Page 2 of Alli Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Ethiopia November 19th 2007

Less than 3 weeks to go until we head off to Africa, land of our dreams, so little do we know of its soils. Feel free to log on to my blog to travel along with us in Ethiopia - depending on whether or not we can find the internet ... Plan is to leave on Dec 8th and travel via Seattle to Washington DC where we will stay with good friends Kristine and John before flying the next am, Dec 9th to Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia via Rome. We arrive on the morning of Dec 10th, jetlagged and ready to explore ... Come on along ... this way you don't even need any shots or malaria pills ; ) ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan December 31st 2006

Sorry for the brief hiatus from writing, but we have been computer challenged. After days of power outages that last all day and non existent or too slow internet connections we are finally back on line - for today only and then who knows ... but back to our story ... when you last left our travellers they were headed to Bagan. Ah, travel in Myanmar: there is the bus usually at night and on roads that will make your stomach churn and your organs rumble; the train which takes 5X as long as the bus, but where you might gaze some beautiful scenery as you move at a snail's pace; the plane, infinitely more civilized and relatively cheap compared to private or shared taxis and where you can cover a 14 hour bus trip in ... read more
Bagan temples before sunset
Hanging out on the boat
Even the cows are festive here

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Kalaw December 28th 2006

"Trekking to Kalaw from Inle Lake - it's better than taking the bus!" Now that caught our attention and we were firmly committed to trying it. 40km as the snakes wriggle and water buffalos lumber, we sussed our a guide for our 3 day and 2 night trip and after finding a company that seemed good handed over our $30 each and we were ready to go. But all did not start out as well as we'd hoped ... It turned out that the company had sold us quite a tale and the owner was nowhere to be found, leaving instead his poor nephew holding the bag - quite literally. We arrived at 8am ready to go only to find the entire contents of our meals sitting on the table out in front of us. Never ... read more
Sugarcane in field
The long walk for water
Curious kids in remote villages crowd Kurt to see their pics

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake December 25th 2006

Our trip to Inle Lake, home of the Intha people started off in high spirits as we shared our taxi with fellow travellers, Ven and Anita from England, Laura and Sarah from the US via Laos and Therese from Switzerland via Singapore. The topography was vastly different from the dry plains of Bagan and so were the people. The trees and the rolling hills seemed greener than ever after the browns and greys of the east and the people reflected the landscape, dressed in warmer clothes for the cooler climes. After settling into our guesthouse we were off to explore the town of Nyaungshwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. Nyaungshwe also known as Yaungshwe means Golden Banyan tree and according to our guidebook would be over run with tourists in the high season and we were ... read more
The incredible spires of Indein
A boy undergoing the ceremony to become a novice monk, Inle Lake
The best kind of transportation around!

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay December 22nd 2006

Ah, the travelling life, the trying of new foods and exposing our hyperclean bodies to the dirt and normalcy which is Myanmar. And after a wonderfully tasty Nepali meal the day before which I loved, found out that it did not love me and I spent the night in the bathroom and slept the next day away fully spent. Figured it probably fixed me up and purged my system so feeling pretty good with breakfast inside my stomach was ready to conquer life outside Mandalay. Safe inside our little Mazda pickup truck, Kurt and I sat sideways crunched in the back for our day of touring the countryside around Mandalay, the truck hardly bigger than us! Our first stop took us to a gold leaf making factory where we marvelled in the labour intensive task of ... read more
At the Gold Leaf Factory
Why you get such black feet - it's a strict "no slippers" policy at the temples
Temple-rama - the view across the river looking at Sagaing

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay December 21st 2006

We left the heat and smog of Yangon to land in the dark of the Mandalay International Airport, at least in name. Surprisingly when we landed there were absolutely no lights on and as we were ferried to the luggage carosel, the lights flickered on and off and out popped out bags. There was no one about and since the plane was only a third full and contained only 3 other tourists, the place was dead. Welcome to Mandalay! Walked outside to the pitch dark - so strange for an airport and found our bags whisked off to a taxi by a small boy. Naturally we had no bargaining power since it was obvious that we were in the middle of nowhere and they could charge whatever exorbitant fees they thought that someone rich enough to ... read more
Monks walking across the bridge in Mandalay
Crab seller in Mandalay
Sign in front of restaurant, Mandalay

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 15th 2006

Well, miracle of miracles we are in an internet cafe only two blocks from our hotel and there seems to be the makings of email, albeit slow. As promised, with power outages a daily occurrence we will see if we get to actually write and save this! My very dirty fingers and toes are crossed ... It is day 3 of our journey and we are slowly adapting to life as traveller with its own rhythms. After reflecting for a few days I am beginning to identify with someone who said that "Myanmar is not a developing country, but a lost country." Arriving here feels like going backwards decades and decades. The former glory of its years as a colony as clearly evident with buildings from that time filling up full the mammoth downtown, but all ... read more
Kids at the Shwedagon Paya

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok December 12th 2006

There was long day written all over Dec 10th when we left for YVR and got ready to hop our first, mere 11 1/2 hour flight to Beijing. Ah, Air Canada, not our favourite airline for many reasons and the main one of that day being leaving late for our very tight connection in Beijing to Bangkok. But all was saved as we were met right off the plane in Beijing with a sign and our boarding passes. The next 6 hours were a blur as we tried to stay awake in the lounge and then gave in for the flight to Bangkok. Woke up to the sound of the captain announcing our descent into the new airport, now the largest in South East Asia. As we taxied up to the terminal it seemed absolutely massive, ... read more
You can take the boy out of Canada, but not the Canada out of the boy
All that glitters is gold
The scene of SE Asia - Khao San Road

Asia » Burma December 10th 2006

One more sleep ... Our little backpacks are sitting side by side anxious to go and we are almost ready - finally. All of the running around and late nights about to pay off as we head to the airport tomorrow for our 16+ hour flight from Vancouver to Bangkok, the city that never sleeps. I'm sure that we will as soon as we hit our beds. The weather is a balmy 35C in Bangkok as they experiencing an unusual heatwave so we will be ready to strip off our layers and sweat as we acclimitize to life in South East Asia. The next time we write should be from the very wired, Khao San Road area, backpackers mecca. ... read more

Asia » Burma December 8th 2006

Only two more sleeps 'til we leave the wetcoast and head for sultry, steamy, South East Asia. This time: destination: Myanmar (Burma). For most of you who don't know just where it is I am including a little map to help situate us in your mind's eye. ... read more

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