South East Asia

South East Asia:
It was quite a transition going from Kathmandu to Bangkok. The former, in spite of being the capital, is still easily recognized as a third world city. The latter, is a full-on modern city, resembling New York. We’re still in Asia but a much different country.
After spending a few days lounging around Bangkok due to illness (typical stomach stuff) and general travel fatigue, we boogied out to Northern Thailand. The city of Chiang Mai is the second largest town in Thailand and is situated in the hillier, more scenic environs of the country. We spent our time walking around the walled and moat-ringed old city taking in the temples, markets, and culture. Markets are an integral part of the Thai culture and offer a great chance to soak up the atmosphere. Christmas and New Year’s were both celebrated in this town. We were relieved to be there when we heard of the multiple bombs that ripped through Bangkok New Year’s Eve.
We also managed to fit in two days of rock climbing at a nearby crag. We rented the gear and a motorbike and enjoyed getting back to a favorite hobby. The area was great and we were rewarded for our efforts with sore muscles that lasted a week. It’s been a while.
Our next adventure, probably our favorite, was to, again, rent a motorbike for a week and do a large, 6 day circuit of N. Thailand. We even squeezed in a one day visit into Burma. Mostly we enjoyed the passing scenery and stayed in some interesting little villages along the way.
After leaving Chiang Mai, we stopped in at Kanchantaburry, the town made famous by the Bridge over the river Kwai. This area is saturated in WWII history which, Jonathan in particular, thoroughly enjoys. Staying in a raft house only added to the experience.
Our last adventure before heading into Cambodia was a three day/two night stay on the island of Ko Samet in the Gulf of Thailand. The first night we slept in our tent, fought the mosquitoes all night, and were stifled by the heat and humidity. Night two we gave in and rented a cheap room where we could at least shower off the sand and salt. The beaches were fantastic and the water aqua blue. It was a great time - almost like a mini-honeymoon.
We departed for Cambodia after a brief stopover in Trat, a border town, where we stocked up on supplies and steeled ourselves for the journey ahead.

After a good month in Thailand of rest and a bit of adventure, we crossed the border into Cambodia. Corrie had visited there two years ago, however not traveling independently, but this time we had our chance at it en-route to Phnom Penh. Our first experience was corrupt visa officers demanding way more than the government price, which after some negotiating we were able to meet in the middle. Our next excitement was a crazy mini-bus ride, interrupted by a small, scraping collision with a dump truck, and several rickety ferry crossings! Finally we made it to Phnom Penh, where we met up with Corrie’s best friend, Anna Blake (she lives there and works with orphan homes).
The entire Blake family joined us within a few days and we headed north to an orphan home near a town called Pursat. There we got in ten days of good hard work, building a fence in front of the home. The guys, Adam, Austin and Jonathan were especially loving the kids, as there were only two girls at this home, and what could be more fun than playing with fifteen little boys! The guys also constructed a soccer goal out of PVC pipe, which provided loads of fun, as well as a few scrapes and bruises!
First comes work and then comes play…so that’s what we did! We went for one day to the ancient Angkor Wat temples and scrambled around a few of the many that cover the complex. From there we headed south to the beach town of Sihanoukville, where we enjoyed the height of luxury for a couple days! The only damper was a set of unfortunate motorbike accidents on the way to a waterfall. Two of the Blake’s (Adam and his wife Jenn) and Jonathan incurred some nasty road rash, which consequently made swimming in the ocean not a very attractive option!
We left Cambodia feeling much refreshed, like we’d had a vacation from our vacation, or maybe as though we’d gone home without actually going home!

Escape from Bangkok, and onto the beautiful island of Bali for a surprise two week stop! In January, Corrie discovered that some old YWAM friends, Charlie and Christy Halsell and their 2 little boys, were going to be in Bali at that time, so we made a little alteration to our schedule to accommodate a visit!
The island had a wide verity of landscape, volcanoes, rice paddies, and of course beautiful beaches and coastline. The Halsells toted us around to all variety of interesting places, while we were also entertained by their boys, and did a little entertaining ourselves! Corrie celebrated her 25th birthday on February 25th (for those paying attention, it will be apparent that this was not only her golden birthday, but also her silver)! We don’t think that many people got that memo b/c she didn’t received anything golden or silver…too bad! No worries though, she enjoyed the day thoroughly and due to the time difference between Bali and Colorado, was able to stretch it out for about 42 hours!

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