Anastasiya and Kalle


A newly wed couple on an extended honeymoon in amazing Asia-Pac for 8 months. Our itinerary begun in Bangkok in mid-October 2011 and is through by end of June 2012, although one never knows when the journey ends. It has had us traveling in Southeast Asia, Nepal (28.10-16.12), Australia (17.12 - 6.2), New Zealand (7.2 - 11.3) after which we bounced back to SE Asia starting with Indonesia for 4 weeks, then up to Northen Thailand and through Laos and Cambodia, followed by a coast trip from South to North of Viet-Nam, then getting back to square one.

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lausanne August 12th 2012

All good things must come to an end, our epic extended honeymoon included. Hence, it is with a heavy heart we have to tell that this will be our concluding blog entry, with which we will bid our farewells. We have been back to Europe now for about two months, having had some time to reflect our life on the road. Now thinking retrospectively, our last nine months, a month in Finland included, feel almost surreal. While we were on the road, time seemed to fly by, but now that we have had some time to digest our experiences in a familiar environment, it is slowly dawning on us what have we done and achieved during our grand voyage. Here's some fundamental questions we have been chewing. Was it worth it? Did it bring about any ... read more
Soon to be sacrified
On the Road
At the Edge of the World

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi June 16th 2012

We hit Saigon relatively fresh and get instantly bewildered by this jungle of roaming mechanic beasts. There are estimated 5 million motorcycles filling the streets of the Paris of the Orient. Crossing the traffic-clogged streets poses an interesting challenge, as one basically has to adopt a piecemeal approach, stopping in the middle of a street once or twice while the motorcycles narrowly miss you. But to our own surprise, after a few days, we become quite good at crossing the streets, usually shadowing the natives when they cross the street. Fear is your only red light. Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honour of the late leader of North Vietnam himself. However it seems everyone is still using the old name, despite the revered status of Ho ... read more
Uncle Ho's Post Office
Make Love not War
Top Brass at Hotel Rex

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta May 31st 2012

Our eventful journey following the Mighty Mekong from the Golden Triangle through Laos and Cambodia down to South China Sea is culminating in the Mekong Delta in south Vietnam. Although, as our avid readers know, we have made a numerous deviations during our trip, sidetracking whenever we felt like it was worth the effort, we have always been drawn back to the Mekong, joining the flow of one of the world's great rivers. The source of Mekong resides high in the Tibetan plateau, from where it flows 4500km through China, snaking between Burma and Laos, through Laos, along the Laos–Thailand border, and through Cambodia and Vietnam until ultimately connecting with the South China Sea. Before reaching the sea, the river splits into a number of branches, which explains the Vietnamese name for the Mekong - Song ... read more
Eco Lawn Mowers
Phu Quoc Babe
Preparing for Dive

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh May 28th 2012

Upon arrival at Phnom Penh we face the usual drill of being surrounded by a swarm of tuk-tuk drivers who try to grab our backpacks and who all happen to know a very good guesthouse run by a very good friend. "Mistel, mistel, tuk-tuk ok? You come with me. Me know vely good hotel, special plice fol you my fliend, ok?" To be honest, I have in some morbid way missed this fuss, maybe because of all the sedated time we spent on the 4000 Islands. After some haggling, we agree on the price with a driver and convince him we already have a hotel booked, so he doesn't have to waste either his or our time taking us to any hotel where he would get a commission for bringing us there, a commission that would ... read more
A Former School Transformed to a Prison, S21
S21 Cells
Children's grave

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane May 13th 2012

One of the first things we notice in Laos is that time flows differently. It doesn't seem to progress linearly any longer but stays frozen for most of the day except for brief infrequent intervals when through the accumulated static energy the time bursts through the wall of inaction and things somehow come about. We learn very fast that L.P.D.R. doesn't only stand for Laos People's Democratic Republic but also for Laos Please Don't Rush. The Laotians are probably the most horizontally inclined nation out there. As a local saying goes too much work is not good for your brain. Everywhere you look at, there's always somebody lying low in a hammock. We in the west have so much to learn from these people. If you miss your bus, take it easy for a day and ... read more
Un homme heureux
The Tomb of Henri Mouhot
Fruits of Freedom

