With sadness and reluctance, Madison and I began planning for the final two-week leg of our journey through Southeast Asia. From the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, it was time to head south to decompress near the crystal clear waters and limestone cliffs of the Thai Islands. The itinerary consisted of flying to the coastal city of Ao Nang which would act as our home base for a week as we went island hopping each day to a few of the dozens of islands further out to sea. For our final week, we’d then take a speedboat 60km further out to sea to a small island near Malaysia called Koh Lipe, a.k.a. “the Maldives of Thailand”. My goal for this part of the trip was to try to be as present and carefree as possible. I wouldn’t say that the Thai Islands were uneventful, but we were definitely not as active as we were in previous cities. That being said, this post will probably be brief.
Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category
If you’ve been following this blog series from the beginning you may remember that our initial goal for this two-month trip was to visit four countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. At one point during our time in Vietnam, however, we decided it’d be best to exclude Laos from our itinerary altogether. This is because we felt we wanted to slow our trip down a bit and stay in Vietnam and Thailand longer than originally planned. In my last post, I covered our time in northern Vietnam, but instead of booking a flight into Laos from Hanoi, we went directly to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.
The further into Vietnam we traveled, the more enthralled we became. After bumming it at the beaches for a couple of weeks it was now time to head to our first Northern Vietnam destination, Hanoi, the capital of the country. For the next two weeks, we’d find ourselves caught up in the chaos of Hanoi, on a luxury cruise in Ha Long Bay, and at peace in the mountain village of Sa Pa.
Finally, the moment Madison and I have been waiting for: the Vietnam coast! The chain of land-locked cities we traveled through up until this point were great and all, but after growing up near the Oregon Coast you can only keep us away from the ocean for so long. Vietnam has many incredible beaches on its eastern coastline along the South China Sea. Being such a long and narrow country from north to south, it’s super easy for backpackers to scale the coastline and hit all of the popular beaches. Our first beach town destination would be Nha Trang.
My previous post was written while Madison and I were already on another Giant Ibis bus to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. That previous post, however, only covered our journey up until the end of Siem Reap, Cambodia. This current post will cover the brief time we spent in both Phnom Penh and Saigon.
After months of planning, and 22 hours of travel, we finally arrived at our first Southeast Asian (SEA) destination: Bangkok, Thailand! The plan was to stay in Bangkok for four days, then take a bus to Cambodia. We plan on going back to Thailand towards the end of our backpacking loop.
Sometime back in early Spring, my girlfriend Madison and I decided it was time for the out-of-country trip we’ve always talked about. One night we spontaneously bought tickets to Southeast Asia (SEA) for two and a half months after seeing a big price drop in airline tickets. This happened about six months ago, so while it was exciting at the time, the reality of our decision hadn’t quite hit us yet. Fast-forward six months later and it suddenly feels very real. We are a little less than one month away from our departure date and it’s starting to feel like crunch time. Many aspects of our plan have already been accomplished, and at this point we’re just playing the waiting game and taking care of whatever last minute things we can think of. The lease on our apartment has ended and we are staying at Madison’s mom’s house for the next few weeks until our departure. We’ve both quit our jobs and are now using our abundant free time for preparation and stress-relieving leisure.