Yes, it’s the end of another month and let me tell you it’s been a busy one at that! I enjoyed layovers in Ukraine, Budapest, Miami, Seychelles and Nepal. My highlights include traveling to three new countries, one being Cambodia where I enjoyed my 5 days of annual leave and ticked off watching the sunrise over the high-on-my-bucketlist Angkor Wat temple.
I also operated the first ever flight for Qatar Airways to Isfahan, Iran. Unfortunately, it was not a layover as I’ve heard many great things about this city, but the flight itself was so nice to be apart of, especially when meeting the ground staff at Isfahan as they were all really excited to see us. They gifted us with beautiful flowers and traditional sweets to all of us operating the flight.
This was country number 54 for me to visit. I really enjoyed my time here in Kathmandu. I spent my layover visiting the oh so colourful monkey temple, I believe the correct name is Swayambhunath according to google, but I don’t even know where to begin pronouncing that so let’s just stick with monkey (P.s. it’s also known as the monkey temple because there are many monkeys living here)
The beautiful temple is located on top of a big hill in the city. Despite being busy with locals and tourists, it was still a very serene place to be. The Buddhist people are so peaceful and happy and I think that just spreads positive vibes all round.
After visiting the temple, I went into town for a Nepali feast. The crew and myself ordered some traditional dishes including the famous “MOMO” which are basically Nepali style dumplings. The food was so cheap and so good! I wouldn’t mind at all coming back to this city.
Brrrrrrr it’s cold outside but hey, I’ll never say no to exploring a new country (number 55)! My overall impression of Kiev was that this place is such a hidden little gem. I really would love to come back in the summertime as I feel like this city has a lot more to offer when the weather is a little warmer. I fell in love with the architecture, there are so many beautiful churches. It’s also home to so many cool little cafes, restaurants and bars.
After walking around town admiring all the buildings, my supervisor for this flight took a few of us to this cool hidden restaurant. You literally needed a password to get inside (sure anyone can get the password via google, but we pretended that we were just well connected). I tried the famous Borsch soup and some grilled fish, which I washed down with some delicious cheap Ukrainian red wine. Layover. Done. Well.
It’s vacation time and what a lovely vacation it was. I began my travels in Phnom Penh, the capital and largest city of Cambodia. On my first night, I visited the Sundown Social Club – a rooftop bar overlooking the Russian Markets. I enjoyed a glass of aperol spritz as I watched a beautiful sunset over the market rooftops.
I loved the infinity rooftop pool at my hotel… clearly.
The next morning, I caught a short flight to Siem Reap located northwestern part of Cambodia. My main mission was to visit the Angkor Wat Temple which has been high on my bucket list for a long time.
I loved Siem Reap – it has a much more hipster vibe than Phnom Penh. On my first night I visited this really cute bar called WILD. They specialise in spring rolls and cocktails using local ingredients in a lush garden setting.
I went to sleep early that night (after an hour long massage) in preparation for my much anticipated trip to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat Temple. It was a 3am wakeup call for me in order to get ready for my pictures, but boy was it worth it because seeing the sunrise (even though I had to share the moment with a billion other people) was honestly one of the greatest travel experiences I’ve ever had. It’s no wonder there are so many tourists there at 5am in the morning, as the sunrise over the temple is truly breathtaking… pictures just don’t do it justice.
After spending the morning at Angkor Wat, I visited two other temples in the area. The first was Ta Prohm but as most people know it, it’s the temple with trees growing out from it where they shot the movie Tomb Raider.
The second was the Bayon Temple which is famous for all of the Buddha faces implanted all over the temple.
After spending another night in Siem Reap, I flew back to Phnom Penh before heading back to Doha. One thing, I loved about Cambodia was all of it’s healthy eating options. I was surprised how modern the country was in terms of it’s culinary scene. Artillery cafe was one I visited a couple of times throughout my stay as the food was so delicious here (it also helps when it’s guilt free)!
Another picture of my hotel pool. Good times.
For my last night in Cambodia, I took a sunset cruise along the Mekong river. It was such a nice way to end my vacation – beautiful scenery and free local beer… you really can’t complain.
Just me contemplating whether I found myself or not 😛
So happy I was when I saw Budapest on my roster this month. It’s still one of my favourite cities that I have ever travelled to from all my travels around the world. I spent a few days in Budapest before I joined as crew in 2017. It was actually on this holiday that I found out I got this life changing job with Qatar Airways. It’s funny, when I think back to then, I used to save up all my money and annual leave to go on one holiday per year and now I am travelling every single week and going on holiday several times per year… my life has turned into a holiday!
The flight to Budapest was super nice as I flew with one crew I had flown with twice before. It’s actually so rare to fly with the same crew for a second let alone for a third time! Let me remind you there are roughly 13,000 of us here at Qatar Airways!
Whenever I’m in Budapest, it is always a must to eat goulash soup. Especially, when it’s 5 degrees outside.
The main thing I wanted to do on my layover in Hungary, was visit the New York Cafe which is proclaimed ” the most beautiful cafe in the world”. I wanted to visit this cafe last time I was in Budapest but I fell short of time. The cafe is in fact very beautiful and grand with it’s old decor (and highly overpriced might I add), but it is a good place for a photoshoot.
After visiting the cafe, a few of us were thirsty for a drink so we headed to the most famous ruin bar in Budapest, Szimpla Kert. It’s one of my favourite bars in the world. It’s a really large bar, filled with mismatched items and different sections for cocktails, wine, beer, and shisha.
The next morning, I visited this really cool cafe called Horizont. The interesting menu just screamed Melbourne to me. I mention it a lot I know, but I really miss Melbourne food! This place felt like a little piece of home. Just look how well the food is presented… art!
That’s all from me for another month. I hope you enjoyed reading. My March is looking like a very pleasant one… why you ask? Well it’s because I have 12 days of leave soooo HOLIDAYS > WORK. I will be spending 5 days in Sri Lanka for my friends Sachi and Nate’s wedding and another 5 days in Iceland where I am meeting up with Pat, one of my ex-work colleagues and now friend (from my pre-flying event management days). We are going on an epic Iceland adventure 😀
Other than this, I have been rostered 5 flights to operate as I unfortunately can’t just holiday the whole month…
- Chicago, USA
- New York City, USA
- Colombo, Sri Lanka x 2
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Happy March to everyone reading this. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I can’t wait to share my adventures next month. I feel like I will have a lot of content for you #sorrynotsorry
Lots of love from D town xxxxxxxxx