Alesso's Asia Trip Diary

JAPAN - BANGKOK - MYANMAR - CAMBODIA - KOH SAMUI - HONG KONG

JAPAN

When we got off the plane I felt like being sick, we had arrived in Hong Kong after a 13 hour plane ride and it was my first time ever in Asia. We were going to transfer to Osaka and from there take a bus to Kyoto. In the airport I noticed many odd and different things, for example there was a man sitting at a desk with 2 computer screens showing a thermal camera to check if people had fevers or illnesses. I noted that most of the airlines there were ones that I had never seen before and the airport was massive with over 500 gates! There were signs in chinese everywhere which I paid little attention to, but there were the dirty seats and people were all on electronics.

Hong Kong Airport view

We waited at our gate for around 30 minutes and then we flew to Osaka. On the plane there were screens which I watched a couple movies on, but I mostly slept. Once in Japan I was amazed, there was very high security and we had to fill out all these forms and go through security. After we got through all the security which took at least an hour, we saw things that would never be found in America. There were things such as vending machines everywhere with drinks that weren’t in the US, and there was a fizzy green apple soda tasting drink which I really liked. We even saw a vending machine at the airport that sold iPads!

Japan vending machine

We took a bus to Kyoto and I slept mosts of the ride. We arrived in Kyoto and took the subway, we figured out how the subway machine worked and then took 2 trains to our destination. Then we took a big circle around to the hotel even though it was right there when we arrived at Royal hotel and spa. The room was a small space but it was cozy and nice, then we explored the mall which was filled with people and then we ate dinner at an udon restaurant. The person misheard me and gave me cold soup, but it was still very yummy. We slept and woke up around 5 because of jet lag.

Geisha in Kyoto

It was my brother’s birthday and that day we biked around on rental bikes for about 6 hours trying to get to a soccer game which we never watched. We were exhausted from the heat and biking and had to stop in a market to cool off and get drinks. Kyoto is really great for biking and you can go anywhere by bike. We saw really nice bikes in the city that were not being watched and were unlocked! My dad says theft is very rare in Japan. I was realIy tired after today.

unlocked bikes in Japan
Unlocked bikes in Japan!

At night we went to a nice restaurant in an alley near the river run by a nice elderly woman. We ordered lots of food such as Japanese pizza, pork and eggs, and fried chicken. Yum! A geisha came and said happy birthday to Mario. We went and got some ice cream and then slept in our apartment. We woke up in the morning and ate some buns and soup for breakfast, then we went to a temple where there was a religious ceremony and there we waited for our friend Hiroshi to come. We met our guide Hiroshi at at large temple near the river. We watched the the special ceremony going on and Hiroshi explained it to us.

Hiroshi showed us around and we explored the mall and bought hats later. We went to the top floor of a department store and got some food which was not the best but ok. Then we walked around and chatted while we explored the mall. We went to a hat shop and got hats, I got a cool fedora which I liked and my brother got just a regular beat up hat. My brother, my mom, and I walked back to the apartment and relaxed. My dad came a little later and then we went out to an amazing restaurant where we got the best beef that I had ever tasted. We enjoyed all the food and then tried to go to another bridge but we got lost and ended up backtracking a lot. Then we fell asleep and woke up later in the morning.

 

Alesso at Monkey Park KyotoI woke up at 8, my latest wake up time because I had jet lag. We ate some cereal for breakfast and then my brother, my dad, and me went to meet with Hiroshi. All of us went to the monkey park and hiked up the hill till we saw the monkeys. They walked all around us and paid us no attention, we hiked a little further and came to the feeding station.

There we bought peanuts and apples for 100 yen a bag and we got to feed the food to the monkeys through a fence so they couldn’t hurt us. There were lots of cute snow monkeys everywhere and there were a couple babies which were a little bigger than your hand. We weren’t allowed to touch them and weren’t supposed to look them in the eyes because we were told that is like challenging them and they might attack you, but they were friendly we could feed them through the fence and I fed a baby who was really tiny and cute.  One monkey kept climbing up a tree and jumping from really high into a pond! We all laughed so much at this.

