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Cherry's RTW

I'm off people.... gallivanting around the world. I'll be gone for roughly 8 months starting in Canada and ending in Thailand. With stops in USA, Central and South America, Spain, Greece, China, Tibet, HK, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Wanna know more???
Here are my stories :)

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Location: Sydney, Australia

Have start working. I wonder when will I travel again. Missed it!!!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Location: Sydney, Australia

After 7.5 months, 76 hostels (including hotels and resorts and Yes, this figure is accurate), 20 flights and numerous bus, trains, motorcycles and boats as means of transportation, we made it back to Syd at 6 am this morning.
It was a rough flight with lots of turbulence and as we landed, the cold Syd weather greeted us (so different than Thailand's sunshine).

We're home. Part of me is glad it's over and I can finally sleep and shower in my own home but also sad that the freedom to see the world is over (for now anyway)

Anyways hope you all enjoy the stories and pics in the blog, give me a buzz and we'll talk and meet soon

Ciao...till the next adventure.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Hey everyone...
Back in Bangkok again which now seems to feel like home after the third visit on this trip.
Guesss what???
We're flying home tomorrow.. wooohoooo
So I'll see everyone soon yeah??

Ciao

Take care

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Happy Birthday me!!!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Right...so it's almost the end of my trip and also nearing my birthday. Not getting any younger here. Tomorrow I'm turning 24.
So far am having a blast but still need to find a place where I can celebrate.

James bought me a spa package for the day, yesterday and it was blisfully relaxing. Since the spa place had a buy one get one free treatment, James joined in as well (and I think he enjoyed it more than I did :).
We started with a herbal steam sauna and floral foot massage, followed with green tea body scrub and aloe vera wrap. After that we took a milk rose bath, an oil massage and ended with a facial. Hmmm every girl's dream.

And for the final touch since this is the last of the days, we decided to treat ourselves to the Hilton 5 star hotel for 2 nights (come on we've been slumming it for the past 8 months). Don't think I'll be getting out of that room soon!

At this point we have so many shopping that it's not funny. We have to think of a way to not overweight the baggage on the way back to Syd.

I can't wait to see everyone soon!!

Saturday, 09 June 2007

Location: Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Am in Ko Phi Phi after venturing Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Krabi. Krabi is hands down the most amazing beach I've ever went to and if you had a look at my pics I think you'll second me on that.
Everything is a bit more expensive there but it's worth it.

Ko Phi Phi is nice but I'm trying not to think what the place looked like when it was hit by the Tsunami. Everything seems normal enough here but there are developments going around and most of the bungalows are newly rebuilt.
Going on a full day snorkelling trip tomorrow, should be great.

Next and last destination is Phuket and we're taking a flight to Bangkok to fly back to Syd.
10 days countdown till going home. Slightly depressed thinking about it. No more holidays, no jobs to come back to and running out of money. But hey that's life. Looking forward to seeing everyone back at home :)

Ciao

Saturday, 02 June 2007

Location: Koh Samui, Thailand

Loving the beaches of Thailand, it is so pretty. We spent 5 days in Koh Tao just snorkelling (and diving for James) and swimming with the fishes. Trying hard to spend less $$$ but it's proven quite difficult as it's nearing the end and all I want to do is blow up the budget and stay in nice resorts (thankfully it's not that bad, No we haven't ran out of money yet).

We're in Koh Samui now, very different to Koh Tao. Very resorty and lots of jet skis and more glamorous bars. Maybe in a couple of days we'll head off to Krabi and following that Phi-Phi and Phuket.
Right now we've got a great bungalow right off the beach...great times!!!

