Val

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

With the DM decision finally made, we headed to our hub in Kuala Lumpur to arrange plane tickets, visas, and shop around for gear that we would need to embark on our new, much anticipated, endeavor. We began this trip in mid-September 2009 with lots of diving on the agenda and DM training as a…

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Penang, Malaysia

Here we are again, painlessly over the border and back in Malaysia. The free 3 month visa on arrival certainly contributes to the ease of entrance. Ushered into the country in the back of a minivan, our driver delivered us safely into the heart of Georgetown on Penang Island. Having no clue as to where…

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Contrast – Bangkok

Flying into Bangkok was a shock to the system. Sure only 28 days had elapsed, but what a difference those 28 days had made to my outlook. I couldn’t help but be struck by the modernity, efficiency, and general cleanliness of everything. Cleanliness? Bangkok? Really, it is true. During the taxi ride that would eventually…

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Back in Bangkok….

This bus ride was an interesting one. Taking one vehicle from our hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia we arrive at the border and cross on foot. After getting our visas stamped we walk into the no-man’s land between Cambodia and Thailand. The bus attendant says we have to wait for 30 minutes before we are…

Bookworm…

As a student for the last 4 1/2 years, working a full-time job, and often a part-time job as well to pay for my education and the “lifestyle” I had grown accustomed to (code for: I can’t -and have no desire- to learn to cook and therefore go out to eat, A LOT!), I often…

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Yet another smooth, successful border crossing puts us into Phnom Penh (PP), the capital and largest city in Cambodia. It’s busy and sweltering hot which aids in our decision to employ a tuk-tuk to take us around and look for a cheap hotel. Along with a new friend Jose, a Spaniard currently living in Dominican…

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Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

Leaving the frantic pace of Hanoi, we hop a bus to Vietnam’s third most populous city Hải Phòng (which doesn’t feel very busy by comparison). Arriving late in the evening we find cheap accommodations. “This place smells about right” Scotty declared upon detecting the familiar mildew smell that greeted us at the entrance, indeed! In…

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Luang Prabang, Laos

Aside from the constant smoke, a staple here in Laos, Luang Prabang is an inviting town. We would have liked to stay longer, but not being able to breathe freely really put a damper on our visit. Located on a peninsula where the Nam Khan river meets the mighty Mekong River, this quaint town is…

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Chaing Mai, Thailand

North, north and further north. Hopping another bus we find ourselves finally in Chaing Mai, touted as the culture capital of Northern Thailand. This place has it all: hand-crafts, jewelery, tons of religious sites, classes on yoga, language, cooking, and meditation (among others), shopping, traffic, art, night markets and, of course, bowling. The city is…

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Krabi, Thailand Part 1

I’m pretty sure Scotty shed a tear when we left the beautiful beach in Southern Thailand. What he didn’t know was how many more, tears of happiness he would be shedding when he beheld the wonders of the Krabi area. Arriving by bus, the place wasn’t much to look at at first. From the back…

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Ayuttaya and Sukhothai, Thailand

It is time to leave the city and head north. The problem is we do not know where we want to go. We arrive at the bus station armed with nothing more than a direction to head in. After consulting the guide book, Scotty and I narrow down our northern destinations to 3: ranging from…

Krabi Part 1

Scotty woke me up real early this morning, and for anyone who has spent any significant time around me, you know. This is a dangerous proposition. I can be oh so much more than just…. “Krabi”

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Bali

…and then suddenly we found ourselves in Bali, the most touristy area in Indonesia, and we would quickly find out why. Bali is a beautiful and lush island, a Hindu stronghold in a predominately Muslim country. Bali is known for it’s great cuisine and emphasis on the arts and culture. We head to Ubud first,…

Many Monkeys and 1 Monchichi!!

Welcome to the jungle baby!! Arriving in Bukit Lawang (Boo-keet Lu-wang) after a very long travel day, we were snagged up by a local guide who promptly guided us off the bus, to a a hotel room, and into a jungle trek package. We signed on to leave bright and early the next morning for…

It’s official….

Well, we did it! We are officially Advanced Open Water Divers. The class was not super challenging but we got a lot of good information out of it and (of course) a chance to do some awesome diving. The fish life here is so diverse that we see new types of fish everytime we are…

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Val Goes Bald

I’m in Asia…..finally!! Yeah. I have made some attempts to post sooner but the Internet apparently hates me in Malaysia. I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with many of my family members, take some photos, and make some new memories of home before taking the amazingly long series of plane rides to get here….

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