We went to Chernobyl and Pripyat…because of course we did

Couple standing in front of the abandoned ferris wheel in the town of Pripyat

Back in February, Will and I headed to Ukraine to visit Chernobyl and Pripyat.

This was 100% not a surprise to our close friends, as it’s just the type of place we’d go. However, we had so many shocked reactions from people who know us less well, wondering why we’d ever go to a place like that.

Well, this is why. It’s different, it’s interesting, it’s an experience and crucially – it’s IMPORTANT.

A major historic event took place in Chernobyl on 26th April 1986, and it needs to be remembered.

31 people died as a direct result of the Chernobyl blast, not including the fireman who gave their lives helping to contain the radiation.  In addition, untold numbers were affected following the settling of radioactive dust afterwards, its effects still undefined.

I won’t go into the finer details, but you should watch ‘Surviving Disaster‘ on YouTube – it explains everything well without losing the human element. It also stars Ade Edmondson and you can’t go wrong there, really. There is a new series on HBO called Chernobyl too, which people are enjoying – it’s great that more people know about it.

We filmed a fair amount of content whilst we were there, but not everything. Chernobyl and the ghost town Pripyat is a place that needs to be fully appreciated for what it is, rather than filmed non-stop. I’m glad we got some footage, but I’m even more glad we experienced it.

We’ve another video coming up, which includes our time staying in Ukraine and some questionable local spirits…stay tuned!

 

Prague – The Best Bits

We went to Prague back in October for a short weekend away. We’d both been before, but had never had the experience of visiting the city as a couple, so decided to crack on.

It’s really easy to get there from London, with flight times of two hours and for as little as £50 return, you’d be silly not to.

We had a great time – here are our best bits.

Local restaurants

We love trying out the local cuisine when we visit a new place, and Prague is no different. Right in the centre you can get a fair amount of over-priced European food and some Czech, but it’s definitely worth going further out to enjoy something a little more authentic (and cheaper!). We really enjoyed U Dvou koček, which is a little further out in Old Town. Will had Wild Boar Goulash for lunch and dinner! I think they brew their own beer as well and it’s really cheap – seems like lots of locals drink there too.

The Torture Museum

This one is a bit silly, but we had fun nonetheless. Right in the centre of Prague, they’ve reconstructed some deep, dark cellars and have all manner of disgusting torture implements on display. There are loads of wax mannequins being tortured to death and a vile witch on a stake who doesn’t stop screaming as you walk around. Most of the signage is in Czech, or translated into terrible English, so you can turn it into a game of ‘what implement goes in what body part’. Equally hilarious and disturbing fun. The museum takes about 30 minutes to get around, and it’s a bit of fun to break up your day, wandering the city. It cost about £12 for both of us.

The Torture Museum Prague

Nightlife

Prague is one of the most popular destinations for stag parties, and you can guarantee you’ll see a fair few fancy-dress costumes and men trying to drain the country of beer. We don’t go in much for clubbing, but there’s hundred of amazing places, including cool, dingy Absinthe bars to try out. Alcoholic drinks cost about 150czk (£5), or around 100czk (£3.20) for a beer.

People-watching

It may be a little more expensive, but set yourself up in a bar that faces out onto the Old Town Square. You’ll be able to see the Astronomical Clock and the amount of different people that walk by. Fascinating. From locals selling balloons, to hoards of Chinese tourists, to a poor Stag with his willy hanging out, to the actual Hare Krishna chanting and dancing on by…it’s SO fun, especially when you’re a bit pissed. Try Staromestska Restaurant – they have heaters and blankets outside when it’s a little cold.

Old Town Square

Trdlo – or Trdelník

These little places are everywhere in Prague! It’s sweet dough, wrapped around a stick, grilled, topped with sugar and then filled with whatever you want. The favourites seemed to be Nutella and ice cream, strawberries and cream and apple pie filling. They’re super sweet but worth having at least once. I can’t remember the exact price but they aren’t too cheap – around £3-5 depending on where you get one.

Have you been to Prague? What was your favourite part?

CORNWALL – Adventure, August 2018

Cornwall week away, including Mevagissey, St Nectan’s Glen and Boscastle!

