What lies ahead

Documenting my life from Richmond to Shanghai
I knew I couldn’t go to Borneo without seeing the rainforest, so my last full day in KK was planned around that. I got picked up by a driver to take the “canopy walk” tour around Borneo. The first stop on the trip was Mt. Kinabalu. We didn’t get to actually hike the mountain, but we were dropped off at an awesome viewpoint to see it’s peak. We got there at the perfect timing because about 10 minutes after we arrived, clouds started rolling in and completely blocked the view of the mountain after I snapped a few photos. If I have any desire to be a mountain climber in another life, I can imagine coming back here to hike Kinabalu. I’m sure it was even more amazing once you got a little closer. 

The real reason I was on the trip though was to see the rainforest, so I happily got back in the car and headed to the final destination. The rainforest wasn’t really what I was expecting, but it was still pretty sweet. 

After hiking for about 20 minutes up the mountain, you reach the canopy walkway. 

I don’t know what I was expecting of the canopy, but whatever those expectations were flew out the window and I was just scared shitless. I didn’t think the walkway would be scary, I just thought it would be awesome. I was definitely wrong. The picture above was the only picture I took while on the walkway because I was too scared to take my hands off the ropes. Only 6 people were allowed on the canopy at a time and that was about 5 too many for my taste. With other people on the same, small, skinny, rickety, wooden plank as you, the whole thing shakes precariously and it’s hard to keep your balance. Even if it was perfectly still, I would have probably been a little scared, but add 5 strangers to the mix, and you don’t know if you’re going to make it out alive. I did though…make it out alive. And I became a better person afterwards. It was definitely awesome, but one of those awesome experiences you only enjoy after it’s over and you’re on solid ground again.  

My flight was scheduled to leave late that night to head back to the states, so after we finished the canopy walk, we headed back to the hotel to pack up all my belongings (and hope they still fit in my backpack.) Before heading to the airport, I stopped at the mall to get a bite to eat. 

Right outside the mall was a rundown building with a bunch of random graffiti. 

While none of it was amazing, I found the perfect stencil on one of the pillars right before it was time to leave. 

Peace out, Asia. It has definitely been real.
America, I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. TO. SEE. YOU!!!!!

I knew I couldn’t go to Borneo without seeing the rainforest, so my last full day in KK was planned around that. I got picked up by a driver to take the “canopy walk” tour around Borneo. The first stop on the trip was Mt. Kinabalu. We didn’t get to actually hike the mountain, but we were dropped off at an awesome viewpoint to see it’s peak. We got there at the perfect timing because about 10 minutes after we arrived, clouds started rolling in and completely blocked the view of the mountain after I snapped a few photos. If I have any desire to be a mountain climber in another life, I can imagine coming back here to hike Kinabalu. I’m sure it was even more amazing once you got a little closer. 

The real reason I was on the trip though was to see the rainforest, so I happily got back in the car and headed to the final destination. The rainforest wasn’t really what I was expecting, but it was still pretty sweet. 

After hiking for about 20 minutes up the mountain, you reach the canopy walkway. 

I don’t know what I was expecting of the canopy, but whatever those expectations were flew out the window and I was just scared shitless. I didn’t think the walkway would be scary, I just thought it would be awesome. I was definitely wrong. The picture above was the only picture I took while on the walkway because I was too scared to take my hands off the ropes. Only 6 people were allowed on the canopy at a time and that was about 5 too many for my taste. With other people on the same, small, skinny, rickety, wooden plank as you, the whole thing shakes precariously and it’s hard to keep your balance. Even if it was perfectly still, I would have probably been a little scared, but add 5 strangers to the mix, and you don’t know if you’re going to make it out alive. I did though…make it out alive. And I became a better person afterwards. It was definitely awesome, but one of those awesome experiences you only enjoy after it’s over and you’re on solid ground again.  

My flight was scheduled to leave late that night to head back to the states, so after we finished the canopy walk, we headed back to the hotel to pack up all my belongings (and hope they still fit in my backpack.) Before heading to the airport, I stopped at the mall to get a bite to eat. 

Right outside the mall was a rundown building with a bunch of random graffiti. 

While none of it was amazing, I found the perfect stencil on one of the pillars right before it was time to leave. 

Peace out, Asia. It has definitely been real.

America, I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. TO. SEE. YOU!!!!!

After the Perhentian Islands, it was off to the final destination of my Asian adventures. Kota Kinabalu was the last stop on my trip before heading home to America. I had heard about the wonders of Borneo for awhile now, but never imagined I would actually go. It’s crazy to look back at my life only a few years ago. I never would have thought I would be where I am today, or have as many experiences under my belt. That being said, I was so stoked to add Borneo on my list of places visited. I’m not sure if I was excited to be here, or just excited to know that this was my last stop before seeing my friends and family again. Either way, I tried to soak up the experience as much as possible before I had to catch my final flight.
KK itself doesn’t have the most amazing beaches. The one pictured above is Tanjung Aru Beach, the main public beach and about the best you’ll get on the island. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was at least expecting the water to be a little clearer. Either way, I set up shop on the beach for the day. I was one of about 3 people on the mile long stretch of beach. I was happy to have some peace and quiet, but quickly realized I wasn’t truly alone. There was a whole colony of tiny crabs all along the beach and they were making this incredible landscape in the sand. While I’ve seen crabs dig holes in the sand before, I’ve never seen anything like this. The tiny little crabs work all day to dig up these holes and scoop out little sand balls all over the place. I’m assuming there were thousands of these crabs doing work, because the entire beach was covered. 

I watched the crabs, read my book, took a nap, and swam for awhile. Because the beach was so empty though, it got a little boring after awhile. I was planning on staying until sunset though because this was supposedly the best view on the island. Unfortunately about an hour before the sunset, a storm started to roll in, so I decided to leave before I got drenched. 

While the beaches on KK itself proved to not be too amazing, you can take a 20 minute speed boat from the jetty port on the island and find yourself in another amazing world. There’s a series of about 5 islands off the coast of KK that you can easily get to. You can hop around each island, or choose one and stay there for the day. I was getting sick of boat rides, so I decided to go to Sapi island and stay there for the day. There wasn’t anything to do on the island besides hang out on the beach, but that’s all I ever want to do anyways, so I was perfectly content. The water here was see through and perfect. 

Once you make it past the first set of painful rocks, the water deepens and you can swim around freely. While I’m sure having an actual mask and snorkel would have helped, I could see the fish perfectly clear from top of the water. 

After a few hours here, the boat came to pick us back up and bring us back to KK. It’s crazy that we were only 20 minutes away and the water and scenery was so different. We had perfect timing though, because right after we docked and I jumped in a cab, it started pouring. Apparently it’s a theme in Malaysia to start raining right before sunset. I headed back to my hotel to wait out the rain and make my final plans for my last day in Malaysia. 

