Vegangela is Back!

Hello everyone!

I’m back in Canada and finally settled into my new pad in downtown Toronto. I can’t wait to share some of my adventures with you, and catch up with everything that’s been going on in the vegan foodie world!

If you remember from my last post in January, my partner and I were leaving Sydney to move back to Canada, and embark on a 3-month vacation through New Zealand and South East Asia in between. While I can’t summarize the entire trip, I thought I’d share a few special photos and comments with you…

My personal travel highlights

New Zealand

On the way to Franz Josef, New Zealand

On the way to Franz Josef, New Zealand

I had no idea what I was getting into when we landed there, but out of all the places I’ve ever visited, it is without a doubt the most beautiful. If you ever decide to go there, make the time to be able to drive across both islands. The scenery literally changes before your eyes every minute of the way, and it consistently takes your breath away. I have never felt as small as I have when looking out at the vast landscapes of this tiny country. Bonus: the Kiwis are some of the most relaxed people you’ll ever meet, and the wine is to die for.

Bali

Rice terraces in Tengallalang, Bali

Rice terraces in Tengallalang, Bali

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Hindu temples in Ubud, but the highlight for me was visiting the undulating rice terraces that have been craved into the hills there. Enjoying lunch while overlooking the rice terraces was definitely a highlight for me. Overall, this trip really taught me how much work goes into producing rice, as well as how many people in this world depend on it for every meal, every single day. Growing rice is back-breaking work and I don’t think I’ll ever waste another grain of rice in my lifetime after seeing how much work goes into it!

Vietnam

Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang in Hue, Vietnam

Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang in Hue, Vietnam

While I found Saigon and Hanoi to be a bit too loud and hectic for my liking, I really enjoyed visiting the ancient cities of Hoi An and Hue. Vietnam is changing so rapidly and it was nice to be able to see some some of the history of this great country, no matter how touristy it may be.

Cambodia

East Mebon temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

East Mebon temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

I was amazed by the kindness of these people who have lived through so much, and who continue to live in one of the poorest countries in the world today. We spent only a few days touring the ruins of Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples, but I will never forget the smiles on the children’s faces, or the monks that surrounded us there. The Cambodians are beautiful people and I felt a real connection to this country. I know in my heart that I will make my way back there one day.

Thailand

Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, Thailand

Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, Thailand

We spent a month in Thailand, so I began to really feel at home there after a couple weeks. From the cultural hub of the North, to the gorgeous islands and beaches of the Southwest and East, I was lucky enough to see a good portion of this dynamic country. I really enjoyed the week or so that we spent in Bangkok, including sipping on a dirty martini at the top of the Lebua State Tower (those of you who have seen “The Hangover 2″, may remember it).

In many ways, it seems like ages ago since we left Sydney, but at the same time, it feels as though the year so far has gone by in an instant. Everyone keeps calling it “the trip of a lifetime” but I hesitate calling it that because I want to do it all – and more – again one day!

Here are some of the highlights that I can’t wait to share with you:

  • The fun and cheap street food that I was able to enjoy along the way (while finding vegan-friendly food was challenging at times, when it was available, it was really good!)
  • The colorful markets that I visited, where I learned about the many fruits and vegetables unique to each country
  • The incredible cooking classes that I took in Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand
  • The special gourmet vegan and raw meals that I was able to enjoy when we decided to splurge at the region’s most famous restaurants
  • An incredible vegan + organic winery that we discovered in New Zealand
  • The amazing elephant rescue and rehabilitation center that lets visitors feed and bathe these amazing creatures (instead of forcing them to perform for humans)
  • The 7-day no-food detox that I completed (go me!) in Ko Samui, Thailand
  • Some travel and packing tips that I picked up along the way, and of course, some vegan travel information for those of you looking to embark on your own adventures!

I can’t wait to share all of this with you, not to mention all of the great food that I’ve come across so far in Toronto. I also look forward to catching up with all my favorite blogs and seeing what everyone has been up to!

But before I go, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who left such kind comments on my last post, and who continued to leave comments or send emails and tweets while I was travelling. I wasn’t always able to respond in a timely manner, but I loved hearing from you and it felt nice knowing that I would still have a place to call home here once I finally got back on solid ground.

Talk soon!

27 Comments

  1. This is amazing journey you have! I would love to see Cambodia (it looked like a beautiful country to see including the culture and locals whereas it was one of the poorest countries. Was Cambodia vegan-friendly? Would love to see some vegan eats you’ve found!

    I was surprised to read your input about Vietnam, and I was about to book a trip to Saigon and Hanoi for a month, and cancelled it because I wasn’t too sure about staying somewhere I’m not familiar with. But I can imagine that statement: “Vietnam is changing so rapidly and it was nice to be able to see some some of the history of this great country, no matter how touristy it may have been.”

    I have to say, while Bangkok is a large city to see, it comes across as an easygoing city to see briefly.

    So glad you liked New Zealand, did you have any chance to drop by Wellington? That photo looked gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing, Angela!

    X

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Cambodia was very vegan-friendly! I will definitely be posting my favorite restaurants in Siem Reap, as well as the goodies that I learned to make during the cooking class that I took there!

