Browsing Tag



12 Types of People You Meet In A Hostel. 

August 2, 2015

Unless you are travelling with an unlimited budget, you will inevitably spend a lot of time staying in hostels. Love them or hate them, they’re a big part of the backpacking culture. Whether you’re in Bangkok or Sydney, the types of people you meet in a hostel don’t seem to change. Here’s a quick round up of those hostel people who you can’t seem to avoid!

1. The one who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to turn the lights on at 3am and start packing their bags. It’s even better when they leave the dorm and still leave the light on.

2. The one who thinks your food is their food. Say goodbye to any milk that you leave in the fridge!

3. The one who has spent too long in Asia and now has dreadlocks, lives in baggy pants and has forgotten how to wash.

4. The one you never see. Their stuff is by their bed but they don’t seem to sleep in the hostel or ever be in the room…

5. The one who is always there. Usually asleep or watching a film in bed.

6. The one who unplugs your charging phone so they can use the plug. Cheers for that!

7. The one who is about 15 years older than everyone else.

8. The one who decides to eat a big bag of crisps when everyone else is trying to sleep.

9. The one with a guitar. Let me guess, you only play Bob Marley?

10. The one who gets so drunk they lose their passport/bag/dignity.

11. The one who gets so drunk they climb up to their top bunk and then wee themselves, causing it to drip on to the bed below.

12. The one who asks too many questions. I’ve just got off a 12 hour bus, can I shower before we swap life stories?

Somewhere amongst this group of weirdos are your best friends so embrace the hostel life as some of your funniest memories will be made there!

This post 12 Types of People You Meet In A Hostel appeared first on Frankie Goes To…

Australia, Travel

The Outback with Mulgas Adventure Tours

December 1, 2014

One of the most iconic symbols of Australia is that big ol’ rock they have in the centre, Uluru. I was desperate to visit Uluru during our time in Australia because I felt that by visiting the Aussie Outback, I would be experiencing the ‘real’ Australia. So last month we finally made it to the Red Centre and took part in a 3 day tour with Mulgas Adventure Tours.

The tour picks you up from your accommodation in Alice Springs at 6am on Day 1. Alice Springs is the nearest city to Uluru and it’s still about a six hour drive away which just goes to show how big Australia is. Aside from a few stops at random roadhouses, the first morning is spent in a coach. Your coach driver is also your tour guide so you do get a bit of information as you’re travelling. This journey will make you realise just how little there is in the middle of Australia. It’s amazing how little the terrain changes over hundreds of kilometres.

You arrive at camp in time for lunch. Your coach driver/tour guide now adds the role of Chef to their job title. Our guide was called Lockie and he was very good at his job with a good balance of informative and fun. Our group also helped prepare the meals and I think this is standard across every tour. After lunch, it’s finally time to head to Uluru! We’d had our first glimpse of the rock from a distance but nothing prepares you for how big it is.

The Mulgas tour gives you time to walk around the base of Uluru which is about 10.5km. I just couldn’t believe how long it took us to walk around it, every time you thought you were near the end, you would turn a corner and realise there was still a lot more to see. Lockie told us some of the Aboriginal dreamtime stories about Uluru which are really interesting and it’s good to find out what makes Uluru so sacred to the Aboriginal people.


Once the base walk is completed, you head to the sunset viewing area to watch how the colours of the rock change as  the sun goes down. The change is quite subtle so it’s best to take a picture of Uluru every 5 minutes and look back on your photographs afterwards. If I’m honest, I didn’t think it was that impressive. I think this feeling comes from seeing photos of Uluru at sunset which were clearly taken by professional photographers.

This trip gave me one of my favourite travel memories to date, sleeping under the stars in the Australian Outback in a swag. A swag is like a big canvas sleeping bag and looks like this.


With next to no artificial light at the campsite, the stars look truly amazing.

Day 2 involves a beautiful early morning wake-up call of 4am. However it is totally worth it to go and see the sunrise at Uluru. Next up is another big walk of about 8km around Kata Tjuta which is another rock formation near to Uluru. In my opinion it’s actually more impressive than Uluru and the walk is a lot more interesting as there is more to see.


Day 3 involves more walking, only the 6.5km today! The final landmark of the trip is Kings Canyon and your guide will take you on the rim walk. This walk starts with a steep climb up the ‘Stairway of Death’ but the rest of the track is relatively easy. As this is the final day, once the walk is completed, it’s time for lunch and then the long drive back to Alice Springs.


I really enjoyed this trip, especially all the walking, it felt good to be doing that much exercise! I’m glad we made the effort to go and see some more of Australia and I would highly recommend Mulgas Adventure Tours. This trip cost $355 each and was definitely worth it.

Australia, Travel

The Melbourne Laneways

April 27, 2014

It’s exactly a month today since we landed Down Under and I can’t believe how much we have done and I haven’t managed to write a single blog! I’m going to write about a few of my favourite experiences so expect an influx of posts…

Our first stop was Melbourne to see my sister Josie after almost a years separation. After an emotional reunion it was soon like we had never been apart and although she’s grown up a lot, she’s mostly stayed the same!

