My 2017 is beginning with a unique travel experience – to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. For two glorious weeks, I will be exploring these Southeast Asia countries, learning about their culture, food, people, landscapes.
But first, I once again must visit Passport Health and get a bunch on inoculations – Yellow Fever, Malaria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Diphtheria and Pertussis.
Ah but wait! My trip to Africa last year also required these shots and most have a shelf life of at least 5 years, so lucky me I only have to get a Hepatitis booster and a new round of Malaria pills. Still not looking forward – but it is essential. I honestly am not looking forward to the hoards of mosquitoes that will most likely greet us in the rain forests. I am that unfortunate soul who gets bitten when no one else does, so I am hyperventilating a bit. I have bought a super sized bottle of permethrin to douse my clothes in the hope of minimizing the onslaught.
Packing is also similar to last year’s safari, except I really won’t need warmer gear – it will be hot (90+ degrees) and humid. I will need a rain poncho and a piece or two “dressier” items – but even though I have much more flexibility in how much I can bring (this time up to 60 lbs – can you believe it?) a few pair of silk pants/tops shouldn’t add much weight.
The uniqueness of this trip – in addition to the fascinating countries themselves will be partly due to the modes of transportation – some never taken before. Firstly, thanks to a simply awesome American Express offering, my friend Peggy and I will be in business class – frankly a necessity for 20+ hours in flight We will each have our own little pod complete with flat-bed:
When I am not sleeping – I hope to catch up on some recent movies and/or books and maybe imbibe a cocktail or two.
Once in Thailand, that’s when the real fun begins! We get into Bangkok a day ahead of our tour actually beginning (highly recommended) so we have time to stretch our legs and get the lay of the land at our leisure. Serendipitously another friend is now residing in Thailand so we hope to get together to catch up.
When in Thailand, etc do as the locals do to get around – here’s where the new transportation methods take hold. Depending on where we will visit – browsing through marketplaces on land or water, visiting ancient temples in the rainforest or taking in the beauty of the landscapes we may ride in:
Or a Junk:
The above are internet pics but I promise I will take my own photos of these vehicles!
Once we get into Cambodia we embark our main transport for the rest of the journey, The Mekong Princess:
I have never really enjoyed big boat aka moving “hotel” cruises with their claustrophobic cabins, assigned specific eating times for a massive amount of guests and little more than a few hours in port. This trip, the first river cruise for me, promises to be quite different. First of all the Mekong Princess just has 12 suites across two levels – and they are quite lovely – look at our suite:
This one is from the vantage point of our outside veranda:
Again these are internet photos but having them has helped increase my excitement for this journey.
I hope to capture lots of new sights, not only on land and water, but also in the sky. Since I have a lot of room I may pack my tripod so I can try my luck on photographing the elusive (for me) Milky Way as well as other celestial bodies.
As you know Chasing Dreams goes on hiatus while I am traveling – but you can keep track of my journey on Instagram or Twitter (@cgurmann) or Facebook.
Kār deinthāng reìm t̂n
The Journey begins!