After the Perhentian Islands, it was off to the final destination of my Asian adventures. Kota Kinabalu was the last stop on my trip before heading home to America. I had heard about the wonders of Borneo for awhile now, but never imagined I would actually go. It’s crazy to look back at my life only a few years ago. I never would have thought I would be where I am today, or have as many experiences under my belt. That being said, I was so stoked to add Borneo on my list of places visited. I’m not sure if I was excited to be here, or just excited to know that this was my last stop before seeing my friends and family again. Either way, I tried to soak up the experience as much as possible before I had to catch my final flight.

KK itself doesn’t have the most amazing beaches. The one pictured above is Tanjung Aru Beach, the main public beach and about the best you’ll get on the island. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was at least expecting the water to be a little clearer. Either way, I set up shop on the beach for the day. I was one of about 3 people on the mile long stretch of beach. I was happy to have some peace and quiet, but quickly realized I wasn’t truly alone. There was a whole colony of tiny crabs all along the beach and they were making this incredible landscape in the sand. While I’ve seen crabs dig holes in the sand before, I’ve never seen anything like this. The tiny little crabs work all day to dig up these holes and scoop out little sand balls all over the place. I’m assuming there were thousands of these crabs doing work, because the entire beach was covered. 

I watched the crabs, read my book, took a nap, and swam for awhile. Because the beach was so empty though, it got a little boring after awhile. I was planning on staying until sunset though because this was supposedly the best view on the island. Unfortunately about an hour before the sunset, a storm started to roll in, so I decided to leave before I got drenched. 

While the beaches on KK itself proved to not be too amazing, you can take a 20 minute speed boat from the jetty port on the island and find yourself in another amazing world. There’s a series of about 5 islands off the coast of KK that you can easily get to. You can hop around each island, or choose one and stay there for the day. I was getting sick of boat rides, so I decided to go to Sapi island and stay there for the day. There wasn’t anything to do on the island besides hang out on the beach, but that’s all I ever want to do anyways, so I was perfectly content. The water here was see through and perfect. 

Once you make it past the first set of painful rocks, the water deepens and you can swim around freely. While I’m sure having an actual mask and snorkel would have helped, I could see the fish perfectly clear from top of the water. 

After a few hours here, the boat came to pick us back up and bring us back to KK. It’s crazy that we were only 20 minutes away and the water and scenery was so different. We had perfect timing though, because right after we docked and I jumped in a cab, it started pouring. Apparently it’s a theme in Malaysia to start raining right before sunset. I headed back to my hotel to wait out the rain and make my final plans for my last day in Malaysia. 

After KL, it was off to the Perhentian Islands. When you google “best beaches in the world” (which I do pretty often), this is a place that usually shows up. The islands were a quick plane ride away from KL and well worth the time spent to get here. When you get off the plane, you take about an hour taxi drive to the jetty port. You then get on a large speed boat with a bunch of people and head to your island. I didn’t take a picture to prove it, but the water on the ride to the island was a shade of blue I’ve never seen before. It was absolutely amazing and I started to get really excited. Like I mentioned before, I didn’t really like Kuala Lumpur, so being on the water quickly washed any of those previous anxieties away. When you start getting closer to your island (there were two options), another smaller boat pulls up to the side of the bigger boat in the middle of the ocean. You throw your bag into the boat and try to climb in yourself without tipping the whole thing over. The boat then pulls up right to the shore and you climb out onto the beach and walk to your hotel.

Before I walked too far, I realized that they took me to the wrong island. I actually didn’t even remember which of the two islands I was supposed to be on, but luckily they are both tiny, so everyone knows where everything is. I told them I was staying at the Perhentian Island resort, so they told me to get back in the boat, and they took me 5 minutes away to the correct island. 

The Perhentian Islands are the closest I think I’ll ever get to a deserted island. There is nothing to these small islands besides a few resorts. The resorts themselves are bare bones also. They have electricity, for the most part, and a restaurant, but that’s about all. Luckily I was just there for some R&R and beach time, because those were my only two options. I think the second island might have had some bars to go to, but the one I was staying at had nothing. I was totally ok with it, but I’m glad I wasn’t expecting anything more. There aren’t even ATMS anywhere on either of the islands, so you have to bring everything with you that you need. It now makes sense that the people on the boat with me when we first arrived were carrying bags of groceries with them on the boat. 

The island was beautiful and I’ve never experienced anything like the adventure of being there. Like I said, I felt like I was on a deserted island. The water was crystal clear. There was a ton of coral on the ocean floor and the water was really shallow, so it made swimming a little difficult, but if that’s all I had to complain about, then I’ll shut up. 

The sunsets here were breath taking and life didn’t seem real while I was there. Unfortunately, I was only there for two nights, but I was ok with that. It was so remote, and I was traveling alone, so I was happy to move on to the next location. While the beach was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been on, having only such a short time there made me really appreciate where I was, knowing that I probably would never be back. 

After KL, it was off to the Perhentian Islands. When you google “best beaches in the world” (which I do pretty often), this is a place that usually shows up. The islands were a quick plane ride away from KL and well worth the time spent to get here. When you get off the plane, you take about an hour taxi drive to the jetty port. You then get on a large speed boat with a bunch of people and head to your island. I didn’t take a picture to prove it, but the water on the ride to the island was a shade of blue I’ve never seen before. It was absolutely amazing and I started to get really excited. Like I mentioned before, I didn’t really like Kuala Lumpur, so being on the water quickly washed any of those previous anxieties away. When you start getting closer to your island (there were two options), another smaller boat pulls up to the side of the bigger boat in the middle of the ocean. You throw your bag into the boat and try to climb in yourself without tipping the whole thing over. The boat then pulls up right to the shore and you climb out onto the beach and walk to your hotel.

Before I walked too far, I realized that they took me to the wrong island. I actually didn’t even remember which of the two islands I was supposed to be on, but luckily they are both tiny, so everyone knows where everything is. I told them I was staying at the Perhentian Island resort, so they told me to get back in the boat, and they took me 5 minutes away to the correct island. 

The Perhentian Islands are the closest I think I’ll ever get to a deserted island. There is nothing to these small islands besides a few resorts. The resorts themselves are bare bones also. They have electricity, for the most part, and a restaurant, but that’s about all. Luckily I was just there for some R&R and beach time, because those were my only two options. I think the second island might have had some bars to go to, but the one I was staying at had nothing. I was totally ok with it, but I’m glad I wasn’t expecting anything more. There aren’t even ATMS anywhere on either of the islands, so you have to bring everything with you that you need. It now makes sense that the people on the boat with me when we first arrived were carrying bags of groceries with them on the boat. 

The island was beautiful and I’ve never experienced anything like the adventure of being there. Like I said, I felt like I was on a deserted island. The water was crystal clear. There was a ton of coral on the ocean floor and the water was really shallow, so it made swimming a little difficult, but if that’s all I had to complain about, then I’ll shut up. 

