'Travel' Posts


Well, it's our last night in Southeast Asia.. We're excited to come home, but don't want to leave at the same time. We've been gone for a while. It feels like ages ago we were just arriving in Kuala Lumpur. Anyway, I figured for my last blog entry I would just post a list of Best/Worst/Favorite/Most/Least (etc.) of our trip. This will hopefully answer most of the questions people want to ask us- so when we get home I don't have to say the same things to every single person we know over and over again and we can just get on with life.


It's impossible to get a good night's sleep in the Philippines. If it's not a rooster waking you up at 4:00am, it's someone blaring 80's/90's american love songs at 6:00am, or a motorcycle in bad need of a new muffler, or a tricycle (that's what they call their form of tuk tuk here) blasting happy hardcore style techno as it putters by your window, or the power going out at 1:00am causing your fan to die so you wake up in a hot sweaty mess.


The night train to Hoi An was a long one, about 18 hours. It was fine until the last three hours or so when it got super hot and I wanted a shower real bad. Laura had booked us in to the Hoang Trinh Hotel in Hoi An. We arrived on Feb 9, my Birfday. After showering, we were having a beer on the patio when all of a sudden the hotel staff appeared and handed me a cake and a present (they also sang happy birthday). Laura didn't tell them or anything, they knew it was my birthday from my passport. It was really nice of them.


Getting to the caves is an adventure itself. You have to take a public bus to this junction where Highway 8 meets Highway 13, then jump on a Tuk Tuk to a town called Ban Na Hin, stay a night there, then make your way to the caves the next morning. The public bus was nicer than the VIP bus in Vang Vieng, however, the public bus will pick anyone up, along with anything they have that will fit in or on top of the bus. When we got on the bus there was three mattresses, six motorcycles, a couple lamps, a bedside table, and some boxes and bags on the roof.


Laos is sooooo chill. And yet, I didn't hear Bob Marley the whole time we were there (thankfully). Everyone here moves real slow. They call it "Lao Time". The guy that stamped our receipts for the bus to Vang Vieng literally looked like he was moving in slow motion. Also there's people napping everywhere. I assume it's from the sticky rice. Sticky rice made me really sleepy. I had it once with breakfast and I wasn't right the whole day.


The White Temple is the brainchild of artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and is a truly amazing work of modern art. He started the project in 1998 with his own money and has put millions of dollars into it so far. The scale of the project is so grand that it isn't estimated to be done for a few decades. You can read about it more somewhere else online.





I thought Phuket was supposed to be this lovely little beach community where people went to relax and be peaceful. Don't ask me why I thought that, I'm sure it's just ignorance. It's a hell hole. But more on that later!





Well it's Christmas. Actually it's boxing day, but it's Christmas in Vancouver. We're currently in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It's awesome here. The atmosphere is great, the food is awesome, and the people are really nice. I like it.





At 9:55pm there's a knock at my door.

"Taxi is here! You must go."

It's 5 minutes early. We quickly get our things together and dash out the door.

The taxi is a pickup truck that has been converted to accommodate large groups of people. Bench seating had been installed that runs parallel to the direction of travel, with a metal frame and roof to protect from the elements. It reminds me of the way army trucks transport troops.