AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

6 Months of Travelling: What Next?

Posted on Apr 30, 2014

Today we have been backpacking for 6 months! It doesn’t feel like 6 months and still it feels totally normal to go from city to city, hotel to hotel, constantly on the move. No work, no responsibilities, no need to do anything. Everything is our choice. Of the last 6 months, 2 have been spent in Nepal. We spent 5 weeks in Thailand and thought that was a long time, tomorrow will mark 9 weeks in Nepal! In fact, we’ve spent 39 days in the mountains trekking. That’s more time spent trekking than the total time we’ve spent in any other country. We did north to south of Vietnam in only 3 weeks. The main parts of the Philippines in 25 days and Cambodia in only 8 days. So, I guess that means we’ve enjoyed our time in Nepal? The answer is mainly yes. There are many things in Nepal which we have disliked, but the trekking makes up for that and more. The mountain scenery has been stunning. We have set new records for ourselves, highest altitude on solid ground, 5,416m above sea level, highest altitude for sleeping, 4,540m above sea level, longest walk we’ve completed, 19 straight days. In a few weeks we’ll hit the midpoint of the journey, so, what lies ahead? Where next? In a few days we go back to Kathmandu and organise a one way trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa in Tibet, hopefully via Everest Base Camp (on the north side in China). This is tricky because the restrictions on travel in Tibet are numerous, but we should be able to get the visa with enough patience (and money). After Tibet we’ll take a 44 hour train journey to Chengdu in China to see the pandas and then spend a few weeks in southern China heading for Hong Kong. Hong Kong will be expensive so our stay there will be short and hopefully we can get back into China and travel north along the pacific coast. Then it’s a ferry to South Korea, then another ferry to Japan where we’ll hopefully have a good time travelling the length and breadth of the country (plus some trekking in the Japanese Alps). After Japan things are a little hazy but the general idea is to fly to Malaysia and head south onto Borneo, then into Indonesia, maybe a quick spot of sightseeing in Australia (but leave the travelling for another time) and get into New Zealand for more trekking before Christmas. The next 7 months looks just as busy and packed as the last 6 months! The countries will also be getting more developed, richer...

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At the end of December, 3 months ago, we were given a piece of advice by a couple who had travelled around the world many years ago. They said that at some point we would have to take a break, in effect a holiday from travelling. They said that if we didn’t take a break would we get tired and bored of travelling. Well, we have now reached that point. We have been travelling for five full months (152 days) and we’ve covered over 17,000 miles in that time. In the last month we have spent 20 days trekking in Nepal and that has really taken our energy away. We have had lazy days and the odd day here and there where we have done nothing but even then we have had our next move on our minds. But this time we plan a true break; 7 days in Pokhara doing nothing but relaxing. We are too tired to contemplate the next trek, at this point in time we’re almost ready to leave Nepal, we don’t feel like any more trekking. That is probably just weariness kicking in and a rest should get us ready for the next trek and back into the right frame of mind. As I look back over the last few months it has been rather busy. We’ve been in Nepal one month and completed two treks totalling 20 days, most of the time between the treks was planning or buying equipment for the treks. Before Nepal, in the Philippines, we were usually occupied, the rice terraces included plenty of walking, lots to see and a few hair raising bus journeys. Before the Philippines we had 5 weeks in Thailand, most of which was a constant sightseeing trip with little rest. So far 2014 seems to have flown by… Posted from Pokhara, Western Region,...

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Happy Four Months of Travelling

Posted on Mar 2, 2014

Our first day in Nepal also marked four full months of travelling. During those 4 months we have seen a bit of China,  travelled the length of Vietnam, a week through Cambodia, over a month in Thailand and almost a month in the Philippines. With the scenery and cityscapes changing around us every week or so we are now used to leaving a place just as we get to know it. Yet so far this constant change has not made us travel weary. It (strangely) feels totally natural and not worth a moments consideration. Buses and train journeys taking almost all the daylight hours are now a usual fixture in our lives. Our two main preoccupations are where to eat and what to do, those remain constant no matter where we are. So far on this trip our favourite locations have been in countries which as a whole we have disliked. Lijiang in China was a beautiful old city high in the mountains in southern China, we loved it there, yet China as a whole we didn’t like so much and struggled lots, especially with food. We also really liked the rice terraces and Sagada, both in the northern Philippines. Yet in the Philippines we thought the country was extremely polluted, noisy, backwards and dangerous. Both countries could do a lot more to make it easier and better for tourists, neither reaching anywhere its potential, yet both containing our favourite places of the trip. What marks these two places out? Well, they both have fresh air, scenery, laid back atmosphere, good food and walking nearby. Those seem to be what the features we like most about places. Therefore, we eagerly anticipate Nepal. Nepal is hopefully going to be a highlight of the trip and certainly not a time to be getting travel weary. In a few days time we set off for our first planned hike, up the Langtang Valley. This is about 10 days trekking up the valley and will take us to about 4,000 metres above sea level. This is just a warmup for the more serious and longer treks in the Annapurna region. We plan to leave Nepal around the 28th April, having spent 2 full months in the country. I think that by the time we reach 6 months of travelling (roughly the midpoint of the journey) we will want a rest. Posted from Kathmandu, Central Region,...

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