The sunsets here were breath taking and life didn’t seem real while I was there. Unfortunately, I was only there for two nights, but I was ok with that. It was so remote, and I was traveling alone, so I was happy to move on to the next location. While the beach was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been on, having only such a short time there made me really appreciate where I was, knowing that I probably would never be back. 

After leaving Cambodia, my next stop was Malaysia. I flew into Kuala Lumpur and stayed for about 48 hours before leaving to other parts of the country. While I won’t rehash all the details, KL was not my favorite place I’ve ever been. I didn’t have the best feeling here and actually felt a little uncomfortable at times. Nothing detrimental happened, but I’ve definitely had better travel experiences. I did cross off the two things on my to-do list while here though. One…see the twin Petronas towers. And two…go to the Batu Caves. 

The caves were about a 20 minute cab ride out of town. While Cambodia’s temples were mostly Buddhist, this site in Malaysia was Hindu. (Most people in Malaysia are Muslim though, so I guess you can get everything here.) The gold shrine at the entrance to the caves is one of Lord Murugan, the Hindu god of war. It’s the largest sculpture of this “god” in the world, and I have really never seen anything like it. I don’t think the picture does this place justice. That statue is huge. 

The only thing I knew about these caves before coming here is that there was a huge Hindu sculpture and a shit ton of stairs. I don’t know why I willingly came to this place knowing that I was going to get a workout just to get to the entrance, but it was worth it. Luckily Malaysia wasn’t as hot as Cambodia, so it wasn’t as painful as I was expecting to walk up a few flights of stairs. 272 stairs to be exact, but who’s counting. About half way up the stairs, a man stopped me and pointed towards my necklace. He didn’t speak English, but I could tell he was motioning me to take off my necklace. I did as I was told and didn’t ask any questions. The second I got to the top of the stairs, I realized why he said that. There was a group of kids in front of me all wearing lanyards to show they were a part of a group. Right when they reached the top, a monkey swooped down and grabbed a little girl’s lanyard right from her neck and ran away. I couldn’t help but laugh, but I was also really thankful that it wasn’t my necklace that went missing.
When you get to the top of the stairs, you get to enter the caves and walk around. You had to watch your step while exploring because not only were there monkeys all around , but there were also a ton of birds pooping everywhere. It was also a cave, if you didn’t realize, so there were random droplets of who knows what falling from the ceiling. 

The caves were beautiful though. I couldn’t figure out how to take good pictures here, so what you see is what you get. Just take my word for it that there was much more to this place than what I’m giving you. 

It was a smaller space than expected, but I was happy with what I saw. There were a ton of random Hindu sculptures embedded in the cave walls. 

I held closely to my belongings because I wanted to leave with the same amount of things that I came with. Luckily most of the monkeys were too preoccupied with their food to bother me. There was a worker there that kept the monkeys in check though by screaming at them and batting them away with a stick if they got too close to the visitors. I learned to love that guy, even though we weren’t formally introduced. 

On the walk up, I was so preoccupied with the task of actually making it up the stairs alive that I didn’t even turn around to see the view. Luckily I got to see it before heading back down to the entrance gate. 

Going down the stairs was even harder than the climb up. Not the physical aspect of it, but because all of a sudden there were far more monkeys to bombard than before. (Or maybe I just didn’t notice them as much on the way up.) Luckily, they tended to jump out at the people in front of me, so I missed any actual run ins. It was probably the most stressful part of my trip. But if bombarding monkeys was the most difficult part of my adventure, I think I should be pretty thankful.

While I’m not a fan of monkeys (if you can’t tell), it was hard to think that the image above was not cute. I didn’t want to test the abilities of an overprotective mother monkey, so I used the zoom feature on my camera to take this. I made it down the stairs unscathed, and headed back to the hotel to finish my last night in KL. 

After leaving Cambodia, my next stop was Malaysia. I flew into Kuala Lumpur and stayed for about 48 hours before leaving to other parts of the country. While I won’t rehash all the details, KL was not my favorite place I’ve ever been. I didn’t have the best feeling here and actually felt a little uncomfortable at times. Nothing detrimental happened, but I’ve definitely had better travel experiences. I did cross off the two things on my to-do list while here though. One…see the twin Petronas towers. And two…go to the Batu Caves. 

The caves were about a 20 minute cab ride out of town. While Cambodia’s temples were mostly Buddhist, this site in Malaysia was Hindu. (Most people in Malaysia are Muslim though, so I guess you can get everything here.) The gold shrine at the entrance to the caves is one of Lord Murugan, the Hindu god of war. It’s the largest sculpture of this “god” in the world, and I have really never seen anything like it. I don’t think the picture does this place justice. That statue is huge. 

The only thing I knew about these caves before coming here is that there was a huge Hindu sculpture and a shit ton of stairs. I don’t know why I willingly came to this place knowing that I was going to get a workout just to get to the entrance, but it was worth it. Luckily Malaysia wasn’t as hot as Cambodia, so it wasn’t as painful as I was expecting to walk up a few flights of stairs. 272 stairs to be exact, but who’s counting. About half way up the stairs, a man stopped me and pointed towards my necklace. He didn’t speak English, but I could tell he was motioning me to take off my necklace. I did as I was told and didn’t ask any questions. The second I got to the top of the stairs, I realized why he said that. There was a group of kids in front of me all wearing lanyards to show they were a part of a group. Right when they reached the top, a monkey swooped down and grabbed a little girl’s lanyard right from her neck and ran away. I couldn’t help but laugh, but I was also really thankful that it wasn’t my necklace that went missing.

When you get to the top of the stairs, you get to enter the caves and walk around. You had to watch your step while exploring because not only were there monkeys all around , but there were also a ton of birds pooping everywhere. It was also a cave, if you didn’t realize, so there were random droplets of who knows what falling from the ceiling. 

The caves were beautiful though. I couldn’t figure out how to take good pictures here, so what you see is what you get. Just take my word for it that there was much more to this place than what I’m giving you. 

It was a smaller space than expected, but I was happy with what I saw. There were a ton of random Hindu sculptures embedded in the cave walls. 

I held closely to my belongings because I wanted to leave with the same amount of things that I came with. Luckily most of the monkeys were too preoccupied with their food to bother me. There was a worker there that kept the monkeys in check though by screaming at them and batting them away with a stick if they got too close to the visitors. I learned to love that guy, even though we weren’t formally introduced. 

On the walk up, I was so preoccupied with the task of actually making it up the stairs alive that I didn’t even turn around to see the view. Luckily I got to see it before heading back down to the entrance gate. 

