So, here’s the next installment of my ‘Thailand Diaries’ series – our trip to the jungle! It seems like such a long time ago since we got back it’s really lovely to look through all the photos again and relive the memories!

We decided to visit Khao Sok on a bit of a whim. It’s not really on what you would consider the main tourist routes and not that many people have heard of it. However, we got the idea from our Lonely Planet ‘Ultimate Travel Book’ (which details some of the most beautiful places in the world) – and once we’d looked it up online we were sold! We knew we had to go, it was truly stunning.

We thought it was going to be a bit of a headache to get to and it certainly wasn’t as well connected as the other more ‘mainstream’ places we went to – but it definitely wasn’t as difficult as we envisaged. Khao Sok National Park is reachable by minibus from both Krabi and Phuket if you want to fly in (a few hours drive) or from Surat Thani which is the main rail station in the area. We caught the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok which is 14 hours and really not as bad as it sounds! We paid a little extra (£30 each at the most!) to have First Class which gets you a private lockable cabin and pretty comfortable beds. The train leaves Bangkok in the evening and you wake up in Surat Thani early morning! We found it remarkably simple.  TIP: don’t make the mistake of leaving train bookings too late. Thailand rail are yet to get on board with an online booking system so you need to pay a travel agency in Bangkok to physically get them from the station for you in advanced, and you pick them up when you arrive. We used 12Go Asia who were fantastic and efficient from start to finish.

Anyway, we turned up at Surat Thani station at 5am on Christmas Day slightly concerned we had no onward travel booked and imagining we may have to wait a while for the first bus of the day. We needn’t had worried! Even at that time the station was packed with locals offering taxis, mini vans services and breakfast. We only had to pay 150 baht for the 1hr30 drive to the national park.

Once we had actually got there we needed to locate our hotel – ‘Our Jungle House’, which was located right next to the national park entrance and it pretty well hidden! It was worth the trek to find it though. This beautiful, secluded hotel is right in the heart of the jungle and it’s made up of a series of beautiful rustic treehouse rooms and a quaint wooden building with a restaurant and bar. In the day it was tranquil and relaxing and at night it wasn’t! It was so amazing to be so close to the wildlife and hear the monkeys running about on our roof!!

During our short two nights in the National Park we went on two trips and enjoyed a delicious Thai ‘Christmas buffet’ which was served at the hotel! The rest of the time we went on a few (short) self guided hikes and just soaked up the true wonder of nature. After the madness of Bangkok, Khao Sok is the perfect antidote. The first trip we went on was on Christmas day which was a short excursion to a natural hot springs in the hills. It is popular with both local people and tourists, but luckily the tour operators at our hotel pre-empted this and took us earlier in the day which meant that we missed the hoards and had the place virtually to ourselves.

On Boxing Day we went into the national park on a day trip to the famous Cheow Lan Lake. If you’ve every seen any wildlife or tourism documentaries about Thailand; this lake will be in it. It was absolutely breath-taking and one of the highlights of our trip. Most of the trip was spent relaxing and swimming by the lake, but it also included an hours wildlife spotting hike and a trip to the limestone caves. I’ve always thought of myself as a beach person but this lake was probably more beautiful than any beach I’ve ever seen. The water was like glass and the backdrop was simply amazing. We were lucky enough to have brilliant sunshine that day – but during our afternoon we saw a 30 second rainstorm! It was incredible, literally passed over us in less than an minute and then it was gone.


For more information on where we stayed you can click here. I loved Our Jungle House but if we were ever to go back to Khao Sok I would LOVE to stay on one of the floating bungalows you can rent on the lake. Imagine waking up to that view each day! We had an incredible experience in the jungle, so different from any other holiday we have ever been on! We would have loved to have stayed longer, but I can’t say that we are particularly natural intrepid explorers! We never ventured far on our hikes for fear of getting lost! There are A LOT of creepy crawlies in the jungle so be sure to take some spray and watch out for the mosquitos.  Next time, we move on to the blissful beaches of the South!

Hi everyone! We are absolutely loving life here in Thailand on our honeymoon. It is a truly special country and we are loving every minute. I thought I would share a few of our experiences with you, as we go along and also when we return. I know when planning this trip I enjoyed reading blog posts about certain trips/ experiences and recommendations to get a feel for them before booking, so I hope others will find it helpful.

Our first stop of the trip was the northern city of Chiang Mai which is famous for its culture, elephants and food! We decided we wanted to do a cookery class to learn some traditional Thai recipes and we came across the Thai Farm Cooking School on trip advisor. What stood out to me (other than the abundance of 5 star reviews!) was that the tour took you out of the city to the school’s organic farm where you would pick your own ingredients for the dishes and cook them in a quite and tranquil setting. We went ahead and booked it.

