I think I can safely say that the highlight of my trip was chasing waterfalls via scooter! Driving a scooter is the easiest and cheapest way to get around Thailand. We had heard horror stories about crashes and were hesitant to rent one at first. Finally, we got too frustrated suffering from FOMO so we did it. First stop Phaeng Waterfalls.
The majority of the waterfalls we found were in Bali! We conquered 5 waterfalls in two days and spent a few hours cruising through the island.
Day One: Tudak Cepung, Dusun Kuning, Kanto Lampo
We set out in the morning to our first stop which was a little over an hour drive from Ubud. These falls were awesome because it required some cave exploring to get to.
Next we set off to Dusun Kunging Waterfalls. There was a bit of a steep hike down to these, a little scary but again… worth it.
Lastly, we got to Kanto Lampo Waterfalls right before they closed. This was unintentional perfect timing! These falls are more we known and often full of tourist. We were the last ones there so we got to see the falls all by ourselves!!
Day Two: Tegenungan, Tibumana
The Tegenungan Falls are the most touristy so we got there in the early morning to experience them without the crowds….. I definitely didn’t get any weird looks riding on the back of our scooter to get here with a giant inflated donut around me…
The Tibumana Falls was like a hidden oasis! We obviously didn’t mind spending a good part of our afternoon here hanging out and eating lunch. In fact, we were reluctant to leave at all…
But we had to get to chasing our next adventure of course!
The road to Pai was extremely wiiindingggg. If you have a weak stomach, take precautions ahead of time. There were even road signs indicating where you can pull over to hurl…
Our van made it safe and sound into town and we took a 15 min walk to our hostel, Spicy Pai. It consisted of cute bamboo bedrooms equipped with mosquito nets, and a hammock hang out area. I loved sipping on coffee in the morning while swinging in a hammock and looking at the beautiful mountain range.
There was plenty to see in Pai. My favorite thing was hunting for waterfalls and watching the sunset over the canyon. There also was a giant Buddha to hike to, hot springs, and cute cafes!
In Pai we got out first taste of scooter-driving for ourselves. It was a little daunting because everyone you talk to either had crashed on one, or knew of some catastrophic crash. The roads here are also super windy, narrow, and very gravely. I lasted 45 minutes before I had my first wobble, and wanted to hand back my keys. Felicia on the other hand,(who I had to persuade to even rent a bike to begin with) became natural. I then opted to be a backseat driver for the rest of the trip. I still wanted to feel comfortable on a scooter myself, but taking the backseat and just enjoying the views was fiiiiine by me too (:
The islands in Southern Thailand are absolutely stunning! After staying on Koh Phangan I stayed on Ko Tao for four days to do my scuba diving certification. One of the highlights was taking a longtail boat 10 mins to a neighboring island with the most amazing viewpoints.
I wore one of my favorite vintage maxi skirts. It’s lightweight and super comfortable with a cute daisy print. I paired it with my favorite crop top and gold choker necklace ☺️
It’s a small hike up to the top… and a bit windy once you get there! On the beach, there also are amazing views, a huge sandbar, and great snorkeling spots!
I had so much fun spending the day here and couldn’t get enough views of the gorgeous blue water!
After our time in Cambodia, we left to Thailand! We headed to the North first, and spent time in Chiang Mai. We visited the dazzling White Temple in Chiang Rai, two hours by bus.
It was absolutely stunning!
The Wat Rong Khun temple ( the official name of the White Temple) was in need of renovation so a local artist decided to reconstruct it and make it into a contemporary art exhibit.
Since it is a temple, you need to dress modestly. I choose my cobalt blue maxi skirt and black floral top. It was a nice balance of staying fairly cool while still being covered. Then a layered on some rose gold accessories! Most of my pieces were Rose gold Drusy styles from Kendra Scott.
The White Temple is definitely worth a visit! I really enjoyed the beauty of the temple and catching sight of the many symbols used throughout it.
