Travelling reflections

I think I must be getting really bored of studying because I’m finding myself reflecting and being nostalgic over all the travelling I’ve managed to do this year.  Possibly one of the best things about coming to Singapore for exchange is its amaaaazingly central location in Asia for travelling… aviation hub, cheap flights? yes please!

Over Semester 2, we’ve taken 3 weeks to go travelling, plus the recess break.  The reason we got so much time away is another reason to come to Singapore…. for law, you can choose “intensive subjects” which mean you get 2 out of the 4 modules per semester done within the first three weeks (but okay, you do have to commit to being in class between 6.30 and 9.30 monday to friday).  but these three weeks flew by, and thereafter the majority of the law exchange students only had 2 classes left a week, which means 2 x 3hour lectures.  Most of us managed to get them into either monday or tuesday… which means more time to go off galavanting on travels!

Soo we managed three weeks away in between coursework deadlines throughout the semester.  The first trip was to Bangkok and Laos, and we flew out straight after our last intensive class.  This was probably the best trip we had, partially to do with the places being just so so soo much fun, but also because they came at such a good time for us, i.e. right at the end of the intensive courses.

We also managed to fit in a trip to Macau and Hong Kong, when the Rugby Sevens were over.  We could get almost a week away without missing any classes, because of the clever organisation of our timetables 🙂

And finally I managed a week to the Maldives, but this was just myself leaving from Singapore, since I was meeting my family there on the Easter holidays.  Same goes with not missing any classes, because I only have monday/tuesday classes I can get a good trip in with my 5 day weekend!

Back to our first trip of this semester – the law exchange take on Bangkok and Laos.  This was a pretty chaotic trip, comprised of 2 days in Bangkok and 3 days in Laos (Vang Vien – where the tubing is…. which I discussed in my massiveee blog about South East Asia travels)

I’d been to both Bangkok and Laos before, but with such a fun group of us (there were 7 of us on this trip) this trip really was just fun fun fun. We were there to enjoy ourselves, not necessarily to see new places or new things… we would save that for the next trip!  This was just about relaxing and enjoying one another’s company since we had literally spent the past 3 weeks, all day, every day, in school 😦

***Bangkok highlights….

Khao San Road – its hostels, its clubs, its bars, its restaurants, its shops, its everywhere.  SUCH a crazy-busy street but so much fun, and you gotta love the hustle and bustle of it all.

Buckets – no glasses, just drink out of a bucket… but sharing with everyone of course (sharing’s caring…)

Our Thailand skip cap which because the notorious “Chopper hat”.  Every time someone said or did something stupid, on went the hat onto their head!

All sorts of other ridiculous hat wearing… its definitely a place for stupid hats.

The Royal Place – wow wow wow.  So much gold and jewels, everywhere.  The King is very very important in Thailand and given a lot of respect, and thus to see the Royal Palace is a must-do of Bangkok!

The Pink taxis… just cause, it’s my favourite colour.

Free hugs.  Only on Khao San Road would you find a man walking around with a sign saying “free hugs”.  Just such a happy and loving place!

Thai massages – cannot miss.  An hour long for about 3 or 4 pounds, bargain.

Pad Thai street sellers (the tastiest noodles you will ever try, made fresh for you on the street, there and then, for about a quid!). But the other yum thai cuisine found in restaurants include thai green curry, chicken & cashew nuts, papaya salad, massumam curry, yellow curry, penang curry, spring rolls.  Many more.  Not to mention the fresh fruit everywhere on the street stalls.  Delish!

Shoppinggggg! Bangkok is phenomenal for shopping.  Everything from cheap electronic, to amazing fakes (that you would never guess were fakes.  One of my cherished finds include my “mulberry” handbag, which has been dubbed the “mulcherry”.  And on the street you’ll find all sorts of clothes, cheap and cheerful, but really cool and cheap.  THe clothes all the travellers tend to buy and wear has been nicknamed “stash”.

***Laos highlights…

Our  “team yellow” – we all decided to stock up on “yellow stash” in Bangkok, and wear it in the tubing in Vang Vien down the river.  Just for the fun of it.  A little bit sad, but at least we were identifiable!

Tuk Tuks – the best way to get about, is to be squeezed in, or even hanging off, the back of a tuk tuk.  How very south east asian.

The sandwich stalls!  After living in Singapore this year, believe me, no doubt how delicious and addictive the asian food is, every now and then you just crave a plain old sandwich.  For most of South East Asia, a good sandwich just doesn’t exist.  But what Vang Vien could offer us was a break from noodles and good old chicken and bacon baguette 🙂

The best spots down the river, along which the town of Vang Vien is situated, are the mud pit bar, and the tug of war bar.

The best songs of the 3 days, most played and most sung along to, were definitely Wonderwall (Oasis) and the “we don’t speak no americano”.  The latter has gotten itself a dance routine, unique to Vang Vien.  Everyone who comes here will learn it and carry on its legacy!

***Coming back to Singapore…

What an amazing “gap week” as we called it, since it fell between end of intensives courses, and the start of our normal courses.  It was such a fun break and really refreshed us, ready to start working again.  What’s so amazing and I can’t get over, is how we can just take these little escapes so easily and so cheap from Singapore.  Flights (if purchased on a budget airline) turn out so cheap, and the spending money in these places is little more than $10 per day!

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