Day 28: Chanthaburi to Ban Phe: The Real Thailand

Chanthaburi to Ban Phe

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Distance: 89.8km

Total: 1588.4km

Thai FOD: when you trip or fall, Thai people will laugh, not at you but as a way to make it fun; they do it to “save face”.

Everyday Randomness: being in the middle of a cycling sportif in Thailand!

It would be fitting that on the last full day in the saddle that it would start off raining. The rain was in fact a relief as there had been a massive thunderstorm that night! Breakfast was immense, the first buffet breakfast we’ve had this trip so I got three eggs into me for protein. The staff, as well as being amused about the general sight of us were very accommodating and gave us four free bottles of water!

Today had the most significant amount of navigation, i.e. more than 3 turns! This is due to the fact that Thailand has a very well developed road network so there are actually multiple ways to get to a place!

This meant that we were on well maintained and authentic side roads which gave us the opportunity to see how the ordinary Thai lives and not those who run guesthouses/restaurants. It turns out that it felt hugely like a Sunday at home; families gathered for food, cars lined the streets outside temples/churches and everyone with a fishing rod had it perched off any kind of bridge going!

The atmosphere was relaxed and homely, and there was a sense of pride evident in how well the football pitches and schools were maintained. The route was effortlessly varied, we cycled through every type of Asian countryside today; paddy fields, rubber trees, mangrove forests, and beaches. There was an actual cycle line just for bikes as well which was a novelty and was marked “scenic route” which was quite fitting! It was the best cycle of actual cycle touring we’ve done.

There was plenty of entertainment along the way as well as we stopped for coffee at the most quaint “bike stop” as they aptly named it. We had a chaba coffee which by taste was probably the equivalent of a flat white…it was excellent and served with a teapot of ice tea. From here we had a great vantage point at which we could watch the local sportif take place, well I hope it wasn’t a race as they were all taking it handy!

We stopped at the only village type place we came across for lunch and wow did we land on our feet. The pink noodle soup with seafood was a tasty bargain at a euro each!

From there we weren’t far from Ban Phe at all. We saw a guy pulling off the superman pose on a motorbike that must have been going at least 60km/hr, I don’t know about man of steel as it seemed pretty reckless but he definitely had nerves of steel anyways!

The last 5/6km in Ban Phe was cycling along the road beside the longest beach I’ve ever seen! It was spectacular! It went all the way into the town so we knew we wouldn’t have to track back far to get back for a dip!

The Relax Inn was ideally located at the edge of the beach and opposite the bus station. It’s a really really nice spot with friendly owners, super clean and all for €14!

Once we sorted our bus for tomorrow we went for a quick coffee which didn’t live up to the previous one but was still good and then walked along the beach at the edge of the water until the swim spot. Again the water was warm, but there was a cool breeze so it did feel a bit more natural. We lay out on the deckchairs then sipping a Chang until the onset of sunset. A brilliant afternoon, after a fittingly beautiful day of cycling!

For dinner, nightmarket wasn’t an option so we went up to a terrace on top of a hotel which served up dainty but flavoursome seafood pasta dishes! We wouldn’t usually opt for pasta (in fact I’m pretty sure ya our first time having it in Asia) but there wasn’t much choice! It was thoroughly enjoyed and we went to 7/11 for a delicious chocolate cake after which really topped it all off!

Back to Bangkok tomorrow hopefully so almost gone full circle!!!

Day 27: Trat to Chanthburi: Same Same but Different

Trat to Chanthaburi

Distance: 73.4km

Total: 1498.6km

Thai FOD: Thai people are meticulous about their appearance, often times showering twice a day and cannot understand supposedly wealthy westerns who look so shabby!

Everyday Randomness: cycling over a dead snake isn’t something one does everyday!

Would the night market also have a presence during the day? We were hoping so as there looked to be very few towns between Trat and Chanthaburi so we needed to be fed before we started!

The day market was as busy at its night version and we had a noodle soup and a coffee here for half nothing (55 baht each) as we’d say in Ireland! As we were only doing 70km today we were aiming to be in Chanthaburi for lunch and rightly so as there was nothing between the two cities. Liam did finally manage to capture some of the funny events you see over here on a daily basis:

We did manage to find a coffee stop place where the coffee was sweet and seriously good value (about 40 cent) so that just about manage to abate the hunger until about 12:30 when we located the Muslim Restaurant (it’s actual) name which was recommended by the lonely planet. Well recommend as we can attest to. The biryani  (only 50baht!!) was not exactly typical but was full of flavour without being in anyway overpowering. They made their own yogurt as well which was refreshingly light. We finished the meal by sharing an egg paratha which had the perfect hint of sweetness and was aptly filling.

