My Yzerfontein Bucketlist!

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Hello World. It’s #TravelTuesday and time to break out my second post in my Yzerfontein Travel Diaries series. Yzerfontein is a seaside town , 90km from Cape Town and about an hour plus drive.I love road-trips but without the 4 – 6 hour commitment, so Yzerfontein is my perfect destination.

I’ve selected my  5 must see/do activities on my Yzerfontein bucket list and hope you enjoy it too!

1.Stay at a Beach Villa

On my weekend away I met the beach house of my dreams & now I will never book anything else ever again. You can read more about the beach villa I stayed at here. Accommodation is a deal breaker for me & all I want is modern, comfortable surroundings & a king size bed with crisp white linen. Dune Rose Luxury Beach Villa is all of this but so much more. If you visit Yzerfontein do yourself a favour and visit Dune Rose, you will thank me later.

2. Yzerfontein 16 Mile Beach

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When you find yourself in a seaside town, even in winter a walk on the beach, horse ride, meditation or a picnic is called for. Dont be surprised when your path crosses that of an Ostrich though. Yzerfontein’s 16 mile beach is the longest stretch of beach you will find in South Africa and is popular during whale watching season which is usually from September to November.

3. Visit Darling

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On our way back to Cape Town we detoured through Darling, a 20 minute drive from Yzerfontein. Popular during September when people flock to the Darling Wildflower show . If you can’t make it to the flower show however, a visit to Evita se Perron is a must. Here you can catch a show and have a good ol traditional South African meal.

4. Visit !Khwa ttu San Culture & Education Centre.

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Image taken from !Khwa ttu website

“The !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre is a centre of San culture and heritage that provides tailor-made training for young San women and men of Southern Africa.” There is so much !Khwa ttu offers, from guided tours,  trail walking/running to a San language session. Prices range from R50.00 pp for a bike ride to R195.00 pp for a guided tour. It seems like September is quite a busy month for the Westcoast , so if you happen to find yourself in the area !Khwa ttu will open the first Heritage Centre dedicated to the San on September 24th 2018.

5.Visit a Padstal

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Westcoast farm stall- Picture courtesy of  escapemagazine.co.za

No trip is complete without a visit to a Padstal or as its known in english a Farm Stall.  For me it was always just to buy orange marmalade for my mom. You can pick up all kinds of things like koeksisters (a plaited doughnut dipped in syrup), freshly baked bread, honey, gifts and the list goes on. A visit to a padstall feels like home.

And as the saying goes “To travel is too live”. What destinations do you live for? As always thank you for reading, with all my love, F x

Yzerfontein Travel Diiaries: Dune Rose Luxury Beach Villa

Hello World. It’s only fitting that I Break Out a travel post on this#TravelTuesday don’t you think ?

The past weekend I went exploring on the West Coast , Yzerfontein to be exact. An hours drive from Cape Town, Yzerfontein is charming fishing village that will cast its spell without you noticing.

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The beach is 2 meters from the house

 

Our residence for the duration of our trip  was Dune Rose Luxury Beach Villa or as I refer to it  “the beach house of my dreams”.

With  4 bedrooms, 3 double rooms with en-suite bathrooms and 1 room with 2 single beds this is the perfect place for friends & family to enjoy some peace & quiet without having to worry about getting in each other’s way.

 

After having checked in and exploring a bit I couldn’t help but feel relaxed, I guess having the ocean on your patio will do that to you. As  we were about to experience another cold front , the built-in wood fireplace in the dining room came in handy for a cosy breakfast and for roasting marshmallows.

 

Our main bedroom with a gas fireplace and a private balcony was a sanctuary I wish I could hide in forever. Is there a better way to wake up than with waves crashing on the shore? I think not.

The shower (not pictured) is a walk in double shower once again with a view of the ocean. This place screams tranquility & if you struggled to switch off before,Dune Rose will force you into a place of repose.

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*Picture courtesy of Dune Rose*

 Being a tourist in our own city/country can be as much fun as when you board a plane for 19 hours (not much fun tbh). Travel is my one great adventure. What is yours? As always thank you for reading, with all my love, F x

 

 

 

 

Find your inner child & win a trip for 2 to ZANZIBAR!!!

Hello World. Its time to Break Out a travel post.

If you follow me on social media you will know I’ve been struggling with how stressful life has been lately .  “Adulting” is hard work so I have to make a concious effort to unwind & take joy in the simple things in life. I’ve collabed with Travelstart to find my inner child & possibly jet off to Zanzibar .

