Retro: Southeast Asia, 2009

Prior to the summer of 2009, Daina and I had travelled together to a couple of resorts in Cuba, and we had also done a short trip to Barcelona when D was chosen to speak at a conference.  We had yet to have an actual backpacking adventure together. 

That summer, I had accepted a job working at Camp Korea in Seoul, teaching English to elementary kids over their summer break.  With Seoul as a starting point, I figured it would be a great time to finally strap on some backpacks and see a different part of the world together.

“Along for the ride” was my good friend Jamie, who I’ve known since my university days.  Jamie was also teaching in Seoul that summer and this was his first big trip outside of working on cruise ships.

Now, I need to be honest about something.  This was not a standard “backpacking” trip, in that the three of us were pressed for time and had some “must-sees”.  So unlike later trips where Daina and I would be walking across borders and grabbing buses from the side of the road, this one was relatively easy.  We took advantage of the cheap flights within Southeast Asia to get the most out of our time. 

The itinerary we chose was:

  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Ha Long Bay
  • The Temples of Angkor in Cambodia
  • Bangkok, Thailand with day trips to the nearby Floating Market and Ayutthaya
  • Phuket

I’ve already covered Bangkok in a prior post, and did a Bitstrip of one of our experiences in Siem Reap, so my goal is to flesh out the rest of the trip over the next few weeks.  I’m excited to start writing about Angkor, so that will probably be the first one out of the gate. 

Nothing gets you through a cold, Canadian winter like writing about someplace with a humidex of 49!

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