Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

Best of Asia- Little known places

Now that we have hit the seven month travel milestone I wanted to highlight some of my favorite places of the trip that are not well known. No Hong Kong or Bangkok on this list. Here is a selection of eight places that I will resist ranking until the end of the trip. I have included a picture or two for each of them.

Koh Jum, Thailand–This small island with limited electricity (3 hours a day) has beautiful, quiet beaches and crystal clear water. Located between Krabi and Koh Lanta it is still off the beaten path for most people. The food at the ‘New Bungalows’ is excellent with the glass noodles with shrimp, banana shakes, and onion rings as particularly noteworthy.

Koh Jum

Koh Jum sunset

Wolong, China–Located 4.5 hours northwest of Chengdu, this area of the Sichuan province is absolutely beautiful. In addition to the unbelievable forest the fact that you can see a crazy amount of one year old Pandas playing makes the trip well worth it.

Keeping it real


Lijiang & Tiger Leaping Gorge, China–Cheating here a bit with two locations in one but Lijiang is the old Chinese town that takes you back in time. You can drink it up with Chinese tourists all night long and then head off to one of the more beautiful treks in the Yunnan province.

LiJiang Square


Mae Salong, Thailand–This small town is located up in the hills that border Thailand and China. Not much to do but drink tea and hang out with the locals who are exceptionally friendly. The spicy lemongrass soup I had there definitely lands on my list of top eats. You can also hike through rows and rows of tea and then have a cup in a giant teacup building–you can’t beat that.

Mae Salong Tea Fields

Francie and horsie

Hongsa, Laos–Take a boat down the Mekong River for a day. Hop in the back of a truck for 2 hours and you get to the dusty town of Hongsa. Known as elephant central this place doesn’t have a lot going on except bike or elephant rides through the surrounding countryside. If you are lucky the nice people may even force you to go to a Lao wedding.



Kalaw, Myanmar–Truly, one of my favorite places on the trip. Located to the east of Bagan up in the mountains. The people were incredibly friendly and we were invited to sing and play guitar at the Hi Snack and Drink bar. The trekking was fantastic and the Golden Kalaw Hotel goes down as the best guesthouse in Asia. The Nepali food here is divine.



Meung Ngoi, Laos–From Luang Prabang you take a bus or pickup truck to a river in the north. Then transfer to a little boat and go another hour up the river. There are no vehicles here and you can do day hiking (or longer) to small towns even farther out. The rate at one guesthouse out there was fifty cents a night but be careful–they eat dog out here.

Francie & water buffalo


Bolaven Plateau, Laos–Hop on a motorbike and explore the Bolaven Plateau. This area in the southeast of Laos can change quickly from dry and dusty to lush and beautiful. There are a number of different waterfalls that may soon be used by the Lao government to generate electricity. See them while you can and don’t forget to get a cup of the legendary coffee.



That’s the list for now. Let’s see what the next month brings because I am betting that Songpan will land on the list where Francie gets to ride a horsie again (oh joy of joys).


August 11, 2007 - Posted by | China, SE Asia, Travel

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