Phuket and a Baby

_DSC7331Kata Beach at Sunset

It has been a while since I blogged between moving apartment, growing a human who is now a Baby Boy called Anraoí and finishing an MBA, there was not enough time to fit it all in. For the past few years, we have gone on holidays in October/November, so sticking with tradition we decided to venture back to Thailand with Anraoí this year. Unsure of what to expect, we packed the suitcase and off we went to Phuket.We stayed in the Chalong district. There is a strong focus on health and fitness there, so that was right up my alley.

Travelling with a Baby

IMG_9797These are my personal tips, other parents may do it differently. I have learned over the last few months there is no one size fits all approach to parenting. At the time of travel Anraoí was four months old, so I am sure as he ages the travelling experience will change. We travelled around by taxi or tuk tuk all week but we did see fellow travellers with their baby in a sling on mopeds. The choice is yours to make.

IMG_9768Morning Balcony View

What I learned is that when travelling with a baby the day starts early and can end anywhere between 7pm-9pm. So you learn to work the day and activities within that time frame. You need to consider nap times too. Therefore, try get accommodation that has a balcony where you can chill, practice yoga, tan, read a book or nap too. Source out restaurants that have air conditioning.

IMG_9791Attempting hollow back pose

It was a morning flight from Abu Dhabi, this helped with morning routine. The return flight was a night flight and this was brilliant as it accommodated for night time routine.Prior to leaving we arranged pick ups with our accommodation and a baby cot. For safety reasons we packed the car seat and it was helpful throughout the week. We packed a stroller and a baby bjorn sling. I know what you are thinking all this equipment for one week!

Other essentials included baby sleeping bag, suncream, baby shower gel, coconut oil, plenty of muslin cloths, light clothing, sunglasses, swim shorts and toys. The local supermarkets in Phuket stock nappies, there is even a Tesco but I brought my own supply and stocked up there too.

Eat & Drink

Munch on Protein Pancakes from The Shack

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Enjoy sunset and drinks at Kata Rocks, Phuket.

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IMG_9736Whiskey Sour 

Other places I recommend are:

The Boathouse, Phuket

The Red Duck

Santosa Phuket they offer a vegan buffet.

Pure Vegan Heaven

Greze Healthy Kitchen

Nommy Frozen Yogurt

Sweat

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You can join Unit 27, Thailand for a multitude of fitness classes every day. I joined the Primal Fitness Unit for the week because I am restoring that pelvic floor post baby, so no jumping or running movement, just yet. They have a cafe called Muscle Bar which in my opinion had the best smoothies of the week. Check out Unit 27 website for full list of classes and prices.

Fun & Frolics

Head to Nai Harn Beach and drink fresh coconuts by the sea shore.

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Old Town Phuket has beautiful architecture, street art, colourful buildings and coffee shops.

Street Art by Alex Face

There is an Cat Cafe in Phuket Old Town for cat lovers.

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IMG_9654Kata Beach, Phuket 

We survived the first holiday as parents and here’s to many more.

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Ceylon Adventure: Soul & Surf, Sri Lanka

On a recent adventure to Sri Lanka I had an extremely fun week staying in Soul and Surf. In the beginning there was 24 strangers from all corners of the earth, all under the one roof participating in daily yoga, eating all meals and surfing together. By the end of the week we were no longer strangers and I was lucky enough to have this lovely bunch along with all the crew at Soul and Surf sing “Happy Birthday”, to me with a freshly made Banana cake.

Kabalana Beach

Kabalana Beach at Sunset, Sri Lanka.

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”, (Jack Keroauc, On the Road).

The Activities

Actvity BoardSoul & Surf Daily Activity Board

Each day commences with a 6:45am Vinyasa Flow Yoga session, followed by a light snack. Surfers head off to catch some waves whilst Non Surfers (Me) visited tea plantations, had one to one private yoga session tailored for pregnancy, learned how to cook delicious Sri Lankan food and relaxed with pregnancy tailored massages. These Non Surfer activities were spread throughout the 7 day trip over the course of the day.

Yoga ViewView from the Yoga Studio.

Handunugoda Tea Plantation

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Once all the Surfers returned there was a communal area for breakfast and it was served at 11:30am. This was a nice time to catch up with the group. Lunch was served around 2:00pm. There was time to chill out, soak up the vitamin D or read a book when the rain showers appeared.

