Wandering through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
  • Day30

    Hong Kong

    July 29, 2019 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    I was able to side step immigration and go straight to my gate at Hong Kong airport which is a relief. Was concerned my passport might trigger an issue. 15 hour flight to Toronto coming up..

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  • Day29

    Bangkok

    July 28, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Got into Bangkok late afternoon and checked into hotel with a concerning forewarning from reception... "the music will stop at 2am and you paid for a standard room, here are your earplugs". Lol. Uh oh. More on that later..

    Grabbed my last noodle dish of trip on bustling Khaosan Road and bought a few tshirts - as souvenirs but also because i really needed something to wear haha. Then did a walk through a bunch of markets and gorged on more gelato - this heat really brings out my ice cream sweet tooth. Found the craft beer place i was looking for, but it was disappointing.

    Back to hotel around 7 and napped until 9:30 off and on but the music was ramping up pretty good now and it felt like the speakers were in my room. Never, ever, get a hotel right on Khaosan Road. That was ill advised.

    Feeling refreshed and with the bass pretty much bouncing me out of my bed, i decided to have one last adventure and seek out a popular nightlife area of bangkok, and away from khaosan road, which was too touristy. Hopped in the back of a tuk tuk and hung on tight as he raced through the streets. Right away met 4 guys from Singapore and hopped in and out of a few places with them before heading back.

    Got back around 1am and things were 10x busier on my street and volumes were ridiculous. I had to be up at 4am so i wasn't even sure if i should bother trying. Lay down anyways and made the best of it.

    ...And that pretty much wraps up an amazingly fun romp through southeast asia.
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  • Day28

    Patong (Phuket)

    July 27, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Took a late morning ferry to island of Phuket and headed to the city of Patong. There didnt seem to be any dramatic mountains or cliffs like everywhere else i have been in Thailand, but it did have a massive beautiful beach. So i got myself a lounging chair and had a relaxing afternoon in and out of water and kicking back.

    Then found a couple of gelato places and really gorged myself on ice cream. Oh boy i didn't feel so great for a while haha.. all self inflicted. But sooo good.

    Then went off to see what the hype is all about on the bar pedestrian street in patong. Its completely bananas. Gogo dancers at almost every establishment, even just normal pubs have them too, and a verrrry bizarre range of live shows you can take in. To be (sorta) clear, I'm not talking broadway stuff lol.. more like Amsterdam crazy stuff. And beyond. And every place has female hosts that come sit with you to keep you company.

    I didnt take in any shows but sat at a few gogo bars just to see what it was all about. Wasn't feeling terribly social today or making the effort to meet new people so was kinda just right to have hosts chat with me instead.

    I think the combination of end of trip being near and being on the move so much has worn me down a bit. Feeling a bit lethargic and content to just people watch. Which in this city is extremely entertaining!
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  • Day27

    Phi Phi - Day 2

    July 26, 2019 ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

    Spent the morning and afternoon lounging at a beach restaurant with feet in sand, sipping on beer and chatting with everyone unfortunate enough to sit at the table next to me haha. I decided my plan today was to do as little as possible. I think i executed it perfectly.

    First i met Aiesh who works for a business management group in dubai and is interested in investing in my web project codevscode. Made me a tempting offer. Then jasmine and yvonne helped book my hotels in phuket and bangkok because they live in thailand and know it well. Chatted with liam for an hour or two before realizing he's the best friend of the wildling i met the night before. Who incidentally is not going to fight in ring tonight. Boooooo. And finally Chris and his family from holland until sunset.

    Made my way to the reggae bar where the muay thai fighting ring is, and watched a bunch of amateur kickboxers. People were literally getting out of their seats in stands and putting on boxing gloves and into the ring. Very entertaining. A girl challenged me to a fight in ring but i declined lol.. of course.

    Hung out at an irish bar for a bit and then made my way to the beach and chatted with some canadians while sitting in the sand, watching the waves roll in under the moonlight. Next up.. phuket...
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  • Day26

    Phi Phi - Day 1

    July 25, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Took an early ferry to the island of Phi Phi. Hard decision because Krabi was so awesome but gotta see more before heading home. I've completely changed my rough plan and decided to make my way to phuket to witness the insanity i keep hearing about and fly to bangkok from there. Phi Phi is half way to Phuket. Sorta.

    Spent my entire two hour boat ride chatting with friendly Emily from Oregon, then made my way thru the pedestrian streets to hotel. There's no cars or scooters or even golf carts on this island. Foot power or boats.. thats it. Checked into hotel and they handed me ear plugs "in case"... uh oh lol

    After yesterday's hiking adventure in Krabi i looked at my map and looked for more hiking in phi phi. Found a trail that goes to other side of island to some different beaches. Yay.. giddyup. Immediately realized it went to top of mountain and back down other side. Thats ok could use more exercise. Half way up the people took left fork in road so i went right and found more monkeys!! ... suckers! Haha. My instincts are so fine tuned ha.

