Hello everybody! I've been wanting to travel to Asia for a long time and I worked hard to make my dream come true! Here is the story of my 5-month trip to Southeast Asia, starting with Thailand! :D

Kanchanaburi Province

I was out of breath when I arrived, as I was also turning the page on several hardships I've been through. I decided to start this trip by relaxing a bit on the shores of Koh Chang, a cool island in the Gulf of Thailand. Then, after more than a week of farniente, I headed West to visit the Kanchanaburi Province, bordering Myanmar (Burma).

I travelled by train over the historical Death Railway. Its construction, dating back to World War II, by the Japanese empire, lead to the death of over 100,000 war prisoners, in horrible conditions. I visited the War Museum where I learned more about this railway, which was hastily built to connect Thailand with Myanmar. War prisoners of British, Australian, American, Dutch and many other origins were forced to build railroad tracks and bridges in the jungle and mountains, despite heavy rainfalls and mud (during wet season), bugs and tropical illnesses, abuse, etc. It's beautiful and very touching to travel on this railroad...

 

Slowly and lonely

I've been wanting to experience slow living for a while and Thailand has finally brought it to me!

After visiting 12 temples in the city of Ayutthaya and going to all touristic attractions I could find, my sweaty clothes and I came to the conclusion that I preferred to take my time, roam the country roads and simply enjoy the fact of being here (yes, almost every day, I get goose bumps of joy for being in Asia, I have to pinch myself!).

The deeper you travel within the Kanchanaburi Province, the more peaceful and mountainous it becomes and I love it. Small isolated villages, rivers, waterfalls of deliciously refreshing water to bathe in (oh yessss!) and some more isolated villages… During my rambles, I came across many inhabitants who looked at me open-mouthed, probably wondering what a white woman was doing alone in their deep countryside! For most of them, the normal thing to do is to get married and start having babies in your early twenties, so seeing white women traveling by themselves with big backpacks must be very strange...

A man who was selling small coconut pancakes (recipe here!) at Thong Pha Phum market saw my travel backpack and asked me kindly:
Him: Where are you from, pretty lady?
Me: From Canada.
Him: You are alone?
Me: Yes, I travel by myself.
Him: But where are the children and husband?
Me: … I am by myself…

...And the man, embarrassed by his "indiscretion", scratched his head and exchanged a puzzled look with the man at the stand next to his. I continued on my way, a little embarrassed myself...

I then arrived at Sangkhlaburi, in the deepest part of the province. I decided to stop here a little longer and settle down for a while, before taking the next step of my journey...

 

Read Part 2 >>

 

 


 

Many of you have met Véronique Laplante during her 3 years and more as Lotus Palm administrator and massage therapist. She is a dear member of the Lotus Palm family and we follow her journey with great pride and love.

She has graciously agreed to share with us her thoughts, experiences and photos while she is traveling through Southeast Asia.

We will publish her story over the next few months. Follow the guide!