Friday, October 10, 2014

My Nepal ~ Southeast Asia Trip through Instagram

Backpacking Asia
Banyo Ba Kamo? ~ Bangkok, Thailand

If this is what contentment feels then I want this for the rest of my life, I whispered to myself as I watch the sunrise from the rooftop of our guest house in a quiet area of Dhulikel in Nepal.

I woke up at around four in the morning, couldn’t sleep and just thought of doing some laundry work. Struggling with the freezing water, I successfully finished the job in two hours and witnessed what might be a typical sunrise for some but at that exact moment I finally realized what I’ve been yearning for; the liberty of being able to experience the life beyond the comforts of my own little space in the world.

Twenty four days on the road may just be fleeting to some but for me it’s such an achievement; I’ve never dreamed of embarking on this trip but then the circumstances perfectly suited with everything that happened. Being a government employee with meager means to support this kind of trip, let alone myself, I consider this journey to be a privilege and a turning point of what I really wanted to do in my life. For the first time in my life, I knew what direction I’m going to take with the conviction of pursuing it.

Kuala Lumpur Claypot Chicken
Day One: Claypot Chicken ~ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kathmandu Nepal
Day Two: "Blissfulgaro" ~ Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu Nepal
Day Three: Trucker Guro! ~ Kathmandu, Nepal

Dhulikhel Nepal
Day Four: Quaint ~ Dhulikhel, Nepal

Dhulikhel Nepal
Day Five: "Some people want quantity and goodness, I want quality and greatness"
- Purna Man Shrestha of Nawaranga Guesthouse and Art Gallery. ~
Dhulikhel, Nepal

Bhaktapur Nepal
Day Six: Best View in Bhaktapur Right Outside Our Window ~ Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur Nepal
Day Seven: Bhaktapur Sunset ~ Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur Nepal
Day Eight: Early Morning Scene ~ Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur Nepal
Day Nine: Tambay ~ Bhaktapur, Nepal

Pokhara Nepal Food
Day Ten: Nepali Thali Meal and Buff Steak! ~ Pokhara, Nepal

Pokhara Nepal
Day Eleven: 'Coz We're Too Lazy to Paddle ~ Pokhara, Nepal

Kathmandu Nepal
Day Twelve: Roti + Omelet Curry + Egg Masala = Happiness ~ Kathmandu, Nepal

Bangkok Thailand
Day Thirteen: Infinity Pool Overlooking Chao Phraya River for a Change ~ Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok Thailand
Day Fourteen: Ano 'Yung Pagod?! ~ Bangkok, Thailand

Pattaya Thailand
Day Fifteen: Chill ~ Pattaya, Thailand

Ayutthaya Thailand
Day Sixteen: Ayutthaya ~ Ayutthaya, Thailand

Sofitel So Bangkok Thailand
Day Seventeen: Splurge ~ Bangkok, Thailand

Cambodia Money
Day Eighteen: 48,000 Merienda ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap Cambodia
Day Nineteen: Temple Run ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap Cambodia
Day Twenty: Saltwater Pool is Love ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia Sleeper Bus
Day Twenty One: Rock & Roll 16-Hour Sleeper Bus ~ In transit

Cu Chi Tunnel Ho Chi Min
Day Twenty Two: Vietcong ~ Dia Dao Cu Chi, Vietnam

Mekong River Vietnam
Day Twenty Three: Just Go ~ Mekong River, Vietnam

Sofitel So Bangkok Thailand
Day Twenty Four: If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading - Gautama Buddha

The trip had two segments; the Nepal leg and the Southeast Asia leg. My buddy was in charge during the first leg (I did no research at all) while I took care of the next leg (we had two other companions for this one). The plan was to check out some interesting sights on five different countries with no fixed itinerary:
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
Nepal (Kathmandu, Dhulikhel, Bhaktapur, Pokhara)
Thailand (Bangkok, Pattaya)
Cambodia (Siem Reap)
Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh)
Day 1 – Manila to Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 – Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu
Day 3 – Kathmandu
Day 4 – Kathmandu to Dhulikhel
Day 5 – Dhulikhel
Day 6 – Dhulikhel to Bhaktapur
Day 7 – Bhaktapur
Day 8 – Bhaktapur
Day 9 – Bhaktapur to Pokhara
Day 10 –Pokhara
Day 11 – Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 12 – Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur
Day 13 – Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok
Day 14 – Bangkok to Pattaya
Day 15 – Pattaya to Bangkok
Day 16 – Bangkok
Day 17 – Bangkok
Day 18 – Bangkok to Siem Reap
Day 19 – Siem Reap
Day 20 – Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh
Day 21 – Ho Chi Minh
Day 22 – Ho Chi Minh
Day 23 – Ho Chi Minh
Day 24 – Ho Chi Minh to Manila
Everything went well and we’re just too happy that we came back home in one piece. Some arguments over here and conflicts over there but the differences didn’t win over our desire to explore and experience more.

Returning home, I dedicated a whole day to just do nothing but slouch on my bed that I abandoned for some weeks. A thrilling sense of going back to school and meet my new students followed. The excitement grew more as I started counting the days before the opening of classes. I was that rejuvenated.

Looking back, I never set a goal for this trip nor to prove something. I just went on and enjoyed the journey itself. We did have some mishaps while on the road but at the end of the day we would just laugh about it while downing some bottles of local beer.