    Got to top and then descended down other side thru really dense jungle. I admit, it was a bit spooky. Lots of noises i have never heard before and really narrow trail which was hardly recognizable as one. And no one else was doing this part of trail. Hmmm.. lol. I got to the bottom to a nice beach but there was no charm to the eateries.. big buffet setups for chinese tourists. Asked about boats back to other side of island and i would have to wait two hours. Forget that. They asked how i got there and their jaws dropped when i told them i came via the jungle trail and said i was crazy haha. And i was sadly resigned to saving my day and re doing the jungle trail back up. Bleh. Could hear monkeys above me everywhere in trees moving about but needed to keep moving to stay ahead of bugs all over me.

    Finally got back to phi phi beach and ran into the water to cool off and met three really cool israeli girls who took me to the pool party of all pool parties. It was insane... to be brief. Also made a new friend helga from spain there who took me to a bunch of wild beach parties. And finished up a weird helium balloon party place and met a guy right out of game of thrones who is supposed to fight in a ring at the reggae bar on friday.. so stay tuned for that haha. Ridiculous day. So many new and fun friends.
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  • Day25

    Krabi - Day 3

    July 24, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Third day in one place. Nice to put down some roots for a change and relax a bit. Days are getting numbered so its appealing to stay in such a beautiful spot for a few days. Especially with my amazing hotel.

    Off to Railay beach today which is not accessible any other way but by boat because tall cliff rock walls create a huge natural barrier. Met a nice korean-american named david going to the same place. Our boat pulled into a beach and we got off but then quickly realized we were the only ones who got off and the boat was already gone. Wrong beach. Ton Sai beach. Pulled out my map and could see if we traipsed through some jungle we could hike to Railay beach, which we did.

    Railay was striking with more karst rock formations and loads of restaurants on the beach. Had lunch there and then i found another jungle trail to try to reach another beach. This trail was a lot less defined and rough terrain and david only had flipflops and had to abort. I kept going only to find out the other beach was accessible on this trail by going through a cave to the other side but you needed ropes to get up to it. So i had to head back too but got some nice shots from high up.

    David decided to call it a day and head back on next boat but i was more determined and found another path that lead me to Phra Nang Beach through some low level caves and was rewarded with more stunning views and monkeys everywhere! The whole reason david and i hiked that rough terrain was to find monkeys. Poor guy lol.

    From there caught a boat back to Ao Nang where i was staying, to avoid the big storm clouds rolling in. Walking down the road, i was cat called by a bunch of thai ladies having drinks on a patio, so i wandered over and joined them for a beer. Destroyed one of them in 4 games of pool haha and then headed off my hotel pool swim up bar to relax for a while.

    Went back out and had an amazing red snapper main, with green mango salad, and prawns for 10 dollars for supper, a few beers and off to bed to get up early for ferry trip to phi phi island in morning. Pretty sure i will return to Krabi some day. It was a gamble coming here because people i met in cambodia said it rained all day here for a few weeks straight. Its rainy season in all four countries but I haven't had a single day rained out so far. I have a sun-finding gift. And a monkey finding gift too apparently haha.
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  • Day24

    Krabi - Day 2

    July 23, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Today did a hike in jungle to some rivers with aqua marine colours, swam in one for a while and then found a beautiful isolated beach outside the main town with almost no one there. Relaxed there for a few hours enjoying a few beers, and hopping in and out of the water to cool off. But not really because the water is warmer than my hotel shower. Incredibly tranquile

    Headed back to town and got a seaside table for some more amazing thai food and people watching while writing my blog entry :) My welsh friend Marianne eventually came and joined me and we set off to find a more happening spot. The nightlife never took off that night but we had fun playing jenga and connect 4 lol over several beers to wind down a very chill day. The northern ireland couple really overdid it the night prior and weren't able to come meet us but probably for the best as they were off to phi phi island the next morning and Marianne was off to some other island, which i completely forget now.

    Some fun facts about thailand. They drive on the left side of the road; they dont use chopsticks; and there's a pretty sizeable muslim population here that i wasn't expecting. There's also a bit of a dictatorship military government going on and all the elections are rigged in their favour. Protesting doesn't seem to be permitted so its a very hard road in Thailand to push forward change. Feel bad for them especially because they're all so friendly and nice.
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  • Day23

    Krabi - Day 1

    July 22, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Woke up lazily at 8am, when it dawned on me that i have a flight this morning! At 9:45. And my backpack contents were all over the hotel room. Scrambled everything together frantically and ran outside and hopped into a tuk tuk to the airport. When i arrived, the airline knew who i was before telling them haha.. last person. Mid flight i realized i didn't even brush my teeth or look in the mirror before leaving haha. And yes they laughed at my passport when i handed it to them.

    Arrived in krabi many hours later and drive from airport to my resort was amazing. Same karst mountains i saw in halong bay but inland. And yes, i said resort. This place is 30 dollars a night and gorgeous. I think it might be the most I've paid all trip, but still cheap and amazing value.

