If there is a cuisine that does not have a good reputation, it’s the Filipino one: too fat, too sweet, not enough balanced… However, if you go around the many fast food restaurants in the country, you can find many small traditional restaurants called Carinderia where you can find trays and pots filled with traditional hot meals, cooked with fresh, local ingredients. Driven by curiosity, our vegetarian stomachs have become interested in Filipino recipes… It’s time, let’s eat: Kain na!
South East Asia
When we reached Malaysia, we had the opportunity to meet a sailboat captain. Thanks to him, we learned the basics of sailing and discovered the islands of Tioman and Redang – spectacular islands located east of peninsular Malaysia. On the list: dream beaches with white sand, surrounded by coconut trees, lush vegetation and turquoise water in which we spent hours swimming!
Bonjour, Hello, Ciao, Dober dan, Dobar dan, Mirëdita, Geai sou, Merhaba, Barev, Gamarjoba, Salam, Salom, Nihao, Xin chào, Sabai dee! Welcome in our series of travel stories which traces, chapter by chapter, our great hitchhiking travel. You are now reading chapter 17 of our travel stories: “Discover the peoples of Indochina” – Roadtrip in North Vietnam and Laos.
By March 2020, the world is on lock down: coronavirus epidemic is spreading, hospitals are filling up and political measures are becoming tougher. Overnight, everyone is called upon to isolate themselves – sometimes on the other side of the world, with limited resources. Here, we will talk about our confinement abroad, from our choice to stay to our disrupted daily life.
Leaving the mountainous region of Sapa, its tourists and rainy weather, we continued our hitchhiking trip to another mountainous region, in the provinces of Hà Giang and Cao Bang, located in the North-East of Vietnam, on the border with China. On the spot, we did not only find good weather and few tourists; we also found much more authentic, captivating and impressive green landscapes!
When we dream of Vietnam, we see men with their conical hats barefoot in the rice fields, whole families on scooters, colorful junks and fishing boats, bowls of rice and cups of coffee… And then when you travel to Vietnam, you see a bit of all this, but also much more! What if you let yourself be guided in the heart of an authentic, hospitable Vietnam, through our travel guide?
Arrived at the gates of Singapore, we took the opportunity to visit this incredible city-state with the help of Ashlie, our Singaporean contact met two years earlier in Greece. Oversized, clean, orderly, green and contrasted: these are the words that came to our mind to describe this heaven for finance and commerce. Let’s take a look back on our journey on this very prosperous Asian island!
At the beginning of March 2019, we came to Cambodia by land, via the Vietnamese-Cambodian border post of Moc Bai/Bavet… By hitchhiking, and especially without going through an agency! As a result, we got our tourist visa for Cambodia quite quickly, and at the right price – i.e. without paying baksheesh to corrupt customs officers. Here, we give you a feedback on our experience!
Making our way through Southeast Asia, we entered Cambodia with the only expectation to visit the famous Angkor temples. And if this long awaited visit did not disappoint us at all, Cambodia knew how to reserve us many other surprises, good and bad, unforeseen events and memorable encounters. Between beauty and horror, fascination and frustration, Cambodia did not leave us indifferent!
When we finally crossed Thailand border, we knew that the next step of our trip was going to be much harder: we soon had to find a boat to continue our hitchhiking adventure, a sailboat on which we could learn how to sail; while crossing the oceans to reach other continents… With zero experience and a bit of nerve, we finally got on board to hitchhike a sailboat for the first time!
Despite the extreme popularity and relatively high cost of the entrance ticket, we were pretty much determined to visit the must-see Angkor temples. With our small budget, we decided to choose the most economical (and ecological!) option: visiting the temples by bicycle, with a one-day ticket valid on the whole site. As a result, our day was full of wonderful discoveries but also… of intense fatigue! If you are wondering how to visit Angkor temples by bicycle during the day without getting too tired and avoiding crowds, then you are at the right place!
Between our two stays in Vietnam (the first one, visa-free, and the second one with a e-visa), we decided to visit Laos – a choice motivated by the need to slow down, to rest, in a quiet place, in the heart of a country renowned for its lush nature and gigantic caves. And while the spectacular natural scenery was there, Laos had surprised us in many other ways – surprises that didn’t make our road-trip so chill: few challenges, a little bit of corruption, a lot of waiting time on the road side and dust swallowed along the dirt roads!