Friday, 31 August 2012

I arrived here around 11 AM today; only 2 hours by bus from Kuala Lumpur. I was so hungry because I fell back asleep after my alarm rang, so I didn't have time to eat breakfast. I was sure that I pressed the snooze button, but apparently I didn't. It happens quite often that I press the snooze button in my imagination, and I think I actually did in real life, ha. It's confusing in the morning, y'know.

So, I arrived here, and I told myself that I will eat in the first restaurant I see...and I was pretty lost and didn't bother to check the map, because I was just too hungry. I had Chinese food for the first time since I left home, and some dutch food. It was good. After that, I just walked around the whole place.

Melacca was once the most important trading port of Malaysia for Chinese, Dutch, British and Indian traders. It's a small city with so much character and well-maintained old-world charm...dutch buildings, catholic churches, little India, paintings on buildings, colorful walls. It is one of the most beautiful places I've seen so far.

Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I arrived in Bangkok around 9 in the morning and my next flight to Kuala Lumpur was at 4 in the afternoon, so I decided to go to MBK because I didn't go last time and I hear many people say they liked it....and I'm still not sure to understand why. It looked like a huge night market, but in a mall and with minimal aircon...basically many stores selling the same no-name stuff, and a few department stores here and there. Apparently, it was once the biggest shopping mall in Asia...

When I first arrived in Malaysia, I was so impressed by their buildings, technology, towers, shopping was all so vibrant. And I've never seen so many Indians in one place.

I met up with the boys from Vancouver because they were also in Kuala Lumpur for a day before going to Cambodia. We went barhopping in that busy area with many clubs and bars...but it wasn't that busy in my opinion, maybe it wasn't the right day of the week. It was fun reminded me that I like tequila, haha.

Walking by the famous Petronas Twin Towers, trying to look for a good club, which we didn't find.

So, we went back to their hotel...and had fun taking pictures. That's just what cool Asian kids like us do, haha.

We played that Asian game that I suck at, no idea what it is called. And we played truth or dare, and it's not fun unless it's sexual, right? When it was my turn, I was given at least 6 choices; going to the reception to for a male prostitute, give Vince a lap dance, show favorite position with a pillow, etc...which I all refused to do, haha.




I've never seen so many monks walking on the streets randomly.

The COPE Visitor Centre is my favorite place in Vientiane. I think it's very important that people know about the continuing problems caused by UXO and the way it affects people, and what's being done today to help the victims. I must admit that I knew nothing about it before my visit. It is small, but I spent 2 hours there...everything is very well presented and educational. I'm glad I went.

Ho Pra Keo; a temple and a museum. This place was recommended in my guidebook...and it's honestly not that good. I wonder if it's because I don't have a religion, hence what I see don't really mean anything to me...or maybe I should just stop trusting my guidebook.

This has to be my second favorite place in Vientiane; the riverside.

Pha That Luang, it is regarded as the national symbol of Laos.

I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to see things as much as I like to do things. I mean, there are some places of great historical importance that every traveler must see...but I think whether or not I enjoy a place depends on what there is to do, and not how impressive their monuments are. In Laos, there wasn't enough original things to do quite honestly...I wish I made a stop in Vang Vieng to do some water sports, and I wish I could stay longer in Laos so I could know the country better...

There's always next time.

Bus to Vientiane

Monday, 27 August 2012

I arrived at the bus station to take the overnight bus for Vientiane, which is the capital city of Laos. The tuk-tuk driver was really nice; he helped me find the bus.

The bus I booked is a VIP sleeper bus, which looked nice from the outside. I got on the bus and realized that it actually has beds; I thought a sleeper bus just meant that it has more room and more comfortable reclining seats. I was happy with that until I realized that the beds are shared.

I was like...this can't be serious. What if the other person who shares my bed is a man?! I would seriously die...

 Luckily, it's a local privacy at all though :(

Personally, I think I would much rather take a normal VIP bus, at least there would be enough room for my legs. The beds are not long enough to fit my whole body, so I had to sleep like a shrimp. 

I was thinking about that last night, people always think it's so cheap in Southeast Asia, but it's actually not that cheap...even if it's usually cheaper than western countries. I've been to China, so I know how cheap is cheap. And I think the reason for this is because in China, there are much more local tourists than international everything still remains very Chinese. You will also realize that it's harder to get by with only English in China as well. In Southeast Asia, however, you'll always find an English menu, and even if they say it's "authentic food "'s really not what local people eat.

Anyway, I'm in Vientiane now...

Luang Prabang

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Oh. My. God. I just found a gecko on the shower tube while I was showering. I'm used to seeing geckos everywhere, on walls and ceilings...but not in my shower. I was all wet, and still had soap on me...but I put on a dress anyway because it would be too inappropriate to go ask for help with just a towel. The lady thought I was funny because I'm scared of a gecko, haha. I can't believe that happened to me. How did it even get in there?!


I'm in Laos now.

My mom kept discouraging me from coming here. "What are you going to do there? There's nothing to do. I might have heard of people going to Cambodia, but I've never heard of anybody going to Laos?!"

I used to not care about other Asian countries other than my own; I had no interest in their history or people. But now, I'm very happy I came here. From something as simple as a grain of rice to the difficulties that people live and projects dedicated to make their countries a better place to live in; I will never look at these the same way I used to.

Night Market on the main street.

The Mekong river.

On top of Phou Si Mountain.

Luang Prabang is very small and peaceful; I could walk from east to west in 45 minutes in slow motion. So yeah, I feel like I've already done everything today. There's a waterfall not too far that is in every guidebook...but I'm very not interested in seeing waterfalls. Tomorrow, I think I'll just spend my time in a coffee shop and wait for my overnight bus to Vientiane.

