Kelly Mackey http://kellymackey.com Travel Blog Sat, 23 Apr 2016 18:13:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://kellymackey.com/blog/media/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Kelly Mackey http://kellymackey.com 32 32 Bangkok http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/bangkok-2/ Sun, 10 Jan 2016 15:00:57 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7685 Bangkok was the starting point and final destination of my trip. On the remaining days of my adventure I visited the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, watched Muay Thai in Rajadamnern Stadium, and hung out with fellow backpackers on Khaosan Road and Sukhimvit Soi 11, a downtown street popular with ex-pats. Then after six weeks of backpacking in four countries, it was time to return home.


Thailand - Bangkok - Jim Thompson House Thailand - Bangkok - Jim Thompson House Thailand - Bangkok - Muay Thai Thailand - Bangkok - Muay Thai Thailand - Bangkok - Khaosan Road at Night Thailand - Bangkok - Khaosan Road Thailand - Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Thailand - Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Thailand - Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Thailand - Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Thailand - Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Thailand - Bangkok - Cheap Charlie’s Thailand - Bangkok - Soi Cowboy Kelly Mackey ]]>
Chiang Mai http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/chiang-mai/ Tue, 05 Jan 2016 15:00:45 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7670 Chiang Mai, often referred to as the “Rose of the North”, is the hub of Northern Thailand. It used to be a walled city, but not much of the wall remains. I spent most of my time chilling in the historical center, which is full of nice restaurants, cafes, and bars. The highlight was watching Muay Thai boxing.


Thailand - Chiang Mai - Tha Phae Gate Thailand - Chiang Mai - Muay Thai Thailand - Chiang Mai - Muay Thai Thailand - Chiang Mai - Ladyboys Thailand - Chiang Mai - Ladyboy Thailand - Chiang Mai - Wat Chiang Man Thailand - Chiang Mai - Wat Chiang Man ]]>
Wat Rong Khun http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/wat-rong-khun/ Sun, 03 Jan 2016 15:00:29 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7662 On the way to Chiang Mai I stopped at Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple. Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary, unconventional Buddhist temple in the Chiang Rai Province. I saw countless Buddhist temples on my journey, but nothing like this temple. Murals inside the temple depict nuclear warfare, terrorist attacks, and oil pumps–apparently these images are meant to convey the wickedness of humans and their destructive impact on earth. Unfortunately photos were not allowed inside the temple. Wat Rong Khun is worth visiting, even if you’re feeling templed-out.


Thailand - Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) Thailand - Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) Thailand - Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) Thailand - Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) ]]>
Mekong River http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/mekong-river/ Sat, 02 Jan 2016 15:00:52 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7657 I traveled by boat on the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai. It was a two-day trip on a very basic boat, with an overnight stop in the trading port of Pakbeng. During the journey I observed beautiful scenery and village life along the “mother of rivers”. Twenty-five dams are planned by China, Laos, and Cambodia, so I’m glad that I experienced the Mekong River before the watershed and way of life changes.


Laos - Mekong River Laos - Mekong River Laos - Mekong River Laos - Mekong River ]]>
Luang Prabang http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/luang-prabang/ Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:00:45 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7652 Situated on the junction of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, Luang Prabang is encircled by green mountains. Like the rest of Laos, the town is untarnished by 20th century “progress”. There are no McDonald’s restaurants or other multi-national outlets, but instead French colonial architecture, Buddhist temples, and extensive natural beauty. The highlight for me was trekking through the countryside and hill tribe villages to swim at the Tat Kuang Si Waterfall.


Laos - Luang Prabang - Trek Laos - Luang Prabang - Trek Laos - Luang Prabang - Trek Laos - Luang Prabang - Trek Laos - Luang Prabang - Trek Laos - Luang Prabang - Trek Laos - Luang Prabang - Tat Kuang Si Waterfall Laos - Luang Prabang - Tat Kuang Si Waterfall Laos - Luang Prabang - Tat Kuang Si Waterfall Laos - Luang Prabang - Rice Wine Laos - Luang Prabang - Rice Wine Laos - Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong Laos - Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong Laos - Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong Laos - Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong Laos - Luang Prabang - Street Laos - Luang Prabang - Street Laos - Luang Prabang - Bamboo Bridge Laos - Luang Prabang - Bamboo Bridge Laos - Luang Prabang - Phu Si Laos - Luang Prabang - Phu Si Laos - Luang Prabang - Phu Si Laos - Luang Prabang - National Museum Laos - Luang Prabang - New Year ]]>
Vang Vieng http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/vang-vieng/ Mon, 28 Dec 2015 15:00:33 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7627 A backpacker-oriented town on the Banana Pancake Trail, Vang Vieng is about four hours north of Vientiane by bus. The town lies on the Nam Song River and is surrounded by striking karst rock formations. The main attractions are nature-based activities such as trekking, caving, and tubing. I love this outdoor paradise and was sad to leave.


