Still Life with Cranes: Sunrise in Abu Dhabi fog

I WAS WRONG, AGAIN, OF COURSE. I thought my most-recent adventure/ extravaganza to the Maldives and the coast of Kerala would be my last journey in which I would not need to consider the cost of things: like $42 hamburgers or houseboat rentals. Turns out, I will soon be embarking on a trip to Burma (OK, Myanmar), Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. Ahem…you may have noticed my kinky little widget to the right displaying a countdown of days till departure.

The other day a coworker asked how much I spent on my most recent trip to the Maldives and Kerala. He gaped in disbelief when I told him I had no idea. I have a weirdness about money–I don’t like it. I like what you can do with it; I don’t like what you can’t do without it. But I don’t like dealing with it or handling it or even using it. I don’t enjoy shopping, even for things I want or need. It’s like this: I eat a lot of avocados. They’re expensive where I now live where everything is shipped in from somewhere else half the world away. But I never look at the price per kilo, never look at the receipt. I don’t want the knowledge of how much they cost to ruin my love for avocados. Same with travel, maybe.

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Buddha at sunrise

This trip will entail six international air flights and four countries—five, if you count the layover in Bangkok. A private guide and driver in Bhutan—that’s the only way you can visit the country—you have to be escorted everywhere, and there are many places you will not be allowed to visit (I’m pretty sure those are the very places I’d truly love to see). A steamer up the Irrawady River, maybe. A balloon ride over Bagan in Burma, maybe. A night at the discos in Bangladesh (say what?). Lord knows how many hotels (or where). Lord knows how many taxis. Boookooo dinero, we might imagine. I’m not rich by any standard, but I have a job, money coming in when I return. I make enough to eat avocados and fly to Bhutan. However, I’m fairly sure this will be my last adventure where I’m not counting pennies. Or Bhat. Or rupees. Or rubles. Or kyat.


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I should of asked Fim to make this map for me

However, for me, this is the insane part of this trip: I will be traveling through these four countries in a time frame of just over two weeks. TWO, that’s 2. Weeks! Imagine a frazzled Badfish wadding a bunch of thinning gray hair in both fists, and pulling. This is not the way I usually travel. For most of my travels, I would fly somewhere, or wash up on the shore, and simply rent a bungalow in Bali or a Batak tribal house on the shoreline of Lake Toba on Sumatra and stay right there for four months.

I like traveling—or rather, not traveling—this way for a number of reasons. One, you get to know a place and the people much more intimately than when you’re only there a week or two, or a day or two. You get to know the names of locals, and sons and daughters, and their problems, and joys; or you discover they make their own honey from coconut palms, and they offer you some for the rice-flour pancakes they made you; they spin their own rope from coconut husks; they spin their own yarn and weave sarongs from it, and they try to teach you how to play a two-foot-long bamboo flute. Two, you do not have to traumatize yourself daily with timetables, and flight itineraries, and bus schedules, and all the travail that comes with all that moving about, and holding your pee on long bus rides with chickens clucking under your seat. And three, you can actually settle in to a routine. I’m ambivalent about this last one: because it may seem disappointing to some people—a badfish settling in to routine. And also, the rogue in me (or once in me…always out of his element), might scoff at a word like “routine.”

But the other side of going rogue is this: a routine helps you feel comfortable no matter where you are. And sure, what they say about expanding yourself by moving out of your comfort zone may be true, and at some point, may transform your life. But sometimes, you just want to sit your fine ass down right there in your comfy rocker smack dab in the middle of that walled-in comfort zone with no thoughts what so ever of expanding that fine ass. And eat Haagen Dazs from the carton: they don’t call it comfort food for nothing.

