Leaving in 1+ week for the adventure of our lives!

Trip Start Sep 27, 2009
Trip End Nov 18, 2009

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Home sweet home

Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Friday, September 18, 2009

Here I am, in the middle of my one-year sabbatical to repose from a hectic career that has spanned 20 years for a famous 3-letter IT company.  Pierre has put up with the rat race for a lot longer (and his grey hair are a testament of this), 28 years this October, also for the same IT company... his pre-retirement leave is coming on Sep. 25 at the tender age of 49, and the time is ripe for an adventure!

We're taking off on Sunday Sep. 27, flying into Hanoi from Montreal with pit stops in NY's nutty JFK airport (where mid-air collision has a higher probability rate than winning the lottery! Needless to say, Pierre passionately hates flying in and out of New York... ) and in Seoul.  Wished I had enough time to visit with my friend GHyun who lives in Seoul.  Over 20 hours later, we get to destination where the fun will begin after our bodies recover from this long session in a flying Coke can...

Our itinerary will take us from Hanoi southward to Saigon (or as the commies now call it, Ho Chi Minh City) and the Mekong Delta.  From there, we cross into Cambodia to Phnom Penh to see what the blood thirsty Khmer Rouge subjected their own people to go through: the genocide, the torture, the bloodshed... should make every Canadian thank their chosen gods for not having been a victim of such outrageous disregard for human life.  Then, northward to Siem Reap to see the temples in Angkor and have an Angelina Jolie cocktail at sunset (I said COCKTAIL, Pierre, stop salivating!).

A quick flight from Siem Reap to Pakse on a tuk tuk with wings and we cross into southern Laos.  We'll travel by slow bus towards the north and end our visit to Laos at Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Another hop on a flying tuk tuk and we'll land in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.  By train and bus, we'll end our visit of Thailand in Bangkok, since we're not beach people and don't intend to visit the southern tourist-laden provinces of beach, sand and common debaucherie. 

Another flight will take us to Yangon in Myanmar, where we intend to do the classic tour of Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay.  On Dec. 18, we return to Bangkok for a day of last-minute, hectic souvenir shopping, then the next day, we fly home just in time for Xmas with the nieces and nephews, parents and siblings, who are so dear to our hearts.

We are eager and excited to start this new adventure that will take us out of the commonality of our every day lives, out of habitual living standards and away from our beloved Yorkie Godzilla.  However, we're also anxious for the same reasons, as Southeast Asia is a world away in culture and tradition, in hygiene and living standards and in food and drink.  This is a chance in a lifetime, one that has been in the planning and preparation stages for the last 6 months...

The backpacks are ready, the dog is spayed and ready to go live with Grandma for a while, the vaccinations are done, the visas and passports are all in order, the house is closed off, let the Malarone kick in!
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elysebui1965 on

Miss you already
I woke up this morning planning your homecoming party already. You guys have lots of fun and stay safe. No matter how yummy it looks, please please stay away from street food. Our digestive system is not made for that kind of abuse. I will sign in every few days to check up on y'all.

tonihuybui on

Have a great safe trip!
Have a wonderful trip, guys. Enjoy yourselves to the fullest but please take reasonable precautions at all time. Remember that, in most aspects, these countries are completely different from what we are used to in N.A.

While in Bangkok, try to see if our old house and some of the old hangouts (e.g. Dusit Thani Hotel, Central Department Stores, etc.) still exist.

We'll check your blog regularly. Congrats to Pierre on his retirement. We'll celebrate when you return.

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