PLAN, last update 2012/05/01


Not so much travel so not so much to post here since I have started my working life... But keep posted... Things can always change ;)

In the meantime, I wish the blog might still help you traveling. I will still be available for any question!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From Manila to Katmandu...

Last pictures, Indiaaaa... (2009/07/14)

- Calcutta:

Victoria Memorial

- Varanasi (Benares):


Burning Ghats

Mission completed! (2009/06/28)

" An other world ! "
That was my first thought when I arrived in India.

I thought I knew what heat was, what poverty was, what overcrowded was... Here everything takes an other meaning!

As soon as I got off the plane, at Calcutta's airport, the temperature and the humidity slashed me. More than 40 Celsius degrees and a high rate of humidity.

I jumped directly into one of this fancy taxi to get Sudder street, the backpackers area, 20 kns away. The ride to get there introduced me to India: streets overcrowded and crazy traffic as I never saw (indeed, here you also have to avoid the cows on the road!). People are everywhere, every corner is living!

once settled down in a guesthouse, it was already the night. The people in motion became motionless people, sleeping on the sidewalks, taxis... everywhere they can! I met then a crew of French people volunteering at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. I followed them the next morning. After mass and breakfast at the headquarter, we went to Prem Dam, a complex where mostly old people spend their last days. Few younger people, injured or sick get nurse there as well. We washed floors, shaved men and give company to them. Strong experience!

The next days, I just hang around, didn't do so much. The heatis so strong that staying on a chair make you sweat. Incredible! Fortunately, sitting somewhere in the street and watching life going is a visit in itself. Hence, that's what I mainly did.

I left then up North to Varanasi, the holy city. There, the heat was even stronger. 46 C told me a guy one day! Shadow or not, it doesn't matter!

Varanasi is famous for cremation. Full of temples, the city offers a strong holy atmosphere. The oldest part, made of narrow streets is beautiful. Being lost in those corridors was a great pleasure. I visited a burning ghat (place where bodies are cremated), talked with some Brahmans and enjoy the view of the holy Ganga.
However, I spent most of the time at the guest house, reading books and trying to cool down!

That was it for India this time. Good introduction but still a lot of things to learn. There all your senses are awake. I really felt like a child discovering a theme park.

It was time to leave for Kathmandu, the last step of this trip and surely not the easiest...

After 6 hours in a train, i got a city 3 hours away from the border. I took then a bus and got the border around 2 am. This one was closed and I had to wait until 6. I started to get sick and after crossing the Indian border, I vomited in front of the Nepalese Immigration Office... Welcome to Nepal !
First time ever I am sick while traveling and I will remember it! The rest of the day was just a nightmare. Stuck in van overcrowded, head through the window, I thought I was dying! The whole for 7 hours...
I eventually got Kathmandu in the evening and went straight to bed.

Mission completed!

That's the end of this trip, hence the end of this post.

Thank you for reading me and for giving to me your support. I wish you all the best and see you somewhere in the world!

Motorbike attitude

I left you in Bangkok, 2 weeks ago and I am now... in Bangkok!
Thailand is the most developed I have been traveling so far on this trip. That make things easier for traveling. Everything is faster!

Bangkok is this kind of big city were live never stop. This is the city where you will never die starving! Everywhere you can find vendor in the street, selling a huge variety of food! I never sat down in a restaurant! They do and sell everything in the streets. The street is a shop, a restaurant, a factory, a living-place!

After few days visiting the city I left to Chang Mai, Northern Thailand. It is a quiet city where it is great to chill out. They have some very nice markets (I am not talking about the night market) and cool bars! I hanged out for 2 days with 2 French guys!

I went then for a wonderful trip to Pai, small village in a valley, surrounded by mountains, close to the Burmese border. I rent a motorbike and went for 3 days. The first day, I stopped at a waterfall before getting to a national park. Here was the highest point I have been so far on this trip. Unfortunately, because of the rain, it was impossible to see anything from the view points. I could just see a white wall of clouds. It rained steadily until the morning when I arrived to Pai. I left my bag in a guesthouse and went, still with the motorbike, exploring the area. I met some elephants farm on the way and touched for my first time their thick skin. What an impressive creature! I stayed an other day hanging around from the small canyons to some hot springs.

I went back to Chiang Mai to give the motorbike back and took a ride by bus to Chiang Rai, up North, getting closer and closer to the Golden Triangle (trading area between Burma, Laos and Thailand, also well know for opium traffic).

I met there two other Frenchy (too much french up there ;) )...

We visited the White temple. I have no idea about his actual name but as says Serge, a 68 years old French guys traveling on his own, it is Cinderella's palace. A brand new fancy temple with drawings of Superman and other super heroes, and a surprising drawing of the well known Twins Towers attacked by 2 airplanes...

