Mike and I are counting down the days till our backpacking trip across South-East Asia: Just about 5 weeks left until we depart!
Unfortunately, we’re feeling a bit nervous about our itinerary which takes us through Bangkok, Thailand and all around Cambodia, with a few days in Vietnam at the end – all of which areas are making headlines for the catastrophic flooding they are currently experiencing.
Experts say that it could take weeks for the flood waters to subside, and the problems caused by the floods are tremendous: thousands are displaced from their homes, crops have been destroyed, there are shortages of clean water, problems with snakes and crocodiles in the street, and increased risk of diseases like cholera and malaria.
In fact, the U.S. embassy is warning against any unnecessary travel to parts of northern Thailand, including Bangkok, through January 26th. Despite these extreme circumstances, United Airlines is not making it easy for us to change our itinerary. They are taking a week-by-week approach and are only waiving the steep “change” fee for travel through Nov 7th at this time. On top of the change fee, we’d also have to pay the difference in rates, which are certainly higher now than several months ago when we booked.
For now we are monitoring the situation closely. We’ve found message boards on tripadvisor and travelfish to be excellent resources, and have also registered our trip with the U.S Department of State’s Smart Travel Program, so we’ll receive any additional travel warnings or alerts.
There is still a chance that the travel conditions will be improved by the time we depart. Regardless, Mike and I both agreed we will be going to Southeast Asia this December, even if it’s not the itinerary we originally planned! If things don’t improve, we’ll be re-routing our itinerary, whatever the cost. Some options we’ve considered include spending our full 3 weeks in Vietnam, or venturing to other places in the region such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
And as frustrating as it is to have this wrench thrown into our dream vacation, I feel so lucky that these floods aren’t impacting my home, my family, or my livelihood like they are for so many thousands of people.
Call for Guest Posts!!!
As we will be backpacking for 3-weeks in December, I am looking for volunteers to write a few guest posts!
Bloggers and Non-Bloggers are welcome and posts can be about anything that is meat-free, including Healthy-Living or Eco-friendly related topics. Ideas for what to write about include:
- Your favorite vegetarian recipe(s) or products
- Vegetarian must-eats in your town or favorite travel destination
- Reviews of foodie books & documentaries
- Or try going vegetarian or vegan for a few days and write about how you did!
I’d love to hear from you:
Have you ever had a wrench thrown into your travel plans?
What natural disasters have you encountered?
And stay tuned for a recap of a dinner with the ChicagoVeg meetup group