Day 170 – 173: Seminyak, Bali (Indonesia)

B-A-L-I, Bali! A place that’s so talked about as 2 million tourists visit each year, and we were eager to find out why. The large island is home to 3.5 million Indonesians who consider themselves Balinese first. Their unique culture, religion (Hinduism is most predominant), and character is what sets them apart from the rest of Indonesia. Continue reading Day 170 – 173: Seminyak, Bali (Indonesia)

Day 167 – 169: Borobudur & Prambanan Temples (Indonesia)

Our next stop in Indonesia was central Java and so we flew into Yogyakarta (1 hour by plane from Jakarta). After about another hour – by cab – we found ourselves at the wonderfully green hotel accommodations of Manohara. This was the hotel our friend Izabel recommended due to its amazing location. Amazing for a couple of reasons; it’s surrounded by tropical rain forests and mountains (and even a volcano, Merapi which happens to be one of the most active and dangerous in the world), and it’s also on the doorstep to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Continue reading Day 167 – 169: Borobudur & Prambanan Temples (Indonesia)

Day 162 – 167: Jakarta (Indonesia)

20 years ago seems like the distant past and that’s exactly when Brigitte left Indonesia after living there for nearly 4 years. Therefore going back to Jakarta meant so much more than just visiting yet another Southeast Asian capital. We planned for 5 nights in the megalopolis and stayed with Izabel, Brigitte’s best friend from growing up in Indonesia. During those 20 years Izabel embarked on an illustrious modeling career followed by heading up the editorial departments of various fashion publications. Continue reading Day 162 – 167: Jakarta (Indonesia)

Day 159 – 161: Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

The “7 hour” bus ride to Kuala Lumpur actually lasted about 10 but neither Brigitte nor I were very bothered by it. For a good part of the ride (hours on end), palm trees lined both sides of the freeway at times interrupted by the occasional rest stop or gas station, somewhat reminiscent of the New Jersey Turnpike. And around 7pm one of the most amazing sunsets painted the distant horizon pink-red and left us in awe of the fiery spectacle. Continue reading Day 159 – 161: Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Day 155 – 158: Langkawi (Malaysia)

We had heard about Langkawi from our friend Allison and Brigitte’s cousin Kelly. They had both mentioned it was worth the visit. After our own research yielded positive results, the Malaysian island of Langkawi became our next destination. To get there from Thailand we embarked on a 6-hour minibus drive coupled with a 1.5-hour long ferry ride. All in all we had about a 14-hour long travel day (including overall waiting time plus the 1 hour time zone difference). Continue reading Day 155 – 158: Langkawi (Malaysia)

Day 151 – 154: Krabi (Thailand)

An hour and forty-five minutes is what separated Krabi from Phuket via ferry. The early morning ride was quiet and smooth. The beach town of Ao Nang (in Krabi Province), was our next stop and we planned on four days of more fun in the sun. Two of those days were spent relaxing on the beach or at the hotel pool. The other two were more adventurous as we had signed up for island day trips. Continue reading Day 151 – 154: Krabi (Thailand)

Day 148 – 150: Phuket (Thailand)

Aah, the beaches of Phuket (pronounced “poo-ket” and not “fuk-et” as I’ve been calling it), this was the vacation we’d been yearning for. After nearly 5 months on the road we wanted a break from it all and just relax on the beach. The powdery white sands, turquoise water and easygoing atmosphere were all part of the bonus plan. Continue reading Day 148 – 150: Phuket (Thailand)

Day 145 – 146: Siem Reap Part 2 (Angkor Temples & Floating Villages) Cambodia

Our morning visit of Pre Rup and Banteay Srei temples was electrifying and got us revved up for a busy afternoon. There were four more temples on the itinerary but on the way to the first, we made a pit stop at the Land Mine Museum. Cambodia’s past of being tangled in internal conflict as well as in the Vietnam War, saw it on the receiving end of major bombing and indiscriminate land mine blanketing. Continue reading Day 145 – 146: Siem Reap Part 2 (Angkor Temples & Floating Villages) Cambodia