Four Months in SE Asia

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, image from Wikipedia

Coming up soon, Adam and I are taking a four month honeymoon. I am so excited (and a little bit terrified, not only because I will be 4 months without a sewing machine!). I’ve been dreaming about such a trip for a very long time, and as I struggled through the end of graduate school, Adam told me to start making plans for it to actually happen. And now it’s happening!

From September through December we are going to be traveling around SE Asia (and Australia and New Zealand). We have a really rough outline of where we are going, but plan on filling in a lot of the details as we go. Can you help me?

– Do you live anywhere we are going and want to meet up?
– Do you have recommendations for things to do or places to go?
– Do you have any awesome travel tips?
– What about books I should read while on vacation?

We are planning on going all over Bali, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. We will also go to the Philippines (Manila), Australia (Sydney and Adelaide), New Zealand (the north part of the country), and maybe Burma.

Comments 23

  1. If you’re going to the Philipines – don’t spend your time in Manilla – go to the remote islands: Ilo ilo is absolutely beautiful and the Danish crownprince and princess had their honeymoon there ;)

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      Thanks for the recommendation! We will be in Manila because my soon-to-be husband will be teaching a class there and we only have a couple of days on either side to be in the Philippines, so we didn’t think it would work to get farther out. But since our schedule is pretty flexible, I’ll definitely look into Ilo ilo!

  2. I live in Auckland in NZ, so if you want to meet up, flick me an email!

    As for reading, I’m reading a great book called The Miniaturist which I can highly recommend.

    Oh, and you’re going to Adelaide! That’s my home town :) Unusual for anyone to travel there over places like Queensland, but it is a lovely city. Can definitely recommend plenty of things to see/do there.

  3. I lived in SE Asia for two years (Northern Thailand & Bali) and got to travel a fair bit while living there… it is wonderful! Cambodia is my favorite place in the whole world – Angkor Wat is just amazing – give yourself lots of time there and renting bikes is my favorite way to see the central ruins.

    I didn’t really have a good time in Vietnam as a woman travelling alone, but I’ve heard northern Vietnam is better.

    Bali is lovely when you get out of the Kuta area around the airport – travel up the west coast to see Goa Lawah (bat cave temple) and then inland to the volcanos and volcanic lakes. Bedugul is one of my favorite favorite places. So serene & peaceful.

    Oh there is so much to see, I could yak all day! You will have an awesome time! :)

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  4. We had a great time in Vietnam earlier this year. Hanoi and Ha long bay are my picks. You cs buy some fabulous silks in Asia.

  5. Last year I had some fun shopping for fabric in Bangkok (Sampeng Lane in Chinatown markets), also in Worarot market (Chiang Mai), take a tuk tuk!

    We stayed in a fun guest house called Mut Mee in a Thai town called Nong Khai on the Mekong river (there is a bridge over to Laos/Vientiane right near there).

    sounds like an awesome trip ;o)

  6. oooh, what a wonderful schedule!! you are going to have the most fantastic time and it’s your honeymoon so trust me, you will not miss your sewing machine one little bit!
    Wishing you a marvellous holiday! :)

  7. Wow what a trip! Sounds amazing! The only places I’ve been that you’re going is Thailand & Sydney and it was a long time ago. I remember really liking a little place called Pai, in the mountains, but I think it’s a lot bigger & more touristy now. Such an exciting trip to plan for!

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  8. Oooh you’re coming to Adelaide! Rare for people to come here over Melbourne/Gold Coast etc. If there is a meet up of sewers I’d love to come along! I just know I’m not particularly good at organising people! I personally hope that your honeymoon is amazing and that you have the best, most relaxing time with your new husband!

  9. How exciting! I am new to your blog (via the Rambo Project:)) and I can’t believe you are coming to my little part of the world – Adelaide. I would love to share all our secrets with you, whether it’s food and wine, fabrics, stitching or knitting!

  10. Oh oh oh! I’m on my phone now, bu I’ll reply more later. I travelled HK, Thailand, Laos, Vietn and Cambodia for 3 months alone in 2003! I have so much to talk about! Laters!