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Bububu Beach Zanzibar picture courtesy of Pinterest

But before we get into that & in case you need help remembering what it’s like to be a kid again  here’s my top five favourite childhood memories that still works today:

1.  Bubbles

Is there anything more innocent and pure than blowing bubbles? Laying on the grass or running around trying to catch the bubbles is my top feel good memory.

2. Colouring

My nephew is three this year and when we colour it’s a constant fight because I hog his coloring book . As a child , I would get lost for hours colouring and it still works as an adult. I bought myself my own adult coloring book and I whip it out when I need to de-stress.

3.Sea, surf and sand

My best memories as a child were my days at the beach . Arriving early and swimming until you were hungry, running around till your food settles because everyone knows you will drown if you swim on a full tummy. This was on repeat until we left at sunset.

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Another thing my nephew taught me is that there is nothing better than a few sheets and furniture . We lay under the sheets which are draped over the sleigh bed and chairs and read stories about dinosaurs and cars, it takes me back to being a little girl sitting in a “doll house” made out of the box my moms new washing machine came in.

5.Adventures

As a child my dad used say to us on a Friday afternoon “pack a bag , we going on a road trip ” and this is where my love for travel started. We would get in the car with no padkos or booking and just drive until we stopped at Engen’s Wimpy for cappuccinos. We usually found a guesthouse that had a family room for us and that was that. My travel adventures these days involve a long layover, usually some kind of drama over geckos, volcanoes erupting or a swarm of bees but I would not have it any other way . I live for these adventures.

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Paper jets made by me

Finding your inner child is easy , to help you along Travelstart is challenging you to get in touch with your inner child and take part in their Paper Jet challenge here.

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They have tons of prizes up for grabs but the main prize, the one that gets me most excited is a trip for 2 to Zanzibar worth R25000.00. Zanzibar has been on my bucket-list for the past two years now. I am obsessed with Stone Town & the Spice Tour but more than that I just want really fresh,  prawns & crayfish, enjoyed on the beach at one of those tables on the sand. Feet in the ocean, watching the sunset. Sounds like heaven to me.

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Stone Town picture courtesy of Pinterest

If you can’t wait until the competition ends (7th July 2018) there are some really Cheap flights to Zanzibar here. Always check a few days before the date you want to travel and a few days after as this could change the price drastically. Also when planning your trip remember that South Africans don’t need a visa but you will need a yellow fever vaccination.

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Darajani Bazaar Stone Town picture courtesy of Pinterest

If you need help planning your trip , let me know. Dont forget to start making those paper jets & record their flight. You’ll be sitting on island, sipping on fresh coconuts soon. Thank you for reading , with all my love F xx

OOTD:The Fix

Hello World. It’s time to Break out a OOTD (Outfit of the Day) post.

I picked up this t-shirt dress from The Fix two months ago. Since The Fix rebranded from Fashion Express they don’t have a dedicated plus size section wgich was a bit dissapointing.However  I popped in on a whim & was surprised when some of their items actually fit. I love that I can style this dress as a lazy summer throw over to the beach and pair it with stockings & boots for colder days. This dress was approximately R260. 00.

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This past weekend because of a work commitment at Clovelly Country Club I found myself exploring Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Fishoek & this was the perfect no fuss dress. I hadn’t walked these streets for years and yet it felt familiar. The way home does. I remembered summer nights spent at Cape to Cuba and summer days spent at St James Beach swimming until you were exhausted from the sun & sea water .

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What feels better than sitting on the beach eating fish and chips straight from the wrapping it came in. Sometimes it is the little things!

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Being a tourist in your own city can be as exciting as hopping on a plane to go somewhere foreign. What places give you those feel good memories? As always thank you for reading, with all my love, F x

Monday Must Have’s: Sorbet Pore your heart out Facial Cleanser

Hello World! It’s been more than a hot minute, in fact January & February just ran away with me & I am only catching my breath now. As my first post for 2018 I have to start it off with a “Monday Must Have” post.

It’s time to Break out Girl. Leggo. A few years ago I fell in-love with the Clarisonic cleansing brush,  I mean who didn’t. But my hopes of ever owning one was dashed when I saw the price tag.

Hello world break out girl

Fast forward to 2017 I received the Sorbet Facial Cleanser, which I have been trialing since September and I have to say it does the job for a fraction of the cost. The Sorbet Facial Cleanser comes with three brush heads:

  1. High Sensitivity Brush Head for sensitive skin.
  2. Daily cleansing brush head for daily removal of dirt.
  3. Exfoliating brush head for deep cleansing.

