NI HAO, hao, sabaidi, Sawasdee and Xin chào to the numerous Asian followers of the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.
An Áis is Asia in Irish and ever since he got a turas preasa - a press trip to An Téalainn - Thailand many moons ago, the Bluffer has always loved travelling to the exotic east - and he doesn’t mean Ballymacarret!
Asia is so many things, it’s na Himileithe - the Himalayas and the rainforests of Borneo.
(Foraois bháistí - rainforest seems to have taken over from dufair - jungle in recent years.)
There is the neon madness of Tokyo to the beauty of Luang Prabang in Laos - or Lao as the Laotians call it.
And that is exactly where the Bluffer is going san Fhómhar - in the Autumn.
Hopefully, séasúr an mhonsúin - the monsoon season will have come to an end when he and his companions arrive in Vientiane, the capital of Lao after a considerable cianaistir - long-haul journey, from Dublin to Doha, Doha to Bangkok and then finally, to Vientiane.
Now, the Bluffer isn’t too fond of long-haul journeys but he is usually ullmhaithe go maith - well-prepared.
He does get a few strange looks when he arrives in Qatar airport still in his Scooby Doo onesie but it’s great for sleeping in while on board!
(A onesie is a pitseáma aonphíosa, if you must know.)
The Bluffer also brings a piliúr taistil - a travel pillow, masc codlata - a sleep mask and a pair of dallán cluaise - ear plugs and spends his waking hours watching stuff he has íoslódailte - downloaded from the BBC iPlayer - Songs of Praise, Antiques Roadshow, Eastenders, that sort of thing - to keep boredom at bay.
But after 20 or so hours’ travel trasna dhá mhór-roinn - across two continents, getting to Lao will be worth it, gan dabht - doubtlessly.
We will meet our guide at the airport and he will take the six of us to our boutique hotel in an príomhchathair - the capital, Vientiane.
Wat in Lao is a teampall - a temple and there are a lot of stunning examples in the city and, on the first day, we will visit Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to have survived from the Siamese War of 1828 and its cloister which contains more than 8,000 Buddha statues.
By then however, the tuirse aerthurais - jetlag should be kicking in so it will be an early night – preceded by a celebratory manglam - cocktail on the banks of the Mekong river before hitting the sack.
Up with the lark, there is time to take in the sights and sound of the morning market before heading to Vang Vieng where we will take a turas báid - a boat cruise along the Nam Xong River.
Then, we’ll pay a visit to the magnificent Tham Chang Cave, before continuing on to Ban Pha Thao Hmong Village to learn more about the Hmong people and their rich cultural heritage.
Finally, it’s off the Luang Prabang and visits to the stunning easanna - waterfalls and uaimheanna - caves nearby.
No doubt, we will hear stories of the wars in Indochina, but, in the Bluffer’s experience, the best thing about Asia is its people. And its food. And its scenery and so much more!
An Áis (un aash) - Asia
turas preasa (turas prasa) - a press trip
An Téalainn (un chaylaan) - Thailand
Na Himiléthe (ne himilayha) - the Himalayas
foraois bháistí (foreesh waashtee) - rainforest
dufair (duffar) - jungle
san Fhómhar (san ower) - in the Autumn
séasúr an mhonsúin (shaysoor an wonsoon) - the monsoon season
cianaistir (keean-ashter) - a long-haul journey
ullmhaithe go maith (ulweeha gaw myh) - well-prepared
pitseáma aonphíosa (pitchama aynfeesa) - a onesie
piliúr taistil (piloor tashtil) - a travel pillow
masc codlata (masc culata) - a sleep mask
dallán cluaise (dalaan clooishe) - ear plugs
íoslódáilte (eeslodaaltcha) - downloaded
trasna dhá mhór-roinn (trasna gaa wore-rinn) - across two continents
gan dabht (gun daowt) - doubtlessly
an phríomhchathair (un freeoo-khaher) - the capital
teampall (chample) - a temple
tuirse aerthurais (tursha ayr-hurish) - jetlag
manglam (manglam) - cocktail
turas báid (turas bwaadge) - a boat cruise
easanna (asana) - waiterfalls
uaimheanna (ooivana) - caves