Sunday, 29 September 2013

Last ever Freshers week

It's nice to be back in Sheffield again for the last year of my undergraduate Architecture degree, and I'm so happy to be living in a lovely new house with 5 girls that I love. The week started with my parents driving me up from London on Monday with a car full of stuff, ready to move into my new room. The most significant parts of the week night involved going to 'Tuesday club' at the union to see Shy Fx, Ms.Dynamite, B.Traits and Dismantle, which was a great night especially as the union venue 'Foundry and Fusion' is finally open again after a year of refurbishment. Wednesday night was basically a reunion of all our friends at uni at a night called 'Gold Teeth' at the Harley Pub, and the last highlight is an unexpected impulse buy at Oxfam on friday; a reclining armchair for my bedroom!  Sitting here on sunday night the day before the first day of term, I'm feeling nostalgic already about never going to a freshers again and my housemates and I were discussing that is the time when everything is our 'last', ie our last september together, our last house together... rather lame I know.. However, I am quite excited about never having freshers flu again!

Tuesday Club

Me and Jasmine in an obligatory pre night out photo

Estelle getting a feel for the new armchair in Oxfam

First proper house meal: Courgettes, Feta Cheese, Sweet Potato, Wine and Jazz music

South East Asia: 16 stops in 8 weeks

This summer my best friend Estelle and I set out on a 2 month adventure across South East Asia. Starting in Bangkok, we travelled north via Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai and then onto Pai. Taking the slow boat into Laos from Chiang Kong, our only stop there was Luang Prabang. From there we flew via Hanoi in Danang in Vietnam, working our down the south coast (Hoi An, Nha Trang, Saigon) before crossing into Cambodia. There we started in Sihanoukville in the south and travelled north into Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Our last two weeks were spent on the Thai Islands of Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi.

I can honestly say that it was one of the most fantastic things that I have ever done and I truly had an amazing time. We also met so many cool people along the way, which made the trip even better. One of my favourite places that we visited was Pai in Northern Thailand, where we had the best time staying in a hostel called 'Spicy Pai' and where we made friends who we then travelled with for a lot of the trip. It was a very chilled place surrounded by picturesque mountains and just planted fresh rice fields. The town itself was backpacker heaven, filled with the most gorgeous food and book shops and market stalls selling some of the coolest jewellery and bags that I have seen! We had a great few days renting scooters and driving from waterfall to waterfall, exploring the scenic countryside. It was my first proper time on the back of a scooter and it was just so exhilarating; I felt so free riding along, watching elephants go by with the cool breeze from the wind blowing my hair from side to side. At night we made our own party with our new friends from the hostel, pretended we were at full moon with bright neon face paint and then danced the night away at a wonderful Bamboo club where the floor felt like you were on a trampoline. We were so sad to leave after the 3 nights we spent there, but they were some of the best days of our entire trip.

Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

Ayutthaya, Thailand

cycling amongst the ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand

Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Luang Prabang, Laos

monks in Luang Prabang, Laos

Marble Moutain, Hoi An, Vietnam

Estelle cycling to the beach, Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Waiting for our flight to Vietnam

Pai Canyon, Pai, Thailand

Estelle chilling in a hammock in Spicy Pai hostel, Pai, Thailand

Taking a break from scootering in Pai, Thailand

 meditating on the beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Estelle looking great in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

A tuk-tuk in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Estelle, myself and Vicki at Lotus Bar inKoh Tao, Thailand

Dancing the night away at a beach party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

 watching the sunset in Koh Phangan, Thailand