A Travellerspoint blog

Southeast Asia

Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and into India


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Four countries in about a month. I never fully explored any of them but I enjoyed them all. They all had great food, great weather, cheap prices and delightful smiles.

Laos was nice. These were some of the most laid back people I have ever encountered. I saw alot of buddhas, took some rough but scenic bus journeys and a big highlight was renting a scooter in the capital Vientiane.

Really great and only $5CDN/24 hrs

Many people told me everyone in Vietnam just wanted to get my money with any means possible. This seemed to be true at first. At the border it took two hours of hardcore bargining before me and 2 other travellers were able to get a reasonable price for our bus to Hanoi then the taxi to the center in Hanoi had a fast meter. But after this I had no real problems. The people were, in fact, really nice especially my couchsurfing hosts, I had 2 local hosts in the big cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Finally got to swim in the ocean in Nha Trang (touristy beach town).

Hanoi, Vietnam

I was only in Cambodia 5 days. I mostly saw the famous part of Cambodia, the wonder of the world Angkor Wat in Siem Riep (from the movie "Tomb Raider") and the infamous part of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge museums in Phnom Penh. Cambodia was the poorest of the countries but had maybe the nicest people.

Cow Racing

My trip to thailand was a bit lazy but that was ok. It was sort of like a holiday in a holiday. I arrived in Thailand just in time to meet my brother Jon and his friend Devan at the Bangkok airport and then meet up with six of their friends in the city center. I tagged along with all of them to Koh Phangan Island for like five days. The group seemed to have a bit higher budget than me but for 1 week it was ok. I pretty much layed on the beach the whole time then the last night was the big full moon party on the beach which was pretty cool even for someone who doesn't drink. It was really great to spend some time with Jon and really wierd too (I have never seen anyone I know while travelling). From what I saw it seems Thailand is a bit overtouristed.

Full Moon Party...

And now I'm in India...check the next blog it will be good.

Posted by Chris Adam 08:52 Comments (0)

CHINA

Last Bit of Mongolia, CHINA, and into Southeast Asia


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I finally left Mongolia. I liked it alot but staying over three weeks was not part of my plan. It was definitely time to go to China.

China was an experience. There were alot of ups and downs. It was a great adventure but some of those first days were completely frustrating.

At first it seemed that everyone just wanted my money. My second day I narrowly escaped the infamous Beijing tea scam (see video). But once I left the big tourist centers of Shanghai and Beijing, it became obvious how friendly and hospitable Chinese people are. It's true Chinese people spit, burp, fart, slurp, litter, cut lines and my favourite the loud yawn but at the same time they are very polite and extremely nice. Most people see you as a guest in their country and want to do whatever they can to make your stay easier. It's almost too much, foreigners (especially white skinned) get special treatment.

My tea scam. The progression of this scam goes "Hello can I talk with you a while", "would you like to go to real Chinese tea shop" and "Yes its very normal for Chinese to spend $70 on 7 thimbles of tea now pay".

As for the Language Barrier yes it can be torture. I thought there would be alot of english spoken here but in fact most people speak no english at all. Even sign language seemed more difficult.

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I talked to the guy on the right for a few minutes and the next thing I knew I was teaching an english class.

The food in China is reason enough to visit. I could have done without the MSG (on the side in a salt shaker sometimes) but there is so much to eat and its always delicious. Amazingly I never got sick and I ate anything and everything from anywhere. This shows the pride the Chinese take in their food.

Eating Pigeon

I actually ended up arriving just before Chinese New Years. Wow how lucky! Yes and no. I got to see alot of unique cultural stuff (and fireworks) but at the same time everything was more expensive and getting between cities was always a hassle. Either I waited for days to get a train ticket or I had to buy a super expensive luxury sleeper ticket or the deadly "standing ticket".

First day of Chinese New Year in Shanghai.

I couchsurfed the whole way in China which was great. Every couch was something totally different I never knew what I was going to get.

http://www.couchsurfing.com/profile.html?id=JX2AKP

I won't forget China anytime soon. It was definitely the most interesting place I have ever travelled, so different.

The Great Wall

I am now well into my whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia. It's a whole different ballgame. My brother is coming! I'll be meeting him in Bangkok March 4.

My farewell at the China-Laos border.

Posted by Chris Adam 23:54 Comments (0)

First Two Months - London to Mongolia

I'm a blogger


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Here's my travel map you can see where I was and when.

I have made my way from London to Mongolia. Just spent New Year's here in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I slept through the countdown though, I went home to warm up before going back out and I fell asleep. It would have been awesome because everyone had a ton of fireworks, lesson learned. Mongolia is cheap, safe and interesting, just a bit frustrating to get stuff done sometimes, oh yeah and its freaking cold.

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Mongolian Clothes my host had, really warm

I blitzed through Europe, London, France, Brussels, Amsterdam, Hamburg then a 2 day boat to Finland. It was good place to start because it's so easy to travel. Amsterdam was fun for a day I rode around on a bike in the day and walked around at night. By fluke I was in Normandy, France on Remembrance day. I lost my passport in Hamburg. I decided I would book a flight home in three days if I didn't find it because I would have to wait a month for a new passport and there was no way to get all my visas again. It was turned into the police the next day. In all I only lost one day and $50 dollars that was with the passport.

Amsterdam

Spent almost a month in Russia. I left on the last day of my visa. It was pretty cold sometimes but good. Alot more orderly than I had expected and people were pretty helpful.

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Moscow, Lenin is in the back, I couchsurfed near the apartments on the right and look at the lady with the toy gun.

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Russian Toilet, it was actually free though

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Lenin Head in Ulan Ude, Russia near Mongolia Border

I have couchsurfed almost all the way. Its pretty easy to do but I have to be on internet almost every day. I have really enjoyed it but sometimes I just want to be alone. Here is my couchsurfing account...

http://www.couchsurfing.com/profile.html?id=JX2AKP

Decided I will probaly not go to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Turns out its no longer possible by boat and I don't think I have enough time anyway. Still trying to get an Iranian visa but everywhere I go they say 2-3 weeks wait, which I don't have to spare.

Posted by Chris Adam 22:19 Comments (1)

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