The long journey home

Vagabond Tim

First let me state that I am only here for a visit, it is mid summer and I have been cold since I landed. There is literally no way I would survive another Canadian winter. My next post will be all about Vancouver where I landed, but this one covers the trip from Cambodia and ‘Island Life’ through Hong Kong, Macau, and Manilla.

After experiencing tropical sun and unbelievable sunsets I decided for reasons still not entirely clear to me that I should visit my family in Canada, perhaps just for perspective. Gone are the ever present animals, fruit, warmth, and beauty. In their place is lackluster green foliage, greyish blue skies full of clouds, and nights so cold you are bundled up beneath two or three layers of clothing, which admittedly does help deter the sparrow sizes mosquitos.

The first stop on my journey to the frozen hell of my birth was Hong Kong, overall a fairly nice city, it has a great skyline and despite its size is full of wildlife, assuming one classes rats and roaches as wildlife of course. The underground is eerily similar to the one found in London, which I suppose isn’t surprising given that until the mid 1990’s it was owned and operated by the English.

The morning after I arrived in Hong Kong I took a ferry across to Macau, a country that literally no one who doesn’t live there has ever heard of, it is as much a part of China as Hong Kong, which basically means it ‘isn’t’ if you ask the locals, and totally is if you ask anyone else.

Macau bills itself as Asia’s Las Vegas, however aside from the abundance of casinos far out of balance to the population I am not aware of any similarities. It does not seem to be a sand battered desert mysteriously teeming with prostitutes, nor can it boast of a long sordid history with the mafia. The closest thing they have to a long sordid history is that they were a Portuguese colony smack dab in the middle of Asia.

Being Portuguese has left some really interesting marks on the city though (it literally is a single city country, like the vatican only slightly less sordid) for one thing the architecture that is older than the obsession with ‘Merica and her casinos is absolutely phenomenal. The names of places and warning signs written in Portuguese are also a nice touch.

I was so distracted staring at the adorable turtles at the park I forgot to take their picture, so you really have no choice but to go yourself.

It is relatively unfortunate that flights in and out of Macau are quite a bit more expensive than those from Hong Kong so being a cheap bastard I had to take a ferry back to Hong Kong for my flight to Manilla. Since the flight was also early in the morning I had to spend the night in one of Hong Kong’s picturesque hostels, it was a long ride up a shaky elevator with flickering lights to a dingy hallway that I assume was the set for a horror movie recently. Inside the tiny cramped space was a surprising amount of clutter and a series of dorm beds.

While it sounds as though I am complaining about the place known as ‘the mansions’ I should point out that it isn’t the worst hostel I have spent a night in, the lack of insects and loud music until three in the morning was actually quite a nice change of pace after spending so long on the island of Koh Rong.

After leaving Hong Kong I arrived in the airport in Manilla. Due to severe flight delays I had absolutely no time to actually explore Manilla, but I can say their airport wins some points for having a smoking room on the inside of security, something every airport should invest in. I ended up spending the better part of an hour standing in a line that turned out to be the line for the line to board the plane…

Manilla’s slightly ridiculous airport behind me I settled into a long boring plane ride across the pacific ocean, I was at least hoping it would be uneventful but that was simply not to be.


Within minutes of takeoff I was already sad that I would not be able to see another sunset from the island for quite some time.


Sri Lanka Airlines is amazing, the flight crew and I say around posing for pictures while the plane was delayed. When it came time for food they brought me sharp metal utensils. It’s nice to see at least one airline hasn’t lost their damn minds.


Hong Kong’s underground has some of the weirdest and most undecipherable warning signs I have ever seen


Standing under one of these bizarre ornaments allows music to be heard, the downside being if you like the song you are unable to keep wandering around until it is over


Macau has, without question, the poshest movie theaters I have ever been in. Luckily they seemed only concerned with my having a ticket, my being a weird foreign hobo did not seem to be a factor

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