Top Favs in Kota Kinabalu

During our adventures last Spring in Indonesia we decided to spend about five days in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The truth is … you always need more time, but our few days there were filled with adventure. Making new friends, trying new foods and scuba diving for the first time to name a few!

We took boats to different islands and brought our own snorkel gear. Sapi was gorgeous and it was amazing to float in the water and see all the fishes swim by. islandlifeindo

KK has so many markets! Seeing Mango flavored cotton candy was a real dream!mangocottoncandymalasysia

We got bit by the Scuba Bug! Sooooo crazy/scary/coolscubadivinginmalaysia

Delicious meal – no silverware required! malaysiacurry

Frolicking in the Mangrove Forrest and sweating through our clothes.mangroveforestsabah

Sunset viewing with a beer in hand… no matter where you are it feels good to get these little moments.kotakinabalu-malaysia

My top favs in Indonesia

I am finally getting ready to share my Indonesia and Malaysia trip here and going through the photos and my journal from the trip are really stoking my need for adventure and travel.

Here are a few top memories from the trip…

All packed up and ready to go! One carry on for three weeks. The truth of the matter is I probably had too much.indoorbust-3weeksina-carryon

Our first meal in Indonesia, and quite possibly the best meal of the entire trip. This simple and cheap meal still lingers in my dreams.


Epic sunset wavesbatubolongbeach

The most amazing iced coffee from Crate Cafe in Canggu.cratecafecanggu

When GoogleMaps takes you to a remote village and an Indonesia man takes you into the rice fields…ricefieldsindo

A cool, not so secret waterfall, Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud.


Dicing and Slicing our way to Balinese Cuisine Cooking Professionals!


We drove all night to see this crater at Sunrise.kawahijenjavaindo

Just a casual gecko joining us for lunch.madenewfriendsongili

Lowest of low tides on Gili Air.lowtideislandlife

Beach art on Gili Air – coral and Bintang bottles.giliairartbintang

You don’t see a goat… or any animal on the back of a motorbike often.justgoatforit

My Birthday! Which included a street side serenade – magical!kutabeachbirthday

A little oasis on the side of the road. kutabeachlombok

A few friends at the beach in Kuta Lombokbisononthebeachlombok

Sometimes the best views take a few (hundred) wrong turns. Getting to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall was an adventure.


Drop Inn Cafe … when you are done dropping in on waves you can drop in for a sweet treat. dropinncafelombok

Ratu Boko Temple in Yogya. It was an adventure getting there… but Sunset did not disappoint.yogyakartaindo

At 1/15 coffee I tried an interesting combo of espresso, lime and sparkly water coffewithseltzerandlime-indo

A flip flop hike to watch the sun go down.sflipfliphikelombokindo

A few of my fav moments … get ready for the breakdown in the next couple weeks.

Angkor Wat?!


angkor-427_1280 angkor-434_1280 angkor-433_1280 angkor-431_1280 angkor-435_1280 angkor-428_1280 angkor-470_1280 angkor-468_1280 angkor-wat-257186_1280 cambodia-192183_1280 cambodia-192181_1280 angkor-wat-319017_1280 angkor-wat-142391_1280 angkor-142389_1280 angkor-469_1280 angkor-142388_1280 cambodia-287266_1280 cambodia-287277_1280 cambodia-178539_1280 cambodia-178541_1280 cambodia-287271_1280

Amazing, huh?! Angkor Wat is breathtakingly beautiful. I feel truly lucky to have been able to experience this place.

When it was time to leave Chiang Mai we were sad but also really excited to get to Cambodia and visit Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor Wat.

We had to fly through Bangkok again. At this point in the trip we realize it is definitely better to book flights at the airport with a ticket agency instead of online.

For the Cambodian visa you pay $20 USD plus $1 USD for a picture, alternatively you could bring a copy of your passport picture so you don’t have to pay the $1!

We exchanged money to Riel ( their currency). We were able to use it everywhere but EVERYTHING was quoted in USD. If I went back I would probably just use USD.

I really loved Siem Reap! The people are all so friendly. I have heard from numerous people that there is just something about Cambodia that really captures your heart! It is totally true! I would love to go back at some point, maybe volunteer with an NGO.

All the temples of Angkor Wat are amazingly breathtaking. We spent two mornings exploring the temples and it was definitely time well spent!

We also went to the museum where they touch upon the history of The Kingdom of Cambodia, its Kings, what temples they built, what religion was practiced at what times and how it influenced the buildings – oh and don’t forget over 1000 buddhas! Really worth it to go if you have the time!

Peace Cafe is AMAZING!

We stayed at Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel. Not near the main area, about a $3 tuk tuk ride to and fro. We had an online deal for this hotel, which made it $20 a person a night.  Pricier than what we had been spending, but it did include breakfast.

Chiang Chiang Chiannnnng Chiang Mai

Early the next morning on our flight from Bangkok to Chang Mai we met a man from Portland, OR, he lives in Chang Mai for a few months out of the year and was a great asset in explaining the city and places to stay and go. He also drew an awesome map on a barf bag that regrettably was thrown away.

We stayed at an adorable guesthouse right outside of the old city. It had a lush garden with a little cart for self serve coffee and tea. The family who owns it is French and Thai and they have really created a wonderful environment. The husband and wife are both extremely helpful.

The best way to get around was by Motorbike. This allowed us to drive to Temples and places within the city.

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I strongly suggest making your way up the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We were blessed by a monk here which was awesome! Additionally, there is a great village if you continue further up the mountain. I had some of the best Thai tea of my life up there!


Places to go in Chang Mai (Old City):

The Master Tattoo

Best Armani Suites (Tom)

Mamory Food

Night Bazaar – same same stuff but you can get great deals.

