Well, 2020 wasn’t a great year for international travel but Scott and Trevor were lucky to get to travel in Thailand and Cambodia in 2020. Travel in Asia in 2021 looks like it likely won’t be much different, but we’ve got our fingers crossed at Talk Travel Asia and this episode addresses the year ahead for travel in Asia and internationally in 2021.
In past episodes we’ve generally avoided talking about COVID on Talk Travel Asia podcast, but we’re not going to let it stop us entirely from traveling, and aim to look at the bright side of things as much as possible.
In this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast Scott and Trevor share where they plan to travel in Cambodia and Thailand for sure, where they hope to travel in Asia in 2021 if they can, and travel internationally, all depending on which borders open this year. Chin up, sunglasses on, let’s dream and plan travel in Asia for 2021!
Scott and Trevor begin the show with a recap of their travel adventures in Thailand and Cambodia in 2020. Both were lucky to travel all over their respective countries. They discuss how lucky they were that Thailand and Cambodia were not widely impacted by COVID and domestic Travel in Thailand and Cambodia offered numerous amazing adventures and experiences.
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Intro: Where Trevor and Scott travelled in 2020.
At the start of 2019, Scott and Trevor reflected on the past year and what they hoped to do in travel in 2019. Listen here: Episode 92: Traveling in 2018 and the Year Ahead. Trevor discusses the overall vibe / travel scene in Cambodia in 2020. How great it was to have freedom to explore some of Cambodia’s most amazing attractions without any tourists. Brought bike to Siem Reap often: maybe 25 trips to Angkor on a six month pass. Motorbike adventure to O Saom, Veal Veng. Awesome. Scott talks about the overall vibe / travel scene in Thailand in 2020. Lazy Beach was Trevor’s destination for the final 4-5 weeks of the year. It was featured on Episode 114: Favorite Beaches of Southeast Asia.
In 2020 Scott went to all of these amazing places in Thailand. Each would be someone’s best Thailand vacation ever and Scott did eight! Where Scott traveled in Thailand in 2020:
- Cycled Chiang Rai province for 8-days
- Ko Lanta, Railay Bay, Krabi province
- Cycled from Uttaradit to Nong Khai
- Nakhon Phanom, Buang Khan, Wave Rock, Wat Phu Tok
- Kanchanaburi, Pilok, Sangkhlaburi
- Cycled from Phrae to Nan and back to Phrae
- Phetchabun, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao
- Cycled up Doi Inthanon – Downhill Riding Chiang Mai
Where Scott & Trevor hope to travel in 2021
Around Cambodia: Trevor
Late February I’ll go back up to Siem Reap to work on some projects up there and make a few more Angkor visits before the tourists come back. So special without visitors. In March I’m thinking of going back to the beach for a month. Probably then lay low until the rainy season – stay inside most of April and May. Come rainy season, let’s say July, I’d like to go back up to Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri. I designed a Eastern Cambodia Explorer program while working at EXO. I’d like to do that trip one more time myself. Some other places around Cambodia I haven’t been to in years or want to go back to. I just got back from Kampot. Talked to the Villa Vedici crew about a big motorcycle trip.
Around Thailand: Scott
Khao Sok National Park, Ko Phra Thong, Ko Ra, Ko Phayam, Ko Chang: love to do as one long trip but unlikely, but hopefully a few of them.
Cycle from near Phu Chi Fah to Route 1148 and then along the border road with Laos to Ba Gleua and to Nan, about 5-days of riding.
Rocket Festival in Yasothon, which usually goes down April – June. It’s a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people throughout much of Isan and Laos, in numerous villages and municipalities near the beginning of the wet season.
Phi Ta Khon, held in Dan Sai, Loei province, which takes place over three days sometime between March and July, the dates being selected annually by the town’s mediums. The whole event is called Bun Luang, part of a Buddhist merit-making holiday also known as Bun Phawet. Looks nuts.
Around Southeast Asia: Trevor
Bangkok: need some real city life. Miss Thai food sooooo much. Hang out with Scott and E and all my Bangkok peeps.
Indo: I had to cancel my surf and dive trip to Lombok last year. I still have the credit with Air Asia: I’d like to use it on a surf trip to Lombok. I’m not giving up on that one.
Laos loop we talked about with Nick Ray on an upcoming episode we just recorded 😉
Regional Travel: Scott
Battambang, Cambodia; see the town, ride the railway, do some boating, ideally going to or from Siem Reap via boat.
Angkor Temples without crowds.
Follow the Mekong River north from Phnom Penh, visiting Kratie, Stung Treng, ideally by motorcycle or maybe even bicycle if I have time.
Ratanakiri & Virachey National Park
Motorcycle northern Vietnam, starting by taking the train north from Hanoi or back, and riding the NE, Bảo Lạc, Yên Minh District, Hà Giang.
Long weekend in Hoi An with my wife.
Motorcycle to Vieng Xai in NE Laos – Nick Ray recommended it.
International Travel in 2021: Trevor
Hawaii of course: and when I’m home… Sandy’s. Surf every town break possible. If I can go over the summer. If it’s fall or winter I’d like to go outer island.
International Travel in 2021: Scott
My August/September 2020 trip back to British Columbia, Canada was cancelled so I’m really hoping it’s feasible to get there by August/September 2021 to see family and friends.
Things You Can Do to Keep Traveling
- We understand that every country is really fluid and in flux at the moment, but think about spots you can visit in your own town and city, make a list, note them on a map and start sussing them out one by one.
- Start to think of lesser-known spots near your city/home that you can visit and start making them happen. Think of all the spots you’ve ‘meant’ to visit but haven’t. Ask your friends for recommendations. Hey, read the Lonely Planet for your area for ideas you’ve maybe not thought of / heard of.
- Enjoy some staycations.
- Plan nearest possibilities in neighboring countries/provinces should restrictions ease this year.
- Do plan for that big international trip and have it ready to go to pull the trigger when able and a backup plan.