So far on my currently three-month long trip (scheduled to be six months), I’ve travelled to many places. It’s been a journey across much of South East Asia, with a visit to 11 total countries thus far – 9 of them new ones for myself. I think I’ve done it in the most logical manner possible. To make things possible to visualize, I’ve listed the date and location of the certain countries, followed by a short description of the list of places within the countries I’ve visited and things I’ve done there. Hopefully, this will make it easier to see the whole trip.
1: Japan – February 5-February 10, 2019
Catching a $150 flight from HNL to Osaka, I made it to Japan and visited the Nara Deer Park and Osaka for a few days. It was a great start to a trip and the cheapest way to get into Asia.
2: Cambodia – February 10-February 15, 2019
After a few days in Japan, I stopped over in Siem Reap – routing through Bangkok to change airports – to meet Julie and her friend Katie. It was my second time in Angkor Wat and this time I was able to enjoy the views a bit more and take in many details that I had previously missed on my first trip there. The best day, however, was driving through Siem Reap and finding a few coffee places along the way. It was some of the best coffee I’ve had.
3: Thailand – February 15-February 19, 2019
We crossed the land border from Cambodia to Thailand and hung out in Khao San road for a few days. It was street food heaven and we tried so many new dishes. Roti was one of my favorites and Pad Thai never failing to disappoint. Visiting the many Wats around Old Bangkok was pleasantly relaxing
4: Myanmar – February 19-March 9, 2019
Myanmar was my favorite country thus far. I can’t say enough good words about it. The people were all friendly and giving, and tourism hasn’t ruined the culture yet. It truly is the land of pagodas, as they are everywhere and each one is special in its own way. The sunsets everyday were on point. We made our way from up north in Mandalay to Yangon in the south. In the end, spending three weeks here was too short. I wish I could have stayed longer.
5: Malaysia – March 9-March 12, 2019
It was only a short visit to Malaysia, spending most of my time in Kuala Lumpur. The Batu Caves were nicely decorated. I found the Indian food to be the best part of visiting this quickly developing city.
After making my way south in Malaysia, I crossed the border into Singapore. This green city, with its iconic views, the southern chinese influence in cuisine, and the modern architecture was nice to see. Singapore is the ideal of what cities should be like. The light show at night was the best.
Then it was back to solo traveling. I made my way to Timor-Leste from Kupang, Indonesia. It was a long journey to see this country, but I loved seeing somewhere off the beaten path. I hiked up the Cristo Rei Hill, visited many places in Dili, the capital, and went up the mountains to a small town called Dare. Timor-Leste was a good travel experience on this trip.
9: Indonesia – April 10-April 12, 2019
I would only describe this as a pass-through from Timor-Leste to my next destination. I spent a night and half-day in Kupang again, and then flew to Bali where I had my initial flight out of Indonesia. Nothing too exciting, except I ate a delicious parrot fish for dinner.
I had a few weeks left before meeting with Julie again in the Philippines, so I decided to go from Bali to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. It was the next cheapest destination I could afford. This flight got me into non-peninsular Malaysia and from there I was able to see the wild jungles of Borneo. It was an amazing week of adventuring through the rainforest to see all types of animals: saltwater crocodiles, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, snakes, insects, & birds. I don’t think I’ve seen that dense of a forest before, and I have become much more of an eco-tourism enthusiast in the process.
From Kota Kinabalu, I flew to Brunei, and it was here where I discovered true muslim hospitality. My new friends, Firas, Iqbal, and Arshad gave me a tour of Bandar Seri Begawan, showing me the best parts of their country. Actually visiting this small place gave me a lot of insight into how islam is as a religion and made me think about the way we perceive countries from an outside perspective. It’s only when you see it first hand, when you begin to understand their side of the story.
After Brunei, I took the bus back to Kota Kinabalu. From here, the next cheapest flight was through to Taiwan. It reminded me of my visit to mainland China, except for the larger western influence. I loved the mountains and city right next to each other. My stay included multiple bubble teas a day.
13: Phillipines – April 28
Finally, my current destination is the Philippines, where I will be traveling through Cebu area for three weeks. I met back up with Julie, and I have already hung out with my friend Eli for a few days. My brother will come to visit later in the trip and we will investigate some of our family’s history. I am excited for this country and what it has to offer. Already the people have been very nice and we have seen a lot of the local living here. So for now, that’s it. An update to come later.