Monday, November 2, 2009

Back from Backpacking

travel souvenirs

Abet and I are back from an 11-day SouthEast Asian adventure across five cities in three countries: Kuala Lumpur and Malacca in Malaysia, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam. We had the time of our lives.

We ate hawker food, went up the Petronas Towers Skybridge, ate at Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken, Carl's Jr. (which we sorely missed), and Baskin-Robbins, found the books we were looking for (Stiff by Mary Roach for me, a book I bought years ago and lost, but want in my library; Hemingway's For Whom the Bells Toll for him), lugged our backpacks all over KL's train stations, visited the Batu Caves, experienced vibrant Jonker Street in Malacca, got lost, visited the Killing Fields, Genocide Museum, and the Russian Market in Phnom Penh, ate crickets, ran out of clean clothes and underwear, toured the temples of Siem Reap, got sunburned, got insect bites, enjoyed a Khmer buffet, watched an Apsara performance, saw the sun rise over the Angkor Wat, saw how fine handicrafts were made, ate ice cream at Swensen's, figured in a bus accident that left several people injured (who had to be carried off in an ambulance), spent 15 hours on a bus, met other backpackers, met fellow Filipinos, became millionaires (P2,700 = VND 1M), ate a ridiculous amount of fruit, ate a ridiculous amount of French bread, drank beer almost nightly, squeezed our ways through one of the Cu Chi Tunnels, visited the War Remnants Museum, survived a sea of motorcycles, enjoyed bowls of pho, haggled at the Ben Thanh market, bought even more books, ate even more ice cream, got items for our future home, bought coffee, nuts and dried fruit for pasalubong, suffered from upset tummies from too much streetfood, and slept at the airport because our flight got majorly delayed due to typhoon Santi (we were still lucky, PAL and Vietnam Air flights were cancelled). We took a bunch of great photos, and thousands of crappy photos. It was a great adventure, and I can't say enough how happy, thankful, and lucky I am that I got to experience this with Abet, just the two of us. Travel is one of our ultimate favorite bonding activities.

My recent trip validated two things:

1) There really is no place like the Philippines. After seeing the different sights in Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam, I realized that the sights, the food, and the people of the Philippines are the best. We have three trips abroad planned for next year, but I'll make sure to squeeze in some local destinations.

2) Abet and I make a great team. Ü I've known this from the very start, but travelling puts our team and our relationship to the test, and I'm glad that for this one, we passed with flying colors. Being alone in a foreign country makes us cling to each other a little tighter than usual and makes us more patient and understanding. We were each other's world for eleven days, taking care of and being responsible for the other. We feel closer than ever, and I learned so much about myself, about him, and about us as a couple. Actually, I'm currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms from my boyfriend--we were attached to the hip the entire duration of our vacation, I think we were apart only during trips to the restroom.

I have lots of stories and pictures that I'll blog about in the next few weeks or days. Hopefully, I'll be able to help out someone planning a similar trip, just like how travel blogs have been helpful to us during our planning. More travel posts coming up!


Janelle said...

glad you're back safe! wow, what an adventure! lol@ "became millionaires" :)

Dea said...

Hi Janelle, it was quite an adventure indeed, we had so much fun. :D Medyo nahilo ako sa currency ng Vietnam, daming zeroes.

nina said...

Glad to hear you're safe and sound, and happy with the trip! Looking forward to the photos and stories! :D

Chyng said...

welcome back!

ang ganda ng two things you validated. amen to that! :D

Dea said...

Hi nina and Chyng, I'm glad to be back. :D I'll post pics soonest.