Monday, March 7, 2011

south east asia?

We're going to Southeast Asia for our honeymoon. The lesson I learned from last summer is that I get bored after a week anywhere, and so we are planning to go to 4-5 places for 4-5 days each (+ 4-5 days of travel time). You can buy passes for multistops on many local airlines. So I'm looking for suggestions of places to go.

So far, we're thinking:

Inle Lake, Myanmar: "A wonderful watery world of floating gardens, stilted villages and crumbing stupas, Inle Lake is one of those few places that are a tonic for the soul*" (Myanmar). They also have a tradition of foot-rowing (pictured).

Bagan, Myanmar: "Gather all of Europe's medieval cathedrals onto Manhattan Island, and throw in a whole lot more for good measure, and you'll start to get a sense of the ambition of the temple-filled plains of Bagan."

Gunung Bromo, Indonesia: "A lunaresque landscape of epic proportions and surreal beauty, Gunung Bromo is one of Indonesia's most breath-taking sights." If you start hiking at 4 am, you get to the top for sunrise.

Hanoi, or possibly the smaller town of Hoi An, Vietnam.

Has anyone been anywhere that was unmissably awesome?

*descriptions taken from Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a shoestring


Anonymous said...

You must go to Macao and eat their mantis prawns!!

Erabin said...

Angor Wat and the plenty of other amazing temples around in near Siem Reap, Cambodia is a must...If you want, I can send you a bunch of photos I took back in May.. Ho Chi Minh City is also nice- much crazier than New York with everyone riding motorcycles. PS I was in Singapore-Malayasia- Vietnam- Cambodia

Doug said...

Burma? Seriously? It's one of the most repressive countries in the world. Are you sure you want to be spending your money their propping up the government that has one of the worst human rights records on the planet? Why not go to North Korea instead?

As far as Indonesia is concerned you might want to check with the state department first; this may not be the safest time to be traveling there, especially for Americans.

Anonymous said...

Doug is right.
This is a precarious time to travel east.
Good Luck!

Anonymous said... dare you even mention that you will soon get married?!

...just think for one moment about all of us who will commit collective suicide the day you will get married to someone else!

Anonymous said...

I already committed suicide when she announced her engagement.

But now I'm back to tell you that Singapore is the foodie capital of the universe. Go to any of the fine food courts. Start with the chicken rice and chili crab.

Anonymous said...

Agree that visiting Burma at the moment is like holidaying in North Korea - the locals are simply too scared to talk freely to you (or any foreigner).
But Indonesian locals are generally super-friendly to Westerners, especially in Jakarta, and doubly so if you produce a pocket chess set.
Same applies in the Philippines - lying on a Cebu beach and snacking on fish bought fresh from passing fishing boats is awesome. Just don't risk humiliation by challenging the fishermen to a game on your pocket set.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

I'm not sure about this, but it seems to me that tourism helps the Burmese people, and that's some good in itself. It's hard to see why they should get punished more. It's also not clear to me that keeping the Burmese people relatively poor is the best way to bring down a regime. Maybe creating a strong middle class is the more historically effective way to effect political change?

My well traveled friend Mike Klein tells me Singapore is a gigantic shopping mall, and I hate those, so no there.

ok, Angor Wat is in. Some kind of beach is definitely a good idea; Bali is directly south of the Bromo volcano, we were thinking maybe to go there.

thanks for all the suggestions!

Anonymous said...

Not sure how tourism helps the Burmese people - almost every cent you spend (hotels, restaurants) will go directly or indirectly to support the military regime.
When in Jakarta check out the Adianto Chess Centre. If you think some of your students do it tough, this place gives you an idea how chess can give hope for a route out of real poverty.

Anonymous said...

Why do people assume that a liberal is concerned about supporting an oppressive regime? Obama was about to sell military vehicles to Kadaffy months before the 'civil unrest'.

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