Delusions of Adequacy

Fri, 13 Jan 2006

hooray

There's nobody on street corners offering me motorbike rides, useless trinkets or hookers and the sun is in the right place in the sky. I must be home.

If anyone knows where I hid my wallet and laptop, um, let me know.

posted at: 14:45 | path: /travel | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 12 Jan 2006

Coming home

Since the last post I've taken a boat ride up the Mekong river to Phnom Penh, visited Toul Sleng (S21 prison) and the killing fields, spent three days cycling, riding an electric bike, and wandering around the temples of Angkor, survived the "road" between Siem Reap and the Thailand border on my way back to Bangkok, happily left stinky and noisey Bangkok for relatively peaceful Chiang Mai, taken a motorbike around some of the most amazing roads I've ever ridden on in the mountains north-east of Chiang Mai, and finally flown back to Bangkok yesterday morning.

Nobody sent me any money, now I'm broke. I'm flying home tonight.

posted at: 13:13 | path: /travel | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 31 Dec 2005

Cambodia

The first day of the Mekong tour was pretty crappy, I'll whine about that more later. The second day I jumped on a fast boat to Phnom Penh via the Mekong river, which was fortunately completely painless, just a little loud. I was the only one on the boat without a hotel, so when we arrived I was swarmed by about ten touts shoving shiney pictures of their hotels in my face and offering me rides. The tour company must have rung ahead to one of their hotels since one even had my name on a sign even though I had no plans to stay there. I went and hid in a nearby restaurant and ordered my first chicken in three weeks (none in Vietnam thanks to bird flu) but ended up with beef anyway.

Today I've been wandering around Phnom Penh on the back of a bike and tomorrow I'm off to Siem Reap for the temples of Angkor. There's hardly any tourists around here at the moment, most of the restaurants around where I'm staying were deserted last night. Hopefuly it'll be quiet for new year's eve tonight.

I think I've decided to skip the coast and go straight back to Bangkok via Battambang, then probably fly to Chiang Mai - it's only meant to cost about $33. If there's time I might do some beach or island stuff in Thailand.

posted at: 17:03 | path: /travel | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 29 Dec 2005

Off to Cambodia..

Saigon is hot and busy, ugh. Traffic doesn't really seem much worse than Hanoi, the roads are just wider there are more cars. There's more people flogging souvenirs, photocopied books and xe om (motorbike taxi things) rides, 'cept here the xe om riders keep on offering me weed as well. I doubt I'll be left in peace until I get home. I'm looking forward to getting back on roads where everything's going the same direction and the bikes are >110cc.

Tomorrow I'm off on a two day Mekong Delta tour that ends with a boat ride up the Mekong to Phnom Penh. From there I'll go to Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor, then maybe back down to the coast to Sihanoukville then across into Thailand. I was planning on going to Ko Chang but it's sounding expensive and crowded. The whole point of crossing the border down there was to get to Ko Chang, so maybe I'll skip the coast-bit altogether and get straight back to Bangkok then Chiang Mai..

Feel free to send money.

posted at: 00:59 | path: /travel | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 26 Dec 2005

Trip so far..

I spent just a couple of days in Bangkok before flying to Hanoi. From Hanoi I took a 3 day tour of Ha Long bay including one night on a boat and day of kayaking, and then a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda. Next was a day of riding a motorbike around Ninh Binh, probably the best day I've had so far. A quick (ha, 90km and something like two hours) bus ride back to Hanoi and a flight later and I was in Hue where I spent the next three nights feeling like crap and not sleeping.

After three days of doing not-much in Hue I caught a train to Da Nang and a taxi to Hoi An. It's meant to be the most scenic part of the Hanoi-Saigon line but rain and mist obscured most of it. In the last two weeks in Vietnam I've only seen the sun twice. I've spent the last 4 nights here in Hoi An, mostly just eating, getting clothes made and sending them and all the stuff I don't need back home. There are plenty pagodas and temples around here but they all start to look the same after the first few..

Tomorrow I fly to Saigon. Unfortunately there's not enough time to see anything in between here and there if I'm going to spend a week in Cambodia and another two in Thailand.

Anyway, here's some pictures:

Ha Long bay from Sung Sot (amazing) cave.
Kayaking through a floating village.
Riding around Ninh Binh (that's the bike in the bottom left corner).
Taken from the back of a bike on my way into Hanoi after arriving at the bus back from Ninh Binh.
(thanks to Jerub/irc for resizing them)

Oh, cool, a bat just flew in and did a few laps around the room..

posted at: 00:27 | path: /travel | permanent link to this entry