Asia Scenic Cooking School – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Three people at Asia Scenic Cooking School wearing traditional Thai hats

We headed to Thailand in May and couldn’t wait to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai! There were so many options, but we settled on Asia Scenic Cooking School.

It was incredible! We started the morning in the home garden, full to bursting with herbs, fruit and spices to be used in the dishes. Following this, we then went to the local market, wearing full Asia Scenic uniform of course. During our time there, we spent a while learning about different types of rice, fish and vegetables. It was such a different experience from the tourist markets!

Once back in the Asia Scenic Cooking School, we began making different dishes, including soup, curry paste, curry, sticky rice and spring rolls. We’ve captured the spring rolls well in the video. Will had a great time making his…not.

We were able to sit and eat each dish, which was lovely, except we were so ridiculously full afterwards.

It was honestly such a lovely day. We picked up so many tips to use at home – and trust me I have been! We even received an Asia Scenic cookbook to take home, which has proved successful in our house.

I’d recommend Asia Scenic Cooking School to anyone. The price was amazing (about 800B for half day and 1,200B full). We met so many lovely people on our course too, with nationalities spanning Australia, Germany, Korea, Netherlands and of course, England.

If you’re in Chiang Mai and have a few hours to spare, just go for it – you won’t regret it!

Video

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Best Things To Eat In Thailand

pink fresh fruit lycheesI recently wrote a post on the best things to eat in Berlin, which inspired me to create another post focusing on our fave country, Thailand.

We’ve been twice now, and both times we’ve tried to be really adventurous with what we eat throughout the whole trip. We may have had a couple of hangover pizzas, not gonna lie, but the majority of the time we ate authentic Thai food. The food is UNREAL out there, and almost offensively cheap for how good it is.

Here are our top picks for what to eat in Thailand…visit hungry!

Pad Pak Boong (Morning Glory)

The best hangover cure EVER. It’s basically stir fried veggies, specifically water spinach with chilies. It’s quick, healthy and a perfect way to start the day. Definitely get this over there, because I’m yet to find it on a menu in the UK.

Mango Sticky Rice

My FAVOURITE! This is such a great, cheap food for breakfast, light lunch or just a quick snack. Imagine the juiciest mango ever, with a side of perfect sticky rice, covered with the sweetest coconut cream. It is the actual best. It usually costs between 40B and 60B (90p – £1.30) on the street depending on where you are, and up to 80B – 150B (£1.80 – £3.50) in a restaurant (rip off, it’s better on the street, anyway).

young man at a thai cooking class in thailand

Khao Soi (Yellow Curry)

This is a famous dish in Northern Thailand and especially in Chiang Mai. It’s a creamy but spicy curry with coconut milk and usually chicken thighs, topped with pickled shallots and crispy noodles. Buy some for 150B at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar (if you can resist all the other amazing food there!).

Fresh fruit

There’s just no excuse not to. You can buy SO much fresh fruit wherever you go in Thailand and once again, it’s better from the street. Mango, bananas, jackfruit, dragonfruit, watermelon…the list goes on. You can get a large amount of fruit for about 50B (£1) – we used to stock up and take it all down to the beach for snacking.

You can also find durian fruit, usually accompanied by a sign asking for 10B, should you want to take a picture of it. If you haven’t heard, durian is the ‘smelliest fruit in the world’, with a smell some people describe as either onions or vomit. When I smell it, I just think of bin juice. Surprisingly, it tastes fine? Odd. Most hotels ban them and put signs up with warnings of an 1000B fine should you bring them in!

girl drinking strawberry drink in chiang mai night bazaar thailand

Geang Keow Wan Gai (Green Curry)

A classic, but still worth eating! Thai Green Curry is one of the most well known Thai dishes throughout the world. It’s so cheap too. In fact, you’ll find that at restaurants, most Thai dishes are the cheapest (and nicest), whereas more European dishes are more expensive, most likely because they need to import the ingredients.

Bugs & Scorpions

Because obviously. When I went last year it was a must-do tourist thing for me, and I dutifully made my way down to Khao San Road and bought a deep-fried scorpion from a man on the street. I mean, it’s not the nicest thing in the world, but it’s not the worst. At least you can say you’ve been there, got the t-shirt (and the pic for the ‘gram!)

What have I missed? Take a look at some more of our Thailand content here and here.