Travel Plans 2020

Next year I will be embarking on one of the biggest adventures I have ever decided to take. I will be backpacking Thailand and Bali and maybe a few stops in Vietnam and Cambodia (If I can save the money of course). Plans for this trip started in my final year of University where I was worried over my next steps for the future.

What would I do once I had graduated? Would I get a good degree? Would I find a job?

And backpacking was nothing but a dream. However, as I came to live back home and I began to think more about my future I realised travelling was something that I had to do. In mid 2019 my 2020 travel plans began to take place. I watched numerous travel vlogs, read blogs and researched way too many travel tours. Ultimately, I have decided to use TruTravels and IntroTravels. Both tour guides consist of group tours with travel packages, which prices include accommodation, activities and some meals. Perfect for the first time backpacker and perfect for the first time SOLO traveller.

When and where would I go?

After plenty of google research upon the weather temperature and rainfall I found that if to travel to Thailand the temperature is pretty similar all year round. Therefore, there is no right or wrong month. However, it is probably best to note that though the sun might be shining the rain may be pouring through the months of June to October, where there is a higher chance of rainfall.

Bali on the other hand has pretty similar weather conditions with the temperature reaching 30 degrees almost every month. Conversely, Bali has higher chances of rainfall through from January to March and October to December.

How much money would I save up?

After having many conversations with others who have backpacked around Asian countries and looking into many articles upon the price difference of England to Thailand. I decided I wanted at least £6,000 or £7,000 that includes the cost off flights, trips and spend whilst travelling. To reach this goal I have been working two jobs every weekday and weekend and putting so much money away each month. To reach a goal you have to work hard!

What trips do I want to take?

Looking at each and every trip that TruTravels and IntroTravels had to offer I finally came to a conclusion of which tours I wanted to take.

23 Day Northern Thailand & Full Moon

Experience a bit of everything with our Northern Thailand and Full Moon Experience. Start in Bangkok and finish in Koh Phangan as we take you to all the famous hotspots and some less known favourites. From visiting temples to snorkeling boat trips, and of course the world famous Full Moon Party. There are so many activities on this trip, giving you a well-rounded balance between culture, partying and island adventure.

TruTravels

Activities

River cruise on the River Kwai
Erawan waterfalls day trip
Half-day bike ride around Ayutthaya ruins
Chiang Mai temple visits
2 Day Jungle Trek
Overnight Hill Tribe village stay
Half day zip-lining
Elephant sanctuary
Lod Cave visit
Pai’s hot springs
Cooking class
Day trip to Chiang Mai Canyon Bangkok River Cruise & Temples
Thai Massage & Overnight Train
Khao Sok National Park
Floating Bungalows
Swimming, Tubing & Kayaking
Boat Trip Around Koh Phangan
Snorkelling & Waterfalls (Seasonal)
Bottle Beach
Muay Thai Lesson
The Challenge Lake
ATV Riding (optional extra)
Sunset Pool Party
Full Moon Party!

Bali & Beyond

Our amazing Bali & Beyond trip takes you through some of Indonesia’s most epic destinations – From the awesome surfer town of Canggu, through the rice terraces of Ubud and tropical paradise of the Gili Islands. We then head off on an adventure east to the traditional villages and stunning waterfalls of Lombok before boarding our private live-aboard boat and set sail for 3 days. You will explore remote hidden beaches, epic viewpoints before landing at the Komodo Islands and meeting the dragons who still roam freely across the land. If you want to see some of the best bits of Bali and undiscovered Indonesia…This is the adventure for you!

TruTravels

Activities

Taman Ayun Temple
Tanah Lot Temple
Surf Lesson
Tegenungan Waterfall
Local Markets
Cooking class
Monkey Forest visit
Rice Terraces
Volcano Viewpoint
Snorkelling with Turtles
Bike tour around Gili T Visit Sasak Village
Benang Kelambu Waterfall
Beach hopping
Moyo Island
3D/2N Live-aboard boat trip
Epic Viewpoints
Snorkelling with Mantas
Pink Beach
Komodo Islands

Vietnam & Cambodia

Experience the best of Vietnam and Cambodia on our biggest adventure yet! Over 21 incredible days you’ll discover crazy Hanoi, experience the stunning Ha Long Bay, stay on your own private island, go crab fishing with traditional fisherman, soak up fascinating local culture, learn to cook delicious Vietnamese food, snorkel around tropical islands, explore the famous Angkor Wat temple and much more!

