Here’s the itinerary for the last leg of our year long travel madness!
Rated by the World Meteorological Organization as one of the world’s hottest cities! Average high:33C. Hooray! We will be here for about 4 days, sweating around the temples, night markets and maybe take in a go-go show. Don’t judge!
We’ll head west for a couple of days to learn about the Death Railway Bridge (Bridge Over the River Kwai) and the Hellfire Pass Museum. Not the most cheerful visit, but important none the less.
Elephants, temples and palaces! We will probably end up going back to Bangkok to catch the train up to Ayuthaya, but it’s the start of our Northern Thailand experience, hopefully towards cooler climates.
We missed the Monkey Festival, but there are still plenty of the furry critters running around the place. John loves monkeys…hopefully we won’t get rabies.
Sufferin’ Sukhotai! Yet another word I can’t say without adding an exclamation point. Sukhothai Historical Park is a World Heritage Site boasting 21 historical sites.
The Jewel of the North! We will be chilling out in Chiang Mai for about 4 days before taking the train back to Bangkok and flying out to Hanoi.
New country! We will be tackling Vietnam from north to south and Hanoi is our first stop. Considered by some to be Asia’s most atmospheric capital, we will spend our time walking around the Old Quarter and eating lots of noodles laden with pork molecules. With any luck, we will be watching the Superbowl here.
Emerald waters lapping at more than 2000 islands, Halong Bay (trans: where the dragon descends into the sea) is one of Vietnam’s most iconic sites. We may spend the night on the bay upon a Chinese-style junk ship.
The whole town is a Unesco World Heritage site, lying either side of the Perfume River. We will be staying here for a couple of days enjoying the temples, pagodas and lots of delicious pho.
800 historical buildings have been preserved by a Unesco decree, keeping the Old Town looking pretty much as it did several centuries ago. Japanese covered bridges, and Chinese temples and tea houses are relics from when traders came down to Hoi An in the spring to avoid the northerly monsoons. We’ll be spending about three days here soaking up the atmosphere of this peaceful town.
It’s beach time! Having missed the southern beaches of Thailand, we will be hitting the sand and surf in Nha Trang, the beach capital of Vietnam. Massages, mojitos and relaxation are in store for us before we move on to the cooler mountain breezes of Dalat.
Likened to the French Alps in springtime, Dalat is full of strawberries and flowers, cool mountain air and lots of French Colonial villas. Little Paris was popularized by the French as they escaped Saigon’s stifling heat.
HCMC will be gearing up for Tet, which happens on Feb 16th, so flowers will be everywhere, lending fragrance to the few days we will be here before heading to Cambodia.
Although we will be hitting the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields, we will also be taking in some more upbeat sites like the banks of the Mekong River and Silver Pagodas.
We will be spending 3 days touring through the temples of Angkor, South East Asia’s Machu Picchu. We promise not to dress like Laura Croft. After Siem Reap, we will be heading back to Bangkok to catch our 9 hour flight to the Land of Oz!
We added Oz to the list as our good friend, Patrick, recently moved down under. I’m sure at this point we will be ready for some familiar faces, drinking choked with ice and some western food. While we are down there, we may jump over to Tasmania…who, by the way has one of the best depictions of Tasmanian Devils ever.
After all that, it’s back home for a while. Who knows what the rest of 2015 will bring? I know it will be filled with memories of the past 12 months and although our backpacks may be stored out of sight, I know that our newly discovered wanderlust will lead us on many more adventures.