Our first extended stay abroad came after a year and a half of hard work and dedication. We quit our jobs, finally packed our bags and set out for our six month trip to Southeast Asia. Our itinerary was empty, allowing our journey to unfold itself along the way.
That six months quickly turned into seven and a half, giving us the opportunity to experience five different countries. We surrounded ourselves with astonishing culture, explored beautiful terrain and met extraordinary people.
Our Southeast Asia adventure started in Bangkok, Thailand and from there we began our journey. We explored the mountains in the north, the Khmer ruins in the Isaan region, and learned to climb limestone cliffs that resembled melting rock in the south. Thailand if full of culture and kindness which drew us in for a total of five months.
All of our time in Cambodia was spent in Siem Reap, which is home to the famous archeological complex Angkor Wat. In our two weeks we temple hopped through the area, in awe over the shear size and remaining details. One of the major highlights was having the opportunity to visit a neighboring village school that was established by monks.
We spent two weeks in Kuching, Malaysia on Borneo. The trip was inspired by a gentleman we met in Chiang Mai who encouraged us to see the orangutans before their home is lost. Kuching is home to some of the most beautiful National Parks and wildlife conservation, which gave us the chance to assist rangers in sea turtle conservation.
Our excursion to Indonesia was sparked by a music festival and branched out from there. We swam with sharks and sea turtles on Gili T while we completed our scuba certifications. Shortly after we hiked a volcano that burned blue on Java. We followed with a 16 hour train ride to explore ancient Hindu and Buddhist ruins in Yogyakarta.
Myanmar was our last country before heading home. It had just opened its borders to tourism in recent years and it was on our list of destinations to visit before westernization makes an impact. We were adamant in getting off-the-beaten-path to witness authentic ways of life while still visiting popular temple sights in Bagan.
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