December Round Up – Last Big Trip of the Year

December Round Up - Last Big Trip of the Year

Happy New Year everyone! Anyone else have absolutely no idea what day it is? I’ve spent the last week or so huddled up at home in Weymouth with my (massive) family, playing toys, eating sweets, watching about 8 kids films a day, and generally loving life. With five siblings and NINE nieces and nephews, my Christmasses are always too big and too chaotic, and I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way.

Christmas is my favourite time of year, because it feels like childhood again. Not because of all the magic and toys etc, but because there are way too many of us squished into one house! We’re all on top of each other, driving each other crazy, but this is what growing up in the Luxton family was like, so I like to recreate that chaos (in small, temporary doses!). I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas, wherever you are in the world!

December has been a hectic month. On the 1st, I was in Bangkok – and from there I travelled across Thailand, through Cambodia, and finally up through Vietnam, flying home on the 14th. Then it was a week of work, catching up with friends, and events, before heading to Weymouth for Christmas time. Here are a few of my highlights from December…

December Round Up - Last Big Trip of the Year

Christmas in the Luxton house!

The Great Asian Overland Adventure (Part 2)

In case you missed me going on and ON about it, my last trip of the year was a big one. I spent a month travelling from Singapore to Hanoi overland, almost entirely by rail. Ten trains, three buses, eight boats, countless rickshaws and mopeds, five countries, and who knows how much food. It was great!

Don’t miss my updates from the road to find out more about it! But here are the highlights from the second half of the trip.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cambodia

Cambodia was the only new country of the trip for me, and one that I was a little unsure about. I’d had so many warnings about it while I was planning (as so often happens) that it had started to almost put me off. But, as usual, I fell in love almost instantly.

From seeing sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat, to watching the awesome Phare Circus in Siem Reap, Cambodia just continually blew me away. There was sadness at the Genocide Museum and Killing Fields, and bittersweet moments at various charities I discovered in Phnom Penh. There were some lovely meetings and some incredible people, as well as seriously beautiful landscapes. I was only there for a short time, but the country has left such a strong impression on me – I can’t wait to return.

READ MORE: 16 things to do in Siem Reap

 
 
 
 
 
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Vietnam

From Cambodia, I headed into Vietnam and travelled all the way from HCMC to Hanoi – stopping in Hoi An (literally just because of a sandwich) and Hue along the way. Central Vietnam had crazy rain and flooding, which slowed the whole journey down, but couldn’t stop me from doing the one thing I love most – eating!

I only scheduled a stop in Hoi An because of banh mi – specifically, the one from Banh Mi Phuong – and despite arriving in the city exhausted after a 30-odd hour journey, I went straight there! It was a brilliant stopover in one of my all time favourite cities, with tons of great food, multiple trips to the same banh mi shop, and a fun little afternoon making lanterns.

 
 
 
 
 
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In Hue, I spent a full day eating my way around the city – research for a food guide I’m planning – and was also able to meet up with Lien, a girl I met four years ago when I last visited. When I first met her, she’d just started up the I Love Hue tour company – four years on and she’s running tours across the whole of Vietnam, as well as in a few neighbouring countries. It was so good to catch up with her and hear about all the awesome stuff she’s been doing.

Hanoi was another few days of eating everything in sight. Egg coffee, pho, more banh mi, bun cha, spring rolls, chicken noodles… essentially everything I could get my hands on. I love Vietnamese food!

 
 
 
 
 
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Home Again

Since getting home in the middle of December I’ve been living inside that weird bubble of suspended reality that is Christmas. Parties, Christmas movies, all the chocolate, and loads of time hanging out with the billions of kids in my families. It’s been lovely!
Where’s Next

I feel like I say this in every December round-up, but once again I have no idea where I’m heading next! This time, though, I am incredibly happy about that. After taking over a month off for my Asia trip (and xmas) I NEED to buckle down and get some serious work done. Expect to see a lot of Asia content coming over the next few weeks!! And if you have a great idea for where I should head once I’m all caught up and ready to get adventuring again, drop me a comment.

How was your Christmas this year? Scroll down and leave me a comment – let me know where in the world you celebrated!

About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!

2 Comments

  1. Cracking read. It makes me want to catch a flight tomorrow back to Asia. I’m looking forward to reading about your Cambodia experience as I’ll be heading there for the first time in 2019. California is worth a visit if you’ve not been. So much to see and do. Happy new year. Al.

    • Thanks so much Al!! Happy new year to you :) I am hopefully going to be posting about the Cambodia trips in the next couple of weeks, just got a couple of work-y blog posts to get through first and then I can start the Asia content. I’m excited to write it all!!!

      California has been on my list for a while – and now that Star Wars land is opening up at Disney it’s even MORE on my list haha!

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