I know this is very late. I actually wrote this back at the start of April whilst in Bangkok. I have a lot of catching up to do. But for now here is what we got up to in month 7. I’ve made it picture heavy to make up for tardiness.
Month seven has been a busy one. Four flights and four new incredible destinations.
First up was Bali. I have nothing but love for Bali and Indonesia. What an incredible place. We started in the mayhem of Kuta. Walking along the road and dodging mopeds was pretty daunting at first but we quickly got the hang of it.
From Kuta we took a bus to Ubud. Here I was introduced to the Eat, Pray, Love experience which consisted of a very hot and sweaty induction session of yoga. The monkey forest was amazing and the food was delicious. We got very cultural and even went to watch a Balinese fire dance thing. Ubud is really cool. It’s a lot more chilled then Kuta. And… drum roll please… there are pavements!! It’s surrounded by lovely rice paddies which are also worth a walk amongst. I’d love to go back there one day.
From Ubud we took a rather posh boat to the Gili Islands. Wow! Paradise. Of the three islands I think I preferred Gili Air. Gili Meno was too quiet and Gili T was verging on too busy. Gili Air was the perfect middle ground for relaxing with a cocktail on the beach and snorkelling with turtles. Bali was so much fun. Cheap food, drink and accommodation, which is amazing for what you pay.
Back in Bali we took a flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
We only went to KL to break up our journey to Hong Kong but we were pleasantly surprised. It is full of huge, posh shopping malls (one with a theme park inside), which on our budget are nice for window shopping. There are some great, cheap food courts too. The Petronas towers were pretty impressive and look great whilst enjoying a cocktail at the Sky Bar.
From KL we flew to Hong Kong. Here we stayed in my godfathers flat which was life saving. It was in such a great location and was a nice break from hostels. Being able to cook breakfast and watch telly in the evening was fun. Hong Kong itself didn’t disappoint. I’d been before when I was 17 but it was really nice to refresh my memories. We managed to pack a hell of a lot into the 5 days including the Ten Thousand Buddhas, Stanley market, Ladies market, Temple street night market, Big Buddha, Tai O, Victoria peak and Disneyland. We walked a lot, got very comfortable with the MTR and ate and drank plenty. Including some very cheap Chinese rice wine from the supermarket.
After brushing up on our Kung Fu (Kill Bill 1 & 2, Kung Fu Panda and Rush Hour) we felt ready to tackle the art of the samurai and so boarded our flight to Tokyo.
Japan was incredible. Before arriving we pictured Tokyo as this crazy futuristic metropolis and in ways it was. But it’s also full of small, friendly ‘micro cities’ where architecture boarders on communist. The cherry blossom however really brightens up the streets. We couldn’t believe our luck with our timing. Cherry blossom or ‘Sakura’ season only happens for two weeks out of the year and we landed slap bang in the middle. The streets and parks were lined with food stalls, people sitting around and strolling up and down the canals drinking and being merry. It was like one huge party and it was incredibly cool to be a part of it. Our route in Japan went Tokyo-Kyoto-Hiroshima-Osaka-Koyasan-Osaka.
Again we crammed a hell of a lot into eleven days, but all the trains and checking in and out was so worth it. My personal highlights were;
- Watching a Geisha Cherry Dance.
- The food
- Watching monks pray at the crack if dawn, at the top of a Buddhist mountain
- Our very hungover Onsen experience in Tokyo. An onsen being a huge public hot bath where one bathes naked!
- Sleeping in a capsule hotel.
- Drinking sake rice wine with the locals
- Admiring the incredible castles in every city
- Cherry blossom parties.
- Hiroshima peace memorial park
- The toilets. Yes they are from the future.
Month eight to follow shortly. Stay tuned.