India: April 24 – June 13, 2018
Our local grocery store.
Fancy mall downtown. Beautiful outdoor restaurants and stores.
Some of the many available methods of transport are presented in this photo.
Clean and Green, Cuban Park, Bangalore.
Another day wrapping up in Bangalore. Hopefully we will see you again!
Here’s another one!
Beautiful park in the
A street-crossing cow is never far away in India.
Modern and touristy downtown Bangalore.
Cafe around the corner from our apartment.
Beautiful thunderstorms in the distance were visible from this rooftop restaurant downtown. I’m happier than I look.
Amazing used bookstore – downtown Bangalore.
Bangalore Transit system.
Cows munching away on some street snacks.
Alley in our neighborhood with a chicken wandering around.
OSHA-sanctioned construction material conveyance system.
A colourful walk through the city.
A couple cows and a dog hanging out in the Bangalore heat.
Local Catholic church.
Forbidden oasis – this building is in the army training centre. Public not allowed.
Welcome to our Bangalore bungalow!
Our apartment included the obligatory tiled living room floor.
Lots of excitement in our second class seats. We chatted with some fellow passengers.
The sandwich tasted as good as it looks.
This train took us from Kochi to Bangalore.
Sarah loading up on fruit during our daily neighborhood walk.
Construction with modern scaffolding.
Sarah lounging in our posh theatre seats.
Warning sign around army camp.
Such an experience.
Popular shopping street near Ulsoor Lake.
View from our apartment. The neighborhood was an interesting mixture of Catholic, Muslim and Hindu.
Fig tree on our spice plantation tour.
Busy and hectic downtown Munnar.
Our overnight hotel in Munnar.
I took a liking to our tour guide, friendly and a good driver.
Under the Banyan tree.
We made quick friends with this lovely couple on our Munnar tour.
This suspension bridge built by the British can handle modern cars.
Sarah with our fellow tourist.
These Mahindra Jeeps will take you into the mountains for a fee.
View of Munnar tea plantations. One of the most beautiful places our Asia trip has taken us.
Side of the road overlooking the tea plantations.
This photo shows the elevation of Munnar and what our bus dealt with.
Spice plantation tour. We learned about the various fruits and spices grown in India. These are “bananas”.
Cute family from northern Kerala wanted photos with us.
A river runs through it.
Sarah on the pedestrian bridge between rainstorms.
Cows chillin out.
Check out those mountains. It was a beautiful sight.
Munnar tea plantations.
More tea and beautiful weather.
Rickshaws and more rickshaws.
The clouds create a contrast, temple off in the background.
Sarah looks back in horror.
We look happy ’cause the ride hasn’t started yet.
The open-air bus that brought us to Munnar. Won’t be forgotten!
Freight ships passed every few minutes, one was headed to Egypt.
The Chinese fishing nets are mostly for tourist’s enjoyment. Still fun to watch. The rocks made us nervous though, so we didn’t stand too close….
Beautiful reconstructed Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi, the touristy neighbourhood. Originally built by the Portuguese in the 1500’s.
A serene park amidst the chaos of downtown Kochi.
Kochi passenger ferry, which we ended up on after an Uber mixup. But it ended up being really beautiful and a great local experience.
Local women enjoying the beach.
John on the beach.
I love the pride truck drivers take in their vehicles.
Jew Town in Fort Kochi, famous for beautiful synagogues and antique shopping avenues. It was settled by Jews possibly as early as the 12th century.
Lulu mall, fantastically modern and Indian.
Ice rink in Lulu Mall.
Lulu Mall, largest mall in the country.
Wearing clothes I purchased at FabIndia, a really neat store but with almost Western prices.
Walk along the backwaters, more Chinese fishing nets.
Our local restaurant, where we ordered takeout and Horlicks (a delicious malt drink I’ve never seen before) almost daily.
Our street, filled with lush greenery like everywhere in Kochi.
We stayed on the top floor of this building near the backwaters.
Our amazing three bedroom condo – bigger I think than all our other Airbnb’s throughout Asia combined.
Our first morning in India we stayed at a budget hotel. The owner’s wife brought us this fine breakfast.
Kochi’s Infopark. Epicenter of IT work for the state.
Sometimes I thought Sarah and I were the biggest attraction at the zoo. We had several families stop to take pictures of us and follow us around. We went along with it and had a blast.
