This winter we visited Southeast Asia for the first time. We did a survey trip, visiting several countries across the region, deferring a deep-dive in one or two countries to later trips when we have a better idea of what we like.
We planned our vacation around a photography tour of Angkor Wat we had read about in a National Geographic guidebook — there’s a former National Geographic photographer who lives in Cambodia and leads tours for photographers. His website has stunning photographs, and he teaches you how to take pictures of people. I can use so much help that any progress would be a substantial improvement!
Southeast Asia has only a few gateway cities for travelers from North America. We chose Bangkok and Hanoi. Since we were in Hanoi, we added an overnight cruise in nearby Halong Bay. We chose Chiang Mai, Thailand, for pretty scenery and an opportunity to see elephants. We chose Luang Prabang, Laos, because it’s a small, well-preserved town with monks and French colonial influence.
The five places are pretty far apart, so we chose to fly to reduce travel time. Given these five places, we chose the routing in order to take nonstop flights for each leg. The routing is shown above. We landed in Bangkok and departed from Hanoi.
We saw sights, took pictures, used public transportation, learned to cross streets, walked around without getting too lost, progressively ate more street food, didn’t get too sick, and met so many friendly, interesting people. Many memories. 🙂