What a fantastic day it was! I would thoroughly recommend this excursion to anyone visiting Chiang Mai. Everything about it from the organisation of the pick ups, the teachers, the food and the equipment was perfection and extremely professional. This is a cooking school which has been running smoothly for years you can tell.

Our day started with an 8.30am pick up from our hostel and a minivan ride with our group of about 8 people to the local market. We were introduced to our teacher ‘Wass’ and she gave us a tour of the market; explaining the different spices, vegetables and rices which we may not have seen before. After this insightful stop-off we drove about 40 mins out of the city to the Thai Farm Cooking School.

The farm itself was really beautiful, set in the lush Thai countryside and very quiet. The had several group cooking stations set up for the different groups but they were far enough away from each other that it felt as though it were a private lesson. Everything we could have possibly needed was there ready for us. Once we arrived we had a tour of the farm where Wass explained the different Thai herbs and spices that they grow and what we would use them for. Then it was down to the cooking!

One of the things I loved so much about the experience was how organised it was and how easy they made it for you. All the ingredients we needed for each dish we pre-portioned for us so that we could just get on with the cooking and the eating! The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is peeling potatoes right??! Wass was so knowledgable and went at the right pace for the group. We were whipping up some delicious Thai food in no time!

The menu changes daily but we had the opportunity to make Tom Yum soup, vegetable spring rolls, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts, papaya salad and red/yellow/green curry (our choice) with either chicken on tofu. All the dishes have the option to cook a vegetarian version. After you’ve made your dishes your group (about 8 people) all sit down together and eat them! They were so delicious!

My favourite dish of the day was the desert we made at the end – Mango Sticky Rice. Doesn’t sound like much of a desert I know but I’m addicted to it out here! The rice is sweetened using coconut milk, sugar and coloured with a natural colour (we used a flower) and it tastes devine!


If you are visiting Chiang Mai and thinking about doing a cooking class I would thoroughly recommend the Thai Farm Cooking School and give it 5 stars. The whole days experience was great from start to finish and it’s really well set up so that it feels authentic and not like a tourist treadmill at all. And at £30pp for an entire day’s schedule plus all that food it’s really good value! At the end you will recieve a little printed recipe book with the instructions for everything that you made which I thought was a really nice touch. One tip – go hungry!! Not a single person on our course could finish everything they made!

You can check out the Thai Farm Cooking School for yourself here.

Until next time,


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Good morning!

Today’s post is a bit of a personal update. You may know if you follow me on Twitter/insta that I have been on the countdown for quite some time now! Today is the day Paul and I head off on our long awaited honeymoon! I cannot wait.

When we got married in June we took the decision which many couples who already live together take; instead of registering for gifts we asked for money towards our honeymoon fund. We were extremely lucky and the generous gifts from our family and friends enabled us to book our dream three week holiday travelling around Thailand! We decided to wait until Christmas because a) we knew we’d be desperate for a holiday by now and b) it’s much better weather in Thailand at the moment rather than in the summer.

It’s not going to be your normal luxury honeymoon in a beach resort. We love travel and roughing it a bit is all part of it for us. We wanted to cram as much as humanly possible into three weeks so we spent less on nice accommodations and more on experiences and getting to different places. In three weeks we are visiting Chiang Mai and the north, Bangkok, spending a few nights in the jungle and then the last week island hopping on the west coast. I can’t wait to blog about our experiences and what we get up to!

Blogging wise: I have a few posts scheduled over the coming weeks and I hope to do a few more as I go with updates about the trip, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay away from technology where possible and focus all my attention on my lovely hubby!

Love from,

When planning a longer than average trip or perhaps a gap year it’s really important to make sure you take not only the right things with you but also the right amount of things. Trust me – you really, really don’t want to take the kitchen sink with you and you will regret lugging around tons of stuff you won’t need. Equally, you don’t want to under pack either. When I was planning my gap year I was at a loss as to what I’d actually need and how much of everything to take. How can you possibly pack everything you would need for several months in one 70litre backpack? Here’s a few tips for anyone in the same position:

❤️ Think carefully about where you are going. This is number one on the list because it’s the most important. There is no generic formula for what to take because the world is such a diverse place and what you may need could vary a lot. In my experience, places like south east Asia are hot, sticky and very casual – pack your shorts and crop tops and leave your heels and hair straighteners at home. You probably won’t need a jumper but you will need a shawl to cover up when visiting the temples. In Australia, however, you might need an extra layer in Melbourne (it’s not always baking hot). Think about where you’re going, the climate, the culture and pack accordingly.

NB I would never recommend taking hair dryers/ straighteners or any of that sort of thing because they are so heavy and take up a lot of room. Having beachy, natural hair is all part of it right?!