Monkey Park Kyoto mother and baby monkey

Then we went back down the hill and walked through a rock garden and passed through the bamboo forest, then we took a taxi to a 450 year old restaurant owned by a friend of Hiroshi. We ate this stack of boxes that had noodles inside each compartment and on the side there was little spaces with different add ons like seaweed and egg which you are supposed to put on each compartment. So basically you put some toppings on one and pour some sauce and eat it, then you get the other compartment and put different toppings and eat it and so on.

Well in Kyoto

At the end we got some water used to cook the noodles and put it in a cup with a cherry blossom and poured some noodle sauce in it, we drank that and it was very interesting. I can’t really describe it because it tasted like an old watery drink that was a little sweet. Then we met up with my mom at the mall, she had been shopping while we were away and then my mom, my brother, and me went and got some ice cream and then my brother and I walked back to the apartment and waited for my parents to come home. We all then met up with Hiroshi and went to eat at this restaurant by the river. We ate there and they had very good food and the same beef which tasted amazing and super tender, it melted like butter in my mouth and made my mouth water because the flavor was so great.

Then we left and went to a bar owned by Hiroshi’s friend and my brother and I weren’t allowed to be in there but we went in anyway and got some drinks. My brother and I got ginger ale and my parents got gin, Hiroshi got scotch which is also called Japanese whiskey. We met a Shiba Inus on the walk to the hotel who was really cute. Then we went home at around 11:00 and fell asleep,

I woke up late in the morning again because I was over jet lag. We packed our bags and dropped them off at the hotel, then we met with Hiroshi and took a subway. After the subway we got some food and took the bullet train (Shinkansen) to the station! The train was super fast around 250 miles per hour and it took only 15 minutes.

Shinkansen bullet train Osaka

At the station we took another 1 and a half hour train to Mount Kōya station. There we took up another lift which is one of the steepest in the world and arrived in Kōya San. We all met with one of Hiroshi’s old friends who us a nun. She showed around most of the town and temples. One temple had the largest rock garden in Japan.

Banryutei Rock Garden Koyasan

She told us all about her life as a nun and why Kōyasan was so special in Japan because it was where Buddhism came to the country. Then we all went to the monastery we were staying at that was run by monks. We said bye to Hiroshi because we would see him later in Tokyo. A monk toook us to our room which was really big and they gave us tea, robes and towels. We ate dinner which was a huge selection of all vegetarian food sorted into neat boxes, it was kind of funky but I liked some of it.

Alesso visiting temple in Koyasan

Then we put on our robes and went to the Onsen, a hot spring bath which was very hot and divided by gender. There were 4 Onsens at the Monastery, 2 men and 2 women. We went to the 2nd men’s one and there was nobody there so we relaxed in the water, first we cleaned ourselves in the warm shower with soap and shampoo, then we went in the Onsen which was a natural spring pool around 108 degrees. I didn’t go in because it was too hot but i played with the shower and poured buckets of warm water over my head. Then we went back to our room and relaxed, we all fell asleep early because we would have to wake up at 6 the next day.

Danjo Garan temple Koyasan, Japan

We woke up at six the next day and went to the prayer at 6:30. For some reason we thought we had to wear our robes which are only for the Onsen and are really only pajamas, it was really funny because we showed up in our pajamas to the prayer and hid in the corner. We left early to go change and decided not to disturb the prayer again, then we went down to breakfast which was a plate of vegetarian selections such as rice, vegetables, pickled food and other funky items!


Vegetarian dinner at monastery served by monks

We ate and then went up to our room where we packed up to leave, we left the place and went to go to the cemetery. We hiked to the cemetery which is one of the most sacred places in Japan.


Overnight at the monastery!

We hiked along all the tombs which were all exotic and different from each other. Some were small with coins around it, some were big with gold writing, some were a pyramid of tombs, some were from world war 2 and they were all amazing and the graves went on and on for longer than a mile. This place was very sacred and Shoguns and Samurais and important people were buried here, we hiked the main route and there were so many graves I couldn’t even make a guess how many there were. At the end there was a temple called the Kukai temple, it is one of the most sacred and important temples in Japan because it was a temple made for Kukai, a Chinese person who brought Buddhism to Japan. We went in and there were golden lanterns, candles and everything there. There was lots of incense and it was the quietest place ever, we explored the big temple and saw all the paintings and all of the sacred items inside the temple.

