You'd think with all the discomfort and misery involved in long haul international travel that I'd give it a rest. Can't do it. I'm just sick like that. Blame it on the bad economy. Too much god damn free time on my hands this summer so my wife ordered me out of the country......sort of. Truly, it has been an egregiously slow summer and have been nursing a serious back injury which laid me up in the hospital for a week and at home for a good couple months. I've never known pain like this before. As my injury began to heal and the walls began to creep in on me closer every day I decided no way to beat a back ache than with a back pack. So fuck it. Here we go. Southeast Asia 2009.
This will be a 10 year anniversary of my first trip to the region. From all I have read things have changed drastically since I was first there in 99 when the tourist industry in Cambodia and Vietnam was in it's infancy. In reality there was no tourist industry to speak of and only a handful of hearty Americans could be found wandering around. I gather the not so hearty can handle it these days so I should be in good company this time around.
Why Southeast Asia? It's the economy stupid! Air fares over the winter months to certain parts of Asia are far more reasonable than to other parts of the globe. The dollar isn't an actual joke in this part of the world. People actually seem to want U.S. Dollars here, and not as souvenirs. Really, the cost of traveling in Southeast Asia, while not as cheap as ten years ago, still appears damn cheap. If I am not bitten by a snake, pick up bird flu or step on some old American ordinance it should be a blast! Pun intended. There's still alot of shit that blows up over there. Especially in Laos. Sweet!
I'm launching, barring reinjury, November 13. I intend to revisit some familiar sites; Hanoi and Angkor Wat, and visit some new ones; Halong Bay, Phnom Pehn, Laos and Taipei. I get to retrieve my long gone Cambodia and Vietnam stamps and get a couple new ones in Laos and Taiwan. I plan to take my Canon 5D, which I unveiled on my trip to Egypt, a Canon 70-200mm lens and a 28-135 lens. I would like to take my film SLR and experiment with some alternative films to the now defunct Kodak Infrared Black and White film. I still like the look of black and white films to the digital alternatives..But I will admit the idea of hauling film again doesn't thrill me.
Excuse my typos, spelling goofs and shitty grammar. This is all in fun.