Monday, November 11, 2013

Siem Reap to Dali in less than 2 weeks

Angkor Thom, Siem Reap (2005)
Tickets to SIEM REAP is confirm.
Will be around CAMBODIA this coming DECEMBER... it's my second visit to SIEM REAP. It has been 9 years since my last trip there. There's conservation help from all over the world especially from France and Japan through some of the historical sites in SIEM REAP during my last visit. Just wondering what NOW? Hopefully SIEM REAP is NOT choked by fame and ever growing tourism. Hopefully while improving local economy, cultural preservation is will finds its way to survive. Which is seldom happens... for me SIEM REAP reminds me of USD transactions rather than RIEL for more than 10 years. For working class MALAYSIAN, 1USD for mineral water is mind boggling. :P hahaha... or maybe I bought it at a wrong place. erk...
Haven't been traveling IndoChina for a while... and my adoration towards religious site and historical places made me choose the place for mother of all temples ANGKOR WAT to set the motion. Then the 10 hours bus ride towards BANGLAMPHU, THAILAND via ARANYAPRATHET though the dusty National Highway 5 towards POIPET was always an unforgettable experience. Heard about the road upgrade to asphalt... can wait to experience that. Then the NO MAN's LAND between POIPET and ARANYAPRATHET is always a scene. I nearly lost my ErHu at the immigration, but then unfortunately managed to lost it at BANGKOK Airport... hahaha... clumsy me.

I've been to BANGKOK for a quite few times. But, didn't manage to wonder around the riverside or neighboring province. I always treat it as a jump point towards NONG KAI to VIENTIANE or vise versa. Cycle around RAMA IV Road before, but riding aimlessly without any intention or visiting any interesting places. This time try observing and visit as much places I can.

BANGKOK (2006)
Crossing borders always an interesting endeavor. While CHINA always be under my travel radar, it's interesting to venture up north with your closest people. Target will be DALI, YUNNAN province... do we have enough time?

Seriously, the boat trip towards JINGHONG, CHINA from CHIANG SAEN is sparse. Read few forums, blogs and 2011 Mekong River Massacre giving unnerving feeling about the journey. However, there're few successful stories. One that caught me up was done by Pamela MacNaughtan in October 2012 (Boat to CHINA). Based on her explanation the journey seems to be safe.

So, here I lay down 3 plan towards CHINA from BANGKOK... plan A via MEKONG

A. Siem Reap/CAMBODIA B. Bangkok/THAI C. Chiang Mai/Thai & D. Chiang Saen/THAI
or Plan B via Boten/Mengla via Huay Xai

A. Siem Reap/CAMBODIA B. Bangkok/THAI C. Chiang Mai/THAI D. Huay Xai/LAOS & E. Boten/LAOS
or Plan C... just took BANGKOK - KUNMING flight. :P

Based on Pamela MacNaughtan article, there's a 15+ hours VVIP Bus ride towards Chiang Saen. So, saving fussy transition from train in CHIANG MAI to bus ride towards Chiang Saen can be avoided. However, just wondering whether both traveling partners willing to do it. :P

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