The Fifth Stop On Our ALL ASIA Tour. Hanoi, Vietnam!

Vietnam….What can I say? There are some places you visit that you’ll probably never go back to and Vietnam is one of them. While the scenery and a ‘majority’ of the people are friendly, that all goes away if you enjoy being consistently ripped off, compulsively lied to, constantly treated like a walking ATM machine, stolen from ‘give me my damn change’, yelled at, insulted, bombarded by extreme noise and pollution, and eating over-priced Pho. With all that being said, there are PLENTY of beautiful people and things to take pictures of!

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi is nice lil’ lake to take a stroll around. Nothing like a casual stroll along the lakefront. People let me take their pictures and I took pics with a lot of people as well. The Huc Bridge and Turtle Tower are prominent features of the lake.
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600_4043-Edit-Edit-Edit-3600_4092-Edit-2600_4072-Edit600_4329-Edit-Edit-Edit600_4071-EditOh, the nightlife! People, cars, scooters, markets and LIFE! Did I mention the horns? You can’t go 10 seconds without hearing one! Don’t forget your Pho as well! All in all, I loved taking pictures of the people and things in Vietnam!
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The Fourth Stop On Our ALL ASIA Tour. Siem Reap, Cambodia!

So, after a brief stop in California for the holidays, we’re back at it! Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia! I will tell you this: Cambodia is really a nice place to visit! Of course, you have to have an open mind here because it’s not the most tidiest of places. Yes, trash on the roads, dogs everywhere, etc… I think they smile here more than they do in Thailand and trust me, in Thailand they smile a LOT! The people here were so friendly and the children…due to the tourism here, speak 5-6 languages! It’s amazing to hear a child speak so many of them!

Time to go! Don Muang, Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia, in about an hour! Another stamp for the passport…YEAH!!!
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We stayed at the Areca Angkor Botique Hotel. VERY NICE place with only 11 rooms, great staff and a fantastic breakfast!
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Most cities in Asia always have a nice market and the night market here didn’t disappoint. What’s a post without pictures of good food and gifts?
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For some reason, I like taking pictures of people getting from point A to B.
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Of course, you can’t come to Siem Reap and not see Angkor Wat. I will tell you, the view as the sun comes up is PRICELESS! There are so many temples here and there is no way we could get to them all in 4 days. If you’ve seen the movie, Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, you’ll know where the last picture was taken, Ta Prohm.
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Military Space A Travel from Singapore to California

As I am retired U.S. military, I get the unique opportunity to travel on military planes to many locations for free or low cost. My fiance and I were in Singapore and I decided to take a trip home to California to surprise my family for the holidays. It’s been a while since I’ve spent the holidays with them and wanted to beat the ‘holiday rush’ for flights. There happens to be a base in Singapore I can fly out of, so I had to take advantage!

The flight from Singapore to Japan was a pleasant one. The service was excellent and the food was plentiful!
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When I got to Yokota AB, Japan I checked into my room. Little did I know I was going to spend 5 days here! At $56 a night, it started adding up. At the Kanto Inn I stayed in 2 different types of rooms. The teminal is a short walk to lodging but there is a shuttle if you need one.
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The passenger terminal here is really nice! Too bad it’s not open 24hrs…Would of saved me some money!
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When it was finally time to go, we took the C5 Galaxy to Travis AFB, California. Special thanks to the men and women of the 68th Airlift Squadron, Kelly Field Annex, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, for their professionalism and the ride!
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All in all it was a great trip and I’m so glad I beat the holiday rush! Wish me luck on my return after the new year! Until next time, safe travels!

The Third Stop On Our ALL ASIA Tour. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

We took a quick 4 day trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s a city, like anywhere else…traffic, people, Starbucks on every corner. For some reason, as we travel around Asia, there are so many different banks. Did I mention the construction? Seems like they’re building a new project all the time! It was a good but short trip and we must return here at a later date to explore more! Did I mention the food?

Arriving, once again, in Kuala Lumpur.
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The food was so DELICIOUS!!!
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If you want shopping, there is no issue here!
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The FREE way to get around Kuala Lumpur!
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Petronas Towers and KL Tower…MAGNIFICENT!!!
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Off to Singapore!

Indonesian Delights Part 2

It’s another beautiful day here in Indonesia, so it’s time to get out. We opted for another tour with Perama and were destined for Ubud. The drive took a while due to the morning traffic, but it was nice to relax and just take it all in.

