Southeast Asia

A little bit of love for the other side of the world. My first trip to Asia brings about many new and wonderful experiences.

My pre-trip conceptions of the places I was about to venture to – were all off. What I experienced was far greater and more interesting than I could imagine and almost hard to put in words, but I will try here:

It was a nice start in Cebu, but Philippines got kicked up a notch in Metro Manila where the disparity between the neighbouring cities was all too evident and a little surprising. The constant throughout, was however, the Jeepneys rides which were an adventure all on their own.

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The scooter-crazed nation of Vietnam is one of mastering how to integrate with the endless barrage of moving obstacles (from all directions) and when you get a moment to take your eyes away from on-coming-head-on traffic, you are reminded at every corner of their history and culture through the means of cuisine, art, celebrations and way of going about. Switching gears to Cambodia, it brought on a different look of Southeast Asia through the historic temples of Angkor and the small town of Siem Reap which was a nice contrast up to that point.

Things were heating up in Thailand literally and figuratively. In the meat of our trip, we were experiencing long hot and exhausting days which called for a slight shift in the daily schedule routine. We toned down our 14hr days to something more sensible, relaxing and that resembling of a ‘vacation’.

Moving south to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore felt like a nice combo of similar vibes while being different enough to be different. A more modern take on Southeast Asia lies in the Malay Peninsula where we spent eight wonderful days.

The fourth most populated country brought on the last leg of the trip. Hitting both the island of Sumatra and Java, we weren’t exactly short on coffee choices, however we aren’t big drinkers.

Caught up in the Chinese New Year celebration throughout much of the trip, our unique lifestyle for five weeks was magical. Hopping a flight every few days became routine and tearing down each new place from dawn ’til dusk and beyond was all we knew how to do.

Grand Hotel Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2016/02/03

Itinerary

Countries
Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia
Places
Cebu City, Moalboal, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, Bangkok, Chonburi, Patong, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Medan, Lake Toba, Jakarta, Surabaya
Dates
January 26, 2016 to March 7, 2016
Company
Friend
Transport
Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Sriwijaya Air, Citilink
Airports
Vancouver Int’l (YVR), Hong Kong Int’l (HKG), Mactan-Cebu Int’l (CEB), Ninoy Aquino Int’l (MNL), Tan Son Nhat Int’l (SGN), Siem Reap Int’l (REP), Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Phuket Int’l (HKT), Kuala Lumpur Int’l (KUL), Singapore Changi (SIN), Kualanamu Int’l (KNO), Soekarno-Hatta Int’l (CGK), Juanda Int’l (SUB)
Shelter
Hotel (29), Family (11)
Highlights
Jeepney Rides, Dodging Scooters in Saigon, Tiger Zoo, Petronas Twin Towers, Marina Bay, Toba Lake
Gear
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, Apple iPhone 5s

Journey

Taking out my camera to make a simple video isn't as simple in all places, but I did what I had to bring the goods home and preserve many precious memories.

Length
7m 24s
Music
"Counting Stars" and "Life in Color" by OneRepublic
Clips
156
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Random

Taxi Rides

Just one of the many forms of transport needed to get around. They’re safe, convenient, usually cheap, and sometimes very necessary when stuck in dark places late at night.

51

Malls Visited

SE Asia is full of them and they can’t be avoided. Weather we wanted to shop, take a break, grab a bite or escape the heat, they were always nearby.

49

Average City Population

Let's say on average, there were some personal space constraint issues. Jakarta was the biggest at 30.2M. The average national population was 81.4M.

8.4M