Month in Review: May 2010

May has been exciting month with new features and exclusive interviews!

I began revising the posts on my trip through Southeast Asia in 2008. Here are a list of posts updated so far: Destination: Chiang Rai, ThailandTrip Planning and Preparation (Part 1)Trip Planning and Preparation (Part 2)OrphanageTrekking in Chiang RaiThe Thai Islands and Angkor Wat

Discussions on what really motivates people at work or while traveling. Dan Pink shares some great insight on why people ditch their cubicles in favor of their backpacks.

Our very first monthly feature is introduced this month. The Vagabond Cheat Sheet is already gaining popularity! We cover topics from geography, economy to what the international humanitarian organizations are doing.

We uncover loads of information on the little-known country of Timor-Leste in the very first Vagabond Cheat Sheet.

An exclusive interview with David McWane of Big D and the Kids Table where we sit down to talk music, volunteering and travels.

Vagabond Cheat Sheet: Timor-Leste

Flag of Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste (aka East Timor) is the youngest nation in the world since gaining it’s independence from Indonesia in 2002. Originally settled by Portugal, Timor-Leste first declared its independence from Portugal in 1975 only to be invaded and occupied by Indonesia nine days later.

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A look back to my trip to Southeast Asia

The White Temple during sunsetIn August of 2008, I embarked in a month-long trip to Southeast Asia. During my trip I made various posts describing my encounters and experiences. I have decided to go back and revise and reorganize my posts applying a lot of the new writing techniques I have learned over the last couple of months. I have removed some posts that were not interesting or just unnecessary. I have also renamed some of the posts so they are more relevant to the contents. It’s been a lot of fun to go down memory lane and read over my posts, the scribbled notes on my journal and the pictures. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! (more…)

Saigon

Revision Coming Soon!

Angkor Wat

Angkor WatIt seemed to me that where ever I heard about Angkor Wat it mentions the wonder that was Angkor Wat during sunrise. Even a good friend of mine (an expat living in Vietnam) made a point to describe how the world’s largest religious structure appeared to him as he witnessed the first morning rays reflect on Angkor Wat.

My little velcro wristwatch began to beep at five in the morning. I tumble my way into some clothes and then tumble out of my hostel room. I manage to make my way to the lobby. Outside, I find Ratanan already waiting for with his motorbike puttering.

Ratanan, a clean-cut Cambodian in his mid twenties, is my driver and guide. I met Ratanan by chance. When traveling, everyone you meet is “by chance”. As a moto-taxi driver, it was Ratanan’s turn for a customer when I stepped out of the airport. It did not take the exchange of too many words to settle on a price for him to drive me to and within the temples Angkor Wat.

The ride to Angkor Wat takes us through the quiet ghost-town of what will be the city of Siem Reap once the sun rises. The darkness is creepy. My eyes try hard to make sense of all of the turns through town. We arrive at the temple complex where the chatter of tourists began to replace the quietness of the early morning.

Ratanan pulls up to the steps leading up the main temple at Angkor Wat. I pull out my little key-chain flashlight and begin to walk down the stone path towards the darkness of the temple. I find myself an almost perfect spot by one of the pools. I can sit down to watch the great spectacle and snap some good-enough-to-frame photos. I begin to see the darkness of the sky fade away and I wait. I wait.

The rainy season of Southeast Asia brings, well, rain. The rain is accompanied by large dark clouds and overcast skies. Unfortunately, this morning was no different. The beautiful scenery I have heard about like a legend will remain that way for me, or at least until next time I visit the temples of Angkor Wat. Nevertheless, watching the early morning mist fade over Angkor Wat has been an experience I will never forget.

This entry is part of a series of posts on my trip to Southeast Asia in August of 2008. You can see all of the posts in this series the post: A look back to my trip to Southeast Asia.

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