I use the facial cleanser in conjunction with my face wash and face mask. What I truly love about this little device is how easy it makes taking off the day’s makeup. You are guaranteed no product is left behind. I have noticed I don’t have as many blackheads, my period break out is also less than before and my face looks smooth & clear.

Ps:This product is currently less 20% at Clicks nationwide. Go on spoil yourself .With all my love. F xxx

 

Bali Travel Diaries!

Hello World. Its time to Break Out my last post for 2017. Eeeek!

I visited Bali in October/ November this year and instead of booking an apartment and living local like we usually do we decided to book hotels/resorts/ villas and even a “homestay” admittedly by mistake but still I live for any travel adventure.

Our first stop was Ubud, famous for lush green rice paddies & its arts & crafts. We arrived late at night and checked into a Homestay. A Homestay allows you to stay with a local & offers a truly authentic experience. This homestay was unlike any other, we had an in-house temple, gorgeous eating area where you sit on the floor & nooks & crannies filled with all types of gems.  The only downside: no aircon in our room. In Bali you need aircon.

Our first check in was at a “Homestay”

 

We ate our way through Ubud, egg fried rice & egg fried noodles soon became our staple food. We stumbled upon the very Instagrammable Gelato Secrets one night, and had thee best honey comb & pistachio gelato I have ever tasted. Freshly squeezed watermelon juice found everywhere is the only drink that quenched the thirst and offered some respite from the heat.  Fresh coconuts cut while you wait, enjoyed as you walk the streets late at night. Heaven is that you!Our time here was very “Eat , pray , love”.

 

The very instagrammable Gelato Secrets.

After exploring Ubud our next stop was Seminyak. Seminyak I read is known as the spa and boutique shopping capital of Bali. This was my favorite part of the trip, I fell in love with the streets, the people & a little Mexican restaurant where I found the most delicious churros ever tasted, I know I say this a lot but its true. This trip was more like an eating tour  than anything else. I’m not complaining!

 

Mexican Restuarant found in Seminyak.

On our second day in Seminyak we tried to order a Uber to go beaching at the Double Six beach for the day. After an hour or two we gave up and went for a swim in the beautiful pool at Grand La Villas & Spa. We later found out that Ubers weren’t allowed in the area. The blue taxis that stop every time you make eye contact is what should be used, luckily we hired a driver who carted us around for the rest of the trip for as little as 2USD.

Spent 90% of my time poolside!

Bali is called the land of the Gods and I can see why. Every morning the locals start the day by offering Canang Sari, an offering of thanks to the Gods which line the streets, businesses, temples and beaches. I loved watching this ritual every day.

Canang Sari ritual

On the final leg of the trip we visited the dreaded Kuta. I say dreaded because we heard so many stories telling us we wouldn’t enjoy our time in Kuta as it was too “touristy” & warning us that all that was in store for us were dirty beaches & tourist traps.Begrudgingly we left our beautiful villa and on we went. This time we checked into a resort.

We journeyed to the beach which was less than a five-minute walk to my delight. Picture banana boats lining  the shore, gazebos as you enjoy dinner on the beach, dragons lining the sky (kites) and the soft whisper of waves crashing.

Some parts of the beach were filled with trash but it wasnt as bad I expected, in fact I have probably seen this every time I visit Strand beach back home. It’s the price you pay for inconsiderate humans;tourists & locals alike:,the world over.

Sunset on Kuta Beach.

A few days later we headed to our last hotel, a boutique hotel, my favorite kind. I love the personalised attention a boutique hotel brings.Here we had a temple next door to our hotel and could hear the soft mantra’s over the daily buzz of daily life.

 

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Stir fried rice) & Es Campur( shaved ice+dragonfruit+grass jelly+condensed milk) were some of our staples.

This by far has been my most”holiday holiday “and by that I mean, this is the first time we have traveled with no itinerary or plans and all I did was eat my weight in watermelon every morning for breakfast, take a nap, after napping we would go swimming until we either got tired or hungry. Terima Kasih Bali, this has been my best holiday ever!

 

Arniston Travel Diaries!

Hello World. Time to Break out another Travel/OOTD post.

Sometimes you don’t have to fork out thousands of rands for a beach holiday and paradise might be closer than you think. I came to this realization on a recent road trip to Arniston.A small seaside village in the Overberg region close to Cape Agulhas.

 

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Pictures taken by @Capetourismcn

 

A mere two-hour + drive from Cape Town, Arniston has all the r’s you need: rest, recoup & relaxation. The Arniston Hotel has a picnic menu which is perfect for a day spent at the  beach. On our way back from the beach we drove pass these quaint white washed stone cottages some offering arts & crafts or home-cooked meals.