The day after, I went for a new motorbike trip to explore the Golden Triangle with David, French-American. After spending few hours in Burma, hanging around the market, we went back to Thailand and drove to the mountains, on the western side, along the Burmese border. At the sunset, we met at a view point, some young Akkha people, having a drink watching the sunset. That's was a great moment, enjoying some whiskey (well, not the one you think... an other version quite strong) and some Burmese cigars! When the night came down, our friends left, and we went looking for a guesthouse. But in this area, it was not easy so we had to come back to Mae Sae, where we crossed border earlier.

In the morning, we went visiting a cave before going back to the mountains we left to the night the day before. The hilly road took us to some wonderful scenery. The adventure stopped suddenly with David's fall... Back to Mae Sae, to the hospital this time!

After few hours there, we could leave finally to get to Chiang Saen, at the heart of the Golden Triangle. We sat in front of the Mekong River, that I found back after few weeks, having some food and drink.

I left David then for a quick ride to Chiang Khong. I drove along the Mekong for few kilometers, in the middle of wonderful landscapes, made of rice paddies and mountains in the background! I said goodbye to the mystic Mekong and went back to Chiang Rai.

I just arrived this morning in Bangkok with an overnight bus. I will enjoy my two last days in South East Asia before getting India on the 18. Bangladesh might be hard to get, because the rainy season is at his top there. I will probably stay in India, for the last step before Nepal!

Meanwhile, I wish a good recovery to David! And give all my support to Iran (the people of Iran, not the crazy puppets!)!



Kaoh San Road

- Pai and around:

- Chiang Rai and around:

The White Temple

- Tachilek (Burma)

- Near Doi Tung:

- The Golden Triangle:

The Mekong

Picture, picture

Here are some of my favorite pictures for the last few weeks:


- Hanoi:

- Halong Bay:

- Dien Bien Phu:


- Nam Ou river:

- Phongsali :

- Waterfall near Luang Prabang:

- Ventiane:

- Waterfalls near Pakse:

- 4000 Islands:


- Phnom Penh:

Kiling Fields

S-21 Museum

- Siem Reap:

Angkor Wat

Angkor Tom

Happy countries (2009/05/31)

I am now in Siem Reap, Cambodia, place of the world famous temples of Angkor.

The last two weeks were very nice.

We left Luang Prabang on our boat (we were 4 finally) for a nice cruise along the Mekong. We started under the rain but got some sun quickly. Strong enough to burn us! That was the hardest thing to manage! Landscapes became just amazing as we were surrounded by small mountains and jungle. The first night we camped on the Mekong's bank. A wonderful spot with nice scenery. We started the next day under the rain once again, but the sun showed up after an hour. Navigating was a bit more tricky that day as we went across some rapids. A bigger one will stop us for that day. We went to the village close to there for asking to some people how we could take the boat few hundred meters down the river. We were soon surrounded by a lot of kids. The atmosphere was wonderful. We eventually stayed in that village overnight. We were the entertainment of the place, people were everywhere around us, staring at us. It was merely awesome!
The day after a boat took us (and our boat) down the rapids and we could carry on the trip. We arrived at the first big village we saw on the map at the beginng of the afternoon. We decided to stop the adventure there as some of us had to go ahead faster on their trip and Ventiane was too far away. We sold the boat for peanut and went back by car to Luang Prabang.
I then continued the trip, heading South to get Canbodia within a week. One day stop in Ventiane and Pakse, followed by 4 relaxing days in Don Det, 4 Thousands Islands. This kind of place where the time just stops flying and where you disconnect from the reality!Happy, Happy!
That was it for Laos. An amazing country were people are so natural, smiling everytime and very friendly. Everything is laid back there, but that's probably its charm. Tourism makes the country develop quite fast. I hope it is not going to become like Vietnam...

Crossing border to Cambodia was easy. I arrived in Phnom Penh at night. The city in itself doesn't have anything special. But the reason I was there was to get to know about the Khmer Rouges and the history of Cambodia. The first day was very interesting. I went first, with some Swedish friends to the Killing Fields, sadly famous place where the Khmer genocide took place in the late 70s. Then we went to the s-21 museum, old prison where Khmer Rouges tortured their victims. That was not the happiest day, but we did learn a lot of things. The day after, I went around the city to visit some market and the royal palace.

I rode then a bus to get to Siem Reap where I arrived 3 days ago. I went visiting the city and we went to our first temple in the evening with some British to see the sunset. That was not that spectacular and I expected more. The day after I had a full day cycling around and visiting the temples. That was amazing. Every temple is different shape, color, size... and well preserved for most of them. Awesome!

I am resting today and preparing some stuffs as I have free internet here. I go to Bangkok tomorrow. I will stay there few days because I have many things to do: applying for some visas and booking some flight tickets.

I have eventually decided what I am going to do in the next few weeks: I will stay couple of weeks in Thailand, especially in the Northern part where I wanna motorbike for few days. Then I will fly from Bangkok to Kolkata (Calcutta), India. I will spend few days there and will try to go to Bangladesh on my way to Nepal.

There is no way to upload any picture from here. The connection is too slow. I don't think I will even be able to do that later on because I won't get any high speed internet.

See you soon for the latest news! Cheers!

