Later today we will head to the airport and board a plane for the Maldives, via Colombo, Sri Lanka. Many people don't even know where the Maldives are, or have even heard of them for that matter. Unless you are a scuba diver, there's really no reason you would have.
After spending exactly three months in SE Asia it's time to move on again. It seems like only yesterday when Made, our host in Ubud, Bali met us at the airport. The time has gone by so fast it's scary! Between the two of us we visited six countries, stayed in dozens of beautiful cities and met tons of new friends. We've even begun to enjoy watching soccer since Thailand is mad with World Cup fever right now. Go ENG-A-LAND! (that's for Ben)
Some of the lasting memories of this part of the world have to include the great diving in Bali and Thailand, the partying in Chiang Mai, the children in Cambodia, the Singapore Zoo and the entire City/State/Country that is Singapore.
We arrived in this part of the world without much of a plan other than to slowly work our way north and west from Indonesia up to Bangkok where we fly out of. Having no set plan really worked well for us here and gave us lots of flexibility to change our minds and add new places and sights to see. If we had it to do again, we wouldn't change a thing.
SE Asia is a part of the world that is emerging and you can tell it has a lot to offer the rest of the world. We would highly recommend that anyone wanting to travel to places where you are taken out of your comfort zone and placed into a fast paced, chaotic world, come here! It's both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. The food is delicious, the artwork breathtaking and the friendliness of the people is inspiring. WE WILL BE BACK!
Before we sign off, some of you may be wondering about the new photo at the top of the page. Well, here in Bangkok it turns out that you can get custom made suits at a very good price. Now we really don't need suits while we're traveling, but there will be a time when we get home that having a suit will come in handy. So, a few days ago we went into a tailor shop recommended by someone Val met in her cooking class. Johnny's Apparel is all the way across town from where we are staying, but we found the shop and went in to inquire about having suits made. An hour later we walked out over $1,000 poorer, but had been fitted for the equivalent of 6 suits, three shirts, and three ties. We went back two times for partial fittings and then finally picked it all up and shipped it home. Johnny is getting ready to open a second shop on Monday, so he is quite busy, but he and his staff gave us detailed attention and really made us feel like more than just customers. We wish him nothing but the best with the new shop!
That's it for now.
Eric & Val