Poor Phnom Penh. The Cambodian capital doesn’t have the best reputation among backpackers and travelers. Cambodia is a wonderful country, with absolutely wonderful people, but PP gets the short end of the stick. When your city is most well-known among backpackers for a Genocide Museum, however, it’s not going to be met with excitement. Fair enough.
They say that Bangkok is the Backpacker Capital of the World, but I think that title belongs to Chiang Mai. There are so many things to do in Chiang Mai, especially bucket list items. Below are top ten tours and activities that you should put on your list; you may just have to extend your stay 🙂
I had never been so happy to put away dishes. My remains of my breakfast waited patiently to be washed down the drain as I emptied the dishwasher. I thought about the last time I had touched a dishwasher. Two weeks ago, I was praying that I wasn’t going to open the door to a squat toilet. Now I had a bathtub.
My itinerary for the day included opening an Australian bank account, getting an ice cream sandwich, and wandering around the Gallery of Modern Art. If the itinerary was pushed back or completely washed away by the rain outside, I wasn’t going to get upset. The train would be running tomorrow, and banks, museums, and bars would be open for the next five weeks. Plus, I hadn’t had a job yet; the longer I stayed in the dining room listening to King Krule and drinking coffee, the less money I would be spending. I wanted to knit, but Baymax was sleeping on my yarn – I knew if I was sleeping, I wouldn’t want to be disturbed over a (potential) scarf. I hadn’t been up for more than a few hours, but I was ready for a nap too.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
Hey friends! If you have ever talked to me one-on-one about places I’ve been, you know I love giving travel advice. Why else would I have a travel blog, right? Once I find a cute coffee shop or great live music venue, I want to share it with everyone. (If anyone needs me to plan their trip to Austin, Texas, I will make sure you are well fed and your ears are filled with great music.)
The day after I left my hostel job, I used some points on a hotel and absolutely crashed. I had plans to go to a Firefly Park with friends, but I was overwhelmed and retreated. The moment my head hit the (four!) pillows (luxury!), I realized that I was completely, utterly exhausted. I could barely move. I didn’t leave the building for the next 24 hours…I extended my stay another night because I needed to get my energy back and make a game plan. My flight to Australia wasn’t until the 12th of October…and it was the 23rd of September. I had originally booked a trip to Bali, but fears of Mt. Agung’s possible eruption kept me in Malaysia. (The alert level for the airport was one step away from completely shutting down, and I had a cat to sit. Honestly, if I didn’t have obligations in Australia, I might have risked getting stuck in the world of the Yoga Barn.) I had a very limited budget, a weak source of freelancing income, over two weeks before my flight to Australia, and no plan…so I had to kill some time.
I saw the “Me too.” statuses going around Facebook pretty early on, and I didn’t think too hard about copying and pasting the status. The idea of showing your social network just how often women are sexually harassed or assaulted is meant to be a wake-up call for men. Without going into detail about my experiences (yet), I also was curious as to how many women would participate. I knew it would make me feel less alone.
I am no longer backpacking through Southeast Asia (for now), and I have to admit, I’m a little bummed. Not just because i am now without a bum gum, but I got to see some really cool places and hear about other cool places that didn’t make my itinerary. At the moment, I’m missing Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) the most. I recently left a comment for a fellow traveler about how great it was to backpack through Saigon, so I’m going to keep the love going with this blog post. If you’re considering Vietnam for your Southeast Asia trip, go! Go now! Or at least apply for your visa.
In Penang, I spent most of my time with a fellow digital nomad lady friend. We both work online. Social media makes this life look pretty easy, and I’ll admit, I find immense joy in being able to work from a bus seat or a bike-themed coffee shop or just from my bed, at any hour. Exploring George Town with Becky was great because even though we explored art galleries and had drinks on Love Lane and ate delicious chocolate cake, we were perfectly content with sitting in silence, working on our laptops. For a few hours at a time.
I work quite a bit in between motorbiking and drinking Changs in order to keep traveling. And even though I’m spending a lot of time working while I’m traveling, it’s nothing compared to how much work I did back in Austin to get here. Y’all, I was clocking in up to 70 hours a week.
I left Kuala Lumpur earlier than expected, and my time in Malaysia has been unexpectedly extended. (Say that five times fast.) After weighing my options, I decided to go to George Town for a few days. …and then I went back. And then I went back. Throughout my travels in Malaysia, George Town has become my home base. I love doing work at Wheeler’s Coffee and eating at the Woodlands Vegetarian Indian Restaurant. Kuala Lumpur is a better base if you’re going to explore more of Malaysia or Southeast Asia, but I’ve found myself back in George Town multiple times without a single complaint.
If you’re traveling through Southeast Asia, you may have a layover or a pit stop in Kuala Lumpur. You’ll find that Malaysia’s capital city has it all, from nature parks to shopping malls to great nightclubs with cheap drinks.
If you have a day in the city, use this great Kuala Lumpur guide to plan your itinerary. Once you’ve had dinner and a drink at Jalan Alor, however, it’s time to explore Kuala Lumpur’s exciting nightlife.