Asian Adventure – Phase One

Only three weeks until Mike and I embark on our Asian Adventure.  This trip will be a bunch of firsts for us:

  • It is the longest trip we have ever taken, both in time away (6 weeks) and in distance (12 time zones).
  • It is our first real trip to Asia. ( I don’t count a couple of days in Turkey, back in 2001, as an actual visit to that enormous continent, although technically it was, for those that count such things).
  • it will be our longest flight ever–20 hours total, with only one stop, in South Korea.  I am NOT looking forward to sitting on a plane all that time.
  • it is actually four different travel experiences wrapped into one trip.  We will be on our own for four days in Bangkok until we join a Road Scholar tour.  When that tour ends, Mike and I will explore Vietnam for five days, with a guide and driver.   Finally,  I spend the last two weeks working with Global Volunteers in Hanoi, and Mike heads  home.

I’m not sure how easy it will be to get internet access, so I figured I’d created a trip map before leaving home.  If you are really into it, you can click on the blue letters to get to the site.  You can then click on the different stops to learn more about each location and, as a special bonus, what the numbers on the map mean.


All of the tricky logistics are being handled by Road Scholar, during our Journey Into the Heart of Asia. (And yes, clicking on those blue letters will get you more information about Road Scholar AND the specifics of the trip.)  Although I am enough of a control freak to want to do my own flight arrangements to and from the United States, I am more than happy to turn over all other transportation details to the pros.

The private tour that Mike and I are taking after the end of the Road Scholar trip is being arranged by Ann Tours.  Ann Tours was created by Ann Tran in 1989 as an attempt to locate her two sons, from whom she had become separated in 1975 during the fall of Saigon.  Ann hoped that her travel agency would bring her in contact with enough Americans that eventually  someone would know something about Tony and Tim.  In 1991 an American traveler found one son’s name in a California phone book.  Mother and sons were soon reunited, with Tony now in Vietnam, arranging tours.  I love a happy ending–isn’t it nice to know they don’t just happen in movies?

About the title of this blog:
Phase One is what I call the planning part of any trip we take.  Once the logistics are squared away, it is time to learn about the places we are visiting.  I’ve been reading books and blogs, checking out Trip Advisor  and Fodors.  Knowledge is meant to be shared.  So  sisters, mi hermana preferida, cousins, friends (and anyone else who wants to play along)  here is a little quiz to get you started on this educational extravaganza:

1. What city is in two continents–Europe and Asia?

2. What country in Southeast Asia was never ruled by a European power?

3. True or false:  In Thailand, all Buddhist males become monks for a period of time, to earn merit for their families.

4.  What would you rather have:  a thousand Bhats, a million Dongs or fifty Dollars?

5. What was the country of Thailand known as before 1939?

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I am intensely curious, with a spirit of adventure that is tempered by my very strong aversion to anything with potential to cause pain. I love travel, photography, reading, gardening, yoga, music and propelling myself through space (biking, dancing, walking, dancing while walking). I've never considered a lack of proficiency in any of the previous activities to be a hindrance, counting on abundant enthusiasm to make up for my shortcomings.

9 thoughts on “Asian Adventure – Phase One”

  1. I am so happy to aways be a part of your adventures. You always make us feel that we are there with you. As you know, being blonde, I am not the smartest in the family, but I will always be willing to do my best and if all else fails,I will ad a humorous answer. So here I go:
    1. Paris
    2. The Galapogus Islands
    3. True, they rock those robes at a young age
    4. while, I have been know to Bhat a thousand in baseball, I have heard that in the absence of Twinkies, the Ding Dong is going to take the cake as the top snack so I am going to go with a millon Dongs.
    5. I have no idea.


    1. As usual, I love your answers. You know you always get points for making me smile! But I have to admit to being disappointed by answer #5. I figured you’d come up with something like “disneyworld”.


  2. Hi Shelley…….I love hearing about your Asian Adventure……what a great trip you are embarking on!!!!!! Can’t wait to follow you………
    I’ll play the quiz……….
    1. Istanbul
    2. Thailand
    3. Yes
    4. I’ll take the Bhats!
    5. Siam
    Travel safe and keep posting!!!!!
    Edie Turna
    Emmanuel College


    1. Hi Edie, What a nice surprise to hear from you! One of these days I will actually be in town when you have an event, and will have the pleasure to meet you in person. I’ll post the answers tomorrow…thanks for joining in. I love having you along for the ride!


  3. Looks like a wonderful trip! Hanoi is wonderful — I’ve been there twice and would go back in a New York minute. Any questions about the plane trip, food, people, or Buddhism — I’m happy to try to answer.


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