In my normal life I work at Wal-mart and help customers find the aisle with the raisins. But that is just what I do to finance my dream of world travel. In this life I am commencing part II of my world journey, in which I will be starting by seeing parts of the US. Then I will be moving on to Australia and South East Asia. I will be home after 15 months, and it still isn't enough time.

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an January 25th 2013

I appologize for the length of time between posts. It makes me sad to think back on my travels since I am not traveling right now. I am sure that is obvious that I am not still in China. Although I did stay a year in Australia, I shudder to think of the cost for a year visa in China for Americans. Right now I am in Austin, Texas working to finance more travel. The boring day to day drugery of work can be very disheartning to me. I miss the excitement of constantly seeing new things and places. But money makes travel possible. To continue my story of traveling through China... I took the overnight train from Chengdu to Xian. It was very cheap because it was a hard seat. This entailed sitting up all ... read more
Individual facial details are different for each statue
Terracotta General
Kneeling Archer

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu August 23rd 2012

The first day of my arrival in China I was a bit sleep deprived. I took an overnight flight from Chiang Mai. It actually only takes a few hours to fly to Chengdu. But the cheapest flight I could find involved having a 8 hour lay over in the Kunning airport. I flew out of Chiang Mai at 7:30pm and arrived in Kunning at 10pm. I went through customs and claimed my bag and then searched for a place in the airport I could curl up until 7:00am. I settled on a Starbucks that had nice bench sofas perfect for the cheapskate overnight layover. I wasn't even the only person with this problem. Half a dozen other travelers were sprawled over the Starbucks. I estimate that I got about 5 hours of sleep. In the morning ... read more
Panda Park land
Chairman Mao statue

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai » Doi Suthep August 18th 2012

I left Luang Prabang for Chiang Mai at 6pm after my cooking class. The bus was only supposed to take 20 hours which was an improvement from my 30 hr Hanoi bus trip. When I got on the bus I was not impressed as it was more a minibus than the nice sleeping bus I had my Hanoi trip on. But I did have a whole bench to myself which allowed me to sleep with my legs twisted up against the window. This bus made an adequate amount of bathroom and food breaks which I appreciated. I slept most of the night, but around 4:30am the bus stopped and everyone clamoring out of the bus for what I assumed was a rest stop woke me up. I went back to sleep for about half an hour, ... read more
Foggy Mountains
Night Market
Silver Doors

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang August 9th 2012

My entry to Laos started with an overnight bus from Hanoi. I booked the bus through my hostel which is the easiest thing to do because they pick you up right from the hostel. My pickup arrived on a motorbike. He had to carry my backpack (which weighs 20kg) on his lap so I could sit in the back and be whizzed through traffic. He left me at another hostel and told me to wait. I waited there for about three hours. I wouldn't have minded the wait so much if I knew about it ahead of time, but I kept thinking I would be picked up at any time. Finally a minibus arrived and I piled on to be taken to a bus station where our minibus driver bought tickets for us and directed us ... read more
Cooking Vegtables
Stuffed Lemongrass
Laos countryside

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi August 2nd 2012

I flew from Saigon to Hanoi on July 12th. I originally wanted to take the train, but it takes 48 hours and costs $120 for a sleeper berth. It turned out to be about $50 cheaper to fly. Although I ended up paying another $15 for the hostel to pick me up. I could have gotten there cheaper by taking the airport shuttle, but I am feeling lazy at this point in my trip and feel it is worth the money to have someone waiting for me and take me directly to my hostel without me haveing to worry about finding it myself. This turned out to be particularly helpful in Hanoi because my hostel is located down an alley that is doubling as a storage for a nearby construction project so it doesn't look like ... read more
Halong Bay
Colored Lights in a Cave
Halong Bay

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay July 21st 2012

This entry on trip from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City is mostly bleak. I think that is reflected in the pictures. There aren't any really pretty things to see here, but they are interesting. This trip starts in Cambodia where a mini bus picked me up at my hostel for the beginning of my trip down the Mekong Delta to Saigon (a name used interchangeable with Ho Chi Minh City by pretty much everyone). There were a pair of girls from the Netherlands and another couple from Germany in addition to myself. About an hour into our bus trip the Dutch girls started asking when we would arrive at the boat. Apparently the hotel that sold this trip to them told them that they would be taking a boat for 6 hours from right ... read more
Mekong Delta slow boat
Living on the banks of the Mekong
Boating on the Mekong

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh July 19th 2012

From Siem Reap I took a 7 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh. It cost $10 and they dropped me off at a bus station. I had arranged for my hostel to pick me up so I didn't have to find the place myself. They did that for free and that is just one thing to love about accomadation in South East Asia. It seems like they all compete to offer extras to travellers. The national museum and the royal palace museum are both beautiful sights with art and gilded architecture all over the place. Visiting Phnom Penh for a tourist means confronting the legacy the Khmer Rouge left on Cambodia for is short reign of terror from 1973-78. The major tourist attractions in Phnom Penh are the Royal Palace, the National Museum, and the central ... read more
Wicker Naga
Memorial Stupa  at the Choeung Ek Gencidal Center
Inside the Memorial Stupa

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor July 3rd 2012

From Bangkok I was going to take the train up to Chang Mai and then though Laos and Vietnam and then end in Cambodia and fly to China, but then I realized that Siem Reap is very close to Bangkok. If you were able to drive straight through it would only take about 5 and a half hours to drive. So I booked a bus ticket to go there from my hostel. Apparently many people travel this path from Bangkok to Siem Reap. I had read on some travel web sites that there is a scam at the border where the hostel buses drop you at a restaurant some unknown distance from the border and then over charge you for your visa. The visa should cost $20 at the border, but the 'agents' charge you twice ... read more
Me at Ta Prohm
Angkor Wat entrance
Decrative carvings

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi » Thong Pha Phum June 30th 2012

I woke up at 6:15am. I really hate getting up early and I count it as one of the best parts of my traveling days that I don't have to get out of bed until I want to. Though in the effort of living life to the fullest I try to average a 9am wake up call. So 6:15 am is quite early for me. At 6:30 a hostel employee knocked on the door and told me that they are waiting for me downstairs. I was almost ready anyway, so I grabbed my bag and hat and rushed down the stairs only to be told that I had to wait until 7am. They only sent someone to make sure I was ready. Since they are probably used to dealing with drunken backpackers I don't hold the ... read more
Bridge Over the River Kwai
Tracks on the Bridge
War is Sinful Behavior

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok June 17th 2012

Bangkok is considered by many to be the backpacker ghetto of the world. Its cheap, its interesting, and there no matter how bizarre your tastes are someone is selling it. Who wouldn't want that? I took the overnight train from Kuala Lumpur. It left KL Sentral at 10pm and arrived in Georgetown at 8am and then I waited at the station until 3pm and got on another overnight train that arrived in Bangkok at about 2pm. The hostel that I decided to stay at is located in the business district well away from the thriving backpacker ghetto of Khao San road. I find it quite nice to be able to jump on the metro because I absolutely hate taxis and tuk tuks. Also I appreciate being well away from the touts that hang around the tourist ... read more
Me and the minature Ankor Wat
Grand Palace
MBK shopping mall

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