Reminder to self: Buy cat poop coffee in Indonesia for mom.

Chiang Mai

Thursday, 23 August 2012

I decided to sign up for a cooking class in Chiang Mai. This is usually not the kind of things that I like to do because first of all, I'm not quite sure if I like Thai food or not; I need to try more to find out. Second, I think I'm naturally a good cook even if I almost never cook and finally, it's not like I will find all these ingredients in Montreal...but it seemed like a popular thing to do in Southeast Asia, especially in less touristic places.

Here's what I cooked. I can't even remember what it was. I had so much food that I just went home to sleep after that.

The next day, I went for some elephant riding, which is also one of the popular things to do in Chiang Mai. I love elephants; they are the most "magical" animals to me. When I was little, I went on an elephant ride in a zoo somewhere in Toronto; we literally made a circle around the was stupid.

Here, we can ride the elephants through the forest and the river; muddy slopes and narrow paths. I was amazed by their permanent stability.

Also, my elephant was so stopped every 5 minutes to ask for treats, haha. It's so cute. I got him 3 bags of bananas.

 Walking through a rice field...

It happens everyday.

Then I just went to do some bamboo rafting. I met 2 boys from Vancouver; they were on the same raft as me. The "captain" was just a kid...he was having so much fun screaming "Titanic! Titanic! wet, no fun!" and kept splashing water and trying to make us fall. It was awesome. At some point, the raft was practically vertical. At the very end, one of us actually fell in the water...poor Vince, haha.

The boys from Vancouver and I wanted to watch some Muay Thai, but ended up in a ladyboys' bar in the Muay Thai square. It's a place with many bars, and each bar has at least one prostitute. Sometimes, you are not quite sure if they are girls or boys.

We had so much fun; it was crazy. I forgot his/her name though...but she is very tall, funny and dirty. She entertained us all night. I liked her a lot.

She said she doesn't have implants and she still has her penis, but she's taking hormones. She even made me feel her boobs...which I didn't want to, by the way. Also, she kept saying "Me love you long time. I want to make you happy all night." She even said that she wanted a threesome with us...and Marco from Vancouver asked "How much are you going to pay us?" That was too funny.

 Playing Jenga...a game I never lose at. Seriously.

 ...Marco, haha.

...and Vince. She liked Vince more.

Overall, I had a wonderful time in Northern Thailand!

Train to Chiang Mai

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I just got on the overnight train for Chiang Mai. The trains are slightly nicer than the ones in Vietnam.

I'm not sure if it's the pillow or me, but something smells's probably me. I didn’t shower after my long and sweaty day in Ayutthaya. I checked out very early today to go to Ayutthaya, which was nice, but I wish I did something more varied and active. Ayutthaya is a historical site and was once Thailand’s you can imagine the kinds of things that there were to see. Yes, more temples.

Nonetheless, here are some pictures:

After Ayuttaya,  I went back to Bangkok to get my luggage and came to the train station.

When I was trying to get on the train with my big suitcase and my smaller sport bag (both together weight 26kg), one of my flip flops dropped on the rail. Luckily, I was able to get it back. My mom always tells me that nobody backpacks in Southeast Asia with a suitcase.

...but here are the pros of having a suitcase instead of a backpack:

-When I need to get something from my suitcase, I just open it and will probably find it easily. But if I had a backpack, I would have to unpack everything.

-If I actually needed help carrying my suitcase up and down, someone will offer to help.

-I can pack more stuff.

-I have wheels.

Anyways, I will be in Chiang Mai in 14 hours. Ouch.

PS.: Fuck, that took 17 hours. 

I ate a...

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


I was drinking near Khaosan Road with other backpackers I met on the road, which is in central Bangkok, a place with many bars, artists, food stalls, and shops. Suddenly, a guy came up to us with a small plastic bags with deep fried grasshoppers and asked if one of us could eat one, because his female friend would eat one only if one girl from our table would have one first. 

I started screaming as soon as I laid my eyes on the giant grasshoppers; I'm very scared of insects, even ants. I actually saw some push carts selling all kinds of deep fried insects earlier, but I chickened out...

The girl next to me took one, and started examining the grasshopper. She licked it...but she wouldn’t eat it. While she was doing that, I was debating in my head...I knew I wanted to do it though. I took one by the leg, and I touched its round head and smelled it....and I ate it very slowly. It was crunchy and actually tastes very good with beer.

I'm still scared of insects though...


So, Bangkok was nice. It’s more developed, and there are many tourists...and many people who are trying to scam those tourists obviously. It didn't happen to me, but a lot of people were trying to sell me stuff...and taxi drivers who refused to use the meter. 

I went to the grand palace. I’m usually very difficult to impress...but this one really made an impression on me. I've never seen a place with so much gold and shiny stuff, haha.

Then, I decided I would just go to one temple, Wat Arun, because Kristy recommended it and it's actually the most photographed temple of Bangkok.

I thought it was fun; you have a nice view of the city when you climb to the top....but climbing down is not recommended for people afraid of heights. The stairs are so steep that I was a little scared to slip and fall. When I finally got down, I involuntarily said out loud "Oh, my, god".  When you’re travelling, you’re always looking for moments like these.

Later that night, I went to see the Calypso Cabaret, which is one of the most famous ladyboys shows in Bangkok. For those who don't know yet, it's a show where all performers are either transexuals or transvestites who are unbelievably pretty. The show was so ridiculous but smart, messy but well put together. I loved it.

When I was watching the ladyboys, I missed putting on make-up, doing my hair and looking pretty. These days, I always wear my hair in a bun, my face is always naked, my feet are always dirty and I only shave when it's convenient...yeah.
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