A Travellerspoint blog


all seasons in one day 28 °C

We arrived in Singapore on Friday evening and jumped on the MRT (Singapore metro which was very cheap & really good for getting around) from the airport and headed on the purple line to Boon Keng. After walking up and down a few streets in some really intense heat we eventually found the hostel, but unfortunately it was quite late so the 2 girls asleep in our dorm were woken up by our arrival (we did apologise inthe morning).
Our first day was spent walking around the city exploring the different parts and cultures it offers. As I heard about the shopping in Singapore before we arrived I was eager to do a little window shopping and Singapore certainly is not short of shops. The Orchard road goes on forever with lots of shops from high street to designer retailers. I was pleased to see my favourite 'H&M' and managed to convince leight I needed a couple of long sleeve tops..oh and a pair of sunglasses! We took a walk to the Raffles hotel and from there we could see the more impressive Skypark (Marina Bay Sands) so made our way in that direction. From around 7.30pm the Skypark begins a laser light show across the marina, it was worth seeing and there's great views of the skyline of Singapore across the otherside of the marina too. There's lots of places to eat with little India, Chinatown etc, we had a curry at a restaurant that just opened at the very top of the Mustafa shopping centre. After a full day walking the city and utilising the MRT we were quite tired so slept well.

The next couple of days were pretty much a mix of the same (shopping & exploring) apart from Sunday evening where we booked to go to Singapore night safari (apparently the only one in the world). We had a really good night but don't go expecting anything other than a cool zoo with flood lights in the enclosures.

If we could sum up our visit to Singapore 5 or so words/statements.

1) Gems vision of heaven (shopping, shopping, shopping)
2) Amazing buildings
3) Really friendly people
4) Very very clean
5) Gem wants to go back

Random sights/things in Singapore.

1) The Marine bay sands resort (google to see why)

Posted by Gem-Leight 13:56 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Chiang Mai & Pai

sunny 29 °C

Chiang Mai

We arrived after another crazy long 17 hours sitting in a minivan, it's weird how we both just roll with these journey times on the trip considering we would'nt have dreamed of taking even a 5 hour one back home. We arrived around 5am and was dropped off at a local hotel along with a mix of 7 French girls/guy's. As we waited to be offered a room we all crashed out on the floors & chairs and woke to an unhappy hotel owner who was calling the police. So far on the trip through Asia every bus journey always involves being dropped off at a hotel where the bus driver is paid commission to deliver you to the hotel (generally overpriced and in poor locations), but the owner had a bee in his bonet because no one wanted to stay any following nights. After the eventful start we found a nice hotel and went to explore the city in the glorious sunshine. The city itself was not what I thought it was going to be like following friends descriptions of it. I had visions of a small chilled out city surrounded by tropical mountains and forests with elephants sharing the roads and all we seen was a mini Bangkok crazy with traffic and people. We spent the next few days exploring but struggled with the intense heat and the intense city so we booked a day cooking class on a Thai farm about 30mins out of the city. This was our first cooking lesson ever (we must be getting old ha) and didn't know what to expect. The day started with a glorious sunshine walk through a market where our chef explained different foods and herbs followed by a 20min train journey into the countryside. We then took a 10min bike ride to the farm and yes my bike had a basket. After picking the fresh herbs from the fields we got to the farm and started the masterclass in Thai cooking.
Gem cooked; vegetable spring rolls, chicken coconut soup, sticky rice & mango, masaman curry
Leight cooked; beef salad, phad thai, banana fritters, Phanaeng curry

We left Chiang Mai in search of a place surrounded by the jungle and not by cars and buildings, Pai certainly delivered. After a 3 hour drive which was like a rollercoaster ride going up and down the mountains with the most amazing views we arrived in Pai and straight away we knew we would love it. Pai is mainly a couple of main streets which form a T shape with smaller streets connecting at different places surrounded 360 by mountains and green jungles. The town itself had a great vibe/feel which we both loved and you could spend the days watching the world go by which is pretty much what we did. Inbetween doing nothing we hired a motorbike to explore the mountains which was excellent fun with amazing views. We went for a Valentines day elephant trek. The trek was pretty cool with the highlight being playing in the river with our new friend. Gems face was a picture when the elephant started to swing us side to side like a bull and the end result was us both falling into the river. We both loved Pai and would recommend it to anyone who visits north Thailand. One thing I forgot to mention is it has wicked live music played out all night in the bars (loads of reggae & open jam sessions).

If we could sum up our visit to Chiang Mai & Pai in 5 or so words/statements.

1) Very Hot
2) Thai Master Cooks
3) Our first elephant ride
4) Wouldn't go back to Chiang Mai
5) We loved Pai

Random sights/things in Chiang & Pai.

1) Us on our international cooking class with 2 x Germans, 3 x Chillians & 2 x South Africans
2) Me wearing an apron

Posted by Gem-Leight 15:58 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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