We could have watched these monkeys all day, so fascinating and cute.
The local Zoo.
People enjoying/teasing the animals.
Catholic rally in Thrissur.
Oh, English signs, yes please.
Lonely elephant. This is in the city of Thrissur, a two-hour bus ride from Kochi, where we spent a day and ended up at the zoo.
Thrissur drivers hanging out.
Amazing fields with cows grazing. This was outside of Kochi in a smaller town, Aluva.
Coconuts for about 80 cents. How this guy still has all 10 fingers is beyond me…
Farmers Cafe, Fort Kochi.
Fort Kochi water tower complete with grazing cows.
Empty lot near a church. We stayed in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood.
Living the high life at the international Grand Pavilion Hotel.
A cricket game is never far away.
Sarah posing on the Fort Kochi beach.
We passed on the camel ride.
Beach with Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi. Lots of hawkers and tourists and so much energy.
Sprawling, larger than life trees.
Kerala is known for its strong communist party.
Signs protesting the recent rape and murder of a small girl that made international headlines.
Goats everywhere, hard not to pet the little guys.
This is what $3-4 gets you, and it was enough for both of us, and so delicious.
Typical local flat.
Part of our daily walk, notice the hammer and sickle.
Taking the rickshaw around town.
Biryani, a delicious Indian food that must be eaten with hands.
Down by the Backwaters.
View over the backwaters from our deck. Chinese fishing nets are visible to the left.
The trains come blasting through, no crossing, so beware!
Our colourful neighborhood.
South Korea: February 16 – April 24, 2018
Lady putting together sweets at the downtown market.
Busy market near downtown Daegu.
There is a large U.S. military presence in Daegu.
U.S. Army Base, in case you couldn’t have guessed.
We had a few days of snow before the temperature shot back above 20degC.
We risked it and got some haircuts. The price was under $10USD so we couldn’t complain! I love looking like a K-pop star anyways.
Beautiful Mt. Apsan, as seen from our roof.
These flower vending machines are everywhere in South Korea.
Daegu Tower behind us.
The Audrey Hepburn cafes are a South Korean chain.
I love these little vans and I’m taking one home.
Restaurant worker taking a smoke break.
Sarah at the lake in our neighborhood. The location of our daily walk.
Airplane restaurant…of course!
Took this neat photo on a long walk around Daegu by myself.
Some sidewalk murals.
Yes, I want my Nuclear Steak!
Our humble apartment.
One is never far from a golf driving range in South Korea.
Our neighborhood’s school zone.
The monorail is driverless, and yet there’s an attendant that sits at the front looking very bored. The windows automatically fog up when approaching an apartment building – for privacy.
The Korean coffee shops are super best. We spent hours.
The ‘veggie dishes’ have cooked beef, the ‘meat dishes’ have raw beef. No idea!
Another absolutely beautifully designed cafe in our neighborhood.
Waiting for my fried treats while sportin’ my K-pop haircut.
A gym halfway to the top of Mt. Apsan. In use on both my visits.
Observation deck at the top of Mt. Apsan overlooking Daegu.
View of Daegu from Apsan Park, looking east. The tram is visible in the hills below.
Every great climb with a staircase begin must.
We were feeling old downtown. So much shopping. Had to drag Sarah out of the stores.
Perhaps a famous K-pop star. He was surrounded by adoring fans.
Matching couple. Extra credit for shoes and shopping bag. 9.0/10.
Rallies are common. Not sure what this one was about.
Fancy looking firetrap restaurant.
We had a couple drinks in the bus-bar.
One of dozens of busy markets in Daegu. This one was a short walk away from our apartment.
View from the Board Game Cafe’s rooftop bar.
People come from all over to see E-world! Let’s get this party started!
And a raccoon!!!
Looking down over E-world and Daegu.
Nighttime photo ops.
The entrance is yet another photo op! Our first matching couple of the day.
Finally had a chance to see a squirrel!
Elves reporting for duty.
Tribute to the website!
Couples or lonely singles may put a lock on this tree to show their devotion to paying $7 for a lock they can never use again.
Tram ride across the theme park at dusk.
More photo opportunities!?!?! Note the two tripods on the right.
