My festive season hopscotching through Korea!

Where have I been? (good question) I have been living life in the fast lane but its time to get back to this sharing some tid bits from my life abroad and other travel and inspirations that inspire me to write. I promise to be better at updating I have big hopes and dreams for this blog I best get the started no more excuses. So here we go first of many posts I have lined up. To set the scene let’s go back in time to about  Late December early January.

My festive season, it was such a crazy month of hop scotch through Korea as if I was the KTX going at high speed!

Started off with a 12 pubs of Christmas bar crawl singing Christmas carols in the streets of Downtown Daegu a week before Christmas and then my Christmas spent in Cheongju with my girls we dubbed it “Queensmas”it was a fun weekend we even had a proper Christmas meal from turkey to roast beef and all the trimmings.

 My first Christmas in years that felt like Christmas from gifts to the food and the friends that felt like family!! 

Then my best friend from home came for a visit it was great to have a piece of home with me and show her around! We celebrated New Years in Busan lit lanterns on the beach (clearly a new tradition of mine) and danced the night away making new friends and great memories! Needless to say, a very hungover New Year’s Day was filled with tons of greasy food and laughs about the night before.

The next week I had to work but it was nice coming home and taking my friend for walks and listening to her tell me about new discoveries she found wandering the streets of my new home she even got a cheeky tattoo from the infamous Daegu Tattoo from Artist K who speaks no English and has a side guy who does all the speaking this place is very well known especially around the expat community.

I was so proud to see her get lost and dive into a very foreign country nothing like South Africa or the touristy stops that everyone is used to. She got to truly experience my new life and made really good memories.

We spent our last weekend in Seoul shopping eating way too much and buying all the crazy Korean socks! As soon as she arrived she left again but we had great fun!

One of the highlights was having her here for my birthday too she really did spoil me from breakfast to gifts and it really made me feel special. The last thing anyone wants on their birthday is to be alone and even better I had my best friend from home. I am not a big Birthday person but it was nice to have a low-key Korean BBQ and drinks with my close friends.

And just like that the year was kicked off at record breaking fast speed I didn’t even know what was happening all while working our extended hours because my hogwan (korean after-school academy) does a winter camp program while the kids are on their winter break.

While I was truly happy and living life I was burning out quick trying to burn the candle on both ends of the stick in my social and work life. I needed to pause take stock and get out of the depressing cold so what did I do I hopped on a plane to the Phillippines for a week of rejuvenation more about that soon.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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5 Tips to make it out of Khao San Road Bangkok Alive!

My love-hate relationship with Bangkok still continues as you can read from previous posts you can find here and here.

The first time I visited Bangkok in 2013, I never visited Koh San road the 2nd time I visited Bangkok I did for a very brief moment. I was alone and felt incredibly overwhelmed by everything.

If you have never been to Khao San road, you won’t know what I am talking about. Give me a second to paint you a picture. Koh San Road is the main backpacking touristy area. It is one street that stems off to many other streets equally as busy but not as crazy as the main Khao San Road.

Khao San Road is lined with hotels, hostels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, ping pong shows, clothing or anything you can imagine markets. It is incredibly overwhelming as I have mentioned before, with people trying to lure you into their bars and individuals selling you things you don’t need. I remember the first time the taxi dropped me off I was afraid holding onto my bag but as you keep wandering and getting to grips with the area it’s not as bad as what I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong it’ still pretty crazy to say the least.

This time, around I got to experience Koh San Road in all its crazy glory with some of my friends I have been travelling with from Pai. We arrived at 6 am from a 12-hour bus journey that completely messed my neck up, delirious and confused we hopped into a very overpriced taxi to Full Hostel about a 5-minute walk away from Koh San Road.

Follow these tips below and you will be just fine 😉

  1.  If you plan to stay in this area try to find a hostel nearby to Khao San road because if you find a place on the actual street you will never get any sleep with loud music going all night.
  2. If you planning on drinking pre-drink hit 7/11 as the drink prices can get crazy in this area due to the fact it’s one of the main tourists hot spots.
  3.  Remember where your hostel/hotel is or stick with a friend the last thing you want is to get lost on your drunken walk home or not being able to tell a taxi or tuk-tuk driver where you are staying.
  4. Take only the essentials with you, money, phone and keep it in a safe place. The area is reasonably safe but it does get very busy, and it can make pickpocketing very easy.
  5. You will be proportioned to go to a ping pong show or any seedy strip shows. If this is your thing have fun but just be careful. They will often say the show is free you just have to buy a drink or two they make these drinks expensive and challenging if you cannot pay. So keep an eye out for this.

