A Travellerspoint blog

Our SE Asian Journey by numbers

9 countries (Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, China)

8 "hellos" that we can remember - Sawadi ka (Thai), Sabaidi (Laos), Sous dey (Khmer), Xin Chao (Vietnamese), Mingalaba (Myanmar), Nee how (Mandarin), Allalaleh (Naxi), Xhashi da-ley (Tibetan)

202 days (29 October 2012 to 4 June 2013)

27 passport pages filled with visas and stamps

12 bottles of insect repellent

0 anti-malaria tablets taken

10 currencies - Pilipino peso, Singapore dollar, Malaysia ringgit, Thai Baht, Laos kip, Cambodian riel, US dollars (these were used for all transactions in Cambodia and if it was less that a dollar you got your change in reil, very confusing), Vietnamese dong ("keep your hands off my dong" was a common T-shirt slogan), Myanmar kyat and Chinese yuan

94 different beds (including night trains and night buses)

15 flights (7 internal and 8 international)

130 consecutive days travelling without flying (19 November 2012 to 30 March 2013

6 night buses

4 night trains

14 songs learnt badly on the ukelele

16 days of trekking

27 days of cycling

13 days of cooking

66 places of worship (mainly Buddhist temples) visited

8 people visiting us from home (not counting Julie and Paul who were in the Philippines for a wedding and we visited them)

0 mobile phone calls received (we've done the odd Skype call though)

247 blog entries (including photos and this one)

46 different beers drunk

350 portions of rice consumed (we didn't actually count this but reckon our guess is pretty good)

41 boat trips (including ferries and kayaks)

84 books read (counted twice if we both read them), 10 physical books, the rest on our kindles

9 films watched (3 on the plane out, 3 while travelling and 3 on the plane home)

35 days spent wearing proper shoes (not just flip flops/sandals), 15 of these in chilly China

26kg of luggage on return including 3kg of ukelele plus case (though 3 parcels sent home during the trip)

2 relaxed, happy (but now unemployed) people

Posted by jofacer 04:41 Comments (1)

The ancient art of tea drinking

90_F796792D2219AC6817D7798DA8AD2151.jpg

Posted by jofacer 01:31 Comments (1)

Perfect Pandas

90_F79605FD2219AC681725A61C20700C2A.jpg

Posted by jofacer 01:31 Comments (0)

Chengdu, China - The Final Blog

So here we are at last at our final blog entry, well maybe not the final final entry but certainly the last stop on our epic trip. We flew from Shangri-La to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province of China on 2 June 2012. We had about 32 hours in the city, but we needed to fly somewhere before flying back to London and Chengdu has Giant Pandas so we were sold!

It was really warm and summery and after the chilly weather of the Tibetan plateau a bit of warmth and sunshine was much appreciated before flying back to the UK. We spent the morning visiting the Giant Pandas and Red Pandas in a leafy sanctuary just outside the city. The sanctuary has the most successful panda breeding programme in the world. Giant Pandas are notoriously lazy about getting it on (and about everything else) and hence diminishing panda numbers. The secret to panda breeding success - apparently they show them 'panda porn' to get them in the mood!

The pandas were brilliant, the Giant Pandas were giant and very floppy. They sort of flopped about the enclosures, just rolling from one sleeping spot to another and maybe chewing on a bit of bamboo in between. Even the playful cubs seemed sloth-like. One cub would very slowly clamber up a tree, about half a metre off the ground, and the other cub would lazily bat at him until they both softly flopped back onto the ground together. Alternate cubs and repeat ad infinitum! The Red Pandas were much speedier, they are not actually related to the Giant Panda, though they share a name and both mainly eat bamboo. They look a bit like a cross between a skunk, a fox and a racoon, and zoomed excitedly around their enclosures, particularly when the staff came in to clean up and brought them a special treat of carrots.

Afterwards we headed to a beautiful park in the city centre. Chengdu is famous for its tea house culture and we'd read that a famous one was located in the park. It was very picturesque, located just on the edge of a boating pond surrounded by gardens full of bonsai trees and orchids, it seemed very Chinese. Tea is brought with plenty of leaves in the cup and a huge flask of hot water so you can happily while away the hours reading, chatting, people watching and constantly refilling your tea cup. There was all sorts going on, hawkers, masseuses, street performers and bizarrely ear cleaners - who brandished a range of prickly looking brushes and for a fee would de-wax your ears. We politely declined!

On 4 June we flew to London and have been back enjoying a few home comforts at Jo's mum's house. In particular, a lot of cups of tea have been drunk. I feel like I should write something profound about what we discovered about ourselves and about what makes us happy, answering some of the questions from our first ever blog. I think perhaps we might only fully realise what we we've learnt when we get back to proper reality, jobs, the house, our dependents (the cats). Ask us in a few months. However, for me the best thing was realising that it's brilliant to shake everything in your life up all at once occasionally and that when you do everything won't fall apart. In fact big change can be amazing, you get a fresh perspective (a lot of things aren't nearly as important as they seem), we got to spend lots of time together (and we're still talking and even laughing) and we were basically on holiday for seven months.

Posted by erinbunting 18:01 Comments (2)

Vivid Gentians in Shangri-La

DC5C23012219AC6817A75A7A6B010D72.jpg

Posted by erinbunting 13:31 Archived in China Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 247) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »