Trekking in the Shan state

Before Christmas we trekked in Myanmar’s Shan state, from Kalaw to Inle Lake over 3 days. Starting in the small mountain town of Kalaw, the temperature was a bit colder than we’d been experiencing on the beach!

We explored rural Myanmar through villages and fields of chillis, walking around 15 to 20 km per day.

The first night we stayed in a village home stay and the second night in a Monastery.

We had amazing locally made food and some questionable home-made rice wine.

We had 2 lovely local guides Kayla and Nana from the local Pa-oh tribe, who taught us so much about local life, took us to meet their family and made sure we had ‘Thanaka’ on (the signature Burmese yellow face paint made from bark to protect from the sun and mosquitoes).

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We were lucky to be trekking with the best group of people, who made each other laugh and got on very well (even when people were tired with blistered feet!) We both agreed this was one of the highlights of our Myanmar trip…

 

Christmas and New Year in Thailand

From Laos we returned to Thailand to meet Ella’s family in Bangkok on Boxing Day. There was a brief meltdown when Gatwick was closed for 48hours (thanks drones) but they were allowed to fly eventually!

We spent Christmas itself in a place called Hua Hin, about 3 hours drive from Bangkok this was the nearest beach we could get to. We would compare it with Marbella, built up and full of bright pink Europeans but had a huge beach we could enjoy and the novelty of our own kitchen, which we hadn’t had for months.

Once we met up with Ella’s family we spent two days in Bangkok, a few days jungle trekking in Khao Sok and then moved to the island of Koh Tao. We had a great time, chilling out by the pool, exploring the island on mopeds and finding the best Thai food to eat each night! We saw in 2019 (or year 2562 as it is in Thailand) on the beach.

Unfortunately, the rest of the family were speedily removed from the island on 3rd January when Tropical Storm Pabuk approached. Koh Tao went into lock down and there was absolutely nothing left on the 7/11 shelves! We were left to shelter in the hotel as all boats to and from the islands were cancelled for 3 days.

Thankfully, the cyclone which was predicted to flatten the island, ended up missing it completely, so all we saw was pretty heavy rain.

We spent the next 10 days on Koh Tao, getting our scuba diving licences and enjoying the better weather!

Isaac made this video of clips of both times we were in Thailand, enjoy!

love Ella & Isaac xxx