Monday, 21 May 2007

Location: Luang Prabang, Laos

I'm with James again now for our last leg of the trip. In Laos now and going to see mountains, caves, rivers and waterfalls before we head off to the beaches in Thailand (can't wait).
So far I am loving it in Laos. It is by far prettier, more peaceful and less hectic than Cambodia, Bangkok and Vietnam. People are so friendly here and you can relax the whole day, enjoy cheap food and go to night markets at night. Fruit shakes (the bananas are yummy) are 30 cents and an hour massage is $4. Can't go wrong. Food is absolutely delicious in here. We went for a veggie buffet last night and had the best chilli mixture, all for 50 cents.

Off to Vang Vieng tomorrow a place to tube down the river with bars on the side of the river and you can get as many beers as you like whilst sitting on a rubber tube and enjoying the mountains and cave sceneries. Can't wait!!!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Sigh... in Bangkok airport now waiting for my flight to Laos. Good thing Bangkok airways has got a lounge with free internet and food.
Bangkok for the past 9 days has been alright but a bit boring. Saw the Royal palace, went to the markets and all the temples (all templed out BTW. Won't be seeing another temple for a while) but at the end it was just another big city. I did get to hang out with a lot of cool people that didn't make life quite so boring.
As from today I have officially 1 month till the end of my holiday.
Turns out that when I get back from Thailand, my family is jetting off to Canada. I won't be seeing them till the end of June. Will be missing them but they're gonna have a great time!!!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Woohooo Bangkok, the tourist land.
We crossed from Cambodia to Thailand yesterday and for 4 hours we had the worst road in the whole world. It was bumpy and dirty, muddy. For four hours, our insides are shaken.
And not so good for me coz the night before, my stomach isn't feeling too well.

Staying in Bangkok for about 8 days before I see James again in Laos. There are so many things to see (and buy) in Thailand. Just now I was looking around near my guesthouse and already found a couple of dresses that I want to buy. This is gonna be very bad.

Wednesday, 09 May 2007

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

So I was sitting down on top of a temple yesterday in Angkor Wat for sunset and started chatting to a girl. She was from Sydney, French Forest and apparently half Indonesian. Kept chatting for another 45 minutes until we both (or more she than I) realized that we've met and knew each other beforehand. She was James' friend and I'd met her on his farewell. It took us a long time to connect the puzzle. The world is really small. What are the chances of that???
Even the driver was saying "Australia is smaller than Cambodia".
We ended up going for drinks and dinner and going to meet up again tonight. Good to see a familiar face after travelling for a while.

Speaking of temples though, Angkor Wat is different from the temples I've seen in Central America and Peru. More wide structure like Borobudur in Indonesia than high like the Incas and Mayan temples.
Completed the whole "seeing the sunset and sunrise" ritual and it was magnificent. A cool breeze and a relaxing afternoon waiting till the sun goes down and its reflection spluttered all over the sky.

My favourite temple though is not the Angkor Wat itself (Angkor is a complex of temples and one of the biggest, grandest temple is called Angkor Wat) but Ta Phrom the temple of trees. It's where they filmed one of the Tomb Raider movies. No wonder they picked the spot, trees are growing beneath the temples and lifting it up and sideways making it looks like the earth and not men created the temples.

Going to Tonle Sap lake this arvo - the biggest fresh water lake in South East Asia. Taking a boat there and having a look around.

Monday, 07 May 2007

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Am in Cambodia right now and will see the famous Angkor Wat tomorrow. So far the party of two is what's called my 'tour group'.
Crossed Vietnam border on a boat to Cambodia. A 5 hour trip where I get to see the life of the Mekong Delta. Was really good. People just living in boats and fishing, washing clothes, eating, etc.
Staying in nice hotels so far (3 stars all the way).

Seriously did the eeriest thing in my life yesterday. In Cambodia they have the s21 prison camp and killing field from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime. The prison camp was gruesome with photos of the dead and tortured, but seriously nothing like the killing field.
In around 1975-79, Pol Pot eliminated 3 millions of Cambodians (men, women and children) by killing and torturing them. In this particular killing field 17,000 people died and mass graves were dug for them. Until now some of them are still buried but the problem was, if it rains in the area, the bones and clothes of the dead starts rising up to the surface. We went to the killing field and we actually walked ON the bones and the clothes. I felt sick and disrespectful. The government is thinking of shutting the complex down so in future people can still see the mass grave but not walk on them. I think it's a bloody good idea.
was truly the scariest thing I've ever done. Worse than horror movies of any kind. Couldn't sleep last night.

