As we are all, HOPEFULLY, locked up and abiding by this critically important “Stay at Home” mandate, I have spent time hard core “Wanderlusting” the places in South East Asia I wish to visit, once the world is back to normal, Covid-19 has been eradicated and the global travel ban has finally been lifted. It may be a long while until that’s a reality, but at least it gives me the chance to start saving my coins so that I can make some of the following happen. This is only Part 1, as there are many other places I have discovered in my research that look absolutely amazing!! So… I’ll follow up shortly with a Part 2 blog post, that is, if some Netflix show doesn’t suck me in again… (Sidebar, I’m totally embarrassed to admit, but I have literally binged watched ALL 5 SEASONS of Merlin on Netflix in a week and a half. LOL!!!)
- HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM
One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, located within the Quảng Ninh Province of Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. A bit of a pain-in-the ass to get to, you must fly into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, and either take a 4 hour bus ride or rent a car with driver (I’ll do that) to get there. There are several 1, 2 or 3 night, all-inclusive, converted junk boat cruises available to sail throughout the incredible limestone formations, where they will loan you a kayak so that you may explore the region’s breathtaking grottos and caves and take you to the local floating fishing villages to sample the freshest catches of the day. I seriously CAN’T WAIT to go!
2. NUSA PENIDA ISLAND, INDONESIA
Just a quick 45 minute trip by boat from Kuta Bali, Nusa Penida Island looks simply incredible. Beyond the pristine and must see IG photo spots like Atuh Beach, Crystal Bay and Broken Beach, as an avid scuba diver, I found several dive trips that will take me to swim with giant Manta rays. I mean…
3. BAN GIOC WATERFALLS, VIETNAM
This seriously DOES NOT LOOK REAL, right?? Located in Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, in the Cao Bang Provence of Northern Vietnam, these falls currently rank as the 4th largest waterfall along a national border, after Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls, and Niagara Falls. I am really hoping the travel ban is lifted during our Monsoon season, in the upcoming summer months, as the falls will be bursting in full regalia and the water is supposed to be absolutely crystal clear. Care to take a dip??
4. ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA
If you have seen the film Laura Croft: Tomb Raider, then you have seen pieces of Angkor Wat. A Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia, it is one of largest religious monuments ever constructed, spanning more than 154 square miles. It is hot AF in Cambodia, like in Vietnam, so I don’t picture myself exploring all 154 square miles of it, but when I visit Siem Reap, I’ll definitely do a day, or half day trip to see as much as my sadly out of shape ass will allow.
5. MONDULKIRI ELEPHANT AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, CAMBODIA
I looooooove elephants. They are probably my favorite animal species on planet earth. I clearly remember the purest joy I felt as a child, visiting the Central Park Zoo and feeding them peanuts through the bars of their pen. As an adult, I STRONGLY appose keeping elephants in zoos as the weight on their joints cannot handle the confinement, but as a kid, I did not know any better and visiting them was one of my favorite things to do growing up in NYC. Located in Senmonorom, in the Mondulkiri Province of Cambodia, this elephant sanctuary offers day trips, jungle trekking trips and a 2 day, 1 night tour where you get to stay with an indigenous family and completely immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine. The cost of the overnight is an $80 donation to the sanctuary, so that is for sure the route I will take when I visit. www.mondulkirisanctuary.org
Keep Wanderlusting my friends!!!