Lounge AreaLounging Area to chill out and catch up.

In the evening around 4:30pm Surfers would head off for an evening surf and upon return snacks were provided followed by dinner at 7:30-8:00pm. As a Non Surfer I was able to chill out on the beach, dip my toes in the sea and take some snaps.

_DSC6867Fisherman at Kabalana Beach, Sri Lanka.

Processed with VSCO with b2 presetStilt Fishermen, Sri Lanka.

SunsetEvening Sunset and Surf, Kabalana Beach.

Final SunsetAnother magnificent Sunset, Kabalana Beach, Sri Lanka.

_DSC6961Local Woman in Sri Lanka.

The Fuel 

Below are a colourful display of the delicious food served at Soul and Surf, Sri Lanka. If you have special dietary requirements, email beforehand and they will accommodate meal requirements. There was a mix a vegetarian and meat based options mainly chicken and fish.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetArt work in the Dinner Lounge.

_DSC6970Coconut Porridge.Fruit PlatterBreakfast Fruit Platter.

Salad OneLunch Salad usually served with Chickpea Burgers or Wraps.

Cookery ClassDinner and the Sri Lankan Cookery Class included Sri Lankan Dahl Curry, Coconut Sambol and Tempered Potatoes. There was fresh prawns served too.

_DSC6860Coconut Sambol is a traditional Sri Lankan dish made with coconut and spices.

How to get to Soul and Surf?

Airport pick up is organised with Soul & Surf Head of Vibes prior to departure. The drive is between 2.5hr -3hrs depending on weather conditions.

The Packages

Being six months pregnant I opted for the Non Surfer Package. There was ample activity planned throughout the day and massages and yoga session were tailored for pregnancy, I found this extremely helpful.

There’s plenty of surf, yoga, and activities for everyone.

STANDARD PACKAGE
7 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast, Light Lunch and 2 Course Dinner
Unlimited Drinking Water
Snacks & Water During Surf Sessions
 5 Morning’s 2hr Surf Coaching or Guide (Sun to Fri but not Weds)
 5 Evening’s Sunset-Surf Sessions (Sun to Fri but not Weds)
 1 Video Feedback Session
 1 Surf Theory Lesson
 7 Day Surfboard Hire
Complimentary Soul & Surf Rash Vest
5 Vinyasa Flow Yoga Classes
2 Yin Yoga Classes
1 Pranayama Session
1 Guided Meditation
A Group Photo
1 Guided SUP Session or Canoe Ride down the River on Weds morning

Our Non Surfer Package is specifically designed for and only available to someone who is sharing a room with a standard package guest.

NON SURFER PACKAGE
7 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast, Light Lunch and 2 Course Dinner
Unlimited Drinking Water
5 Vinyasa Flow Yoga Classes
2 Yin Yoga Classes
1 Pranayama Session
1 Guided Meditation
A One to One Yoga Class
An Extra Non-Surfer specific Yoga class (max. 3 people)
A Tuk Tuk trip to a nearby white tea plantation
Two 1hr 15min treatment with our in-house therapists
A Group Photo
A Guided SUP Session or Canoe Ride down the River on Wednesday
A Sri Lankan Cooking Demonstration

The Day Off

On Wednesday you are free agent and you can plan your own activities. We headed to Galle Fort in a tuk tuk, the drive took about 40 minutes. Galle Fort has hotels, restaurants, boutiques and jewellery shops. Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. You can arrange your travels plans with the Head of Vibes.

_DSC6932Mode of Transport in Sri Lanka a Tuk Tuk.

Galle FortGalle Fort Lighthouse.

Processed with VSCO with c2 presetSchool Children in the rain, Galle Fort.

_DSC6936Art work in Galle, Fort.

To eat in Galle Fort, visit Poonies Kitchen and try the infamous Salad Thali:

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On the final day the group heads to the beach to surf, watch the sunset and enjoy a beer. Followed by this there is a BBQ back at the Villa. Throughout the day you will need to settle any outstanding bills. This can be done with the Head of Vibes.