Wednesday, 02 May 2007

Location: Saigon, Vietnam

In Saigon for 4 days. Been around the city with Jupp the German and Laurie the American. We shared a 3 bed dorm and soon enough were bonding and inseparable. Spent our nights in nearby drinking hole where the local beer is $0.50/litre. Although it is more like 60% water, 30% beer and 10% ice, the small corner beer stall has a great atmosphere and we met up with backpackers from all over the world and locals too. Food here is very cheap, street food cost around $0.80 for a bowl of Pho noodle.

So far we've seen the Reunification palace, War remnants museum, Cathedral and the Cu Chi tunnel.
War remnants museum was very sad, with photos all over the wall from the past Vietnam war. Victims from Agent Orange bombs, torture of women and killing of children. I got a bit sick from all the gruesome.

Cu Chi tunnel was interesting because whoever built that tunnel was a genius. With underground living quarters and tunnel entrance as big as only 30 cm so the American soldiers can't get in, it's truly an underground city.

Tomorrow I'm starting the Intrepid tour from Saigon to Bangkok in 9 days. First day will be Mekong river before we cross to Cambodia and see Angkor Wat.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Last day in Tokyo...Vietnam tomorrow.
Went to the Meiji shrine yesterday and I saw a traditional Japanese wedding procession. Was very cool and the kimonos they were wearing was very beautiful too. It looks very complicated though. Japanese women are all very pretty. They dress in style and the hair is always immaculate. I feel like a bum in here.

Went to Harajuku and Ginza yesterday. Harajuku was perhaps the equivalent of Soho and Ginza is of 5'th Ave if we want to talk NY shop terms. Did bought a pair of Uniqlo jeans in Ginza. Can't help it, was very nice and not too expensive. I was being pretty good so far in Japan and not spending money left, right and centre.

Saturdays and Sundays all the shopping district is so full that you can barely walk. Tokyo is rightfully one of the busiest cities in the world

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Location: Tokyo, Japan

5 days in Tokyo will fly so fast, yet I felt like I haven't seen anything much. Yesterday we went to the Imperial palace but it was unfortunately closed for Fridays so we're going to try our luck again today. Yesterday seemed a bit of a waste of time. We did manage to find Shibuya and Shinjuku, the shopping district but nothing much to buy because there's nothing we can really afford.

At night we went to Tokyo district, apparently known to be the busiest district in Japan (and have the busiest street in the world) but since we didn't know the name of the street and with no maps, we couldn't find it. So unprepared.

Gone to bed at 1 am and have to be out of bed by 4 am as we wanted to see the famous Tsukiji fish market. It was a sight though. Amazing tons of fishes ranging from Tuna, Salmon, eels roes and a whole lot more. It's like a really fresh sushi store.
Bought a skewer of grilled eels.. nyyuummm...

Today I'm planning to absorb a lot more of Tokyo. From the fish market I decided to speed up and saw the Tokyo tower and Roppongi night club district. A cover charge can range from US$40-100. Pretty crazy. I decided to check it out during the day as it's safer and less money involved. Can't go into the clubs of course but even at 9 am there are still people staggering out of the club looking like they've had the night of their life.

Today definitely have to tackle Harajuku and Ginza shopping district and Imperial palace. I decided to do most of my sightseeing today just because I bought a day pass that lets me go around on the Metro line.

Have been trying to save money with food by eating 7 eleven food and the occasional instant noodle. As much as I love to taste everything Japanese, they are just way to expensive.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Location: Tokyo, Japan

In Tokyo land right now. Just walked around Asakusa and getting to know the city. Maybe I'll walk around the imperial palace tomorrow.

