Asia · 92 Days · 37 Moments · January 2016

Southeast Asia

21 April 2016

Fit as many Thai teas, fresh tropical fruits and banana pancakes as possible into my last day. Wandered around aimlessly by myself, found an amazing art gallery and a bookstore. Got my last Thai foot massage. Met a friend and went back for more pad Thai at Thip Samai, wandered around some more and then headed to the airport at 10pm. For those of you I failed to send postcards to I made you some beauty ones- one shows me sitting on my bag in the check in and the other eating an apple and a banana cake from seven eleven, because I'm too cheap to buy real airport food. Much more exciting depictions of Bangkok than the postcards I should've bought ;)

20 April 2016

Last night in Bangkok. Went to the famous pad Thai restaurant Thip Samai. Accidentally walked upon a carnival and went on the best ride ever! Then pretended to be classy and went to the moon bar, 61 floors up, to see the city lights at night and have the most expensive cocktail ever ( worth it for the view)

18 April 2016

Last few days in langkawi, went to the night market where you can get anything from a full meal to fresh produce & sea food (including stingrays) to clothing or electronics. There were crazy rain downpours for our two last days but we still got lucky with more sun than expected. Spent our last night in a fancier resort than usual, soaked up as much sun as possible. Will definitely have to return to Malaysia! The people are so friendly & honest plus there's such a variety of culture all mixed together, really interesting! ( also makes the food unreal)

16 April 2016

Took a cable car to the top of gunung (mountain) Mat Cincang & walked across the 'sky bridge'. It's the second highest mountain on langkawi at 850 meters. On a clear day it's possible to see Thailand from there. Also went to Pulai Thanjung Rhu, a beach on the north of the island.

15 April 2016

Langkawi island, Malaysia. Pictures don't do it justice at all.

13 April 2016

Songkran festival 2016 in Phuket!! Happy Thai new year๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„ Day consisted of constant water fighting, having baby powder smeared on our faces, music, dancing. Songkran marks the ending of dry season, the beginning of a new year. At the temples they bring food to the monks and water is poured on the Buddha statues to represent washing away the years sins & bad luck. The streets become a huge water fight, we couldn't leave our hostel without getting completely drenched! So much fun finally seeing the locals out enjoying themselves on the beach and in the streets alongside the tourists. Even the firemen and policemen get involved!

7 April 2016

Really behind on posting- here are a few pictures from my last day on koh Tao. Hiked to a viewpoint & rented snorkels and fins from a reggae bar on a secluded beach. After that I got some sort of terrible head cold so I spent three days eating spicy ginger soups, drinking fruit shakes, and lounging by a pool in Krabi. Today was songkran, Thai new year. Best holiday ever!! I'll post pictures in the next couple days. Decided earlier today that we're heading off to Malaysia for the last week of our trip...trying to fit in the most possible. ( my descriptions are getting more and more scattered, I seem to write these when I'm at my most tired and confused...hopefully some of what I say makes sense)

3 April 2016

Back by the ocean!! Getting my advanced open water diving certification on Koh Tao, Thailand. Went night diving and saw a barracuda today! Life is too good to be true.

29 March 2016

Learned to drive a scooter & hiked to a waterfall. Went later than most so had the place to ourselves, but still managed to make it back before dark. Loving pai!

28 March 2016

Back in Thailand! Spent a couple days in Bangkok, felt so different from the first time. Glad to be reunited with flushing toilets and 7/11s where you can buy anything you could ever want, but didn't miss the huge crowds of tourists and expensive prices ( relatively expensive of course). Then went up to northern Thailand. Was in chiang Mai for a couple days and I'm now in pai. All these pictures are from pai: exploring caves & waterfalls and the sunset at the canyon.

21 March 2016

Siem reap, Cambodia. Three days full of everything temple related, including mini golf. Hard to escape the crowds at Angkor but still so worth it. Visited Angkor Wat at sunrise, then Bayon temple inside of Angkor Thom, Ta Keo, Ta Phrom, and Banteay Kdei. Could've spent weeks here just to see all the temples. Such imposing places, so interesting to explore... Also visited a floating village, a fishermans village with a population of 6000 on Ton Le Sap lake. During dry season (right now) they have their houses out on the lake and then during the wet season they move them into the river. Such a different lifestyle, almost impossible to imagine. Excuse the terrible phone quality pictures, I took way more on my camera..

18 March 2016

Battambang, Cambodia. Second biggest city in Cambodia, but has the vibe of a small town. Really quiet and easy going. Got a tuktuk driver to tour us around for the day for about $10 each. Saw how they make bamboo sticky rice, ate 'organic' bbq rat, learnt how rice paper is made (plus had the best spring roll I've had in my entire life), visited the ruins of wat phnom, a temple older than Angkor wat. Went back to our hotel for a shower and then found a place with ac for lunch, luxuries in 37 degree weather... Then our tuktuk driver brought us to see another temple, we climbed 700 stairs to get to it, really amazing view especially around sunset. There was another reminder of the war: a killing cave where people would walk off/ get forced off the edge as a form of execution.
Really weird sight: thousands and thousands of bats flying out of a cave for the night. One of the rare times bats don't seem gross to me.