      One month in Saigon and Hanoi would be too much for me. Honking horns all day long. I was happy to escape to Ha Long Bay for three days!

      We didn’t spend much time in Wellington as we had already been there before. I really loved the East coast of the North Island, and the South island was spectacular!

      I’ll be visiting your blog soon to catch up!! x

      Reply
  2. Monique says:

    Welcome back! I can’t wait to read more about your travels.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you! I look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to :)

      Reply
  3. Oh my gosh, just those few pictures are AMAZING and I can’t wait to hear all about EVERYTHING! Welcome back!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you! Those are just a few photos from my iPhone… I haven’t even begun to go through the real photos yet! Thanks for stopping by, looking forward to reading-up on your blog :)

      Reply
  4. Welcome back, Angela… and welcome to the heat wave that has overcome Toronto! Probably nothing compared to the tropical places you’ve been. Can’t wait to hear all about your amazing discoveries on your trip.. sounds like a life-changing experience that I hope to learn through you. :)

    I have scouted out the raw restos here in Toronto, so if you need some local tips or want a buddy to check them out, I am totally game for that. :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Janet! I’m loving the heat. I definitely got used to it in Australia… not to mention 40C everyday in Cambodia and Bangkok!

      I would love to check out some local restaurants with you! My in-laws took me to the Naked Sprout and I loved it! I’m swamped the next couple weeks with family and work engagements, but I’ll be in touch soon so that we can do that. Thanks so much!!

      Reply
  5. Lou says:

    Yay welcome back! Wow, what a fantastic adventure you have had…. glad you liked NZ – it IS one of the most beautiful places (but I’m biased) PLUS the wine, oh the WINE!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you! And yes, NZ is the best place. I really want to spend a few months there at some point… it’s amazing!

      Reply
  6. Mel says:

    Hi Angela! Great to see you are back as I only started reading your blog not long before your travels. Your photos are fantastic and I’m looking forward to hearing more about your trip, particularly Thailand as I have been there a couple of times and have a soft spot for the country, the food and the people.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Mel! Thailand was really cool. I picked up some great cooking tips there, can’t wait to share them with everyone… :)

      Reply
  7. Jodi says:

    Welcome back! Can’t wait to read about your travels… The photos already prove what an incredible trip it was. Looking forward to your posts!

    Reply
  8. Hannah says:

    Hurrah! Welcome back to the blog world! And hey hey hey, Toronto? If you have time, I think you should have a lookeeloo at my recent announcement post :P (I totally never pimp myself out like this, but I’m just all jangly with excitement, particularly with people who understand that, as you say, travel is for always and again and always. Wait, this is in brackets. I need to close the brackets.)

    Can’t wait to hear more of your wonderful travels!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hannah! It’s so great to hear from you. I have to catch up on your blog but I read your last post and I think that’s FANTASTIC! I’m truly convinced that you learn the most about yourself when you get as far away as you can from every (external) force that that has made you who you are. So… YAY! I should know Toronto a lot better by then and will show you all the cool places to eat here! This is super exciting… :)

      Reply
      • Hannah says:

        High five for exciting times ahead!! :) :) (P.S. I really didn’t mean that I expected you to read my blog! I’m slightly cringing at my previous comment, actually!)

        Reply
  9. Sivan says:

    Yeay!!!!
    Welcome back :)
    We missed you!
    And can’t for all your new posts :)
    Sivan
    The Vegan Woman

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Aw thank you! I have so much to catch up on as well. Can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

      Reply
  10. Allysia says:

    Woo hoo! As of July 2013 I’ll be living in downtown Toronto too – can’t wait! And for a long time, Ubud has been on my top-10 list of places to visit, though New Zealand sounds pretty great too! I’d love to go on a long trip like that sometime before I’m 30 – was the cost of it pretty crazy, or were you guys frugal? And I’m excited to hear about the food on your travels! :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Allsia! That’s so awesome about you living downtown. As for our trip, we saved up for a while, so we were able to splurge on some really nice places. However, most places in Asia are really affordable, so you can do a lot with very little…

      Reply
  11. Kris says:

    So glad you’re back! It was lovely to see you had a new post, and your trip looks simply amazing. Sooo jealous! Can’t wait to see what you cook up in your new kitchen! : )

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you! I have so many things to share, it’s a bit overwhelming but I’ll get there soon… Thanks for stopping by ;)

      Reply
  12. Lisa says:

    Welcome to the city! I can’t wait to read more about your amazing adventure.

    xo

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you!! Trip stuff coming soon… :)

      Reply
  13. Welcome back to blogging. I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures. I would love to visit all the places you went. What an amazing opportunity!

    Reply
  14. Sara says:

    Hi Angela! I’ve been loving your recipes for a while (long time vegetarian, newly vegan) but had to say Hi after I read your New Zealand post. I work for the New Zealand tourism board (for the US & Canada) and I’m so glad you had such a great time! I’m looking forward to reading about your vegan winery experience. Mmmm Sauvignon Blanc! Btw I made your pesto on zucchini ribbons for lunch last week. YUM! Thank you :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      That’s awesome. NZ is definitely my new favorite place on earth. I want to spend 3 months just there next time :)

      Glad you liked the zucchini pasta. Thanks for getting in touch!

      Reply
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