Near Plover Cove in Hong Kong's New Territories
In Penang, Malaysia
Also in Penang. Thanks, friend!
In Hoi An, Vietnam. Only $1 to rent one for a day -- so fun.
Going to the Shanghai airport at 431 km/hr
A long-distance cab to Battambang, Cambodia, equipped with karaoke. See it on the dash?
No doubt you have been breathlessly awaiting my picks for the top five modes of transportation, so here they are:
5) Budget airlines. No pictures here, but nothing beats a $50 ticket on AirAsia or JetStar. We never could have seen so many places without low-cost carriers like these.
4) Bamboo train. In Battambang, Cambodia, the locals figured out a way to make good use of the railroad tracks. They take a flat bamboo platform, cut a hole for a motor, and set the whole thing on wheels. When you meet another platform coming the other way, you just get up and take yours off the track to let the other guys through. It's become a bit touristy, but it was still awesome to speed through open country with the wind whipping our faces.
3) Tuk tuk. We used these a lot in Cambodia. It was a nice, open-air change from the more crowded cities of Vietnam. A huge bonus was hiring a tuk tuk driver for a day and a half in Siem Reap. He was fast (passing cars, even), helped us with all our questions, taught us a local card game, and hung out with us at our hostel (where he also worked). It was great to have someone we trusted and had fun with to take us anywhere we needed to go.
Chin and his tuk tuk
Cows and countryside
2) Overnight train. You really can't do Asia right without taking at least a few long train rides. The very first leg of my trip was on a sleeper train to Shanghai with my friend Sara. We got to meet lots of different people and practice our Chinese. But the train ride that skyrocketed "overnight train" to the number two spot was our sleeper train from Hanoi to Danang, Vietnam. I slept like a rock, we watched The Office on a laptop in our cabin, and we played cards with the neighbors. Above all, the scenery was stunning, and I could hardly peel myself away from standing at the window and watching green mountains and sandy beaches speed by.
Views of Vietnam from an overnight train
1) Boat. Whether it was a 45-minute river cruise through historic Malacca, Malaysia:
...a couple hours touring the floating villages on Cambodia's Tonle Sap lake:
...or spending a night on a junk in Halong Bay, Vietnam:
...boats were the best!
*Photo credit for the last two photos goes to Gloria, who also gets mad props for sleeping under the stars with me on the Dang Tam deck.*