S: SOUTHEAST ASIA 2012
FC: SOUTHEAST ASIA 2012 | thailand vietnam laos cambodia April/May 2012
1: when i got to bangkok, they were celebrating their new year via water festival. Matt & I left for Kanchanaburi the next day. It was a 3hr bus ride (it could of been 2) west of bangkok we rode a tuk-tuk to the guesthouses and ended up getting drenched on the way. people were throwing buckets of water at us and smearing white chalky paste all over our faces!!
2: Matt is allergic to cats! yet one just jumped right to him. we were getting tired of being soaked on the street, so we retreated and got a fish massage! it was amazing, the skin on my feet was so soft afterwards. thai portions are tiny, matt needed more food from 7-11, and i schooled him in connect 4!
6: BAMBOO RAFTING RIVER KWAI | river kwai bridge
7: elephant riding | death railway
8: A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. Lao Tzu | thailand to vietnam
9: HO CHI MINH CITY
10: MUI NE
11: the next day, we took a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne, a beach resort popular with locals. We found the tide high so we resorted to lying on the chairs provided by other resorts. Otherwise we thought the beach was both peaceful & beautiful
12: amazing amazing tuna. this is one of the best meals i had on my whole trip, but this is matt's dish, i guess i didn't take a photo of my tuna! it was baked but just as delicious
13: we watch the sunrise @0530 at the white sand dunes via jeep. when we arrive there are atvs waiting for us, we're about to ride one until we realize we have to pay. needless to say we started walking. the night before we manage to bargain $11 for private tour & $4 for a bus to nha trang!
14: watching the sunrise
23: Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. Seneca | red sand dunes
25: local fishermen
27: fairy stream
29: after mui ne we boarded onto another bus and headed to nha trang, it was a sleeping bus | but it was one of the most comfortable sleeping buses i've been in. in total there were <10 people on the bus
30: nha trang | crocodile meat
31: Long Son Pagoda
33: Po Nagar Cham Towers
34: hoi an dumplings
35: man who fixed my camera | somene's bag
36: my son cham ruins
38: MARBLE MOUNTAIN, DA NANG
41: CHINA BEACH...did we actually meet North Koreans?
42: back in Hoi An, we ate instant noodles that night | that one Korean dish broke our budget...$10 for bibimbap
43: tailored made clothes
44: next stop was Hue, the imperial capital of vietnam. it was around 1pm when we got there, and that day was very HOT. we ended up going to the market and buying a watermelon, asking the owner to cut it up for us, then proceed to eat it! it was the best $1.50 we spent so far! the watermelon was delicious!!
45: somehow we get suckered into a deal with the cyclones to go to the pagoda. initially it was $6 total for 1hr, to get to pagoda & back, they later backtracked and demanded more because they ended up also taking us to a garden. Needless to say, we refused. Matt pretended to call the tourist police, i gave them 100VND & 2USD, and we left via taxi. never trust those cyclones again!!
47: phong nga cave
48: welcome to Hanoi! the capital of vietnam, it had a very different feel to it when compared to Ho Chi Minh City, but it was just as beautiful, just as bustling, just as friendly, we got lost in the old quarter multiple times and strolled to the nearby lake. we were so tired of pho at this point that we just had KFC for lunch!
49: we left for Mai Chau the next morning, 4 hours away from Hanoi. $85 for 3D/2N. There are many different ethnic minorities within Mai Chai. We got treated to gorgeous scenery, delicious food, and amazing singing/dancing. The best thing - there were only 12 tourists the 1st day and 3 the 2nd day!
50: I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this - that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. Hilaire Belloc | speedometer did not work! | a swarm of butterflies
51: on day 2, matt, paul (france) & i followed the tour guide to another village within mai chau via motorbike | we drove for about an hour before we stopped, the village had no shop to buy water from! we had to drink their boiled water containing bark. one of the most scenic rides ever
52: handwashing | palm tree umbrella | splitting bamboo sticks | so hot!! | lunch. yum yum!
54: on day 3 we wake up early to watch the sunrise, watched a piglet slaughter (via intrajugular), then join a group of locals from Hanoi for a piglet roasting! the piglet was 10lb, and they were quite undecided on when it was finished. We were invited to have red wine & pork sausage at 7am! The pork sausage was absolutely delicious!
55: my last pic with matt, we were separating the following day. we went to a cave (1200 steps) and visited a market, where we saw the remains of a dog | my day in hanoi after matt left, i went to west lake, saw a pagoda, and some other place
56: welcome to LAOS | LUANG PRABANG
59: when i first arrived in Laos, i met Chaz, a fellow Calgarian at the airport. Chaz was in the middle of a 4 month trip in sea. We ended up sharing a cab into town & rooming together for 2 nights for approx $3-4/night. the first day we went to kouang si waterfall then parted ways thereafter. He went to Vang Vieng & I made my way into a 3 day trek/kayak/elephant tour
61: part 1- trekking to hmong village. it was amazing, we trekked to 2 villages, the 1st one had no electricity, they use kerosene & there was no proper toilet. the 2nd one had a generator. kids were everywhere
62: part II- Kayaking on the Mekong Delta | Tu San, my tour guide
65: part III elephant trekking | i was able to ride the elephant a total of 4X, once into the bamboo forest, once out of the forest, once on the bench, and one time to the water. By the end i was getting quite comfortable getting on/off an elephant
66: i was able to bathe the elephant in the mekong delta. it was so much fun! the elephant trainers encouraged me to stand on the elephant several times, but everytime it moved i would lose my balance and fall! It was an absolutely amazing experience.
67: back in Luang Prabang, i climbed Mount Phou Si, also written Mount Phu Si, a 100m high hill in the center of the old town
68: PLAIN OF JARS- site 1 there ended up being nothing else around that area. It took 6 hours to ride from Luang Prabang
69: I met a french girl (Morgan) while at the Plain of Jars. We left the next day to Vang Vieng via local bus. For the first couple of hours the bus kept breaking down every 10-20 minutes. People had to keep opening the back to fix it. They had to remove all the sand/rice bags from the bottom and put it on top of the bus or inside the bus. On top of that, everytime the bus tried to go up the hill, it made that sound like it was on it's last breath. quite an experience!
70: I stayed in Vang Vieng for 2 days, where i did some rock climbing!! It was $30/day. the landscape was beautiful. I ended up rooming with Morgan for 2 nights. We each paid around $3 for our room. Vang Vieng is definitely a party town!
72: vientiane | i ended up staying in vientiane for 1 day, then left the next day nongkhai then the night train to bangkok. I met Zaga, a mongolian living in bangkok for school to learn thai.
73: thailand to cambodia | train - 6hr @ 0555 bus - 3hr, arrived in Siem Reap @ 1700
74: Siem Reap
75: sunrise @ angkor wat
77: i toured the angkor temples via bike with a dutch girl i dormed with. We ended up getting up at 4:30 for sunrise at angkor wat, then to Phnom Bakheng for sunrise. We visited 2-3 temples that day, but by the end we were exhausted from biking. My bike pedal also fell off, so we had to take it via motorbike to get repaired!
81: Founded in 1997 by ex-child soldier Aki Ra, the Cambodia Landmine Museum tells the story of his rise from a 10 year old fighter in the Khmer Rouge to his present place as an internationally recognized hero. The Museum tells the story of landmines in Cambodia and the country's continuing efforts to rid itself of the aftermath of over 35 years of warfare. Here you can see (defused and safe) landmines up close, find out how they work and how you can help Cambodia and the rest of the world in the on-going efforts of clearing these weapons from the face of the earth