My Trips to foreign Countries
Since my childhood, my dream was just to become a plane pilot, when I grew up. I like flying and was always pleased to go seeing the plane landing and take-off, when I was a kid. Always wondering why big plane can fly so easily carrying tons of irons and many things with them. My first flying experience was with a military helicopter from Takeo town to Phnom Penh (80km) in 1973, during the war. It was about 25 minutes of joyful and fearful flying. Joyful: because it was the first fly experience. Fearful: because the helicopter needed to fly high enough to escape the Khmer Rouge’s bullets. The second trip was from Phnom Penh to Takeo and returned by Dakota type airplane (11 minutes), an American MD propeller machine, in 1974. The first long distance flight was the trip from Hanoi to East Berlin via INTERFLUG (IL 62), the East-German Airline, in August 1984.
Though, by profession, I am not a pilot now, but through my works with the foundation and with CEDAC, I have lots of opportunity to fly. I have been invited to participate as speaker, panelist, trainer, facilitator or just participant in various trainings, conference, workshops, and study tours in Asia, Europe and Australia. I have never been to Africa, Latin America and North America. They are still on my list.
I went to study in East Germany in August 1984. It was the opened opportunity to see the world, though at that time, the world was divided in to East and West Block. Since then, I have chance to visit following countries: In Asia: Thailand, Myanmar, (Colombo) Sri Lanka, (Taipei) Taiwan, (Bali) Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, (Vientiane) Laos, Vietnam, Philippines and India. I have been in all ASEAN countries, except Brunei. In Europe: Germany, France, Czech Republic, Hungarian and (Geneva) Switzerland. In Australia: visiting the State of New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. While flying to different destinations on missions, I have made transit trips at the airports such as Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, Kular Lumpur, Singapore, Yangon, Moscow, Mumbai, New Delhi, Karachi, Tashkent, (Zurich) Austria, Dubai, Berlin, Paris and Sydney.
Among all the trips, most of them was to go to Thailand (˃100 times and in many provinces), followed by Germany (studying and living there for 11 years and since 1996 almost once a year there), France (at least five time), the Philippines (five times), Vietnam (six times), Malaysia (four times), Myanmar (three times) and India (two times).
So far, I have used up at least seven passports for all these trips. In the future, important countries still on my priority list are as follows: China (Great Wall), Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Canada, Great Britain and Korea. I am pretty sure, that I will have opportunity to go there, either on working missions or on private trip with my family.