Okunoin Cemetery path, Koyasan Japan

Then we took a different path back through the cemetery and saw lots more great graves and buildings. We arrived back in town and walked to the bus stop. Then we decided since we had around 30 minutes we should walk to the other bus stop. Once we arrived there we walked to the next and so on till we reached the 6th one and stopped there and waited for the bus. We took the bus back to the Funicular and took it back down to Kōyasan Station, there we took 2 trains back. Afterwards we took subway and then Shinkansen for 15 minutes and ate lunch. Then we took the subway again and then we arrived at the hotel, the room wasn’t ready yet so we went to the Nijo castle which wasn’t all that great but we explored the whole thing and saw all the defenses and moats and all.

We went back to the hotel right as it started raining and then went to our room. All of us except Mario went to the Onsen which was made out of carbonated water! It was empty once again and the Onsen wasn’t as hot so I went in and it felt so good, when you looked at our own arm under water it was covered in bubbles and it felt tingly. We went back to the hotel room and then my parents went out to dinner and my brother and I stayed back at the hotel till they came back, my parents weren’t satisfied with their rip off dinner so they brought back soup which we made and ate. We went to sleep in our comfy beds and woke up late in the morning.

We ate cereal for breakfast and packed our bags, we were heading to Tokyo! We got lunch and took the Shinkansen for around 3 hours. When we got off we had arrived in Tokyo, but Tokyo is huge so we took a taxi to our apartment where we took the elevator up and made it to our room. It was a nice spacious place with 2 rooms and a bathroom, Gen the person who owns it came and brought us some food and told us about the place and how to use things. We thanked him and then went out for a walk, we saw this good looking Korean style food and we ate some fast food there. It was cheap, but it tasted really good and the portions were even bigger than the pictures! Everyone got this cooking bowl of rice with beef and egg, but I got this delicious curry with egg, beef and rice. We got vanilla flan for dessert, and my brother and I split a flan and this blue soda ice and cream which tasted like those marble sodas.

We headed back to the apartment for a while, we went to bed and woke up late the next morning. My dad took my brother and I to the bus station where only my brother and I took a 4 hour bus to Takayama to stay with our friend Kai. We met with Kai and went to a really good bakery and got some tasty pastries. Then we went back to his grandparents house and we stayed there. We played cards and soccer and walked around, we went to the river once and we ate really good food there for 2 days. We even ate at a sushi place where there was a train of sushi dishes going around which you could eat freely and order food. After that we all drove a couple hours to Nagano which was his aunt’s house.

Akihabara street crossing

There we stayed for a couple more days. It was a remote place up in the mountains with lots of Onsens which we went to, including a giant outdoor one that was really pretty. We also played some soccer and did some fireworks, the others we couldn’t do because the neighbors would get upset so we packed those. We stayed inside and the house was really big with tons of movies and a big TV which Kai thought was the best. We watched a couple movies like the Gods must be Crazy and a not so scary Omen 666 which was about a devil boy who killed people and he would end humanity. We met some of his cousins who were nice and we played with them a little. Finally we had to leave and my brother and I took a 2 hour bus back to Tokyo.

We met my dad and got some dinner while we were exploring some of the shops and arcades. We went back to a place we were moving into. It was a big hotel like condo with over 40 floors and basically brand new. We went to our room where the hadn’t even installed any of the beds or anything and we slept on futons. The next day we met with Hiroshi and a family he was touring around and we went to the Miho Museum with a Star Wars exhibit which was kind of dorky, but there was a cool view out all the floors and from the roof. We got a snack at starbucks and then split up, my dad my brother and I went to meet with my dad’s friend Willard.

