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My first holiday in Thailand Journal

My first holiday in Thailand Journal

In December 2017  I finally got to visit a country that has been sitting on my travel bucketlist for many years, “the land of smiles”, Thailand. Here is my “warts and all” journal of my three week holiday. I say warts and all because many blogs and travel websites give off the impression that holidays are all relaxation and fun, whilst in fact it is usual that holidays contain negative experiences as well as positive. Of course the positives outweigh…

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Snorkelling to Ko Rock and The Four Islands with Opal Speedboats

Snorkelling to Ko Rock and The Four Islands with Opal Speedboats

I tried out two snorkeling excursions during my stay in Ko Lanta. Both were booked with Opal Speedboats on their website www.opalspeedboat.com. I chose to book with Opal after reading several recommendations for the company on Trip Adviser. Although I booed online, I noticed there were many tourist information centers around Ko Lanta offering a variety of excursions, such conversational, kayaking, diving. I learned from speaking to other travelers it was sometimes possible to barter for lower prices of trips…

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My Experience on the #9 Sleeper Train Bangkok to Chaing Mai

My Experience on the #9 Sleeper Train Bangkok to Chaing Mai

Whilst planning my trip, I learned that a very unique Thai experience is taking an over night sleeper train. In comparison to flying, taking the train was only fractionally cheaper. However, I decided to take the plunge and try it out just for fun. The go-to website to learn all about sleeper trains in Thailand is www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm. The website I used to book my train is www.12goasia.com. I took the 6.10pm Chinese-built number 9 train from Hua Lamphong Station, Bangkok to…

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Solo Cuba Holiday Part 3 – Trinidad, back to Havana and home

Solo Cuba Holiday Part 3 – Trinidad, back to Havana and home

My collectivo journey from Vinales to Trinidad was not a smooth run. The entire journey usually takes from 7 to 9 hours to drive. Unfortunately in my case, after 2 hours from leaving Vinales the taxi broke down. Oil was leaking and so the driver parked, got out his tool box and deftly began fixing the vehicle himself. This was how I learned all taxi drivers in Cuba are also trained mechanics! After half an hour or so of us…

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Solo Cuba Holiday Part 2 – Vinales and Cayo Jutias

Solo Cuba Holiday Part 2 – Vinales and Cayo Jutias

My taxi ride to Vinales was a Cuban adventure in itself. The Taxi driver (who did not speak English), was this trendy young man in jeans and white vest who played music loudly, whilst simultaneously driving and smoking a cigarette. He drove fast and zig zagged wildly across the pot-holed unkempt roads. I sat at the front and a French Guadeloupen family at the back. The Guadeloupen family and myself had some interesting conversations en-route. I learned that petrol is…

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Solo Cuba Holiday Part 1 – Holiday planning and arrival in Havana

Solo Cuba Holiday Part 1 – Holiday planning and arrival in Havana

(Vinales, Cuba 2016) In July 2016, I spent two weeks in Cuba. I think this holiday was the highlight of 2016. I am not a well-seasoned traveller, and prior to my Cuba visit, I had only travelled wealthy first world countries, including Australia, New Zealand, America and Japan, which all have first world travel networks and wifi. Cuba, I guessed,  was going to present me quite a few challenges! I can’t recall exactly the moment I had a desire to visit Cuba. I…

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