The trip started with an accidental tongue bite while sleeping in Rome...
But I resolved to be in a good mood...
From cold to tropical heat in Kuala Lumpur... you can see I was pretty pleased!
Nobody loves a swing more than me
On my way to Batu Caves... this day was stinking hot. The place is vibrant with colour, monkeys and unfortunately... mosquitoes :/
Still, it is kind of epic.
A quick grab drive later to the Petronas Towers and their metal cages.
I cut my trip in KL short due to personal reasons and headed over to somewhere that had been calling me for ages.. Bali.
Bali was a wonderful shock to my system. Jumped on the back of many a motorcycle and astounded myself with beautiful statues everywhere.
I find the first of many beach stops. This is in Jimbaran. I am a sand monster, I can't help but get it everywhere.
Next temple visit was the Hindu temple Uluwatu built high on a cliff in the southern tip of Bali.
Hard to scale the enormity...
... or to capture the beauty.
An Italian couchsurfer and I headed to this beach straight after the temple to cool down. Needless to say I was impressed.
Taking shelter from the sun in its beautiful rock arches and formations.
It reminded me of Popeye.
I lucked out as I was in Bali for the impressive Ogoh Ogoh festival. Tribes and villages compete each year by creating moving animatrons of their deities.
I leave Jimbaran and Seminyak for my next leg up to Ubud.
Ubud is filled with beautiful traditional Indonesian homes. They're so ornate, you won't know what's a house or a temple. I walked into many a private home thinking it was a temple and the residents didn't even mind!
Picked up many friends along the way. Miguel (centre) is from Montreal and Alex is from the midwest.
Having an intense discussion about my theories on "tropical gothic" :P
Dragonflies followed and lead my journeys around Bali...
Visiting my next temple Goa Gajah outside Ubud..
...and delighting in the mouth cave archaeology
Inside the Goa Gajah complex is one of the most beautiful natural and man-made gardens I've ever seen. Look at how happy I am.
These beauties are native to Indonesia. Unfortunately humans haven't been very kind to their species....
In Kuta, I saw gorgeous Koi fish right in the city.
Time to say goodbye to Bali and head on to Indonesia's sister island Java... saw this beautiful silver serpent from the plane. Unfortunately, this plane ride ended up being quite terrifying. We couldn't land and had to go around 4 times in a thunderstorm. The turbulence was intense and I did think I might die...
But I lived to see another day. Here I am at the staggering Hindu temple, Prambanan.
Inside one of the stupas, I see Ganesh and ask him for protection.
I get very excited by this kind of ancient stuff inside of places.
Prambanan is a huge Hindu/Buddhist complex. The Buddhist part was more awe-inducing. It felt completely surreal.
Like being in a video game.
The next day I went with two friends Hannah and Asim to the majestic Borobudur temple. This is the oldest Buddhist temple of its kind. It is an astonishing feat of architecture. Its architecture obeying the tenets of Buddhism in an extremely clever way. I loved it.
Goodbye, Borobudur. Thank-you for the lessons.
Hannah and I flew from Yogyakarta in Java to Praya in Lombok. Lombok is another sister island within Indonesia. Indonesia is big and vast. From torrential rain in Yogyakarta to pristine weather in Lombok.
... and very happy.
Took a shuttle all the way up Lombok to head to the Gili Islands where I reunited with a friend I made in Bali, Alex from Colorado. A most relaxing place is Gili Air, but we did magic mushrooms over that week and I experienced the stations of the cross...
From Indonesia to Thailand... this is me in Chiang Mai. Unfortunately the terrible burning season cut my three week planned stay in Chiang Mai down to five days. Dead pigeons and dying dogs and everyone wearing masks. It was like an introduction to hell on earth.
Forced to be indoors and in air-conditioning, I found some time to create.
On the final day, did a small trip around Chiang Mai and saw a few temples and said a few prayers, before heading 11 hours south to Pattaya on a coach.
I was in Pattaya for my mother's anniversary. Made sure to write a prayer and a monk showed me how to dedicate it.
But the sex tourism and stink in Pattaya soon ushered me up to Bangkok.
The pump in Bangkok is very full-on.
Headed to the historic centre. The rooftops were something to behold.
Check out this mister man with his squid-like beard.
A Hindu temple built right before the great fire of London smack bang in the old centre.
These statues reminded me of Bali.
After Alex and I parted our travels, he sent me a lovely message.
From Bangkok to Vientiane in Laos. This is the Buddha Park. Just epic.
I left Vientiane to head to Vang Vieng. It rained the night before clearing the sky enough for me to take pics of these incredible limestone formations.
One of the Blue Lagoons in Vang Vieng.
And of course some ziplining before heading north to Luang Probang.
Met this amazing guy. He is my favourite Swede. A day to chill with some others by a pool with cocktails.
And quickly back to Vang Vieng.
Where you can get your weed, opium and magic mushrooms needs met all in one convenient location :P
Back in Bangkok and to the heart of this beast.
Jens and I crossed paths again here. One of the things I love most about traveling.
From the humid heat in Bangkok, to the dry heat in the UAE. David picked me up from Dubai and we stopped for food in this zany Mad Max pitstop. After a short nap, went to see Andrea Boccelli in concert. Fantastic.
Chilling in Ras Al Khaimah.
And being Irish.
Onto Dubai to see how the city has changed since I last saw it in 2006. A lot.
Saw the Burj Khalifa for the first time. Even saw a laser show on it.
And saw the architecture in the Louvre, Abu Dhabi.
My last stop was to Istanbul. Here's the Hagia Sofia.
And an exhuasted me.
Istanbul manages to maintain a lot of beautiful old skyline.
..and this beautiful old tree.
And to sum up the last 3 months.... here's my itinerary. The asterisks marked are the plane flights (13!) Certainly an adventure like no other.