Laos - Vang Vieng - Street Food Laos - Vang Vieng - Banana Pancake Laos - Vang Vieng - Banana Pancake Laos - Vang Vieng - Lusi Cave Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Lusi Cave Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Trek Laos - Vang Vieng - Nam Song River Laos - Vang Vieng - Tubing Laos - Vang Vieng - Tubing Laos - Vang Vieng - Tubing Laos - Vang Vieng - Balloon ]]>
Vientiane http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/vientiane/ Sat, 26 Dec 2015 15:00:19 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7605 Despite being a capital city, Vientiane’s relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like a small town. After doing the obligatory round of temples, I visited the COPE Visitor Center. COPE supports the thousands of people injured by unexploded bombs dropped on Laos by the USA between 1964 to 1973. I ended my day in Vientiane relaxing with a Beerlao and watching the sun set over the Mekong River.


Laos - Vientiane - Wat Si Saket Laos - Vientiane - Wat Si Saket Laos - Vientiane - Patuxai Laos - Vientiane - Patuxai Laos - Vientiane - That Dam (Black Stupa) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park) Laos - Vientiane - Pha That Luang Laos - Vientiane - Pha That Luang Laos - Vientiane - Pha That Luang - Monk Laos - Vientiane - COPE Visitor Center Laos - Vientiane - COPE ]]>
Hanoi http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/hanoi-2/ Thu, 24 Dec 2015 15:00:37 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7584 Ho Chi Minh is revered in Vietnam for his role in attaining independence from France, and then unifying the country after a costly conflict with South Vietnam and the United States. I spent a morning in Hanoi at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, and the Presidential Palace. In the afternoon I visited the Army Museum, a tribute to the Vietnamese Army which details various accounts of defeating the French and American invaders. My final hours in Vietnam were spent on Hanoi’s bustling streets. Not your typical Christmas Eve.


Vietnam - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Vietnam - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Vietnam - Hanoi - Presidential Palace Vietnam - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh House Vietnam - Hanoi - Stilt House Vietnam - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Museum Vietnam - Hanoi - Entrance to Army Museum Vietnam - Hanoi - Army Museum Vietnam - Hanoi - Army Museum Vietnam - Hanoi - Army Museum Vietnam - Hanoi - Army Museum Vietnam - Hanoi - Nightlife ]]>
Halong Bay http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/halong-bay/ Tue, 22 Dec 2015 15:00:10 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7571 In the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay is a mystical seascape of 1,600 towering limestone pillars topped by forest. According to legend, the bay was gouged by a giant dragon’s flailing tail, and filled with water when the dragon plunged into the sea. (Halong translates as “where the dragon descends into the sea”.) It was raining and foggy during my afternoon in Halong Bay, which made for low visibility and an eerie atmosphere.


Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay - Sung Sot Cave Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong Bay Vietnam - Halong City - Dinner Vietnam - Halong City - Dinner Vietnam - Halong City - Dinner ]]>
Hanoi http://kellymackey.com/2015-indochina-trip/hanoi/ Mon, 21 Dec 2015 15:00:59 +0000 http://kellymackey.com/?p=7557 Hanoi, a 1000 year-old city, is second only to Hoi An for being my favorite place in Vietnam. I quickly became lost in the Old Quarter’s tangled web of streets, spending hours soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells. I also spent my first day in Hanoi at the legendary1 Hoan Kiem Lake, Hoa Lo Prison Museum, and the Temple of Literature.


Vietnam - Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake Vietnam - Hanoi - Ngoc Son Temple Vietnam - Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake Bridge Vietnam - Hanoi - Entrance to Ngoc Son Temple Vietnam - Hanoi - Ngoc Son Temple Turtle Vietnam - Hanoi - Ngoc Son Temple Vietnam - Hanoi - Inside Ngoc Son Temple Vietnam - Hanoi - Ngoc Son Temple Vietnam - Hanoi - St Joseph Cathedral Vietnam - Hanoi - Old Quarter Wall Vietnam - Hanoi - Hang Thiec Street Vietnam - Hanoi - Burning Money Vietnam - Hanoi - Poster Shop Vietnam - Hanoi - Fruit and Vegetable Market Vietnam - Hanoi - Flower Shop Vietnam - Hanoi - Mobile Flower Shop Vietnam - Hanoi - Street Life Vietnam - Hanoi - Street Vietnam - Hanoi - Hoa Lo Prison Museum Entrance Vietnam - Hanoi - Senator John McCain's Flight Suit Vietnam - Hanoi - Entrance to Temple of Literature Vietnam - Hanoi - Temple of Literature Vietnam - Hanoi - Temple of Literature

  1. Legend claims in the mid-15th century the gods gave Emperor Le Loi a magical sword, which he used to drive the Chinese from Hanoi. Later while boating on the lake, a giant turtle grabbed the sword and disappeared into the depths to return the sword to the gods. This legend inspired the name Ho Hoan Kiem (Lake of the Restored Sword). The lake’s last turtle, Cu Rua, died shortly after I returned home from my trip. 
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