Carrie McQ


Carrie McQ

Travel in Central and South America

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok July 9th 2010

Our Flight home from Vietnam gave us 2 days in Bangkok and 2 days in Beijing for shopping. Finally after 1 year I could actually go shopping. The event I was excitedly awaiting and Dana not-so-secretly dreading. It was a slight disaster as we had way too many things we (I) wanted plus we wanted to get gifts on top of everything. My photos from Bangkok are of the King’s Palace which I think is the most beautiful palace in Asia, and from a leisurely cruise down the river. In China we were reunited with our Beijing friends where we couch surfed and partied to the buzz of the world cup soccer games. And ate Chinese food until I could no longer breath and which I have decided is the cuisine best in the world!! Shopping ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay July 6th 2010

Hanoi is a city of motor cycles. At every turn they are there, you can’t escape it. The fact that we would be home in a week started to sink in and we spent our time wandering the streets, not really seeing, feeling numb thinking that a whole year has gone by. Did I really do all these things? What will it be like to go home again? Have I changed? Am I now this great mature and worldly person I thought I would become after a year in the wildness of the world? Yikes that motorcycle almost ran me over! To take our mind off our approaching departure we took a trip out to Halong Bay for a 3 day cruise through the Fiords. We hopped aboard a Vietnese ‘Junk’ as they call their boats ... read more
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Tracks Through Poverty
Amazing Sleeper Buses

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An July 5th 2010

We were told Hoi-An, Vietnam is the best place in SE Asia to get clothes tailored. Reflecting back on this experience I think you could probably get great clothes made anywhere, Hoi-An is just famous for the sheer number of tailors in the city. At least 10-20 shops on each block in the old town (over 200 total). Dana and I heard numerous horror stories about tailoring disasters so decided to shop around at several tailors. We tried the most highly recommend shop, Yali (which looked like a mansion from the outside), and they did an amazing job on a work-dress for me although they were the most expensive. I have a lot of fun with this, designing the style I wanted, picking out colours and fabrics. When we went down stairs to pick out a ... read more
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The Canal

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng July 4th 2010

This is where all the young travelers come to get their ‘captain-messy-pants’ on. Interestingly, as we drove into town we noticed everyone seemed to have some sort of injury or other; numerous girls with exhaust burns on their legs, several people with their feet bandaged up, one guys in crutches and even a girl with an eye patch. What is with this town? When we arrived dark clouds gathered above us and left me with an ominous feeling. Moments later, Dana realized he left his backpack with all our valuables in the back of our tuk-tuk (camera, computer, our photos backups, passports, money, etc). He noticed right away and sprinted after it, leaving his flip flops behind. Fortunately, he caught up to the driver just as he was taking the ‘prize’ out to show his buddies. ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang July 3rd 2010

After roughing it in the jungle, Dana and I headed to a French Colonial village in order to get some good food and wine. We ate a bakery next to our place for almost every meal for the 5 days we were there. It’s called Joma and serves fantastic cappuccinos, bagels, lasagna, muffins, scones, brownies, cookies, and even Nanaimo bars!! Mmmmm, I’m salivating as I write this. We met a Canadian-Mexican couple here and spent our days with them. We went to a nearby waterfall/bear conservation project one day (why aren’t all waterfalls combined with bears - they go so well together!). They had just hide food in the bear’s jungle gym when we arrived so they were all roaming, digging, playing, and eating the prizes they found. One little baby bear lied on his back ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai July 2nd 2010

This is definitely one of the highlights of our trip. 3 days of living in trees and zip-lining through the jungle? Does it get any better? It all begins with a trek up into the limestone mountains in Northern Laos. Once we reached a sufficient height we threw on our harnesses and zipped from tree canopy to tree canopy, whizzing through the trees only to suddenly emerge and fly across deep valleys, viewing the world from the eyes of a condor. These views were breath-taking. Most of the lines, start in the dense jungle, so you can’t see where you are zipping to, so when you suddenly emerge and see that you’re about to zip over a valley to the next peak, it steals your breath away. There are seven tree houses in total, and many ... read more
A long way down
Dana Zipping from our home: Treehouse #7

Asia » Laos » South » Don Det July 1st 2010

In the southernmost tip of Laos, the Mekong contains 4000s islands and several huge waterfalls. Dana and I spent a week on one of these islands, and quickly adapted to the island life. We met an Australian guy on our 5th day there and he said to me “I can tell you guys have been here for awhile as you’re talking and moving so slowly. You know, they way people do who live on islands.” Wow, and that coming from an Australian. And me? I’m such a fast talker and generally fast paced person… what has happened to me? Our main activity was hammocking, but we also went tubing, white-water kayaking, biked to several waterfalls, fished, and of course partied. Laos is the land of kittens. Every establishment we entered had at least 3 little ones ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh May 27th 2010

Phenom Penh. Cambodia’s capital. We came here in order to learn more about the genocide that took place in Cambodia in the 1970s. An estimated 2 million people were massacred. The then communist leader, Pol Pot wanted a country where everyone was equal, which he aimed to achieve by murdering all the ‘intellectuals’ which included scientists, doctors, lawyers, foreigners, etc, and after awhile anyone wearing glasses was not safe. Everyone else was shipped out to the country side to work in the fields leaving the capital completely deserted. Conditions were harsh and many died. Pol Pot was paranoid of a rebellion and anyone who disobeyed him was tortured and then murdered. People were encouraged to spy on their neighbours and no one was allowed any enjoyment in their day to day life. In the end the ... read more
bones protruding from the path
Dana's buddies
Royal Palace

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor May 8th 2010

Angkor Wat and the surrounding ancient city ruins were built from 800-1300 years ago and today are a source of insight into Asia’s past. It is also the largest religious structure in the world. And in case you still don’t know what they are, they are featured in the first Tomb Raider movie. When it was first ‘rediscovered’ in the 1980s, the temples had been swallowed by the jungle with many massive trees growing straight out of the walls. Today much of the temples have been restored, although they left some of the trees in place and you can see how the roots are both crushing and yet supporting the crumbling walls. Dana and I took 3 days to explore all the complexes enclosed in the 50km square area. We hired a Cambodian former monk to ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville May 7th 2010

Beach Getaway - We went out to a nearby island, Koh Rung, which was mostly uninhabited except for a small village. We stayed in a little cabana and spent our days in the hammock, swimming and reading. A great place to recover and revive ourselves after several days on the bus and our adventures in the Village.... read more
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I saved this poor guy from frying in the sun
Soaking in the 30C 'bath-like' water

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