Archive for the '52 Lists' Category

List 52/52 – The Best of the Lists

It’s the last Sunday of the year which means my 52 Lists project has come to an end! For my final list I’ve looked back over all the lists from the last year and chosen my favourites. Here they are in order of posting:

1. List 24/52 – 7 Reasons For Our Six Month Family Trip

2. List 29/52 – Things We’ve Learned So Far About Traveling With (Our) Kids

3. List 35/52 – The Places Ed Napped Last Week

4. List 43/52 – Family Accommodation in Singapore and Malaysia

5. List 46/52 – Costs in Thailand

6. List 47/52 – Family Accommodation in Thailand

It was interesting reading back over some of the planning lists from earlier in the year, particularly those wondering what we needed to take with us. I might revisit some of them with post-travel updates when we’ve finished the trip.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A little bit of Thailand in England. Merry Christmas!

The kids in their Thai outfits for Christmas.


List 51/52 – Thoughts of Home

As we near the end of our big trip our thoughts are turning more often to home. These are the things we are most excited about.

1. My bed. My lovely comfortable bed.

2. Just being in our house.

3. Seeing friends and family.

4. Good coffee just a short walk away in all directions.

5. Getting back into crafting and sewing.

6. Getting back into running.

7. Summer weather.

8. Seeing what else we can purge that we haven’t missed.

9. Playing with the toy kitchen again (Edward.)

10. Playing with friends (Lillian and Edward.)

11. The few weeks of ‘holiday’ before Lil goes back to school.

12. Planning the next (not as big) trip!

Day 29: hot #fmsphotoaday

Summer in Newcastle


List 50/52 – Stories To Keep The Kids Quiet While Traveling

A sure-fire way to keep the kids quiet while traveling on a train is for Dave to tell them a story. Some he tells from memory based on books he’s read or movies he’s seen. Some he reads from his phone. The kids love it and even Ed will sit quietly and listen. Here are some of the stories we’ve had lately:

– The Hunger Games (Dave saw the movie on DVD in Bangkok.)

– Theseus and the Minotaur

– The Jungle Book

– The Golden Bird

– The Nativity Story (by request after we saw an exhibition of nativity scenes in the cathedral in Brussels.)

– Medusa and Perseus

– The story of Mary Queen of Scots and James I (following our visit to Edinburgh Castle.)

– Hans in Luck

– The Traveling Musicians

Ed was also quite interested in a bit of ‘Diana: Her Life in Fashion’ that I read to him. It was in our first Paris apartment (more on that to come eventually.)


Nativity Scene in Brussels’ Grand Place


List 49/52 – Five Months of Trip Stats

Month five is finished which means we’re on our final month now. A little bit sad and a little bit exciting. Here are the updated stats:

– Number of countries visited: 7 (counting the hour in Myanmar!)
– Days traveling: 153
– Places stayed overnight: 29
– Average number of nights in each place: 5.3
– Modes of transport: 9
– Total hours actually traveling between places: 111 hrs
– Hours on planes: 25.5 hrs
– Hours on trains: 22.5 hrs
– Hours on buses: 27 hrs
– Hours on minibuses: 11.5 hrs
– Hours on boats: 21 hrs
– Hours on sangthaew: 3.5 hrs

Arriving in The Netherlands this morning. We're cosy in our apartment now after getting lost and very wet on the way here. Junior Eurovision is on TV. It's going to be an effort to go out again but we do need food.

Arriving in The Netherlands by overnight ferry from England.


List 48/52 – Dave’s Favourite Things About Scotland

I usually try to publish these list posts on a Sunday but this week has gotten away from me! Ed has stopped having a nap unless we’re out and about and so blogging time is even scarcer these days.

This week’s list is from Dave. We’ve just had a great two weeks revisiting Scotland (more on all that to come) and these are his favourite things Scottish.

1. Sunsets that last all day (in Winter), or rather, sunrises and sunsets that meet somewhere briefly in the middle.


Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park

2. The friendly people.

3. The accent and language, or, patter.

Brushing up on the lingo.

Glesga Patter

4. The beautiful scenery.

5. The castles.

6. The whiskey.

river view

View from the Wallace Monument near Stirling

7. Catching up with old friends this time around.

8. Feeling less like tourists and more at home because we’ve lived there before and know where things are.

9. Showing the kids places we’ve talked about.

10. The cosy pubs and good pub food and the fact that many allow kids.

The Ship Inn Broughty Ferry

The Ship Inn Broughty Ferry


List 47/52 – Family Accommodation in Thailand

Here is a list of every hotel, guesthouse and bungalow we stayed in during our time in Thailand. All these rooms accommodated two adults and two kids (aged 6 and 3.)

1. Hat Yai – Laemthong Hotel – $AUD25 – one double bed and one single bed with air-con, tv, fridge. Wifi in lobby and sometimes in room. Not clean and do not recommend. Read more here.

2. Koh Phangan – Lime n Soda – $AUD47 – buffet breakfast included, bungalow with two double beds, air-con, tv, wifi best in restaurant but did reach the room at times. Swimming pool with no shallow bit for kids. Good location near pier in Thong Sala. Friendly staff. Not the nicest beach. Read more here.