  11. I went to Burma last year with my mum and it was an amazing experience! Some of my favourite places were Inle Lake, and Bagan, just magical. We had guides with us each day in those places, which was really lovely, I felt like we learned so much!

  12. OK, I’ll try to keep it brief, but I love talking about travel, so I’ll probably send you another message later!

    If you’re looking to meet up with people, you can always check my Map the Sewintists Project here: http://goo.gl/maps/gXbBO There are a few people pinned in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, and we’ve added some info about markets and fabric shops.

    It was a fantastic 3 months: I was mostly travelling alone, and found it one of the easiest places to travel in the world. Prices are reasonable, food is absolutely delicious, transport is fairly safe and there’s a good variety to choose from (everything from bikes to motos to trains to planes).

    Best cities: Bangkok, Vientiane and Hanoi. Bangkok has some of the finest restaurants, hotels, markets and sites to visit. There are beautiful photo ops everywhere you turn. And the food. Ummm. I actually gained weight there from delicious street food. :) Hanoi’s old town is a place you could wander for weeks, drinking bia hoi and visiting small shops making anything you could imagine. Vientiane is a very small city, but I liked it: it’s a kind of languid, sunset town on the Mekong where you can visit the silk weaving studios, shop at the markets for sarongs and hand-woven ikats, and then end the day with beers and spicy laaps.

    Angkor Wat is a once in a lifetime place to visit. It’s bigger and better than you imagine. I’d plan at least 3 days to visit it Angkor and the surrounding archeological sites. My Son in Vietnam was less restored when I was there in 2003, but a fascinating place.

    The only trouble I had was getting used to the aggressive touts in Vietnam, but once you know how to deal with them, you can tune them out. There was some violence in Northern Laos when I was there, but I never had any trouble, and I believe nothing has happened since then. Overnight buses in Vietnam were a bit scary, and accidents were common. I’d travel by day, even if it means losing time. It’s just worth it.

    If you have any specific questions, you can always email me vicki_muise (at) yahoo (dot) ca. I love to talk travel; almost as much as I love to talk science and sewing.

  13. I live in Bangkok and used to live in Indonesia if you are looking for a fabric shopping buddy or just some tips!

  14. What an amazing trip!
    I have been to Thailand and my recommendation would be to get out of the cities, Bangkok is large and smelly, whereas smaller places Sukhothai was beautiful, Lampang was an amazing experience at the elephant sanctuary and Chang Mai is tranquil also.
    In relation to Australia and New Zealand there are so many amazing places to see. I would love to meet up if you are anywhere Brisbane, but could possibly get to Sydney too. Again getting out of the cities is amazing and the scenery is stunning. I am originally from Christchurch, NZ and can give you loads of advice on the South Island if you want to email me? I might be biased but the South Island is the best :)

  15. Sounds an amazing trip. So I have to give a shout out for where I live, the Coromandel, in NZ (in the north bit!) Amazing scenery with beautiful beaches and bush walks. Let me know if you want any more info :)

  16. Oh, what a fantastic trip to plan! Bali is fabulous, away from Kuta. I highly recommend Ubud- I stayed there nearly a week, great food and bars, but also very relaxing. If you can, I recommend an Indonesian cooking class there, the one I did took us to the markets in the early morning before it changed over to the tourist market, to learn about and buy fresh produce, then we learnt a pile of dishes- it was gorgeous. Seminyak on the coast is also really well regarded, although I haven’t personally been.

    I’ve been to Sydney once, and all over New Zealand, but both were nearly a decade ago, and I’m sure the locals will have lots of advice for you. I’m so excited for you (and a tiny bit jealous!).

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  17. Sydney! If interesting opshopping/vintage is your thing, you can’t go past Newtown. It’s an inner city mostly student suburb, and one of the quirkiest parts of Sydney.
    For the tourist side of things, Blue Mountains. Get the normal train up to Katoomba, which is just as easy and much cheaper than the day tours. however, if you wanted to see a bit out of Katoomba, there might be better options than the train

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