One leaves Soul and Surf refreshed and revitalised to take on the next challenge life presents. For further information regarding prices, please visit the Soul and Surf website 

Seminyak’s Best Breakfast Cafes

Straight up, Seminyak cafes know good food and coffee. Going out for breakfast has moved going out for dinner into second place. There was an abundance of cafes dotted around Seminyak and each had a leisurely vibe. Once you had one meal finished, the research was underway as to where to eat the next meal. Although, to be honest I was stalking all these cafes on Instagram before I travelled.

Below is a collection of images from my four favourite cafes in Seminyak, check them out on instagram by clicking on the cafe names.

Cafe Organic, Bali

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The Spicy Coconut 

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Shelter Cafe, Bali

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Revolver Espresso Boutique Coffee House

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Have you been to Seminyak? Where was your favourite place to eat and drink coffee?

Wellness Travel: Ubud

_dsc6296Tegallalang Rice Terrace

After travelling for over thirteen hours from Abu Dhabi to Denpasar Airport, Bali one cannot contain the excitement of reaching the final destination, Ubud (pronounced “oobod”). Stepping outside the airport there is a sea of people waiting in arrivals to collect tourists, its mayhem. Organised mayhem.

I had organised a driver prior to leaving, Mr Bedu’s Private Tours.  On the road to Ubud, Bali’s craft capital, the colours of Bali come alive. The sky is blue complimented by green terraced rice paddy fields, tropical flowers and mopeds are zipping everywhere. The travel time to Ubud is about two hours, depending on traffic. The streets of Ubud are bustling with locals and travelers filled with an abundance of craft shops, tattoo parlours, temples, museums, restaurants and located in the centre is the market. Ubud is peaceful and serene, life floats by freely and time was of the essence. There are so many things to do and places to eat but with only four days, I had to pick and choose wisely. Below is a list of activities and places to eat.

Accommodation

Booking.com offers accommodation options for all budgets.

img_2058Sunset from Bliss Spa, Ubud

Get Around

Hire a moped – most accommodation provides this service.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMorning Traffic in Ubud

Activities

Yoga Barn  An oasis of calm in the centre of Ubud , there is a cafe and juice bar on the premises.

_dsc6371Processed with Snapseed.Tropical Fruit Bowl Post Yoga

Green Bike Tours – Excellent tour and the ride is down hill with the offer of an off road track and cycling through rice paddy fields.

Below is a series of images I took over the duration of the cycle in the countryside of Ubud.

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Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud – free and easy trek with beautiful views.

Below is a collection of images taken along the ridge trail.

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Places to Eat

Clear Café Vegetarian Cafe with a delicious breakfast menu.

img_2418Buckwheat Pancakes with Strawberries

Alchemy Raw. Vegan. Organic.

_dsc6272Salad Bowl_dsc6275Smoothie Bowl

La Pacha Mama Plant-based Cantina Mexicana & Cocktails

Processed with VSCO with x1 presetLive Music in La Pacha Mama, Ubud

The Elephant Cafe  100% VEGETARIAN 110% AWESOME

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Kafe Great Music, Healthy Foods, Yummy Desserts & True Espresso. I came across Kafe walking home from yoga. It has lovely salad options and sells local beer and wine.

Room 4dessert offers handmade desserts, cocktails and wine.

Have you travelled to Ubud? What is your favourite memory?

Grecian Adventure Part II: Santorini

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“Suppose we suddenly wake up and see that what we thought to be this and that, ain’t this and that at all?” , Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac.

Better late than never Santorini part two. Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It boasts spectacular views, sunsets, colourful doors, white washed walls, beaches, cliff hikes, boat rides and vibrant flowers. You can walk for hours through the little streets browsing through the boutiques and sipping an espresso freddo whilst watching the day pass soaking up the ambience.

Accommodation

For accommodation booking.com offers a wide range based on budgets.

Below is a series of images taken in Santorini between Fira and Oia.

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Have you been to Santorini? What is your favourite memory?

 

Grecian Adventure Part I: Athens

AcropolisArcopolis, Athens

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” 
― Jack Kerouac

Last week I travelled to Athens and Santorini. I had heard mixed reviews about Athens but Santorini boasts a glowing report. Why wouldn’t it, have you seen the pictures? I put the opinions of others to the back of my mind regarding Athens and decided I would make up my mind after my adventure. Needless to say, I appreciated Athens for all that it offers. It is a diamond in the rough. Santorini will be discussed in Part 2.

