When the trip takes a few months there are many things happening, it´s like a compressed life where everything happens to fast and you have to accept it the way it comes.
You live good and bad moments, places and peoples can amaze, surprise, dissapoint or make you indifferent, sometimes just because that wasn´t your best day and, in those cases, it was better to close your eyes and count 10, 100 or 1000.
In this section I emphatize what most impacted me during the six monts in 2005 in my trip through China, 2 ex colonys as Hong-Kong and Macao, and 6 countrys of the asiatic southeast (Vietnam, Camboya, Laos, Thailand, Malasya and Singapur), in the following ranks:
1.- Laos. The million elephants land is a fascinating country, with a cordiality, spirituality and almost virgin nature, and not jet massive turism
2.- Thailand. In spite of the big problems that cause the sexual turism, drugs traffic and turist hordes, there are still places where a smile and a thailand salute don´t have price, but a big value.
3.- China. Everyting in China is different, and that forces the traveller to an exceptional effort to adapt himself to a country where you feel happy when you leave and where you wan´t to come back again soon
1.- Severine. Diving trainer in Phi Phi islands, Thailand, at the moment of the sunamy December 2004 she came back to help others to recover their lives as well as to recover her own life.
2.- Lili. The trekkking at The Tiger Jump in Qiatou, China, was doubly interesting, one because of the contact with the indomitable nature at Yangtzé river and second, due to the warm-hearted and big family who received and guied me through the journey.
3.- Shana. Received me literally as if I was the prodigal son, in her house and restaurant at Lijiang, China, during the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
1.- New buddisht year at Luang Prabang, Laos. More than a moment, it was an intense and wet week where the Water Festival refreshed our souls and purified our bodies.
2.- The arrival to Phi Phi Islands, Thailand. Guspumps in the skin and tears in the eyes as the ship was getting closer to the island, couldn´t take away the happiness we felt when we checked how they recover their lives in spite of burocracy.
3.- The Great Wall in China. To get into this ancient monument full of history, to make a trekking through , it was really something very special.
1.- Mekong. The river that gives and takes away life to the 90 million people leaving in the riversides, gave me some of the best moments of this trip.
2.- Halong Bay, Vietnam. If you can exclude the turistic crowd, you can feel like Sandokan pluying the Southern seas
3.- Perenthian Islands, Malasya. There is still a place where the turism is in a human scale, instead of electricity they use candles and you can swim with tourtles that are not afraid of humand kind
1.- Shangai. Pearl of the East, is a fascinating mix of chinese culture dressed with occidental touches, with a vitality that changes the city day by day
2.- Luang Prabang. Old capital of Laos, is a work of art made in a meander of the Mekong river, with the Buddisth temples testifying the splendour and deep spirituality that you can see in the people eyes.
3.- Kuala Lumpur. The capital of Malasya combines the future, made with the Petrona Towers and the elevated subway, with a daily life almost like a countrified town.
1.- Lijiang, China. More city than a town, its even roofs of tiles, taken us to a time where the achitecture was made as the human needed and not the reverse.
2.- Dali, China. The gods created the location and the men embellished the place, surrounded of lakes and mountains where the time slows down almost till stops.
3.- Luam Nam Tha, Laos. The northen part of Laos is a succession of towns at riversides of beautiful rivers, where the different ethnic groups give a incalculable human dimension .
1.- Captain´s Lodge, Shangai. In the center of the Bund, it´s shared cabin/rooms are the perfect place to start discovering the secrets of China and its terraze, the unique view point to excite ourselves looking the sunset.
2.- Trekking at the Tiger Jump, China. To share a dinner with a chinese family without speaking the same languaje but with the universal talk of signs and smiles was an unforgetable experience
3.- Phi Phi. Return to Phi Phi five years after my first visit and stay at the same hut recently restored after the tsunamy, was a moment of intense emotions
1.- Honk Kong. The library of the hudge convention center of HK has a free cybercoffee which is a peacefull quiet place in this noisy city
2.- Chinag Mai. The “Same same but different” is a unique place, where you can eat a real lasagna made by an italian, take a thailand massage, have an icecream and get into internet, and many other services that offers his chinese owner
3.- Singapur. Changi Airport is like a city, with its own newspaper and a never ending offer of activities for travellers, free in the case of internet.
1.- Trekking at Tiger Jump, China. To walk almost at 3.000 mts high with the Yangtze River down in our feet meandering with its turquoise green water and to sleep with the local ethnic groups in their houses has been an unforgettable experience
2.- Diving at Phi Phi, Thailand, 4 mounths afetr the tsunamy, live recovers its splendour, and the bottom of the sea is plenty of fauna, guests of lovely coral homes
3.- Navigation in the Mekong. More than 12 different boats taked me through the depths parts of this river that goes through China and a big part of the Asiatic Southeast
1.- Delta Adventure Tours, Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. Of the endles list of agencys that offer the tour through Mekong delta, probably this is one of the best choice.
2.- 75 Travellers Guest House, Penang, Malasya. Only a few guest houses give such a complete and desinterested information to the traveller.
3.- Same Same but Different, Chiang Mai, Thailand. A new guest house, with young and enthusiastic staff that really enjoy their job.
WAY OF TRANSPORT
1.- Trucks in Laos. Few transports can be so unconfortable and crowded as the trucks reconverted to buses in Laos, but at the same time, this allowds a close comunication with the local people.
2.- Boats at the Mekong. Where the roads are bad and limited, the best way to get by are the “highways” on the river.
3.- Moto taxi. Chinese motocicles of 125cc are the favourite transport in Vietnam, all an experience if you survive to tell!
1.- Bus station of Krabi, Thailand. After waiting more than two hours for a bus for which I had my ticket, they told me that it was full and I should wait for the next one, without a garanty of a place
2.- Hawkers along the Big Wall in China. They could walk along with you kilometers until you buy a t-shirt, cap or anyother souvenir, and this tarnished an experience that should be individual and introspective.
3.- Hawkers in Vietnam. There is nothing they do not offer with wearisome insistence and sometimes aggressive: prostitutes, drugs, photocopied books, CDs , DVDs and the most different products.
1.- Turtles at Perhentian Islands, Malasya. To dive with these special animals is always an extra pleasure added to the diving in these warm waters
2.- Elephants. Although in Laos there are no more a million elephants, the morning shower of these animals at the riversides is a show that you shouldn´t miss.
3.- Butterflies. The thousands of butterflies of all spices, colours and sizes flying free at the butterfly farm of Kuala Lumpur are a gift for nature lovers and for the photographic lens. The same about the birds farm.
Published: 03/01/2008 00:00