29 Cafe – great cheap breakfast


Go to Tonsai!


It was night when we got to Krabi. We took a taxi from Krabi to the beach side town Ao Naung.

Try not to stay in Ao Naung at all costs. It really is tourist hell! The beach is not beautiful and it’s filled with tourists!

However, we did find a little slice of heaven at the hotel we found. It is up off the main street and for the life of me I can not remember what it is called but it is run by a Swedish man and they have a Swedish Flag out front. It is across the street from an authentic Thai place.

Since the terrible snorkeling debacle at Anthong National Park in Koh Samui, we were ready for a successful snorkeling experience. The night we arrived we raced around trying NOT to book at a tour booth – but alas- every dive shop was closed so we were stuck going to a tour booth. Horror upon horror. We booked a ‘small boat tour’ – what a SHAM – they had about 20 speed boats all going to the same spots. How intimate…not!!

It was a mistake for the most part. We did go to three cool snorkeling spots, but the rest of the day was filled with a truly terrible tourist speed boat experience. It was so bad that most of the day my friends and I were pretty depressed.


That night we went to Tonsai Beach to sign up for a rock climbing adventure known as deep water soloing. TONSAI is amazing! If you like what I like than Tonsai is the place for you.

We loved Tonsai Beach. It’s not authentic Thai but compared to tourist hell on Ao Naung. Tonsai was a fresh breathe of backpacker heaven. We were so delighted to happen upon this reggae – rock climbing loving slice of beach.

Deep Water Soloing was one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. I didn’t climb high but rather traversed and then when I was ready I jumped in the water! It was fun and refreshing and I wish I could do it everyday!

We didn’t want to leave Tonsai but did want to see Chang Mai. So at the last minute we rushed from the beach to the airport and barely made it on a flight to Bangkok and then booked another ticket to Chang Mai for early the next day.

To Sum up our Krabi/Ao Naung/Tonsai experience.

DON’T stay in Ao Naung. DO Stay in Tonsai.

Go Deep Water Soloing. You don’t have to be a rock climber – you just have to be ready for adventure.

Be prepared to never want to leave.

Eat at Mama’s Chicken/Kitchen as many times as possible.

If you climb, and will be staying on Tonsai for awhile it is a good idea to bring your climbing shoes. However, you can always rent a pair from Basecamp on Tonsai.

If you have time Koh Tao was recommended to us for snorkeling!


Koh Samui, YES PLEASE!

How can you not fall in love with Koh Samui?!


We arrived in Koh Samui after an all night bus from Bangkok and a two hour Ferry ride. The bus wasn’t terrible – once they stopped blasting Argo in Thai! The AC was full blast, they give you blankets but you will want to make sure you bring a sweatshirt and long pants on board. The Ferry ride was wonderful! I was glued to the banister the entire ride. I was so smitten with the sea and limestone rocks jutting out of the water!

Once we set foot on land our first action was finding somewhere to stay.  We had no reservations which really freaks me out! I like having things planned! We had a few things listed in our itinerary which you can view in the post where I uploaded our whole itinerary.

We decided to try ‘Challe Villa’ first. Luckily for us, they had availability and they were right on the beach. We stayed here for two nights.  Now, I think you should only stay at Challe if you are okay with flushing the toilet with a bucket. 🙂

The next place we stayed was right down the beach and called Cactus! Cactus was very nice and was still only $15 a person a night for an a/c room.

This area is a wonderful place to walk around.  It is easy to visit the various restaurants and bars throughout Fisherman’s Village.

We were able to rent motorbikes which allowed us to go to Lamai Beach and see the interesting rock formations there as well as view a few waterfalls. These areas were fairly touristy but still worth a visit.

Someone we met on the trip along with our friend got into a pretty bad motorbike accident. This put the kabosh on motorbiking for the rest of our time in Koh Samui. We were really lucky that no one was severely hurt.

We went on a snorkeling boat tour that took us out to Anthong National Park. We heard it was really nice, but the snorkeling was terrible, probably due to all the tourist boats coming in and out everyday.  It was really beautiful here but I am not sure I would go back… I think there are better ways to spend your time.




Bangkok on Lock


We arrived in Bangkok tired and excited.

We had already booked a hotel here because Bangkok is big and overwhelming and we assumed we would be tired after our long flight. We had a booked a room at i residence in Silom. We did A LOT of research prior to booking, however, i residence was a little disappointing.

The staff was okay, I think they tried to be helpful but we didn’t end up getting into our room until 1.5 hours after check in, which was a bummer because we wanted to freshen up before we went exploring! The room was fine and the rooftop pool was nice! We brought our own beer up to the roof , but it does say you will be charged if you do. I don’t think the staff cared enough to enforce this.

The area around i residence felt very local, with lots of little markets where there were more Thai people than travelers. We loved this aspect and really enjoyed walking around Silom.



Tips from my experience:

Taxi drivers don’t usually take you where you want to go.  They take you where they want to take you! Keep in mind you can usually bargain a price!

We really enjoyed take the trains so try to take public transit when you can! Easy to figure out and the people who work at the station or usually nice and helpful.

We discovered that most hotels are associated with tour companies so if you ask them how to get anywhere they will try to take you to their tour company – DON’T do it!

Also take public transit when possible – like if you are going to Koh Samui, take the public bus instead of VIP or tourist busses.

Ultimately, do and go as locals do.


Since we arrived on Sunday we had to go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market! This market is only open on the weekend evenings so if you are available on the weekends in Bangkok make an effort to go. 🙂

It was awesome! There were some really interesting unique items and then also some things that you will see at every other market! My suggestion would be to really pick and choose the items you by now if you have a long trip ahead.