The reason for the title of the post is firstly because it is a saying all over Asia it seems and one which they revel in saying, and secondly we have already been to Chanthaburi but this time we’re taking a different approach. The Hop Inn where we stayed the last time was essentially a travel lodge and was ideal for us as we had gotten in late and we were getting out early. However this time we knew we would have the whole afternoon and evening so we treated ourselves but booking a bungalow in a quiet resort with a pool. It’s still only €16 each with breakfast included and we have been spending about €4 each a night for the past few days so we probably deserve it!

The bungalow room is huge with a most luxurious couch, the pool is at a perfect temperature (colder than the see) and is literally on the bank of the river! Bliss.

Brilliantly, there is complimentary fruit here, chopped and prepared to snack on. We spent the afternoon dipping into the pool and catching up on some reading. The resort doesn’t have a restaurant so we walked down to the next one which was completely empty and had a completely Thai menu. Luckily, they had high quality photos so we literally just picked what pictured well!!

By chance we had one of the best meals of the trip! Crispy, deep fat fried chicken with fried lemongrass was delishes and light. The portions were very generous as well! The seafood hotpot with an array of vegetables was amazing. The red curry was independently hot and sweet; chilli heat followed by a soft sweetness. It was a perfect balance of flavour!

Our last full day of cycling tomorrow, it’s hard to believe it’s nearly over!

Day 24: Bokor Mountain: 30km Ascent

Cycling up Bokor Mountain

Distance: 90.2km

Total: 1295km

Cambodian FOD: the building of the original road through dense jungle up to the top of Bokor Mountain (1080m) claimed 900 lives in 9 months during its construction.

Everyday Randomness: getting our first sugarcane juice in the most remote of places on top of the Bokor Mountain!

Sustainance was the focus this morning as we presumed food options on a 30km ascent of a mountain would be few and far between. A noodle soup in Jack’s Place was good value and the coffee was generously poured. They also have an adorable dog 

Bokor National Park is 7km from Kampot which is the perfect warm up for the legs. We passed a house that was completely purple,even the roof and I was half expecting to hear “Purple Rain” proudly bellowing from the window! It’s free to enter on a bicycle probably because they already know how much pain you have ahead of you! 

We passed the English couple we met last night sitting cross-legged in the grass; their motorbike had broken down! Fortunately, another one was on the way but as they were leaving for Pnomh Penh at 2pm it wasn’t ideal. “Race to the top” we said as we pedalled on.

The ascent was sublime. By far thee best ascent (and longest) I have ever completed. The new road is only 3 years old and is in excellent condition and is perfectly graded (sloped) all the way up. There is a steep kick at the very top but that’s necessary for a climatic sense of achievement.

The weather was ideal as we rose for the first 20km or so; overcast with a cooling breeze and a hint of an eery mist as we got closer to the abandoned town. The mist became less of a hint and more of a reality, like cycling through the clouds, until eventually we were in proper rain. Thankfully, some of the heavier downpours occurred when we were at the one water stop on the mountain so we were sheltered.

You start to get cold alarmingly quickly, so we braved it and headed out. It began to clear up shortly after that and we had most of the climbing done at that point so it really wasn’t that grim at all! You couldn’t be homesick for Irish weather after it, that’s for sure!

Throughout the ascent we were greeted with downright shock, disbelief and admiration. One tourist on a motorbike bike just nodded his head a few times as he went past in a tone of “fair play”. Little do they know that I have struggled far more with climbs in Ireland, where the gradient and road conditions are so much tougher. When we reached the summit we even had a few people come up to us and congratulate us, I’d say they thought we’d never make it!

The top of the mountain was once a resort for the wealthy French who wanted to retreat from the humidity. It was then abandoned, but became a strategic point in the battle between the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese as it had unobstructed views of a large area. The Khmer Rouge held out in the old casino while the Vietnamese shot at them from the Catholic church. Evidence of both of these times as well was King Shinanouk’s retreat are still present and do have an innate sense of timelessness about them. However, Sihanouk built Cambodia’s first casino and unfortunately that trend continued when this most obnoxious of resorts was built. Worryingly the old casino is being renovated/restored and another casino and hotel are being built which will definitely negativly impact the ambiance but for the moment most of these developments can be ignored and the original atmosphere sampled. 

