Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Vacation!

I am on the home stretch! One more week of classes, 2 days of summer camp, and then I am off to Southeast Asia for 24 days! This week and next week at school we are watching Remember the Titans, a movie based on a true story about a high school integrating during the 1970's. My students love the movie, and I think that being such a monolistic society, watching a movie like this can really help the students with acceptance of other peoples. For summer camp, I am teaching the students to make green smoothies, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I can't wait to see what they think about putting spinach in a smoothie, but I know it will be a hit.

The day after camp, I am off to the airport. I fly out of Seoul at 5pm and arrive in Kuala Lampur, Maylasia at midnight on the 25th. I will stay 1 night there before quickly returning to the airport by noon the next day. I then fly to a neigboring island of Borneo Malaysia, the island shares itself between 3 countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei) and is the 3rd largest island in the world. I will spend 11 nights in the Sabah region in the Northeast. I haven't exactly decided what I will do yet but I know I want to visit the Orangutang Sanctuary and do a jungle trek. Borneo's forests are being cleared for palm plantations and many of the animals there are endangered. Unfortunately the remainder of their forests continue to dwindle, which is one of the reasons I want to visit. I am worried that in the future, the island will consist of only palm plantations and scarce wildlife. Borneo is also home to the largest mountain in the Malay Archipelago, Mount Kinabalu. This mountain can be hiked in a single day but usually travelers stay the night and hike for 2 days. I really want to hike the Mtn, but it is a 7hour bus ride from where I am staying in Sandakan. So my plan for that is currently up in the air. Here is a map of Borneo so you can see where I am going. Borneo has many islands such as Turtle Island, but unfortunately it is booked all through the summer, there are no vacancies. So I am thinking most of my time will be spent in the jungle and on the Kinabalu river.

Next I am off on another adventure. I leave Borneo on August 6th and head back to Kuala Lampur for a 5 hour layover before heading to Bali, Indonesia! I have a couple layovers in KL airport because I am flying a low cost carrier airline, AirAsia. I arrive in Bali very late at night and will be picked up by my homestay family who will take me to the town of Ubud. I will spend 4 to 5 nights there. Ubud is known as the heart of Bali. I plan on doing a bike tour, eating amazing Balinese food, and relaxing after all of the jungle madness in Borneo. After Ubud, I will go to the Legian/Kuta area in the South. I have read many opinions on this area, you either love it or you hate it. I plan on taking a cooking class, surfing, and getting a much needed tan at the beach. I will spend 3-4 nights before leaving Bali on the morning of August 15th. Here is a map of Bali~

Finally I will fly to Singapore and spend 1 night and 2 days exploring the city and pickin up some much needed foreign items that I can't find in Korea. I head back to Korea on the morning of August 17th at 5am so I plan on pulling an all nighter and just heading to the airport on the last subway at 1am. You can see Singapore on the first map I posted at the Southern tip of the Malaysian Penninsula.
So there you have it! 23 nights/24 days in Southeast Asia! I will update my blog during my vacation as much as possible. After summer vacation, I will only have 6 months left in Korea and then it is back home to America. I can't wait!