Asia

Time flies when you are having fun in Asia

We experienced that time really can fly! We now only have limited time left of our 9-month trip, so it is definitely time to update you on our travels. After New Zealand we went to Tasmania and then we moved on to Asia. Read below a summary of the destinations we visited until now.

Tasmania: a 2-week wild-camping trip

After New Zealand we were not yet finished with hiking and nature, so we decided to go to Tasmania for 2 weeks. Again we rented a small campervan and drove around the island. But Tasmania is not only about nature. We went cultural and visited the MONA museum in Hobart. We also learned more about the history of Tasmania at Port Arthur, a huge prison where the British sent their criminals in the past.

After that it was time for nature including beautiful coast, interesting geological wonders, mountains and lakes. We also loved the kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and little penguins. Driving around Tasmania almost felt like being on a safari in Africa ;). But we didn’t only spend time in the car and kept our hiking habit we started in New Zealand. The main challenge was climbing Cradle Mountain, which more felt like “Scramble Mountain”. But luckily our climb over huge boulders was rewarded with a view over the lake and surrounding mountains.

Hello Asia!

We said goodbye to Oceania and started our journey into Asia. The trip in Asia started with 2 days in Phuket. The main reason to visit this place was the cheap flight that brought us there. Instead of immediately rushing away, we decided to relax for 2 days. Phuket, with its whiskey buckets, girly bars and crammed beaches, turned out to be the opposite of the holiday destinations we prefer. However, we treated ourselves on a more luxury hotel and we experienced time also flies at the swimming pool.

Singapore: 3 days of skyscrapers, hawker centers and futuristic gardens

We loved the contrasts in Singapore. From our hotel in Little India, with its numerous little shops, we took the metro to downtown and ended up in a world of glitzy skyscrapers. We ate delicious food at cheap hawker centers, but also drank expensive cappuccino on top of the Marina Bay Sands while enjoying Singapore’s skyline. We walked in the crowed, but impressive, Gardens by the Bay and also in the quieter Southern Ridges.

Furthermore, we had a very nice evening with Anne and Roy, enjoying satay and some beers and watching the daily fountain show. It was the first time during our trip we met people we knew from home.

Via Kuala Lumpur we went on to Myanmar. We had planned to go over land to Kuala Lumpur, but this plan was based on our assumptions and not on a thorough research of its feasibility. To avoid the risk and stress of missing our flight, we last minute opted to fly. This gave us a lot of time to explore Kuala Lumpur airport ;).

Myanmar: pagodas, monks, covered walkways and bare feet

We travelled from Yangon to Mandalay. In between we visited some smaller cities, the famous and beautiful temples of Bagan and hiked to Inle Lake. Myanmar turned out to be the country of the pagodas, monks, covered walkways and bare feet. It was also the country with the most bizarre things. One example is the Golden Rock, which is an important pilgrimage site. The site can only be reached by a crazy drive with 50 people in the back of a big truck. But the most bizarre is the relatively new, huge, but also empty capital city Nay Pyi Taw. The city has a special Las Vegas look-a-like hotel district. With a motorbike we crossed over a 16 lane highway, which was completely empty!

But it was the people that surprised us most. We were greeted everywhere, we never felt treated unfair and we felt like movie stars as everyone wanted to go on a picture with us. We really hope tourism doesn’t destroy the authentic Myanmar.

Bangkok: a home away from home

In Bangkok we had a break from our travels. We were really happy that Tim was so nice to host us for a couple of days, so we could really relax. It felt like a home away from home! Together with Pieter-Jan and Lise we had a great time with a little bit of sightseeing in Bangkok, but with more emphasis on diners and drinks. Tom even made his way to the hairdresser, to get rid of his long blond locks. It was also in Bangkok that we celebrated New Year. A great night, with some beers, dance moves and a crazy tuctuc drive back home :). We started the first day of 2017 very, very lazy (and with a little headache).

