I am going Contiki!
Grand Southern (Start Los Angeles)
8 6 days to go
21-year-old Female living in Cairns, QLD Australia
I love travelling and sharing my stories. I've gone all around Europe and South East Asia with Contiki, plus I've been to India, Nepal, Bali, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and LA.
Level 2 Traveler
Trips I've Done
Uploaded by Alexandra
Amazing (and cheap) trip!!
The Big Indochina Adventure 4 countries \ 25 days
06 Jan 2013 - 30 Jan 2013 \ This tour was absolutely incredible. My mum did a similar tour with Intrepid a couple of years ago and always went on about how amazing it was over there, so I knew I had to go. I did this tour in January of 2013 with one of my friends who I met on my Europe Contiki tour. We had such an amazing time and the tour just made us even better and closer friends. The other travellers were all so amazing. One thing that is certain when you travel on a big tour like this, is that you will meet some really great, interesting and entertaining people. We made some friends who (as I said about my last tour) I know we will be friends for a lifetime. A lot of people joined the Contiki meet up online for our tour, so we got to talk to a few other travellers before the tour actually started. My friend started up a Facebook group so that we could talk and get to know each other even more easily, which I found was really good. For the first couple of days that we were there before the tour started we were able to get in touch and meet up with some people early. Our tour manager, Rory, was a little seedy to be honest. He never made a move on me (he wouldn't dare!) but I know that he did on a couple of the other girls, and they found it really uncomfortable... which obviously sucked. He did however give us a 'Rory's Tips' page in each of the more major destinations we went which I did find to be fairly helpful and all the local drivers and tour guides we got in each location were very knowledgeable and friendly. South East Asia is so cheap, so it's really easy to find nicer accommodation at reasonably cheap prices. All the hotels we stayed at were in excellent locations, clean and comfortable (some were actually really fancy! - Chiang Rai for example). It is winter over there during that time of year, so the weather was perfect! It only rained once the whole time we were there, that was one morning in Hoi An. Other than that it was blue skies and perfect temperature. Bangkok was pretty humid, but where I live it's like that all the time so I'm used to it. In the more Northern regions it was a little chilly, but all you needed was a cardigan or a light hoodie. As the weather is so nice that time of year, all you really need to pack is shorts and t-shirts (and a cardigan). Oh, and a few casual dresses for night time. It's is so casual and chilled out over there, so don't take anything fancy because chances are you won't ever wear it. For shoes, thongs or sandals are fine. I lived in my Country Road jelly sandals. I did all the optional extras. There aren't that many and they are all pretty cheap so I recommend that you do them all. The cooking class in Vietnam was so good. We all cooked up a storm and the marinated chicken we made was to die for! The Kuang Si Waterfalls was also another must. It was so beautiful there. The water is an incredible baby blue and the waterfalls cascade down one another. The water absolutely freezing. It's like that all year round, but it's so worth going in, you'll regret it if you don't. Honestly, you can't go all that way and not go in! There is a rope swing and a higher waterfall you can jump off into the main swimming area, but you can even choose any of the other more private ones to swim in. Also, the day trip out snorkelling in Nha Trang was another great optional extra. In Vang Vieng we did a couple of extra activities that weren't apart of Contiki's optional extras. We got Rory to organise them for us. We had one of the funnest, funniest, action packed days every. In the morning we went for an 11km kayak (not as bad as it sounds - we are beginner level kayakers), which included a little caving (which was so scary… he made me go first into a pitch black cave with water up to my armpits and just said 'Go! Walk until you reach the shore!'... Excuses me, mate, I've seen Anacondas! I know what happens next). After that we had some spare time so we went and hired scooters and cruised around doing mainies (for anyone who isn't Australian - that basically means driving up and down the main street. We're so cool, I know!). We ended the day by going hot air ballooning, but I swear our balloon driver didn't know what he was doing because we crashed into 2 trees and then crash landed in a bunch of trees! That was one of my favourite days of the whole tour. The food everywhere was amazing. I love Thai curry! I couldn't get enough of it. Although, I am a pretty fussy eater and I think I may have gotten the whole way through Laos without eating any of the local food. All the food and drink is extremely cheap. It really hurt when I got home and tried to order a cocktail only to remember it is $18, not $2 like over there. That truly broke my heart… and because it is so cheap I came back with pretty much all my spending money I went over with. This tour was spectacular. The only thing that was slightly annoying about the tour is in a lot of the main sights you didn't get nearly enough time for photos. However, I still would 100% recommend this tour to anyone. It is so cheap and there is so much to see and explore. With all the sights, smells, and sounds you can't help but appreciate the culture. I have gained so many fond new memories and friends and I couldn't be more grateful. I'd say this tour is ideal for anyone looking to travel, you can do it on a budget or go all out, it's up to you! I will definitely be back to South East Asia, you can count on that.
