Sarah’s Travels Through Asia

Sarah, one of our Senior Regulatory Affairs Officers, was kind enough to write a blog post to share her recent travels through Asia. Continue reading to learn more about her highlights and insights into her exciting adventures.

About me

My name is Sarah, and I am a Senior Regulatory Affairs Officer at RApport. I have been at RApport for the last 2 years, and last year, I decided to take 4 months leave so that I could pursue my dream to travel around Asia. I travelled with my boyfriend to 7 countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and India.

During these travels, I was fortunate enough to see some of the most beautiful sights and make the best memories. It is so difficult to distil 4 months of travel into a blog, as nearly every day was filled with once-in-a-lifetime activities and sights, so I will share some of my highlights.

My Highlights


Thailand was a beautiful country, with lots of culture, white sandy beaches and amazing food (mango sticky rice, in particular). We met rescue elephants in an ethical elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, and visited many temples, including the White and Blue Temples (Chiang Rai).

Chiang Mai, Thailand


Malaysia offered more culture, great food and lovely people. A highlight was seeing the Batu Caves, just outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The caves and temples were beautiful, and the many monkeys surrounding the caves were very cute. We also managed to see the King as we visited his palace!

Batu Caves, KL, Malaysia


Laos was an incredible country to visit – I didn’t know much about it before we went, but it is very popular with backpackers, so we added it to our itinerary. We started our time in Laos with the Gibbon Experience in Huay Xai. We spent 2 days camping out in a tree house in the jungle, ziplining to different viewpoints. This was an incredible opportunity to connect with nature and disconnect completely from the world. After that incredible experience, we took a slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, spending two days cruising down the Mekong River. This experience was incredible, and we met so many great people on the journey. Once we had arrived in Luang Prabang, we attended a Batik class, which is a technique of decorating fabrics. This was a fun skill to learn, and it is great to be able to take something traditional and handmade home! We also attended an Alms giving ceremony at sunrise (local monks are given offerings of food by the community and tourists).

Batik class, Luang Prabang, Laos


Our next stop was Cambodia. It was such a beautiful country to visit, but has a lot of sad, recent history. We generally opted to go on tours wherever possible so we could learn as much as we could about the places we were visiting and engage with locals. For example, we went on a tour of the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh. We learnt a lot about the Khmer Rouge regime and met a survivor and heard his gruesome account of the events. In Siem Reap we visited Angkor Wat, an ancient city of temples and one of the wonders of the world. We got to see the sunset over these temples, which was breathtakingly beautiful. Finally, another highlight of our time in Cambodia was visiting the Apopo Visitors Centre in Siem Reap! Apopo trains rats to safely detect explosives left behind following the Cambodian Civil War and Vietnam War, and we were lucky enough to meet the retired Glen and Alvy who had careers working in landmine clearance.

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia


Vietnam our penultimate country on this trip, was our highlight of the trip. We travelled south to north and saw so many amazing sights and did so many activities (including traditional lantern making!). A highlight was the Ha Giang Loop which is a motorcycle loop through the mountains of northern Vietnam and up to the border with China. I had never been on a motorcycle prior to this, but trusted my life with a great driver, who spent 3 days driving me around the mountains. It was an incredible experience which I will never forget.

Ha Giang, Vietnam


We didn’t do much travelling around India, as we wanted to slow the pace of our trip at the end. We visited Mumbai and saw lots of family, and went to Goa to relax and unwind by the sea. We did a fantastic cooking class in Goa where we made many local dishes. A huge part of culture is food, so we tried to do as many cooking classes as possible on this trip so we could to learn how to make traditional dishes (and hopefully be able to recreate them at home). We also did them in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Professional Growth and Lessons Learnt

On this trip, we were faced many unplanned events; from cancelled coaches, delayed flights, lost baggage, scams, illness and cockroaches – I learnt a lot of resilience and problem-solving.

Furthermore, the social aspect of this trip made me a far more confident person as I was constantly speaking to lots of new people and making new connections.

Travelling has made me grow as a person; it has given me a new perspective on life, it has made me realise what I want from it and what is important to me. I am more motivated to set goals and achieve them.

Helpful Tips

My biggest advice for anyone going on holiday abroad or planning a longer trip would be to put an air tag (or a similar tracker) in every checked bag. Our bags arrived in Ethiopia at the start of our trip rather than in Thailand. The Air tags meant we got our bags back faster… phew!

Also, I kept a journal of our travels, saving tickets and leaflets, and documented what we got up to everyday – it is a lovely thing to have to document the time spent travelling. I really recommend doing this, so you always have memories to look back on and something to show your family and friends when you get home.

~ Sarah Parkes