Lime n soda bungalow

Lime n Soda bungalow

3. Koh Phangan, Haad Yao – Sandy Bay Bungalows – $AUD69 – enormous bungalow with two double beds, air-con, fridge, spotty wifi, huge bathroom, sitting area on verandah, swimming pool with shallow sections, nice beach a few steps away. Read more here.

4. Koh Samui – Ibis Bophut Hotel – $AUD94 – two interconnecting double rooms, very comfy beds, air-con, wifi, wii player, free drinking water, three swimming pools, right on beach. Read more here.

5. Bangkok – Air BnB Apartment ‘Sunset by the River’ – $AUD86 – two bedroom apartment, air-con, kitchen, wifi, washing machine, swimming pool, two bathrooms, one with bathtub. Read more here.

air bnb apartment

Bangkok Air BnB Apartment

6. The sixth place we stayed in Thailand was our homestay while volunteer English teaching in Sisaket. More about that here and here.

7. Bangkok – Air BnB Apartment Baan Chaophraya – $AUD72 – one bedroom apartment with kitchen, washing machine, wifi, sofa bed in living room. Read more here.

8. Kanchanaburi – Pong Phen Guesthouse – 1000 baht ($AUD34) – large room with one single bed and one double, air-con, tv, fridge with free water and soft drink, swimming pool. Wifi good in restaurant but not so good in room. Read more here.

9. Ayutthaya – Baan Lotus Guesthouse – 800 baht ($AUD27) – triple room with three single beds, air con, wifi. Read more here.

Baan Lotus Guesthouse Ayutthaya

Baan Lotus Guesthouse Ayutthaya

10. Sukhothai – Baan Georges Guesthouse – 1000 baht ($AUD34) – good breakfast included, family room with big double bed and bunk beds, fridge, air-con, tv, wifi, free water, daily cleaning, great shower, swimming pool, rooftop terrace, free bus station transfers. Highly recommend! Read more here.

Baan Georges Guesthouse

Baan Georges Guesthouse Sukhothai

11. Chiang Mai – Thapae Garden Guesthouse – 890 baht ($AUD29) – one double bed and one single, fridge, air-con, tv, wifi, very cold swimming pool, free water, room cleaning every second day. Read more here.

12. Chiang Dao – Chiang Dao Nest 1 – 1195 baht ($AUD40) – bungalow with one double bed and an extra single bed, fan, free water, swimming pool, play area for kids, wifi in restaurant. Read more here.

our abode

Chiang Dao Nest Bungalow

13. Tha Ton – Sappaya Guesthouse – 700 baht ($AUD23) – shared bathroom, one double and one single bed, fan, wifi, DIY breakfast included, free water, river view. Read more here.

14. Mae Salong – Little Home Guesthouse – 600 baht ($AUD20) – bungalow with two single beds, tv, big bathroom, free water. Read more here.

15. Mae Sai – Navy Home Hotel – 1000 baht ($AUD34) – big room, two double beds, fridge, air-con, tv, free water, hotel looks like a ship! Read more here.

16. Chiang Rai – Chez Moi Handicraft and Homestay – 650 baht ($AUD22) – including cooked Thai breakfast, fan room with one single and one double bed. Read more here.

Chez Moi Homestay Chiang Rai

Chez Moi Homestay Chiang Rai

17. Our final place in Thailand was back in Bangkok at the same apartment as number 7.

List 46/52 – Costs in Thailand

coin bowls

Temple coin bowls

At time of writing $AUD1 equals about 30 baht.

– Our cheapest accommodation: 600 baht

– Our most expensive accommodation: 2500 baht

– One way internal flights with Nok Air for four people: about $AUD200

– Visa extension for 30 days: 1900 baht per person

– Coffee: ranged from 15 baht for a cup of instant to over 100 for a coffee from international coffee chains. Usually about 50 – 70.

– Small bottle of water: 10 baht

– Big bottle of Chang beer: 65 – 90 baht

– Thai dish in a restaurant: 50 – 90 baht

– A serve of plain rice: 10 – 20 baht

– Condensed milk roti: 5 – 15 baht

– Banana waffles at market: 20 baht

– Loaf of bread: 37 baht

– Ice-cream: Thai style on a stick 10 baht, Cornetto 24 baht

– Short tuk tuk or songthaew ride: 40 – 80 baht (for 4)

– One hour songthaew between towns: 100 – 200 baht (for 4)

– Local bus between towns: 70 – 100 baht (for 4)

– Skytrain ride: 35 – 45 baht per person

– Taxi from airport to Bangkok: 400 – 500 baht inc. tolls

– Cross river ferry in Bangkok: 3.50 baht

– Laundry: 20 – 50 baht per kilo

– Nappies: 37 baht for a 3 pack, 150 – 180 baht for a 12 pack (pull-ups)

– Foot massage: 180 – 200 baht per hour

– One month data on sim card: 399 baht

– Entry to Grand Palace in Bangkok: 500 baht per person