However, the only downfall is the challenge of procuring a nice healthy breakfast in the Plaka district at 9am on the weekend because nowhere opens till 11am. What the Greeks do well is an espresso freddo , of course they do other things well but I loved an  espresso freddo or three on the regular. So much so, I am trying to re-create it now I am back in Abu Dhabi. A friend recommended places in Athens too, that appeal to the health and fitness fanatic in me.

Accommodation

For accommodation in Athens I used booking.com and stayed in the Plaka District. This was central and it was convenient for walking all around the city.

What to do

The city is huge and you can wander around all day admiring the architecture  of Athens, there are many cafes and bars throughout the city and the more you explore the more intriguing Athens becomes.

Derelict building.jpgDerelict buildings, there is many thoughout the city

_DSC5952.jpgStrolling through the National Park, Athens

Watch the Sunset at Parko Thiseio. As you can see numerous gather with wine, guitars and food to watch the sunset over Athens on a giant marble rock, do not wear heels, I wore trainers.

Parko Theiso

Parko Theiso 2View from Parko Thiseio, Athens

Walking Tour

Athens Free Walking Tour : This tour was brilliant it lasted about 2.5 hours which takes you to all the main areas around the city – see images below. The tour is free but you can tip. Entrance to Acropolis is not provided with the walking tour because it is free. I emailed a few days before arriving to secure places on the tour as spaces are limited. You will learn about the history of Greece.

Temple of ZeusThe Temple of ZeusStreet ViewStreet View, AthensStreet GraffitiStreet Graffiti , this is prevalent throughout AthensNational GardensPalm Trees in National Garden, Athensolympic stadium 2Flags at the Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

olympic stadiumPanathenaic Stadium, seats 75,000 peoplestreet artStreet Art in the Plaka District, AthensFlowers

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Blue DoorThe last three images are of front doors or gates to houses in the Plaka Districtwhere is my mind.jpgWhere is my mind? Plaka District

Food, Fun & Frolics

Athens is jam packed with restaurants. It is a late city and there is a great buzz about the place from 8pm onwards. Strolling the streets and from recommendations I discovered these little gems which will appease the taste buds of meat eaters and vegans.

Avocado, Plaka District- delicious salads

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Evgenia, Athens, Plaka – Dakos Greek Salad

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Nolan, Plaka District. Greek food with pan asian twist

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Ipitou the Bar – this bar is cool and plays good tunes, it is close to Nolan restaurant and surrounded by other chilled out bars.

Ipitou Bar

Other restaurants not pictured, I recommend include Koi which serves sushi at a great price and Pure Bliss which serves local produce and delicious salads, it is very laid vibe where you could sit for hours drinking espresso freddo, sampling local wine and eating scrumptious food. Located in the same area as Pure Bliss, there are countless bars and cafes.

Fitness

No trip is complete without a gym session. Whilst in Athens I got a chance to to break a sweat in Planet Fitness, they offer a pay as you service which is handy and the gym is  central. See Planet Fitness for more information.

Concluding, Athens was fantastic trip filled with history , long walks,  traditional greek food and wine, chilled out bars, street graffiti, espresso freddos,a few gym sessions and a new passion for front doors.

 

 

A Health Guide to Melbourne

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I recently had the pleasure of travelling to Melbourne for a week. On my trip I discovered many scrumptious health food cafes and shops in the Prahran and Brunswick area.

A good place to lie your head

For accommodation I sourced it on Air B&B , it was very central perched in the middle of Chapel Street, perfect location.

St George Accommodation –  the ultimate cosmopolitan lifestyle is right outside the door on the vibrant Chapel Street in the heart of stunning South Yarra.

Chow Down

Top Paddock – this place is packed on Sunday morning , bit a waiting time but worth it.

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Isit Cafe 

Quinoa Bircher or Porridge are delicious and almost too pretty to eat.

Tall Timber

Good food. Good coffee. Good people. That simple!

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The Kettle Black

Seatrout Salad with Poached Eggs.

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Mr. Miyagi

Walk in restaurant and the waiting list can be at least two hours – worth the wait , Nori Taco’s are a must try.

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Tokyo Tina nice place to chill on a Sunday evening whilst devouring this deconstructed Nori Roll.