Going down the stairs was even harder than the climb up. Not the physical aspect of it, but because all of a sudden there were far more monkeys to bombard than before. (Or maybe I just didn’t notice them as much on the way up.) Luckily, they tended to jump out at the people in front of me, so I missed any actual run ins. It was probably the most stressful part of my trip. But if bombarding monkeys was the most difficult part of my adventure, I think I should be pretty thankful.

While I’m not a fan of monkeys (if you can’t tell), it was hard to think that the image above was not cute. I didn’t want to test the abilities of an overprotective mother monkey, so I used the zoom feature on my camera to take this. I made it down the stairs unscathed, and headed back to the hotel to finish my last night in KL. 

Leaving Cambodia was harder than expected. I forgot how small the airport was, so I got there way too early for my flight. After waiting for about 2 hours, and about 20 minutes before it was time to board, there was a crazy random thunderstorm that delayed our flight. The flight got rescheduled for an hour later due to the storm which was a little annoying, but nothing you can’t get over. After that hour had passed, it still looked like we weren’t anywhere closer to boarding than when I first got there. Turns out that the beautiful lightning I was watching through the windows struck the runway and caused some damage right to the middle of it. We were delayed even longer while we waited for them to repave the damaged area. A few hours and a few chapters in my kindle later, and we were finally clear for take off. I definitely frustrated at this “inconvenience” and time wasted, until I started walking outside toward the plane. The delay let us stick around town long enough to witness the most beautiful sunset. I decided then to not sweat the small stuff, because sometimes the small stuff will lead you to the big stuff that actually matters. 

Leaving Cambodia was harder than expected. I forgot how small the airport was, so I got there way too early for my flight. After waiting for about 2 hours, and about 20 minutes before it was time to board, there was a crazy random thunderstorm that delayed our flight. The flight got rescheduled for an hour later due to the storm which was a little annoying, but nothing you can’t get over. After that hour had passed, it still looked like we weren’t anywhere closer to boarding than when I first got there. Turns out that the beautiful lightning I was watching through the windows struck the runway and caused some damage right to the middle of it. We were delayed even longer while we waited for them to repave the damaged area. A few hours and a few chapters in my kindle later, and we were finally clear for take off. I definitely frustrated at this “inconvenience” and time wasted, until I started walking outside toward the plane. The delay let us stick around town long enough to witness the most beautiful sunset. I decided then to not sweat the small stuff, because sometimes the small stuff will lead you to the big stuff that actually matters. 

The last temple I went to in Cambodia was Phnom Bakheng. I asked Mr. Tuka to pick me up at my hotel and take me some place good to see the sunset my last day in town. He brought me here, and it didn’t disappoint. To get to this temple, you have to hike up a mountain for about 20 minutes. There’s nothing but woods on your way up, until you finally reach the opening at the top. When you get to the opening, you then continue to climb another steep staircase to reach the actual temple. Apparently this is the place to be because I was not alone. I got up there about an hour before sunset, but was happy to get their early to claim a set on the edge of temple. The view was awesome and you could see for miles. I found a little area to sit and read my kindle before the sunset show was scheduled to go off. It was nearing the time of sunset and I started to noticed that most of the crowd had dispersed. While I was thankful that there was more room to breathe, I thought they were all idiots for leaving right before it got good. Little did I know though, that the guards kick you off the temple right at sunset. Right when it’s almost good, you have to leave and hike back down before it gets too dark. While I was happy to not hike in the dark in flip flops in unknown territory, I was a little bummed to miss the peak of the sunset. 

I got over it on my way down though when I saw two monks off in the corner taking selfies. Two things that I never thought would go together, but did. 

While I only saw a tiny portion of Cambodia, it was enough to make me fall in love. I only had time in my schedule to go to Siem Reap (and I didn’t even have time to see everything that place had to offer), but hopefully one day I’ll go back and be able to see more of this amazing country. 

The last temple I went to in Cambodia was Phnom Bakheng. I asked Mr. Tuka to pick me up at my hotel and take me some place good to see the sunset my last day in town. He brought me here, and it didn’t disappoint. To get to this temple, you have to hike up a mountain for about 20 minutes. There’s nothing but woods on your way up, until you finally reach the opening at the top. When you get to the opening, you then continue to climb another steep staircase to reach the actual temple. Apparently this is the place to be because I was not alone. I got up there about an hour before sunset, but was happy to get their early to claim a set on the edge of temple. The view was awesome and you could see for miles. I found a little area to sit and read my kindle before the sunset show was scheduled to go off. It was nearing the time of sunset and I started to noticed that most of the crowd had dispersed. While I was thankful that there was more room to breathe, I thought they were all idiots for leaving right before it got good. Little did I know though, that the guards kick you off the temple right at sunset. Right when it’s almost good, you have to leave and hike back down before it gets too dark. While I was happy to not hike in the dark in flip flops in unknown territory, I was a little bummed to miss the peak of the sunset. 

I got over it on my way down though when I saw two monks off in the corner taking selfies. Two things that I never thought would go together, but did. 

While I only saw a tiny portion of Cambodia, it was enough to make me fall in love. I only had time in my schedule to go to Siem Reap (and I didn’t even have time to see everything that place had to offer), but hopefully one day I’ll go back and be able to see more of this amazing country. 

After I caught the sunrise at Angkor Wat, I headed to the most magical place on earth. (I know I’ve overused that term at this point, but I really mean it for this temple.) Ta Prohm is magical. It made me feel like I was in a different world for a short time. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was the only person there, but it was an amazing experience. Usually when you go to a tourist site anywhere in the world, you’re never alone. Because it was so early and pretty much everyone else was probably still at Angkor Wat or still asleep, there was no one in sight. It was a little eery actually, but I decided to go with it and continue to explore. You follow little passage ways and caverns to make your way through the temple. While they have done some conservation here, they left the temple mostly intact the way they found it, with overgrown trees and nature taking over the complex. 

It was a hard place to photograph, but I’m ok with leaving it’s secrets there. You definitely had to be there to really understand how amazing it was. I’ve never seen the movie, but apparently this was where parts of Tomb Raider was filmed. I guess I should watch it now to see what it looked like in the movie. I thought about them filming while I was there and I can’t imagine a whole film crew being there. While I’m sure it made the movie look cool, I’m sort of surprised they let something so big and potentially hazardous into this area. Hopefully, whoever was making the film, paid a pretty penny towards the conservation efforts here to make up for any sort of damage they might have caused. 



Like usual, I started to get a little lost in the complex after walking around for awhile. Luckily, or not luckily, towards the end, I started to see a few more faces walking around the grounds. While it started to lose a little of it’s mysticism when I realized I wasn’t alone, I was happy to see other people that could lead me to the exit, so I didn’t have to set up shop on the grounds overnight. Although I probably wouldn’t have minded calling this place home for awhile…I might wait for them to install plumbing and ac before I willingly move in. 
Overall, Ta Prohm gets 4 out of 4 stars, and I highly suggest a trip to Cambodia just to experience this wonderland. 

