Around the world in 30 days - Leg 1 - Asia

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I have always been fascinated by around the world travel , backpacking particularly. There have been several excuses for not pursuing my dream, lack of funds , lack of vacation time, small children etc. But all this did not stop me from travelling from my country Canada to India where I have a lot of family ties once every 3 or so years. Turning an Asian vacation into around the world travel was so much easier than I had thought. All I had to do is to get 2 extra weeks of vacation , find $350 extra per person to convert the round-trip India ticket to an RTW ticket. My strategy was to use three one way trips with free (or $100 fee) stop-overs to create a cheap RTW ticket. All done with 4 weeks of vacation.Before we go on, let me define around the world travel. There are only 3 rules.Rule 1: Travel to start and end in the same country.Rule 2 : Travel in one continuous direction East or West.Rule 3: Cross the International date line once.Rule 4: Cross Atlantic and Pacific at-least once. Although it is hard these days as most flights from North America flies over the poles non-stop to many Asian and European destinations.
It took  4 one-way trips to build a reasonable RTW ticket.1. Toronto to Hong-Kong on Air Canada.2. Hong-Kong to Bangkok on Air Asia.3. Bangkok to Chennai on Air Asia.4. Bangalore to Toronto with a stop-over in Frankfurt and London on Air Canada (Lufthansa).

Day 1 - Departure

Departure from Toronto was very exhilarating. We have gone to India from Chicago and Tornto a dozen times, but through Europe and Dubai. For the first time we will be in Asia. Altough it would have made sense to fly East first with the Jet Stream, we chose to fly West for 2 reasons. We wanted Europe to be the last stop before returning home. Also it is cheaper to from to North America from India with a Europe stop-over.

I have to say Air Canada was very comfortable. It was a very long flight.

Day 2 - Hong Kong

AC 015 touched down Hong Kong sharp at 14:30. Clearing immigration and claiming baggage was a breeze. As a budget traveler I followed Wikitravel and took bus S1 to Tung Chung. After quickly buying a tourist pass I was on my way to the harbor , Tsim Sha Tsui ,TST station. The direction to the star ferry was well marked from TST station.

Top things to do in Hong Kong.
1. View the city from the Harbor.
2. Ride the star ferry.
3. Get to the peak. Ideally in the evening and get sweeping views of the city after sunset.
4. Ride the cable car to Ngong Ping.
5. Visit Tin Tan Budha.

Day 3 - Hello Bangkok

Arrived in Bangkok and swiftly proceeded to my hostel. Yes, I stayed in a hostel. Its called Nappark Hostel and is located in the old city very close to Kao San road and the major attractions. It is arguably one of the best hostels in the region and certainly the best I have ever stayed in.
Despite the Jet lag, I started to explore the city and did the major attractions.
The Grand palace. Absolutely stunning. Do your home work and learn about the scams in the area. It is very notorious for petty crime and tuk tuk tour scams.

Day 4 - More Bangkok

Day 4 was a bit harder to wake up. But a promise of more sights (in the sweltering hot day) did shake me up from my lethargy. After a quick bite form 711 and a coffee I proceed for a ride on the Chao Phraya river to visit to Wat Pho. The temple was huge and very peaceful. Don't miss traditional Thai massage given on the temple grounds.

I quickly returned to the hostel for a Nap, the jet lag was killing me at this time. Perhaps it was the beer, who cares, I am on vacation.

Bangkok roof-top Bar: My choice the quiet and river side Hilton Millennium hotel. Accessible via the Chao Phraya ferry, the ride in the early evening was cool , cheap and comfortable. The happy hour was till 8pm with buy one get one drink. The sun usually sets between 6 and 6:30.