Tokyo skyline view from the Miho Museum

We met with Willard and his son Elliel and got dinner, then they left and we took a long subway to see a soccer game. The soccer game was packed and almost all the seats were taken, it was Tokyo FC vs S Pulse. The game was good and all the players were amazing, they passed the ball quickly and already knew what they were doing before they even had the ball. Tokyo FC scored a great goal when someone got a break away and juked the goalie. In the 2nd half S Pulse tied it with a great shot, but Tokyo FC came back with an amazing juke and curve shot into the goal. Then Tokyo FC scored another goal from a penalty kick which was a great curve shot which bounced off their players head into the goal. We left 10 minutes early so we missed S Pulse scoring again but Tokyo FC won 3-2 in the end. We took a long subway home and then a taxi back to our place, we fell asleep on our futons and woke up in the morning.

I woke up at 5 AM with a bloody nose but went back to sleep after it was cleaned up. I woke up later and ate some breakfast, we chilled at our place and went to the gym and pool. We didn’t do much that day, we just chilled in our place and walked around a little bit. The next day my dad and my brother went biking for most of the day and I just stayed at our place and took a nap and rested from all the walking we did.

Family bicycle tour in Tokyo

They got home and they were really sore from biking so we stayed back. The next day we stayed at our place for a little while and then we went out.

We met up with Willard and we all walked around Shinjuku, Willard was leaving to Thailand the next day so we walked around with them and explored some shops. Willard left and my dad, my brother and I took the train to Tokyo Dome. There we ate some delicious chicken and then went into the stadium to watch the Tokyo Giants play baseball against Hiroshima. Baseball in Japan is really different with drums and chanting! Nothing happened in the game until one home run was hit in the 8th inning and everyone went crazy!

We went back to the apartment and went to sleep, we woke up the next day and I slept in late. My brother and I were going to go to the bus station to see Kai who was staying with us, my dad couldn’t come because some people were coming in to install the bed and washing machine and he had to be there. My brother and I left at around 11:00 to pick up Kai, we arrived at the bus station a couple minutes before Kai’s bus came in. We met up with Kai and walked around and got lunch, we had really good udon with egg for lunch and then we walked around and explored some shops for a little bit before meeting up with my dad.

Yoyogi Park gate, Tokyo

We walked around with my dad and explored lots of places including Meiji shrine and Shibuya. We ate at an amazing kebab place which had juicy wraps with great sauce on it, after that we walked around more and took the subway home.

Tokyo is really super modern and we saw some amazing things. At the Nike store we wore oculus rift goggles that played like you were playing in a game as Ronaldo. We also visited the science museum which had a talking robot that looked liek a real person.

Nike store Tokyo Oculus Rift

We rested there and went to sleep, we woke up really late the next morning and missed the fish market. We ate some breakfast and had a lazy morning at our place. We went out at around 11:00 and took the subway to the technology museum and we stayed there and explored the exhibit. It was really fun and there was lots of simulators and things you could control and interact with. There were freaky things like an android robot which looked human and spoke.

After the museum we ate hot dogs for lunch and walked around. We then went to Shinjuku, the bus station because Kai was leaving. His bus left at 3:20 and we all said bye to him, then the three of us walked around and explored some of the streets. We later took the subway back and ate at the soccer field Italian restaurant. We ordered pizza and some pasta, both tasted amazing and it was great Italian food. I ate half of the pasta and some of the pizza, then we walked back to our room and relaxed.

THAILAND

We went to sleep and woke up early the next day, that day we were traveling to Bangkok, which is the there, after that we took the train to the Narida airport and took a 5 hour and 40 minute flight to Bangkok. Once in Bangkok you could already feel the heat from outside, we met with Kenny who is a tour guide, he gave us flower bracelets which smelled refreshing. We got in a van and drove to our hotel called The Peninsula, once we got there we visited an aircraft musuem they have on the top floor with really old engines and other stuff. The view of the river was amazing!

View of Chao Praya River from Madarin Oriental room

Then went to our room which was deluxe with a big bed and was one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in with a big pool and waterfall there were neat painted elephants that were part of an art display.

Peninsula Bangkok courtyard

We met back with Kenny and went out, it was one of the hottest places I have been, it was around 80 degrees even at night. We met with Supakorn who arranges my dad’s trips and had great Thai food for dinner, they had the best Pad Thai. After that we went back to our hotel and eventually fell asleep on our cushioned beds.

