Last stop…Dubai

Can’t believe I’m writing about my last stop on this unbelievable adventure. I was so lucky to have friends waiting for me is Dubai as I arrived there the night before my birthday. So it was great to know people and have good company.
In arrived in Dubai at 7.30pm. The minute I got in the taxi I could feel the culture shock. The huge sky scrapers, expensive cars and western shops. The girls apartment was amazing with an amazing view of the marina and lit up skyscrapers.

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Birthday balcony photo

It was great to be handed an Irish cup.of tea when I got there and have a good catch up. We didn’t stay up too late because we wanted to be ready for the big day ahead. The girls had booked us in for one of Dubai’s famous brunches and to make it even better it was the last one before Ramadan started so I made it just in time.
We got all dolled up after a necessary birthday shot and headed to a nearby hotel for 12pm. I was astounded by the luxury of the brunch. The girls got great entertainment at how excited I was because they said this brunch was quite small by Dubai standards. But to me after travelling for a year and living cheaply, this was like heaven!

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Plate number 1!

I couldn’t believe the selection of food to choose from. Everything from roasted duck, stir fry to sushi to a huge cheese section. Not to mention the chocolate fountain and dessert section. Ofcourse there was endless wine and gins also to get us ready for moving to a bar after which was full of expats and locals all mixing and partying together which I really liked. Definitely a birthday to remember!

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The next day was a great couch hangover day with Irish tea and treats. When we eventually recovered we went for a walk to the Marina and beach which is gorgeous. We had a nice meal in The Cheesecake Factory at the beach and walked back to take in the skyline.

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Dubai at night

As I was at the very end of my funds I was happy to use the girls free gym and pool in their building and enjoy the novelty of cooking and cleaning while they were at work. In the evenings we went for walks to see lovely parks and more of the Marina. I can’t get over how luxurious and over the top everything is. It’s very obvious how rich this country is.
We visited some malls including the biggest mall in Dubai which has its own aquarium! Another mall which has an indoor skiing centre! I never thought I could fall in love with building until I saw the Burg Khalifa. It’s stunning! The fountain shows that happen every half an hour are unreal. We spent a few hours watching them as it’s a different song every time.

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Fountain Show

The week I spent here flew. The only downside of my time here was that it was during Ramadan. So there can’t be any liquids or food consumed in public from sunrise to sunset and no music played anywhere. It was interesting to see but I underestimated how much I like a takeaway coffee or bottle of water when I’m on the go. My friends love living here and I can see why. It’s a very comfortable lifestyle and plenty to do so we’ll see hopefully I’ll be back 🙂

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Goodbye for now 🙂

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Bangkok again!

The only thing that cheered me up about not staying in Cambodia for longer was the fact I was going to Bangkok again. We found a gem of a hostel in a very different part of Bangkok than I was before and it was right on the BTS line. Adventure hostel had free breakfast all day which was just cereal, bread, noodles and biscuits but available all the time with dvds and music and a wii to play with, we were in our element!

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We arrived on a Saturday evening on another very comfortable sleeper bus. Birder was a long walk through but easy. We arrived on the weekend on purpose so we could make the famous Chatuchak market. We got up early on the Sunday and spent the whole day in the market. We love bargaining and finding small souvenirs to bring home. Can’t believe it’s this time of my trip already!

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Coffee break at the markets

The next few days we spent on the train exploring different parts of the city. Lots of night markets, cluttered shopping malls, street food and a look at the famous Soi Cowboy. Tacky Street full of bars with girls in bikinis trying to pull the men in.
We met a fun group of Italians who were just starting their trip so we joined them for a birthday celebration on Soi 11 which was a nice Street with cool but very expensive bars. I got the beat suki soup I have ever tastep at the street food restaurant though. Due to the crazy prices we ended up jumping in tuks tuks and going to Koh San Road. Still as tacky and loudly as ever but cheaper drinks and packed. Too many tequilas were had.

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Going to miss glass noodle pad Thai 😦

After that night out we had a trained day and just went to a night market and to find some good satay. How am I going to cope without such amazing cheap food?!
On our last day we went to Victory Monument to wander around the crazy jam packed malls and buy a cheap ice coffee. Then we went to a beautiful roof top bar Nick found online. Its a dingy looking apartment building with a fab rooftop restaurant/bar and swimming pool. As usual drinks were crazy prices so I was on the minerals but the view was stunning.

We went to a nearby restaurant for food and then back to the hostel for a few drinks to help us sleep. With Nicely flying to London and me flying to Dubai we didnt want to stay up too late but that didn’t happen!
On the plane now and genuinely cannot believe it’s nearly 12 months I have been gone and I’m still not ready to go home.