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Smith & Daughters

Delectable vegan food bursting with flavours.

Stores

The Source Bulk Foods

♻️ Zero waste grocery shopping!! ♻️ 26 amazing bulk wholefood stores all around Australia.

Here I picked up freshly made grain free cacao granola, peanut squares and cacao nibs covered in dark chocolate for the flight back to Abu Dhabi.

Prahran Markets

Prahran Market is proud to be Australia’s premier food market, famous for fine fresh produce, hard to find specialty items and good old fashioned service sealed with expert advice.

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Break a Sweat

Goodlife Health Club

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Gold Dust

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop

Melbourne’s first vegan bakery. Est 2010. Specialising in vegan, kosher, sugar + gluten free baked goods, shakes + deli sandwiches. I got this delicious vegan chocolate cake, smile on my face says it all and we celebrated in Brother Wolf Barber & Shaving Parlour.

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Journeyman

|| Speciality Coffee || Breakfast || Brunch  || Lunch ||

Enough said, double drool.

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Butterbing™ Cookie Sandwiches

Melbourne’s OG brownie cookie sandwich. Est. 2014 in our little home kitchen. This is a gluten free chocolate cookie sandwich with peanut butter. No words are needed to describe this, the picture says enough.

Sold in Darling Cafe 

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Be sure to keep me posted if you check out any of these places  by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it x

Wellness Travel: Vietnam

Vietnam

The novel “On the Road”, by Jack Kerouac instills a personal belief that life is an adventure on the road, throwing caution to the wind, visiting and embracing new cultures across the world. Each adventure is wild, it casts light on different perspectives of how people live and that is an invaluable life experience.

Travel

On a recent trip to Vietnam I visited Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat City. As a Wellness Enthusiast, I research health & wellness places prior to travelling. Back in 2009, I would have been hanging from the rafters in Gullivers Tavern in a sea of sam song on Khao San Road, Bangkok. Things change, people change-that is life.

The best way for me to describe Vietnam is colourful. I rooted out  healthy food places in Ho Chi Minh and completed a 70km cycle in Dalat to Nha Thrang. Below I discuss healthy hotspots in HCMC and Phat Tires Bike Trip.

Healthy Hot Spots in Ho Chi Minh City 

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The Kafe

The Kafe is a socially conscious, community-oriented company with a “people first” mentality. The Kafe envisions a world where every person has a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, with food being a primary foundation to help them achieve that lifestyle goal.

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Tropic land Coffee & Juice Bar

Tropicland serves a chilled Coconut & Aloe Vera juice. Nice pit stop whilst exploring the city.

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L’Usine

The food philosophy is simple, good food, done well. L’Usine offers healthy salad options, Vietnamese coffee and all food is locally sourced.

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HUM Vegetarian Cafe

HUM offers a wide range of vegetarian options to satisfy your hunger. I recommend the banana lotus salad and rice paper rolls with chilli sauce.

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Baba’s Kitchen

Baba brings India to HCMC. Located on the bustling Bui Vien Street and worth the visit if you are fond of Indian cuisine.

Dolphy Cafe

Dolphy Cafe is a quirky coffee shop offering free wifi, coffee and fresh juices.

 

Kokois.Cafe.Bistro.Lounge.Store

The venue is a renovated warehouse, bright and spacious with a nice and busy cafe at the front and a cosy and quiet lounge in the backyard garden.

The food is simple, modern and inspired. The store features a selection of tasteful and quality fashion, accessories, gifts and home deco.

Street Food Tours

Most hotels/hostels have street food tours held in the evening time. Street food tours are a great way to explore the city , walk through various districts and taste vietnamese cuisine.

Dalat City 

Quote from Lonely Planet “You would almost be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the French Alps in springtime”, Read more here: Dalat City by Lonely Planet .

This was the mind blowing view from the bike trip with Phat Tire, Vietnam. The cycling trip was from Dalat to Nha Trang which averaged at 70km. It was a fun way to experience  rural villages,cycle through a rain forest and inhale the fresh air. There is a break mid way which includes lunch in a local restaurant.

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Mountain Top View – Xa Son Thai, Khanh Vinh, Vietnam.

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A village along the route from Dalat to Nha Thrang.

How do you like to keep stay healthy on holidays?