In one of my most memorable travel flashbacks, is when I went to Southeast Asia (SE Asia) with my late brother, Taylor. I didn’t know it at the time but it would be the last trip we would take together.
It was back in 1999. This was before digital cameras and mobile phones. All I had was my 35mm film camera, so I didn’t take that many pictures. The few that remain that made paper prints from I scanned into my computer, some of which are below.
It was a great trip and my first time in Asia. We visited Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand, Hong Kong, Manila and Bali and Kuala Lumpur.
As I recall, we decided to go simply because Cathay Pacific Airlines had some kind of promotional discount airfare ticket where we could fly to up 10 cities in Asia for less than $799 dollars. It sounded like a great deal. Also, the Thai currency had plummeted. It was cheap to travel …. so away we went!
Hong Kong: It reminded my of an Asian version of NYC. At night, it was pretty cool. But it was just another city. I did like some of the old British influences.
Manila, Philippines: As I remember, the people were very friendly, but Manila was a hell-scape: polluted and it felt and looked dirty. I remember seeing armed military as I got off the plane. The place didn’t feel safe.
I only spent a couple days in Manila, then headed down on a school bus with some locals to Metabungkay, a seaside resort area south of Manila. I stayed in a dumpy little hut on the beach but it was fun. Some of the locals took me out fishing the next morning and cooked up some fish on the beach.
The poverty in the Philippines was pretty bad. It’s a third world country, worse than many parts of Mexico. The people are friendly, though.
Bali, Indonesia: This was an amazing place. Beautiful, exotic and it felt like being in another world. We stayed at the Bali Intercontinental Hotel, which was nice resort hotel.
We got to visit the famous Ubud Monkey Forest, and we had monkeys crawling all over us. The food was great, too. I love Indonesian food.
We did get extorted for our cheap watches from the police because we rented some scooters and supposedly ran a red light. I would like to return one day.
Bangkok, Thailand: Another big city. Afterwards, we travelled down to Phuket, Thailand, which was nice coastal area. We had a good time overall and met some nice locals. Thai people are gracious and amazing cooks.