Visiting the Wats was an amazing experience!

Make sure you cover your knees and shoulders! Show some respect, people.

I suggest good comfy walking shoes – you will be doing LOTS of walking. Light cotton pants are the best, easier to walk in then a skirt and a short sleeve cotton or gauzy top.






Also, if you need a ‘Convenient Hotel’ near the airport you can stay at The Convenient Resort. Very very, very basic accommodations but they have a shuttle to and from BKK. The breakfast is toast, watermelon and cornflakes!

Our Itinerary for 3 weeks in SE Asia.

Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Here is the itinerary we created before the trip. Since we only had three weeks and wanted to see and do so much, my roommate and I decide it would be a great idea to create an itinerary with all the information we thought we would need!

This is rough and most of the information was taken from books, blogs, people and the internet at large.

I want to share it here because I think this information can be somewhat useful! When we were planning our trip we were scouring the internet for information.

I plan on posting city by city with what worked well and what didn’t but for today I will post the itinerary as a whole. Here is the itinerary as it was created before our trip. There are certainly some empty parts and holes but go with it you just might find a gem of information inside!

It is really LONG – like 15 pages long but hopefully it will be helpful!

South East Asia Itinerary


Bangkok : March 9-11

-March 7/8: Flight to Bangkok

9:25 pm: Leave for airport on shuttle bus

12:05 am: Depart from SFO

6:10 am- 7:10 am: Layover in Taipei

-March 9: Bangkok

10:05 am: Arrive at Bangkok Airport (BKK): Try to book flights through airport for Chiang Mai/Cambodia

  • Take transit to Hotel: I Residence Hotel Silom, Code: CurT7hkwus69ThIR, 93 Narathivas Rachanakarin Road, Silom, Bangrak., Bangkok, 10500 / Thailand / Tel: +66 22679700-3 / Fax: +66 22679709e-mail:,,, (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE)

  • Secure belongings in lockers, and ask Concierge about booking overnight PUBLIC bus or overnight train to Koh Samui on March 11: Sai Tai Mai (Southern Terminal), DO NOT book on Khao San Road. Train to Surat Thani: Express Special Diesel #39 from Bangkok

  • Grab breakfast/lunch

9am-5pm :Chatuchak weekend market (ONLY TODAY) : Location:Street Th Phahonyothin Public Transit: metro Chatuchak Park exit 1, Kamphaeng Phet exits 1 & 2, subway Mo Chit exit 1

  • Drop stuff at hotel, then grab dinner/ Sky Bar

  • Visit a Sky Bar, at sunset or after Muy Thai Match Lebua Tower Sky Bar 63 floor: no shorts, torn clothing or flip flops

    • Sky Bar options: Cloud 47, 47 Silom Road (BTS Sala Daeng), +66 (0)91 889 9600

Open daily from 6.30pm to midnight, it offers a real thai experience

  • Hi So at So Sofitel, 2 Sathorn Road (MRT Lumphini), +66 (0)2 624 0000

Open daily from 5pm to 1 am, we have to call for seating near window, not 360 views

7-8 pm: Ratchadamnoen Stadium:Closest to the old town with the Royal Palace and the Chao Phraya river is the Ratchadamnoen stadium, located on Thanon Ratchadamnoen Nok. Fight Schedule Monday, Wednesday and Thursday starting at 6 pm. Sunday starting at 4 pm and 8 pm. Location:  Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd.,Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand

+66 2 281 4205

-March 10: Bangkok

8:00 am: Breakfast!

  • Visit Temples: Wat Traimit ( Solid Gold  Buddha ) Location:661 Tri Mit Road, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, near the Hualumphong Train Station. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.+66 (0)2 509 9091Wat Saket  ( Killer view of Bangkok, good hike) Location: Ratchadamnoen Klang Road and Boripihat Road. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5p.m.Wat Benchamabophitr (Solid Marble) Location: 69 Nakornpathom Road, Dusit. Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wat Pho : (Huge Gold Leaf Buddha) Location: Wat Pho is located on Sanam Chai Road and Maharaj Road, next to the Grand Palace. Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. +66 (0)2 225 9595. Wat Phra Kaew ( Emerald Buddha) Location:Located inside the Grand Palace, Na Phra Lan Road. Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  +66 (0)2 623 5500 Ext. 1124, 3100.Wat Arun, (Chinese Ceramics) Location:34 Arun Amarin Road, Kwang Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai. To get there by boat, take a cross-river ferry at Tha Tien Pier. Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m

  • 8 am- 5pm: Floating Market, Chao Praya River ride: Taling Chan Floating Market: Taxi from the Wongwian yai Station, public bus from central world, water taxi. Location: In Khlong Chak Phra Canal in front of Taling Chan District Office

  • Grab lunch and check out Lumpini Park

  • Dinner at or before Suk Soi 11  trip:( Food,/nightlife) Location:BTS to Nana Station. Soi 11 is directly at the bottom of Exit 3.

