These are a collection of random experiences from our earlier days on the road. We began our travels together way back in 2007, backpacking across Southeast Asia for six months. A few years later, we returned to Asia, spending another four months travelling through the Indian Subcontinent.
Here you’ll find simple stories. Tales that written before we started putting together guides and other helpful travel resources. These are our experiences of early travel, recorded from Tokyo to Mumbai over the span of many months, many flights, long bus rides, dusty trains and hangovers.
Round 1: Japan & Southeast Asia
Still reeling from the futuristic shock of Japan, we flew into Thailand. It was that afternoon in Bangkok when I realized I was a traveller. Soon making our way north, we spent several weeks based in Chiang Mai and trekking in the Thai jungle. During that time, we spent ten days living in a monastery, practicing meditation - it was an incredible experience.
Making our way Northeast, we explored Chiang Rai for several days before crossing over into Laos. We made our way down the mighty Mekong river for two days on the slow boat to Luang Prabang. Following a week of delicious food, incredible scenery and some waterfall jumping, we made our way south and spent a few days relaxing in Vang Vieng. From here, we continued through Laos, eventually stopping for a full week in Don Det, an island in the Mekong, near Cambodia.
Backtracking some, we crossed over into Vietnam. The two weeks we spent moving from Hue to Saigon were a strange mix of fascination and a hazy blur. Not understanding exactly what was wrong at the time, or how serious it was, I battled through a serious bout of dengue fever.
After recovering from that unfortunate experience, we kicked back on the beaches of Southern Cambodia for a couple of weeks. Heading back inland, we made our way to Phnom Penh for a several days before exploring the incredible temple ruins of Angkor.
Another six weeks in Thailand followed before we entered Malaysia. We ate everything we could in Kuala Lumpur before venturing into the beautiful Cameron Highlands. From Malaysia, it was a week in Singapore before spending the next half-year in Australia.
Round 2: Korea & The Indian Subcontinent
In 2011, after much longing and anticipation, we returned to Asia. This time, we flew into Korea, spending a week in Seoul, before flying into Nepal.
We spent four full weeks in the beautiful Himalayan nation and fell absolutely in love with the landscapes and people. First, it was Kathmandu and surrounding areas. Then we made our way west, through Chitwan National Park, before arriving Pokhara, during a small earthquake. Our final days in Nepal were exploring the town of Lumbini, near the Indian border; the birthplace of the Buddha.
Our arrival into India came with a culture shock like nothing we’ve ever experienced. First, we made our way from the crossing at Lumbini to the city of Varanasi, on the Ganges, one of the holiest cities in the country. From here, we made our way to Delhi and up to Rishikesh before moving farther west into Punjab. We fell in love with food in Amritsar before boarding a bus into the Himalayan foothill town of McLeod Ganj, where we were fortunate enough to attend a speaking from the Dalai Lama at his home.
Our heads spinning from our experiences with the Tibetans, the culture shock ensued as we left the cold mountains for the sweltering desert plain of Rajasthan. It was there, in the oasis city of Udaipur that we were fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al Adha with a generous local family.
Next, it was a less-than-exciting few days in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, while we waited for our train to the mind-boggling city of Mumbai.
As our last two weeks on the subcontinent came to a close, we slowed to a crawl. The pristine beaches of Goa became our temporary home, a place to wind down and relax on the beach with some friends we’d met along the way. It was so good in fact, we burned our bus tickets back to Mumbai in order to stay a few extra days.