Last month was one of those “I can’t believe this happened” moments.
This is considering I have a day job and a whole lot of projects to work on. Of course, I made compromises to finish everything before proceeding with this trip, and I’m glad I did.
I’ve been documenting bits of Life in Transit for the past weeks but to sum it up for the moment, here’s a short photo diary of people, places and things from our 30 day backpacking adventure around Southeast Asia. More entries soon once I get to sorting out photos (+ feelings/thoughts/rants to follow in the next posts, lol).
First stop was Saigon in Vietnam, a place we did not expect ourselves going to – but the flights were super cheap so we decided to push through. Good thing though, ‘cause I particularly loved the cafe hopping we did here (it helps that their coffee is a-m-a-z-i-n-g) and the hostel we stayed in (A+ customer service).
I also devoted most of my time writing and sketching personal stuff. It felt good to not have to think about anything except for what’s currently happening.
Taking a 6 hour bus trip to Phnom Penh and another 6 hours to Siem Reap was pretty much the ultimate test of patience. But of course, it was better than spending on flights.
And I won’t argue the fact that Temple Run day was my favorite! I love Cambodia, especially Siem Reap. Lots of cafes, people are super nice, the province is pretty small and places are very near each other.
Aside from that, we did the usual sightseeing around town. I also got to mail postcards on our trip (it’s my first time!). Tricie & I were particularly drawn to all the canvas artworks we saw at the local market (we hoarded of course).
We flew to Chiang Mai next, which is located at the northernmost part of Thailand. We were supposed to go to Bangkok but because of the civil unrest situation we decided to just skip it – and I guess it was a good decision. Spending a week in Chiang Mai made our trip extra amazing because the lifestyle in the city was SUPER laid back, quiet and peaceful.
Although we had to wonder what we were going to do on off days, lol!
Got to ride elephants too!!! I am pretty much a scaredy cat but managing to do this is an achievement in itself (+ unexpectedly hiking up a mountain in Cambodia).
Although my favorite part of Chiang Mai was the whole day cooking class we attended. This is because I always wished I was better in the kitchen (if only I could control my appetite), lol. I had an awesome time whipping up Thai fare (but I’ll admit, I’m pretty sick of curry and Asian food at the moment!).
Some amazing people we met during our trip – Viviane, who shared a cab with us from the Chiang Mai airport, the kind seller of beautiful art at the market in Phnom Penh, Christina, our roomie from Town House 50 in Vietnam, and our accommodating and friendly tour guide from the Phnom Tamao zoo tour.
Default favorite country was of course, Singapore, ‘cause we ended up hunting for books and hidden cafes.
I always like visiting Singapore even if there’s nothing new to see. That’s just me, haha.
Universal Studios Singapore, yay!
Aaaand I got to meet one of my high school close friends who’s studying his masters there (hi Peter!) and a few of my blog readers. This is my second home, I’m assuming. Also got to visit the Singapore Art Museum (IT IS AMAZING) and some touristy places like the Merlion Park. And of course, we spent most of our nights at hawker centers to save on cash!
I’ll admit I did not like the hostel we stayed in here but a week’s stay was definitely fun.
That and waking up late on the day we were bound to Kuala Lumpur was extra stressful – running around the MRT station with a 12kg backpack is NO JOKE. But luckily we made it on time!
I hated traveling to Malaysia by bus mainly because our backpack was huge, and we forgot to change currencies (we didn’t eat during our lunch break stop) so it was pretty horrible. Good thing my e-books kept me busy.
I will admit I don’t like Kuala Lumpur that much (it made me extra homesick and uninspired) so taking the 4-hour bus trip to Penang and staying there for a few days was pretty fun.
Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I couldn’t agree more – the city is lovely and bursting with culture. Although it was quite unpopulated which was weird. Or maybe that was just me.
We spent a whole day exploring the city thanks to Tricie’s awesome navigating skills. The street art is amazing, and so are the cafes all around the area. We also got to visit The Camera Museum and try some of the cheapest local food by the side streets.
While I’m writing this, it feels as if things have gone by so fast – but apparently, it didn’t! A month’s worth of stories is too much to write about that I need to refresh my thoughts first before anything else.
So this is technically a primer of the posts to come – I can’t wait to share them with you guys, and hopefully give you an idea on how to travel across Southeast Asia (not on a budget okay – just a bit) and some things I’ve learned from this trip. I’ll admit I had to talk my way out of getting permitted to take this adventure but it was definitely worth it. I needed this break to ease away from reality and it was quite a surprise that I managed to really breathe for a little while.
Me & Tricie came up with mini projects also (#lifeintransit2014 on Instagram and a future photobook to come) and I’m so excited to start working on it once I get some projects out of the way.
Hope you enjoyed the mini photo diary! :)