After I caught the sunrise at Angkor Wat, I headed to the most magical place on earth. (I know I’ve overused that term at this point, but I really mean it for this temple.) Ta Prohm is magical. It made me feel like I was in a different world for a short time. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was the only person there, but it was an amazing experience. Usually when you go to a tourist site anywhere in the world, you’re never alone. Because it was so early and pretty much everyone else was probably still at Angkor Wat or still asleep, there was no one in sight. It was a little eery actually, but I decided to go with it and continue to explore. You follow little passage ways and caverns to make your way through the temple. While they have done some conservation here, they left the temple mostly intact the way they found it, with overgrown trees and nature taking over the complex. 

It was a hard place to photograph, but I’m ok with leaving it’s secrets there. You definitely had to be there to really understand how amazing it was. I’ve never seen the movie, but apparently this was where parts of Tomb Raider was filmed. I guess I should watch it now to see what it looked like in the movie. I thought about them filming while I was there and I can’t imagine a whole film crew being there. While I’m sure it made the movie look cool, I’m sort of surprised they let something so big and potentially hazardous into this area. Hopefully, whoever was making the film, paid a pretty penny towards the conservation efforts here to make up for any sort of damage they might have caused. 

Like usual, I started to get a little lost in the complex after walking around for awhile. Luckily, or not luckily, towards the end, I started to see a few more faces walking around the grounds. While it started to lose a little of it’s mysticism when I realized I wasn’t alone, I was happy to see other people that could lead me to the exit, so I didn’t have to set up shop on the grounds overnight. Although I probably wouldn’t have minded calling this place home for awhile…I might wait for them to install plumbing and ac before I willingly move in. 

Overall, Ta Prohm gets 4 out of 4 stars, and I highly suggest a trip to Cambodia just to experience this wonderland. 

Day two of Cambodia led me back to Angkor Wat, but this time at sunrise. While I’m never one to willingly wake up at 4am, it was definitely worth the initial struggle. Mr. Tuka met me again on day two to take me back to the temple grounds. I’m assuming he fell right back to sleep the second he dropped me off. I’m sure he’s seen the sunrise here hundreds of times already, but I can never imagine it getting old. I know I keep using the term, but this place is Magical. I thought it was so the previous day, but being there at sunrise just surpassed that feeling tenfold. Witnessing the sunrise anywhere actually is a pretty amazing experience, but this one is definitely one for the record books. 

Once the sun actually rose, I was about to head back to Mr. Tuka to go to our next stop, but I heard some chanting in the background. I didn’t feel like walking through the temple again, since I had done so just the day before, but I walked toward the music just to see what was happening. It ended up being a ton of female monks going through their morning ritual. 

You can’t really tell through by the looks of my bad photography, but it was a beautiful sight. All the women had candles lit and their eyes closed, saying their mantras or prayers. There have been many times in the past year when I’ve been frustrated not knowing a different language. This was definitely another time that I felt that way and really wish I knew what they were saying. 

After seeing these lovely ladies, I decided to continue to walk around the temple grounds instead of walking back to the parking lot. There was no one in site after a few minutes of walking, until I turned the corner and saw the sight below. 

I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be taking pictures, but all the monks had their eyes closed, so I thought What the heck?
Again, I’m not sure what their prayers were about, but I decided to say my own to my God before heading back to my driver to see what else Cambodia had to offer. 

Day two of Cambodia led me back to Angkor Wat, but this time at sunrise. While I’m never one to willingly wake up at 4am, it was definitely worth the initial struggle. Mr. Tuka met me again on day two to take me back to the temple grounds. I’m assuming he fell right back to sleep the second he dropped me off. I’m sure he’s seen the sunrise here hundreds of times already, but I can never imagine it getting old. I know I keep using the term, but this place is Magical. I thought it was so the previous day, but being there at sunrise just surpassed that feeling tenfold. Witnessing the sunrise anywhere actually is a pretty amazing experience, but this one is definitely one for the record books. 

Once the sun actually rose, I was about to head back to Mr. Tuka to go to our next stop, but I heard some chanting in the background. I didn’t feel like walking through the temple again, since I had done so just the day before, but I walked toward the music just to see what was happening. It ended up being a ton of female monks going through their morning ritual. 

You can’t really tell through by the looks of my bad photography, but it was a beautiful sight. All the women had candles lit and their eyes closed, saying their mantras or prayers. There have been many times in the past year when I’ve been frustrated not knowing a different language. This was definitely another time that I felt that way and really wish I knew what they were saying. 

After seeing these lovely ladies, I decided to continue to walk around the temple grounds instead of walking back to the parking lot. There was no one in site after a few minutes of walking, until I turned the corner and saw the sight below. 

I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be taking pictures, but all the monks had their eyes closed, so I thought What the heck?

Again, I’m not sure what their prayers were about, but I decided to say my own to my God before heading back to my driver to see what else Cambodia had to offer. 

The next temple on the agenda was Bayon, or the temple with 1000 faces. 

Once again, this place felt magical and I was honored to be able to be there. This turned out to be one of my favorite spots for the day for many reasons…but mainly because it made me feel like I was a contestant on “Legends of the Hidden Temple”….which was always one of my lifelong goals. If you remember that show, contestants had to crawl through little passageways and find keys and hit the right stone to get to the end of the maze. Travelling through this temple felt exactly like it looked like on tv over 20 years ago. 

Once again, the temple had three teirs that you had to get through. Each tier was a confusing maze with random dark hallways and cubby holes that led to nowhere. It might have been the heat stroke I was about to have, or just my general lack of a sense of direction, but it took me longer than expected to travel through the temple grounds. I wasn’t too worried about it though, because everywhere you turned, there was another awesome carving, or bas-relief of a face. 

I was about to give up and make my way to the exit when I saw the stone doorway in the picture below. It really looked like someone amazing was going to be up there so I took all my last morsels of energy to make it to the top. If you thought I sounded pathetic getting up the first temple of Angkor Wat, then my pathetic-ness at Bayon was off the charts. I don’t think I’ve ever huffed and puffed so much in my life as I did on the way up the stairs in this temple. Luckily, not too many people were visiting there that day, so they didn’t witness my close call with a heart attack. I’m sure I sound incredibly out of shape, but you try to visit Cambodia in April and try to do anything besides swim in an ice bath, and then be the one to judge. 

Unfortunately, the top of this tier was pretty anti-climatic. It was a bunch of nothing up there and I almost cried that there was no secret treasure. There was a little bit of a view, but definitely nothing worth the near death experience. Again, the climb back down was incredibly scary, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right??
After making it down to ground level, I decided I was too exhausted to visit any other sites for the day. At this point, it was the heat of the day, so the only logical thing to do would be to head back to the hotel and lay around the pool until sundown. So that’s exactly what I did. While from the outside the pool looked beautiful and refreshing, when you actually got in, it was pretty much like taking a warm bath. While it was better than sweating at the top of a temple, I quickly realized that there really is no relief from the heat of this country. 

