Monday, April 14, 2008

Where in the World?

Today's location: Kuta, Indonesia

After five days in Pinang, Malaysia I booked a cheap flight to Jakarta and then to Bali where I'll spend the last few weeks of my trip surfing and diving, if I don't get mauled by the hordes of hawkers, shopkeepers and moto drivers first.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Travel-o-pedia: Useful travel adjectives

Travel writers are liars. They get their cut, not for honesty, but for irresistibility and between the airbrushed photos and sickly sweet prose, a decent travel writer will have us salivating over Bayonne, New Jersey by the end of the opening paragraph.

But there is a darker side of traveling of which we are inevitibly reminded when at long last we embark on that much-anticipated and well-earned vacation. Whether it's the ubiquitous hotel room that smells like urine or the stark realization that you can't actually stand to be around your loved ones, traveling can be tricky business.

The truth is that with every picturesque white sand beach comes giant tropical mosquitos carrying deadly pathogens and to reach that gorgeous vista of verdent green there is a twelve hour bus ride complete with flatulent farm animals and upon arrival there's a man with a gun who's decided to charge admission...
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Friday, April 4, 2008

Where in the World?

Stop Pretending you actually know where any of these places are and follow my progress Indiana Jones style.

After four and a half months and almost three hundred hours of bussing I've covered most of Thailand, Indochina and the north of Malaysia via a bizantine conduit of bad roads and beautiful landscapes.

Starting In Bangkok and heading north to Sukothai, Chiang Mai, Pai and Mae Hong Song I crossed the Border at Chiang Kong and traversed the land locked country of Laos from north to south, trekking, rockclimbing, white water kaying and tubing my way down to the northern border of Cambodia.

After an Exhaustive tour of Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh and relaxing in Sihanoukville on the Gulf of Thailand it was east to Saigon, Vietnam where I followed the coast of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin to Hanoi.

Daunted by 48 consecutive hours of bus travel I opted for a cheap flight back to Bangkok before heading down the Thai coast to the island of Ko Chang and then via Bangkok down to Koh Tao on the east coast for some scuba diving.

An overnight boatride and about seven mini buses later, I crossed the border into Malaysia and bussed down to Georgetown on the island of Penang.