Ahhh and we arrived in paradise very early in the morning on Sunday to this absolute dream of a place. We are staying at the Frangipani Resort in the South West coast of the Island. It is super quiet and away from civilisation but at the same time an easy and quick walk to lots of restaurants, bars, shops etc. There are 2 pools, one of which we didn't go to...as the view from the pool by our room had this view...
So can you blame us?!
Langkawi was recommended as it had best of both, things to do as well as a lovely place to relax. Now I can only vouch for the latter as, don't judge us, but we did none of the tourist attractions!! I did however read 3 books and do some mindful colouring as well as running and swimming. Now that is what I call a proper holiday!! So I don't have much to say about the Island itself, apart from how beautiful it was and the places where we ate were great. It has a good variety of cuisines but the Malay food really is delicious and a lot cheaper too! Enjoy the photos...especially the sunset's which we could watch from our loungers, heavenly.
The Frangipani Resort
Excellent week feeling ready for the long 11 week half term to Christmas holidays in Australia!!
As we make our way around some of the nicest hotels in the world.. where better to stay to celebrate Matt's 29th birthday but the Four Seasons Hotel in Guangzhou at the top of the IFC. And to top it off, it is the start of our half term break!! Breathtaking views across the city in the river view room we had and all the luxuries you would expect from the 5 star hotel. And a few extra perks as we found out that Matt teaches the hotel managers daughter who spotted us in the lift and told her dad!! Excellent!!
Reservations on the 101st floor at the seafood restaurant did not disappoint with wine and food being absolutely incredible!!
Before we checked out for our flight that evening to Langkawi, we enjoyed making use of the pool and spa. And enjoyed a lovely sunny day (without the humidity!) getting lunch at the new Sunshine Cafe near our building.
Another holiday I hear you say... yes! A long weekend for a Chinese National holiday and a group of us went North to explore the Zhangjiajie National Park, dubbed as the inspiration for the scenery in the film Avatar. It was only a couple of hour flight and then about an hours journey to our hotel.
The Hotel: No 5 The Valley
The hotel was in a beautiful spot on the outskirts of the Park. We explored this area of tranquility at the start of our first day and then went on a trip along the river at the bottom of the national park to ease us into our stay after a very late arrival!! Whilst the hotel was an hour from the airport (mainly due to the state of the road for the last 40mins!!) it was on the doorstep to the entrance to the Park. Amber, one of the hotel workers was amazing at organising taxis and cars within our price we paid for our accommodation which was really handy! The hotel also did food in the evening for us. I would highly recommend it, especially with the views and quirkiness of the rooms spread out along the hillside.
Saturday: Relaxing and Afternoon Walk
Chinese Feast and Karaoke in the evening!
Sunday: The Avatar Mountains!
I really don't think my camera or photography skills can really show you how incredible this place is. After the cable car up and a couple of buses later, we enjoyed the very scenic, and fairly busy, walk around the park. It is certainly a natural wonder and absolutely beautiful.
BBQ and Fireworks
Everyone at the hotel attended the BBQ for the Chinese Lantern festival and it was quite the affair! A mixture of foreigners and Chinese people all sat down long tables enjoying all the food on offer which was really delicious. After this there was a chinese dance around the bonfire... which got a little scary as we danced around in big circles and got closer and closer to the fire. But the scariest bit was yet to come... they did a massive firework display, setting them off next to the bonfire which was about 20m from us all!!! I don't think i have been so scared but also have never seen fireworks that close and it was amazing!! (Until all the debris starts falling on you)! Then we finished off the night with another round of karaoke and even Matt and I did a little duet!!
This mountain is known as the KeyHole mountain and is close to the airport. So on Monday we packed up and made our way to this mountain. It is really convenient as they have a place to leave your bags whilst you go up and visit this area. The weather was pretty grim but we went for it anyway...However, it was really not great visibility and we didn't see the full beauty of this place. Google Tiananmen Mountain and you will see! It was pretty scary going up the 99 bends on the side of the mountain, in torrential rain and fog, we all felt lucky to be alive by the end! We chose to take the escalators up to the top to walk around rather than the 999 steps!! But there were about 10 escalators which was extreme and a group of Westerners going up became quite the tourist attraction for the Chinese people coming down!!
As I walked through the tunnel of GZ Terminal 1, I was filled with so much excitement and happiness to be able to go home just for a few days... to be bridesmaid for one of my closest friends. I know people thought it was a bit crazy to travel for 25 hours each way to be there for a friend - but that is what friendship is, it doesn't matter how far, how much, if they need you, you will be there.
It was great to see Ray and Elaine as well as the Broads and it really does cement the fact that although I am living this wonderful dream of a life out in China, and loving every moment with great people, home in the UK is really when I am truly happy.
Even managed to have my hair done, have a final lunch with James before he went to University the next day and enjoy cuddles with Misty!! And of course catching up with Mum and Dad!!
Lucy and Jacks engagement party!
Despite the jet lag and the short visit home, i managed to make Lucy and Jacks engagement party in Exeter which was SO lovely! Cannot wait until the big day next summer...
The BIG DAY!
The sun was shining down for the amazing couple and we had a lot of fun getting ready at Sarah's parents house. So many delicious snacks and giggles whilst we all got ready! So much chat about this day and now it was finally here and I felt blessed to be a part of it all.
I can't really put into words how emotional the day was and just how perfect it was. The only downside is that it only lasted a day! But on the plus side, Sarah, the other bridesmaid and close friend, kept the twins in her tummy so could be there the whole day!! I will let the photos show how magical this day was and I can't wait to relive it all again when I am home in the summer catching up with them all.
A touring show of Stomp came to GZ and it was AMAZING!! All the different ways they made music through using their hands or weird and wonderful every day items. For example, matchstick boxes, sinks, dustbins, shopping trolleys!! It was great to watch and was a lot funnier than I thought it would be given that there is no talking!
After seeing Cats when it toured the UK when I was younger I was so excited to see it again at the Opera house in GZ. The costumes, music and dancing were even better than I remembered!! A lovely Sunday afternoon out and cannot wait for the next trip to the theatre which is to see Chicago in December.
Our friend Liz is shortly off on maternity to have a little girl, who's name was revealed at our baby shower as Isla! It was a lovely afternoon (after having worked in the pouring rain all morning!) of champagne (not for all!) and food and games. A really fun time with the girls and well organised by Barbie! Now I cannot wait to meet Little Isla and also feel the pressure to do a good job for Lauren's shower in December!!