Memories from a 4 months trip around South East Asia

Have you ever dreamed of travelling without a plan and having 4 months to fulfill your dream.

Well, I haven’t. It sounded too good to be true and to happen to me. And that’s why that soon became my favorite vacation and way of travel.

No plan, no expectations, no hurry.

Just enjoying the way.

DEC 2015 – APR 2016

SOFia – Dubai – BALI, Indonesia – TOKYO, Japan – DUBAI – SOFIA

On 23rd of Dec I arrived in Lombok, Indonesia. I knew that sometime in March I have to head back from Tokyo.

I haven’t booked anything and knew nothing. I just hopped on a bus from the airport and asked other tourists what is good to visit. They recommended the Gili islands.

I pre-celebrated my birthday on Gili Air island. I started my 30th year around the Sun. 🙂

On all Gilis (Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawagan) there is no motor transportation – only pedestrians or horse carriage. Very romantic. Yoga. Snorkeling.

Sunset and Mt Bromo
Sunset with Mt Bromo in the background

Mt Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

On my birthday I traveled back to Lombok to climb Mt Rinjani 3726m. Volcanic peak. To meet the sunrise.

To swim naked in the crater lake at 2300m.

To catch fish with bare hands.

To enjoy one of the best sunsets in my life.

To eat banana pancakes and pick up avocados.

To wash my shoes after the hike under the heavy rain.

To go back to the city in the trunk of a pickup.

Meeting the sunrise at 3726m
Sunrise over Mt Rinjani



Around Lombok with Reni and Sami

I celebrated New Years’ eve in Lombok. I met awesome friends Reni and Sami, locals from Jakarta.

We went on a trip around the island and they showed me the hidden gems. Both travel a lot around their country and are such awesome humans.

We visited 2 islands, we went to see some pink beaches, they invited me to stay at Sami’s friend house. They accepted me and greeted me like their child. I loved the home made food – so delicious. Mmmmmm.

On a hidden island with Reni and Sami

BALI

After, I headed to Bali. I’ve always wanted to visit Bali and there I am. Enjoying the sunset from Kuta beach.

Then renting a motorbike to explore the whole island.

Raw vegan lasagna

UBUD

Eat, pray, love.

The most amazing raw vegan cafe where I ate raw lasagna.

Found ashram where practiced yoga under marvelous rooftop.

Loved how people were happy with so little.

That made me humble.

Around Thailand

Continue, somewhere on the road, heavy rain, dark, I see people having fun in a garage. I stop and ask what’s happening. And there I am – celebrating birthday with all of them, accepted, greeted, fed with home made delicious food.

 

JAVA island, Borobudur temple

Impressive. That’s the largest Buddhist temple in the world from the 9th century.

And time has come to leave Indonesia, collected beautiful moments and so many places left. I wanted to see the orangutans, to see the Komodo lizards, to see the Indonesian Maldives… And I hope I will be back one day. To have beers with Reni and Sami.

Tarima kasih! Off to Singapore.

 

Singapore

Asia? No. Singapore is not Asia.

Mix? Yes. You understand this in the market – food from the whole world. So delicious.

Frog porridge shared with friends, lovely temples, greenery, technology, architecture,

DREAM come true.

So little time in Singapore but I am sure I will return. Off to Thailand.

In Singapore

BANGKOK, Thailand

The city is interesting – you have the European entertainment and the Asian buzz and hassle. I loved to visit the huge temples around the city, to have cheap massages and cheap street food, to drink awesome cocktails in the sky, overlooking the city from the 70th+ floor and the best experience was riding a bicycle around “the lungs of Bangkok”.

Diving since 2016

Koh Tao, the diving Mecca

Well, I didn’t know that I’ll be in Koh Tao and learn how to dive. But everyone there dives.

And this is a life changing experience. Down under is another planet. Thanks to my awesome instructors who taught me scuba diving and gave me the opportunity to visit another planet – Scotty, Gus and Neil.

You know I hate governments, borders and visas. And f*** you Thailand for giving me only 15 days visa. I am off to Vietnam.

Diving since 2016

VIETNAM

Beautiful. Delicious. Long.

In Vietnam I had the most delicious dish ever – fresh fish. In Sapa there are big aquariums where you choose a fish, and you can cook it yourself or prepare fresh sushi. Use the fillet to wrap it in rice paper and add some veggies – it’s so delicious. The bones you put in soup and you cook it with vegetables. And the skin is deep fried. Unbelievable. And for drinks – 2 bottles of vodka are enough for 4 people 😀 So far that’s my favorite dish.

Fresh sushi

In Vietnam most tourists go North to South or vice versa. Buy a motorcycle, drive the whole country and sell it on the exit. There are so many diverse places to see. But really the food is what stays in your mind.

Working

Definitely I wanna be back. After Vietnam I had a choice – China (winter) or visit  Philippines (summer) for the second time…

Around Sapa

On the blog I wrote an article Take me back to the Philippines and see what happened:

 

I Was back to the Philippines \m/

I haven’t imagined that soon I’ll be back there but there I am – on the bus to Taal Volcano. Taal is a volcano on an island in a lake on an island with a lake in the crater 😀 Beautiful.

 



 

Well, that post is long. I will continue with more of the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Dubai.

See you.

Part 2 is here: http://wanderandlearn.com/memories-from-se-asia-part-2/

Sincerely,

Irina

 



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