  • Till 1 am: Soi Cowboy: Strip club/ lady boy alley Location :Sukhumvit Road between Asoke Road (Soi 21) and Sukhumvit Soi 23

  • Till 1 am: Tawandang ( German beer keg bar)Location:462/61 Rama 3 Road, on the corner of Narithiwat Road. Tel: +66 (0)2 678 1114. Second location: 51/199-200 Moo 1, Kwaeng Ladprao. Tel: +66 (0)2 944 5131

-March 11: Bangkok/ Koh Samui Night Bus

8:00 am: Breakfast! Check out from Hostel

  • Visit Temples: Wat Traimit ( Solid Gold  Buddha ) Location:661 Tri Mit Road, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, near the Hualumphong Train Station. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.+66 (0)2 509 9091Wat Saket  ( Killer view of Bangkok, good hike) Location: Ratchadamnoen Klang Road and Boripihat Road. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5p.m.Wat Benchamabophitr (Solid Marble) Location: 69 Nakornpathom Road, Dusit. Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wat Pho : (Huge Gold Leaf Buddha) Location: Wat Pho is located on Sanam Chai Road and Maharaj Road, next to the Grand Palace. Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. +66 (0)2 225 9595. Wat Phra Kaew ( Emerald Buddha) Location:Located inside the Grand Palace, Na Phra Lan Road. Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  +66 (0)2 623 5500 Ext. 1124, 3100.Wat Arun, (Chinese Ceramics) Location:34 Arun Amarin Road, Kwang Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai. To get there by boat, take a cross-river ferry at Tha Tien Pier. Open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m

  • Visit Golden Palace: Location: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand Hours: Open today · 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

  • Grab lunch, go to Lumpini Park or open explore

  • Dinner near bus/ train station

     pm: Catch night bus/ train to Koh Samui/ Surat Thani Ferry Dock

Bangkok Guide


  • – Small alley off of Khao San Road – May Kaidee’s Vegetarian Restaurant 117/1 Thanoa Road Pier: Phra Athit – 9 am to 11 pm daily

  • – Bug and Bee – 18 Silom Road , Skytrain Road, Saladaeng 24 hours daily, VEG

  • – Tamarind Cafe 27/1 Sukhumvit Soi  20, Skytrain: Asok 11 am to 11 pm  mon-fri VEG

  • Banana Family Park: All vegetarian lifestyle, free yoga, health food store etc.17/1 Soi Ari 1 in Baan Ari Compound. Open daily from approximately 06:00-14:00 (Time varies depending on the vendor; some leave food out as late as 18:00.) T: 02 279 7838. BTS Ari.


  • – Bar Bali – 58 phra Athit Road  – 6 pm – 12 pm , outdoors, artsy

  • – Hippie De Bar – 46 Khao San Road 11 am to 1 am daily

  • – Molly Bar – 108  Soi Rambutri 2 pm to 2 am thai folk music

  • – Phranakorn Bar and Gallery 58/2 Ratchadamnoen Klag Road, rooftop, bar, gallery

  • – Moon Bar – Asias highest outdoor bar. Banyan tree hotel, 21/100 S. Sathorn Road 5 pm to 1 amd


  • -India Market: textiles

  • -Night Market in Patpong

  • -Pratunam- Clothing Market

  • Pumpkin Tattoo: Khao San RoadMain Studio is in the “BUDDY LODGE HOTEL”, Buddy Lodge (G08) 265 Khaosan Road, Bangkok Thailand 10200, And the 2nd Studio is on the “SUSIE Walking Street” near the 999 WEST PUB., We are open everyday at 12:00 PM – 10.00 PM., Tel : +662-629-4412, +662-629-2331

Koh Samui : March 12-16

-March 12: Koh Samui

   am: Arrive at Surat Thani dock for ferry departure to Koh Samui or Koh Phagnan:there are ferries on the hour from Don Sak to Lipa Noi on Ko Samui and seven a day to Nathon — these are all run by Raja Ferry. Seatran runs three ferries a day from Ban Don to Nathon on Ko Samui and Songserm run one a day (08:00) from Ban Don to Nathon.

  • Take transit to Big Buddha Beach, find hostel (review hostel list or find another hostel) (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE)Secret Garden Beachresort, 22/1 Moo 4 Ban Bangrak, Big Buddha Beach, Koh Samui 84320, Thailand, Telephone: +66 (0) 77 245255, Fax: +66 (0) 77 245253

  • Secure belongings in locker, and ask Concierge about booking overnight regular transit to Phuket/ Krabi on morning of March 16

  • Grab breakfast/lunch

  • Explore fishermans village/ local area big buddha beach

  • Swimming/ Kayaking

  • Dinner

  • Reggae bars/ bars

-March 13: Koh Samui

8 am: Breakfast

  • Visit Hin Tai Hin Yai/ Grandmother/ grandfather rocks: Just south of Lamai beach, follow signsll

  • Yoga/ SUP yoga

  • Take ferry to Koh Tao/Ang Thong National Marine Park: Snorkeling, hiking: Speedboat from Samui takes 1-1.5 hours to get there, should hike Koh Mae ( Mother Island), Thale Nai (Emerald Lake), Ko Wua Talap( Sleeping Cow Island)

  • Dinner

-March 14: Koh Samui

  8 am: Breakfast!

  • Wat Phra Yai: Big Buddha Temple/ Motor bikes to top of mountain ( Go early to avoid tour bus crowds womp womp womp….

  • Mummified Monk: Kunaram Temple:4169 Ring Road between Na Muang waterfalls and Hua Thanon, Ko Samui

  • Na Muang/ Hin Lad waterfalls, motorbike, hike and then swim at waterfall pools!

  • Visit Viewpoints: Secret Garden, Paradise Park, ring road drive

  • Dinner

  • Chill at bungalow!

-March 15: Koh Samui

  8 am: Breakfast!

  • Yoga

  • Kayak

  • Visit viewpoints

  • Dinner

  • Full Moon Party- Haad Rin

-March 16: Koh Samui/ Phuket

   8 am:Breakfast

      am: Check out time at hotel: leave for Phuket

  • Take transit to Phuket, find hostel (review hostel list or find another hostel) (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE)

  • Explore city area, Old Phuket Town

  • Sunset views at Phuket viewpoints:

Koh Samui Guide


  • – Bang Po, Sunbeam, T077-420600 Secluded Bungalows , private Beach

  • – Mae Nam, Shady Resort, T077- 425392, bungalows, friendly good value.