Needless to say, Khao San is a fun place you will make heaps of friends dancing on tables drinking one too many buckets than you should but as long as you keep my handy tips at the back of your mind I am sure you will have a blast of a time. Until you wake up the next morning with a deadly hangover and wander down Khao San road again and think to yourself: was I seriously having the time of my life in this mess of a place lol. It’s one of those things you have to experience at least once in your life.

We had so much; we were all safe and have good blurry memories of that night lol.
The rest of the weekend was bittersweet spending the last days with my friends that have become a family saying my Goodbyes as we all dispersed back to our own parts of the world.

While I was still hanging about in Bangkok for another week and then off to Pattaya and Krabi with my family who came to join me.
More about my family adventure in my next post. Hope you all are still enjoying these travel posts and welcome to all the new followers that have come to join my travel journey.

Let me know if any of you have any crazy Khao San Road stories in the comments below.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Exploring the Great Wonder of the Ancient world – Angkor Wat!!!

After the great expedition to get to Cambodia which you can find here if you have not read it. I finally arrived safe and sound and checked into a very nice place. The Garden Village Guesthouse a recommendation from a fellow traveller I met along the way.

Another key tip is to stay connected to the people you meet on your journey as the chances are pretty good that they have been to the destination you headed so they can give you valuable tips, what to see and what to avoid. Best thing is recommendations on places to stay.

Getting back to my point the Garden Village Guesthouse is amazing. They have different room options and prices to suit any traveller. I chose a dorm room for six people and paid 5 dollars a night. They have a pool and a stunning bar and rooftop chill area too.

The next day I met up with my new friends, and we met up with a guy that was helping us arrange a tour for the day to visit the famous Angkor Wat temples.

We agreed on set price, and we would have the tuk-tuk and the driver for the day.
Another great tip is finding a group to go with so you can split the transportation cost.
We set off at about 10 am. It was the hottest day I have experienced in a very long time and to visit these temples one must be modestly dressed covering your shoulders with a sleeved shirt, not just a scarf and knees. I saw many people wearing shorts though but to be safe, I wore my new pants I purchased in Vietnam with a plain black T-shirt. I was dying in the heat before the day was even over.

We purchased a one day pass the total cost is 20 Usd, and I was all templed out by the end of it. If your sole purpose of visiting Cambodia is visiting these temples, then get the two days or 3-day pass. This way you can take your time navigating through the temples, but it will work out very expensive. In my opinion and based on how hot it was one day was more than enough.

There are also many ways to get around the temples. I saw many people hiring Bikes and cycling around also be weary of the weather as it can get sweltering and the last thing you want is to be dying of dehydration when trying to take in the majestic beauty of the temples.

We started off with Angkor Wat it was breathtaking to see in real life. Minus the crazy amount of tourists it was still a site to witness. To avoid the crazy crowds of midday, I would suggest going at sunrise.
We visited Bayon, Ta Phrom( Tomb Raider Temple), and Angkor Thom the more famous temples.
I wish I had taken more note of where we went exactly, but it was such a scorcher of the day that I was dying of the heat all while trying to be in every moment as we roamed freely around the ruins of these incredible temples.

We stopped for lunch and had some authentic Khmer food. Curry based and lots of noodle options very similar to Thai food ( same same but different.)
Then we continued the exploration we visited five temples in total. I remember at one of the temples we saw heaps of monkeys and at one point a random dog came running by and had the monkeys screaming and running toward us, and we all huddled together in hysteria scared we were going to get eaten alive. That was hilarious, and I am sure for the bystanders watching they must have thought we were ridiculous.

We made it to the final temple Phnom Bakheng, and it was a little walk up a hill there were large lookout decks to watch the sunset along with thousands of tourists who all had the same idea which is the only disappointment but to be expected.

We then left and headed to Pub street a self-explanatory name for dinner. Had the best Prawn Curry I can remember the taste now as if I had it yesterday. I, unfortunately, cannot remember the name of the restaurant doesn’t help that I can picture it in my mind now does it.

After a long day and a full stomach, we went looking for a travel agent as the British girls were off to Phnom Phen (The Capital of Cambodia) and needed to book a bus. Myself and my friend from Israel decided to stay one more night in Siem Reap before heading off to Sihanoukville a beach town along the coast. We had foot massages after being on our feet the entire day I feel as though that was just what the doctor ordered. It was an  incredible way to end the first leg of my Cambodian  adventureI didn’

I didn’t leave the hostel the following day. I met some interesting people and we spoke for hours sharing travel stories and just hanging out getting used to being a traveller again. One thing I like about long-term travelling is there isn’t a set time to do anything, and you can take your time.