Caveat: Type A Personality people please skip this next paragraph:

As we all know: we are who we are, or maybe, who we have become. And there will be none of that “routine” stuff happening on this trip. This trip, I fly first into Rangoon (now Yangon—the Colonial British apparently had a decidedly discernible knack for misunderstanding names of cities they conquered, eh?). From Rangoon, I’m flying by the seat of my pants as of this moment, with no plan. I’d like to steam up the Irrawaddy and photograph cool stuff (as Britney Spears might say). And I’d like to bounce (somehow?) over to Lake Inle to see the fishermen casting fishing nets while standing up and paddling the oar with one leg and foot (google it). Somehow, I would like to travel on Kipling’s “road to Mandalay” (thankfully they haven’t changed its name). I have looked at a map (in a failed attempt to emulate travelers who plan well). However, I have made no plans for the how or when of anything. No plan at all. As of today, I have no hotel in Dhaka. I have no hotel in Katmandu. I have no clue how to get from point A to point B in Burma—rickshaw, train, bus, taxi, and just where to catch a tramp steamer upriver. I’m not afraid to travel like this, to “discover” what the road might manifest out of thin air in front of you after you take the first step. Perhaps, I’m at my best when traveling this way: it feels, well, almost liberating. Many of my travels have been like this, with no plan of even where I’d go next, let alone how, sometimes with no Lonely Planet guidebook along. Perhaps, some would say, my whole life has been lived like this? (if you are a Type A and still reading this—I did warn you—quit that twitching dammit).

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Lonely Planet Guide to (ahem) Burma

But that kind of travel needs time. And now maybe I’m thinking that with so little time to travel, I might not want to miss something because I didn’t plan anything. I do have a hotel for the first couple nights in Rangoon (OK, Yangon), with a view of the Schwedagon Temple—and listen, that’s not next to nothing, you realize. That’s like a major coup for a non-planner. A boutique hotel (a suite, even) with a view of Schwedagon—no, it wasn’t cheap, but not expensive either. “Middle-Path Badfish” is what they call me. No, I guess they don’t.

After Myanmar, I fly into Dhaka, Bangladesh. You can only fly into Bhutan on a Bhutan national airline, no foreign carriers are allowed to fly into Bhutan. However, you can’t get a Bhutan flight from Myanmar, but they do fly into Bangladesh. So fine, I get to visit Bangladesh. But wait, is that safe? I was warned to get a visa before departure because they keep changing their rule without warning about needing a visa before arrival or being able to get one “on arrival” at the airport. I have not applied for a Bangladesh visa yet. Apparently, “Follows-Good-Advice Badfish” is another name they don’t call me.

In Bhutan, I’ll be escorted the whole time by my guide and driver. I usually dislike (read: abhor) tours. On my Nile cruise a number of years ago, the cruise included a tour guide for each of the ancient sites we visited. At our first stop, Luxor Temple, I listened to Hamad our guide, for about four and a half minutes before I developed a wicked case of heeby jeebies and beelined it to the first pillar of atavistic stone I could photograph. After that, I left the tour as soon as we left the boat and hit the sand, never heard another word of Hamad’s histories. Others in the group, however, thought Hamad was marvelous and tipped him well. I ended up over tipping him, too—it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

As much as I like traveling hard and then relaxing in a Starbucks in some place like Djibouti or Timbuktu for a little respite from the travails of travel—the dirt, the grime, the sweat, the noise, the weirdness, the food that looks like cockroaches on a stick, the food that is cockroaches on a stick, the persistent possibility of diarrhea, the oh-so-foreignness of everything— going with a guide and driver in Bhutan seems like the right way to go (even though it is the only way to go). I’m happy to let Bhutan remain as original, as ancient, as un-Western, and pure and pristine as possible. Like they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If I were going to advise Cuba on developing their tourism scheme, I would advise them to leave things just as they are (at least until I got there to see it as it is). I would love to drive a tricked-out, cherry 56 Chevy Bel Air coupé with a Hurst floor shifter, again, before they sell them all off to ex-hippy-yuppy-portfolio-building Boomers with pony tails living in Malibu with trophy wives and Harleys.

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Lonely Planet guide to Bhutan

Another problem with flying in and out of Bhutan is this: the Bhutan national flights don’t fly to all their destinations every day. You can only fly out to certain cities on certain days. So, I need to fly to either Katmandu or Bangkok in order to catch another Etihad return flight home. Flying to Katmandu is going in the direction of home. Flying into Bangkok is going backward, way south, and then flying all that way forward again. So I am forced to stop over in Katmandu for two days to allow flights to hook up with the cosmic order of things. I know, I know…life is hard. Everyone wears their own breed of albatross.