The guest house that I'm staying at is interesting. They have a shoes off policy inside the house just like a true Japanese house and the toilets have so many buttons that it's confusing. The toilet basically have warmed seats and a sprayer to 'clean' your behind. VERY modern indeed.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Location: HK, Hong Kong

After a week, the hustle and bustle of HK is starting to wear me off. It truly is a shopping country. Everyday there's nothing to do but shop. The array of shops are colourful, opens till 12 midnight and are always selling different things it seems.
We bought a lot of things and need to post stuff ASAP today.

I'll be leaving for Japan tomorrow and should be an interesting experience. It's a short stay in Japan and will only be visiting Tokyo but can't wait to eat all those Japanese food. Nyyummm

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Location: Macau, Hong Kong

Arrived in HK today after Shen zhen. Shen zhen is the richest city in China and understandably because the whole city is a big shopping mall. People cross over from HK on the weekend to shop because it's cheaper here. I already bought 2 pairs of shoes and severeal shirts (sending it home by mail first chance I've got)

....goodbye China, time to move on. First thing I did crossing the border was trying to take out some HK dollars on the ATM and guess what??? they swallow my card. AGGHHHH had to cancel that but luckily I still have a backup card, but seriously annoying.

Anywho trying not to dampen my spirit, that day we crossed another border to Macau, the Asian Las Vegas. Seriously everywhere you see are casinos and hotels all around. They predicted by 2009 it will be several times bigger than Las Vegas. Very weird and every backpackers nightmare. Although the good thing about it is coz there are no hostels around (obviously only 4-5 stars hotels are around) we were 'forced' to check into a 4 star hotel in the heart of the city called 'The Metropark' hotel. Never in my life I thought of backpacking in a 4 star hotel. LOVING it heuheuhe (even got a spa, sauna, swimming pool, gym and jacuzzi)...Quite cheap though so we didn't mind, it was roughly $30pp per night (still more expensive than our usual $2.5 a night)
We're staying here for 2 nights before crossing back to HK (and already dreading the prospect of going back to hostel rooms and sharing dorms with 9 other people)

Going casino hopping tonight, James already won about $80 last night so we're trying our luck again tonight.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Location: Yangshuo, China

After 4 days of Yangtze river cruise (an alright cabin, stinky bathroom, great mountain views and loads of Chinese people) we managed to quickly get our way past Yichang, Wuhan, Guilin and to Yangshuo (in 2 days) town

Yangshuo, people say is the backpacker central and true enough there are more tourists here than you could possibly think of. For a reason of course. The hills are endlessly spectacular and it portrays China as what it should be (the dream image). Fishermans, little villages, clean air, mountains, rivers, rice paddies and bamboo rafts. We wanted to stay longer here but have to get to Guangzhou for the annual trade exhibition. All over the world people join in to see what's new and 'in' within the trade market. Should be fun.

Thursday, 05 April 2007

Location: Chengdu, China

It was a pampering day for us in Chengdu yesterday. After sipping some Chinese herbal medicine (to get rid of my cough) we went to a chinese massage and got ourselves a package of feet steam massage and full body massage. It was so relaxing I feel like sleeping on the massage table. After that we went to a hairdresser and got a nice head/shampoo massage with a haircut. Trying to explain what we want in Chinese was very tough and I was just praying I don't come out bald. The haircut was ok but Cherry now have a fringe :) (and I have to get back to the hostel and rearrange a bit of the style)

We're going to board a 4 daysriver cruise tomorrow to explore the Yangtzeand the three gorges dam, should be exciting.

Wednesday, 04 April 2007

Location: Chengdu, China

Just got a cute surprise from my sister Monika, she just bought me a chicken from Oxfam. I think it's a very thoughtful gift and it helped people in developing countries. We should have more and more people do that!

link to my chicken:
http://www.oxfamunwrapped.com.au/CollectECard.p...