The next temple on the agenda was Bayon, or the temple with 1000 faces. 

Once again, this place felt magical and I was honored to be able to be there. This turned out to be one of my favorite spots for the day for many reasons…but mainly because it made me feel like I was a contestant on “Legends of the Hidden Temple”….which was always one of my lifelong goals. If you remember that show, contestants had to crawl through little passageways and find keys and hit the right stone to get to the end of the maze. Travelling through this temple felt exactly like it looked like on tv over 20 years ago. 

Once again, the temple had three teirs that you had to get through. Each tier was a confusing maze with random dark hallways and cubby holes that led to nowhere. It might have been the heat stroke I was about to have, or just my general lack of a sense of direction, but it took me longer than expected to travel through the temple grounds. I wasn’t too worried about it though, because everywhere you turned, there was another awesome carving, or bas-relief of a face. 

I was about to give up and make my way to the exit when I saw the stone doorway in the picture below. It really looked like someone amazing was going to be up there so I took all my last morsels of energy to make it to the top. If you thought I sounded pathetic getting up the first temple of Angkor Wat, then my pathetic-ness at Bayon was off the charts. I don’t think I’ve ever huffed and puffed so much in my life as I did on the way up the stairs in this temple. Luckily, not too many people were visiting there that day, so they didn’t witness my close call with a heart attack. I’m sure I sound incredibly out of shape, but you try to visit Cambodia in April and try to do anything besides swim in an ice bath, and then be the one to judge. 

Unfortunately, the top of this tier was pretty anti-climatic. It was a bunch of nothing up there and I almost cried that there was no secret treasure. There was a little bit of a view, but definitely nothing worth the near death experience. Again, the climb back down was incredibly scary, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right??

After making it down to ground level, I decided I was too exhausted to visit any other sites for the day. At this point, it was the heat of the day, so the only logical thing to do would be to head back to the hotel and lay around the pool until sundown. So that’s exactly what I did. While from the outside the pool looked beautiful and refreshing, when you actually got in, it was pretty much like taking a warm bath. While it was better than sweating at the top of a temple, I quickly realized that there really is no relief from the heat of this country. 

I quickly found out that Cambodia is one of my favorite places on earth. (I say that for pretty much every country I’ve been too, but this time I mean it.) Cambodia was magical and you got that feeling the second you stepped off the plane. I got there really late at night and got a cab to my hotel. I was planning on staying in cheap hostels throughout my trip, but when looking up accommodations here, I found out you could stay in a normal hotel for $20 a night. Turns out that $20 a night hotel was the equivalent to a 5 star hotel back in the states. While I didn’t take any pictures to prove it, my room was incredibly comfortable. There was a roof top pool, gym, and spa, and there was a ridiculously friendly and professional staff around every corner to greet you and open any doors.  You also get a free buffet breakfast that was surprisingly amazing. They had food to satisfy all different culture’s needs, and got bonus points from this American for having all you can eat heart shaped waffles.
After eating as many waffles and dragon fruit as I could fit, it was off to the famous Angkor Wat for the day. I got the advice, from a SH friend of mine that had visited Cambodia in the winter, to just rent a bike and tour the temples at your leisure. While I was totally planning on taking this sound advice, I decided to ignore it that morning and hire a driver. And by driver, I mean Mr. Tuka, my tuk tuk driver. For a few bucks, he’ll take you to all the temples you like and wait for you outside until you’re finished. Cambodia is the hottest place in the entire world, so the thought of exerting any more energy than sitting in the back of the tuk tuk with the wind blowing through my hair, was more than I could handle. I also didn’t know where I was going and can’t read a map to save my life, so I have happy to have Mr. Tuka lead the way. 

The temple grounds here were amazing. I’m not sure when this place was built, but you could just feel the years worth of history pouring out of every stone. Once again, I felt pretty ignorant to not know more of this country’s history, but being there really got me excited to do more research when I got home. The temple was full of beautiful carvings and ornaments. I usually don’t buy many souvenirs, but I did leave the temple with some rubbings of these carvings. 

Angkor Wat is one of the larger temple compounds around town. The grounds themselves are never ending and there were a ton of different hallways to get lost in. 

I mentioned in a past post that my Asian adventures brought out a fear of heights in myself that I never knew about. I was reminded of that fear again when I made it up to the 3rd tier of this temple. Getting up the stairs was a feat in itself. It wasn’t too scary going up. You just held onto the small metal handrail and tried to not die from heat exhaustion before you made it to the top. I couldn’t really breathe when I finally made it up there (you have to wear long sleeves to be allowed in the upper levels of temples in Cambodia), but the views that you saw made it worth it. That is…until it was time to get down. I’m not sure if the picture below gives you the real sense of how steep this place was. Only about 1/3 of your foot fits on each step, so you have to walk down at an angle. I basically had to walk down backwards so I could hold onto the railing, while dripping massive buckets of sweat, and not freak out from the heights. While I love traveling alone, there have been certain circumstances like this that I wish someone else was there to laugh at how pathetic I was. 

After making it down the third tier of the temple, it was time to make my way back to Mr. Tuka. 

Before I met him in the parking lot, I sat down to drink a coconut to try to rehydrate before round two of sweaty temple excursions. These monkeys apparently know the system well because they were 3 out of many monkeys sitting near the piles of coconuts. They’re patient enough to wait for you to finish your juice before they steal the remnants of the shell. Monkeys are by far not my favorite creatures on this earth, but I was happy to share what I could with the locals. 

I finally made my way back to Mr. Tuka, only to find him sleeping in the tuk tuk. I quietly woke him up and then it was off to the next temple. 

I quickly found out that Cambodia is one of my favorite places on earth. (I say that for pretty much every country I’ve been too, but this time I mean it.) Cambodia was magical and you got that feeling the second you stepped off the plane. I got there really late at night and got a cab to my hotel. I was planning on staying in cheap hostels throughout my trip, but when looking up accommodations here, I found out you could stay in a normal hotel for $20 a night. Turns out that $20 a night hotel was the equivalent to a 5 star hotel back in the states. While I didn’t take any pictures to prove it, my room was incredibly comfortable. There was a roof top pool, gym, and spa, and there was a ridiculously friendly and professional staff around every corner to greet you and open any doors.  You also get a free buffet breakfast that was surprisingly amazing. They had food to satisfy all different culture’s needs, and got bonus points from this American for having all you can eat heart shaped waffles.

