This is the start of the Trip Report So Long Mongolia, Hello SE Asia (December-January 2015) which covers:
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Chiang Rai, Thailand
- Yangon, Myanmar
- Ngwe Saung, Myanmar
- Mandalay, Myanmar
- Bagan, Myanmar
- Hong Kong
- Orlando, Florida
Pack your bags, get ready to ship out on an a-live adventure (the real-time play-by-play of my global gallivants done via my trusty Blackberry) of which you are unprepared. Even I have no idea what this year’s trek through the Banana Pancake Trail has in store. I have been in SE Asia during the holidays in 2009 as Part II of My MBA in Travel and Tourism (said tongue-in-cheek), in December of 2012 when Points Changed My Life, and last year as part of The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World. That is why the title of this Trip Report is not cleverly called The Tradition of Spending the Holidays in SE Asia.
All I know is that I leave Mongolia on Monday for Bangkok, Thailand, perhaps drop in for a quick night or two at the best Aloft in the world while I process my visa from the Myanmar Embassy which will undoubtedly give me problems as visas have here, here, and here. From there it’s all aboard a local overnight train to Chiang Mai for a different side of Thailand that I have yet to experience.
After that, I’ll hopefully cross the border by bus to Burma to see cities, places, and people that I’ve only heard about from reading the J Peterman catalogue.
The only certainty on this trip is my booked flight out of Myanmar to Kuala Lumpur on the 31st of December- certainty as to the fact that it is booked not as to whether I will take it.
Also, I have to add, all of this was decided today.
Till then, I’m working on my Burmese:
Where is the toilet? ? (ein thar ka bal mhar lal)