trip to asia | intro!

last month we got lucky enough to be able to go on a super special trip to aisa. (hong kong, cambodia, and thailand.) because jordan was graduating from business school, had some time off, and I have an awesome job/co workers who helped make this all possible we decided it was now or never. we got really blessed that everything worked out. we were able to celebrate jordan's graduation and our 5 year anniversary with a little adventure and relaxation.

before i slam you in the face with a ma-zillion pictures i'm going to have to make some disclaimers:

1. 98% percent of the photos here were taken with my iPhone (or jordans) i also used my canon powershot and 40D, but sparingly. truthfully as much as i love a great picture the iPhone was good enough and just far easier to carry around/pop out for pic. i'm absolving myself of the guilty feeling that i needed to be consumed with getting the right shots at the right exposure and so forth. i believe in that don't get me wrong, but that wasn't what this trip was about for me. i really just wanted to enjoy myself and that meant not carrying around a heavy camera. so sometimes things are dark or blow out or noisey and i'm ok with it.

2. i kept my captions to a minimum. i will probably wish one day that i'd written more, but in the words of the lovely scarlett, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

3. i also ignored grammar, punctuation, and sometimes spelling when i did eek out commentary. there are probably a lot of typos too. didn't have time to proof. time is money people. i'm ok with it, but i'm sorry for you readers.

4. i didn't have time/was too lazy to get each picture in every post in proper order. hopefully it all makes sense.

5. if it sounds like im mayor of bragsville on how awesome this trip was i apologize in advance. it was pretty wonderful and there was just no pretending it wasn't. feel incredibly grateful to have been able to do it.

mostly for my own journaling, but for anyone else who might find it useful here's what we did/a few tips that i emailed a friend who is planning a trip:

we flew into Hong Kong, spent a day and two nights there> Chiang Mai for 3 days> Chiang Rai two nights and day>Bangkok for a night>Siem Reap two days>Bangkok for a night>Krabi for 6 days>Home
that's the gist of it in a nutshell. i think i got the days about right. 

the journey there and back is intense. we downloaded a TV series to watch during plane rides. a few seasons of something addicting does wonders to distract you from 14 hours on a plane. saved us. We shared a laptop and used an audio splitter so we could use our own head phones.

Where we went:
We LOVED Chaing Mai. super fun and TONS to do. We did tiger kingdom, elephant camp, temples, markets, great food. 
Chiang Rai was cool def do the white temple if you go there.
Bangkok is basically NYC on crack. haha its a big city, but we loved the terminal 21 mall and weekend market was a sight to see.
Siem Reap was AMAZING!! we hired a tuk tuk from our hotel to drive us around the ruins, best way to do it. id recommend doing angkor wat in the evening. we went just before closing and basically had the place to ourselves. its was life changing. 
Krabi is incredible. WE did the phi phi island and rai lay and lots of beach lounging and adventures.

Some things I forgot to bring but wish I did:
Bug repellent. I planned to buy there since we were carrying on, but this stuff is so great and worth getting ahead of time. the mosquitoes there are not messing around.  
Good cover ups. I brought shorts and shirts, but a good toss on tank dress would have been nice.
Spray conditioner. my hair was pretty knotted after boating etc. good spray conditioner would have been really handy in my beach bag. 
Waterproof camera. there's bags you can buy to waterproof your own camera, but i probably would have done one of the disposable ones. there's too much amazing underwater stuff i missed shooting. 

Things I was SUPER glad I packed:
I packed plenty of meds for us both (pepto bismo, advil, tylenol pm, etc) we downed chew-able airbournes vitamin C the whole trip. with all the planes/jet lag i seriously think it helped us not get sick. 
All you need is sandals and maybe one pair of good walking shoes. I wore my nike frees on the plane and for more heavy duty activities and these target sandals the rest of the trip. I did wear my flip flops a few times for pool etc but was glad i brought the bare minimum in shoes. i usually don't :)  
I didn't bring anything i wouldn't be sad about if it got lost or grossly dirty. This just helped me relax and enjoy myself more bec i wasn't worried about stuff. left my ring at home and bought a $10 target band to wear so i wouldnt panic every 5 mins when i forgot i didn't bring it and think my ring has fallen off. (i know im so strange)
Ziplocks/wipes/tissue. I stuffed the outer pocket of my backpack with a few big and small ziplocks, wipes and travel pack of kleenex. came in SUPER handy multiple times.
Adapters. just ordered a pair from amazon for charging stuff. your hotels may have some you can barrow though.
Water proof watch. nuff said.
This hat. game changer for packing!
Sleep masks and travel pillows. so needed especially for the planes.
Day bags. Jordan had a roll up/light weight back pack. we used it for snacks, market treasures we found, day trips etc. i brought a small cross body bag for wallet, camera, passports etc. it was SO nice not carry much on us. especially in that heat.
Copies of all our docs (hotel confirms, passports etc) It was really handy to have all our info/itineraries on hand. i also scanned the whole lot and sent to my mom so she would know where were etc in case of an emergency.

Extra Info:
We flew around with air asia. cheap flights and reliable, but there's a few good airlines.
We each had a light weight/hardcase small rolling suitcase and back pack. so easy to pack up and get around with. worked out great. 
Don't know who your cell carrier is but we have at&t so we just called and added the $30 120mb global data plan before we left. we kept our phones in airplane mode when we didn't need it and used cellular data as needed. it was plenty and a total lifesaver to have data! we didn't make any calls, but i hear magic jack app is good.  
We didn't exchange any money to avoid fees. we just took out cash at atms and budgeted when we would need more. 
We used trip adviser a ton once we got there, huge help if we were scooping a dinner spot or something.
Don't know what you're planning for hotels. we have the starwood amex- the starwoods in thailand are super great!
The massages!!!!!!!! your in for a treat. we got at least one daily. 

with out further adieu! 

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