I decided to visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand and didn’t want to rush from one place to another, so took three months to do it.
I had no expectations, other than expecting South East Asia to be cheaper than many other destinations in the world, and in that I was not wrong. I was traveling as a “flashpacker”. (That’s a step up from a “backpacker”); I wanted my own room (most of the time) and private bathroom facilities.
I thought I was traveling light. That’s a joke. “Traveling light” in my book was, at the time, to take only 4 pair of shoes. But to be fair to myself, I did take clothes (and shoes) that I didn’t expect to be bringing home. Either they’d be worn out, or I would give them away. And I did both, always intending to fill my
backpack suitcase with lots of local goods.
When in foreign countries, I tend to buy stuff. Lots of stuff. I buy stuff for everyone back home, and love to buy craft-work that
is seems to be unique, from the locals. Especially in this part of the world. The poverty in many parts of South East Asia is heartbreaking and visitors are encouraged to be generous. But that opens another can of worms on which I’ll elaborate in another article.