I walked into this coffee shop and requested a coffee. The coffee was instant and came in a small paper cup, like the one you might get from a water cooler. I thought this was strange but continued reading my book. Eventually, as I took in my surroundings, I realized it isn’t a coffee shop, but rather a multilevel marketing office. This was quite embarrassing but I stuck it out and finished my book anyways. I wasn’t charged for the coffee but if anyone needs cosmetics shoot me an email.
Gas masks are in each subway station. Should we be worried?
Just like in the west, everybody is on their mobile phones while walking about.
Cross a golf cart with a refrigerator and this is what ya get. Perhaps you can summon her with an app.
In S. Korea parking lots are vertical instead of horizontal.
Why is there an aquarium in the train station? I don’t really want to know, I prefer to use my imagination.
A store rents picnic baskets to take into the park. Brilliant idea!
I love this photo because it captures Korea perfectly – old meets new. (And it’s not always pretty).
This is how things are moved out of apartments and it’s kind of genius.
Intestines are a popular lunch item in the markets – if you can stomach it.
Coffee shops and convenience stores near hospitals are always packed with IV-laden patients.
Socks are so popular there’s a sock street!
Dressed up and shaved kitty in one of the coffee shops.
Kakao Friends competitors on the left, Hello Kitty on the right. Scales for children……..
We didn’t recognize all the fruit.
Street markets are the best place to get cheap veggies and fruit.
Ferry sleeping quarters.
Leaving Fukuoka, Japan by ferry. It’s about 130 miles and five hours by sea to South Korea.
Dress up like the captain!
On the ferry, Korean islands in background.
Arriving in Busan as the sun sets.
Sarah chilling in Busan. Reminds us of China in this photo.
The Lotte Castle! (The Lotte Group is South Korea’s 5th largest business conglomerate and consists of over 90 business units and employs 60,000 people in diverse industries such as candy manufacturing, beverages, hotels, fast food, retail, financial services, heavy chemicals, electronics, IT, construction, publishing, and entertainment).
Yep, amazing food.
Beer on the ferry. It was cold and windy outside.
This is our street. I think we ended up in the red light district.
Entrance is quite done up, to say the least.
This one’s bigger.
Potato chip chocolates.
A lot to take in visually on these Korean streets.
Dystopian apartment buildings.
Welcome to Busan! The air pollution was pretty bad.
Lotte Department Store. It’s huge.
Found a vending machine!
Amazing food street. We love Korean food…meals are under $10.
Our little apartment. Fully functional with a nice view of the strip club across the street.
Japan: November 20, 2017 – February 16, 2018
The parks and shrines were so beautiful. This tree was carefully propped up.
Inside the Kyushu National Museum. It was a great day with Sarah, my friend and her family.
Kyushu National Museum, where we saw a beautiful calligraphy exhibit with my friend from Kagoshima.
Walking up the shrine.
Lining up to pet the bull statue for good luck.
Small walking street near the Dazaifu Shrine.
Neighborhood Association poster.
Temple, right downtown.
Another photo from a walk.
Little tent restaurants, a popular place for a meal on the way home from a long day at the office.
Cosplay stores in the downtown fashion malls.
Alleys in our neighborhood.
A well-used running route along the canal, with a woman feeding birds in the background.
I think these barricades are One Piece, a popular anime show.
Art supplies. So many beautiful pigments.
More beautiful canals on our favourite walking route.
Reminds me of Spirited Away.
More beautiful torii gates.
With our friend at the Dazaifu Shrine.
Super Cookie Land. A popular Japanese comedian. People were lined up for the exhibit.
Buildings with graffiti downtown.
Sarah perusing one of many stores.
One of several hot/cold beverage vending machines right outside our apartment, so convenient!
Heading downtown, beautiful canals.
The streets remind me of Vancouver.
View of the barbershop across the street from our Airbnb.
The dark spots are fish in the canal.
More Cosmos excitement.
Inside Cosmos there are three friendly cats.
The town becomes so beautiful in the snow.
Snow day at the train station. Nothing stops the trains though.
The small village we stayed in near Ogawa.
View from hill behind our cabin overlooking the village.
Nearby Honda factory.
Our daily walking route.
Kept pigeons at a house.
Typical Ogawa house.
Abandoned creepy house.
Old Gashapon machines.
By the river, downtown Ogawa.
Cosmos, our favourite cafe.
Arriving in Ogawa-machi.
The cabin seemed very well built.