  • -Bophut Beach, Chalee Villa, western tip of the beach, bungalows, budget for location

  • Big Buddha, Shambala, 23/2 Moo 4 TO77-425330 bungalows, bohemian, gardens, relaxed atmosphere

  • Sunset Resort, 33/4 Moo 4, Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach), near Petcherat Pier, T: (077) 447 792, (089) 025 9778

  • The Sundays Sanctuary Resort & Spa, 165/4 Moo 1, Bophut (turn up Soi Sundays, about 500 metres past the traffic lights at Fisherman’s Village when travelling towards Chaweng), T: (0)818 299 045



  • Lamai – The Spa, spa resort. VEG. Well priced. Friendly. No address provided

  • Baobab: Lots of French influence, great for breakfast! right near grandfather/grandmother rocks, go check them out after On Lamai beach, near GrandFather Grandmother rocks :(Coming from the street, look out for the small sign near Lamai fitness, opposite a muay Thai training studio)

  • Cafe Na, great authentic Thai food  at good prices right near Big Buddha beach, walk along beach to Fishermans Reggae Bar, 8 fire poi shows start at 8At the far eastern end of Bang Rak, after the fresh market and 200 metres before the entrance to Big Buddha, T: (084) 746 9998

  • La Fabrique French Bakery,great for snacks and breakfasts, good french bread and cheese, 105/1 Moo 6, Lamai Ring Road, Ko Samui, T: (077) 961 507

  • Amala Vegetarian Restaurant at Prana Resort, Bang Rak, Thai vegetarian food must make reservations right one water.. T: (077) 246 362

  • Radiance Restaurant, Spa Samui Resort, Lamai, Lamai Ring Road; T: (077) 230 855


  • Reggae Bars!!!:Fisherman’s Reggae Bar, right off big buddha beach, fire poi starts around 8 pm ( Try the no name cocktail or pineapple shake), Rock Bar between grandfather/grandmother rocks, Reggae Pub


  • Yogarden: On a side street in fishermans village

  • Trinity Yoga: Hatha Classes morning and night

  • Niash SUP in Chaweng: Stand up paddle board yoga!!

  • Koh Tan/ Thong Krut, good for peace, and snorkeling

  • Magic Alambic Rum Distillery

  • Viewpoints, motorbike drive through banana/ coconut plantations and countryside dirt roads:A road constructed in 2010 now joins Lamai to Mae Nam. From Lamai, it leaves the Ring Road near Tamarind Springs, and from Mae Nam, turn left at the bridge opposite My Bar. This road winds through the jungle, banana and coconut plantations and over hills, offering spectacular views as well as scenery from old Samui, as it is not yet developed along the road. There are no specific lookout points along here, but rather a general good view of the countryside, and stunning views of the coastline as the road reaches peaks. The drive from Lamai to Mae Nam should take about 30 minutes.

Phuket/Krabi : March 16-18

-March 16: Koh Samui/ Krabi

   8 am:Breakfast

      am: Check out time at hotel: leave for Krabi

  • Take transit to Krabi, find hostel (review hostel list or find another hostel) (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE), secure transit to Chiang Mai, airplane

  • Hiking, view temples: Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, Khao Phra Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Explore Krabi city area, Old Phuket Town

  • Sunset views at Phuket viewpoints:

-March 17:  Phuket/Krabi

   7 am:Breakfast!

      am:Take transit to Krabi for ferry to Railay Beach

  • Railay Beach: swimming, snorkeling rock climbing.

  • Phra Nang Bay: access public beach from railay east

  • Ko Phi Phi: Snorkeling/ swimming

  • Ko Yao Noi: rock climbing/ paddleboarding

  • Dinner/ night out in Phuket, Ladyboy show:Bangla Road Nightlife/Simon Cabaret Show

  • Speed boat back to Krabi

-March 18:  Phuket/Krabi- Chiang Mai

8 am:Breakfast!

   am: Check out time at hotel: leave for Phuket to take flight to Chiang Mai

  • Old Phuket Town

  • Explore beaches/ town

  • Temples/ Buddha

  • Vantage point hike

   pm: Depart for Chiang Mai via flight

   pm: Arrive in Chiang Mai

  • Take transit to Chiang Mai, find hostel, check in (review hostel list or find another hostel) (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE)

Phuket/Krabi Guide


  • Hotel will transport you, or it is best to rent a moto 250b per day or take a tuk tuk

  • Nok Air/ Air Asia same day flight- 2000b


  • Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort – telephone 081 089 61 35 – – 42/2 Krabi noi Moo.7, Krabi Noi, Krabi, Thailand 18000

  • Just fine Krabi – 2/8 Maharat Soi 10, Pak Nam, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand (only accepts cash)

  • Ao Chalong beach- Shanti Lodge 800-1500 Bhat: 1/2 Soi Bang Rae, Chao Fa Nok Rd, Ao Chalong.  T: (076) 28 0233  Email them at:

  • Kata beach

  • Kata on the sea bungalows 500-800 bhat per night: 96/6 Taina Road, Kata Centre.  T: (076) 330 594  Email them at:

  • Fantasy Hill Bungalow 500-1500 bhat: 8/1 Karon Rd, Kata Centre.  T: (076) 330 106  Email them at:

  • Mai Khao Beach Bungalows -800b

  • Shanti Lodge-950b vegetarian meals tiki style bungalow


Ao Nang and Krabi are better to find good inexpensive food than Phuket

  • Lamai – The Spa, spa resort. VEG. Well priced. Friendly. No address provided

  • Ruen Mai 314/5 Maharat Rd. 07/5631797 11am -10pm best thai food in Krabi area- good for vegetarians will prepare almost anything on the menu vegetarian