After eating as many waffles and dragon fruit as I could fit, it was off to the famous Angkor Wat for the day. I got the advice, from a SH friend of mine that had visited Cambodia in the winter, to just rent a bike and tour the temples at your leisure. While I was totally planning on taking this sound advice, I decided to ignore it that morning and hire a driver. And by driver, I mean Mr. Tuka, my tuk tuk driver. For a few bucks, he’ll take you to all the temples you like and wait for you outside until you’re finished. Cambodia is the hottest place in the entire world, so the thought of exerting any more energy than sitting in the back of the tuk tuk with the wind blowing through my hair, was more than I could handle. I also didn’t know where I was going and can’t read a map to save my life, so I have happy to have Mr. Tuka lead the way. 

The temple grounds here were amazing. I’m not sure when this place was built, but you could just feel the years worth of history pouring out of every stone. Once again, I felt pretty ignorant to not know more of this country’s history, but being there really got me excited to do more research when I got home. The temple was full of beautiful carvings and ornaments. I usually don’t buy many souvenirs, but I did leave the temple with some rubbings of these carvings. 

Angkor Wat is one of the larger temple compounds around town. The grounds themselves are never ending and there were a ton of different hallways to get lost in. 

I mentioned in a past post that my Asian adventures brought out a fear of heights in myself that I never knew about. I was reminded of that fear again when I made it up to the 3rd tier of this temple. Getting up the stairs was a feat in itself. It wasn’t too scary going up. You just held onto the small metal handrail and tried to not die from heat exhaustion before you made it to the top. I couldn’t really breathe when I finally made it up there (you have to wear long sleeves to be allowed in the upper levels of temples in Cambodia), but the views that you saw made it worth it. That is…until it was time to get down. I’m not sure if the picture below gives you the real sense of how steep this place was. Only about 1/3 of your foot fits on each step, so you have to walk down at an angle. I basically had to walk down backwards so I could hold onto the railing, while dripping massive buckets of sweat, and not freak out from the heights. While I love traveling alone, there have been certain circumstances like this that I wish someone else was there to laugh at how pathetic I was. 

After making it down the third tier of the temple, it was time to make my way back to Mr. Tuka. 

Before I met him in the parking lot, I sat down to drink a coconut to try to rehydrate before round two of sweaty temple excursions. These monkeys apparently know the system well because they were 3 out of many monkeys sitting near the piles of coconuts. They’re patient enough to wait for you to finish your juice before they steal the remnants of the shell. Monkeys are by far not my favorite creatures on this earth, but I was happy to share what I could with the locals. 

I finally made my way back to Mr. Tuka, only to find him sleeping in the tuk tuk. I quietly woke him up and then it was off to the next temple. 

Leaving Thailand would have been much more depressing if I wasn’t catching a plane to Cambodia. Once again, I was giddy in the airport probably looking like a freak. I don’t take it lightly being able to go to new countries. Each new one I go to is as exciting as the first time I ever left America…and the gigantic smile on my face is usually proof of this fact. 
When I checked in at the front gate of the airport, the process wasn’t as quick as I would have liked. I was standing there with my gigantic backpack, while the front desk clerk gradually had more and more employees gather around her to look at my passport. I didn’t know what was going on, so I just waited patiently until they actually spoke to me. When they finally did speek, they asked me if I had a visa to get into to Cambodia…which I didn’t, so I told them so. In my research, Cambodia either didn’t have a visa, or it was a visa upon arrival, so I didn’t do any prior planning for it. I got a long lecture in broken English from the worker and finally was given my boarding pass. From what I could understand, they told me to go to a different part of the airport to get my visa. They pointed me in the right direction and let me on my way. I finally found what area they were talking about and talked to the employees there. Whatever it was I was supposed to do with them there, turns out their printer was broken so I couldn’t do it. At that point, I wasn’t in the mood to be in Thailand anymore, so I decided to “play dumb” and just hoped that all would work out when I got into Cambodia. 
I headed through security and after waiting in a long line, finally made it to the passport inspector person. Once again, they looked quizzical at my passport and didn’t talk to me. They eventually let me pass through the gate only to be greeted by a police officer. That officer took me into a small little room past the gate and told me to sit down. Apparently not only did I not have a visa for Cambodia, I also overstayed my visa in Thailand. I really had no idea what the repercussions were for this, I just suddenly started having flashbacks to the Brokedown Palace movie I watched when I was 12. (Please tell me someone else remembers that?!!) I was suddenly trying to mentally prepare myself for life in a Thai prison, but turns out I only had to pay a small fine and could be on my way.
 When I was planning for this whole SEAsia adventure, I actually didn’t do too much planning. I knew I was flying into Phuket and flying out of Malaysia, but I had over a month’s worth of time in between those two flights. I had been on trips before where I had everything meticulously planned out, only to find all the hidden gems and places I should have gone, when I got there. Since everything was already booked and planned, I couldn’t really change my agenda so I ended up missing out on some things that might have been better. I didn’t want to miss out on anything awesome this time around, so I left the planning to a minimum. That being said, I booked most of my flights while I was in Thailand. I had no real time table, so I had no clue how long I had been in Thailand. Turns out my Thai visa was only a 30 day visa, and I was leaving on the 31st day. In fact, I was only a few hours over my stay allowance. But luckily it was only a small fine to be able to “pass go” and I still had a few baht left that I was just going to have to change over anyways on my next stop, so I paid the lovely officer, and was on my way. While I definitely don’t regret the whole “not planning” thing, maybe next time I’ll at least look at the dates on my flights before I book them. 

Leaving Thailand would have been much more depressing if I wasn’t catching a plane to Cambodia. Once again, I was giddy in the airport probably looking like a freak. I don’t take it lightly being able to go to new countries. Each new one I go to is as exciting as the first time I ever left America…and the gigantic smile on my face is usually proof of this fact.

When I checked in at the front gate of the airport, the process wasn’t as quick as I would have liked. I was standing there with my gigantic backpack, while the front desk clerk gradually had more and more employees gather around her to look at my passport. I didn’t know what was going on, so I just waited patiently until they actually spoke to me. When they finally did speek, they asked me if I had a visa to get into to Cambodia…which I didn’t, so I told them so. In my research, Cambodia either didn’t have a visa, or it was a visa upon arrival, so I didn’t do any prior planning for it. I got a long lecture in broken English from the worker and finally was given my boarding pass. From what I could understand, they told me to go to a different part of the airport to get my visa. They pointed me in the right direction and let me on my way. I finally found what area they were talking about and talked to the employees there. Whatever it was I was supposed to do with them there, turns out their printer was broken so I couldn’t do it. At that point, I wasn’t in the mood to be in Thailand anymore, so I decided to “play dumb” and just hoped that all would work out when I got into Cambodia.

I headed through security and after waiting in a long line, finally made it to the passport inspector person. Once again, they looked quizzical at my passport and didn’t talk to me. They eventually let me pass through the gate only to be greeted by a police officer. That officer took me into a small little room past the gate and told me to sit down. Apparently not only did I not have a visa for Cambodia, I also overstayed my visa in Thailand. I really had no idea what the repercussions were for this, I just suddenly started having flashbacks to the Brokedown Palace movie I watched when I was 12. (Please tell me someone else remembers that?!!) I was suddenly trying to mentally prepare myself for life in a Thai prison, but turns out I only had to pay a small fine and could be on my way.