Bali is FULL of so many great works of art and Batuan is a major painting center that contains a number of art galleries. Batuan Temple is used to worship to the god for the villagers of Batuan.
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Monkeys clowning around in Ubud. The one with the Ritz crackers was NOT sharing either!
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So, today we tried one of the world’s most expensive cups of coffee. I don’t know if it was the price that I paid for it that’s telling me it was good or the actual fact that it was REALLY good! Kopi Luwak, or Civet coffee, which can go for as much as $30 a cup, refers to the beans of coffee berries once they have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet…Coffee is one hell of a drug!
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Some various photos from around the market in Ubud. The little girl was so adorable!
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In the village of Kokokan is where the ‘white bird’ lived. Strangely, this bird was particular to only THIS village.
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Indonesian Delights

Being in Bali is a wonderful experience! The number one complaint I hear about is the hawkers. There are hawkers almost everywhere. YOU WANT TOUR, YOU WANT DVD, YOU WANT TRANSPORT??? Now, I understand that people are trying to make a living but some of the hawkers are downright aggressive!  It’s all a part of the experience!

With that being said, we decided to book a tour to get out and see some of what Indonesia has to offer. If you’re ever in Bali I recommend Perama Tour & Travel, for a great tour! Once you leave the Kuta area and actually get out and see the sights Indonesia has to offer, it’s really nice! The people are friendly and always smiling. The rice terraces, mountains, temples and lakes are breathtaking.

All Tantric and spiritual worship in the Hindu tradition begins with the invocation of Lord Ganesha (or Lord Ganesh), the elephant-headed god. Ganesha, the much beloved elephant god of India. He is the son of Shiva, Lord of the Brahmacharis (celibates), remover of obstacles, and the Lord of Success. He is the god of wisdom whose image has become an iconic symbol for Hinduism around the world. He is the god of education with an elephant head, large ears, a curved trunk atop a huge pot-bellied human body. Followers look to him for help with wealth and knowledge. They worship him at the start of a ritual or beginning of a journey. He is the guardian deity of Hinduism.
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Dancers from a play called The Barong & Keris dance, which represents an eternal fight between good and evil spirits.
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My LOVE for Italia seems to never leave me. Everywhere I go, there’s a little bit of Italia there. We’re walking and taking in the sights and there it is…A Vespa ONLY shop. You KNOW I had to go get some pictures and the owner was so delighted that I took interest in his work. There were some BEAUTIFUL Vespa scooters in there. Here are a few…
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The penjor is a tall, curved bamboo pole decorated with coconut leaves. At the base is where you put the offerings. Important in almost every ceremony, especially for the anniversary temple celebrations. There are also offerings placed in front of homes and businesses to display true faith and devotion. Balinese people have the desire to be thankful for all that they have, to keep and receive good fortune, to ward off disaster and allow a life full of abundance.
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Pacung rice terrace. Very beautiful and peaceful place to just chiil out at.
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Taman Ayun Temple was designed to symbolize the mythological home of the gods, Mount Meru, floating in the sea of eternity.
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Ulun Danu Temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu. It sits on Lake Bratan which is a main source of irrigation in central Bali.
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Tanah Lot temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. It is also called Tanah Let which means ancient land and also Tanah Lod, which means the land to the south. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Beautiful place to unwind and catch a sunset!
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The Second Stop On Our ALL ASIA Tour. Bali, Indonesia!

Well, we have left Chiang Mai, Thailand, for our new destination…Bali, Indonesia! Air Asia ‘almost’ lost our business today. I have a big bag that weighed 39KG. We get to the airport and we’re told that the bag can only be 32KG. Fine, we take out 7KG and carry it on the plane. We get to Kuala Lumpur, go through immigration, just to check back in…we’re still trying to figure THAT one out. Upon check in we are told that we can put the extra 7KG back into the bag for $12. GREAT! I go online, pay the money, and go back to check in…with 39KG. Guess what? They tell me that the bag must be 32KG. At this point I’m getting annoyed and get sent to customer service. It was finally explained to me that we had the 40KG allowance BUT the max for one bag is 32KG. The gentleman at the counter was very courteous and we were on our way. The bag issue…minor inconvenience. I’m not even going to mention how many times we got pulled to the side by security. It took all day, along with some airport hijinks, but we made it! In all honesty, I’m glad these planes take off AND land, so we can see these new places. Welcome to Bali, Indonesia!

My nieces and nephews call me Uncle D, so I saw it fitting to take a picture!
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The Wi-Fi works pretty well in the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, airport.
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Time to go!
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Air Asia operates out of the LCCT, Low Cost Carrier Terminal, in Kuala Lumpur…so we get to walk to the plane. Good for taking pictures!
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Someone’s excited!
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Made it to Bali with the gorgeous moon as the backdrop. Time to clear customs and go to the hotel.
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When you get to Bali you have to get a VOA, Visa on Arrival. It’s $25 and is a cool addition to your passport. 🙂
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Can’t wait to see what Bali has to offer! Until next time, be happy and LIVE LIFE!