Things I Will and Will Not Miss About Southeast Asia

After making similar lists about South America and Oceania while waiting for my flights to the next destinations, I made this my farewell-to-this-continent tradition. It gave me time to reflect on my experiences in different regions and to appreciate what I had liked and disliked before moving on to the next leg of the journey. The notebook and pen again appeared in my hands as I waited for my flight out of Bangkok to Milan via Jordan and I thought about my time in Southeast Asia.

Everyone should carry some emergency cash, even the monks.

Things I Will Miss About Southeast Asia:

-Seeing monks in robes wandering about town, occasionally doing unexpected things like withdrawing money from ATMs

-The shopping (second-hand bookstores, custom made clothing shops, and pedestrian marketplaces)

-All the food (street food – from chopped fruit in a bag to fried-before-your-eyes Pad Sew; spicy coconut curries; 24 hour pho restaurants; Malaysian roti canai; banana vanilla milkshakes from the Blue Pumpkin in Siem Reap; and oh-so-much more)

-Snorkelling and underwater coral gardens

-Spending time aboard longboats and junkships

-The smell of tea and strawberries in the highlands

Traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Things I Will Not Miss About Southeast Asia:

Trying to cross the road in Vietnam

Miri, Borneo

-Sharing my swim space with reef sharks and sea lice/jellyfish

-The surprising number of bees in the rainforests of Brunei

-Sweating even while in the shower due to the suffocating humidity

-Worrying that every mosquito that bit me after 5pm was giving me malaria

Longboating Through the Borneo Jungle

 

Have you ever been longboating through the jungles of Borneo? I kinda love that I can say that I have!

One of the highlights of my visit to Brunei was being able to take a day trip to Ulu Temburong National Park. The development in the Temburong area has been limited, so the rainforest is in pristine condition and most of the trees are hundreds of years old.

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The Quiet Capital of Brunei

Welcome to Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), the quiet capital city of Brunei.

The first thing to catch your eye about this clean small city is the beautiful buildings, like the national palace, the gold spires of the mosques and museums, the red roofs of the water village Kampung Ayer, the banks, and more.

The second thing you will notice is how few people are around. Over the course of a 4 day visit in 2009, I only saw a handful of people. It often felt like I had the city to myself.