Super Famicom – the attention to detail on these little guys is astounding. I picked up two Gashapon and then the Super Scope and Mariopaint set separately for 700 yen.
The whole Ojisan Zukan gang enjoying the morning sunlight.
Tough day for Ojisan Zukan.
Ojisan capsule toy machine in Akihabara.
View from a Kawasaki hilltop on one of many morning walks.
Quiet bamboo forest behind our Kawasaki apartment.
Walking through Akihabara, Tokyo.
Public playground near our Yokohama apartment, it was hard to break Sarah away
Our second Yokohama apartment. In a quiet residential neighborhood. Mt. Fuji is visible on horizon
Harajuku entertainers. Harajuku is known for youth fashion
Yokohama, with our Airbnb host
Downtown Yokohama by the piers
Lineup for photos
View from our Yokohama apartment rooftop
Sarah in our Yokohama apartment
This is our Yokohama apartment, one of the nicest places we have stayed yet
Shibuya, Tokyo alley with variety shops
Harmonia alley in Tokyo’s Kichijoji neighborhood. Lots of small pubs and eateries
Tokyo Ginza neighborhood
Conveyor built sushi
Packages left in public, very safe!
View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Cantaloupes for sale, some are a couple hundred dollars each
Stairways in malls sometimes have calorie counters
Akihabara neighborhood, our favorite Tokyo neighborhood. We spent a lot of time there
VW bus driving Tokyo
Harajuku is known for its crepes
Decorated for Christmas in Kawasaki
Our Kawasaki apartment building
Kawasaki neighborhood (just west of Tokyo)
Tokyo Imperial palace
Sarah checking out the fruit
Cat sculpture downtown in Ginza
Arcade machine in alley (Akihabara neighborhood)
Setup for Christmas dinner
Our KFC Christmas barrel
Lineup for KFC Christmas dinner pick-up in Kawasaki.
And a capsule hotel
Sarah in her element
With a manga reading room
Yes they are
Video game-themed convenience store
Very special lobster
Star Wars comes to Japan
The deer of Nara
Kyoto Police mascot
1-foot thick subway door, maybe for floods?
Small bar with video games
Real-life Mario Karters
Baseball by the bridge
Extra counter space: floor
Beer vending machine
Back home from a hard day. Ojisan Zukan will miss Osaka.
Daily Kindergartners stroll past our window
Airport robot greeting
Cat rocks…of course
Polly, our house plant. We had to leave her behind (right side)
No shrine is complete without – capsule toys!
Perfect parking #2
Toilets with faucets
$130 fruit basket
Even the corporations are cute
German Christmas Market
So pretty (intricate miniature food models)
Capsule toy – for cats
Lots of capsule toys
Protect clothes in changing room
Bathroom stall noise generator
I want four of these
Cleanest train station bathrooms
Shoe cleanser for entering airport
We were interviewed by these two for a Tokyo morning show. They asked questions around why we liked Japan and Osaka.
One of the capsule toys. This is a fellow from the anime movie “Your Name.”
World famous Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
Thousands of Torii gates line the shrine’s paths.
Train workers riding the local train.
Night walk along the downtown Osaka canals. This is the very lively Dotonbori neighborhood.
Sarah and I are suffering a capsule toy addiction.
The trains are quiet, clean and, naturally, colour matched.
Our Nanjing hostel’s backyard. We spent two nights here as we passed through China.
Cute traffic signs in Kyoto.
Beautiful Kyoto is about an hour’s train ride away.
North of us is Minoo Park. There are monkeys, but unfortunately we didn’t see them.
So much attention to details. Cute (kawaii)!
Numerous running, biking and walking paths in our neighborhood go along the canals.
We walk this way to the local supermarket. The streets are so clean and quiet.
Our Osaka apartment. It’s very small. The top bunk bed is motorized to provide more space.
Our apartment building in Northern Osaka. We are on the second floor with a river view. $30 Canadian a night!
China: August 7 – September 8, 2017
Nanjing’s Walmart. Felt quite similar to the Walmarts in the West. A good way to ease back home.
Xuanwu Lake and its beautiful lotus plants.
Absolutely beautiful Xuanwu Lake near downtown Nanjing.
Met some locals on the wall who were excited to get some selfies with us.
Sarah on the wall with temple and downtown Nanjing visible in background.
On the city wall.
