December 18th 2009
Published: December 18th 2009
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It was my first time in Asia. I am so glad I made this trip because it was a challenge for me but mainly because I could see and enjoy different cultures and amazing experiences. I arrived in Bangkok where I met my friend Nasim. Bangkok is a city to see thousands of people, motorbikes, and more motorbikes!!!!!!!!! But it´s much more than that: floating markets, street markets, extraordinary food, some of the most beautiful women in the world, and smiles. We visited the Grand Palace, something not to be missed. Then we travelled to the north to Chiang Mai to visit the hill tribes. The long neck women, the Hmong people, the Akha people are among the main ones. I met Jim Richardson and Emiliano, two great travellers. We spent a lovely evening having some beers and listening to music at a bar. Then we travelled to Luang Prabang in northern Lao. It´s a World Heritage Site. Quiet atmosphere, lovely handicrafts and lots of delicious dishes to try which follow the French influence. The orange garments worn by the monks give the local colour that you won´t forget. Then we travelled to Siem Reap in Cambodia. This is a place I definitely recommend for several reasons: Angkor Wat and some orphanages where you can do some volunteer work. There is a lot of information about the religious temples but it´s interesting to discover them by yourself trying to find your own spot. Pnom Penh was the next destination, the capital of Cambodia. It´s chaotic, like most capital cities, but you can also discover a quiet place where to stay. This country has its own horror history in their past with those terrible memories of the genocide. But they survived and they are undergoing an everyday struggle in this complex world. We took a boat to enter Vietnam through the Mekong Delta. This river is a very important part in the Vietnamese people. We visited the floating villages and some minorities who live there. Saigon was the next step: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, street markets, the war remnants museum, parks and several green spots make this city a place not to be missed. Mui Ne is a small fishing village with quiet beaches close to the southern part of the country. Then we travelled to Dalat: quiet, European style, art galleries, a place to see the locals working in the rural areas. Because of the typhoon we had to fly to Hanoi. There are several interesting things to do there: Halong Bay, a night train to travel to Sapa to visit the hill tribes, the rice fields, the mountains, a city called Lao Cai close to the China border, and more street markets to see the real life. I met Hong Ha in Hanoi: a great traveller, an amazing travel blog writer and someone to discover those hidden places in a big city like Hanoi. I also met Kent Converse, from the USA, who is working very hard to help the development of culture in Vietnam. I liked Hanoi so much, mainly the Old Quarter where we stayed. Hue and Hoi An are two small cities in the midlands. I liked the atmosphere of Hoi An mainly because it reflects the old history in their houses and shops with a deep Chinese influence. After that, we traveled to Thailand to visit the southern beaches. We chose Phuket and Phi Phi. Warm waters, lovely beaches, festive atmosphere and quiet long walks on the sea side were the main activities. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were waiting for me. Singapore is a very developed country which is ready to welcome Christmas so the streets are full of coloured lights and music. I took the hop on and off tour buses which take you to see the main attractions in few hours. The Singapore Flyer is an interesting experience. Kuala Lumpur is a big city where the huge shopping malls offer whatever you can buy.
Places and people: the aim of my trips. It was my beginning in Asia. My first time in this continent was definitely worthy. I recommend this region.

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 24


18th December 2009

Nice to have met you
Dear Gracetandil, We met such a short time. Wish we could have gotten better acquainted. If you ever come to the USA, look me up. Yours, Kent
18th December 2009

What wonderful experience!
Hey's amazing how we grow out of traveling experiences.I really admire your adventurous spirit and that openmindedness you have to try new different things.Go for more girl! and thanks for sharing them with me! Hugs, Guille
28th December 2009

Your trip
Thanks for your great story and beautiful photos, as well as your nice words for me. I really hope someday you will go back to this region and visit Indonesia and Myanmar. The temples there are very beautiful. Happy New Year to you and your friend Nasim!
31st December 2009

beginning in Asia
Hi Graciela, Nice writeup, and thanks for including me.... I remember you and Nas fondly I notice you now say it was your BEGINNING in Asia...are you saving up for another visit??? make sure to come via Australia on the way. jim
4th May 2010

Great photos
You take great photos. The ones of Kalong Bay and Karen Tribe are especially nice.

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