Into the wild...

Laos is just the right place to be!

After Dien Bien Phu and the celebration of the last battlefield between France and Vietnam, I crossed the border to Laos without any problem.

On the other side of the border, we left the concrete road to drive on this bumpy tracks, crossing some small villages made of wooden houses where local tribes live. Everything there is quite laid back. The nature is lush. I first felt like in Amazonia! The jungle is so dense.

Traveling by boats on the rivers is usual here. That's the way I went to Phongsali, the capital of the Northern province which is also the less crowded area in Laos. The place is much less touristy and I liked it very much. I just rested 2 days there, reading book and walking around the city.

I rode then a 12 hours bus to Luang Prabang where I met with Johan, French friend I studied with in the Philippines.

Luang Prabang is a hub for tourists traveling in Laos. It is a pretty nice city but therefore, quite touristy. The surroundings are beautiful with the Mekong river and some wonderful waterfalls.

The trip in itself has become more interesting and getting those places is quite an adventure in itself. Nevertheless, we needed some more adventure... and we found a way to make it!

We just bought a boat today, Johan and I, for going down the Mekong river to Ventiane, the capital city of Laos. We are now preparing all the supply we need for this awesome adventure. We will leave tomorrow morning for a trip that we have no idea about how long it is going to take. The usual boats with engine make it in 2 days. For us and our paddles, it might take one week !!!

Once again, I cannot add any picture because the internet access is quite limited! See you in the next weeks for the latest news of this trip!

On the way to Laos (2009/05/07)

Hi from Dien Bien Phu, place of the French defeat in 1954 that ended the Indochine war. Some celebration today for this 55th anniversary. The city itself doesn't have so much interests but the journey from Hanoi was quite nice. beside the 12 hours bus, the sceneries we went throught were just amazing. High mountains and nice valleys full of rice paddies. Lovely!

I am going to Laos tomorrow and I am quite happy and enthousiastic to get there.

Indeed, I am fed up with Vietnam and the Vietnameese people that just don't have any respect fro the foreigners. Here you feel like being an ATM and Vietnameese see in you a money box full of dollars... Money is their leitmotiv more than anywhere else I have been!
Of course Idon't want to generalize. You can find some nice and friendly people but basicly my sentiment is more negative about this country.

Travelling in North was however more interesting than the South. Hanoi is my favourite city so far. I liked very much the atmosphere there!
The overnight trip to the Halong Bay was wonderful and really worthwhile.
I then left the tourist track to get on the to Laos. I look forward to be tomorow and to start discovering this country which I think is likely to fit with my expectations.

Sorry no picture this time, no time actually because it is getting harder to find internet connection.

The beer is calling me...See ya guys...

The Tourist Track (2009/04/28)

They have understood everything! I am talking about Tourism. Travelling in Vietnam is like a child's play! Too easy probably!

Saigon was a very good introduction for discovering the atmosphere that I am following in these first weeks of travel. 3 days in the economic capitale and first cliches of how Vietnam, smartly, has become one of the unmissable places to visit in Asia.

The organization first, is merely amazing! All the best sights are reachable easily through the numerous agencies available in these backpacker areas where all tourists stay! There, you eat, sleep, speak, visit and spend time with... tourists! And of course, you pay like a tourist! If you travel in this axis between North and South, you are likely to meet the same tourists... Indeed, everybody takes more or less the same itinerary so it is not surprising to see people you met in the previous days, for the best and for the worse...

Secondly, the History. The country is still recovering from 30 years of war (France, then USA). in Saigon and around, the major sites to visit are linked with the war: museums, tunnels... and some survivors! It is interesting to see the confrontation between French and American in one side, war-invaders few decades ago and tourist-invaders nowadays and on the other side, Vietnameese who are now filling their pockets of money from these people who wanted, few years ago, their land! Temples, palaces, dynasty fill out this picture of the Vietnameese History full of interests!

Finally, I would say Food! Noodles, Pho, vegetables,rice... the kitchen is healthy, very delicious, and, served with a local beer (Larue, Huda...), is a great moment of the day! I cannot forget the sandwiches... Sellers are on every street corner and make up some of the best sandwiches I have ever tried with vegetables, meat, and the famous "Vache qui rit". I found back the pleasure of eating French bread (baguette) and it has become one of my daily meal!

About the trip itself: I am now in Hue, Central Vietnam. I haven't spent two nights in a row in the same bed since I left! Airport, hostel, overnight bus, guesthouses... here I am going to stay three days to visit the city and around (April 30 and May 1 are public holiday here). Then direction Hanoi and the Halong Bay.

I am in haste now to leave the tourist track. I rely on the North and the mountain to find less touristy places... Otherwise, I think I won't stay longer in Vietnam and will get out of there! Laos will be my exit gate!

Here are some ofmy favourite pictures:

- Ho Chi Minh City:

- Nah Trang and around:

- Hoi An:

- Between Hoi An and Hue:

- Hue and around:

1 comment:

Pierre Etourneau said...
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