I’m off on a wild adventure to Southeast Asia next week!
At this time next week, I’ll have just finished a bout of 24-hour traveling… I’ll have finished a 14-hour flight from Newark to Beijing, a 2-hour layover, and then another 8-hour flight from Beijing to Hanoi, Vietnam. I’ll be hopefully getting ready to settle into our hotel on the other side of the world.
I had the day off from work today, so I spent some time just hanging out at the bookstore doing a little research on those exotic countries in Southeast Asia where I’ll soon be exploring!
It’s going to be me and five other girlfriends of mine, two of which are already traveling right now. Here’s the plan:
Jen and Melissa, two high school friends of mine left for Vietnam about two and half weeks ago. They started in Hanoi, in the North, and they’re traveling all around the country, returning to Hanoi. That’s where Tammy, Esther and myself will be meeting them. The five of us will spend the night in Hanoi and the next day, we’re off to Halong Bay, which is a famous bay with limestone formations. We’ll spend the night out there and return to Hanoi, where Jen and Melissa will leave, and my other friend Allison will join us.
Then, it’ll be me, Tammy, Esther and Allison for three weeks until Esther returns home, and myself, Tammy and Allison for the final week.
Allison just decided last minute to come along so she’s still organizing her visas. Hopefully, she’ll make it in time!
As for me, I felt as though I still needed to do a little more research on what it is I REALLY want to see. There’s soooo much to see in just a month, it’s a little overwhelming! Melissa has been sending out mass emails of her adventures with Jen and that’s just getting me even more excited for the trip!
I’m not sure how we’ll manage to get to every place we want to see, but ideally, we’re going to start in Hanoi, head off to Halong Bay and return to Hanoi. Then, we might or might not continue up north to the tribal village of Sapa. I’d like to see Hoi An in the middle of the country, but not sure if we’ll be able to, if we spend so much time up north. Then down to Ho Chi Minh City in the South and over to Cambodia.
The main thing I want to see in Cambodia is the temple of Angkor Wat. There are a few towns there — Siem Reap is nearby, and there’s also Phnom Penh, but again, I’m not sure how much of those cities we’ll get to see. Then it’s off to Thailand.
In Thailand, we’re off to Bangkok and then up north to Chaing Mai, which I read has an amazing elephant village where the elephants actually do art work. (Yes, they apparently paint with their trunks!) I gotta see that! I’ve been told you can ride bikes around the temples and hike. Then it’s back down to the southern part of Thailand through Bangkok, to the party islands of Koh Samui, Ko Phi Phi or wherever the mood takes us.
Then it’s off to Bali for a little R&R and to Singapore for the first day of the Chinese New Year.
From there, we’re off to Beijing to see some more dragon parties and of course we can’t leave that part of the world without seeing the Great Wall of China!
Well, that’s the plan at least. We only have a month so we’ll see how much we can cram in there. Traveling is always incredible but also difficult so hopefully we’ll be able to keep the drama to a minimum, which, well, there are five of us who want to see and do so many things, so we’ll see how it goes.
What I DO know is that this is going to be one heck of an adventure and I’m so excited to have so many friends with which to share this adventure!
I remember backpacking through Europe as a poor college student, thinking I had the time but not the money. I didn’t think I’d get a month off of work in forever, so now that the opportunity presented itself I certainly wanted to take advantage of it by traveling to the farthest, most interesting part of the world I could think of!