Hey! Just prepping for the trip and I thought I’d share. So two weeks till I fly and I am still getting things together. Had a last minute thoughts of needing a better back up camera for the trip and a second camera for the weddings I am shooting. Which has led to the almost purchase of a Canon 7D. I want to go to the 5D and stop upgrading, but that will have to wait till next year. So for now it’s the 7D with the 50D as back up. Next year, it will be the 5D with the 7D. Much more respectable but MUCH more expensive : ) Along with the camera scramble is the new battery/cf card/extra charger scramble. Poor planning to make this decision this late but oh well.
On top of all that, waterproofing everything is... tedious. But necessary. I usually keep an apartment and base out of it for my travels in a region. But because of time constraints and geography, I am moving this whole trip. (the longest time I will be in one city is about 5 days) Carrying everything on my back. (I’ll post picks of all my crap soon) As such, EVERYTHING has to be bagged and double bagged. My clothes I don’t care about, but how much would it suck to get 3 weeks in and lose my camera or laptop. *shudders* So I am now a regular at both Bivouac and REI. Man, gear has changed since my Army days. Some great stuff out now. So that’s the skinny on the packing side of things.
On the actual trip stuff, the itinerary is pretty much set. Fly into Bangkok on the 26th (at midnight after a 26 hour travel day. Sucks!) Spend 2-4 days in Bangkok primarily to get a Vietnamese visa. Then go north. If I get the visa early, Chiang Mai. Which I hear is pretty cool. If my visa takes over 2 days, it’s straight to Chiang Khong on the Thai/Laos border.
Then down the Mekong in a slow boat, stopping for the night in Pakbeng then on to Luang Prabang. 3-4 days in LP then I am going to fly to Hanoi.
I was going to go overland by bus, but the possibility of losing 3 days to bad weather made my decision for me. In Hanoi, I’m going to check out Halong Bay on an overnight boat (yep. just like that one you heard about on CNN last month that sunk, killing like 6 people. *note to self, request an upper cabin) and to Sapa (a mountain village nearby) as well as checking out Hanoi.
From Hanoi, it’s a 15 hour train ride down to DaNang. The plan is to spend 3-5 days checking out the DaNang/Hoi An/Hue area. Then prob. another flight down to Saigon/HCMC. 5-6 days checking out the Mekong Delta area and the city itself before taking a local bus from HCMC to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. I want to see the Killing Fields before taking a boat up the Mekong to Siam Reap and the temples of Angkor Watt. From Siam to Reap back to Bangkok by overnight bus then a flight to Phuket to spend the last few days of the trip checking out coastal Thailand. Whew! Now all of this is completely subject to change due to weather or sickness etc. but this is the plan!
Anywho, I just wanted to get you all in on the trip. I am getting stoked and I wanted you to be a part of the excitement as well! Thank you all again so much for your support!