 

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Cowl Neck Dress from Isabel De Villiers Autumn Winter 2017 range

 

The peace & quiet that a small town brings made me want to go on more road trips and discover more small towns with quirky cafes where you can buy homemade jams & koeksisters from taanies  with purple hair . For the love of travel & adventure.

 

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Pictures taken by @Capetourismcn

If you looking to be more than just a beach bum on your holiday click here, I’ve got you covered. Thank you to  @Edwillmp for hosting us and showing us his hometown & @Capetourismcn for his gracious hospitality.

 

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Pictures taken by @Capetourismcn

Please share your local road-trip gems & secret hideaways with me below. As always thank you for reading , with all my love F xx

How to travel the world…on a budget… in 5 easy steps!

Hello World! It’s time to Break Out another travel post.

When I get back from a trip I am always asked “ How do you AFFORD to travel“and I always think to myself “How can you afford not to”. Travel is not as expensive as you might think. Today I want to share my top five tips for traveling on a budget.

 1.Black Friday 

South Africa & the travel community has jumped on the Black Friday band wagon and it’s not a bad thing.  Travelstart Black Friday deals go for as little as R4000.00/ 288 USD for some international flights or less than R6000.00 / 432.00 USD to Thailand. How insane is that?!

While browsing the deals I entered a Spin & Win competition on Travelstart’s website & won a R50.00 voucher.

Besides Black Friday deals keep an eye out for mid month sales, annual sales or birthday sales. There’s always a “20 % off ” if you look hard enough.

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Travelstart’s Black Flyday Flight sale starts 24-27 November 2017

2.Research! Research!Research!

My criteria for traveling is: a)  cheapest destination & b) countries  I can enter that either offer a free 30 day tourist visa or a free visa on arrival. I then choose two destinations & find out when the off-peak season is, I check the exchange rate, the best season/time to travel and their accommodation rates.

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Sunsets in Bali

3.Flexibility

If your dates are not set in stone you can literally save thousands. Always check how the price differs three days before your preferred date & three days after. If I have time I even check a month before/after.

If you are flexible with your destination you might be able to get a price drop too.  Last year I wanted to go to Bali. A day before I was supposed to leave ,when I did a comparison check the tickets to Turkey were coming in at such a good price . I ended up changing my plans and going to Turkey.

This year however I decided it was time to visit Bali, I had put it off far too long. After checking the prices from Cape Town to Bali it came in at R22000.00 /1584 USD for two people.Before booking I decided to do one last search & looked at leaving from Johannesburg instead of Cape Town. Am I glad I did that. My international portion of the trip amounted to R14000.00/ 1008 USD for two people. I then booked domestic flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg for R2500.00 / 180USD once again for two people.  I ended up saving R5500.00 / 396 USD. I booked this through Travelstart’s booking app called Flapp.

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Ayasofya in Istanbul

4. Travel Insurance

Credit Cards are not always a bad thing. Most banks offer you free travel insurance when you book your tickets with your credit card. Always check which financial institution gives you the best deal, check what it covers & how much you are covered for.

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Phi Phi Island

5.Save!!!

Start a travel fund, no matter how small your contribution is start saving. Sell any items you no longer need & deposit that money into your travel fund. If you have extra money coming in that you never expected , deposit it in your travel fund. Get my drift. Good. Now Save!

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Beautiful Doha

 

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page-“Saint Augustine
I fell in love with this quote when I came back from Thailand. And ever since then all I want to do is see the world. I wish the same for all of you! Happy Flyday shopping. As always thank you for reading. With all my love F xx

 

 

Gold Restaurant

Wondering where to go for my birthday I started searching  for a restaurant to host the traditional birthday dinner celebration. I was looking for a place I’d never been before,  my only non-negotiable was that it needed to be halaal or halaal friendly. My interest was piqued when I kept seeing one name pop up in my search . Hello Gold Restaurant. Described as ‘A taste safari that will transport you from Table Mountain to Timbuktu.’ I emailed questions I had about meat suppliers to Cindy Muller, the Director of Gold Restaurant, and she was very forthcoming. Happy with her reply I made my booking and I waited for the day to arrive, bursting with excitement.

On arrival we were greeted by our hostess and seated on the third floor. Our waitress introduced herself and explained the evening’s proceedings. After our drinks order was taken we had some face-painting done and waited for the magic to happen.

For starters we had the Benne chicken salad from Cameroon, red pepper relish from Sierra Leone and Xhosa pot corn Bread. The bread was so fresh and tasted like home-baked goodness, paired with the relish this was undoubtedly one of my favorites.