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Nepal:  Pokara’s largest lake, Phewa Tal, at the foothills of the Himalayas at first light



You can find other entries to DP Photo Challenge here: One Love

You can find other entries in DP Daily Prompt here: Flow


  1. I am very excited for you. I cannot wait for you to take your trip. I can only imagine the stories upon your return. I admire your zest for the non-planning. It’s inspirational for me to do something similar. The non-planning part anyway. I hope you have a safe and healthy journey.


  2. WOW! Three countries in two weeks! That should be fun:-D Great read as always BF. Good luck with the planning. Did visa hassles keep you from considering Calcutta as an entry point to Bhutan? I would assume there would be daily flights from there.


    • I know…I think someone should just shoot me now. What have I gotten myself into here?
      India…no, actually I am in possession of a multiple-entry visa for India good for a few more months (because I went to Kerala and got that visa sort of by mistake). I thought of Calcutta, but figured I wanted to visit countries I hadn’t visited before. So…it’s Bangla-freakin-desh!!!


  3. I’d join you for this trip. It sounds exciting. So I might not be a personality type A. No, I’m not.
    It’s not scary what you’re doing because, as you say, you have always traveled without plans, and I guess it worked, otherwise you wouldn’t be here to say the stories. There is method in non-planning, although type A doesn’t realize that.
    Timing is the only tricky variable here, as two weeks sounds challenging, but you’re da man! I’m sure you’ll make beyond the best of it. So, go for it, no worries. It’s exciting.
    Loved your photos, by the way. How’s the Dutch construction developing in front of you?
    Before I forget, how’s Duncan doing? Already arranged the crab sitter?
    Last but not least, there was no better way to start my day than reading your post. Thanks.


  4. a badfish post mid-week! there is a blogging goddess after all!
    ( whoops, I forgot! amongst your names or non-names you HAVE been called the goldenhaired offspring of the blogging gods)! ( just a reminder..)

    now…. let me see.. loved the sunrise photo, the buddha foto, and the himalayan shot….

    like the travel method, im kinda like that too, but i medium plan these days, you know, older and…. with a child….. i also leave on that date… so thanks for doing the countdown for me…. ya know.. i heard… or read… all the talk about you and your trip, and wondered why i hadnt seen it. i read your stuff slowly, word for word, enjoying every letter and space of it…..and if you hadnt alerted us to the sidebar, id be none the wiser, cause as you know, i dont look at sidebars…

    ( pause for you to venture out to starbucks for your mid-debbie-badfishcomment-marathon break)

    coffee good? all okay now?… right…. i was saying, Baddie, well, what i really want to say is,

    Whats Grafton to you is Rangon to me…

    stay tuned….:)


    • Well, who doesn’t like a blogging goddess showing up on her doorstep every once in a while? And like you these days, I’m more the “medium planner.” It just makes things easier once you get to a place. I like to know where I’m going to sleep the first night or two, or month or two before I get there. Thanks for the Grafton/Rangoon video. I started watching, but the thing is 45 minutes long. I have to grade mid-term exams. And pack. And find a hotel in Bangla-freakin-desh!!!


  5. OMG you see Baddie ive just discovered someones made a youtube of that wonderful Aussie classic — and btw i’ve done that brisbane to sydney marathon drive a number of time, back in the day. so sit back, fetch duncan some nice new sand, fetch yourself a nice drink or two and some nibblies, sit back, relax, and BEFORE YOU GO, please watch….


      • :).. i only got up to 13.50 minutes of reminiscing and laughing out loud myself…. i still got a lot to watch! or listen to :)… its still as funny as i remember it was way back when.
        i thought you might baulk at the concept of such a long video ( i did too – the length of it!!! midweek!!) so – i considerately jotted down the last line i heard, which i thought was funny enough for you, and possibly desribed your style of travel well….

        got ya seatbelt fastened? here we go.. ( remember ,he’s driving down the east coastline of australia from brisbane to sydney)

        ” i made myself comfortable in a short time and Halley’s Comet flashed by three times in the east, the lights of Murwillumbah disappeared into the rearview mirror, Mt Warning flashed out a message, and pretty soon I was in Rangoon trying to master the art of being powerless and completely stupid – the only way to travel”…

