David and Lili's World Tour

Thailand, Indonesia, China

May 2015 - Plan B: Bangkok, Buddha, Bali, Birthday, Beijing, Book, London

We took a holiday from our holiday for the month of May, leaving behind South Asia's endless haggling, cheap hotel rooms, and overcrowded mini-buses. We entered the tourist zone. That is, we travelled with family for my 50th birthday. Fifty years! Oh my Buddha! How time flies! Touring with Mom implied that we upgraded our hotel standard, and after a year of roughing it from East Timor to Sri Lanka, this was a welcome change. In Portuguese we say, "do lixo ao luxo" - meaning, "from rubbish to luxury." Our hotels with Mom had excellent swimming pools, beautiful gardens, and yummy breakfasts included. Wow, so this is how most tourists see Bali! Happy birthday to me :^)

Bali was my mother's choice of destinations, and it was AWESOME to show her the sights. Before Bali we met my cousin Dux in Thailand, and Thailand is always a good idea. This time around we seriously appreciated the quality and variety of the food. Great! We spent less than a week in China but China is always interesting too. Here we all visited my step-brother Mike, a fun family reunion in Beijing. And again, FOOD!

One can easily get used to luxury hotels, but... Of course there's that thing called our budget. Also, we sometimes felt uncomfortable when surrounded by wealthy tourists in poor countries, like fish out of water, very comfortable and well-fed fish. One hotel in Bali cost only $65 per night, a great deal considering it was the most comfortable hotel we've ever seen, with the best breakfast included. This part of the world can be toured in style for a pretty fair rate, but deep down we prefer the cheaper backpacker places as standard, for the culture instead of the comfort. Also, local food is generally better and cheaper than hotel food, so as my group's tour guide I often directed our mission towards searching for culinary excellence targeted to locals, a fun and delicious mission.

Now Lili and I are in London, England, the place where we became a couple 11 years ago. Visiting London has always been part of our World Tour Plan A, and what a cool city! This place is EASY, and it's nice to see old friends :-) I'm sure we'll have more to say about Europe later, but for now I'll just say that we feel at home in London. Lili used to live here, plus in many ways this is the cultural capital of our home, New Zealand. And as a bonus, we are staying in a flat, not a hotel, with a kitchen. Ahhh... Another bonus, we found a flight from Beijing to London for only $300 via Moscow.

By the way, in case you missed the news, I published my book! Globalocity - The Adventures of Raymond is ON SALE NOW. Global velocity! By the way, to answer the #1 question I heard pre-launch, Raymond is a purely fictional guy. Of course he and I have a lot in common, but unlike me, he's a literary hero, a young American who travels the world for the first time, so that everything he discovers is fresh and exciting. Go on a mind-expanding odyssey (with a secret sub-plot). Go with Raymond. Explore everything.

Cheers! David (and Lili)

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