So far on my trip, the stop in Siem Reap, Cambodia, has been my favorite! There were a lot of hostels made for partying in Siem Reap, but what I was drawn to were the history of the temples and the beautiful scenery. We woke up one morning at 4am so that we could watch the sunrise over Ankor Wat. Ankor Wat is a temple complex that is the largest religious monument in the WORLD. We hired a Tuk Tuk to take us around to all of the major temples and were dropped off to do our own exploring!
Tom Phrom, or the “Indian Jones Temple” was my favorite!
You need to make sure you dress respectfully at these temples of you won’t be allowed in. My cap sleeve, floor length dress was a perfect way to stay stylish but covered up.
Accessory Details :
Kendra Scott rose gold Blake bracelet set
Kendra Scott Brown Pearl ring
I would highly recommend spending a decent amount of time at the temples-they offer multiple day tickets. And having a tour guide would be really helpful to learn all the details about the temples!
Our next stop was Cambodia. One 8 hour bus ride….that turned into 15 hours and we finally made it. Our first stop was Sihanoukville, which was such a fun place and a really nice place to relax! They had some beautiful beaches and picturesque islands a quick boat ride away!
We hit up Otres Beach close to where we were staying and enjoyed the clear blue water, drank our fair amount of coconut juice, and soaked up some sun! We hung out with our new hostelmates later who then convinced us it was a fabulous idea to go on our first Pub Crawl of the trip…. mind you I hadn’t dranken more than two beers since Halloween of the last year. My system was not prepped for a whole night of drinking, but we did have a blast and made some new friends!
The next day we took a short trip to Koh Rong Samloem. We went just for the day but a lot of people spend the night on the island in one of the many cute beachside bungalows.
It was the perfect place to break out some new cute bathing suits! I love my cobalt blue V-neck one piece I had just recently purchased from Tillys.
The low-key highlight of this stop was the amount of tree swings you could find. You couldn’t get me off of them !
There was a drastic change in weather once we got to Vietnam.. bring on the heat and bring on the humidity.
We took a tour out to the Chi Chu Tunnels one day and went the War Museum. The museum was very moving and a really interesting part of the trip. It was crazy to see the history from a different perspective than what I had learned while growing up.
The next days we paid for people on motorbikes to take us around to see the city. We did some bargain shopping at Ben Thanh Market, where I got a cute new backpack for 75% off the asking price.
We also took a cooking class which was so so so much fun! The place had their own garden where we picked our own ingredients and we made soo much yummy food!
I think being in Vietnam was especially interesting for me because I grew up next to Westminster, CA, one of the largest areas where Vietnamese refugees immigrated to in the United States. The majority of my classmates growing up were second generation Vietnamese Americans and now here I was actually seeing where some of my best friend’s parents grew up. The time in Vietnam flew by fast and we were headed off to Cambodia right before the New Year celebration madness would ensue in Vietnam.
My first stop was a 10hr layover in Shanghai. Doesn’t sound too fun right?
SURPRISE . SURPRISE. We hopped in a taxi to Shanghai Disneyland and got there right when it opened.
This was definitely the best layover I’ve had! Some advice though- if you’re planning on leaving the airport on a layover, check the weather for that location first.. the destinations for our trip averaged around 80*F but Shanghai was literally freezing (30*F). Luckily I checked an hour before departing and snagged my favorite Disney sweater. We scrambled around the park trying to fit in as much as we could before needing to head back to the airport to catch our next flight and I was definitely impressed by the park. I was born and raised 15 minutes from the original Disneyland in Anaheim, CA so I did my share of comparing the two parks. The Disney magic was definitely present in Shanghai and they had some rides that were beyond compare, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and Tron.
I’m off on my longest trip I’ve ever taken! I’ll be gone for two months and will be the farthest I’ve ever been from home (Orange County, CA). My best friend Felicia and I will land in Shanghai, China then will fly to Vietnam from there. We plan to travel to Cambodia, Thailand, and end our great adventure in Bali. All I have with me is my 1 carry-on bag and my hand-dandy fanny pack.
… this tends to be an area of struggle with me, since I LOVE clothes, but i’m a decent packer and think i’ve managed to fit enough!
I’m excited for this adventure and all the experiences i’ll partake in ! I’ll keep posting about the different places we travel to !