Favorite Country: Cambodia

It’s in your face, it squeezes your soul to pieces, and leaves you wanting more. Cambodians lived through an atrocity so unfathomable… so recently. How does a person move on with life after friends, family, and millions of others have perished? Somehow, life goes on & the Pol Pot Regime remains a haunting past, reminding everyone about the horrible capabilities of man.  The Cambodians were the kindest people & surprisingly not ashamed to speak of the horrible past, or current government corruption, always willing to tell their stories… not for pity, but merely to enlighten travelers of their everyday life. Couple this tragic recent history with the monumental prosperity of the ancient Khmer kingdom, crippled but certainly not cowering it remains at the forefront of Cambodia’s national pride & identity.

Favorite City: Melaka & Luang Prabang

I loved Melaka for its artsy/hippie vibe. Wandering the streets feeling like I’d been there for months rather than a few hours with its welcoming locals beckoning us in small alleyway bars & cafes for drinks. Rhys especially loved the beautiful yet sleepy Luang Prabang. Spending the day biking around & exploring old temples then eating lunch while lounging next to the Mekong River with a cool beer. It’s a great place.

Favorite Food: Pad Thai

A delicious meal for under $1- what’s better?

Favorite Resort: Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club

For a spacious, luxurious AND affordable resort in Thailand, it doesn’t get any better than Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club. It’s got ten restaurants and bars, a Thai cooking school where I learned how to make my beloved food Pad Thai, three pools and a spa, to boot. In terms of on-site amenities, this resort has everything. The units themselves are more than acceptable with private balconies, full kitchens and even a washer and dryer. This place is a great stay for those that enjoy resort accommodations or want to splurge on luxuries for a change of pace. If you are coming from Australia, you can find great accommodation through Expedia. You can enjoy the resort accommodations or you can splurge on luxuries if you want to change things up. A lot of Aussies recommend staying at this resort for at least a week.

Favorite Island: Koh Tao & Perhentians

Koh Tao for adventure and Perhentians for paradise.

Most Interesting Backpacker met:

A guy from England was traveling OVER a YEAR on a $300 bet he made on Obama 3 years before the 2008 election. It paid out $10,000!

Biggest Regret:

Not having the time to stay at an elephant camp in Pai, Thailand. Everywhere we went people raved about Pai and told awesome stories about their experiences caring for, giving commands, and riding the elephants. 

Biggest ‘holy shit, this is amazing’ Moment: Ruins of Angkor Wat

Siem Reap, Cambodia one of those must go-see-experience-explore-photograph place for everyone. To see it and walk around, in, and on top of… it’s amazing.

Craziest City: Vang Vieng, Laos

Apart from the obvious raving full/black/half-moon parties on Koh PhaNgan, Vang Vieng is one of a kind. Not only does it have all the same buckets of liquor (and for cheaper then Koh PhaNgan!) It adds in tubing down the Mekong floating to 8 different dance, mud, fire, or jungle bars. Oh, yea.. all bars have crazy ziplines launching you into the river!

Biggest Accomplishment: Mt. Everest Base Camp at 17,600ft (5,364m)

The  9 day hike to the base of the top of the world. The camp rests on one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers and is decorated with prayer flags. The overwhelming feeling that “Hey! We did it!” as we stood admits the prayer flags flapping, listening to the Khumbu Glacier groan and creak around us, witnessing the place where so many dreams begin and end for daredevil climbers.

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