Cambodia: focus on voluntary work

We included Cambodia into our world trip, because of Renée her voluntary work for Microcredit for Mothers. In rural areas we visited existing and potential projects. It was very interesting and impressive to see how people make a living with very limited funds. We realized even more that we are so lucky we are able to travel.

During the rest of our stay in Cambodia we went to Battambang. With a tuctuc we drove through the countryside, visited some temples (at least we had to see some as we skipped Angkor Wat this time) and saw millions of bats flying from a cave. We took a cooking course at Coconut Lyly, so we could learn the secrets of the delicious Cambodian curries. On our final evening we went to a circus, a Cambodian version of Cirque du Soleil where they trained young people. This turned out to be a nice closure of our stay in Cambodia.

Taiwan: different, different, but different

Taiwan was a nice diversion from other Asian countries. It felt like we landed in a completely different world. The food was different, the weather was different (read: colder and wetter), the temples were different and our mode of transport was different (read: no public transport for us, but our own little rental car!). We could get used to the latter two, but it took some time to adjust to the new climate and culinary treats here.

During our road trip we drove around the island and visited the iconic Tapei 101 building, the rough coast on the east side, Kenting National Park in the south, the mountains in the center and many temples. We tried some local delicacies, like dumplings, bubble tea and hot pots. But we stayed away from the stinky tofu, fried squid, intestines and duck blood.

Philippines: a month in and around the water

Time to relax! We took 4 weeks to travel to several islands in the Philippines. And we tried to also visit some less touristic places to experience the authentic Philippines. We crossed the country by plane, boat, bus, minivan, jeepney, taxi, tricycle and motorbike. Most of our time we spent underwater, as we found a new passion during this trip called diving. We took our PADI Advanced Open Water course and added some dives to our logbook. Our best diving trip was at Apo Reef, an atoll where you can dive with sharks, turtles and shoals of barracudas. We also liked the wreck dives in Coron, the beautiful soft coral in Puerto Galera and Padre Burgos and the thresher sharks in Malapascua.

For the rest we admired beautiful white beaches, green rice fields and mountainous interiors of the islands. After 4 weeks we left the Philippines and Southeast Asia behind for the last part of our trip.

We moved on to the country of ta’arof, hijab and tomans. Don’t worry, we will update you later on this adventure.

Discussion

8 Responses to “Time flies when you are having fun in Asia”

  1. Wat een leuke samenvatting. Die high rises zou ik ook nog wel eens willen beklimmen 🙂

    Goede terugreis alvast!

    Posted by Tim | 25 March 2017, 10:07 AM
  2. Wat grappig trouwens dat je in Taiwan invaginatie kan bestellen (small intestine in large intestine). Ik vermoed dat dat eerder resulteert in een “colon uitloop” dan een “colon inloop” 😉

    Posted by Tim | 25 March 2017, 10:18 AM
  3. Wat hebben jullie weer prachtige dingen gezien en meegemaakt. Maar aan alles komt een einde. Ik wens jullie voor straks een fijne vlucht tot vanavond! !

    Posted by Marion | 25 March 2017, 11:35 AM
  4. Wat hebben jullie weer ontzettend veel gedaan sinds jullie laatste update. Geweldig reisverhaal! We kijken er naar uit om jullie te zien en nog meer verhalen te horen!

    Xx Nicole

    Posted by Nicole | 25 March 2017, 11:51 AM
  5. Wat stoer weer! Hoop jullie snel weer te zien en de live versie te horen! Laat maar weten wanneer jullie je draai weer hebben gevonden in Nederland en zin hebben om langs te komen of bezoek te ontvangen! X en n goede reis!

    Posted by Fabienne | 25 March 2017, 11:56 AM
  6. Een verslag van veel landen! Voor straks een goede vlucht!

    Posted by Piet | 25 March 2017, 12:23 PM
  7. Mooi verslag met mooie foto’s. Misschien dat jullie eens in de Oostplas kunnen gaan duiken.

    Posted by Jan Schellekens | 25 March 2017, 1:53 PM
  8. Super, wat een mooie ervaringen!!!

    Posted by Margot | 26 March 2017, 4:12 PM

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