Highlights of the first quarter

A conversation over dinner with our lovely Dutch friends Marieke and Sanne tonight prompted this blog post. Given that December 26th marked my first three months in Asia, I’ve tried to name my top five moments/days/destinations so far. I couldn’t narrow it past eight but here goes, in date order. And I’m counting the last even though it wasn’t technically within the time frame.
 
Snorkelling in Borneo
Snorkelling off the coast of Semporna was beautiful. We saw an unbelievable number of fish, as well as turtles and coral. It even rivalled the snorkelling on Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef. I also went diving for a day which was a pretty cool experience.
 
Pai, Thailand
Not exactly a ‘moment’ as it lasted five weeks, but the Muay Thai training, the people I met and some epic nights out made Pai a definite highlight.
 
Bangkok
After six weeks in rural Thailand, a night in Bangkok was such a shock to the senses. Sights, noises, smells, tastes, rain, sun, shopping, Gangnam style flash mobs and a lovely brunch with a friend made my one night in Bangkok the perfect introduction to the city – I’ll be going back for sure.
 
Otres Beach, Cambodia
The opposite of Bangkok, six days and nights of nothing but swimming, sipping cocktails on the beach with good friends, perving on sexy Swedes and bioluminescent algae. Each day we said we’d catch a bus the next, it never happened, each day disappeared in a relaxed, tipsy kind of haze.
 
Angkor Wat
Through a series of strategic and fluky decisions, plus some heavy negotiations with our tuk-tuk driver, we saw about ten temples between sunrise and sunset and had Bayon and Angkor Wat practically all to ourselves. I have to admit, I had a bit of spiritual moment as the sun went down at Angkor Wat.
 
Ziplining at the Bolaven Plateau
Our private tour of the dense Laos jungle, flying across the face of a waterfall, thinking I was going to die while trying to scale a rock face and sleeping in a tree house. 
 
Christmas in Luang Prabang
If there’s one thing that Aimee inherited genetically from her mother, it is an unhealthy love of Christmas. She seriously brought the cheer with champagne and OJ for breakfast, Santa hats and enough chocolate to satisfy even the biggest chocoholics (actually we ate it all in two days…oops).
 
New Year’s Eve, Thailand
It was exactly what NYE on Koh Phi Phi should be – at midnight I was drinking a bucket of Sangsom, Red Bull and Coke, dancing on a table on the beach and watching fireworks.
 
Here’s hoping the next quarter will bring just as many exciting adventures and lovely friends.
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