Art Village Bangkok puppet show

The next day we went down to have a buffet breakfast which had all sorts of eggs and pastries, it was one of the best breakfasts I have ever had! While we were eating my mom had come in from Paris and she met us at breakfast. We got prepared and met with Kenny again, and then we got on a long tail boat and rode around to lots of places.

We saw markets and lots of other boats, we went to the floating market which was near the water and got lunch around there which was really good. The food in Bangkok is awesome! Then we took the boat to a place called the art house where there were people controlling puppets and doing acts, they also had an art shop with lots of cool masks and sculptures this one:

Art House Bangkok sculpture

Then we left and took the boat back along the river to our hotel and stayed there and relaxed, I went in the pool which was 90 meters long! Then we went to a great Thai restaurant and ate a lot of food.Then we went out and saw Muay Thai which was Thai boxing and we saw intense fighting with a couple knockouts. We met with my dad’s friend John and watched all the fights. We got to take pictures with the champion and we eventually left. My dad, my brother, and John took a tuk tuk which is a small cart car and my mom and I took the van home.

muay thai boxer

The next day I found out my brother had lost his phone of the tuk tuk and we were all sad that he had lost it. We ate great breakfast again and then we met with Kenny, who told us his real Thai name was Chonnakan, but most people call him Kenny. We took the van to a famous temple which was the royal palace and it was huge, it had big dome with all gold leaf around it and a 1000 gold leaf tile mosaic. Kenny told us about stories and showed us everything, eventually we left and headed back to the van because it was really hot.

We then went back and went in the pool and relaxed. Then we transferred hotels to one of the most famous hotels in the world called Mandarin Oriental. We waited there and met with Kenny again, then we went to get lunch. We ate at a really great Thai restaurant with good curry and delicious Pad Thai. After that we went back to our hotel and stayed there for a while. The hotel person at the pool told us they were playing a soccer game against the hotel across the river, the other one we had stayed in and invited us to come watch. They were so good, it was awesome to see them play!

Then our family took the train to the night market and we walked around and saw some cool things and funny T-shirts. My brother bought so many soccer jerseys, they were so cheap! We ate a small dinner because we weren’t very hungry, then we took a taxi home and fell asleep at our hotel in our humongous bed. I like this hotel a lot, they had an ice cream cart at the pool!

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok pool swim

The next 2 days we just stayed around and relaxed at the hotel, we didn’t do much and rested before our trip to Myanmar. We went one night to the market on the river where they have fish tanks you stick your feet in to get cleaned which tickles a lot! After that we woke up early and ate breakfast, then we met with Kenny and drove to the airport, we were going to Myanmar.

MYANMAR (BURMA)

We took a plan at 1 pm and I felt queasy most of the plane ride, they served frozen meat for lunch which I didn’t eat and there was a red jello which tasted like soap. After the hour plane ride we arrived in Myanmar which people call Burma. We had to fill out forms and go through migration, after that we met with some tour guides and we drove to our hotel called Governor’s Residence. We walked around our hotel and the place was full of plants and trees, the pool was really neat, it looked like a pond in the jungle and my brother and I jumped in!

We relaxed and met with my dad’s tour guide Tin Tin. We went out and had delicious indian food with curry and parata. The streets were really busy in the small alleys and we saw men kicking bamboo balls like volleyball. After that we left and went back to the hotel, the pool was really fun like a big pond and not a pool. We were tired later and eventually fell asleep.

We woke up at 5 am and went to the Shwegadon, a very famous temple with huge structures and gold leaf statues. We didn’t have money so we went all over the place and eventually came back to Shwegadon and walked around. The place was huge with lots of statues and buildings with gold leaf and paint. After we left and came back to the hotel we slept some more before going to breakfast. We walked around town and explored markets and streets.

Shwegadon Pagoda Yangon

The next couple of days are all jumbled up because I didn’t have enough time to write and I fell behind on writing. We moved from place to place in Myanmar, we went on hikes, saw monkeys and elephants and did fun things. We met people in villages and I met kids who were monks that were my age. They have their head shaved. They seemed very happy and were really friendly. The place we went after Yangon was Bagan, a place with many sacred temples.

