Travel Bug

Another picture of the most important Wat in Ayutthaya, Thailand, Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Taken on the 18th of February 2007 with a Nikon D200 and a 18-200 VR mm lens. Part of the Ayutthaya Series in the Thailand Chronicles.

A lot of people that I have met has traveled in South East Asia. In fact, my boss is even a world class traveler. He has been in Taiwan for 13 years and I have heard him talk about his trips to Israel and Istanbul, places that I do want to visit as well in the future.

As always, the most important place that I will visit this year will probably be Angkor Wat, in the last week of July. I am also looking forward to Sukhothai in Thailand. I like the premise of the adventure traveler, which is what most people are when they travel; adventure travelers rarely will take sleeping bags, tents and cooking kits with them, but will stay off the beaten path in interesting places and visit a lot of different places.

Visiting different countries and places… There is nothing quite like this. Places that you would have never seen before. This gives you all of these new experiences that are priceless. Even though we were exhausted after our first few days in Thailand, I find that I actually regret not having spent more time in Ayutthaya. Maybe during our next trip, if we have time, we will go by there again, but I do not think so, because there are a lot of things to see in Thailand, from Kanchanaburi province to Lopburi province.

This week, I will get my travel guides to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to further study and develop our itineraries. The 3rd and 4th week of July are pretty much decided, but I need to see where we will be traveling in Cambodia after Angkor Wat. My guess is that we will have to return to Cambodia at a later date, because a week isn’t enough.

That is the main reason why I am thinking of only going to another country during the two first weeks of July, mainly Laos or Vietnam. I have heard that Vietnam is very big and it can take hours by bus to go from one part of the country to the next. I know that Laos has actually a few UNESCO World Heritage sites, and one being studied right now called The Plain of Jars.

The thing is that we will be staying away from expensive air travel and concentrating on buses and trains. There is nothing like discovering a country through it’s roads.

This year, I wouldn’t mind traveling around Taiwan as well and discovering the beautiful places that I have yet to see. I knew it was a beautiful country, but I didn’t really know to what extent. When I get a real motorcycle, I plan on making day trips all over the place, from Sun Moon Lake to Toroko Gorge. I will visit the South of Taiwan with the HSR most probably, since it takes 90 minutes to get there from Taipei.

For some reason, I want to really experience backpacking. One of my friends did a trek to the base camp at Mount Everest. I don’t plan on going as high as he did, but I would like to visit and travel in Nepal for a few weeks. We are living in Taiwan and we are so close to everything now. Nepal will have to wait until next year, maybe next July.

However, as much as I would like to just take months off to go travel, I can’t and I won’t. I find that traveling inside the constraints of my job is fine for me. I like living in one place and visiting others. But traveling for months at an end is a daunting thing that I have never perused seriously. On top of that, my wife and I are both going back to school in September, which is something that I am really looking forward too.

I guess the only way it would happen would be if I had the summers off, but I don’t and it’s OK.

One thing we have to look out for is insect bites in South East Asia. We will have to get malaria pills, that are quite cheap here, and take them everyday. Also, I am planning on getting some insect repellant clothing from Berghaus. They have a fabric that uses Healthguard that repels bacteria and insects. Could be a worthy investment when you really are traveling in hot places.

Clothing is always an issue when you travel, but it is one of the easiest things to reduce volume and weight. For my next trip, I plan on going ultralight. The heaviest things that I will be taking will be my DSLR camera, a laptop (either a MacBook or a used ultraportable). I plan on getting some new light travel shoes and bring some flip-flops. Other than that, I will only bring the essentials. One pair of travel pants made out of some kind of a tech fiber that dries really quickly, a pair of shorts, a few wicking baselayers and a insect repellant shirt. Maybe some netting to keep the bugs away from my bed. This time, I will stay away from cotton and leave my shopping for Bangkok before we leave. I will purchase a cheap duffel bag and fill it up, if the need arises.







5 responses to “Travel Bug”

  1. Mr Angry Avatar

    Man, you’re making me want to travel too! I might do a little traveling towards the end of the year. That is an awesome picture of the Wat as well.

  2. Chloe Avatar

    Hello. Thailand will soon be forced to welcome me for a week or so come July. Do you know of any reliable sites where I can learn Thai? I’m not after fluency; I just need to learn how to count and swear in Thai. The numbers would come ever so handy while I shop. Profanity will prove useful whatever it is I decide doing.

    I’ve tried googling for some sites, but most of the ones I’ve found look suspicious. One actually teaches you to say a phrase that supposedly is a polite greeting but actually means, “I want to sniff your nostril.” I don’t want any offerings of body parts, so yeah, I’d be much-obliged if you could help me.

  3. range Avatar

    For simple phrases, the Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook is pretty good. Finding sites that teach you a bit of Thai might be a problem. I will have to research it a bit and get back to you.

    @Mr. Angry! Yeah! Adventure travel, beats the hell out of backpacking! Staying in cheap accomodations, but not bringing a tent and shit like that is the best!

  4. range Avatar

    Then again, I wouldn’t mind doing some backpacking in Nepal next year! A friend of mine went up to the base camp on Mount Everest.

  5. bank Avatar

    I like Sukhothai

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