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Four months of travel in SE Asia–2013

More to come–for example Report 26 on Diving from Mabul Island (MY) and a night cruise on the Kinabatangan River (MY.) This are above here in the BLOG. For Cambodia (Posts 117,) Vietnam (Posts 1823) and Malaysian Borneo (24.) Post 25 is my crazy trip back via Singapore and Seoul. And there are some pictures–open this post for links.

Report 25: To be continued

The next leg of the trip home lands me at Incheon Airport, just outside of Seoul Korea, a country I’ve never been to and know nothing about, tourist-wise. I push through the airport to get a map, get advice for a town destination, check half of my carry-on luggage and get some cash. I’m sent [...]

Report 24: C’est Formidable!

I loved being specially coached by the tall unscarfed girl with flashing dark eyes, who turned out to be only 7, that I had to make one more change before I would be there. At the end, we parted with handshaking and best wishes for good travel for me, a good sendoff for their uncle going to India and a lovely meeting. Singapore humanized and redeemed.

Report 21: Hanoi

It’s creepy, it’s interesting, it’s humbling and inspiring and an amazing thing to share, all at the same time. And then, having made the three-quarters trip around—it’s done—sort of like an amusement park ride.

Report 17: Yes, I love long goodbyes, why do you ask?

And I hope, wish, want good things for Cambodia, for the naked children playing in my street, for the animated daughter at my laundry, heading off to kindergarten. Children are everywhere; the population is so young. It’s hard not to think about their future.

Report 15 Gathering Myself

Suddenly it seemed silly to fly from hither to yon and over again, all to the tune of lost days, almost $700 and failure to explore this neighboring country, when the access is so easy and the reviews are so strong.

Report 14 Trip to Siem Reap

I shot the guard one of those Urgent American looks—we really can’t help ourselves—and he offered that I could go up if I paid him. This not being a time for principal, I of course responded “how much.” For a $5 note I got the high eastern view and more importantly, solitude for sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Report 13 Happy Khmer New Year!

This was notable for being a large mixed age and gender Khmer crowd with just a very few foreigners and a very unselfconscious mingle. I was surprised to be dragged back out onto the dance area by mature women who probably have no English but enjoyed the sharing. Everyone laughed, danced, stole each other’s partners (always ambiguous in circle dancing) and smeared powder. No language necessary. We wanted to leave? “No, one more, one more.” These are the moments that vindicate solo traveling and are worth the risks of a little loneliness.

Report 6 The weekend

We took a slow tuk-tuk ride up the 10 km island to a beach area in the Mekong, where we rented a lttle cabana and I went for a swim. The river is sandy and shallow. It reverberates in my head with movie drama and horrific war associations. But in front of me, it’s just a slow muddy river with a bunch of boys playing in inner-tubes.

Report 5–Home

I have a much fancier TV than I do at home and rarely watch anything. There are a zillion channels.There is something a little intriguing about the Indian soap operas dubbed into Khmer…