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing May 1st 2012

The third new year in four months seen off in grand style, we feel we have acquired enough good karma to explore Asia's murkier side and start off the much anticipated expedition to the Golden Triangle, a wide swathe of northern Southeast Asia comprising remote parts of Burma, Laos and Thailand. A savage region of rugged mountains and inaccessible forests inhabited by Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lisu, Shan, Tai Lu and a few other hilltribes. Imagine warlords with private armies, megalomanic Burmese generals, opium mule trains chugging through the jungle, hidden opium refineries, Chinese triads, remote villages and above all the chest-high pink and white poppies that are the source of opium and numerous opiates deriving from it: codeine, morphine, heroin, just to mention a few. Add in the mix secret wars waged by CIA and financed ... read more
The White Temple
The Modern Monks
The Golden Triangle

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai April 23rd 2012

Coming back to Bangkok feels almost like returning home. A familiar city with favorite food joints established during our previous visits and what's more we know the lay of the land and find it easy to navigate in the sprawling metropolis of ten million people. What makes it even more enjoyable, is that this time we can stay a few days at a friend's house, taking advantage of the comfort Bangkok has to offer to privileged ones. A concierge at the entrance, a swift ascend to 25th floor for a bird-eye view over the city from a modern 2 level condominium. We also have an acces to a recreation floor with an open air swimming pool, a squash court, a gym and a library, and we do have time to use them all since we are ... read more
Crystal Buddha
Buckets of Water
Who is not Soaked yet ?

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gilli Trawangan April 9th 2012

If you were to spend a day on each and every island of Indonesia, it would take you modest forty years. Now, if for some reason you don't have the luxury of time to visit all of them in order to choose your perfect tropical island getaway, your only option is to be extremely selective like a good headhunter. But don't you worry dear reader, we are about to share the location of a paradise with you.The three Gili Islands, affectionately known as the Gilis, just off the coast of Lombok, are the true pearls of Indonesia. Trust us, you could easily spend a small eternity on these tranquil islands of white powdery sand surrounded by clear turquoise water. We begin our stay on the Gilis with Gili Trawangan, which is the furthest of the three ... read more
Mount Agung
Underwater Love
Catching a Dinner

Asia » Indonesia » Bali April 1st 2012

Mother-in-laws are like expectations, sometimes you've got to meet them. However, you would suppose there are worse spots than Bali for the inevitable rendezvous, wouldn't you? So did I but, but as per usual, little did I know. Getting to Bali was an ordeal by itself, i.e. another 14 hours on a plane, first an 11 hour flight from wrecked Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur, then a few long hours spent at, by courtesy of the Almighty, an alcohol-free lounge, before boarding another 3 hour flight to Bali. After New Zealand, which was blissfully free from tourist hoardes, Bali serves us an intense and immediate cultural shock jolting our minds and bodies far out of any notion of peace and harmony. Kuta beach is a condensed, dirty, noisy, sordid strip of God's forsaken land, crammed with Western ... read more
Kuta Beach
Wife and lovely in-laws
Loving a  Monster Man

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island March 15th 2012

Crossing Cook Strait from Wellington to Picton by a gigantic ferry is by far a more civilized experience than taking a similar ferry from Helsinki either to Stockholm or Tallinn, namely due to the complete absence of legions of badly dressed Finns being either in process of getting obnoxiously drunk or hoarding tax-free booze behaving as if the Prohibition were abolished just yesterday, causing one to consider whether one is actually better off jumping off the board rather than being stuck in a confined space with the aforementioned fellow passengers for any meaningful period of time. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, we thoroughly enjoy the 3 hour crossing, spending most of the time on the outer deck absorbing the magnificent landscape of the rugged coastline displaying all the imaginable shades of green. Whosoever ... read more
An Old WInery

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