A reflection on our adventure of a lifetime

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Paul's Parents House

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Well we have been back in Blighty for just over a week now, and we felt it was time to end our blog in the best possible way with a summary of our best and worst bits. Hopefully this will help all those other budding travellers who plan to embark on a journey of their own around Asia in the coming months.

Our Best Bits:

~ Every day was a blank canvas.
~  Watching the most amazing sunsets.
~  Getting engaged while floating in a tube on the sea.
~  The Gibbons calling at dawn while on the Gibbon Experience.
~  Spending 2 months playing bat and ball on the beaches of Thailand.
~  Cruising through Halong Bay with Indochina Sails on Emma's Birthday.
~  Our snorkelling and karaoke day trip in Nha Trang.
~  Witnessing the Cherry Blossoms in Miyajima, Japan.
~  Watching the Irrawaddy Dolphins playing in the Mekong in Kratie, Cambodia.
~  Being tomb raiders while exploring Angkor Wat.
~  Spending all of our time together for 10 months.
~  Trekking through Northen Vietnam with the hill tribes of Sapa.
~  Breakfast after attending prayer with the Buddhist Monks in Koya-san, Japan.
~  Feeding and bathing elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
~  Tubing in the glorious sunshine in Vang Vieng, Laos.
~  Karaoke in Tokyo, Japan on our second day of travelling.
~  Seeing Uncle Ho and trying to refrain from making any jokes.
~  Walking amongst the deer in the Nara Park World Heritage Site.
~  Thunderstorms over our wooden bungalow in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
~  Riding a moped along an endless trail of butterflies in Cuc Phoung National Park, Vietnam.
~  Taking a 3-day private cruise on a Sampan from Saigon to Phnom Penh.
~  Emma doing a Jeremy Clarkson and falling off a moped outside our hotel.
~  Paul feeling jealous of Emma’s scar and getting his own in Koh Tao by kicking an anchor.
~  Marvelling at the wonders of Asian street electrical spaghetti.
~  Swimming in Saigon water park during a monsoon and thunderstorm.
~  Discovering the wondrous variety of tuk-tuk’s throughout all of South East Asia.
~  Finding out just how much stuff can fit on the back of a motorbike.
~  Hawkers, street food and food courts.
~  Spending 4 months travelling along the Mekong and watching life on its banks.
~  Watching a man save a copy of Paul's eyes in a Photography Studio in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
~  Kids waving and shouting "Hello" as we cycled past.
~  Hearing the call to Allah amongst the burning of incense from the Buddhist temples.
~  Discovering Takoyaki in Dotonbori Osaka after the Sumo.
~  Watching Sumo in Osaka.
~  Watching Muay Thai in Lumpini Park Stadium, Bangkok.
~  Tasting all of the different beers of South East Asia.
~  Enjoying a junk food banquet after walking 30+ kilometres through Taroko Gorge, Taiwan.
~  Walking through the darkened streets of Hoi An during the Lantern festival.
~  Launching lanterns during the Loi Krathong festival with Emma’s Parents in Krabi, Thailand.
~  Learning how to cook Thai Cuisine at the Organic Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
~  Spending a whole day walking through Singapore Zoo and photographing the Orangutans.
~  Getting up at 5am to watch Vietnamese socialising on the beaches as the tourists slept.
~  Walking amongst the monks in Cambodia and Laos

Trust us, there was so much more....

Our Worst Bits:

~  Seeing how crushingly poor the majority of the population are, in shanty towns and stilt huts along the Mekong (and yet they are still all smiling and making the best of things).
~  The speedboat ride from Ko Lanta to Ko Bulone, the longest 4 hours of our lives.
~  The day trip to the Perfume Pagoda, Vietnam, where we accidentally ate dog.
~  Sleeping with the wildlife in Kampot and Banlung, Cambodia.
~  Paranoia about attacks from snakes, spiders, jellyfish and monkeys!
~  Anti-Malaria medication, wierd dreams for the first few weeks.
~  Swimming through a pitch black cave in the Trang Islands, Thailand.
~  The stink of bins outside the hotel in Battambang, Cambodia (in fact bins everywhere - we will appreciate refuse collection in the UK)
~  Our scenic bicycle ride in Hualien, Taiwan, past the rubbish dump, military zone and stray dogs.
~  Being robbed in Halong Bay, ironicly one of the most luxurious expeditions of the trip.
~  Missing Christmas and Emma's Gran moving home.
~  Witnessing a motorbike accident in Quang Ngai and shortly after being shown a man's third nipple.
~  Man on a motorbike following us around for hours in Danang, Vietnam, trying to get us to do a day trip.
~  Spending 8 days in Hue because of our cocked up visa extension
~  Being asked for a bribe by the Philippines immigration official, and then told 'I'll see you outside'...
~  Witnessing animal cruelty in Saigon Zoo.
~  Drinking Dalat wine, not worth Paul cutting his hand open.
~  Evicting cockroaches from our room before sleep.
~  Seeing sleazy old men with pretty young Asian girls.
~  The lack of proper medical facilities.
~  People spitting and hacking up phlem.
~  Being mobbed by taxis and tuk-tuks in Vietnam.
~  Insect bites.
~  Not being able to avoid eating food containing palm oil, knowing how devastating it is for wildlife in Asia.
~  Not being able to control what we ate and when.

As you can probably tell we definitely had the time of our lives and if you are reading this and thinking whether you should emark on such a journey... Our advice is "DEFINATELY DO IT", you only live once and who knows what you might discover and learn not just about the countries that you visit, but yourself.

Thanks for reading everyone!
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