South East Asia 2013 – Introduction

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ”
― Lin Yutang

I’ve always found it easy to become inspired, and equally easy to be complacent. It is the complacency that I am always attempting to quell. Sure, my pillow is the best pillow, my Mom’s cooking is the best cooking, New York City is the best city, but what is life without some funk and daring? I’ve been fortunate enough in life to have done a bit of travel. This trip, however, was a true adventure. This was another world, completely unfamiliar, something I’ve only read about. Which is one reason why South East Asia had been on my list for some time. Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, this time.

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
― Bill Bryson

This quote from Bryson was in his book on travels in Europe. While I’m sure he was being true to his experiences in crossing the street, my travels in Europe seemed mostly civilized in comparison to my time in South East Asia. Mostly, besides that bank the police had to rescue us from. But when one attempts to cross the street in [Saigon traffic](, it’s a game. There are few traffic lights to assist your panicked journey, just find an open pocket, walk into it with steady confidence and the swarms of motorbikes will engulf you. Keep walking and you’ll make it through to the other side. At times, you’ll wonder how was it possible.

Our trip took us from Cambodia to Vietnam, and then to Hong Kong. From there my girlfriend, Shell, and her family would move into mainland China and explore further while I flew back home. I have broken the posts down by day, if some subject does not strike your fancy I urge you to not skip to the next post as several days had multiple things going on. Just scroll down a bit and you’ll see the story and pictures change.

“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

By Daniel Hatke

The author was born and raised in Indiana. After graduating from Purdue University he worked in the asset management industry in New York City. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship. Currently, he is fueling his curiosities through taking time off for extended travel and experiences in Europe and Asia, as chronicled here.