Monday, 23 July 2012

Towards Departure

In nine days I plan to be flying to Kuala Lumpur, the hub of AirAsia. I stay there for a night, then fly further north to Vientiane. From there I expect to travel up to Luang Prabang, east to Vietnam and go down the Viet coast... my Vietnamese must-sees have emerged as: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue and Hoi An... I'll try to strike a balance between relaxing and seeing the sights that most appeal to me. Depending on how much time I have, I could move further down to Dalat and HCMC (/Saigon). I have some very pleasant memories of Hoi An, Dalat and Nha Trang. I doubt I'll reach Tay Ninh again, the site of the Cao Dai Holy See, which I wasn't able to photograph back in 2005, but hopefully I'll bump into some Cao Dai sites of worship in the centre...

I've been feeling stifled by family life for some time, so I expect the sudden 6-week dose of freedom to revive my stuttering soul into a deeper, sweeter melody. I have no idea what I'm doing, which is always a desirable thing. My surroundings are irritating me so much that I have to remind myself to aim for equanimity all the time. Perhaps it would be an opportune moment in time to seek out a temple retreat, even though it's not presently on my agenda. Travel is always an enlivening, inspiring time... there's never a shortage of sights to marvel at in Southeast Asia, nor tastes to pursue, textures to caress and sounds to follow. I miss "white roses," the prawn dumplings of central Vietnam. I've never been to Laos before, but I already miss it. How can you not miss a place like this before you've even been there? :o)

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