Nanjing’s city wall was the longest in the world at time of construction (1390) and the remaining portions extend about 25km.
Nanjing Massacre Museum.
The Nanjing people are very friendly. We found our favorite soup place where the customer chooses which food to have boiled for them. The owners asked to take a picture with us.
Sunset looking towards downtown Nanjing.
We watched the middle school students performing daily group exercise from our apartment window.
Fellow taking a nap across the street from our building.
Community spirit in our neighborhood.
People packing boxes throughout the day and night in our building’s hallways.
Our building, the “Excellence Building”.
Our apartment, quite small but with views of beautiful sunsets.
Our Nanjing neighborhood.
Sarah and I waited for our train to Nanjing on the floor of the Shanghai train station.
M50 art neighborhood, Shanghai. Young artists are being replaced by modern design studios and expensive galleries.
Building under construction by “The Artistic Fair-Faced Concrete Engineering Expert” company in the M50 neighborhood.
Sarah cooking cabbage and a $2 FamilyMart meal at our apartment.
Mall with boats for children.
Mall we came across near the Jiangyang Road stop outside of Shanghai.
Suburb north of Shanghai. We received many inquisitive looks.
“Marriage Market.” Parents and grandparents come to find a suitable partner for their children/grandchildren and to socialize. The papers on the umbrellas have resumes describing the qualifications of their family’s eligible bachelor/bachelorette.
View from the Bund at night. Visible from left to right is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Bottle Opener and Shanghai Tower.
View from Shanghai Tower, looking at the “Bottle Opener” building (Shanghai World Financial Center building, 492m tall, 5th tallest building in Asia).
View from Shanghai Tower looking south back towards our apartment. We are staying in the clump of buildings to the right of the Nanpu Bridge (first bridge visible).
View from Shanghai Tower, 121st floor, highest observation deck in the world at 561 metres (2nd tallest building in Asia). Looking over the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the Pudong financial district and Huangpu River.
Small evening market in Huangpu, near our second apartment.
Our second Airbnb building is visible in the middle of the photo.
View from our second Airbnb, 19th floor.
French Concession neighborhood, Shanghai. Very empty with little traffic, perhaps because it is summer.
Our favourite lunch restaurant in Pudong. Meals were about $2-3.
View from our first apartment in south Pudong, Shanghai.
Maglev train we took from the Shanghai airport. Travelled at 430 km/hr.
Vietnam: May 10 – August 7, 2017
At a cafe playing games to help evaluate a team-building event organized by one of our new friends Victor, an entrepreneur from the States but of Vietnamese descent. Definitely starting to feel more settled in here……..
These railing-less bridges into people’s gardens were everywhere on the island, and people would ride bikes and scooters over them! I was amazed at first, but then considering the traffic the scooters and bikes are able to navigate in the city, it made sense.
John and I took bikes around a small island in the Delta. It was so neat seeing the small huts and gardens, and wonderful having quiet paths with no scooters in sight.
The women rowers looked so elegant in their matching purple tops, and their balance and strength amazed me.
In a row boat (sampan) to navigate the shallower waters on our way to lunch.
The Cai Be floating market. We arrived too late in the morning to see its busyness, but it was neat seeing the boats and the people who live and sell in them.
Our Mekong Delta boat tour! We were with Spanish, Swiss, and Vietnamese tourists. It was a wonderful day.
On the two-hour drive to our Mekong Delta tour. Our driver stopped to see if we wanted to buy snakes or rats from these young boys to eat later.
District 7, Koreatown. Such cute (and quiet) streets, stationary stores and cafes.
The War Remnants Museum. A mix of horrifying, heartbreaking, and then heartwarming to see how much has been forgiven and repaired, in the country and between people, since then.
One of our favourite parts of town, Turtle Lake, and one of its many cafes.
The river at dusk. It was really nice sitting at a cafe overlooking it.
Walking along one of the rivers in town. It was really nice to have the walking path and flowers, and we did see some people using the exercise equipment.
I love the common use of hammocks, and the many places people find to put them.
Walking around town at night, looking for dinner. It wasn’t the most walkable area, with scooters often coming uncomfortably close on either side. This is quite common though. We rarely see people walking.
Walking into town not far from our apartment. The volume of goods carried on scooters or pushed by hand never fails to amaze me.
Sunny view from a mall foodcourt.