  • Kanom Jin Mae Weaw- Thai Style Breakfast, 137 Krabi-Khao Thong Rd. 7am-12pm 50b ( Khanom Chin- curry over rice noodles, thai breakfast dish)


  • Ska Bar- perched on rocks ar dar southern end of Kata beach – 4pm-1am daily

  • Easy Rider-87/4 Thanon Taina, Kata Town, 8am-1am rock covers, live music chill

  • Bang Bar 11- Thanon Patak East 12pm -1am reggae bar


  • Highland Rock Climbing, King Climbers, Railay Beach, wees climbing school, hot rock, Railay adventures 1000 b half day 2000 full day of guided climbing

  • Simon Cabaret Show

  • Bangla Road Nightlife

  • Krabi: Night Market, Khong Kha Rd. Chao Fa Pier 6-10pm daily- good place for cheap dinner

  • Kayak: Sea Canoe Thailand Ao Nang, 07/5695387- 400b for a day

  • Hike: Khlong Thom- Emerald Pool

  • James bond island Ko Pan Yi

  • Laem Sing Beach- less crowds, by patong, good snorkeling

  • Sea Kayak in Phang Nga Bay

  • Night market in Phuket good for food

  • Festival where baby turtles make way to sea, Itat Thai Mueng

  • Maya bay, Koh Phi Phi, monkey island

  • Koh Lanta- mangroves, jungle, coral beaches, snorkeling- 1500 b day trip- Freedom Adventures

Chiang Mai : March 18-21

-March 18: Tuesday Phuket/Chiang Mai

   pm: Flight to Chiang Mai. Duration: 2 hours, $50 if booked in advance.

  • Take transit to hotel, find hotel (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE)

  • Address: 4/5 Chaiyaphum Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

Phone: 053 235440

  • Dinner at Guest house.

  • TCH Rooftop Bar 19/4-5 Kotchasarn Road. 05/320-6886 – very friendly atmosphere, meet people, maybe learn stuff to do.

-March 19: Wednesday, Chiang Mai

  • Visit: Wat Pan Tao, Wat Chedi Luang ( meet monks here between 1pm to 6pm from Monday to Friday) Wat Phra Singh on Singharat Road, Finish with Wat Phra That Doi Suthep 306 steps doi suthep 30 BAT

  • Pum School for cooking class afternoon or night.

  • Markets to visit: (open all days of the week.)Talat Warorot (open from 6am to 5pm) or the flower market, Talat Tonlamyai (open 24 hours), Night Bazaar

Chiang Mai Guide


  • -Parasol Inn 105/1 Phra Pokklai Rd. Klang Wiang Intersection – 850 B (breakfast included) Get top floor room.

  • – Julie Guest House 7/1 PhraPokklao Soi 5 – 300B – 05/327-4355

  • -Bow Chiang Mai House 15 Moon Muang Soi 9 – 05/321-1707 – 400B

  • Daret’s House aka Daret’s Guesthouse. 170-220 Ba

  • Kodchasri B&B

  • Julie Guest House 7/1 Phra Pokklao Soi 5- 300b, chill hammocks, fan

  • 3 Sisters bed and breakfast 1 phra pokklao- 300 b


  • – Vegetarian, Aum Restaurant – 65 Moon Muang Road  05/327-8315 8 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm. daily.

  • Mon Jam- Traditional Kantoke dinner

  • Khao Soi Lam Duan 352/22 Faltam Rd. 8-440b

  • Sailomjoy 7 Ratchadamnoen Rd. 730-am – 4pm  40b- great breakfasts

  • Khum Kantoke 139 Mu 4 Non Pakrung 7-10pm

  • Aum Restaurant 65 moon muang rd. 8am-2pm ,5-9  vegetarian

  • Tea House Siam Celadon 158 Tha Phae Rd. 930-6pm 100b


  • – Riverside Bar and Restaurant 9-11 Charoenrat Road 05/324-6323 6 pm to 1 pm

  • – The Brasserie 37 Charoenrat Rd. 05/324-1665

  • -TCH Rooftop Bar 19/4-5 Kotchasarn Road. 05/320-6886

  • – Writer’s Club & Wine Bar 141/3 Ratchadamnoen Road noon-midnight Sun-Fri

  • – The Dusit D2 @ The Mix Bar 100 Chan Klan Road 6 PM to 1 AM


  • Cross Tattoo: Artist: Wattana Keerawong, Pai district ( 50 miles northwest of Chiang Mai)

  • Night Bazaar

  • 301 Steps Doi Suthet

  • Pum Cooking School

  • Ob Khan Trek: Ob Khan National park 5.5 km hike, lots of deep water for swimming, ony 30 min from Chiang Mai

  • Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden 100 Mu 9 km 12 mae rim 830-am 430pm 40b awesome plants

  • Elephant camp (mae sa) Route 1096 about 8 km from route 107 heading west 7am-4pm shows 8am 940am 130pm

  • What chiang Man 171 rathcapakinai rd. near changphueak gate, si phum

  • What umong

  • Wat Garam

  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar- Chang Khlan Rd.

