267 hours on trains
190 hours on buses
7 hours on bus rooftops
77 hours on boats
29 hours on planes
19 hours in taxis/tuk-tuks/the back of pick-up trucks.
That's a grand total of 589 hours, or 24.5 days we've spent on transport, and it's fair to say that's where most of our funny and/or frustrating travel experiences took place. Obviously the reason we endured all these travel hours was to get to new destinations, of which, some were amazing and some... absolutely terrible. Here are our picks from our trip!
Best place: Tokyo / Kyoto
Worst place: Kobe
Best meal: Sushi, Osaka
Best activity: Watching a Sumo tournament
Highlight: Freak spotting in Harajuku
Best place: Beijing / Lhasa / Fenghuang
Worst place: Shanghai / Huai Hua
Best meal: Peking Duck, Beijing
Best activity: Zip lining from the great wall / Watching the pandas in Chengdu
Highlight: Great wall / Train ride to Tibet
Lowlight: Terra-cotta Worriers
Best place: Hanoi
Worst place: Hue
Best meal: Pho / Baguettes
Best activity: Hanoi Water Park!!
Highlight: Visiting our chum, Tommy
Lowlight: Getting flooded into the hotel for the day
Best place: Ban Lung / Sihanoukville
Worst place: Kampot / Kraite
Best meal: Hot & Sour Soup, Battambang / Amok, Phnom Penh
Best activity: Bamboo train/ Partying in Sihanoukville/ Slow Boat to Siem Reap/ Volunteering at orphanages... the list goes on!
Highlight: The Angkor wats
Lowlight: Bone rattling bus journeys
Best place: Luang Prabang
Worst place: Savannakhet
Best meal: Vegetarian Buffet, Luang Prabang night market
Best activity: Tubing in the Vang Vieng
Highlight: Lazy Don Det Hammocks / Watching monks collect Alms, Luang Prabang
Lowlight: Horribly viscous osquitos in Vang Vieng
Best place: Pokhara / Bandipur
Worst place: nowhere!
Best meal: Giant Falafel, Kathmandu
Best activity: White water rafting, Pokhara
Highlight: Dashain Festival, Kathmandu
Lowlight: Getting ripped off by Raju
Best place: Rishikesh / Arambol
Worst place: Bangalore / Jaipur
Best meal: Home make Keralan food, Alleppey / pretty much every meal we had
Best activity: Sunrise boat ride, Varanasi / Camel Trek, Pushkar / Houseboat, Alleppey
Highlight: Taj Mahal / Golden Temple / Diwali Festival
Lowlight: Sickness / Rip-offs / Filth / Frustration... way too many to mention! It's India!!
So, as we write this, we're on the plane back to Melbourne and thought that writing our last blog entry might make the time pass faster. We can't wait to get back ~ It's been so long since we've been home... like over a year and a half long. It's time for a comfy bed, a nice, hot, shower, a change of clothes and some of mum's cooking! For a while at least.
Neither of us know what we're going to do when we get back... the thought of job hunting really doesn't appeal, so we might have to be dole-bludgers for a while until we get back on our respective feet.... feel free to pass any jobs / ideas our way!
We hope the return culture-shock isn't too bad... after all it has been over 18 months since we've been in an English speaking country or been 'normal'... that is, not the big, white, foreigners standing out in the crowd. It'll be nice to blend in for a change and not get stared at, and understand what everyone around us is saying, and to know what we're eating, and to be able to drive a car, and hang out with old friends and family... the list goes on.
It's been a real adventure, but it's time for us to go home.
Thanks for reading our drivel for the last 6 months!
Amy and Claire