It’s easy to see why two horror movies have been shot up here as the mist seems to cling to the buildings:

The view from the old casino is as expansive as it gets with the dense jungle occupying most of the neighbouring area. It felt like a through back to what a huge portion of Cambodia used to look like until the massive problem of deforestation took a hold of the country. 

We managed to get some pot noodles to keep us ticking over as we explored the top of the mountain. We gifted ourselves with some extra climbing by going to the waterfall but it was a worthwhile excursion! The river was unexpectedly powerful given that I presume it’s source was located nearby. It was a beautiful setting for many of the locals who were picnicing. They would put our flasks of tea and crisp sandwiches to shame as they cracked into piles of rice and enough crabs to feed a couple of families!! Seriously impressive! 

A free drink came with the waterfall entry ticket (which was 75cent) so we opted for the sugarcane juice as we have been meaning to try it since last year! It’s like honeydew melon juice but that bit sweeter and thus that bit nicer! I can see why the locals love it so much as it’s refreshing without being sickly sweet! I got a picture of the juice extracting process; it’s really surprising how much liquid comes from the deceptively dry looking canes!!

With 45km done it was about time to head down the mountain and get some real food into us! I’m pretty sure the reason I love cycling is because of the feeling of descending on a bike. When you’re good and lean into the turns it feels like the movement you make while skiing and you can get into a satisfying swinging rythm. Of course there’s just the raw thrill of it as well. Wind rushing past you, the concentration needed which each turn and the speed of the straighter sections. The headwind acted as a natural pacer meaning that brakes were seldomly required. The road was quiet as we had missed the minibus tours, so we could choose our lines coming into the turns which is a rare experience! I haven’t even mentioned the views! The sun was shining at this point and the views were uninhibited by the mist so we had asecended in cloud and descended in the sun; ideal.

Pedaling back to Kampot gave us a bit of time to take in what was one of my best days on the bike. An epic of a day.

Speaking of epic, the club sandwich (essentially) we had at Jack’s Place was quite epic in itself and a great option for a 3:15pm lunch! After showering, we said we better actually buy some Kampot Pepper before we left! Supermarkets sell pepper thats actually from another part of Cambodia or even Vietnam so weavoided those. We tried the Kampot Pepper shop as we wanted something that was real but not the top end stuff as we’ll leave that to the Michelan star restaurants. Ideally, they had grade B real Kampot Pepper which was pretty much exactly what we were looking for. I’ve an extra 500 grams on my bike now but sure it’ll be worth it for the extra kick in taste for our cooking at home!

Lebanese was what we had for dinner which was an unexpected and highly enjoyable meal to say the least. Unfortunately, I was too hungry to take a picture but we ate a chicken schwarma and falafel plate with a very generous serving of hummus and seriously good garlic. The owner of Aroma house has a very homely friendliness and the restaurant’s pet chicken is just hilarious. It was a much appreciated meal after a busy day!

We headed to the Magic Sponge for some live music, where the staff are super attentive in a good way. The singer-“songwriter” was well quite mediocre and his own songs were pretty cringe for someone nearing 40. The guy who followed him was absolutely outstanding on the guitar. Even though his lyrics weren’t too inspiring, his guitar melodies more than made up for them! The two guys formed a impromptu duo which was probably the best part of the evening! A seasoned expat brought his saxophone along and endearingly chimed in with a few notes every so often after patiently waiting his turn. The music ended with a medley of songs, in fairness to them you couldn’t fault them for effort and it can be tough to get live music in Asia so it was an entertaining ole night all the same! 

Day 21: Rach Gia to Ha Tien: Beautiful Border Town

Rach Gia to Ha Tien

Distance: 90.7km

Total: 1145.4km

Vietnamese FOD: Vietnam is considered to have the lowest unemployment rate of any third world country.

Everyday Randomness: seeing a ridiculously high end road bike just onba stand at the side of the road!

Satisfying is how I would describe breakfast this morning. We haven’t had rice since the first day in Vietnam but this was covered in succulent pork and near juices making it a very tasty dish.