Fellow painting an alley beneath Pasteur Street Brewery Co.
Night activities along the river.
The Factory art gallery and coworking place near our apartment in the expat neighborhood.
Turtle Lake, downtown Saigon.
Rainy day in a restaurant along the river.
Sarah made fast friends with the restaurant owner who shared durian with us.
Empty Saigon lot.
Fellow resting in a hammock in his bus.
Child waiting for his family to pick up food.
Typical Saigon rush hour.
Chilling at the river cafe.
Typical cafe, with typical cigarettes and lighter.
On the 65th floor of the Lotte Observation Deck Sky Walk, the first sky walk built in SE Asia………definitely a little nervous.
Another cute neighbourhood along West Lake.
Fishing in West Lake, the largest lake in Hanoi and around which we’ve learned most of the expats choose to stay. There are many neat stores and cafes.
The colourful neighbourhood near our second AirBnB.
We stumbled across this B-52 war monument blocks from our AirBnB, in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. John was in heaven.
Our second AirBnB, run by Quirien and Resy from the Netherlands. It almost feels like we’re sleeping outdoors, and the breeze is wonderful in the heat.
The Temple of Literature, where many parts date back to 1070. It was surreal to think about, especially being used to young Canada.
Enjoying another roadside restaurant. We order best when the menu has photos or we can just point at what we want, like we could here. For $2.50, it was a delicious, filling meal.
Exploring more small roads and off-the-beaten-path neighbourhoods.
Hoan Kiem Lake, with the Turtle Tower in the centre.
So many colourful and animated streets.
One of many cute cafes we have spent afternoons in, reading and drinking Vietnamese coffee and smoothies.
A residential area we stumbled across by going down tiny alleys.
Roadside haircut. I see these a lot, but am not brave enough to try one………
Exploring the Old Quarter. So many neat gift shops and cafes.
Another great view. Mrs. Tin, our host, swims in the public pool several days per week.
City view from our 19th floor AirBnB with Mrs. Tin. This view from our bedroom made staying home sick much more bearable.
Enjoying a drink near the lobby of our high rise during a tropical downpour.
Construction workers. The lower one is welding without fall protection, the other is smoking while watching, also not tied in.
Vehicles and pedestrians must cross this flooded road to get to our building complex.
Typical scooter load.
A scooter “parkade”. The fellow is collecting parking fees.
Scooter traffic around Turtle Lake in downtown Ho Chi Minh.
Metro construction in our district, District 2. New high rises visible in background.
View from our window. Lots of scooters and construction. The metro construction is visible in the foreground.
The cats are warming up to us……..
So good seeing Nicole for longer than one day over Christmas.
My friend’s apartment in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh, where we will be for most of our stay to look after their cats while they travel. It’s a wonderful trade.
Examples of traps used by the Viet Cong during the war. It was a lot to take in.
Entering the 100m section of the Cu Chi Tunnels available to our tour. It’s impossible to imagine what life was like for those during the war. We had to crouch, or even scoot on our backs, to make it through, and we learned that some fighters would stay in these for weeks to months at a time.
Along with the national flag, the Communist Party of Vietnam hammer and sickle flag is commonly seen too.
Part of downtown Ho Chi Minh. It feels very clean here.
The children seem much more comfortable than me on the bikes. The government has enforced helmet-wearing to help with the high traffic mortality rate, but I haven’t yet seen a child wearing a helmet.
The lovely woman who ran our An Thoi hotel, who invited us to eat with her family on our last day.
Walking around An Thoi. We loved going for walks and exploring the small alleys and exotic produce stalls.
Ho Chi Minh City, known as the land of scooters. There is no subway or skytrain and cars are very expensive.
Children playing in An Thoi, the harbour town in Phu Quoc where we continued to stay for a week after the resort.
It was a very relaxing two days.
Dinner with Katherine, a great high school friend now visiting from the UK. We found a stall just outside the resort to save some money, and the soup was delicious, as has been all our food in Vietnam so far.
The fanciest breakfast buffet I’ve ever had, and included with my friend’s Marriott points. It was our breakfast and lunch combined each day!
The French Colonial-style resort. Not fully opened yet, it often felt eerily empty and quiet.
JW Marriott Resort, Phu Quoc, where we stayed (for free) for two nights with a high school friend of mine. A shock from our usual travel style……..
