Posts Tagged ‘SE Asia’

Monday, February 16th, 2009

We’re in the process of writing more entries for Cambodia. In the meantime, check out Sherry’s posts from Otts World:

[singlepic=1272,200,,,right]If You Build It, They Will Come – Cambodia
I arrived in yet another 3rd world country, another country with a recent, torrid history full of war, and death. Yet even though Cambodia is nestled between Thailand and Vietnam – it really isn’t like these other countries, it has found its own identity. My first experience when entering Cambodia was entering the grand, new Siem Reap International Airport. It was beautifully designed, clean and cool – extremely rare for a third world country. While we were waiting in line for immigration there was an ATM so I decided to quickly get some Riel – however – much to our surprise – the ATM spit out US dollars. This definitely wasn’t like any country I had been in before! Read More


Laos: Photography Lessons
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

For detailed journal entries on Sherry’s photography experience in Laos, visit these posts on Otts World:

[singlepic=1013,200,,,right]Planes, Trains, and a Broken Down Automobile
I left Singapore on a photographic journey to head back in the world of rice fields, $4 massage, spicy food, small villages, and hill tribes – Laos. I hired Jonathan Taylor, a professional photojournalist out of Bangkok, to accompany me and tutor me for the next 9 days. These 9 days were the least planned of any of my travels to date; all I knew was that Jonathan and I were to take an overnight train from Bangkok to the border of Laos, cross over by foot, and the rest was a great big mystery to me.  Read More


Borneo: Mt. Kinabalu
Monday, January 5th, 2009

Borneo was one of the destinations I visited during my 16-month career break.  Following is an excerpt from my blog.

[singlepic=958,200,,,right]When my friend Russ and I decided to go to Borneo, we had a single goal – to climb Mt. Kinabalu, the highest peak in SE Asia. Ever since the sad day that I was banished from Kilimanjaro due to altitude sickness, Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo had been in my sites. I thought that even though I couldn’t make it up to 19,000 ft. (Kilimanjaro), I should be able to make it to 13,000 ft. (Kinabalu). I had determination – an intense determination that had been building since Africa.

The literature about the climb said that a reasonably fit person could summit. It takes two days to make the 8.5km climb – the first is spent going up, up, up from 5000 ft. to about 10,000 ft. where you hunker down in a lodge/hut.
The hut is basically an unheated wooden structure that pretty much resembled most of the hostels I have been staying in. Bunk beds, shared bathroom, luke warm water at best. On day 2 you are to get up at 3AM and start on the summit route in the dark. You make it to the summit (13,435 ft.) by sunrise. The temperatures around the summit are normally right around freezing – 32 degrees – and the wind is brutal.


Where to Go: Inspiration Borneo
Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Muddy Waters: Borneo

[singlepic=950,200,,,right]My curiosity with Borneo started around the year 2000 when I was living in San Francisco. I had just moved to the west coast and I was up late one night watching television. I came across the Eco-Challenge, an adventure race that featured a variety of crazy and dangerous sports including hiking, mountain biking, kayaking through rapids, horseback riding, caving, and abseiling. It could take teams anywhere between 3 and 6 days to complete and it was in a place called Borneo. I had never heard of it before, but it sounded and looked completely exotic – this sheltered mid-westerner was hooked.


Vietnam: Overview
Sunday, December 21st, 2008

As part of my travels in 2001 I ventured through Vietnam with Intrepid Travel. Following is an overview of that experience.

[singlepic=946,150,,,right]Vietnam…Scooters…Everywhere.  They are your first impression when entering the country and a lasting one throughout.  After all…they are everywhere.  The best part about Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) were the scooters.  If you weren’t zooming around the city on back of one, you had to dodge them.  And what fun that was – just like a live action game of Frogger.  And since the few sidewalks that are around turn into parking lots for the scooters, you are forced to become one with the traffic.  Add on top of that cyclos, bicycles, and the occassional bus or car, you’ve got fun every step of the way.  This all goes for the rest of Vietnam as well, on different levels – but it’s all part of the charm.


What to Do: Photography Lessons in Laos
Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Not all activities on the road need to be planned in advance.  During her travels, Sherry explored the opportunity to take photography lessons from a professional.

[singlepic=1001,200,,,right]I’ve had an ill feeling that has plagued me for the last year. I first remember it coming on in New Zealand. Then it hit me stronger in Vietnam. I was feverish about it in India. It is the feeling of being in some type of moving vehicle, traveling through a country, and seeing about 25 perfect photographs outside my vehicle window. I would feel ill thinking – “if only I could tell them to stop so I could get out and take a picture.” Yet I sat there helpless watching my beautiful shots go whizzing by, wondering if I would ever be able to capture this image again.

I would get queasy when I saw a group of people intimately interacting, simply being themselves, but I couldn’t get the nerve to go up and ask them if I could take a photograph. Instead, I would linger a bit, and then sulk off mad at myself for not having the guts to be a real photographer! The few times I did get the guts to go up and ask if I could take a photograph (fumbling through this conversation in broken English, pointing at my camera and smiling) they would normally say ‘yes’ and then give me some big, posed, toothy grin – transforming the shot from a nice little intimate, cultural gathering, to a Sears family portrait.


Cambodia: Overview
Monday, December 15th, 2008

In 2001, I spent a short period of time in Cambodia with Intrepid Travel as part of my travels in Asia.  Here are reflections from that time.

[singlepic=863,200,,,right]Six days in Cambodia – not enough time to experience all the beauty of her people, countryside villages or temples, but enough to exhaust you of the horrors and atrocities of her past and present.

Some highlights:

Sitting for lunch just as we crossed the border in a village where very few Westerners stop.  Out of nowhere, 50 plus kids emerged, and kept emerging, watching us in awe, laughing, giggling and pointing.  Some would shy away when cameras were taken out, others would act up and jump on one another.  They were amazed by music players and entertained by counting to ten.


Laos: Luang Prabang
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

[singlepic=786,200,,,right]Michael and I traveled to Laos as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

It’s hard to believe we are already in Laos – our final destination. It’s bittersweet as this is the place I was most looking forward to going but it also means our trip is quickly winding down. But we couldn’t ask for a better place to unwind than the French-colonial town of Luang Prabang.

We knew very little about Laos beforehand, but that was part of the appeal. And the little that we did hear proved to be true – it was much more laid back and less hectic than other Southeast Asian countries, we’d run into far fewer tourists, and that the towns and people were lovely. And that is the perfect way to summarize the essence of Laos – lovely. Even before landing, the site of the green rolling hills from the airplane were so inviting and the friendly smiles of the immigration officers were so welcoming. We knew this would be a great place and way to end our adventures.


Laos: Hilltribe Trek
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008


Michael and I traveled to Laos as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

While in Laos we did tear ourselves away from Luang Prabang for a two-day trek through some local hill tribe communities. We were told that for a true authentic hill tribe experience, Laos was the place to do it. It was what Thailand was like 40 years prior before the lure of the tourist dollar turned the experience into a Disney-like operation.

And there is no lack of operators in Luang Prabang offering guided experiences. After some research we decided to go with White Elephant Adventures as the owner, Derek, sold us on a trek that had only been done once before.


Thailand: Overview Video
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Following New Zealand, Michael and I traveled to Thailand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is a video overview of our experience. (This video also features Laos)

Text Version: We were excited to be moving on to Thailand and Laos  – two countries whose cultures were completely different from our own.


Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go