When I was planning for this whole SEAsia adventure, I actually didn’t do too much planning. I knew I was flying into Phuket and flying out of Malaysia, but I had over a month’s worth of time in between those two flights. I had been on trips before where I had everything meticulously planned out, only to find all the hidden gems and places I should have gone, when I got there. Since everything was already booked and planned, I couldn’t really change my agenda so I ended up missing out on some things that might have been better. I didn’t want to miss out on anything awesome this time around, so I left the planning to a minimum. That being said, I booked most of my flights while I was in Thailand. I had no real time table, so I had no clue how long I had been in Thailand. Turns out my Thai visa was only a 30 day visa, and I was leaving on the 31st day. In fact, I was only a few hours over my stay allowance. But luckily it was only a small fine to be able to “pass go” and I still had a few baht left that I was just going to have to change over anyways on my next stop, so I paid the lovely officer, and was on my way. While I definitely don’t regret the whole “not planning” thing, maybe next time I’ll at least look at the dates on my flights before I book them. 

While I typically spent most of my days on the beach, I eventually started to explore more of Phuket and get around town. I found that Phuket Town was one of my favorite places on the island and it was worth missing a day at the beach. 

To get around town, you can take the local busses, or Sawadees. They have a few actual stops on their route, but the easiest way to ride is when you see them coming down the road, you flag one down and can jump on. This is far different than the bus system in Shanghai. The drivers in SH will happily pass you by even if they see you running toward the stop when they had just shut their door. There’s no mercy. But in Thailand, it was a different story. Everyone is happy and friendly and seems to work together. 
After about 30 minutes on the bus, we made it to Phuket Old town. It felt like we took a plane ride and were in a different country just by the looks of things. This is their historical district and the buildings here were over 100 years old. The architecture was beautiful, and like I said, you forgot where you were when you were walking down the streets. While I don’t know anything about the history of Phuket, the buildings were supposed to have had a Portugese/British influence. (I’ll do some research and write a report for you later…)







I didn’t have an agenda for the day besides to see what this “town” was all about. Since we didn’t have the ocean breeze, or the ocean itself to jump into, it was incredibly hot and you could really feel the heat of Thailand. You can only walk around for so long before you feel like you’re about to faint, so I tried to make the most of my time there.  


There are a bunch of shops, restaurants, and coffee houses along the streets. I’m sure there were a ton of historical sites and landmarks as well that I should have seen, but you can only walk around in 100 degree heat for so long before you have to start making you way back to the bus. 

I wish I was travelling with more than just my backpack because there were fabric stores up and down the streets packed with amazing textiles. I could only justify buying one type though because my pack was already full and I still had two countries yet to visit. Knowing I could only pick out one pattern, it took me way too long to decide and I’m sure the shop keepers thought I was crazy. (Indecisive, yes. Crazy..maybe). Anyways, I finally picked out a fabric to bring back to my talented friend, Emily. I knew I would be back to Thailand in the near the future, so I figured I could pick up some for myself later.


I headed back to the area of the town where the busses drop you off. The system here is a little different than it was towards the beach town. Phuket town is sort of the end of the line, so the busses just park on a street in the town, instead of making a continuous loop. I got on one of the busses that I knew would take me back to my neck of the woods, but it wasn’t going anywhere. I asked someone what time it would leave, and they said “eventually”. Basically they just wait around until the bus is filled and then they’ll get going. Luckily for me, it seemed like everyone that took the bus to get there was about to have a heat stroke at about the same time and everyone came straggling back to the bus within a few minutes of each other. 
We made it back to the beach in time to get some dinner and catch the sunset. While I wasn’t able to see all of Phuket while I was there, I’m happy I at least got to see a few of it’s gems. If you ever find yourself in Phuket, which I hope you do, make sure to make a trip out to Phuket town. It won’t disappoint. 

While I typically spent most of my days on the beach, I eventually started to explore more of Phuket and get around town. I found that Phuket Town was one of my favorite places on the island and it was worth missing a day at the beach. 

To get around town, you can take the local busses, or Sawadees. They have a few actual stops on their route, but the easiest way to ride is when you see them coming down the road, you flag one down and can jump on. This is far different than the bus system in Shanghai. The drivers in SH will happily pass you by even if they see you running toward the stop when they had just shut their door. There’s no mercy. But in Thailand, it was a different story. Everyone is happy and friendly and seems to work together. 

After about 30 minutes on the bus, we made it to Phuket Old town. It felt like we took a plane ride and were in a different country just by the looks of things. This is their historical district and the buildings here were over 100 years old. The architecture was beautiful, and like I said, you forgot where you were when you were walking down the streets. While I don’t know anything about the history of Phuket, the buildings were supposed to have had a Portugese/British influence. (I’ll do some research and write a report for you later…)

I didn’t have an agenda for the day besides to see what this “town” was all about. Since we didn’t have the ocean breeze, or the ocean itself to jump into, it was incredibly hot and you could really feel the heat of Thailand. You can only walk around for so long before you feel like you’re about to faint, so I tried to make the most of my time there.  

There are a bunch of shops, restaurants, and coffee houses along the streets. I’m sure there were a ton of historical sites and landmarks as well that I should have seen, but you can only walk around in 100 degree heat for so long before you have to start making you way back to the bus. 

I wish I was travelling with more than just my backpack because there were fabric stores up and down the streets packed with amazing textiles. I could only justify buying one type though because my pack was already full and I still had two countries yet to visit. Knowing I could only pick out one pattern, it took me way too long to decide and I’m sure the shop keepers thought I was crazy. (Indecisive, yes. Crazy..maybe). Anyways, I finally picked out a fabric to bring back to my talented friend, Emily. I knew I would be back to Thailand in the near the future, so I figured I could pick up some for myself later.

I headed back to the area of the town where the busses drop you off. The system here is a little different than it was towards the beach town. Phuket town is sort of the end of the line, so the busses just park on a street in the town, instead of making a continuous loop. I got on one of the busses that I knew would take me back to my neck of the woods, but it wasn’t going anywhere. I asked someone what time it would leave, and they said “eventually”. Basically they just wait around until the bus is filled and then they’ll get going. Luckily for me, it seemed like everyone that took the bus to get there was about to have a heat stroke at about the same time and everyone came straggling back to the bus within a few minutes of each other. 

We made it back to the beach in time to get some dinner and catch the sunset. While I wasn’t able to see all of Phuket while I was there, I’m happy I at least got to see a few of it’s gems. If you ever find yourself in Phuket, which I hope you do, make sure to make a trip out to Phuket town. It won’t disappoint.