Bagan plain Myanmar

We rode electric scooter bikes all around the temples! We stopped to visit lots of temples which got boring for me after a while and saw lots of very old structures and sacred places. There were hundreds of these temples most made form red brick. It was fun to ride the bike electric bikes and not drive in a van. When were in Bagan our guide told us what the different temples meaning was and even about the Buddha statues, and what it means when thier hands are held in some way or they are laying in different directions.

Bagan electric scooter

At one of the temples we met some local kids and played soccer with them. Then suddenly a man came over and yelled at them, he was their teacher and they were supposed to be in school! Here they are before they got into trouble:

Kids playing in Bagan

After this place we went to a sacred mountain called popa which was covered with jungle with a sacred temple to hike up. The stairs the whole way to the top had monkeys just hanging around! We fed them peanuts and they were really wild. On top at the temple were amazing views so far away. There were so many monks there and some gave us sweet drinks.

View over Mount Popa

After Mount Popa we went to a town a few hours away called Mandalay which used to be the old capital city. This was a really busy city and we saw monks everywhere. One of my favorite things about being there was the indian food which was incredible! We took a boat to aplace called Minigun. This temples was built with millions of bricks and we climbed up to the top to look around. We also went to see the world's largest bell which was next to the temple. That night we ate more great indian food at a chapati cafe!

Minigun view in Mandalay

After Mandalay, we flew and then drove to a small town in mountains named Kalaw. The hotel was run by girls from a hilltribe called Palaung and were really friendly. We went to watch a soccer game down the road and when we came back the girls wanted to play soccer with us and we had a two hour game in front of the hotel!

Playing soccer in Kalaw, Myanmar

The next day my brother and dad rode on bikes to our next stop but me and mom went to an elephant camp near to us. The camp was in a jungle valley and the people there took care of the elephants. The oldest elephant named Shwe Mome there was 66 years old! It was so much fun to feed and wash them in the river and scrub them clean, the elephants really liked this! There was another elephant only 5 years old and she was really cute lay with.

Our next stop was Inle Lake which is high in the mountains and a very big lake which looks like Lake Tahoe but with islands and houses built on stilits over the water. In Inle we met with our guide Koko. My dad calls Koko the mayor of Inle Lake because he knows eveybody.

Novice monks on Inle Lake

On our first day took us by boat with our bikes for biking on one of the islands and around the hills which was really awesome biking through forests on dirt paths and we had lots of fun. Some young monks were raising money on the road and we stopped to meet with them. Today we also saw a cat village where they breed burmese cats, they had little houses and everything like a real village.

Inle Lake UNICEF daycare

The next day we also biked some more and we stopped at a day care and met little kids. They were really cute but very shy and moved together like penguins do. The teachers told us they were shy because they had never met travelers before. We also visitied a regular school with kids my age and my brother and I gave English lessons in different classes. The kids were from the Intha tribe who live on Inle Lake. It was a great way to meet kids from the lake. Later in the day we rode through bamboo forests, farms, and around some very old temples, which was amazing and one of the best bike rides I have ever had.

Biking Indein on Inle Lake

After our last night we packed up to go back to Thailand. The next day we flew to an island in Thailand called Koh Samui.

KOH SAMUI

Napasai seaview villa

In Koh Samui we stayed at an amazing huge place called the Napasai and stayed in a giant villa. The place was built on the shore and on the mountain side, there were tons of rooms all spread out including 3 bedrooms on different floors, a living room, a kitchen, and a pool all to ourselves! This is a photo of me swimming in it. We could walk down the rocks next to the pool right onto the shore of the beach and the warm water was really relaxing and shallow.

Napasai Koh Samui villa ocean view

The people at the hotel were really nice and gave us treats when we saw them. We also met the chief engineer for the resort who had been there many years told us all about keeping everything working. One night a big tropical storm came through and we think he was really busy to make sure the electricity stayed on.

We stayed there a week and went go carting and to the night market here that was awesome with good food and lots of families so fun things for kids to do everywhere.

CAMBODIA & ANGKOR

After that we left to Cambodia, where we met my brother’s friend River from school and he stayed with us at a great hotel which was empty and all ours away from my parents. There was a nice pool, good food, and the place was really great. We stayed there a couple days and went in the pool and went to lots of huge temples and museums. We went into town a couple times and got some good food like banana crepes or banana chocolate smoothies which were really good.

