09/10/2017

In retrospect: SE Asia bucket list

Back in March I made a SE Asia Bucket list before I headed off on my trip in April. It seems so long ago since I was doing all my planning and preparation! I thought I might as well do a follow up post to tell you whether I managed to tick everything off my bucket list. I decided not to make the bucket list too long or ambitious, I didn't want to feel like I had to try and get it all done so instead I chose 10 things to try and achieve. 

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap


1. VISIT ANGKOR WAT 


I actually ended up spending three days at the temple complex. We saw the famous Angkor Wat on our first day exploring, however, we never made it to a sunrise which I do regret but it was still amazing to see it in person.


2. THE FULL MOON PARTY | KOH PHANGAN


I'm sure pretty much all of you have heard of this party. In fact, it's probably one of the most famous parties on earth. Yes, it is basically a ton of tourists getting drunk on a beach but I knew that if I was going to be in Thailand I had to try and make it fit into my route. And it did! I didn't really need to move anything around, it fell on a date that we'd already be in Southern Thailand so I just worked my island hopping around that. 

I didn't make it to sunrise but I still had a great time. I think I'm going to write a separate post about it because it wasn't nearly as crazy as I had expected! 

Into the wild elephant sanctuary Chiang Mai



3. ELEPHANT SANCTUARY | CHIANG MAI


You can't go Thailand and not visit an Elephant Sanctuary! Well you can but I knew I wanted to go to one and I did! I did have some requirements though such as visiting one that didn't let people ride elephants. We eventually chose the Into The Wild elephant sanctuary. Again, I'm going to do a post about my experience so I won't say too much but it was a great day and I learnt a lot about elephants.

Temples of Bagan


4. TEMPLES OF BAGAN


I visited Bagan in 2015 on my first ever backpacking trip, however, I was happy to go back and experience it again. I wanted to explore more of Bagan and see more temples as I'd missed out due to illness on my first trip. And I managed just that! Although both sunrises we went to didn't really happen (lots of cloud) but I'm so glad I got to explore Bagan again. We were also there during the water festival which was really fun but also made seeing the temples more difficult.


5. SNORKELLING


I'm going be completely honest and say the sea creeps me out a little. I know it's irrational but I just don't like being in water so deep. Having said that I decided to give snorkelling a try whilst on a day trip in the Phi Phi islands. I also had to climb a rope ladder that day to get to Maya Bay which was completely unexpected but I guess that's part of travelling. I even went snorkelling at night to see glowing plankton which was a tad scary but worth it to see the water light up.

Once I'd figured out how to breathe through my mask I really enjoyed snorkelling. I didn't get a chance to do it again during my trip but I'll definitely be giving it a go again in the future!

Tui Kelep Waterfall Lombok


6. SWIM IN A WATERFALL


I mentioned the Kuang Si falls in Luang Prabang in my original post and while I did visit this waterfall I didn't swim in it! This was because I'd just got a tattoo which was only about a week old and I couldn't get it wet. Bad planning. But also good planning because it was healed in time for all the beaches!

Anyway, I didn't actually get into a waterfall until the penultimate week of my trip! In the end the Tui Kelep waterfall in Lombok (which is absolutely beautiful) was the waterfall I got to swim in. It was very cold but exhilarating at the same time. 

Circle train, Yangon

7. GO ON THE CIRCLE TRAIN | YANGON


This was something I never got round to doing on my first trip to Yangon but I'm so glad I got to tick it off. We were planning on getting the first train to try and avoid the crowds and also have a more authentic experience.

In the end we ended up getting a train at around 11am. The train does get busy and hot but it was worth the slight discomfort and the travel sickness. It was great to see the countryside outside of Yangon and the locals getting on and off with all of their produce. We also chatted to a girl (who's pictured above) she really enjoyed chatting to us and it was great to learn about her culture.

Air B n B villa ubud


8. STAY IN A VILLA | BALI


You know those villas you see on Instagram and wish you could avoid to stay in. That's the sort of villa I wanted.

While I had a budget for accommodation I decided to increase this nightly budget just for a few days so I could stay in a villa. We actually still managed to do it quite cheaply. I think it worked out around £25 a night each. That's pretty good for a private villa and pool.

My bali insta dreams came true. That sentence does make me a bit of a basic bitch but it's something I've always wanted to do and I didn't know if I'd ever be visiting Bali again!


9. JAMES BOND ISLAND AND MAYA BAY


My friend and I were up very early to go on this tour. It was also one of the pricier tours we paid for and the most package holiday moment of my trip. Not that there's anything wrong with package holidays! We were surrounded by families and a guide who kept shouting into his microphone and playing strange music but we got to see the famous James Bond Island.

Maya Bay was part of a separate tour in Phi Phi. As I mentioned above we had to swim and then climb a rope to get to it but it made the day more adventurous. I did learn that rope hurts a lot!

Ijen Crater, Java, Indonesia


10. CONQUER THE IJEN CRATER


My conquering of the Ijen Crater didn't quite go to plan but that's a long story. But I did do it again and I got to see the blue lights again. I think this time they were even better so it was definitely worth doing again and the 12 am wake up call!

_________________________

I'm actually very happy that I managed to tick everything off my list. It's strange to look back at the list now I've done it. When I wrote the list before my trip I imagined a lot of the things on it to be different to how they actually turned out to be. But I guess that's the great thing about exploring new places, you never quite know what to expect!

Do you have a bucket list? What's on it?

Sophie 

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