Thursday, April 6, 2006

About to leave... 26-11-2005

This went into the Weekend Rewind for the first round at it's new home at 'And then there were four'. 2006! ZOMG!

Well here we are, sitting at the pointy end of a big trip overseas back to Asia.
The Asia I take my name from, my Asia, the lands of wet heat and jungles, of millions of people, of colour, noise, endless traffic, firecrackers, dancing dragons, curry, stir-fries and lemon juice, giant mosquitos and mud, incense and monks, ancient temples and beggars, monkeys and eccentric aunts.
The low-down on this trip:
Dylan and I are flying to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo on Monday from Melbourne. From there we'll spend about 2 weeks making our way to the other end of Malaysian Borneo to Kuching, the capital of a province called Sarawak. We’re hoping to stop for a couple of day’s in Brunei along the way. From there we'll fly back to Kuala Lumpur on Peninsula Malaysia and we will make our way overland to Bangkok in Thailand.
On Boxing day we fly from Bangkok to Yangon/Rangoon in Myanmar/Burma and we spend 3 weeks in Burma seeing as much as we are able, time and government permitting before we fly back to Thailand.
Back in Thailand we go straight up to the far far north to visit my eccentric aunt Susan and her menagerie of 24 monkeys (at last count), 1 gibbon, innumerable ducks, chicken and fish, an Australian cattle dog called John, 2 of the best fed cats in Asia, 1 Japanese artist boyfriend Yuki, 3 Burmese hilltribe refugee boys On, Shu and Shu-Wai and one local hilltribe boy Umé. Should be fun!
We’ll be gone for almost 10 weeks.
I’ve been asked many times if this is our honeymoon, I just say yes because somehow that seems easier for people to stomach, that Dylan and I could just bugger off overseas and not work for over two months but to me a honeymoon is hanging around on a palm fringed, white sanded tropical beach drinking cocktails and reading trashy novels. However my tolerance for lying around doing nothing, sweating and reading a bad book is about 10 minutes and I’m not expecting to be doing very much of that so in that regard this trip is far from a honeymoon.
Dylan and I are backpackers, this means the most of the time we travel on local transport, stay in decidedly dodgy accommodation, have cold showers (sometimes using a scoop and a bucket) and eat food from markets, street stalls and crappy backpacker cafes and try to stretch the little money we have as far as possible. Oh and we carry our gear in backpacks which is probably what defines a backpacker more than anything ;)
On this trip we hope to see an orangutan or two, some orchids, pitcher plants and rafflesias if we’re lucky (well, this future botanist would like to see them anyway and Dylan will tag along and try to look interested :P), catch a boat for a couple of days in Borneo, eat laksa from the source, gape at the Petronas Towers, get my hair dreaded, admire the temples at Bagan and generally hang out and have a bloody good time.
For months I’ve been waiting for someone to quiz me on why we chose to go to Burma, for the downtrodden Burmese democratic parties recommend foreigners don’t visit Burma. No-one has asked (are Australians just uninformed?), but I’ll tell you a bit why anyway.
For one thing, I think by not visiting Burma, the country is only going to become increasingly isolated from the rest of the world and I’m not convinced that’s beneficial to the people. For another I believe that in order to form an opinion about something then you need lots of information about the problems.
We will avoid spending money on Government interests as much as we possibly can. We are independent travellers and spend our money with locals usually in any case. Perhaps after visiting we may wish we hadn’t but I think that’s unlikely. No doubt I’ll have more to say on the matter afterwards.
DISCLAIMER: This thread may contain occasional bad language, drug references, nudity and sex scenes (actually no, you’ll have to visit the sealed section for that :P).
I’ll probably talk entirely too much about food, whinge about the heat and the mosquitos, bitch about fellow backpackers and launch into diatribes over 50c and how ‘it’s not the money but the principle’. I’ll probably also express a few less-than-flattering opinions about people and places.
But I hope I’ll also be able to tell show some people that there is more to Asia than 5 star resorts in Thailand, bird flu outbreaks and terrorism because if you were to watch the news nowadays that’s just about all you get to see.
Feel free to post comments, ask questions or tell me I’m being a dickhead and to pull my head in :P
I’ll try to post here as often as I can find an internet café, I send emails to family and friends often and I should be able to update here just as much.
I hope you enjoy reading :)


allison tait said...

Wow, so long ago. And so many adventures!

Visiting from the Rewind.

InkPaperPen said...

What a rewind! A long way back and plenty of fun travels here. My partner and I went to Kota Kinabalu in Feb, it was beautiful but a total resort holiday - I am used to back packing but this was a trip we won so was very different to our usual travels. Great fun though.

Thanks for stopping by my blog - following you now also!

A Farmer's Wife said...

I hope you had an amazing trip - I bet it was a huge adventure.

Penny said...

Love it when dogs get christened with human man names!

MultipleMum said...

Love your disclaimer! You are such a backpacker!!! I miss those days (not that I have been to Asia - jealous) of acting like a turtle and carrying my home on my back. One day... when the kids grow... sigh. In the meantime, I shall live vicariously through other die-hards like you! Thanks for Rewinding x