This tour was absolutely incredible. My mum did a similar tour with Intrepid a couple of years ago and always went on about how amazin... read more
Uploaded by Alexandra
The view from our last summer!
European Explorer plus Greek Island Cruising 16 countries \ 34 days
04 Sep 2011 - 06 Oct 2011 \ This trip was amazing, incredible, spectacular and so much more. I went on the one in September 2011 for my gap year. I was travelling alone, but I knew that I would meet some friends on the tour... and that I did. I met some really wonderful people who I know that I will be friends with forever (in fact, we are all meeting up in Sydney in 2 weeks for the weekend and I'm doing another Contiki soon with a girl I met on this one!). I became really close with 5 other girls on the tour and we started a band - not really, but that's what we called ourselves instead of a gang or team or group or whatever. It's kind of an inside joke... but that's the whole point!!! Our tour manager Filippo and our driver Katya were so good at everything. They were so helpful. Filippo has 'Filippo's Tips' for every place we went, which was a double sided page with hints and tips of all the good places to go while we were there. As he explained it, the tour is like a cheese platter - you are just getting a taste for each place, so you can see which ones you really want to go back to. Which is the perfect way to describe it. The hotels we stayed at were nice. Some of them were a little out of the way (the one in Amsterdam for example, and Paris a bit too) so if you went into town for the day you had to say there. There was no coming back to get things you forgot, or to have a nap, or whatever you wanted to do - unless you were willing to pay the taxi fare. Which probably wasn't much in the grand scheme of things, but still, the brochure made it sound like the hotels were right in the thick of things. Although, to be fair, a lot of the hotels were in pretty good locations - London, Nice, Rome the main ones I can think of. It was probably a 50/50 split. I did all the optional extras. They were all really good. Some of them were good, and I enjoyed them, but I probably could have survived without doing it. The Opera in Austria for example. One thing I would recommend you try is parasailing in Nice. It isn't an optional extra with Contiki, but if you go down to the beach you can book it there. I did it with 2 other girls and it was so much fun! They take you up and then dunk you in the water!!!!!! The weather was perfect the whole time I was there. I think it rained once (and when I say it rained, it was more like a drizzle) on the last day in Amsterdam. Other than that it was blue skies and sunshine everyday. The bus that we got was a tester bus that Mercedes was trying out with Contiki. It was really spacious and comfortable. The only down sides were that it didn't have power plugs, so we couldn't change things during the long drives, and there was a toilet too (sounds like it may be a positive... but it wasn't). The rule was 'NO POO IN THE LOO!'. One chick didn't understand this rule though - a couple of times!!! - so when that happened the whole bus reeked until it could be cleaned out at the next service stop! The food was alright. I am a pretty fussy eater though so I'm not the best person when it comes to explaining how the food was (I know! I need to quit it!). A running joke of the food came about pretty soon though. We seemed to get chicken and potatoes every night - What's for dinner? Chicken and potatoes for a change! By the end of the tour I was definitely craving a decent steak that's for sure. On Contiki, I have learned, that a theme song for the tour is chosen and is the first song played every time you get on the bus. Last Summer by the Lostprophets was the theme song. Overall, the tour was amazing. I would highly recommend it!!!! If you get the chance, this is a really excellent tour and should consider going on it. I have so many incredible memories. We had so many laughs. We all made so many wonderful new friends. It was my first time in Europe and I can't wait to get back! I will leave you with Filippo's favourite quote that he told us on the first day: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
This trip was amazing, incredible, spectacular and so much more. I went on the one in September 2011 for my gap year. I was trave... read more
Places I've Been (?)
- Holy See (Vatican City State)
- Lao People's Democratic Republic
- United Kingdom