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The importance of learning the local language

We’ve been in Thailand for 8 months now and although Thai is a difficult language to learn (it’s a tonal language), we’ve managed to pick-up enough of it to get by on, which has not only made communicating easier, but has also enriched our Thai experience. Wherever you’re travelling to, we think it’s important to learn a few words before you go, so that you are able to communicate (even just a little bit), with the local people. Believe us, it really does make all the difference.

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Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival 2012

Imagine tens of thousands of paper lanterns illuminated bright orange by their flame, floating simultaneously into the darkness of the night sky. Add to this picture, the peaceful ambience of a traditional Lanna Buddhist festival, where prayer and chanting precede the lantern release, and the excitement of thousands local Thais and tourists bursting with excitement in anticipation of making a wish and seeing their troubles drift away in a collective galaxy of lanterns. This is the Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival, a festival like no other.

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Swimming with whale sharks

During our three week tour of the Philippines back in October 2012, we had the opportunity to swim with whale sharks in one of the more remote, ‘off the beaten track’ kind of places, and so we thought it was an opportunity we just had to take. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s not everyday that you get to swim with the world’s biggest fish, is it.

However, following our brief encounter with these majestic beasts we found ourselves asking: Was it worth it, and more importantly, is it right?

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