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7 Experiences that left me Speechless traveling SE Asia

In May of 2022 after working nearly every day, I had saved enough money for another trip so I bought my ticket, packed my backpack and jetted off to the next destination, South East Asia. I left for Thailand with a backpack, no plan and no flight home. I am a firm believer that no plan is a plan and while backpacking I had the best time just seeing where I would end up. I was traveling South East Asia and then Australia for 4 months and had some of the most magical experiences that left me absolutely speechless!

  1. Driving the Ha Giang Loop. When I say no plan is my plan, I really mean it and that’s how I ended up in Ha Giang! I had heard so much about the Ha Giang loop but I had never driven a motorbike so I was quietly putting it off. I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time but I was a little nervous! I had a friend ask if I wanted to go do it with them and I decided there was no time like the present so I booked a bus ticket and headed up north. The first hour of the trip was the scariest hour of my life, I had never changed a gear on anything but a pedal bike until this moment, after that, the four days turned into one of the most amazing experiences I could ask for. I stuck my arm into China, swam in waterfalls, scraped up my legs a bit and got to enjoy the most insane views while doing it all.

2. Getting stung by a jellyfish in Railay Beach, Thailand. Erin and I had been in Thailand about a week and were exploring Krabi for a few days. Completely undecided what we were going to do with our day, we set out for breakfast and came home with the plan of a day trip to Railay Beach. We spent literally the entire day swimming around and attempting to do the dirty dancing lift, no we haven’t perfected it yet, and I randomly felt something brush up against my foot. I had a dull stinging feeling and I kept trying to brush my foot off and it wouldn’t go away and then I realized that I had been stung by a jellyfish on one of the most beautiful beaches you can find. I did immediately think do I need to pee on this but we decided against it and now two years later I still have a faint scar on my foot that will forever remind me of that amazing moment.

3. Exploring Angkor Wat. From the moment entering Angkor Wat I was completely overwhelmed with the history, the temples here are nearly 900 years old. I got to spend the day exploring and climbing the temples and I had the most beautiful time. Even with the Cambodian humidity and heat I didn’t want to leave!

4. Exploring Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. While I was backpacking Asia I got a lot of recommendations from other travelers and sometimes I would just roll with it and go where people recommended; this is exactly how I ended up in Gili Trawangan for a couple days! Although this island was advertised to me as a small party island, it ended up being so much more! We biked around the island, went snorkeling with sea turtles and saw the most amazing sunsets while sipping happy hour cocktails on the beach.

5. Exploring Koh Tao, Thailand. When I got to Koh Tao I had just gotten sick and was exhausted after the Full Moon Party. I was stuck in bed for a day and very quickly realized the island was far too exciting to spend another minute in bed. Around every corner was a breathtaking view that just kept reminding you that you’re in paradise. I spent almost a week on the island and ended up snorkeling, scuba diving and exploring the beautiful beaches. While scuba diving I got chased multiple times by a territorial fish that’s got a mouth full of teeth so definitely be careful out there! Every night I would end up at the same bar for a sunset drink with my friends and it was always the perfect way to end a day in the sun.

6. Sunrise on Diamond Beach. I will be honest and admit saying no is something I’m not amazing at but in this situation it worked out pretty well. I was staying at a hostel in Nusa Penida with a few friends and someone asked us to go for sunrise the next morning. All of us felt bad saying no so the next morning bright and early we woke up and rode half way around the island to Diamond Beach; as a reward we got to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. We got to enjoy a cotton candy sky while on a completely empty beach on a very busy island and in that moment I was so grateful I’m not good at saying no.

7. Sunset at Hang Múa in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. I went to Ninh Binh not knowing exactly what there was to do and immediately realized how beautiful it was there. Our mission on night one was to see sunset so we headed to Hang Múa and started climbing the steps. It’s moments like these that remind me I need to go back to the gym but after a couple hundred uneven steps later I reached the top and was treated to the most stunning view. We sat for a while enjoying sunset and I couldn’t have been more grateful for all the decisions I’d made that had perfectly led me to that moment.

2 thoughts on “7 Experiences that left me Speechless traveling SE Asia”

  1. Really incredible scenery. Reminds me of Ashland (just kidding).

    Did u ever find out what kind of fish was chasing u with all the sharp teeth?

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