The first 40km were nothing like yesterday. It was a hard slog into the wind on a road so bumpy that you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on a mountain bike trail! 

Thankfully the place Liam spotted had excellent hammocks, which I learnt the word for yesterday: vông. The coffee was as good as the western people sized hammocks and the price was just incredibly cheap: 30 cent for coffee and ice tea served in a delightfully cute pot. 

Refreshed, we got back into the saddles and the pace increased with the improved road surface. We paused for a few dragon fruit which involved sampling the fruit with the seller (he tasted some too just for good measure) before buying three! One for later! 

We also passed a wedding which is always an entertaining experience for us! Last year we seemed to have a knack for arriving at wedding photo shoots such as: 

This year, we’ve only seen one photo shoot and that was at one of the temples in Angor Wat where the pure groom was sweating buckets in the heat and the attention! However, we have passed by a number of actual weddings like today. The general formula seems to be: a marquee, weighted down with flowers, must be literally on the side of the road, must play very loud music and a picture of the bride and groom already in their wedding outfits must be at the entrance:

Durians have been mentioned previously in relation to their pugent smell but let me tell you as I smelt some today I was relieved. Relieved that I didn’t have to touch or eat one. I forgot to mention that in the hostel in Saigon we were offered free (thankfully) samples of durian. Now these fruit are the most expensive fruit in Vietnam but it literally looks and feels like a raw chicken thigh. The taste is slimy, awful and uncomfortably lasting. A very unpleasant experience all round!

The road surface didn’t last too long unfortunately but the quality of views hit an all time high for the trip:

The bumpiness, potholes and headwind continued but we were literally cycling on the coast so at least we had something appealing to look at as we slogged on. Eventually the town just appeared and we had arrived before we even knew it! We cycled straight to the place we had bookmarked for lunch as it was just after 2pm.

The Oasis bar is owned by an expat who married a Vietnamese woman. Very friendly and helpful guy and the place served good food. We were parched when we got in so ordered orange juice straight away and then got baguettes with tuna and sausage respectively. It was refreshing to get something a bit different and the tuna flavour was so much stronger than I had tasted before. We chilled there for a few hours ordering coffee and beers, it was the ideal way to relax after a tiring day on the bike!

We said to ourselves that we better leave eventually so we checked in at the hotel which was conveniently only 2 minutes down the road. We intended on going back to the Oasis bar for dinner but seeing as we are going to go there for breakfast tomorrow we probably should do three courses in the same place!! The budget was tight enough anyway because we only have a certain amount of Dong left and we don’t want to have to take out anymore! 

So we found a place that is one of the busiest places I’ve seen in Asia, ever! There was a large array of choices of different types of noodles (and macaroni pasta as well of all things!), but everything came with chicken it seemed which is unusual for Vietnam. The dinner was exactly what we needed and was quite light.

We did return to the Oasis bar but only for a couple of beers which were very cheap! We were feeling a bit peckish after our light dinner so we wandered around the night market to see if something would take our fancy. We were just about to give up when we saw this “pizza* stall. Well to be fair it is pizza, they just use rice paper as the base which makes it nice and crispy and probably healthier as well! It tastes as good as it looked! Here’s hoping breakfast will live up to the hype; more on that tomorrow!

Day 19: Can Tho: Floating Markets

Can Tho: Floating Market

Vietnamese FOD: School children are summoned by traditional gongs instead of bells.

Everyday Randomness: our boat driver circling his big boat around to collect a floating pineapple in the middle of the river! 

“Alarm 4:30am” is the last thing I remember Liam saying before I was awoken by said alarm. A brisk walk got us to the waterfront by 5:00am where we were greeted by many offers of private tours.

My impression from the LP was that the Càn Tho tourist office was the place to go but it wasn’t open until 7am which didn’t make much sense as the LP said that most boats leave at 5:30. So we walked down the waterfront until we reached a kiosk where we booked a private 3hr tour (two markets) for €10 each!

The sunrise was spectacular. Well worth the early wake up time! 

The first market is the one that Can Tho is known for. Sizeable boats were laden down with hundreds of pineapples in particular! They boats cleverly had staffs upon which the good that they sold was tied to:

As the second market was further away we just passed along the main market and continued on where there we hardly any tourist boats. Before we were gone too far, a woman in a boat selling coffee came along side us; a godsend!