        Happy Travels Badfish, and thanks for the countdown, I leave on the same day but didnt know how many days to go until I saw your sidebar….. thanks for that 🙂


        • Hey Debbie: thanks for the line…in Rangoon trying to master the art of being powerless and completely stupid – the only way to travel”…THAT is fun, and funny! Maybe I’ll have time to listen to it on the flight to Rangoon. And I LOVE Murwillumbah!! A town right out of the 60’s, or it was when I was there.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I was waiting to read why you are sure this is the last trip without counting pennies! And why you are abandoning your usual travel style? There is something last-hurrah about these things. Are you upending your life as you know it also? At the moment I don’t recommend it! 🙂 In general, I do. But I am extrapolating wildly here … happy (wide-ranging) travels!


    • YES, exactly…last hurrah. That is it. I’ll be counting pennies because yes, I’ll be upending my life, and not working, so I’ll be on a budget. Upending your life when and how you desire is one thing, being pulled away is another kind of animal.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, my, you are adventurous or…Obviously, travel is your spiritual soulmate. And why not…you’ll have fodder for your self-expression. Each destination will give you much to ponder, and maybe you can return to the one country that sparks the most sparks for you. It will be a joy as always to discover through you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hopefully you meet the same immigration staff in Yangon who told me to overstay. Two weeks, four countries, and you’re going to Bhutan! Good luck with everything and can’t wait to read your stories from those places.


  9. Such a great adventure. And, I must not be Type A either…because I got a vicarious thrill just reading about those upcoming plans (non-plans). Enjoy every minute of it. ☺


  10. As I matter of fact, I HAD noticed your groovy, nerdy travel count-downer and was immediately envious. How do I get one? My next trip is in 19 days!! Woohoo!
    Routines are great! Although it’s fun to grow them, (and it is growing, like an accretion of shell) it’s even more fun to chuck them to the wayside and burst out. See? What’s there to rebel against otherwise? Love it.
    And after many free-wheeling years of random and plan-less travel, this old body prefers to have a sweet spot to sleep in. And I’ve noticed that with all the online travel guides & reservation makers, those sweet spots get taken up quicker than in the past. Or perhaps that’s my imagination.
    Anyway, sooo very glad to start my day reading your musings! A pleasure, as always, Mr. Fish. Happy travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paula…where are you going on your trip? I hope you’re not going to try four countries in two weeks…that’s just stupid. Can’t believe I thought it might be fun, or even doable…and leaving any sanity intact.
      And right…nice to have a place to sleep, especially the first few nights. And…the whole time. Planning has positive sides to it. Thanks for hanging out here during your morning!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Badfish…I’m doing the opposite of you – I’m traveling through a small part of Spain for three weeks. Still no guarantees of sanity, however. I’ll think of you as I inch my way through Andalucía and read all about your travels as I sip my morning coffee…I have no doubt you’ll have fun despite the loss of your sanity. I mean, it must already be gone, right? 4 in 2?? 😉


  11. Four countries in 2 weeks? You are certifiably nuts!!! My only advice is to fly if you want to go to Inle Lake, then stay at the Shwe Inn Tha floating Resort for a day or two: it’s a haven of peace in the middle of the lake until 5 am when the tourist boats begin roaring by. Check out Alison’s posts about Burma/Myanmar for more info:(, and good luck. Don


    • Nuts—yeah, THAT is the word I was trying to think of. And thanks for the flight advice. After discovering how long it takes to get ANYWHERE in Burma, I thought flying was the only was to go in such short time. I may not be able to do the resort in the lake, though. I don’t think I read your post on Burma previously, so thanks for the link!


  12. I’m happy to hear you’re travelling again, mostly your style. A stone from Timbuktu is what I’d bring to myself. Taking your crab with you? Imagine the Bhutan authorities if they knew. Wishing you excellent time.


  13. Badfish of course I had to read the part you advised me not to. My hands got a bit sweaty and my pulse is now settling . 🙂 Best wishes for this amazing adventure. Perhaps your lack of planning will rub on off us. You never know. And look! A map!!


