AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

One month summary

Posted on Dec 3, 2013

We have now been travelling for one month and I thought it would be a good idea to look back over the last month and think about what we have experienced and if we have learnt anything. First of all it doesn’t feel like we have been on the move for a month. I’m not sure how long it feels, but not very long, maybe a normal two week holiday kind of length. In addition, it doesn’t feel like the other side of the world. I was looking at our travel map on this blog and thinking about how far we have travelled and how far we are from home, but it really doesn’t feel like it. Since arriving in China and Vietnam I haven’t really felt like an outsider. Probably because most of the places in Yunnan were full of Westerners and since arriving in Vietnam all the menus and signs are in English, almost everyone in town in a westerner and all shopkeepers speak English. In Warsaw and Kiev we really felt like outsiders. No-one spoke English. No signs were in English. Everything was confusing. That really felt like travelling, in fact so much so that we felt further from home in Poland and Ukraine than in China. It might have been because those were the first destinations right at the start of the trip and we were just getting used to travelling or it might have been because Eastern Europe felt very different. I don’t think it was the language barrier because we had it in China and didn’t have any real problems communicating what we wanted, Eastern Europe just had ‘other worldly’ feeling. Neither of us liked Russia (it’s not just us been negative, everyone we have spoken to who has been to Russia also didn’t like it). It started from the moment we bordered the train from Kiev to Moscow. The train itself was awful, we had first class two person cabin, but it was by far the most basic cabin we have had on this whole trip. The train (supposedly as express train) was probably going as fast as possible on very old track. The noise it made was incredible and all night the banging and clanging, not to mention the corners (it felt like the train was coming of the track) meant we had no sleep all night. Most of our disappointment in Russia came down to three things. Lack of migration card All attractions were closed Everyone was unhelpful and unfriendly On arrival to Russia everyone receives a migration card. You keep this with you and hand it back upon exit...

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Plan for the next month or so

Posted on Nov 22, 2013

There are currently a number of dates which dictate what we do and how long we have to do it: Our Vietnamese visa allows is entry on the 26th November to 26th December. Christmas Our Thai visa forces us to enter Thailand before 6th January. So with these dates in mind this is the current plan. We are in Lijiang until Monday, then we travel down to Dali for a few days. From Dali we then travel back to Kunming to get the bus to Hekou which is where the border to Vietnam is. Once in Vietnam – the town on the Vietnamese side is called Lao Cai – we take the bus to Sa Pa. A couple of days to trek around the paddy fields there then down to Hanoi. We then have about three weeks to travel the length of Vietnam. A week before Christmas we enter Cambodia and spend a few nights in Phnom Penh. Then just before Christmas we go to Siem Reap and book a nice hotel for about 5 nights. Siem Reap is the city next to Angkor Wat, so Christmas should be good. Between Christmas and new year (and my birthday) we’ll go to Thailand, to Bangkok so we spend new year there. January will be spent exploring Thailand. A week in Laos probably early February, then a flight to India. A few weeks in northern India then in March into Nepal for the trekking season. Looks like a good plan but it will mean rushing around a few places. With 13 months of travelling I didn’t expect any rushing. Posted from Lijiang, Yunnan,...

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