Not knowing much about Cambodia or where to go, after chatting with new friends I had mapped out my next adventure. I will say I met a fascinating traveler a fellow female who had been and most likely still is traveling around Asia on her bicycle.

I will leave you with snaps I took of Angkor Wat and continued with stories from the coast in my next Cambodian Post.

Hope you all are still enjoying my chronicles of a solo traveller and feel free to ask me any questions about the East. I haven’t been everywhere, but the little I do know can sure help you out.

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

 

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Tis the Season to be Jolly!

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Wow, another Christmas away from home. I remember last year I was on my way to Thailand getting ready for a trip that completely changed my life. If I had known that, that trip would have had the snowball effect of events that it has had for me this year I am not sure I would have believed it.

I am here in China been for almost four months now and still going strong. Life has been good to me since I started to let go of the negative thoughts and start living in the moment. I finally feel settled in with School teaching life. We took a short trip Shanghai earlier this month, and it was just what the doctor ordered. I needed to remind myself why I was in China to live out my passion for travel meeting new people and just enjoying life and learning from others.

With Christmas on our doorstep, it’s strange to be away from home but we have had so many festivities to keep us busy that it has made it easier to be away.

We hosted our Christmas Party last Sunday, and it was so much fun for the kids. We even did a Nativity play, and I was a wise man. Who would have thought I would be singing Christmas carols to kids and dancing on a stage and performing a nativity play in China. (This is my life now.)

I am happy right now the friends I have made so far are awesome the long conversations of intellectual nothingness at times have been well fascinating and fun. The crazy nights out and the random slang we pick up all adding to my Chinese experience.

I am looking forward to Christmas this year Christmas Eve I am trying to find a church for a Christmas service as I do really miss going to Church. Then we have Christmas party with other teachers and on Christmas Day our school has paid for a Christmas lunch for us at a fancy Hotel, so we get to experience a real Christmas after all.
I received the best Christmas/ Birthday present ever my Moma Bear aka my Mom is coming to visit me early next month. I cannot contain my excitement. Cannot wait to show her this crazy world called China.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may this time be spent with your family and loved ones and show some love to all those around you. I will leave you all with some of my festive pictures from our Christmas party the other night.
Have an awesome festive season, and I say this all the time and I will try my best to post regularly.

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Adventures to Ninxun Town

IMG-20140918-WA0017It’s been awhile since I last posted but due to lack of social networks and very poor internet connection at times and being very busy time seems to be my worst enemy. As I get into life of China and find out the hacks of life here, I plan to be more dedicated and up to date with all my adventures.

Where do I begin in our first week the school I work for English First had planned a trip for the staff to visit the ancient town called Ninxun. It is an hour out of the city we live, and the school organised a bus, lunch and then we could wander the city for the afternoon. Looking at the typical ancient Chinese architecture.

The story has it that a rich Chinese Lady from the Shang dynasty married a local from Ninxin and moved to this town her father sent her a 1000 maids. There is one corridor of a thousand rooms dedicated to her maids she had. (This is a story one of the locals told us so it should be true, but don’t quote me on the facts it may be slightly wrong.)
It was an awesome day having to explore this city. People are looking happy playing Chinese dominos living a very simple lives.

They turned half the city into a museum preserving the heritage of this little town. One of the local teachers explained that these small towns people have small dreams and never leave. They happy fishing, or having a small house shop in the streets or fruit and veg stall. It was very interesting to see and experience. It is a very beautiful little town with a river running through it and beautifully crafted bridges going across it.
Just my luck my camera broke on the second day in China so my phone is all I have right now until I can get a new one.( tear tear)
We went to this local place for lunch where they just kept bringing out dishes to eat. This is where we were a tad adventurous, eating things like pigs gut that didn’t taste too bad. We ate tofu, snails, squid, eel, chicken, fish, and good vegetables.

The food in China is very strange, but I have learnt fast do not ask what meat you’re eating if it tastes good keep eating if not don’t ever order it again. The chicken in China is dodgy as they cook the entire thing from feet with nails on it to the head. If you are a vegetarian Chinese food is good everything comes with rice or noodles even the breakfast. We did however find a savoury pancake place that Is cheap near to school and makes for a good breakfast still doesn’t beat the traditional English breakfast with bacon and eggs but it’s a good second choice.

This day was an awesome one! I have been working like a crazy person but having this opportunity to explore and see China made me appreciate how lucky I am to have this opportunity that many people will never have.