  14. Hmmm, don’t know about steamers on the Irrawaddy. We got a boat down river from Mandalay to Bagan (a one day trip), spent a couple of days there then flew from Bagan to Heho, then taxi to Nyaung Shwe, then boat to Shew Inn Tha ( ) in the middle of Inle Lake. You can do the entire trip from Bagan to the hotel in a day and still have time to relax after arrival before dinner. You MUST go to Shwe Dagon while you’re in Yangon – it’s magnificent. Fly from Yangon to Mandalay – we’ve read that the trains are horrific and slow. Mandalay is a dusty “Indian” town – I wouldn’t spend any time there since you’re so short of time – it’s definitely not a highlight. Highlights would be – Shwe Dagon, balloon ride over Bagan, resort in the middle of Inle and Inle markets.
    There are some wonderful photos in this post. And yes you are a little insane. Why this – 4 countries in 2 weeks?
    If you want more info from us who had 3 weeks in Burma and it was not enough – click on Burma in the list of countries on the blog and all the posts will come up.
    Have a fabulous time!


  15. Well my imaginary backpack is ready to go, so wait up… 🙂 My traveling days are past, except of course in my brain and my dreams…your tales of exotic places are so vivid that I can hardly stand it. So keep me in a corner someplace so that I may tag along. Well, enough of that…did you get over the flu? Hope you did, and hey…did the honey work for that cough? Actually maple syrup et al should also do the trick. Now I am so jealous I won’t be able to sleep…but perchance to dream about waterfalls and windchime music. Have a great time! 🙂


  16. True confession time…I may get blog-blocked for my heresy but I actually love to pack. Weeks ahead if possible but my theory has always been that travel is such a novelty for me, the packing time is a mere extension of the adventure. Oh wait. Unpacking sucks though. But I am truly loving my vicarious journeying since I started Bad-fishing. Thanks so much for what you do and how you do it.
    By the way, I finished my next “Dear Badfish” installment. You reading these? If they are too boring, give me feedback! I’m probably a lot older than you but still a baby blogger.
    Have a great trip!


    • nobody’s going to blog-block you for being you…even if you do (cough, sputter) pack weeks ahead. And right, packing is part of the travel, a cool part. And unpacking is the worst. I will get to the new installment…as soon as I make sure I have all my visas, and stuff for the trip!!!


  17. A map!! A la Sue Slaght! I love the visual 🙂

    It’s been a very long time since I’ve non-planned a trip like this one with only flights to schedule the time away. Like Paula, I’ve reached the stage in my life where I’d like to at least know where I’m going to lay my head at night.

    With a trip like this one, there can only be endless story possibilities. I hope they are all entertaining for you 🙂


    • Yeah…Right, a Sue Slaght (or perhaps rather, a DAVE) MAP…but not quite as professional as theirs. But still, you get the idea. And I too want to know where my head is going to plop onto a pillow. I do have my hotel set in Rangoon. After that…I’m afraid it’s going to turn out to be more entertaining to read about later than to live at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ok I am so envious right now! This is amazing!!!! What a trip you have. I am type A but believe it or not I tend to go unplanned when I travel. I rarely read anything about it and just figure it out when I get there. I love the mystery of it! Can hardly wait to hear all about it!


    • GAWD, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who does that! Lately, I would like to know a bit about the place and where I’ll be staying. And leave some room for whatever happens.


  19. As I settled in to read – yes, settling in is something in the blood that others who feel compelled to plan will never get, understand, or experience its luxury – I heard myself thinking, ‘ah, another tome from BuddhaFish. Seriously, that’s how it came out in my head. Just saying. Why? Because, regardless of the veracity of this next sentence, it’s how I see things: you live your Faith; faith in what has always worked for you, what has always carried you through, and what has always felt right. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with tossing a little chaos into the mix occasionally. It’s what keeps you honest with yourself. You can say, I tried. Then, but it’s just not me. Then move on with life as you love it. There’s no right or wrong about how people choose to do things, if it differs from how you do it, that’s fine.