  • Pinktanakron Silver shop

  • Warowat market- food

  • What Phra that boi suthep

  • Huay Kaew Rd. 6-am-8pm 50b with tram



  • Tourist Police: 097-7780008, 724-793

  • Ambulance:119

  • Hospital: Calmette Hospital:3 Monivong Blvd

Siem Reap : March 21-24

-March 21: Siem Reap

       pm: Arrive in Siem Riep.  Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel

  • Take transit to Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel   l(Guest reservation code: GSK6EYE4WV5NJ)Address : #0273, Street BT (Off Road No. 6), Sangkat Slor Kram, Siem Reap, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Tel : +855 63 966 660, Fax : +855 63 966 679, Reservation : +855 97 929 2956, General Info :, Reservation (ALWAYS CHECK FOR BEDBUGS BEFORE)

  • Secure belongings in lockers, and ask Concierge about booking transit to Phnom Penh March 23 : Bus to Phnom Penh  $ 5 , 6 hours frequent before noon, also ask about tour at Angkor Wat

  • Grab dinner /explore

  • Aqua: Swim up bar

-March 22: Siem Reap

AM: Breakfast/ trek to Angkor Wat for  Sunrise

  • Angkor Wat/ Bantay Srei:

  • Swim Up Bar

6pm: Dinner

  • Check out bars/ nightlife

-March 23: Siem Reap/ Phnom Penh

8 am: Breakfast/ Check out from Hostel

  • Seeing Hands Massage: PH:012680934 Location: 12 Street 13 $ 5-7

  • Tonle Sap Lake:

Siem Reap Guide


  • Native Khmer: Bob Marley, chill guesthouse, double and twin bed combo, free breakfast$8-20 Ph:965935/ 434, Location: ,

  • Mother Home Guest House: $9-20 AC, WIFI, free pickup from airport between 7 am-10pm, cold/hot showers, breakfast included, double bed with extra bed ph:+855-17 773Wat Bo Street, Banteay Chas, Slor Kram, Siem Reap, Kingdom ofCambodia.,

  • Smiling Hotel and Spa: $37

  • Angkor Heritage Boutique Hotel $42



  • Aqua: swim up bar, Location: 7 Makara St. $ 2


Phnom Penh : March 21-24

-March 24: Phnom Penh


  • Tonle Sap

  • Psar Tuol Tom Pong: Russian Market, South of Mao Tse Toung Blvd.

-March 25:Phnom Penh/ Ho Chi Minh/ Pho Quoc

pm:Bus to Pho Quoc/ Ho Chi Minh

  • Transit from Phnom Penh to Phu Quoc: All inclusive transit through travel agent/ stops in Ha Tien, $27 busses leave at 8 and you can purchase tickets through the riverside travel agents,The cheaper alternative is to take a bus to Kampot for $6 or $7. In Kampot there are minivans leaving from the Boddhi Tree Guesthouse that go to the Vietnam border, or you can catch a moto to the border for $7 or $8, will also possibly go through border to ferry transit point. Possible to get a ferry ticket for 300,000 VND add transfer bus for 2 dollars — Possible to do whole trip in under 6 hours

Phnom Penh Guide


Cambodia pg.103-104


Motorcycle rental; $ 4 -6 per day Little Bikes: 178  St. 13, 017329338, Lucky! Lucky! 413 Monivong Blvd. 212788


  • Friends: Ph:426748 Location: 215 St 13 $2-8 per dish open from 11-9  donates to NGO

  • Oh My Buddha: St. 93; Mains, lakeside area cheap food big breakfast

  • Kiwi: Sisowath Quay, Great Bakery

  • K’nyay: 25K Soramarit Blvd.,mains $2-8 12-9 pm tues-fri, 7am-9pm sat, closed sunday, vegetarian and vegan options plus homemade ice cream

  • Lemongrass: Thai food 14 St. 130, mains 10 am -10 pm, vegetarian options

  • Seven Bright: St. 13, mains 530 am- 1030 pm great for buffet / early breakfast

  • Fate Blessing Buddha Monireth Blvd. Look for access road leading to car park from KFC at City Mall. Restaurant is green building on the right. 8:00 to 20:00 daily

  • The Vegetarian, 11 St 200, off Norodom Blvd 10:00 to 20:00 Monday Saturday T: 012 905 766


  • Magic Sponge: Lakeside

  • The Drunken Frog: Lakeside

  • Elsewhere Bar: 2 St. 278 10am- late, closed on Tuesday, has pools, happy hour from 4-8

  • Talkin to a stranger, closed saturday 21B st. 295


  • Bicycle: 2Cycle Cambodia (pg. 84-85) $6 per day rental

  • Psar Thmei, one of the city’s many bustling markets

  • Tour the Royal Palace and famed Silver Pagoda.  ( silver floors) Buddha dripping in gems.


Ho Chi Minh/ Phu Quoc : March 25-27

-March 25: Pho Quoc

  • Take ferry to Phu Quoc Arrive in Phu Quoc late afternoon/ evening,

-March 26: Pho Quoc/ Ho Chi Minh

  • Flight from Phu Quoc to Ho chi Minh on VietJet $23  roughly 1 hour

-March 27: Ho Chi Minh/ Hanoi

  • Early flight from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Hanoi Guide


– Minh Chau. 75 bui vien st. Good price. Includes breky. Clean.

– Sai gon Phu Quoc

-Resort Itrang

-Mango Bay Resort

-Tropicana Resort

-Kim Toa Resort

-Thang Loi- on coconute plantion owned by german people


-cay Bo de original bodhi tree. 175/4 Pham ngu Lao st. Daily 8 am to 10 pm. Veggie

– Kem Bach dang. 26-28 le loi blvd. on opposite corners of Pasteur street. Coconut ice cream in coconut.

-Mylah- Sao beach

-Tropicana resort


– vasco la camargue. 16cao ba quat st. Great spot. Fri and Saturday 10 pm live band

– Heart of darkness. 17B le thanh ton st. Daily 1700 to2400 ladies get free gin 1900 to 2100

-163 cyclo bar. 163 Pham ngu Lao st. Daily 7 am to 12 pm. Live music nightly after 2000 inexpensive drinks

-Apocalypse now. 2c thi Sach st. Free admission. Large outdoor area.

