Hi All!

Sorry these posts are waayyyy outdated. Internet has been scarce and my first 3 weeks of travel has been nonstop. Will try to update more...with pictures and will supplement with words when I have more time. Cheers!

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"'cause you woke up in the mornin, with initiative to move, so why make it harder...
the world, is holdin back...
the time has come to...
the world, is holdin back...
dont hold back...
you think its time you get up, crunch time, like a sit up, come on keep pace...
dont hold back...
put apprehension on the back burner, let it sit, dont even get it lit...
dont hold back...
get involved with the jam
dont hold back..."
--Chemical Brothers

Asia » Indonesia » Bali June 19th 2009

After much consideration, I've decided to scratch the city destinations- Hong Kong & Taipei & Seoul from my itinerary for the beautiful island of Bali. After a full 5 weeks of adventures, a final 6 days of beach bumming, sunshine, and a little surfing just make sense. It will make for a nice wrap up of Oceania & SE Asia. It is approximately close to midnight in Bali, and I am le tired...went bumpin on a banana boat, parasailed, snorkeled & fed fishies, hugged a turtle, held a bat, got a snake wrapped around my neck, kissed(almost) an iguana, and walked over long long lOong stretches of seashells and sharp rocks barefoot(certain Bali beaches are very rocky). I'm now off to bed to wake up early for a nice morning swim in the Indian Ocean and ... read more
Turtle Island
Kissy Kiss
Toucan Sam

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang June 15th 2009

We arrived in beautiful Nha Trang bright and early(boarded our 5 AM flight to Da Nang then layover and connecting finally to Nha Trang around 10 AM). Nha Trang was beautiful mainly because the temperature was ~27 C and we could feel the ocean breeze and see the coastline of clear aquamarine water. The next few days were just pure beaches and relaxation. After Nha Trang, we headed to Saigon, or renamed after North/South civil war was decided, Ho Chi Minh. Id been in HCM before but the experience this time's better, since I'm not with family, visiting a galore of people and just really exploring the city for myself. Ho Chi Minh's like the NYC of America. Everything's happening. It's so interesting how different it can be from other places in the same country. But ... read more
Nha Trang Beach
Down the beach

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay June 13th 2009

A much better state of mind and ready for more adventures the day after. We set out to explore the town and mainly to find good food. Our first stop Pho, traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that's soothing to the body, mind, and spirit. One problem, we needed to find a place with Air Con...It's 33 C and we're not about to eat that hot hot soup dripping wet. After a good 2 hours and a few pit stops, we found a nice AC place that served up scrumdilicious bowls of Pho. The rest of the day, we spent exploring the Old Quarter of Hanoi and visiting the tourist agency to book the rest of our Vietnam trip (It's basically how we'd been doing our trip--- plan on the go). The rest of Hanoi days were spent ... read more
Mmmm Pho
Photo 3
Hoan Kiem Lake

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi June 12th 2009

We arrived at Hanoi in the nice sweltering heat of 33 C and the sky's filled with smoke. It was about 10 PM. We were informed the smog was due to the nightly burning of wheat to help fertilization of agriculture fields...not really sure what that's about. Met up with my friends Conall and Matt and we all went out for a late night happy hour. Conall is finishing his tour around SE Asia in Vietnam and Matt is halfway done before heading back to Melbourne, AU in October. I never thought I'd fall asleep with one beer. Well, I definitely did at our late night happy hour bar. It must be the aromatic VN beer...or I was just exhausted. Walking the streets of Hanoi in sweltering humidity...I must've had 5 showers by the time we ... read more
Crossing the Street
Hanoi at Night

