Cambodia

Cambodia Crossing from Laos to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh

Welcome to Cambodia!

We were in Don Khone, Laos the morning we left for Cambodia. We had purchased our trip to Siem Reap from this little town and were anticipating a difficult journey based on our research. We needed to get back on the rickety boat from Don Khone to the mainland – at least this time we didn’t have to walk through the water to get on the boat. Once on land, we were to walk along a dirt road in the heat to the tourist bus station again and wait an hour for the bus. Next, we had to take this bus to another station, which was only 25 minutes away, and wait 2 hours for the next bus. We finally boarded this bus – it was crammed shoulder-to-shoulder full of people (and our collective luggage). The guy beside Meghan was a body shaver and it was 5 o’clock shadow time… she might still have the stubble scratches on her arm from this dude. At the border we needed to disembark, walk into the passport control office, wait for the stamp of approval, and walk 10 minutes to a random restaurant where we waited for yet another bus (we were now in Cambodia, yay!) While waiting, the restaurant owners little boy decided to whip off his shorts and pee right in the middle of the restaurant… nice. Continue reading “Cambodia”

Laos

Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Khong Lor & 4,000 Islands

Getting around Southeast Asia is incredibly easy. The whole region is built on tourism and there are several companies selling bus tickets to various villages. If you are traveling throughout SE Asia you really don’t need to have a bunch of routes or transportation figured out beforehand. You can literally arrive in the town and negotiate your price and destination with one of the many “travel agencies”.

Monkeying Around – Vang Vieng

We knew we wanted to travel south through Laos, into Cambodia, and over to Vietnam. Our route and transport were organized when we arrived in each town. Continue reading “Laos”

Laos

Slow Boat (along the Mekong) and Luang Prabang

When we purchased our slow boat journey to Laos we weren’t sure what to expect. We were told it was a two-day journey; we would stop overnight in a Pakbeng on the way to our final destination of Luang Prabang. We were required to book our own accommodation in Pakbeng, but it is so remote it was difficult to find accommodation options online. So, we figured we would arrive and decide at the time. If it was a small town how hard could it be to find a guesthouse?

Gazing Out – Mekong River
Solo on the Mekong

We started the slow boat journey a few kilometres past the Thai/Laos border of Houay Xai. Continue reading “Laos”

Thailand

Chiang Mai, Pai, and Slow Boat to Laos

We left Sukhothai with the excitement of a bigger city in our sights.  In pictures and books – Chiang Mai is an oasis of mountain jungles, elephants, open markets, temples, and much more.  We weren’t sure what the city had in store for us, or how it would open itself up to us, but we were eager to find out.

Beautiful Temples Everywhere – Chiang Mai

When we arrived we immediately went out for a walk around the city.   Continue reading “Thailand”

Thailand

Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Sukhothai

Bangkok Skyline

So let’s get one thing straight right off the bat here… when you buy a ticket for a “sleeper” coach bus in Thailand, like we had from Koh Lipe to Bangkok, that’s not reeeeeally what you get.  You may associate “sleeper” with the type of coach you find in South America, you know, with the comfy reclining seats, or the sleeping pods you might find in Vietnam buses – we did.  What you will get instead is the same old and busted circa 1989 coach buses that they sell regular tickets for – the ones you get tossed around in because of the crazy driving haha.  Suffice to say there won’t be a lot of “sleeping” happening on the “sleeper” bus.  We booked the overnight “sleeper” into Bangkok after taking the ferry from Koh Tao to the mainland. Continue reading “Thailand”

Thailand

The Islands of Southern Thailand

Thailand

We embarked on our first of many ferries up to the Thai island of Koh Lipe from Langkawi, Malaysia.  We were anticipating an interesting border control procedure and to obtain an “on arrival” visa for 15 days – but, to our surprise, Canadians are granted 30 days within Thailand when entering via Koh Lipe (yahoo!)

Koh Lipe Beach

The method of getting to this little island was pretty amazing, and by amazing we mean amazingly different.   Continue reading “Thailand”

Southeast Asia

Malaysia – Malacca, Penang & Langkawi

We made it to the town of Malacca (also Melaka) – our first destination after crossing the border from Singapore.  It was a decent distance… not too long, not too short; and we had heard about its historic charm.  In fact, the city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, not too shabby.  We were a little worn out from the journey so we spent our first night walking the famous Jonker Street.  We were greeted by some seriously tricked out tuk-tuk’s at the beginning of the street, Fast and Furious Malacca style.

Jonker Street – Malacca
UNESCO Malacca
Minion Tuk Tuk: Theres Music Too – Malacca

We ventured down the busy and vibrant street shoulder to shoulder with locals and a few fellow tourists.   Continue reading “Southeast Asia”

Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

Thanks to Skyscanner we found another inexpensive flight; we plugged in flights from Sri Lanka to “everywhere” and filtered for the cheapest one.  We came up with Malaysia – off to explore Southeast Asia!  We landed in Kuala Lumpur and had our first experience using the efficient KTM train system in Malaysia.  It was a smooth ride from the airport into the capital city.

Petronas Towers

We decided to spend a few days in Kuala Lumpur because it had been a while since we were in a big city. Continue reading “Southeast Asia”

Sri Lanka Part II

Sri Lankan Coast

After our long journey to from Dambulla we were so excited to be in the beach town of Hikkaduwa.  We were searching and searching for the perfect beach town while we were traveling throughout the rest of Sri Lanka and finally came up with Hikkaduwa.  It’s not Sri Lanka’s biggest beach area, in reality it is quite quaint, but we were looking for direct beach access so we could just walk out our door and be at the beach, without the usual price tag for beach access.  And so, with the help of Google Maps, we stumbled upon Hikkaduwa as our first beach stop.

Our Sri Lankan Journey

Continue reading “Sri Lanka Part II”

Sri Lanka Part I

 Into the Jungle

 

We were at the airport, again, waiting for our flight to Sri Lanka!  After Israel, we crossed back into Jordan and spent a few days at the Dead Sea before making our final drive through Jordan to Queen Alia International Airport.  We decided on Sri Lanka because it was one of the cheapest flights out of Jordan and it was on our bucket list, bonus!  We had no idea what to expect and hadn’t found the time to research it much before arriving, but we decided to start in Tissamaharama (say that three times fast!) – also known as Tissa.

Peaceful Sunset in Tissa

Continue reading “Sri Lanka Part I”