Thanks heaps Mon, you made my day!!!

Wednesday, 04 April 2007

Location: Chengdu, China

I want to take a panda home!!! (death penalty to smuggle or hunt a panda though)
They are the cutest animals alive, eating about 12 kg bamboos everyday, fatty and just sits there all day and sleep in the afternoon. Chengdu is THE panda capital and we were shown giant pandas, baby pandas and some red ones too. Some people petted the pandas but it cost 400 yuan (about $70), a bit too much for 3 minutes in the panda cage and a picture (1000 yuan to hold the baby ones)

Tuesday, 03 April 2007

Location: Chengdu, China

So we had to cut short our Tibet trip coz James is a bit too sensitive of the altitude. Better safe than sorry. We took the next plane out of Tibet to Chengdu today and off to see the pandas tomorrow.

Didn't really get to see much of Tibet but did get to see the Potala palace and the lovely garden behind it, a monastery in the square and Tibetan arts market (Had to get out of there before I spent all my money)...all in all was a good experience.

Oh and I got a taste of Yak meat too.. nyummm sweet and not too chewy.


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Recent Messages

From Stefan
Happy birthday!
From Mia
Cherry!!
wow!! the photos are amazing!!! its so great you went to allllll these wonderful places!! woooooooow!!!
From Darelle Borthwick
Hey Cherry

So you made it home, unfortunately back to reality but never let the memories go. Oh the fun we had in Greece with Leigh. Enjoy being back home and hope to catch you when I one day return to Oz.

Take care
Darelle
Response: Thanks for keeping in touch D! I'll speak to you soon hey!
From mizzella
cherry,
hepi belated bday,,,
just know it now,,,

aarrgghh,
it's over already??
hahaha,

i think the overweight IS an issue,,,
u shop a lot girl,,,

lemme know if you've arrived in Syd,,,
and says hi for everyone from me,,,
Response: In Syd already. Felt weird for now but I think it's going to be okay
From Mathilda
Hey Cher...it's ur b'day pn Sunday. huh... happy 24th! now start saving money again hehehehe... God bless!
Response: hauhauh iya nih mo pulang hikxx... but happy as well
From Herry
Yo you need a pick up from the airport?

Send me an email if you do.

Anyway, see you soon and waiting to hear the summary of life lessons learnt in the past half a year!
Response: hauhauha sweet!!
From P
Don't get depressed, keep traveling and come to SF! :)
Response: hauhaahuaha I wish. you'll get me a job there??
From Monnie
Udah buka package dr HK dan China! Huehehe. Wah, tas cokelat bgs bgt!!!! BRp sih?? itu lg Trend loo..haha. Wat a pity I won't fit in ur new cute shoes! =_="
Response: hauahuahhua aku aja udah lupa beli apa aja.. anyways have fun in Canada
From P
Did you get a massage yet?
Response: Yes, lots of massages. Getting depressed going back :(
From Monnie
Cher, package dari HK uda ampe slamet ke rumah! Hehe...
Response: ok good. kamu buka?
From Monnie
Woah, Koh Tao seems waay betta than Phuket! OMG, tat's soo hilarious the pic of the drunk dog!! Whose dog is dat!? Who put the beer & money on the dog??? U??? Haha..mummy laughed at it too!
Response: hauhaua James did it. He laughed so hard too. Poor dog!!
From Monnie
The beaches & snorkelling r waay better than Cairns, aint it!?? lol! The souvenirs r soo cheap and unique! =)
Response: yup if you go to Koh Tao it's amazing!!!
From mizzela
cherry,,,
my fellow indonesian,,,

ugh,
envy you,,,

hahaha,,,
had a good time in bangkok with you,,,
and can't wait to see you in another places,,,

hope i can make it to sydney,,,
(finger's cross,,,)

have a really good fun for me will ya,,,
(coz i'm not having any fun here,,,)
hahaha,,,
Response: Cheer up...heuheuhe I miss Indo and envy you living in Indo heuheu. When you do come to Syd, give us a ring :)
From Mathilda
Heyyy your fam is going to Canada? hahaha gak mau ketinggalan ma elo ye... ntar mereka tau2 backpacking lageeee

