One thing I didn’t notice in other countries, is how intense and for how long the locals in Vietnam are watching me. I was uncomfortable at the beginning, but I am getting used now.
I think you can measure the level of excitement by the number of photos you take. And in the two days cruise to the Halong Bay I took a lot of photos.
3,000 limestone rocks rise like towers from the water and the view is stunning. Old ships called “junks” are sailing between rocks, and women with raw boats are selling drinks and food to the boats.
So peaceful and tranquil, being in Luang Prabang is like going back in time! With lantern-lit streets, Indochinese architecture, French villas and the Mekong River, Luang Prabang is a place where you wish you can stay forever.
Most of the time I rode a bicycle, speeding through the city and passing motor-bikes, tuk-tuks and racing with the school children. Or walking through the streets and visiting the temples here.
The longest ride was 64 kilometers back and forth to the Tat Kuang Si Falls bringing back memories of long bike rides with my childhood friends…
Bangkok. What’s all about? What makes this city so mysterious? What Bangkok offers that Paris, Rome, London and New York lack?! It’s a city with a twist at every corner, a tropical paradise with an edgy reputation, with a hint of danger and excitement (paraphrasing from Frommer’s Bangkok Guide).
After Nepal and India, Thailand is a blessing. No more honking, no more hassles, no more begging, no more garbage. And the most important, the Thais are the friendliest people in the world!
From Pokhara I joined the G Adventures tour to Delhi. Our first stop was the Chitwan National Park in a nice and quiet resort. We visited the elephant breeding centre and as always I broke free from the group and went in a village to take photos and talk with the villagers. The people in Nepal are very friendly and the kids always ask for photos. The houses are made from clay and cow dung. Agriculture is the main occupation.
The 6 days Annapurna trekking in the Ghorepani – Poon Hill area was very succesful. My team was the number one attraction, thanks to my guide, a very nice, petite, sherpa girl. It is very rare to see a woman sherpa in a world dominated by men. Ang CeCi Sherpa did an excellent job and same kudos for my porter, Bishnu, a Nepali-Hindu boy.
The dream for a round the world trip was growing in my subconscious for a very long time. But finally, here I am: one more week to the freedom! All this happened in September 2010, when I started my four-month trip from Canada to Asia and Africa via Europe.
Half of the trip was well-organized but the other half was “let’s see what the day brings”. Africa wasn’t planned, it just happened two weeks prior the departure and was a rush against time for the Gambian visa and Yellow Fever vaccination to meet Joyce, my Taiwanese muse…