Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Laos Part Deux – Vang Vieng and Vientiane

We were sad to leave Luang Prabang for Vang Vieng. We were also a little scared. Just days before, we had seen a news story that busses were being shot at along our very route. The shooters were in opposition to Chinese businesses that were buying up land in the mountains without giving anything back to the people who lived there. A local friend assured us that we would be fine, but I couldn’t calm my nerves. Luckily, it was an easy and uneventful seven hour bus ride with a pretty fun group of Icelandic boys and a couple pit stops for instant noodles and beer. In Vang Vieng, we headed to the hotel we had booked while on the bus – Malany Villa 2. It is a dump, but its very cheap and right in the middle of things. Continue reading “Laos Part Deux – Vang Vieng and Vientiane”

Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka

Sara in Sri Lanka

Sara is originally from Northern Virginia, just about an hour outside of Washington DC. She’s lived in New York since college. She is a runner and a reader. She loves an adventure and a good dance party. She is an aspiring full-time traveler.

Getting Started

How long were you in Sri Lanka?
Only seven days. We could have stayed much, much longer. We had a last minute opening in our schedules so we jumped on the opportunity. We were already planning on being in Dubai for Christmas to see family so we decided to take advantage of the proximity and go for it.

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Alex Around the World

Alexandra, or Alex, was born in Bern, Switzerland where her dad is from. When her parents split up, her mom brought her and her brother back to Canada, where she grew up. Currently, Alex is living and working in downtown Toronto and living it up! For now…

Background

How long were you traveling?
Originally I planned on traveling for two months, but I ended up getting home just under six months from the day I left.

Which countries did you go to?
Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Dubai, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland, France, Holland, Ireland, England, Italy, Croatia, and Greece.
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I Heart Luang Prabang

We arrived in Luang Prabang, Laos after a harrowing 24+ hour journey from Vietnam. Our trip started with a relatively uneventful 9 hour night bus from Sapa. Next, we transferred at Dien Bien Phu in the middle of the night to the mini-bus that would take us over the Lao border. After a few hours parked at the station, sleeping on our new bus and getting to know the others, it was time to leave.
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Go To: Koh Tao, Thailand

If you go to Thailand, make your way to the islands. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are awesome must-sees, but the islands are the truly lax, tropical wonderlands that we seek on vacay. Rules go out the window, along with time schedules and shoes. Each island has its own culture, its own traditions, and its own unique features to explore. If you can, hop around for a wide range of experiences. If you only have time for one, decide on your priorities and find the best fit.
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Go To: Seonyudo Park in Seoul, South Korea

If the weather is nice, the beautiful parks in Seoul will be busy. Families head to Yeouido Park on the Han River to play in the fountains and pools, or to listen to music and dance by the band shell. Tourists climb or take a cable car up to the top of Namsan. Beyond the gorgeous botanical gardens there, you can get in line for Seoul Tower’s Digital Observatory, the highest point in the city.
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Exploring Art in Hanoi, Vietnam

I made art a priority in Hanoi, and I am so glad I did. The city is full of inspiring and illuminating work, all housed in dynamic creative spaces. Here is a roundup of three unique art spaces in Hanoi that can offer a deeper perspective of the city during your visit. I highly suggest you check them out, because there is no greater view into the soul of a culture than through its creatives.

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Songkran – To Hide or Not To Hide From Thai New Year

We were in Laos for the first half of April 2016. When we mentioned to people we’d met that we’d be traveling to Thailand next, many murmured that we would be there just in time for Thai New Year. They mentioned the celebrations involved spraying water, and that they would be centered in Chiang Mai, our destination for the dates of the festival. We didn’t think much of it. What follows here is a day by day account of the surreal events that occurred upon our arrival in Thailand.

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Busan, South Korea: The Greatest Hits

I wasn’t expecting to fall so quickly in love with Busan. I traveled throughout South Korea as much as possible during my time there – I went to the beach in Sokcho, spent a long weekend in Jeju, ate Chinese street food in Incheon – the list goes on. Visiting each of these places was a great new experience, but only Busan had this rich feel of traditional Korean culture mixing easily with modern ways of life. After almost a year in Korea, I felt like I was experiencing it for the first time.

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9 Days in Cambodia

During our winter break from teaching in South Korea (Dec. 25, 2015 – Jan. 2, 2016), my friend and I took this well earned nine-day trip to Cambodia. It was incredible. Of course we wished we had a few more days, and we regret not paying our respects at the killing fields, but nine days was enough to see many different places and feel like we got to know the country. We split our time between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Koh Rong, which was a good mix of city, history, and beach. Cambodia is one of, if not the, lowest priced countries in SE Asia, based on my experience, and one of my favorite countries I’ve visited!

You can find our itinerary below. For more info, see this post.
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