    I can tell you what I don’t like about planning, having done it to a T last summer, and then had to pay anyway for half of my cancelations when I ended up in the dentist’s chair instead of being on the road. Paying for not even being there… Never again. I remember all those times I got in my car and drove. Yes, I had a destination, but the way of getting there was left to chance. And it gave me the opportunity to see all the out of the way towns I’d never have seen otherwise. There was always a motel – none of which were run by anyone called Bates. I’d stop off in little four corner markets and get lunch where I’d sit out in the midst of a corn field and listen to the corn grow, and the chatter of all the brother and sister beings. No time tables. Just me and the road.

    Okay enough of my own rebellious nature against playing by the rules.

    What’s the fx with screen shots? Or is it that the sun picked it up and not only gave you the Buddha silhouette but the mesh in between? Though the aura is quite amazing on it. *wonders if Duncan’s aura is as big?*

    BTW, love the map drawing… you should ask everyone what they see in the added marker art. I saw a mouse. And anytime you want to have work done on something, just let me know. I promise, I’m no where near as expensive as the price of traveling these days. GYMOOTG…

    I do have to say, however, your angst-ridden post makes for great reading.



    • Buddhafish…GAWD…gotta love THAT! But I have to say BADfish is closer to the mark! And FAITH–yeah, it’s always worked in the past. And it’s odd (like scary like), that I’m having, well, scary thoughts about traveling now. Like maybe I’m doing something stupid, going so far with no plans. Hanging is one thing, two weeks and four countries, that’s something else altogether. No Budddhafish would do that!
      And right…I love traveling the way you mentioned, on the road, no plans, small towns, lunch in a corn field, hook up with a hippy type in a VW garage (oh wait, that’s a story for another time).
      Buddha shot…it was sunrise, so the sun is right behind him. And the curtain is in front of him between me and him. No real photo magic, just real life in action. What the fimk is GYMOOTG?


  20. And three, you can actually settle in to a routine. Actually, I totally get that! For years Drollery and I made our biannual pilgrimage to Salt Lake just for the hell of it. (Actually we were running away from responsibility…) Thing is, we always stayed at the Salt Lake Hilton, and we always booked the same room on the ground floor ’cause it had this HUGE, DEEP shower! (And there was no danger of my positional vertigo kicking up because of the elevator.) It just felt right to have a familiar place to come “home” to at the end of a day of misadventure adventure.

    Having said that, your trip looks crazy as h*ll! You are truly a glutton for punishment on this one! Don’t wear yourself out, kid!


    • Routine…yeah, I can relate to you in Salt Lake and knowing what is what with your room and space. I love that, no matter where I am. If I don’t have it, I’m not feeling right. And move.
      This trip: glutton is the right word. I don’t know what got into me…all those Type A type people planning and doing stuff, I guess. I’d just as soon head back to Bali for two weeks and sit right in that rice paddy again.


  21. That will be a quick trip but fun and exciting. I am jealous of Bhutan. And Myanmar, but I will go there soon enough. When is your layover in BKK? I think I asked that already somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Have a great badfish adventure! We will all want to hear about it. Love all your pictures, especially the last one. Beautiful mountain!!
    Happy Trails…or off trails,


    • Mary, thanks so much. I’m wondering if I’ll have any time while traveling to post. But I’m thinking maybe not…with all that traveling to run. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed to be honest. Why do people do the things they do is what I want to know.


  23. I’m just waiting for the 8 day countdown to count down and we’ll all be off there with you, where ever there turns out to be. What an adventure. Don’t forget to breathe… But whatever you do don’t end up in Byron it has lost all its hippy charm. 😦


    • 8 DAYS!! YIKES. So many chores, so little time. Breathe….good dang advice! Thanks. Byron…that is too bad about Byron. I liked it a lot there. Quaint charm.


        • Byron can be challenging at the best of times, attracting as it does all kinds of people and certainly has been gentrifed compared to the good old days of camping on the headland. Nevertheless, Byron still is and will always be Byron, something intangible about the energy of the land, the palpable healing qualities that are still there ( and the reason so many are drawn there). Byron, in my opinion, is best to be at in the way the aboriginal people were – as a place to go to for healing, but not to live in. I’ll be home in a week! yeah 🙂
          (I’ll look around for any remnant signs that say “badfish was here, once” okay? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • No, I live in China…. my home in Aus is just north of Brissie. But I’m making a quick trip home to see an old friend just because its one of those things when you just gotta go no matter what… so i am… no matter what….. and she lives in Byron. She’s lived there for more than a decade so she’s seen the changes that have taken place…… youre at the Gold Coast, right?