One of my favourite parts of Melbourne was the Laneways system they have. Walk away from the main streets and you’ll soon find a number of lanes filled with quirky shops, cafés and world famous street art. You can pick up a map from the tourist information centre on Federation Square which helps you find which lanes have the best artwork.

It’s really strange when you first turn down some of the streets. These are the dirty alleyways your parents warned you not to walk down alone surely? Well apparently not as you soon find yourself surrounded by incredible artwork and little tucked away bars. If you’ve got the time definitely walk away from the main tourist attractions and see what you discover down one of the laneways.



Asia, Thailand, Travel

Koh Tao, Thailand

March 31, 2014

Staying at Jizo’s Hostel.

We left the party island for the chilled beaches of Koh Tao. Neither of us had been here before but it came recommended by a number of fellow backpackers. We arrived after a short boat trip and quickly found accommodation. It was only a cheap dorm room but a bed was all we needed when we wanted to spend most of our time on the beach. And the beaches of Koh Tao did not disappoint!

This island has a much more chilled out vibe with lots of live music and a more relaxed nightlife. There was still the usual Thai fire shows but people tended to sit down to watch it instead of downing buckets and dancing around.

Although we decided against it, Koh Tao is a really cheap place to dive and to get any diving qualifications if that interests you. We were told that there are better places to dive, but if price is an issue then this would be the place to come.

We also had some amazing food here. I’m tempted to say it was the best of our whole trip. There’s loads of restaurants, cafés and bars to choose from, offering a variety of cuisines. We found it was best to stick to Thai food though. If you fancy seafood I would definitely recommend Barracuda. Good food, fantastic presentation and not too expensive! You can’t go wrong really.

We left Koh Tao with a heavy heart, we will miss island life but it was time for our Asian adventure to end and head Down Under…




Asia, Thailand, Travel

Chiang Mai, Thailand

March 6, 2014

Staying at The Living Place.

Before heading south for the Thai Islands we decided to have a quick visit to Chiang Mai to see a different Thai city and to visit the tigers and the elephants.

After a hellish overnight bus journey with broken air con, we managed to find our accommodation fairly easily and gratefully dumped our bags and headed out for some breakfast. We had to stretch out our breakfast for an hour or so as we couldn’t check in until 12. We’re becoming pros at out staying our welcome at restaurants now!

Once checked in, we showered and then had a little walk around the city. Chiang Mai is an old town surrounded by the remains of an ancient wall. It’s got a more relaxed vibe than Bangkok with a high population of monks due to the number of Buddhist temples here. Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains and rainforest so lots of trips include trekking but as that doesn’t really interest us (too many bugs) we booked an elephant training course and planned a visit to the Tiger Kingdom.



The elephants were absolutely amazing! They are such beautiful creatures and you only appreciate how big they are when you get close to them. Our trip was with Woodys elephant training and involved learning some Thai commands to get the elephant to lift you up and walk in the direction you wanted, feeding the elephants, going for a ride on them and finally washing them in the river. The elephants seemed to enjoy this last part the best as they got to spray us with water…




The next day was a trip to the Tiger Kingdom. I love this place! You can go into enclosures with tigers of all different sizes. I went in with the adult tigers last year so this year I chose to just visit the babies. They were only a few months old and were very playful but some were just sleeping in the corner (very cute!). It’s very easy to forget that they are still dangerous but I still wanted to take one home with me! One of the cubs kept wanting to play fight and challenged all the others to a fight, even the ones trying to sleep which was quite funny. Stu went in with the big tigers as well. Last year, all the big ones were asleep but this time they were walking around and jumping into the pool. I would have been petrified but Stu kept his cool and sat next to them.

We both loved our time here but we’re desperate for a beach after 3 weeks of cities so it’s time to head to the paradise of Koh Phi Phi!

Asia, Thailand, Travel

Bangkok, Thailand

March 6, 2014

Staying at the Samsen Skyline.

A new day, a new country!

We were a little worried about coming to Bangkok because we weren’t sure if the political unrest was affecting day-to-day life. In our taxi on the way to the airport we passed a couple of roads which were closed off due to the protestors but there was nothing in the city itself.

We arrived at our accommodation and the man on the front desk couldn’t find our reservation at first and then decided the give us a ‘free upgrade’ to a better room. We think this means he forgot about us and had given our standard room away. No complaints though!

After a quick freshen up we headed out on the streets of Bangkok and headed straight to Khaosan road. It put a smile on my face to be back on familiar territory and to see Stu’s face taking in all the sights, smells and sounds of the backpacker hub of Thailand. We grabbed some Pad Thai off a stall for 25 baht (50p!) and then walked down the road taking it all in. The street food is really good here and a good way of saving some money.

Whilst we were staying in Bangkok we wanted to see some of the Buddhist temples so the next day we had a crazy ride in a tut tut over to the Grand Palace and the surrounding temples. They provide some great pictures and it’s always nice to take in a bit of the local culture.

We both had a Thai curry whilst in Bangkok which was delicious but I think my mum’s might just beat it!

Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

February 27, 2014

Staying at Thanh Thuong Guesthouse.

