Myanmar: The Ancient Kingdom of Bagan

Myanmar: The Ancient Kingdom of Bagan

I'll say it here right off the bat - Bagan may be my all-time favorite destination I've ever traveled to. This place was an absolute gem to visit and I'm still overwhelmed by the entire experience I had there. Bagan is one of those places that when you're there sitting atop an 900-year old temple with no one else on it at sunset, you can't help but think, "Wow. How do places like this exist on Earth?" It was a magical experience and I hope everyone will one day be able to see this unbelievable destination.

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Thailand: The Gulf of Thailand Islands - Part 1

Thailand: The Gulf of Thailand Islands - Part 1

Some of the most famous islands for backpackers sit on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Though Thailand actually contains several islands in the Gulf spreading all the way from Malaysia to Cambodia, the most popular one for foreigners sit near the provincial town of Surat Thani, far south down the long peninsula connecting Thailand to Malaysia. Luckily, I got to visit both over the course of two separate trips. Due to the business of some of them, I found that I was ready to leave some of these islands by the end, but nonetheless, here's my compilation of three (two of which I visited out of five total I'll feature in the Gulf) of the Thai islands in the Gulf of Thailand!

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Thailand: An Ancient Kingdom of Ruins

Thailand: An Ancient Kingdom of Ruins

Sukhothai, the capital city of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom existing from the 11th to 14th century, now lies in ruins and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I was lucky enough to get to spend a couple of days touring around this old, yet quiet and very authentic, city in Northern Thailand, and it was one of the most magical places I've visited in Asia thus far. The historical park, where the capital stood during the last one hundred years of the kingdom, contains nearly 200 ruined wats, chedis, and Buddhas spread across the 70 sq km. 

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Thailand: The First Week

Thailand: The First Week

I got lucky and met an amazing group of backpackers to spend my first week with so I ended up staying a significantly longer time in Bangkok that initially planned and got a chance to see a bit of the surrounding area as well. With five days in total spent in Bangkok and another two spent in Kanchanaburi, a small town about three hours west of the capital, I saw a lot in my first eight days in Asia, and it's been a major change of pace from what I'm used to at this point in my travels. 

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