In my previous post winter in summer-land, I wrote about my experiences in Malaysia, from where, I was to fly to Bali. First question is perhaps: why Bali? To be honest, I didn’t know too much about Bali when I decided to go there. There was a good deal to be had flying in and out of Bali and I knew that it was famous enough to be on my consciousness by being bombed and by being the setting of an awful but expensively made hollywood movie. So I had decided, more or less on a whim, to stay in Bali for a week. This post will describe my initial impressions on landing in the island. Continue reading
In my previous post the Nepali connection, I mentioned that my hosts in Kuala Lumpur had invited me to join their trip to Cameron highlands and that I had agreed to join them. In this post I shall write about that and rest of my stay in Malaysia.
The gang that went to Cameron highlands included my host, co-host, their three friends and two other couch surfers who were surfing with our hosts back at KL. So it was a small troop indeed. We had hired an apartment just outside the town of Tanah Rata. Continue reading
“Malaysia truly asia, the mountains and the sea”, the ad from tourism Malaysia jungles. India has 7,500 kilometers of coastline and the mother of all mountain ranges – the mighty Himalayas. Wonder what they were thinking when the designed the ad to be aired in India. Anyway, neither the mountains nor the sea were really my driving force behind visiting Malaysia.
As many of you know, I backpacked through Malaysia, Bali, Australia and New Zealand starting mid-September. I’m going to write about how I prepared for this trip in this post.
In the beginning of this year, viz 2011, I was feeling my travel bug itch again. My wanderlust had not been assuaged for quite some time. I really wanted to go to Bhutan in 2010, but that plan was foiled due to various reasons. So, I was planning to travel towards the end of 2011 and I thought I might as well go to southern hemisphere and experience two summers in a row! I’ve always wanted to travel to New Zealand. When I hosted a kiwi couch surfer and heard tales of the place from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, I became even more convinced that this was a place I had to see. So my original plan was to go to New Zealand.
One of the difficulties in exploring the Angkor Wat and allied temples is that they are spread out over a large area. So one of the first things I did when I got to Siem Reap was to ask around for any sort of organized tour of a couple of days that I could join in touring the temples. Unfortunately I could not find any.
I was therefore left with no option but to ask the right-hand-man from Part 1 to find me a tour-guide and a tuk-tuk for couple of days. Thus for the next couple of days, my tour Guide was Thoeun Moeun – his first name is pronounced like “thun” in Mithun. Don’t ask me what the extra vowels are for. You are right to wonder how on earth do I remember that name, it is by no means and accident: I’ll come to that shortly. My tuk-tuk driver for the next couple of days was Kea.
This is going to be a short one – about how I got to where I was in Part 1.
A brief note on footnotes: if you are interested in the narrative, you can skip them over. On the other hand, if tangential information interests you or if you plan to travel and are looking for tips, feel free to peruse them!
My travel philosophy for this trip was simple: don’t have any plans. I’d get to one place and stay at least one day. If I liked the place, I’d continue to stay the next day, if not I’d travel to another place. I never had any reservation nor an itinerary to follow, so wandering like this wasn’t a problem. My only guiding principles were 1. a rough idea of the places I’d like to cover and 2. a per day spending limit so that I wouldn’t overshoot the budget.
I’ve been meaning to write about the experiences I’ve had on a backpacking trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore that I did late last year. By some accident of history I’ve memorized and implemented Kabir’s famous adage “Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub”1 backwards, so it has taken till now for me to actually getting to writing down a few of my experiences.
I hope to write a few of the more interesting experiences and some sort of travelogue down. This one, which I hope will be one of many, will deal with a single interesting (I think) experience I had.2
- For my Hindi-illiterate friends, “Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub” is from a Doha (two line poem, methinks) from Kabir. It translates to “Do tomorrow’s work today and today’s work now” [↩]
- Important note/Disclaimer: A lot of what I write here is just in jest and I apologize for any offense. None is intended! [↩]