Quick summary of my 3 week trip to Asia and Australia

personal

I just returned from a three-week-long vacation in Australia and Asia.  It was—like most of my vacations—filled with notable disasters and joys.  Here are a few of the highlights (or, in a few cases, lowlights):
Opera House in Sydney, Australia

  • Cuddling with an indifferent koala, petting appreciative kangaroos.
  • Snorkeling with colorful big and little fish (and gorgeous plants) in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Watching aboriginal dancers and learning about didgeridoo, natural medicine, and more.
  • (Badly) throwing a spear and a boomerang (some poor tourist now has one less finger! Okay, so I’m just kidding about that. Maybe.)
  • Hiking in a gorgeous albeit truly rainy rainforest.
  • Getting sucked on by leeches and bitten by a zillion mosquitoes in that same rainforest.

  • Swimming under a huge waterfall (Milla Milla Falls).

  • Mountain biking around a beautiful lake.

  • Spotting tree kangaroos and lots of other exotic animals while canoeing in that same lake.

  • Exploring Melbourne and Sydney and walking all the way across the Harbor Bridge.

  • Eating unidentified food in a Korean food court all by myself.

  • Dealing with 90 degree heat (with nearly 100% humidity) and 20 degree snowy weather in the same week.

  • Enjoying the look on Koreans’ faces when they saw me walking outside in that 20 degree snowy weather… in my t-shirt (there’s a story behind that, of course)

  • Taking over 1,800 photos (thank goodness for digital photography and big cheap SD cards!).

  • Witnessing huge flocks (?) of fruit bats flying overhead for several nights.

  • Drinking Australian beer and eating kangaroo (no, not the one I petted!) and other Australian delicacies, including really delicious fish.

  • Being told by many Australians how much they’re dying to visit California.

  • Dancing in a casino and get asked if my “partner” and I are partners / teachers / whether we’re doing Rockabilly / if we can teach them how to do what we do (we had never danced previously).

  • Seeing some of the ugliest birds in existence (cassowaries) and also the cutest birds (little penguins… without ice!).

  • Having a different big white bird tell me to “SHUT UP!” repeatedly.

  • Going to an emergency warm (thankfully not for me!) and a Singapore police station (I had stuff stolen this trip… yet again. Ack!).

  • Shopping for a new camera and bargaining with brusque and sometimes shady dealers in a multi-story tech complex in Singapore.

  • Riding in modern trains, a vintage train, trolleys, buses, shuttles, gondolas, canoes, subways, and (actually affordable!) taxis.

  • Eating tons of fruits and drinking fruit juices I had never sampled before, including dragon fruit, star fruit, jack fruit, passion fruit, and (indeed smelling just like garbage) durian fruit. Fresh squeezed juice: 60 cents USD in Singapore (albeit $8 in an uber swanky bar… ouch!).

  • Meeting a huge range of interesting and diverse people, from lesbian Hong Kong hikers to crazy Danish military men to camera-shy Dutch girls to amazingly talented Japanese dancers to marathon’ing airline reps, and more…

  • Trekking around a Night Safari in Singapore and seeing flying squirrels, lions, hippos, giraffes, and other exotic animals.

  • Staying with wonderful friends I’ve never met in person before.

  • Riding a ferris wheel where my friend and I were the only ones onboard. Kinda spooky.

  • Watching (twice!) Swedish dancers skillfully performing an African-American dance in Australia and Singapore. Impressive, enjoyable and a little bit odd.

  • Dancing with people from around the world… some of whom barely spoke English, but our (dance) conversations were wonderful!

  • Having an amazingly honest Australian cabbie turn down my tip because “Hey, Mate, you don’t have to tip in Australia!”

…and wow, so much more! I took a bunch of journal notes (many of which, sadly, were on my cell phone that was stolen), and I’ll do my best to write some more specific details on my experiences, not to mention share more of the photos! The next couple of weeks, however, are going to be quite hectic.

Anyway, though I had a wonderful trip overall, it’s certainly nice to be back… with my own bed, my good Bay Area friends, and so on. And hmm… I wonder where I’ll go next… 😀

5 comments… add one
  • Graham Mar 5, 2006

    Welcome back! Sounds like a great trip, and I’m looking forward to more stories and pictures showing up as you get around to it.

  • Matt Hendrickson Mar 5, 2006

    Glad to see you got back safe and (relatively) sound! I’m looking forward to seeing many of your nifty photos that you shot whilst on vacation! Good luck with the new job! You’re going to do GREAT!!!

  • Alex Mar 19, 2006

    Hi Adam,
    hope you remember me 😉 I am that Alexguy from Mannheim.
    Hope you got over that leech attacks in the rainforest and had a good time in Oz.

    looking forward to hear/read from you 😉

    cheers
    alex

  • Sarah Jun 29, 2008

    Sounds like so much fun. And you didn’t go to China? I think from all Asian countries, it’s the one with most powerfull traditions!

    xx Sarah

  • Upfuse Aug 29, 2008

    Nice I’ve always wanted to go to Asia. This is definitely on my must travel list.

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