We weren’t sure what to expect of the South capital of Vietnam as memories of almost being run over by motorcycles in Hanoi were still haunting us. However we were greeted by a fairly modern city and although there were still thousands of bikes, this city had discovered pavements for pedestrians.

The staff at our accommodation have been helpful throughout our trip but they were particularly helpful here, giving us a map and explaining how far it would take to walk to certain landmarks and letting us know how much a taxi would cost it we were feeling lazy.

Memories of the war are most prominent here with a large war remembrance museum and trips to the nearby Cu Chi tunnels heavily advertised.

The war museum gave us a chance to see the war from the Vietnamese’s point of view and although I knew it was going to be very one sided, I didn’t expect the pure hatred of Americans which most of the museum concentrated on. There was lots of graphic pictures which we wouldn’t see in Britain of corpses and injuries and even disabled foetuses in a jar. It isn’t a trip for those with a weak stomach. We spoke to some local people about the war and they still hold a grudge against America. Only our tour guide in the Cu Chi tunnel trip admitted that the museum is very one sided and Vietnam was at fault too.


There’s a large backpacker scene here, mostly based on the Bui Vien street which is full of restaurants, bars and market stalls. The food continued to be good and the beer continued to be cheap!

There’s a few sites to see around the city, including the Notre Dame cathedral (not kidding), the Financial tower and the Reunification Palace. All are within walking distance of each other.

We were meant to spend 5 days here but due to a mix up with our flight (me getting the dates wrong) we actually spent a week. It was an enjoyable week but 5 days would have been enough.

Next stop is Bangkok and a chance to avoid the protests!




Asia, Travel, Vietnam

The Cu Chi Tunnels with Delta Adventure Tours

February 25, 2014

During our stay in Ho Chi Minh City we really wanted to go visit the tunnels as the Vietnam war is one of the only things we knew about the country before we came!

We booked the trip through our accommodation and paid 131,000 dong each and then you have to pay 90,000 entry fee when you get there. This equates to about £6 each.

We were picked up and on the road by 8:30am and our tour guide, Mr Bean (not kidding), introduced himself to us. He claims to be a war veteran and fought with the American soldiers against the VietCong. He was really nice and full of stories and facts and the war but he constantly talked and asked “Do you want to hear my story?” over and over again which did irritate a few people towards the end.

The tunnels themselves were really good. At the site they have examples of the traps set to injure the American soldiers. They looked like they could impale someone not just injure them!




We were shown a sniper hole which is a narrow hole in the ground with a cover on the top to slip the gun under. Everyone had a go squeezing in it unless they thought they were too big to get out!

We also got the chance to climb through a stretch of the tunnel network. I have never been so hot and cramped in my life! It just kept going lower, whilst getting darker and hotter. I could sort of squat and waddle along but Stu literally had to crawl on his hands and knees! We were both glad when we reached the end but some people left via the emergency exits at certain points as it was very claustrophobic.

All in all a very interesting trip and worth doing if you’re ever here.




Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

February 22, 2014

Staying at Hoa Binh Hotel.

Hoi An, you beautiful beautiful town. After the madness of Hanoi, you were a much needed breath of fresh air. It’s fair to say that Stu and I fell in love with you.

We stayed a short walk away from the heritage town which is really pretty. The buildings are all painted yellow with colourful lanterns lining the walkways. It’s a ‘walking town’ with no cars allowed and for a few hours each day, not even bikes are permitted – bliss! A river flows next to the town with an old Japanese bridge connecting the two sides of town.

There’s lots of shops and restaurants and we both made a couple of purchases. I bought a beautiful pashmina scarf and we both got our first ‘traveller bracelet’. We just need a tan now and we will be looking like proper backpackers!

A Hoi An speciality is spring rolls and Stu and I could not get enough of them! You can tell fresh ingredients were used in all the food we ate here and the ingredients are sourced from a market in the town. We’re loving Vietnamese food and are becoming pros at using chopsticks!

I’ve really enjoyed my time in Hoi An, next stop is Saigon!




Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

February 21, 2014

Staying at Little Hanoi Hostel.

Welcome to crazy town! This is my first experience of Vietnam and what an experience… Hanoi is filled with people on motorbikes and scooters driving around beeping at each other and you just have to keep out of their way or lose a few toes. In fairness we did grow in confidence after a day or so but it goes against everything I’ve been taught to cross a road that busy!

Once you get past the crazy drivers you can start to enjoy Hanoi. We stayed in the Old Quarter of town which is filled with local restaurants and shops to enjoy. There’s plenty of parks and lakes just outside of the Old Quarter which we enjoyed even though the weather wasn’t great (I didn’t expect to wear my coat so soon!). We did see the strangest sights in one of parks… SEVEN WEDDINGS. Seven. Seven weddings?! All at different stages and having lots of pictures taken. We were literally speechless at first and then couldn’t stop laughing, especially as the couples all looked so miserable.

The food in Hanoi was good. Two places we recommend are New Day Restaurant on May Mai street and the City View restaurant which, you guessed it, gives great views of the city.

We used our time in Hanoi to plan the rest of the trip in Vietnam. As the weather is poor we have decided to give Halong Bay a miss and head to Hoi An next and then to Saigon.