What’s new on wired2theworld? Cambodia, Burma, London, China and Italy, oh my!

by wired2theworld on May 17, 2015

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I’m behind on blog posts. Like really, really, behind on writing about the wonderful places we’ve been in the last year. But I’d like to change that so I’m putting it out there, making it public, in the hopes I’ll be publicly shamed encouraged enough to finish in less time than it took me to write about our last trip, to Peru (which took an entire year!).

So what’s up and coming? I’m not sure where to begin, but this is where we’ve been in the last 12 months:

In July 2014 David and I went to Cambodia and Burma for two weeks. We spent time with the Ponheary Ly Foundation, visited Koh Ker school, stayed at the feels-like-home Seven Candles Guesthouse, spent a night at a village guesthouse in Srayang, and trekked though the jungle near Koh Ker visiting temples most tourists never see (like the one below).

KohKerTempleTrek1

From there we flew to Burma, visiting the temples along the plains of Bagan, stayed in an over water bungalow on Inle Lake, and ended the trip prowling the streets of Yangon, searching out street food and exploring the crumbling architecture, all while happily ensconced in colonial splendor of the Strand Hotel.

Bagan Sunset Dust Storm Small

Over Christmas week 2014, we flew to London to spend the week with David’s family in a London suburb called Chiswick. Even though a lot of sightseeing and transportation options were closed for the holidays, we still managed to visit Greenwich and the British Mueseum, go on two London walking tours, visit the castle at Hampton Court, explore the Chiswick neighborhood, eat in several pubs, and celebrate Christmas by cooking a roast of beef and a goose! On our last day we journeyed to Oxford to visit friends before flying home.

Oxford01

In April 2015, my mother and I spent a week split between Hong Kong and Shanghai which included an overnight train trip between the two. Both cities are extremely modern and frenetic, but we were also able to get out to nature on Lantau Island off Hong Kong and see one of the world’s largest sitting buddhas. We had a room with a million dollar view (below) and a “budget” price, and ate delicious dim sum. The overnight train trip to Shanghai was quite the experience and a lot of fun.

HongKongView1

Shanghai had both great cocktails with an amazing view, and the best dumplings in the world for just pennies. We saw a touristy “water town”, ate street food for breakfast, stared at modern art, and walked through the Sunday marriage market in People’s Square. There were temples, and towers and plenty of markets, oh my!

JiaJiaTangBao1

Then there’s the next trip; in July David and I will head to Italy to celebrate our upcoming 20 year wedding anniversary, hitting some of the same highlights we did on our honeymoon and making new memories. We’ll start in the small Tuscan town of Pienza, spend a night next to Pompeii, move on to the Amalfi Coast and end in one of our favorite cities, Rome.

Looking at all that, I’m exhausted! No wonder I can’t find the time to write. But we’ve been blessed with a fantastic 12 months of travel and I’m going to do my best to get back to work on sharing it.

Here’s what I’d like to know from you; do you prefer to read about trips in order in which they occurred, or does it not matter, just as long as there’s something to read. If it doesn’t matter, let me know if you have a preference as to what you’d like to read about first.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Myra May 17, 2015 at 5:50 pm

I’m interested in the photos and interesting stories and will not be nit-picky if you decide to jump around.

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2 wired2theworld May 17, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Thanks Myra!

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3 Lynn May 17, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Yay! New post!! I’ve always loved your writing style and photos, so I’m excited to see anything. I’m especially interested in hearing about your adventures in Hong Kong. In my too-short stopover there, Ngong Ping was my destination of choice. The views from the cable car were stunning! That being said, however (and since you asked), I prefer to read about them in the order in which they occurred (anal retentive personality here). I’m glad you’re back and look forward to whatever you decide to share next!

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4 wired2theworld May 17, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Lynn. I’m mostly like you, I want to read a trip in order, especially when I’m researching a place I’m going. On the other hand, a lot of blogs do it the other way, so I wondered. Plus, it might not feel like such a chore if I can do it out of order. 🙂

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5 Lucy May 18, 2015 at 10:40 am

I don’t care about the order, but do like knowing when the trip happened, as weather and time of year can make such a difference.

