Finally what we’d been waiting for – the Vietnam that comes to mind when you’re dreaming of the legendary beaches, quaint streets and characterful buildings. Still a town for the tourist, but without compromising on its beauty.

With its narrow criss-crossed streets and rickety city bicycles for rent on nearly every corner, there was only one way we wanted to explore Hoi An.

We handed over our one dollar each and immediately took the straight road out to the beach.

vietnam cone hat

We sunbathed for a while and tried out the amazing noodle soups in the local restaurants along the beach front, before heading back to explore the old town. Continue reading


A friend back in Phi Phi had recommended a stay at Pak Up Hostel, raving about how good it was for just 270 baht a night (about £6). This meant that Pak Up was our first port of call when we reached Krabi. The building used to be a school and has now been cleverly converted – they’ve still kept up the educational theme though, by naming the bedrooms after school subjects, writing adverts and offers on blackboard signs, and by the numerous statues of children around the building.


Pak Up’s a homely, modern and fun place to stay in central Krabi town. The reception is an open social space, with pay-by-the-minute computers and information about the local areas. Adventure tours and trips to neighbouring islands can be organised, but we chose to explore Krabi itself by renting two of the hostel’s bicycles, for 120 baht each for the day. The staff here are always available and so friendly, even lighting the candles on our friend’s birthday cake and organising all the hostellers in reception to sing to him! Continue reading