          • yeah… exactly – just like those places! some special places on the planet just sing, dont they?
            just replied on the Spaceship about Kunming. if you have time, fly in, get outa there, and head down to Lijiang or Dali.
            it you only have time for a one-nighter, maybe not worth the bother…. although there are some beautiful flower parks there…… kunming is known as city of eternal spring….

            would you swap somewhere else on your itinary for there??

            Liked by 1 person

    • I know…adventure. We’ll see what happens in two weeks!! I’d rather do it my way (your way–three months, one place). You know, I have read your article on Pokara before. I don’t know how or why (because it was posted before I started blogging) but I have. Found it right interesting…again.


  24. Badfish, seeing as I am marooned here in Hong Kong for the foreseeable future, I am totally envious of your trip! Nepal is one of my favourite countries and Bhutan is an impossibility for now because it needs mucho dinero. I’m curious as to what you’ll discover in Dhaka… it’s not a place that shows up on 90% of travel blogs. And you are wise to visit Myanmar/Burma before it changes beyond recognition. Bama and I missed out on the balloon ride over Bagan because it needed lots of $$$ and we were happy enough seeing the temples from the ground.

    Since you’ve only got 2 days in Kathmandu, have you thought about spending them both in Bhaktapur? I can recommend a fabulous place right on Taumadhi Square, a few doors down from that gorgeous five-storey pagoda – it’s called Siddhi Home and Restaurant. It had the best momos in Nepal and a roof terrace to boot!


    • James…if you have to be marooned, HK is a good place for that. Are you back at the same job? I’m curious about Dhaka, as well. I’ve met some Bangladeshis here and they all seem very, very nice. And one of the reasons I wanted to go there is because I hadn’t read a post about the place. I may miss the balloon ride, as well, because I can’t find a place to book online (that works for me). I do like Bhaktapur…so old looking! I will check out the Siddhi Home (it sounds familiar…I think I went in there last time?), I stayed just a few hotels away, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did get an offer from my old editor-in-chief, but tempting as it was, I decided to turn it down in favour of trying out something completely different. I’ve been applying for jobs in Singapore and Jakarta but haven’t had much luck with those so far.

        The only things we could book online in Myanmar were the hotels – all the internal transport had to be taken care of once we arrived in Yangon. That said, I did find an email for the head office of Balloons Over Bagan ( They seem to stop flying on the 1st of April so you might be able to catch them. Good luck!


        • James, well good luck with finding a new job. Hope that works out for you. I always said if you have to get sick in SE Asia, Singapore is the place to do it….it’s so CLEAN! I THINK I have a flight on a balloon, but I went through an agent and they didn’t tell me which company!! I almost don’t trust them. But…go with the flow, I guess. We’ll see what happens. My flight is (supposed to be) on 31 March…did I just make it or what?!!

          Liked by 1 person

      • I think there are a few resorts inside Old Bagan, but the government forcibly evicted the local residents a number of years ago. New Bagan has more options for lodgings and eating places – it is only 10-15 minutes away on an e-bike. The wall around Old Bagan is still there, but it is ruined and you can’t really walk on top of it.


  25. I agree with all of it. And I am an A-type. Thank you. I was forewarned.

    I hate traveling seat of the pants and I hate tourism. I like to go and stay for a month or six weeks or three years as I have done in the past.

    You are, of course, I assume, going to read Shirley McClaine’s largely fictitious book about her time in Bhutan. Of course you are. And, watch Beyond Rangoon, again. Yes.

    If there are two places on earth I would consider visiting, they would be Burma (I refuse to say the M-word, just as I still say Bombay and reject the other M-word. They will come to their senses about this eventually) and Bali. I love B-places apparently.

    Have a great time. Can’t wait to hear all about it, especially what you eat! And seeing your photos will be like being there (B-ing there) myself.


  26. WOW WEE! That last photo was awesome!
    this trip sounds like a whirlwind of adventures… looking forward to hearing and seeing all that you can share with us!
    And I know you will have stories to tell!


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