Angkor Alesso visit with River and Mario

After that my brother, his friend and I went and stayed at a nice hotel by ourselves while my parents stayed at a different hotel. We stayed there for about two days, we ate at the hotel a couple of times by ourselves and I had the rarest steak I have ever seen, the inside was completely raw and the outside was slightly cooked, it tasted amazing and really juicy and tender.

Our first day we visited the huge temples in Angkor before sunrise when they were empty. The temples were huge! And there were so many of them, it was incredible. On some the jungles had started growing, even large trees shooting up for a hundred feet. Later other travelers began to arrive and also elephants which carried them around.

Alesso in Angkor, Cambodia

One day we hiked to a stream where people a long time ago had carved the stones under water, it looked really cool. After the hike we visited a silk farm where over 100 local people work. The women who runs the farm had made us lunch and it was so good, including something that tasted like carnitas but much better! We learned all about how they make silk fabric beginning with the work to using a loom to join the threads. We each had a chance to try the loom and it was hard to keep track of the system.

My brother, my mom, River and I all went to a zipline place in the jungle where there was huge zip lines that were super fun. The biggest one was 300 meters long and I went super fast across it. I did one two together with River in this video:

We had a great time on the ziplines and afterwards the guides took us through a path in the jungle and showed us cool things like spiky trees and termite nests. We went back and relaxed at the hotel pool until sunset.

Cambodia Fish Spa

At night we walked through the busy night market that had really strange things like a "fish spa" where fish eat the dead skin off your feet - it was super ticklish! We also saw an amazing kids circus, it was the most incredible one I have ever seen with tricks, acrobatics, music, and dancing. After the show we got to meet and talk with the actors.

Phare Cambodian Circus tightrope

We went to the capital after that which was busy. It was hot and we were lucky the hotel called The Raffles had a great pool. It was across the street from the U.S. Embassy and there were people from the embassy we talked to including a military man teaching a class at the hotel. We went to visit a memorial for people who were killed during a war with the khmer rouge called the killing fields. It was a terrible period of Cambodia's history and we learned the leaders killed many of their own people.

Later on we went to see a museum and then a soccer game between the top teenage teams from Cambodia and Myanmar! We also went to the street market.

We went to a restaurant where my brother ate fried tarantulas! They were cooked but nobody else except my dad would taste them and River and I were really grossed out but my brother ate them all.

Eating tarantulas in Cambodia

 

HONG KONG
After that hotel we split up and River went back to San Francisco while we went to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong we stayed at a hotel that had that had all sorts of really awesome technology and you could control everything in the room from a tablet and also order food or check the weather and find out everything about Hong Kong. We met with my grandmother who had come over from San Francisco. We walked around Hong Kong, it was super busy and we saw markets with lots of cool looking things and ate great food there. My brother got a laser in the market that you could see miles away on buildings! You cannot buy this one at home.

My grandmother kept on taking us to the same restaurant around 4 times so I was pretty tired of it but I still enjoyed all of the food which was delicious. It was always so hot at around 85 degrees and I couldn’t take the heat, so my grandmother took my brother and I to the ferry and we took it across the water and that cooled us off a lot. Then my grandma kept taking so many photos and it was so hot I was getting kind of annoyed because we had to stop every couple of minutes so my grandma could take pictures.

After we went back to the apartment it was a relief because it was much cooler and had air conditioning. My brother found a coupon and got a free hat at a store there and he was pretty happy. We all liked Hong Kong and it was really fun going to all the markets and stores everywhere. When we left Hong Kong the airport has a way for you to check-in in the city at the train station. You can check in your bags and get tickets, even though you are not at the airport! After Hong Kong we left back to San Francisco, when we arrived I was so happy to be home and be back in my house again.

The trip was the best trip I’ve ever been to and I had lots of great experiences. I had lots of souvenirs to remember the trip and I had lots of fun. One fo my favorite memories is the food which was my all time favorite! I also thought the people in every country were really nice and calm even if you just met them. I will always remember this trip to Asia and how really awesome it was.

~Alesso

About me: I'm from San Francisco and love to play soccer and lacrosse.

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