Adventures in South East Asia Quiz

By , December 24, 2010 5:58 pm

“Which Team Leader Are You?”

You are deciding how to pack for a 3.5 week trip to Southeast Asia. Do you:

a) find a promising looking 46l pack and then revisit the same hiking shop twice more over three days deliberating whether it will be big enough, finally deciding it will after googling for packing advice on your phone to find a backpacking article which says that travelling light is the one true way to exploration nirvana?

c) pack all your worldly possessions into two small suitcases, move house, choose a tiny 32l pack over Skype which will fit 6 items of clothing which can be worn in a total of 712 ways, several phrasebooks, and large amounts of sickly sweet cough medicine?

e) opt for a rather charming and slightly oversized brown leather pouch from World War One, together with a 36l pack with attachments for two shoes which masquerade very effectively as two extra suitcases surreptitiously enough that no airline hostesses bat an eyelid when you take them on the plane as hand luggage?

You’re feeling social and decide to check out the local nightlife. Where do you go?

a) You read every Lonely Planet publication and internet review for the best spots, and use Google Maps to successfully navigate to a beach party/concert of local music where you purchase a rá nâat and jam along.

c) You accidentally accept an offer from a John who asks to “enjoy” you, and after realizing your mistake and fleeing the scene, you spend the rest of the night practicing the Thai phrases for rejection.

e) You befriend two Thais who turn out to be diplomats who gift you an elephant on which you ride to Cambodia.

The sun is up and Bangkok is bustling. Wake up! What is your breakfast choice?

a) You don’t dare open your eyes before 10am. Ask again later …

c) You haven’t exactly eaten in five days, but when you see a stall selling Pad Thai, you are instantly transformed into a drooling mutant and scarf down three servings in one bite.

e) Strange new food makes you happy. You search out unrecognizable treats from street vendors, then skip off to find a boat ride, temple, or whatever might be around the corner before your companions are even conscious.

After deciding to part ways for a few days to explore your favorite parts of Thailand, you arrive at BKK airport at your designated meeting point only to find your companions are missing. Do you:

a) write a computer program which hijacks government satellites and tracks down your friends?

c) never actually make it to the airport as you are still lost in a national forest somewhere in central Thailand?

e) buy a tuk-tuk in a chance encounter with a newfound Thai friend and drive it to Hanoi to meet them?

You’ve been elected to choose lodgings in your next destination. Do you choose:

a) a room with ensuite bathroom, fast wifi, and at least 42 power outlets to charge your gadgets

c) the forest, as you are still lost and cannot find a hotel

e) a tin hut with local children, for the fee of a harmonica lesson

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flying East

By , December 19, 2010 6:16 pm

Farewell England with your freezing / wet / windy climate and general lack of daylight, I’ve left you for a more exotic and more enticing alternative. I’ll probably reluctantly come back and pretend to beg for forgiveness in January, but right now I’m off to Singapore courtesy of the most excellent people at Quantas.  The parting shot from the British weather was a rather rubbish attempt at sleet which ended up looking like tiny polystyrene foam balls bouncing off the plane wings just before take off.

My general sense of smugness whilst settling in on the plane was furthered by Quantas’ choice of relaxation music: Tina May (I think), the Pat Metheny / Brad Mehldau duo, and Herbie Hancock’s take on the slow movement of  Ravel’s piano concerto.  Finally an airline that eschews musack for real quality!  (God, I’m such a snob.)

The Quantas experience continued to impress.  The seatbacks had very large touchscreens with a slick interface to a wide range of films, ‘Skycam’ offering a view out of the rear of the plane, and even phone calling, SMS, and webmail.

At the beginning of the flight, they explained that you could continue using the touch screens even after touchdown because “entertainment this good should be gate to gate”.  Nice!

They also provided a food menu card which included a very cool Journey Planner timeline showing what to expect for each hour of the flight, which is very useful when planning when to sleep:

After a short stay in Singapore I’ll be travelling to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and maybe even Cambodia for a bit, with two of the best travel companions anyone could ask for.  Internet access is going to be sketchy in places so bear with me if these blogs arrive with you a little late.

P.S. OK so I’m way behind with these.  It’s just turned into Christmas day here in Bangkok!  Many pictures and stories still to come …

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