Stacey and I are finally living our dream of travel the work in-between is tough, but the memories and character building this adventure is already teaching us is amazing and worth it. China is a difficult place to get settled in, but I know with time things will get easier. I will say you need to have strong Character and a massive support system to not let things get you down and just keep going.

Hope all is good with all of you and keep an eye out for my next post coming soon Stacey and Thalea take Shanghai …

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Exploring Wine Country out in Constantia

While my life is being turned upside down with life changing decisions, I decided to escape it all for a day out in wine country. Now living in Cape Town, I am truly blessed not even 20 minutes away from where I live you can find the beautiful countryside of the Constantia wine valley. It feels like you transported to another country.

We started off at Buitenverwachting wine farm where the tasting is R30, and you can taste all the wines on their tasting list I think I only made it through 2 whites and 2 reds. It was a busy morning the tasting room was bubbling with people making the most of the gorgeous sunny winters afternoon.

I visited their restaurant a while back and had the best gourmet beef burger ever I will defiantly recommend going to check out this beautiful Wine estate and restaurant.

Our second stop was the Glen a wine farm on the hill I have driven past this place so many times on my way to Houtbay and always say we need to check this place out and finally the day came, and boy were we in for a treat. The place was buzzing with visors the restaurant wine tasting area was full of people, and the scenery was breathtaking.

The tasting at the Glen was more structured R40 for two whites one rose and two reds. The wine was good, and their red Flagship bottle was a winner. They also explained because of their location up on the hill they get the last sun in the Valley and the grapes are exposed to the sun longer.

Then we ended our day at Groot Constantia one of the most known wine estates in the Constantia wine valley area. It is also R40 for tastings I opted out on this one, but my friends had fun the pinotage is my favorite wine from this farm very good wine to enjoy with a great fillet steak.

I truly had a great day out soaking up the winter sun and then heading to catch the soccer after the day out. Took my mind off the future, and I enjoyed the day out exploring Cape Town with good friends.

( pictures are in order as I visited the farms starting wIth  Buitenverwachting. The Glen and Groot Constantia)

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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World Cup Gypsy Madness

 

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I have wanted to write this post for so long, but just never found the right time. I think the timing could not be more perfect right now. With that being said, you must be wondering what I mean???? World Cup Soccer time!!!(I am not much of sports chick, but the only time I get into sports is during any world cup event or the Olympics.)

About 4 years ago almost to this very day the world ascended on South African soil I remember it like it was just yesterday I cannot believe it has been 4 years already.

I was finishing my final year of studying for my Marketing degree, so we got an extended 6 week break during this time that was perfect as I had no clue what the next few weeks had in-store for me. My wanderlust and gypsy status was born. My friends and I could sit for hours telling story after story the energy in the city was electrifying everyone was happy, and all the visitors flocked in by plane loads.

My friends and I were out every night watching soccer games going to parties and meeting the most interesting people the world could have sent to us. Send us a bunch of Soccer fans from each country in the world and you bound to have a good time lol

It was truly amazing from a friend meeting an American dream of a guy even though it was short lived he is seriously one of the coolest guys I have met to date we still keep in contact, and I know we will stay friends for many more years. I invited him over for a home cooked meal, and he jumped at the opportunity since he was travelling alone. He has such a charismatic personality that he can make room full of people love him and he clearly won my mother and Courteney over.lol

Then we met crazy bunch of Italians in a random place; it was storming outside, and we ran into this bar/club to take cover and wait for the rain to stop before running to my car. It was like a heavenly orchestrated event lol We saw these guys having fun, and while we were there, we started talking and ended up becoming fast friends they were working for Fifa, so they were based in Cape Town for the duration of all the Cape Town matches. They were fun and did I mention Italian lol We went out many nights I love showing foreigners the beautiful city of Cape Town its like experiencing everything for the first time I totally love it.

We had a South African braai (barbeque) for them at a friend’s house that was fun some romances blossomed here and there but we knew they would leave and we would all stay friends thanks to the wonderful internet and Facebook.

Another highlight of this festive time was going to see a game at the Cape Town stadium. I got a ticket from one of my best friends, and I was overjoyed with excitement. We went to watch Italy vs. Paraguay it was the stormiest night but still way too much fun.

The World Cup Soccer 2010 memories are ones I will cherish forever all the friends we made, the cool parties we attended, and the ongoing excitement will live with me forever.

As the World Cup Brazil 2014 kicks off today, I look forward to feeling the soccer excitement again I know it wont be the same, but the nostalgia it brings will make it all more special.

If you have any World Cup stories share them with me i would love to hear them. I leave you with some awesome pictures that just bring back so many fun memories hope you enjoy!

Peace love and Happiness

 Cherry ♥

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