Miss u cherrrr... dah mau pulang yeeee... take care!
Response: iya nih kurang sebulan hiks.. yup mrl mo ke Vancouver kayanya
From Monnie
Waaat!? 3 wks in phuket!?? So lucky! We got to spend 4 days!!! LOL...Man, u could see everything in Phuket! Save money to go to Phi Phi Island yah!
Response: ngga phuket doank lah. lots of different little islands
From Monnie
Ohhh, Can't wait to go to Canada!!! It seems sooo far out! Oh, I soo badly want to meet u! But eh, we can wait another week?? When r u goin to Phuket????
Response: will spend 3 weeks in the beaches of Thailand. In Laos now
From Vna
Floating market so cool. We didnt get to see it last time we went to thai. Eh gile si monik mao ke canada. Si om seneng pegi banget yah - ga mao kalah sama loe tuh cher. heheh.

Beli tas Thai kain yang selempang deh - keren. Tahan lama. =)

Hugs2
Response: iya mau ntar pas nyampe bangkok lagi heuheuheuh
From P
Go get a massage!
Response: I am about to, after this internet session. How are you? haven't heard from you in ages
From Monnie
Kan qta mo ke Kanada....=D
apa bole bawa buku2 untk baca di pesawat???
Response: oh ya? kapan mo ke Canada? ko ngga bilang2.
Boleh lah aku bawa semua backpack kecil ku ko
From Monnie
Hey, when u went to Canada by plane, they dunt allow u 2 bring anything whatsoever!??? So wat do u do then?? Just stare at the ceiling for at least 17 hrs flight!???
Response: what do u mean? there are no restrictions like that.
From Monnie
Dere's heapz of malls, aint it!? Bangkok is soo similar to Jakarta, dunt u tink? But it's a lot more safer than JAk, ye? Did u go to Grand palace? HEY, u should go to floating market! It's sooo worth it, even tho it's 2 hrs drive from Bangkok!! Tips: dunt buy too much things over dere...trust me I bought some and they got broken in a month!!!
Response: hauahuah I thin you can go ther by boat as well.
No I haven't been to Grand palace. Been to Chatuchak market yesterday
From James
Cute pic of you on the boat ;)
From V
OMG! That's crazy, why did you walk on them? Can't you take a detour and go around them. Man I would feel haunted coming out off the mass grave. Scary..

Good thing it's bone fragments. Not actually whole bone parts of the body. I actually thought you could see whole skulls and bones of arms and hands coming out of the graves when I read your story, So they look really like human parts. But the picture isnt so bad. It kind of look like sand with white shells. But I'm sure it looked worse in reality.

I salute you, berani banget loe cher! Ihh..merinding aku ngebayanginnya.

How long are you staying in cambodia for?
Response: going to Thailand tomorrow. Believe me when you imagine you're walking on 17,000 skulls, it ain't pretty. No going around it either, they're everywhere
From aGa
mauuu, mauuu! ntar aku kasih draftnya kalo dah jadi, hehehehee....

duhh, musti sering2 mampir nih ke blog ini biar tahu gimana keadaannya...

paling ada 5 kota aja yang mau dijadiin latar belakang!

mau2! 10 tips backpacking!!! e-mail me aga.author@gmail.com =)

thanks a lot sista!
Response: ok beres! tapi ini email slow banget man..
From Amy
Hi Cherry,

Almost the last lap huh! You must have sooo many stories to tell. Share a quick one? If you plan to stop in Singapore let me know.

Amy
Response: Not stopping in Singapore unfortunately. I wish so :)