IntroTravels

Activities

Walking & Rickshaw Tour of Hanoi
Night out in Hanoi
Overnight Boat Trip on Ha Long Bay
Sea Kayaking
Private Island Stay
Local Homestay Experience
Bicycle Tour of Ninh Binh
River Boat Cruise
Dragon Mountain Viewpoint
Visit Local Markets
Basket Boat Crab Fishing 
Vietnamese Cooking Class
Mekong Delta Experience
Local Village Visit
Cu Chi Tunnels
S21 Prison With Local Guide
Tuk Tuk Tour Through Phnom Penh
Locally Guided Tour of the Killing Fields
Kayaking Trip
Koh Rong Island Boat Trip
Snorkelling
Sunset Cruise
Local Markets
Pepper Plantation
Khmer Cooking Class
Locally Guided Walking Tour of Siem Reap
Floating Villages 
Angkor Wat Sunrise Temple Tour
Farewell Dinner

NYC: A city full of wonder, culture and intensity.

Now, it’s been a good three years since I visited New York. But I can remember it as though it was yesterday. The freshness that seemed to flatter the air as I walked out of the airport. A city unlike any other. A city like a dream, wonder and anticipation.

I don’t even know where to begin with this city. Or how to begin. New York has always been a city I’ve dreamt about, a city I never expected to visit in my lifetime. But when the opportunity arose, I grabbed it as quick as I could. How could I let such an exciting opportunity go? Who could? As a child, New York was everywhere from my favourite TV shows to novels and even across my small town in the North of England. It was everywhere and I had to see it.

It’s a city like you would never expect. It’s so much more. It has everything you could ever dream off, from the people to the buildings to the adventures. I remember the feeling as we drove towards the big city, I could see it in the distance and even from afar you could see how substantial the city truly was. It was mesmerising. The buildings higher and taller than I ever believed, you could sense how truly hectic the city was.

Now, I went with my College so I was aged around seventeen – eighteen and to a young adult adventuring into an immense city, a trip without parents for the first time was a big deal and completely nerve-wracking. But I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. The city was looming over us as we drove towards the big apple and as we entered. My god, I couldn’t even explain the feelings that ran throughout my body. I expected to see businessmen and women clattering about, rushing with cups of coffee in their hands as they raced to their jobs. But no, to my surprise we entered the city during Gay Pride. Therefore, the city was packed with such a diverse culture. Men and women danced around the streets drinking beers and wine in celebration of such a positive stance against discrimination. Bright colours illuminated from building and floating parades that made their way down the streets.

However, due to the pride, it made it extremely difficult for our coach to make its way through the NYC streets. Ultimately, we had to grab our luggage and attempt to find our hotel by ourselves. And there we were. Twenty-something students stranded in the middle of New York without any clue on where to go. Luckily, our teachers had visited the same hotel on a previous trip and had a slight idea where to go. Nevertheless, that did not help. The group ending up splitting with some students rushing as they followed the teachers with some including me who stopped, sat on their suitcase and watched the parade float by. I had just got into New York. There was no way I was missing such an experience. Unfortunately, at this point, I had my camera packed away and wasn’t able to capture any decent images. But I did get a few videos on my phone.

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I went with my English Literature class during my A-Levels so the trip consisted of seeing landmarks that related to the novels that we had read. Such as The Great Gatsby. Therefore, we saw the Plaza hotel an iconic and truly historic building built in 1907. I and a few friends walked to Queensboro bridge to view how monumental it truly was, and I don’t exaggerate when I say it was colossal and honestly so magnificent. We took a bike ride around central park, viewing sites such as The Ramble and Lake, Strawberry Field’s Imagine Mosaic, which honoured The Beatles John Lennon who lived and was killed at the Dakota Apartments just across the road from the sight and the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. All, which was such a sight to see and definitely worth adding it to your to-do list. Also, I would advise catching one of the bike rides around the park. Depending on the person you get and how you deal with it, it’s very cheap.

Of course, NYC is such a big city and it’s just impossible that you are able to see all the sights within three days. But you can see an awful lot if you plan it carefully and stick to it. Other sights that I saw that I think any first time tourist has to see would by Times Square. The square has a vibe to it, a vibe that I can’t quite pinpoint – it’s almost surreal, as though you are not actually there. The large buildings tower over you almost making you feel light headed when you glance upwards. The lights – especially at night are so bright I honestly believe you would still need to wear sunglasses. Next is the Empire State Building, which is probably the scariest experience yet. You don’t actually realise how high up you are until you look over the edge and see the city. It is breathtaking and definitely hair-raising. But 100% worth it.

Another sight I would make the time to see is the world trade centre memorial. The memorial is in the former location at the World Centre sight, the former location of the twin towers, where on September 11th, 2001 suicide bombers crashed two planes into both buildings killing 2,996 people and injuring over 6,000. The sight itself was eery almost – extremely quiet and peaceful. Yet, beautiful all at the same time. It’s the perfect way to pay your respect to those who lost their lives whilst learning as you go.

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