Shack in An Thoi.
An Thoi harbour. The concrete structure is for an 8km long cable car installation to be completed next year to help attract tourists.
Sarah walking down a path by the harbour in An Thoi.
View from our hotel in Phu Quoc, Vietnam (island town of An Thoi).
Thailand: April 12 – May 10, 2017
Sarah peeking out from our Bangkok apartment.
Beautiful downtown Bangkok. This photo taken between two of the largest malls I’ve seen in my life.
Taking the Bangkok bus. The people sitting next to us helped interpret to pay our fare.
Westerners pumping iron in Lumpini Park.
My favourite rooftop bar in Bangkok – Skytrain Jazz Club.
Lampang abandoned buildings.
Sunset near the Wang River.
Hot springs just outside Lampang.
Wat Chalermprakiat, hilltop temple ~ 70 km north of Lampang.
Plant and flower shop along market street.
Local coffee shop, Lampang.
Asawin, local market in Lampang.
Giant billboard showing Thai King.
Love the stationary stores, Lampang.
Bridge across Wang River, Lampang.
Friday night market.
Taxi ride from Chiang Mai airport to the bus station to leave for Lampang. Much more fun than the sedans we’d been in so far!
Bus to Lampang. $4 for 1.5 hours, and easy to book and navigate!
Pick-up taxi ride to our guesthouse, where we spoke with the local woman who warned us against our 8-day stay.
Riverside Guesthouse! $29 per night including a wonderful breakfast, and very empty this time of year (it’s 37 C today, the hot summer season).
Cozy foyer all to ourselves.
Beautiful, peaceful dining area right on the river.
Breakfast by the river.
Reading by the river. I feel like I’m staying at an expensive resort, not a budget(ish) guest house!
Cool collection of old cars and motorcycles. I need to find out more about the history of this place……..the owner is Caucasian but I’m not yet sure from where, and has lived here for 30 years.
Motorcycle shed, full of old spotless Harleys and paraphernalia.
It has a very different feel than Phuket. Barely any tourists, and much calmer.
Temple at night.
Wonderful restaurant we found! Lots of locals and very little English spoken, but we enjoyed the most wonderful service and food, and the prices were about 1/4 of the beach towns in Phuket. $0.10 for rice, and about $1-2 for our entrees. We will come back.
So good, and not just for the price.
Our Kamala Beach Airbnb.
Relaxing at Kamala Beach, in the shade. I’m not used to the heat, even just 30 degrees!
John in the shade. The chairs and umbrellas are for rent for ~ $4 but the sand is fine too.
Dinner at a rooftop restaurant we found with reasonable prices, and we were somehow the only guests!
Songkran Festival, Thai New Years, on April 13. Locals and tourists alike celebrate by spraying each other with water and paint, from their cars, backs of pickup trucks and trailers, and the side of the road. It was so festive and cheerful, and in the heat we didn’t mind getting caught in it at all.
Locals at Nai Yang Beach dancing to Thai music in the street the evening of Songkran. They looked so happy and un-self-conscious.
Relaxing on our deck at our second place, an AirBnB near Kamala Beach where we will be for five nights.
View from our rooftop patio.
Blue building, middle left.
Simple room but with a balcony, great wifi and of course AC, and only $15 per night!
Road by Kamala Beach. Busier and more touristy than Nai Yang Beach but still quite peaceful.
Kamala Beach. It was quieter on this side of the beach where there weren’t waves as most, including John, preferred the waves and body surfing. I was happy under my palm tree.
A woman painting in a small studio we passed on a side street.
Simple roadside restaurant for dinner. About $3 for a delicious coconut chicken soup.
Tourism without limits – Phuket.
Naiyang Cottage, where we will be for three nights. $30 per night and a 15-minute walk to the beach.
Simple single room but the water was warm and there was wifi and AC! All we needed.
Road our cottage is on. People drive so fast! Crossing feels a bit hectic……..
Cutest 3 kittens, and their mom, seem to be wild but to be permanently at the cottage. We had fun playing with them with leaves.
My favourite, fresh fruit and veggies.
Mongkol Wararam Temple, built in 1757. Stumbled upon.
Such a cozy beach town.
As good, or better, than back home, and at $3.50, much more affordable!
Caught in a 1-hour downpour over lunch. A wonderful way to relax and enjoy warm rain for a change!