S: ASIA ADVENTURES - THAILAND, CAMBODIA, VIETNAM, LAOS, CHINA 2012
BC: DEPARTED | BEIJING | 21 May 2012
1: ASIA | BANGKOK | ARRIVED 22 APRIL 2012 | In 2012, David and I embarked on a journey of adventure traveling from Bangkok to Beijing via bus, boat, train, motorbike, tuk tuk, bicycle, and even the back of pickup trucks. The vibrancy of the people and culture will be forever remembered.
2: Bangkok So happy to finally arrive in Bangkok after a long flight from Los Angeles and a night in the Beijing Airport! The highlight of Bangkok is always a long boat ride down the Chao Phraya River mixed with bartering in the Thai Markets.
4: ISLAND OF KOH CHANG In Koh Change we stayed at a hotel with the most amazing pool on a private beach. For two days we motor-scootered around the island from beach to beach in search for our $5 an hour thai massage.
6: ANGKOR WAT | Angkor Wat is the most amazing complex of stone temples. We joined the masses for the sunset over the main temple, but in the afternoon explored the complex in the luxury of our tuk tuk. The whole experience felt like being in an Indiana Jones movie. An afternoon is not complete without a swim to cool off from the 40 degree temperature.
8: Cambodia to | Vietnam
9: We left Phnom Penh, Cambodia by boat down the Mekong River to Chau Doc, Vietnam. Life on the Mekong is full of energy with everyone waving in the villages to us. Once in Vietnam we took a boat between the villages stopping to feed fish at a fish farm. | Cambodia Customs dock!
11: We arrived into Vietnam by boat from Cambodia on the Mekong River. Life on the river was vibrant and the trip highlight was the floating market in Can Tho (minus the lightening storm in our little boat). Crossing the road in Saigon is quite the experience with no cross walks and the masses of motor scooters weaving around you. Close your eyes and hope for the best! | MEKONG DELTA VIETNAM
12: NHA TRANG | We took a wonderful snorkeling and diving boat trip (minus the jelly fish stings) that stopped at fish farms. Captain: "Madame are you OK" Me: "Not Really" Captain: "We are sending diver".
13: HOI AN Hoi An was a welcome surprise of wandering the streets of a cobble stone roads and cafés. At night the town comes alive with paper lanterns. It was incredible!
14: The trip through Laos was one of adventure and a little detour via the airport. The adventure started out at the Vietnam border riding in the back of pick up trucks stopping to pickup items in the category so many questions and so few answers. The most interesting being live iguanas. Luang Prabang was an incredible highlight with its market and motorbiking the country side. In the morning the monks tour the streets where locals fill their pots with food for the day. | LAOS
16: Laos to China Little did we know the adventure that awaited us as we rode through the remote south of China. Each bus stop was an incredible site of people dressed in their traditional costumes.
19: Chengdu, China | Finding our hotel upon arrival into Chengdu proved quite the exercise as we presented the taxi driver with the name of the hotel in English which meant as much to him as it did to us. In Chengdu we visited the biggest Panda Sanctuary in the world with close to a 100 pandas. At the sanctuary I held a 8 month panda which was amazing! We ventured south of Chengdu to the mountains hiking between monasteries built into the mountainside. Upon arrival to the hiking trail you are presented with a "monkey stick" and thankfully we didn't find out its effectiveness.
20: XI'AN AND THE TERRACOTA WARRIORS The Terracotta Army was buried underground in 3rd Century BC left undiscovered until 1974. The vastness coupled with the level of detail was awe-striking. In Xi'an we took in the sites and smells of the muslim quarters market after a walk on the city wall at sunset.
22: BEIJING Beijing was the perfect ending! The Great Wall truly lived up to my expectations and a place I have always wanted to go. We toured Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Beijing Grottoes with stops to barter at the local markets.
24: Farewell to an adventure forever remembered.