12/11/12 8th month- Mandalay to Kuala Lumpur

8th month thoughts- 12/11/12 Mandalay to Kuala Lumpur. Lakes, rivers, farms, long rocky country roads through the simple life
3,220 Miles traveled this month
6 long buses (3 overnight)
1 overnight train
3 flights
6 Countries visited (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia)
11 Cities visited (Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangoon, Chiang Mai, Chiang Kong, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Kuala Lumpur)
10 large $.50 bottles of Hanoi Beer
31,727 Miles traveled total

I’m currently sitting on a 7+ hr plane ride from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Surfers Paradise, Australia. We’re finally leaving South East Asia after over 2.5 months of exploring this beautiful backpackers paradise. This month we stomped around, floated through, flew over, and skid along many smaller sleepy country towns and popped our heads into a few pulsating larger cities as well. We found a way to squeeze in all the remaining experiences that we could of this region, making for a most memorable month on the move. A long 26+ hour “sleeper” bus, overnight train, several “overnight” busses that pulled in at 4am, an overnight plane, even an overnight boat all helped us cover lots of ground. At times slowed our pace enough to bike around country farm animals, walk over century old rickety lake bridges, climb up 40 minutes of stairs to reach a mountain top temple, get lost while hiking and meet some helpful monks and friendly village people, help a lost puppy find safety, kayak around floating fishing villages and massive limestone cliffs, wandering among the stalagmites of a massive cave, night squid fishing, and overnight cruising around Halong Bay. Other times we searched for excitement and heart pounding moments speeding on small boats around Inle lake and down the Mekong river, flying above Chiang Mai with feet dangling out our ultralight plane, zip lining and abseiling through the trees near Chiang Mai, scooter riding through country Laos roads, white knuckle mountainous dirt road bus rides, and even participating in the most breathtaking 10000+ flying night lantern launch. We need some time to catch our breath from this insane month!

8th month highlights: Too many to list, see some above…

8th month ‘Other’ moments: Getting bit up in dirty $7 Chiang Mai hostel, mosquito infestation in Luang Prabang hostel, showering over toilets in every hostel bathroom, scooter tire going flat and crashing our scooter in Vang Vieng!

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