Asia Journals

The Cross of Bethlehem

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Asia by SeenThat

Grand Palace Photo, Bangkok, Thailand More Photos
Quote: Excerpts from my Amazon.com available book "The Cross of Bethlehem," get your copy today!

Thailand

Best Of IgoUgo

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Grand Palace Photo, Bangkok, Thailand
Quote:
The plane stopped for refueling in Mumbai and I was horrified. The runway borders were being used as toilets by people who lived nearby in what seemed to be piled matchboxes. Was that what was waiting for me in Thailand?Shortly afterwards, a country painted in electric green of rice fields and orange and green of pagodas appeared below, creating a feast of colors. The last seemed to belong to an oversized – country-sized – theme park. The plane landed among this wealth of beauty.Before my passport was stamped, I was already sweating. The heat was overwhelming. Only the humidity could compete against it. My friend had recommended two addresses: "Go to Khaosan Road and stay at the Khao...Read More

Cambodia

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Wat Phanom Photo, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Quote:
I needed fresh targets for exploration. The thirst for new views, different from those in my old life, was insatiable. I imagined my little room in Bangkok to be the center of a huge spider web waiting for an explorer. To survey it, I could travel around using a different string each time or trace peripheral circles of different diameters.To choose the beginning point, I prepared a wish list with three highlights in two countries. Following my short initial exposure to Laos, I wanted to visit Vientiane, the country's capital. Cambodia was a captivating name and so earned two locations on the list: Angkor Wat, the Khmer temples in the north, and Phnom Penh, the intriguing capital. It looked like ...Read More

Vietnam

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One Pillar Pagoda Photo, Hanoi, Vietnam
Quote:
Following the week in Pattaya, I began the long scimitar-shaped trip, which was planned to cover south Cambodia, Vietnam and east central Laos. I traveled from Pattaya to the Cham Yeam pass. The contrast between this place and Poipet was significant. Here the crossing was next to the beautiful gulf and already imparted the serenity of southern Cambodia. A ride of a few minutes on a motorcycle-taxi led me through a large new bridge to the town of Koh Kong, which was not much more than a few streets of huts built around a central market and a pier. It was the classical pass-through town, humble enough not to try disguising itself as something else. After one night in a very basic guesthouse I cont...Read More

China

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Frozen Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
A bit before 8:00 AM I arrived at Kunming, the city of a million bus stations. With no trash bin in sight, I took the nylon bag, filled it with my last dinner and spent a few minutes in the station searching for a place to dispose of it. There weren’t any signs around and I couldn’t find my terminal. Worse yet, the streets were marked only in Chinese and my map wasn’t very good. Feeling too sick from the earlier food poisoning to search for a hotel, I took a taxi directly to the Camellia Hotel, the backpackers’ headquarters. I sank into bed and kept my electric kettle busy all day, while increasingly developing a taste for CCTV9.Next day, still worried about the food poisoning and thinking...Read More

Laos

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That Dam Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
In the morning all was forgotten and we went for a coffee at the Morning Market. Outside the huge structure, along its western side, there were three big eating areas catering to the public. The southern one was across the road from the main bus terminal. First we stopped at my preferred stall, the only one serving coffee at the central food plaza and then at the southern one, which had several coffee stalls. The recognition and greetings of the sellers needed no translation. "I think that you are addicted to the coffee here – everybody knows you," Adi said. "You see, I’m just a popular, veteran coffee drinker in Laos." While we were drinkin...Read More