❤️ Also – think about what you’ll be doing. New Zealand – high chance you’ll be trekking through those mountains (walking shoes recommended). Singapore – gents, if you want to hit the clubs you’ll need some closed in shoes and a shirt, those baggy vests won’t cut it! In Mauritius you may need a bikini, in Antarctica you may not. You get the idea. There are some things that just require certain equipment or clothing so it’s worth pre-planning a little bit so you make sure you have what you need.

❤️ Get everything out, lay it on the bed, then halve it. TRUST ME you will thank me later. You will only need half of what you anticipate; probably less. Something I always over pack is shoes; taking several pairs of cute sandals for different outfits. When I get there I only ever wear my trusty pair of flipflops, so this year that’s all I’m taking! I know it’s tempting to take all your beachwear but realistically you just don’t need it and you’ll regret it when all your worldly belongings are on your back.

❤️ Pack clothes last. Because you will underestimate how much space other, more essential things, will take up first. Shampoo, for example, is bulky. Same with sunscreen, hiking boots, camera equipment etc. Clothes can be squashed in at the top and can be rolled or folded to fit any gaps.

❤️ Don’t take anything that requires ironing. Just don’t.

❤️ Keep the valuables to a mimimum but, if you can’t live without something then take it. If your life is going to be miserable without your iPhone/ tablet / beats headphones etc then take them; just be careful with them. Don’t force yourself to leave all technology or material possessions behind if that’s just not you. I’m just saying maybe its sensible to leave your Rolex at home in this occasion.

❤️ Remember – they will have stuff there! Unless you are going to the wilderness or perhaps space then you will be able to pick up essentials like toiletries and clothing in the places you’re going. If yo are going away for 6 months please don’t take 6 months worth of your favourite shampoo from the UK. In some places the local shops may even sell items cheaper than what the would cost at home, so do your research. Heads up – this is not the case for Australia, they’re branded goods are super expensive.

I hope these tips will be helpful to anyone packing for a long trip. I will be heeding my own advice next week when Paul and I pack everything for a 3 week holiday in one 60 litre pack between us!

Let me know what you think!

Love,

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We all love our holidays; hot or cold, far or near our holidays are our saviours in a world where we are always working. I love going abroad and exploring new places, however, in recent years with the rise of the ‘stay-cation’ it has come to my attention that there are plenty of beautiful and well worthy places to visit in the UK. I mean we are seriously blessed with stunning coastline, rolling green hills and absolutely picture perfect countryside. If not always the weather to go with it – but hey ho! So, my husband and I seem to have found ourselves partaking in the fast growing trend of ‘glamping’ for some of our holidays.

So what is glamping?

Well, essentially it’s glam camping. Hence the name. All the beauty and wildness of camping – but with a few luxuries thrown in. The luxury element can vary – sometimes you could stay in a fully heated yurt or bell tent with a full sized double bed, or it could mean a tree house in the forest with a compost loo. The facilities are not what makes it glamping – it’s the fact that it’s camping, with a difference. Something a bit special that sets the experience apart from the rest.

I’d like to share one of our favourite glamping experiences with you. We use the website ‘Canopy and Stars’ to choose our trips and they are fantastic. They can be expensive but they only advertise the best, most different, vintage, kitch and crazy glamping opportunities out there. Eco treehouses, camping pods, lodges and even a bedroom in a sphere suspended in the middle of a forest in Cornwall are all among their offerings. There are other sites but I have found them to be the best and their write ups of the sites are very detailed and accurate. You know what you’re getting into!

Ges the Horsebox – £135 per night

‘Ges’ (coincidently pronounced Jess) is a traditional horse box and pony trap situated in the Surrey countryside; a combination of staying in a retro, up cycled vehicle and camping in total isolation and peace. Ges is sitting in a field, in the middle of another field, which can only be reached by driving down a deserted country road in the most rural part of surrey. To my delight, apart from the staff in co op when buying out supplies for the weekend, we didn’t see another human for the entire weekend. Pure escapism. Seriously, the interior was gorgeous, and to say that the owners had thought of everything was an understatement.

The little pony trap was converted into a stunning modern bathroom with luxury toiletries. There was a picnic set, board games, colouring books, fairy lights, hot water bottle. The back porch was complete with bunting and a tambourine! I felt like I had wondered into a 1960’s hippy festival daydream.

I’m a huge advocate of the ‘digital detox’ – even as a blogger! I think it’s really important to step back from our devices and reconnect with nature once in a while, whether that be as a person, as a couple or as a family. It’s so nice to have no TV or distractions, just each other. Time to talk, laugh and truly enjoy each other’s company. We had no electricity, no signal, a gas stove to boil a traditional kettle or grill some toast and a BBQ which we used have burgers for dinner. Other than that we munched on the home made cake and bread which was provided in our gorgeous hamper when we arrived, along with milk, water and a few other essentials. It was blissful. I’d recommend this glamping trip without a doubt.

You can view Ges & other amazing glamping experiences on the canopy & stars website.

Have you ever been glamping??