occasional hikers. So far on our travels, our hike in Laos was probably the most challenging. That is until we were told to climb Grouse Mountain! Grouse Mountain is approximately 3,700 ft above sea level and walking up it’s just under 3km. It’s often referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.” “Climb Grouse Mountain,” they said ‘Epic views over Vancouver,” they said. Unfortunately, the day we went, it was a tad cloudy.   As we set off in the morning, there was a slight drizzle in the air and it was cloudy. We knew …

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5 Things I Already Love About Seoul

We landed at 5am Korean time, which was 3am Vietnam time (where we flew from). I didn’t sleep well on the flight due to a nasty travel bug we’d picked up a few days earlier (more in that in a later blog post). I was tired and disorientated, but we made it through immigration, got our bags, and headed on the bus towards our guesthouse. We arrived, slept for 4 hours, and then caught up with some work. By the time the evening came, we were so tired and had no bearings in this massive city. We hopped on the …

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Dong Hoi & Phong Nha: Two Years of Development

As mentioned previously, this is my second time in Vietnam. As well as visiting new places, I am heading to some of the same places. Naturally, these places are new to Mitch, and I get a totally different experience travelling with him, rather than travelling solo. Two of the places I’ve visited for a second time on this trip are Dong Hoi and Phong Nha. The former is a small town on the coast, the latter is a National Park famous for it’s recently discovered caves. I loved both of these places last time. And, seeing as we passed them on …

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My Hangzhou Travel Guide

I lived in Hangzhou for ten months. While many people have lived here much longer than I have, I’d like to think I got to know the city quite well. So much so that I’ve put together this Hangzhou travel guide. I hope you enjoy visiting as much as I enjoyed living there. While I can’t offer lots of history about places, nor suggest places to stay, I can recommend places to see, where to eat/drink, and how to get around the city. Hopefully, all these things will help if you’re planning on travelling to Hangzhou. Why should I travel …

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24 Hours in Dien Bien Phu

Dien Bien Phu is located in the North West of Vietnam, close to the Laos border. We took a night bus from Sa Pa and arrived at 5am. Rather than hopping straight onto another bus to Laos, we decided to stay a night in this small town, to explore what it has to offer and catch up on some sleep we missed on the night bus. After checking into our hotel and having a quick nap, we headed out to explore the town in the afternoon. We left our guesthouse and walked out to a main road. We were struck …

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Uh Oh, Helen Fell in Love Again: Sa Pa, Vietnam

It was just over a year ago that I announced that I was falling in love with Montenegro. Less than a year ago, I also wrote my passionate experience about visiting Xingping in China. Both of these places stole my heart and are places I would happily go back to. They are places which are ideal for relaxing, unwinding, thinking, and getting away from the hustle and bustle. Location number three has now been added to the list: Sa Pa, Vietnam.     I explored a fair number of places the last time I was in Vietnam. Sa Pa, however, …

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When Four British Couples Meet in Laos

The only time I’ve ever travelled as a group is when I was 17. It was a post-college trip to Corfu after finishing our A-Levels. There were 28 of us. Naturally, being 28 people we didn’t do everything together all of the time. There were smaller friendship groups within the big group, but it was still really nice to have so many people to hang out with.   Since 2014, I’ve travelled solo and, of course, with Mitch. Group travel is not something I’ve done since those two weeks in Corfu. Until now. Mitch and I boarded the 5:30am bus …

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