Coming back after a extended trip can be hard for anyone. There are many emotions evolved in the days before you leave and the trip home. Weather it is a few hour car ride or a full day flight, the travel beings the emotions of home very real.
My latest trip was almost eight months long and I learned a lot about the world and about myself as cliche as that may sound. For me it was after the first few months I adjusted to life on the road and out of a pack. I started my trip in Auckland, New Zealand and stayed in most of the major area of the city for the first three weeks, and man did I ever get my bearings of a city then walking it everyday for three weeks for most of the daylight hours. After the innatinal first weeks my mother took the twenty something hour flight to come see her globe trotting daughter. My mother, being the planner she is, had all of our ten days filled with things to see and do on this once in a lifetime trip for both of us. We travled from north to south island and back again. When I finally had to tell my dear mum goodbye I had to be on my own again and for this trip my defining moment. Having to plan where you will sleep and how you will get to that bed you booked in the most beautiful picture the hostel can create, you learn how quickly judge pictures and rating. Which I feel I had learned from hostel hopping in Europe on a tight budget. After a few mad hostels in New Zealand and one or two in Australia I learned quickly that five US dollars could mean the difference between a small or out of the way compared to toilets soaked in drunken pee from the bar hostel downstairs. Reviews are worth the read and also worth the time to write.
- Www.Booking.com always gave me the most results generally in my International travels
- Www.hostelworld.com come up with much fewer results but are all on a backpacker/ budget level.
- Www.couchsurfing.com is a way to meet locals that are willing to open up their home to you after registering and filling in important details to the website and matching with locals that want to show you their city. You may have to do dishes or keep clean in exchange for a very local tour,home cooked local food, and a place to lay your head.
- Www.YHI.com comes at a price of a year membership at a very reasonable rate. I have found over many counties that this organisation have overall the best accomadation at comparative prices. The rooms are always clean and the location is usually near the things you came to that area for. I have nothing but nice things to say about Hostel International.
Like in most things, the people in each place can make or break even the nicest hostel. Community living isn’t for everyone.
After getting used to this life of everyday new city, new people, and new
This is the huge reclining Buddha with its pearl feet together at the far end. When you enter this temple, after you take your shoes off and place then in a mesh bag to carry with you, you are able to walk almost all the way around the grand Buddha. Walking in you start at the head facing front and walk down to the feet. There are displays along the walls with the history and places to pray. When you finally wrap around the feet and start walking towards the head you will hear the tink tink tink of coins going into medel pots all down the wall makes a wonderful and unexpected background when seeing this giant golden reclining Buddha.
This video is the only way I could think to show the scale of this Buddha.
With a few shoes out front and a warm breeze blowing down the center on the small temple off the busy road filled with tourist. This line could describe many small temples all over Thailand. Taking the side roads is part of how I travel and I am able to get a better feel for the area I am in. I have walked many miles and found some unbelievable places hidden from the guidebooks.
There is so much more wonder for me personally when I simply glance at a tourist map and explore,better know as getting lost, in back roads and alleys. Wondering where the mass of daily commuter and travels aren’t going gives a better feel for what the real city is like. I was given some advice before I left to get off of the well traveled sight seeing path. Even if you are a backpacker, there are still common hot spots a majority of them end up finding. The advice I received was simple, get off the beaten path. Whether it is going to the next town over, or going a few blocks down from where you are right now. You can literally do this from everywhere, even your own home. Find a new bar, hidden shop, or local gem just behind your block.
After climbing up many, many steps to the top of Monkey Temple, right at the very top when you can see the end, there is a small ticket window where visitors pay a small fee. ($2-3 USD) I knew there was a fee, but on a hot sunny day and seeing the end so close I didn’t notice the office window off to the left and an officer flagged me down to directed me over to pay the fee.
After the ticket window, there are still a few more flights of stairs of the 365 step to make it to the temple at the top. When you do get to the to, buy a bottle of water to catch your breath. From the top of Swaymbhunath or monkey Temple, you can see most of Kathmandu valley and all the beautiful colors making up this vibrate city. As the name implies, there were hundreds of monkeys running and climbing around. Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus consider monkeys holy and offerings are left for them.
I didn’t have any trouble getting here. I could see the temple peeking up above the city and simply walked from my Zostel. It was a 30-minute walk from the city and just to make sure I asked a few locals along the way and followed the pointing fingers onward. Getting taxis are very easy is Kathmandu, usually getting ripped off a bit every time. The roads are narrow and wild in Nepal, especially after the recent earthquake. Piles of rubble still laying of street corners a year or so later. Riding in a taxi is a very exciting process but I generally walked because I felt safer and I saw more.
There is another way up to the top of Monkey Temple. When you walk up to the front of the temple there will be three statues and the start of the stairs leading up. If you walk all the way around to the other side, the back there is another shorter and much easier way to reach the top.
There is so much to take in around Kathmandu, Nepal.
Temple of the Dawn is one of the top temples to see in Bangkok, but it must be seen at night also. What an amazing sight to see from across the river all lite up. When you are on the other side of the river looking for a place to see the temple in all its pretty lights you may find it hard to sneak a peak in the alleys on the river edge. I finally gave up after being in dark not so pretty areas and went to a restaurant for a drink and took all the photos I wanted.