Page 2 of Casey Lary Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi August 14th 2007

Oh how wonderful it felt to be back in Vietnam! I first came to Vietnam in December 2006 with my travel buddy Jeff and I fell in love with the country from the moment I stepped off the airplane. Never before had I been to a country with some much chaotic energy. After talking to other travelers, it seems that Vietnam is a country you love, or love to hate. Yes, its dirty, people are trying to rip you off on every corner, there is a good chance you are going to get robbed, you could get food poisoning, and tourism hasn't been done too well in the country. On the other hand, its intense with motos zipping past you in all directions about to kill you when you cross the street, mouthwatering pho on every ... read more
Uncle Ho Mausoleum
Uncle Ho's House
Uncle Ho's Guesthouse

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur August 13th 2007

Unable to afford another day of diving, I decided to leave Semporna (ie the armpit of Malaysia) a day early and spend a day in Kuala Lumpur experiencing city life. Plus, I got a great offer to couchsurf with this guy Gupreet- how could I turn it all down? I must admit it was tempting to splurge and spend more time under the sea, but since it was only 10 days into my trip and I have to watch my money, it just didn't seem like the best idea! I woke up early and bade farewell to some of my dive instructors and the owner of the hostel. I set out for the airport in Tawau, and before I knew it I was swept off to KL. Once there, I gave Gupreet a call and he ... read more
Street Performers
China Town Entrance

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan August 10th 2007

To be honest, I didn't even know what Sipadan was until this past May. My friend Jonathan went there during Golden Week and came back raving about the incredible diving. At the same time I was with Mr. Germany in Bali getting my PADI open-water, realizing that I wanted to do some more diving in southeast Asia before returning to America. While in Bali I was thinking of going to peninsular Malaysia to the Perentian Islands, but after talking to Jonathan, I was sold and bound for Borneo post-JET. Sipadan was my main purpose to go to Borneo, Uncle Tan's and the mountain wonderful stops along the way. When I first started to plan borneo, I wasn't even going to hike Mt. Kinabalu! What a waste that would have been. So, for my last entry from ... read more
White Tip Reef Shark

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan August 6th 2007

I left Kota Kinabalu the day after I got off the mountain en route for Sandakan, then the next day I would head off to my next stop: Uncle Tan's Wildlife Camp. I thought I would get some much needed shut-eye on the bus, but then I remembered that I was in southeast asia and sleeping on buses doesn't really happen. Eyes widened as I entered the bus because I was the only foreigner. Of course, the cutest little baby was sitting behind me, and an hour into the 5 hour journey started to scream its head off. In addition I had Mel Gibson's new movie about South American tribes playing that made my stomach turn. Rather funny, I had never heard of this movie and missed the opening title, and mistakenly thought this was a ... read more
Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary
Uncle Tan's
The lodging

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mount Kinabalu August 3rd 2007

Believe it or not, my time in Japan came to a close and I was set loose to embark on my dream trip through Asia: Casey's Asian Invasion. Ever since I came to Japan I started to envision my trip post JET. It is hard to believe that it has actually begun...and started out with a bang! I was sad to leave Japan. I consider myself the antithesis of Japanese culture, yet over the past 2 years have fallen in love with the country. It has changed me, and I have definitely changed Kabe. Only now is is starting to kick in that I will not be returning to Japan, that someone else is an ALT at Kabe Senior High School, and that someone else is sleeping on my futon. But, when one door closes another ... read more
Mt. Kinabalu
Park Headquarters
World Challenge Group

Asia » Japan » Kyoto June 21st 2007

The mysteries of geisha and maiko have intrigued me even before I came to Japan. When I first got here daily I would get all excited to see women wandering the streets of Hiroshima in kimono, in the back of my mind pondering why they were wearing kimono and if they were somehow related to the elusive geisha. Silly, I know, but still it did cross my mind! I quickly learned that many Japanese women wear kimono on a daily basis sans the intricate makeup, and especially at festivals. At my first summer festival I saw women walking around in yukata, summer kimonos, and immediately was yearning to be adorned in such beautiful and traditional garments. Then I finally read Memoirs of a Geisha and went Geisha-hunting in Kyoto’s Gion district…I was sold and knew ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Padangbai May 3rd 2007

Ubud For the next part of our trip Marc and I pulled ourselves from the coastline and headed into the center toward the cultural capital of the island, Ubud - a great town full of beautiful architecture, some swanky stores and topnotch cuisine, a huge outdoor market, surrounded by beautiful jungles. Ubud is famous for its art galleries and traditional Balinesian dances at night. Upon arrival via private taxi, we settled into a cute guest house, which for the life of me can't remember the name. It was a beautiful with little bungalows scattered in between the lush greenery of the locale. After, we set out to explore the market. I found some incredible silver jewelry and refined my bargaining skills whilst shopping for some wood serving spoons. After some shopping (Marc loves to shop like ... read more
Ubud Market
Hindu Offerings
Hindu Offerings

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Kuta April 29th 2007

My Golden Week trip to Bali was EXACTLY what I needed! I dabbled in going to many places- Mongolia for some urks and Gobi Desert action, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Bangladesh, Malaysia’s Perentian Islands for some beach time and scuba diving, or heading to Bali for a week of diving, beaches, and partying. After some research, Bali was the winner! Going to Bali was unlike most of my adventures over the past 2 years. Instead of immersing myself in the culture and being on the go all the time, I relaxed, spent a lot of money, and did manage to see some cultural sights along the way. It really felt like I was on a spring break trip like during high school and college- just what the doctor ordered. My friend Marc accompanied ... read more
Bounty Interior

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima April 8th 2007

Japan in the springtime is like stepping into Heaven. All over Japan cherry blossoms (sakura) are on display. As you wander the streets sakura petals fall from above. The bitter cold from winter has abated and people take to the streets and parks to meet with friends and admire the blossoms. The Japanese take full advantage of this magical time of year. Businesses, families, and friends participate in an activity called Hanami. This is sitting under the cherry trees and picnicking, usually washed down with a special spring brew or sake. It is by far my favorite time of year and the best time to visit Japan. Of course, the temples all over Japan are amazing by themselves, but when framed with cherry trees it is the icing on the cake. In addition to amazing sights, ... read more
Hanami Party by the river
Hanami Schedule
Hanami Kanpai!

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima March 14th 2007

Learning to Bow at Kabe Senior High School “kiritsu” “ley” “onegaishimasu” These are the 3 words I hear before I start every class. I remember my first class - standing in front of 20 first-year Japanese high school students clad in blue uniform - absolutely petrified. The translation (which I learned very quickly) is “stand up” “bow” “Let’s begin class.” I stood there with my self-introduction in hand, Tsuchimura sensei standing beside me, hoping that I could make it through the 50 minutes. After talking about myself and America (speaking way too fast and maximum 10 words were understood by the students), a game of Bingo, and some student introductions, class was over. I survived. It was a disaster. I wanted to go home. I have come a long way since then. Now, with only 3 ... read more
Welcome to Kabe Koukou!
ESS Welcom Party July 2005
New JETs 2005-2006

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