    Walked down to Ao Nang beach and took in the beautiful bay views and walked around the boardwalk scoping out establishments for later. Its really geared for big tourist numbers.. but its down season now.

    Back to hotel pool bar and met another solo traveller from Wales who has been travelling since November, sold everything, created a finance managing freelance company, and works remotely while travelling. And she has no plans to stop this lifestyle. Incredible concept. I dont think its for me but very interesting.

    Welch girl and i wandered down to the beach bars and met a fun couple from northern ireland and spent the rest of the night sharing travel stories, beers and lots of laughs. This town is a really fun place to be. I think i might stay a while..
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  • Day22

    Siem Reap - Day 2

    July 21, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    After a very uninspiring blog entry yesterday, i felt i needed to up the crazy today.. so hang on tight (mom, I'm just kidding, I don't plan the crazy, I'm just lucky that way haha). But seriously, what a fun day!

    Spent my daylight hours visiting angkor temples. Thats such an understatement. There aren't enough exclamation points to hit the proper emotions of what i saw. Indescribable really. Gate entranceways on their own would be worth the visit, but they were merely foreplay. These were entire cities of ancient temples in amazing conditions. I can't imagine any location on the planet that truly compares, but then again thats why i flew here.

    Wandered in and out of ancient temples all day which were all individual cities and a km apart from each other. Having a personal driver was crucial. Speaking of which, i have a strict rule of taking a pic of everyone i interact with for 10+ mins in this trip. Sorry Kwan! To make things even better, there were monkeys at a number of ruins and temples. One came over to me and some Japanese ladies all friendly like and then scared the crap out of us when it started screaching and showing its teeth repeatedly. It wanted food and we had none. Or were we the food? Dunno. Didn't stick around to ask.

    On long walks between dropoffs and temples were little kids selling cambodian knick knacks. The boys were annoying and whiney, but the little girls got me every time with their adorable personalities. Somehow they all knew i was a huge softie and i always had a huge crowd of kids swarming me while other tourists walked around freely. Not fair. I won't tell you what transpired, but i will say Sean's cambodian emporium is now open for business. I have magnets, scarves, tshirts, purses, and fans. Everything must go! Cheapie, cheapie for you 😁 lol

    After my temple tour was done (and my acquisition of Cambodian junk), I fulfilled a promise I made a day earlier and walked over to the "bugs cafe" and ordered the small "discovery platter". It had ant springrolls, a tarantula donut, silkworm balls, a skewer with grasshoppers, a small tarantula and a scorpion, and a salad with crickets and larvae of some sort. This was verrrrry hard to do alone!! I was actually nervous with every bite and was talking to myself out loud haha. And then i saw 3 tourists walk in so i waved at them and convinced them to join me. 2 Canadians and one American. They ordered the same platter i had, and we had so many laughs trying to make our way thru the "food". Fyi, scorpions are not tasty at all !! Tarantula donut was probably my favourite but really, its a dumb thing to try to rank haha.

    We left together to find a normal restaurant, and we passed a street vendor selling bbq snakes.. so i got one of course. Blech. After an amazing meal (at the restaurant), we parted ways and i ended up at a nightclub when it dawned on me that its 11pm and i hadn't booked my flight yet for tomorrow. Had to push aside all the cambodian "ladies" to get some important paperwork done. Booked my flight to Krabi thailand, wherever that is, and now my dance card was open for business lol.

    A few hours later after declining several marriage proposals, i walked back to my hostel, trying to count the number of females i met tonight who were born females.. sadly, not a big number heh. Strange world over here haha. One guy tried to wager sex with me over a foozball game. He settled with a beer.
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  • Day21

    Siem Reap - Day 1

    July 20, 2019 in Cambodia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Today caught a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Wasn't so sure i was going to get here though. A few days ago when i hiked up the mountain in the humid jungle, my passport was in my back pocket and it got drenched from the humidity. My passport photo is now a bit washed out. The airline gave me a pretty hard time about it today but cambodian passport control didn't seem to care thankfully. Hopefully i dont need to visit an embassy. The airline also searched my backpack which i thought was weird. Some souvenirs in my bag caught their attention. I think they thought i was smuggling drugs.

    Checked into my hotel and walked around. Everyone here is super friendly. Sat down at a restaurant and it came to 4 dollars for my main dish and a beer. Every place here is advertising mugs of beer for 50 cents. And american currency is more prevalent than their own. Even the ATMs spit out US dollars. Waitresses bow with hands together during most interactions, which is a nice touch.

    Cruised through the night market, and then stumbled upon a place that specializes in bugs for cuisine. And not just crickets, but tarantulas and scorpions. Wasnt hungry but i plan to return tomorrow and see how brave i am. When in Rome...

    Crashed early to recharge my batteries. In bed by 9pm and have a big day at the temples coming up. Plus not feeling 100%. A good nights sleep should help a lot.
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