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane June 7th 2009

Sunday Night, Sadiki, Amy, Ann, and myself headed out to the train station @ Bangkok, getting ready to board our 12 hour overnight train ride in First Class(which means Air Con, with fold out beds..the other option was outdoors on metal benches, sitting) from Bangkok to Nong Khai, Thailand, which is at the border of Thailand and Laos. Our train would leave at 8 PM and arriving in Nong Khai 8 AM. From Nong Khai, we'd take a Tuk Tuk to cross the Friendship Bridge(connecting Thailand & Laos) and head over to Vientiane, capital of Laos. We had planned on spending Monday morning exploring Vientiane, then hop on a bus to Vang Viang, the place for river tubing. Well, so much for planning. That's what we realized more and more...it's impossible to plan with SE Asian ... read more
Visa on Arrival
Friendship Bridge

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok June 6th 2009

When in Paris, one must go see the Eiffel Tower. Similarly, when in Amsterdam, one must try the locals' brownies. The list goes on for must-sees at destinations around the world; some are on the list of world wonders and some are just for kicks. Well, we were in Bangkok, and the infamous *ping pong show* (for kicks) was calling us. ***As a word of caution, this post has no pictures for a reason. And as a disclaimer, I am in no way endorsing what goes on here, and actually strongly encourage it not to be pursued. Sometime, it is OK to not see the Eiffel Tower. *** Shortly after Amy & Ann arrived at our hotel, the 4 of us called a cab and got dropped off at Khaosan Road in search of the *show.* ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok June 5th 2009

We arrived in Bangkok and checked into the glorious Hilton hotel, our first real hotel accommodation in SE Asia. Needless to say, we were thrilled. Sadiki realized he had enough points to get us a free night at the luxurious Hilton with a view of Bangkok skyline and nicely located at the edge of the river that runs along the city. We checked in, at a special honor guest private check-in area, and were served tea and nice cold towels. After lounging around, forever, in our great, fresh, clean hotel room, we finally got ready and off we went to check out Bangkok nightlife. ... read more
View From Hotel Room
Bangkok At Night
The River Boat

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai June 2nd 2009

Landed at Chiang Mai International airport (who knew it's international?!) and off we went to pick up our bags & to the reservation desk to book accommodation. After a 20 minutes of bargaining and being haggled by the guy, we left on our own with no reservation. Picked up a map and got in a cab and got dropped off in the center of Chiang Mai city. After touring a barrage of roach infested hole in the wall places, we settled at a place on "discount for you" at 450 baht @ an alley street. Dropped off our bags and off we went to explore the rest of the city. We have been crazy foodies for the last 24 hrs, eating non stop all the delicious food at the awesome BKK, so dinner's nowhere in the ... read more
Wat Chiang Man
Inside Chiang Man
Offerings @ temple

Asia » Thailand » Southern Thailand June 1st 2009

After a 2 hour ferry ride, a 30 minute "super-sized" tuk tuk transfer trip with 25 people with their 15 kg backpacks smashed like sardines along two wooden benches, a 4 hour bus ride, and 12 hour overnight trained crammed in our "1st class" 5 X8 cell, we got to Bangkok, Thailand. Off to bargaining with the taxi drivers from 600 Baht to a 350 baht ride from the train station to BKK airport(we saved 10 USD!...lol). Next, after a 4 1/2 half hour excitedly exploring and enjoying the luxurious facilities at the BKK airport, we were off to catch our flight to beautiful Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Whew. We hope Chiang Mai is truly beautiful. ... read more
Supersized Tuk Tuk

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phi Phi Don May 30th 2009

I got up Saturday morning, hopped on the local bus at Kata Beach to head back to Phuket town and meet up with Sadiki, arriving from Singapore. Sadiki & I had no way to contact each other at Phuket- no cell phone, no nothing(you realize how dependent...or seem to think how dependent we are on that little thing. All we set up was, "Meet me at the Bus Station"- said I via email. Once I got to the Phuket bus station myself, I realized, the place was huge...with different areas that make up "The Station." O well. I guess it can't be too hard to spot out one black & fabulous man amongst a sea of asians...might be a little difficult for him to spot me out. So I waited, and did circles around the station ... read more
Arrival to Koh Phi Phi Pier
Tsunami Escape Route
Koh Phi Phi Don

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