Part 2 – My Post Covid-19 South East Asia Bucket List

In continuation of my last blog post, here are the next 5 places in South East Asia I hope to visit as soon as I am finally able to get the F&%K out of here!

6. KO LIPE ISLAND, THAILAND

Coined “The Maldives of Thailand”, Koh Lipe is a small L-shaped island located in southern most Thailand’s Satun Province, near the Thailand/Malaysia border. Not as touristy as the Phi Phi Islands, where Leo Dicaprio’s The Beach was filmed, it is situated on the outskirts of Tarutao National Marine Park, one of Thailand’s nature conservation sites. With scuba diving being the #1 activity in Koh Lipe, other than chilling on the island’s breathtaking beaches, I plan to spend as much time in the water as possible.

7. PINDAYA CAVES, BURMA (MYANMAR)

It may take a while to get here, as there are countries I wish to explore before traveling to Burma, but THIS looks beyond incredibly cool and is definitely on my bucket list! Located in the Myelat region of Burma, next to the town of Pindaya, this Buddhist pilgrimage site consist of limestone caves with mazes of chambers, displaying more than 8,000 Buddha statues. Those of you who know me well know that I have been a practicing Buddhist since 1989, and have amassed a considerable collection of Buddha statues over the past 30 years so this just looks SPECTACULAR to me!

8. 4 RIVERS FLOATING LODGE, CAMBODIA

The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge was built on the Tatai river, amidst the beautiful nature of the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia. A luxury Eco-lodge, it is located between Bangkok and Phnom Penh, and a 20 minute drive from Koh Kong City.  This trip would be all about bonding with nature: jungle trekking, swimming in the beautiful Tatai Waterfall, fishing, watching the sunset aboard a river cruise and lazily floating on a blowup raft, cocktail(s) in hand … 4 Rivers Floating Lodge

9. SIX SENSES CON DAO LUXURY RESORT, VIETNAM

This one is a loooooong shot as it is considered one of the most luxurious resorts in all of Vietnam, and has the price tag to go with it … but a girl can dream right? Located on a protected national and marine park on Con Dao Island, in the south-east region of Vietnam, it lies along nearly 1 mile of beach and is surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes. Only a 45 minute flight from my home in Ho Chi Minh City, the resort consists of 50 private villas, each equipped with its own infinity pool, a health and wellness spa surrounded by lush tropical gardens, fine dining experiences including a Chef’s Table where you personally interact with your meal creators during your bespoke supper, a wine cellar with a selection to die for, etc. etc. etc. Realistically, I would probably only get to do this one if invited, so fingers crossed I can somehow convince the Six Senses PR department to allow me a complementary stay by way of a travel magazine article, as I somehow doubt that inclusion in my blog alone will cut it for them. LOL Six Senses Con Dao

10. MATAKING ISLAND, MALAYSIA

Another scuba diver’s paradise, Mataking Island consists of two islands, the bigger Mataking Besar and the smaller Mataking Kecil. Mataking is located to the southeast of Sabah Borneo, close to the Philippine border. There are well over 30 dives sites around Mataking Island including the first underwater post office in Malaysia, created from a 40 year old cargo ship that The Reef Dive Resort sank in March of 2006 as part of the country’s conservation program. A mailbox was placed on the front of the wheelhouse of the shipwreck and divers can buy a postcard at the resort’s gift shop, place it in a sealed waterproof plastic bag and “mail” their letter underwater during their dive. I mean … so so cool that it well deserves it’s own photo, below …

Hope you enjoyed my bucket list and keep on Wanderlusting my friends! This madness had GOT TO END sooner or later, right?? XO

My Post Covid-19 Bucket List – The Top 5 Places I Hope to Visit Once the Travel Ban Has Been Lifted…

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!!!)

  1. 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!!!