Our last time Bangkok - at last!
Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
53Trip End Aug 15, 2005
Firstly after India, Hong Kong was a dream landing at a beautifully clean airport, the first personwe spoke to in the airport was chatty friendly, crashed us a fag and his daughter told Liz she was beautiful, oh how we fell in love with this place straight away. We also had some amazing food at some great restaurants and the skyline from The Peak was something to behold.
Tokyo was fun even though it was very short and sweet so can't really judge but the one thing that will stick in my mind is eating at the Sushi Bar and having something which resembled bright yellow congealed spunk (Liz's description not mine).
On to South East Asia, obviously the main thing to occur whilst we were here was the dreadful Tsunami but strange as it may seem it seemed to have more of an impact on folks back home as they were all on holiday and watching the news constantly whilst we stuck on Ko Phan Ngan beach lifing away from the media. Thailand for the 2 of us was rather a dissappointment but maybe we have ourselves to blaim as we did not really get away from the backpacker tourist trail which is well and truly trodden now and instead of getting a feel for Thai life we were confronted by tourist everywhere and the synonymous sex tourism in your face with either creepy foul old Europeans/Americans with tiny pretty young Thais on their arms or young Europeans/Americans/Australians out to shag as many as possible.
However, Cambodia and Lao have got to be 2 of the most amazing countries that this great planet has to offer. Cambodia for the mot unbelievably friendly people in the face of all their recent history. We had such a fantastic time in Siem Reap with Dave, Claire, Tonghat, Mato and Tangly and alo the unbelievable temples in and around the masterpiece of Angkor Wat. A special mention goes to Keo from Sihanoukville the friendliest and most professional bar manager we have ever met all at the age of 10.
Moving on to Lao, if the journey from the border down the Mekong to Luang Prabang was not spectacular enough then our boat journey during our trek returning to Mong Ngoi was something out of this world, limestone quartz mountains rearing up either side and for Liz I think the most memorable part of our time here as she was sat on front of the boat with nothing but sheer beauty in front of her. Our 4 day trek on mountain bikes, foot, boat and drinking Lao Lao and rice wine in mountain top villages was truly amazing. Luang Prabang is a place that has to be seen to be believed, temples and monks everywhere and French Cafe's with great food dotted around.
Due to getting stuck on Koh Phangnan because of the Tsunami we did not manage to get to Vietnam but hey ho, there's always another time.
Our top 5 from our travels in South East Asia are:
1) Had difficulty deciding so 2 at number 1. For Liz the cycling and boat journey on our trek in Lao, for me Angkor Wat, and its surrounding temples although it's a close run thing.
2) The unbelievably friendly people of Cambodia.
3) Hong Kong - bright lights, big city, wicked food.
4) The trek in Chiang Mai, we met some great people and had a marvellous time checking out the villages wares contributing to the local economy. (An in joke I'm afraid)
5) The New Years Eve party on Koh Phangan at Haad Yoaw. A bit of debauchery had to get in there and it might of saved our lifes as we would have gone to Phi Phi otherwise.