As long as you tell your story, I can’t imagine anyone complaining how you do it!

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6 wired2theworld May 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Lucy, I agree. I also like to know how up to date (or not) the information is. I usually try to include the month and year in each trip’s introduction page.

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7 Ibis May 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm

My preference is to read your stories in the order they occurred, but I understand it might take longer, so I’ll take whatever you can share!
I’m especially interested in reading about your trip to Burma and your photos since its a relatively new destination and I’m interested in going next.
I thoroughly enjoy your blog and your comments about the restaurants and markets you visit in your travels.

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8 wired2theworld May 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Ibis- Noted! I also prefer to read in order, though lately, I do like to group similar things (tourist sites, dining options, etc) for a single location as opposed to day by day.

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9 Erika May 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm

I’ve been following for years. My preference (keeping in mind that I’m happy with whatever you write!) is that you do one trip at a time. I don’t care if they’re in order of when the trips were taken, but I like to read start to finish of one trip. Thank you for continuing to share with all of us!

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10 Jan Johnson May 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm

My preference is whatever your preference (or your mood, as you will) is. Your writing is entertaining no matter the subject and the pictures are to die for. I look forward to any new installment, no matter the order.

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11 Shirley Twyford May 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Beautiful photos, Kristina. Can’t wait to see the upcoming Italy trip. Our next Europe trip, whenever that is, will include Italy and probably Croatia. Would love your input on where to go and what to eat.

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12 Dee June 11, 2015 at 8:10 am

Hi Kristina,
I have been reading your website since about 2010 and have always enjoyed your writing and photos. I have a question and hope that it’s not too personal. Could you give any tips on how you budget for your trips? Also, are you self-employed or do you have a ton of vacation time available from work? I would like to travel more, but can usually only pull off one far trip or two short trips per year.
Thanks!!
Dee

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13 wired2theworld June 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Hi Dee-

I don’t mind. We’re both employed full time. David is a teacher so he gets summers off and I’ve been at the same job for over 20 years so I get 4 weeks a year (which I can never take all of, and certainly not all at once!).

Budgeting for me is a matter of priorities as to where I spend my money, both at home and abroad. I try to balance expensive destinations like those in most of Europe with less expensive ones in Asia. I also choose to spend my money on travel rather than eating out a lot, buying a new car every 3 years and having a big house. Having 2 incomes and no kids makes it easier as well.

But mostly it’s about planning, saving both money and airline/hotel points, and searching out the best deals.

For example, I had no plans to go to China this year, but saw a deal for $600 round trip flights and it was too good NOT to go. We searched for good hotel rates in HK (but the room had to have a harbor view, another priority!) and used Starwood points for free nights in Shanghai. We ate a lot of inexpensive street food. I don’t think I spent more than $1400 all in, including airfare, hotels, overnight train and food for 9 days. That’s for me only, but I don’t think my mom spent more.
Our plane tickets to Cambodia/Burma last year were free with airline points which we’d saved for a long time. Expenses on the ground were low in Cambodia ($20/night hotel) but more in Burma where we splurged a bit. London air tickets were expensive during the holidays, but we stayed with family and friends and used points for one night in a hotel.

Hope this helps! This year and last year we were blessed with a lot more travel than normal. I think we may have to take a little break next year and save some more. 🙂

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14 Julie August 29, 2015 at 10:17 am

We are waiting for your most recent Italy trip report to pop up. On our last two trips we used your Rome restaurant recommendations and they were great. We love the food photos, especially. On our next trip to Rome in October we are renting an apartment for a week so your notes on renting were of interest to us too. We looked in Trastevere but found a nice place near Campo de Fiori. Any idea if you’ll be posting Italy soon?

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15 wired2theworld August 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Julie, I probably won’t have it done by then. I actually have most of the lodging reviews written, but nothing on the restaurants yet.
In Rome we went to some old favorites like Armando al Pantheon, which has been remodeled inside but was wonderful as always. We also ate at a place new to us called Ditirambo http://www.ristoranteditirambo.it/ We liked it so much we ate there twice. Close to Campo de Fiori too. We had drinks a couple of times and a nice light meal one night at a place called Mimi e Coco on Via Governo Vecchio near Piazza Navona.

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