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Xhosa Pot Corn Bread

Next  we had Malawi sweet potato cakes and South African lamb & Ostrich Babotie Samoosas served with a traditional South African chutney. Yumbers!

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Sweet potato cakes * Image courtesy of Gold Restaurant. 

Followed by the Tunisan Briouats which is a pastry filled potatoes and garlic.

Our main course was Tanzanian Fried fish with coconut and spinach, South African tomato bredie served with a traditional  Cape Malay Yellow rice. Accompanied by a mouth-watering Timbuktu Tabbouleh , (I loved this salad so much, I googled how to make it when I got home).Together with Egyptian red lentils, yogurt and Mozambican chilli chicken wings,the wings which were devilish hot, it made for a nice combination and complimented each other well.

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South Africa lamb & Ostrich babotie samoosa & Tunisian briouats

Dessert was traditional South African pumpkin fritters and Almond cigars. I’m not a fritter fan but I enjoyed the ‘lightness the dessert’.

The food accompanied by the traditional dancing, of which there were three sets, made for an unforgettable evening . The live entertainment was amazing , even though admittedly I have a fear of puppets, with some coaxing I warmed up to the Mali Puppet. My best moment after dinner, was receiving a blessing of gold dust from the resident Queen.

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Mali puppet *Picture courtesy of City sightseeing blog*

Please note: This is a set menu of which you can order more individual or sharing portions. Please do yourself a favor and book in advance as Gold Restaurant is quite popular  and gets pretty busy .

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African Queen blessing guests by dusitng them with 24 carat gold dust.

Asian Persuasion

Thailand, also known as the land of a thousand smiles. This place will creep into the corners of your heart and despite the language barrier will make you feel like you have come ‘home’. If laying on silky white beaches sipping real coconut water, Island hopping, and on the odd occasion visiting a temple and drinking copious amounts of watermelon smoothies is your idea of a holiday then this is definitely for you.

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A land of a thousand smiles

Another plus is that South Africans don’t need a visa if you are staying for 30 days (travelling by air) or less. Please note that in the more touristy towns you are bound to bump into at least four South African honeymooners, a few Durbanites and a bachelor who wants to celebrate his last days of freedom. The number one reason South Africans love Thailand is because of the exchange rate. The Thai baht is better on our pockets than the Euro or Dollar has ever been.

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If you wondering when to travel to Thailand, November – February is usually categorised  as the best time to visit. While June – October sees heavy rainfall and cooler temperatures and when we went (October) the humidity even during monsoon season was so intense that I don’t think I would have survived high season.

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Image taken at the Grand Palace

It seems that tourists still flock to the Andaman sea, west of Thailand , with Phuket , Krabi and Ko Phi Phi continuing to be on top of the list. With crystal blue water that make your pictures look like you have been photo-shopped in it , it’s no wonder why.

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If however you are looking for a more quiet experience, with less tourists and fireworks you need to visit Koh Samui where you can find spots of complete isolation.

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Image taken on our way to Phi Phi Islands

While you there don’t forget about Bangkok even if just for a few days, no trip to Thailand is complete without visiting the Capital city. This is where we visited The Grand Palace, also where I slid into the temple when it rained and questioned why no one knew marble and rain do not mix. Home to floating markets and some of the best sushi haunts as described here.

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Our hotel in Bangkok

The memories that I hold dear to me will always be the unplanned adventures like quad biking up to see Big Buddha after eating myself sick at the cashew nut factory, pinning money on the ‘tree’ for blessings from the monks in return. Taking what I thought would be a 15 minute trip on a speedboat to Islands *names I have now forgotten * which actually took more than an hour , and then stopping in the middle of the ocean to go snorkeling and feed the fish with bread bought on the shore.

Running into a school friend one day just newly wed, comparing our experiences and me saying well I haven’t really eaten anything foreign , I remember him saying’ you don’t want to come back home and realise that because you played it safe , you will never be able to answer people when they ask what the food is like‘ after that I ate from street vendors, I ate the weird and found the wonderful.

Discovering a ferry close to our hotel in Bangkok one day and deciding to go exploring without our guide, we paid, settled down for our journey of discovery and within five minutes we reached our destination, we didn’t realise we had just paid for the ferry to take us to the other side of the river bank.

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Street Cuisine

I cant wait to go back as there is so much exploring to do still, islands undiscovered and sunsets yet unseen. Thailand would be my number one suggestion to someone travelling for the first time. The perfect destination if ever there was one.

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One of the many half man statues at The Grand Palace

Happy travelling and as always if you need help planning your trip I would be happy too.