The great thing about this floating market tour is that you also get a considerable amount of time to take in Mekong Delta life as you go so it’s like a Mekong cruise and floating market tour in one go!

We passed fisherman expertly balanced on the narrowest of boats and multiple houses with dodgy stilt extensions until we got to the second market which was a pure local market and had a real sense of authenticity about it! It was a much more relaxed atmosphere, and we had the time to just watch and take it all in.

The way back towards Can Tho was just as relaxing as we meandered along. Back at the main market, our driver got us onto one of the massive pineapple boats where we had the best views of all!

The pineapple itself was top notch, super soft and juicy! After another lap around and with the pineapple polished off we returned to solid ground in time for breakfast at a more social hour. 

A tasty, good value soup later we went to find coffee that was a bit more upmarket than the one we had consumed at 5:30am. We found just that on Highlands coffee. After a meander around some shops we walked back to the hotel for a well needed hammock break!

Lunch involved a well traversed walk back to the waterfront but the food was well and truly worth it. It is definitely the largest portion of food we had here, ever. It was teeming with fresh vegetables:

After giving ourselves a decent amount of digestion time we did some shopping. As they as not tourist-focussed here (most just do days trips) you don’t get much hassle at all meaning it’s quite a peaceful experience!

Back at the hotel we bumped into a guy what had met in Saigon who was supposed to be in Cambodia by now so it was all very unexpected! He was off on the food tour and we left for dinner. For starter we had the same kind of dish as we had last night, barbecued pork with noodles and vegetables wrapped in rice paper, except better. Mostly because the soy sauce for dipping was less overpowering so you could taste each of the ingredients! For main course we had lovely light rice noodles with day-fresh vegetables and herbs combined with barbecued pork and fried spring rolls. It was the best Vietnamese meal we’ve had since last year! 

Dessert was hot chocolate for a change in a small french cafe which was delicious as well as something different! A different day all around for us really, here’s to a long sleep tonight! 

Day 18: My Tho to Can Tho: Island Hopping

My Tho to Can Tho

Distance: 102km

Total: 936.2km

Vietnamese FOD: The Mekong Delta is the largest rice growing region in Vietnam. It produces almost 2/3 of the rice in Vietnam.

Everyday Randomness: getting lost on one of the thousands of islands in the Mekong Delta.

We took three ferries today and were on as many islands; island hopping I believe is the term. The first was at about the 35km mark after we had successfully tasted the Hu Tieu that we tried to get last night in a lovely riverfront cafe. They also served a hearty cup of coffee. Speaking of coffee, it is a religion over here! This morning we struggled to find places something other than just coffee!

The first ferry crossing didn’t appear on Google maps, in fact the entire river we were about to cross wasn’t there but with maps.me not giving us much to go by we said we take it.

We arrived on a beautiful, small (or so I thought) island with vibrant flowers and surprised residents. We were hoping that where the road ended on the map would also coincide with a ferry crossing but the road just kept on going. For a long while I thought we were going to have to circle the entire island (which I came to realise is very big) just to get back to where we started and we didn’t have a notion what our next move from there would be!

This map gives an indication of just how many islands there are!

Thankfully we arrived at the original ferry line that Google maps had in and all was right with the world! We were very relieved! I wish I could’ve enjoyed the cycle around the island a bit more but sure I’ll enjoy the memories!!!

Parts of the next island seemed to be complete mud baths and we had to get off at times to walk with the bikes. As open street maps was highly inaccurate here we couldn’t tell which roads were “roads” (well wide dirt tracks), which ones were paved roads the width of a footpath and which were literally single tracks in the jungle! I lost count of the number of U-turns we had to make but eventually we managed to find an actual road. I have never been so happy to see tarmacadam!!!

We returned to easier navigation for about 5km or so until we dagger into a cafe for shelter from the rain. Crucially, they had hammocks so this was a particularly good rain break! After about 20 minutes the rain had eased up and didn’t really look like it was going to stop anytime soon so we put the coats on and braved it. It was only 10km to our planned food stop but the rain did get heavier at times and if we were further away we probably would have pulled in!

It stopped completely once we reached the last ferry, which was a case of getting the elbows out to get on it! After the crossing we had a pitstop to put oil on the chains after they had been washed out by the hose in Sisophon. It made some difference and we gliding the next 20km until we got to this bridge, which involved more steady pushing but provided some good views! 