-Blue gecko. 31 ly tu trong st. Aussiebar pool


  • Xa Loi Pagoda

  • Ben Thanh Market

  • Phung Son Tu Pagoda

  • Dan Sinh Market

Hanoi : March 27-29

-March 28: Hanoi/ Halong Bay

-March 29:Hanoi

5:35 pm: Flight back to SF from Hanoi

Hanoi Guide




– Com chay nang tam 79a tran hung Sao st. Daily 1100 -1400 and 1700 to 2200

VEG down an alley off tran hung doa st.

– Tamarind 80 ma may st. Restaurant behind handspun adventure travel. VEG Thai glass noodle salad is rec.


– legends 1-5 dinh tien hoang st. Daily 0800-2300   Micro brewery

-r&r tavern. 47 lo su st. Daily. Live music th fr sat evening. 7:30 to 2400. Notice boards and leaflets. Good for picking up info. SHOULD GO FIRST NIGHT IN HANOI

-red beer. 97 ma may street daily 1000 to 2300. Micro brewery.

Packing list for 3 weeks in SEAsia

This is a picture list of what I took.

I had too much of some things and not enough of others.


I brought – 3 pairs of shoes, one for water, one for hiking and one nicer sandal for everyday! 

Should have brought a pair of flip flops, easier on and off. ( Also easy to buy in any country for 10 USD or less).

Not pictured, I brought – 14 pairs of underwear and three pairs of socks. 2 sports bras and three swim suite separates.

Since we did laundry I could have done with less underwear and only 2 pairs of socks were necessary cause I really didn’t wear my shoes to often – mainly for hikes, riding motorbikes and a couple of times when my feet really need arch support! Bathing suites were good- prob could have taken only 2.. but where is the fun in that?!


I brought a denim shirt, light rain jacket and brown sweater ( mainly a cover up when wearing tank tops)

The denim shirt was great, it is comfy and goes well with everything! I didn’t use my rain jacket at all – could have gone with out it because honestly you could by something there if you really needed it. I used the cover up a lot at temples with my tank tops… I would suggest bringing a light sweater for airplanes, busses etc. It can get cold.


I brought one maxi dress with sleeves, one maxi skirt and one pair of long black pants.

The maxi dress and skirt rarely got worn… even though appropriate for temples. I found I preferred wearing pants since we were walking so much and pants were just more comfortable than a skirt or dress. A dress that is easy to wear is a great idea for nights at the beach etc.


Extra passport photo needed in Cambodia, otherwise you can pay $1 USD. I didn’t end up using the disposable water camera, my friend had an underwater camera that we used. Big camera was nice for taking shots at temples, but was heavy and cumbersome. Wipes and tissue is a great idea! Most places won’t have t.p. to use.

I took out some of this sunscreen while packing… I had just enough with 2 bottles, one for face and one for body. You can always buy while traveling as well!


I brought way to many toiletries, it was unnecessary to bring so much because it is easy enough to pick stuff up at pharmacies, corner markets such as 7-11 or even drugstores like Boots in places like Bangkok.


The hat was awesome! All the snackies were great. I am a hungry girl! and having something to snack on when we couldn’t find a place to eat or when we were out at temples was awesome! I took my collapsable water bottle which I liked.. cause when I wasn’t using it no extra room was taken up!

Glasses! I normally wear contacts – ALL the time. I don’t like glasses they make me feel like a have no depth perception, but anywho I brought my glasses just in case and I am so glad I did! I am not sure if it was the air quality there but it was really hard for me to wear contacts. So I wore my glasses more often than not, be warned though I think the heat melted some kind of coating on my glasses – luckily I brought old ones so I didn’t care, but it is something to note!


I brought SPI Money Belt, shamrock coozie ( for all the brews ill be drinking), socks for the airplane.

The SPI belt is awesome!! I use it for running at home – but it is also a great travel/money belt! My friend Michelle turned me on to them. They are a company in Austin, Texas.

Shamrock coozie came in handy for beer but also as a camera case when my roomie lost hers. Fluffy socks were awesome for bus and plane rides!


Tank Dress for Sleeping – American Apparel, tank top for Beaches – Billabong and Workout tank ( wear for hiking, or tucked into skirt and pants with shoulder cover for temples)  – Lululemon

I really wish I had taken more short sleeve shirts. I ended up bring one last minute which was great cause thats what I wanted to wear most of the time. Short sleeves are good for temples and also when you want to be more modest, OR when your shoulders get burnt.. like mine did!

Not pictured – I brought 4 pairs of shorts, one exercise, two cotton flow-ey shorts and one pair of jean shorts. I used them a lot at the beach.. but no other time.. I wore all of them several times so I don’t think the amount was excessive.


I ended up taking the 65 litre REI pack.. it kept expanding which was awesome for the souvenirs I bought along the way!

Hope this list helps! If you have any questions or comments let me know. 🙂 Thanks!

Im Back!

I can’t believe my trip is over – and now I sit here wondering – did that really happen?

I feel so fortunate to be able to travel and experience different parts of the world and other ways of living.

I love, love, LOVE the little life I live in the Bay and feel so fortunate for my friends, my job and all the adventures I get to take on the weekly.

BUT – it is truly awesome to explore new places and faces!

Slowly but surely I am going to upload our ‘itinerary’ that we created before the trip, what worked, what didn’t work, what we learned.  This is in hopes that you too can have an awesome SE Asia adventure!

One of our themes of the trip was – hindsight is 20/20 – In most cases, you learn as you go and this trip was no different. I do hope that by sharing our experiences you can learn from what we did and didn’t do.

Beautiful, huh?!

southeast asia collage