16 March 2016

Visited the killing fields and Tuol Sleg Genocide Museum. What was once security prison 21 (s-21) used during the four years the Khmer Rouge held power over Phnom Penh, is now a museum. During the regime of the Khmer Rouge it is estimated that approximately 20 000 prisoners were held and tortured there, then to be executed. The prisoners ranged from revolutionists, foreigners, engineers, academics, government officials, factory workers, monks... Many were suspected of being spies or allies of the KGB or CIA, they wouldn't even know what they had been accused of but would get tortured until they gave in. Once they 'admitted' their crime they were sent to places like Choeung Ek ( killing fields) where they'd get beaten to death. In most cases the rest of their families would also be executed to prevent them from getting revenge. Over a million people were killed at this site between 1975 and 1979. The thing that gets to me the most is how recent these events are.

14 March 2016

Koh rong, Cambodia. Spent a couple nights in a bungalow about 100 metres off the beach. Hiked over the island to long beach, the biggest, most perfect white sand beach I've ever seen. There are barely any tourists around on that side of the island so far, but they seem to be building a pier and resort of some type...happy we got to see it before that's all in place.

13 March 2016

Missing our little home on koh sdach:( but the rest of Cambodia isn't disappointing either.

10 March 2016

Spent two weeks in koh sdach, a little fisherman's island in Cambodia, with projects abroad. Spent our time learning to dive, cleaning up beaches and coral reefs, restoring the local soccer field, teaching English, swimming in photo luminescence, learning Khmer cooking and language, and camping on islands with perfect beaches. Way too lucky.

26 February 2016

Mui Ne & Ho Chi Minh city, last days in Vietnam. Could've spent way more time here, such an amazing country.

25 February 2016

Pictures from canyoning in Dalat, Vietnam.

24 February 2016

Dalat, Vietnam. One of my favourite places so far!! So much to do but so little time. Went abseiling & canyoning for a day, jumped off a 11 meter cliff and lowered myself into a waterfall๐Ÿ˜ฑ the next day we took a motorbike tour and visited the countryside. Drank coffee from beans that weasels pooped out, ate a silkworm and cricket ( highly recommend crickets dipped in chilli sauce, maybe skip the silkworm though...), drank happy water, visited flower gardens, a pagoda & waterfalls! Amazing day! Stayed at the best hostel ever, had family dinners all together and got free breakfast cooked for us each morning :) Wish I could stay longer!

22 February 2016

Nha trang: best fruit shakes & sushi ever!!๐Ÿ˜ฑ

19 February 2016

Went through Hoi An, a cute old town filled with lanterns and cobblestone streets, then continued on to Nha Trang. It's a bigger city by a 4km long beach, apparently a favourite destination for Russian tourists. There's a cable car out to an island that's made of an amusement park, a resort, and a water park.

14 February 2016

After taking a night train back to Hanoi from sapa we spent a day resting at Hang's moms house. Were super grateful to know some locals. They were able to explain the new year traditions we were seeing, help us with language barriers, made us our first home cooked meal in almost a month, and gave us a bed to nap in after a 5:30 AM arrival in the city. That night we took a bus to Hue, our first stop on our way down the coast towards Saigon. Arrived early in the morning and visited the imperial city, a citadel used during the Nguyen dynasty. Then we took a taxi out towards the beach. Got dropped off at a beach bar where they asked us to pay to enter. We ended up walking back up the road, through a cemetery and a deserted alleyway, to find the exact same beach just a little less manicured. Worth the $9 we saved.

11 February 2016

Hiked through sapa, northern Vietnam and stayed in tay van village at a homestay. Basically a hostel/ dorm inside someone's house. The family cooked all our meals for us. Our guide was from the black Hmong tribe, she spoke English really well and explained the differences between tribes and what we were seeing. Really fun experience ๐Ÿ˜„

9 February 2016

Day trip to halong bay! Went kayaking, had a sea food lunch served on the boat, and visited thien cung cave. It's been about 15-20 degrees, feels freezing compared to Thailand !๐Ÿ˜ฑ

8 February 2016

Made it to Hanoi for tet (New Years) amazing firework show, coffee, visited haon kiem lake and the ngoc son temple, went to a rooftop Cafe at sunset. So far love Vietnam!

3 February 2016

Hiked up to a viewpoint in the centre of ko phi phi then went through the jungle down to rantee beach. Took a long tail boat home. Think this is paradise.

31 January 2016

Spent a day kayaking around tonsai & railay near ao nang beach, krabi. Cost less than $20 to take a long tail boat to another bay, rent a kayak for 4 hours and get lunch on the beach. The next day we moved on to koh lanta, an island in the andaman sea. Went on a four islands long tail boat trip for a day. Snorkelled and went to emerald cave. You swim through a dark cave and end up in this green lagoon surrounded by limestone cliffs covered in jungle. Loved koh lanta, moving on to ko phi phi later today.

28 January 2016

Climbed 1260 stairs to get to this view! So worth it, even at 7 am ๐Ÿ˜ - tiger cave temple, krabi, Thailand

26 January 2016

We were stranded for two extra days, finally made it to krabi, on the andaman coast today...not that it was the worst place to be stuck;)

25 January 2016

Stranded on koh phangan. Ferry couldn't go because of the waves...might be able to leave today

24 January 2016

Thong nai pan, koh phangan, Thailand. Not bad at all ๐Ÿ˜

23 January 2016

Wipeout course! Same as on the show ๐Ÿ˜ the funniest thing ever.

21 January 2016

Looking out from Thongsala, Koh Phangan
Classy breakfast (including hotdogs๐Ÿ˜ฒ) in my bunk on the overnight train from Bangkok to surrathani. ( 12 hour train then 4 hours bus and ferry to koh phangan)

20 January 2016

Lunch at the national museum๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ˜ Art history of Thailand
Old city Bangkok : Wat pho temple (home of the reclining Buddha)