Hotel Xiao (mango hotel) was easy to find due to the mango colour of the hotel. We arrived absolutely filthy from all the rain but we’re delighted to find out that there was a food tour on that evening for the price of the food and a tip of just $5!! Which is extremely good value! 

We scrubbed up and chilled out on the hammocks on the rooftop terrace with a beer until it was time for the tour. The guide had very good English and was a chirpy fellow, he even knew where Ireland was which was a first!! The tour started with barbecue pork in rice paper with so many ingrediant! The root locus and lemongrass (unsure if it was the same lemongrass as is in Thailand) were particularly tasty and the pork was succulent! A good start!

Muffins of all things were on the menu next! The muffins were made rice, contained minced pork and prawns. We wrapped some of the muffin in a mustard leaf together with lettuce and mint. It was then dipped in a fish sauce. It was really really good and totally unique!

Usually the hot pot dishes here can be a bit hit and miss but the next spot had the most delicious eggplant and minced pork hotpot (and beer for €0.50 which is always a plus). Field mice are a speciality in South Vietnam supposedly and this place did very good mice, unfortunately no one else on the tour was up for tasting it so I’ll have to try and convince Liam to go back there tomorrow!!

The dessert stop (Vietnamese people don’t have dessert, to quote the guide “we don’t have any rules, we just eat what we want whenever”) was sticky rice. The woman on the street selling it is there 365 days of the year and I can see why. The sticky rice (normal and turmeric flavour) is put into a waffle with coconut, sugar and peanuts and the whole thing is wrapped in rice paper! Absolutely delicious!

After the tour we walked around the night market which had all kinds of strange food options! We found a stall that sold the savoury pancakes that we had in Dalat last year so we had one of those as well just to add our own stop to the food tour! The pancake was fantastically light and the chilli sauce packed a bit of a kick!

Went to bed very content and early as we have a 4:30am start tomorrow!

Day 3: Pailin to Battambang: that French Feeling

Pailin to Battambang

Distance: 89km

Total: 193.2km

Everyday Randomness: Buddhists Monks and monks in training walking to collect alms in order of height!

Cambodian FOD: there has never been a McDonald’s in Cambodia.

Today began with a great breakfast in the Bamboo restaurant. There is something great about eating a meal containing food from all the food groups at the start of the day! The ice coffee served as a pleasant kick starter!

The outskirts of Pailin were quite picturesque. The roads were undulating by Cambodian standards so sloping for Irish people. The temperature was perfect for cycling even though there was rain clinging to the small hills surrounding us. We contemplated stopping for coffee to let it pass over us but decided to push on as we wanted to spend a good half day in Battambang.

We were going a fair clip and thus only experience a cooling mist from the rain. The last 40km or so in Battambang was typical Cambodian countryside, interrupted by small villages. The hunger was really starting to kick in with 20km left to go, well what we thought was 20km and was more like 30km in the end!
Some tiny sweet bananas costing 1cent each sustained us until we reached the “Here Be Dragons” hostel located on the river. We kept our free beer tokens you get on arrival for the evening and opted to go straight for lunch.

Battambang is Cambodia’s 3rd largest city but doesn’t feel like a city at all in terms of size. It retains a lot of the colonial buildings (French) and has a creative, artistic and relaxed vibe. I liked it straight away. We had a fantastically fresh tasting lunch in the White Rose which thankfully had a large indoor area as there was an enormous downpour of rain. This led to entertaining scenes as we sipped our passion fruit smoothie which was divine.

 

We nipped back to the hostel briefly before departing for our cooking class (a change of tuk tuk driver half way through was required as the engine cut out from all the rain!)

I could not recommend our cooking class  more. A thoroughly enjoyable and tasty event! The class is in the restaurant Coconut Lyly and is run by Lyly himself who is trained in cooking and it includes a market visit. He came back home to set up a restaurant when his father became blind. He is one of the most genuine people I’ve met, he pays attention to even the small details and has a warm sense of humour. It is exceptional value and the food is delicious! The whole experience is very well run and you also get a recipe book at the end. It should be twice the price ($10) that it is in my opinion! 

After dinner, which consisted of eating the meals from the previous 3 hours we headed back to the hostel to claim our free beers and settled in for the quiz. On short notice the only name we could come up with was “my goodness, my quizness”… despite coming second in the first round (science) we still managed to come last due to questions with a very British bias shall we say!