Our last day in Hanoi and I can say without hesitation that it was the most meaningful stop in Vietnam – and without a doubt the reason is the people.
Why we would go back to a sightseeing type of trip, I have no idea.
To live with locals and experience life with them, even for a short period, is where the magic of travels lies. Not in Lonely Planet’s top sights. Not in a hostel
About 5 years ago my Uncle Dennis met a woman named Shanti. They clicked immediately and chatted at length nearly every single day – both of them felt there was something special about the situation.
But there was one minor obstacle to be overcome; Dennis lived in Vermont and Shanti lived in Yogyakarta, the second most populous city on the island of Java in Indonesia…nearly 10,000 miles away.
To make an incredibly long, almost unbelievable story
In the planning process of our “round the world” trip, there was one main question that we kept coming back to; what about Firefly?
For those of you who aren’t aware, the Firefly Music Festival is held each summer in the fields near Dover, DE, hosting over a hundred thousand attendees who enjoy hundreds of musical acts over a (magical) 4-day weekend. We have attended the past two years and had such mind-blowingly amazing experiences that
After the madness and oppressive heat of Bangkok we were quite desperate need of a new location where, at the very least, we could be outside during the day.
Fortunately what we found was a little better than that.
Koh Tao is the smallest of three neighboring islands in the Bay of Thailand about 500km south of Bangkok. It took us about 13 hours via night train and then another 4 hours on the ferry to
Our flight landed in Bangkok around 2:30am after over 30 hours of combined airport time. Exhausted from the whirlwind of events that had commenced over the past few days, we found refuge in an airport hotel before heading into central Bangkok. The next day we jumped on the sky train bound for our hostel in Silom.
The city itself was pretty overwhelming. We had just come from one of the cleanliest and orderly countries in the
After finishing our three week whirlwind tour of Japan, our next stop was the only one we had decided to plan before leaving home; a 16-day trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
It was supposed to be a dream hike through the Himalayas culminating in the shadow of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest. We were going to make our way through the storied towns that fans of mountaineering literature (see: Krakauer) knows well.
Apart from our transcendental experience with Buddhas high in the Koyosan mountains, our Japanese venture consisted primarily of city seeing. Kyoto was no exception.
We decided to visit the great city of Kyoto twice during our month in Japan since our first attempt was spoiled by four days of consistent rainfall.
We couldn’t ask for better weather our second time around and made up for all the sites we missed the first visit.
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This was the entire reason we stopped in Hiroshima but nothing could have prepared us for what we were going to experience. As we turned the corner adjacent to the Peace Park Memorial we were greeted with a grizzly scene that set the mood for our visit:
This building, formerly the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall but now known as the A-Bomb Dome, was the only one left standing near the epicenter of the first of
Being the animal lover that I am, Nara-koen was definitely one of the most entertaining parks that we visited in our Japan travels. It’s a park in the Nara Prefecture, which is home to some of the most noteworthy religious icons as well as hundreds of wild deer.
But not just any deer…the elusive Sika stag!
And not just “barely catch a glimpse” wild… they walk up to you!
It was a perfect mix of culture
The Hiroshima Carps! The city’s beloved professional baseball team just happened to be playing the night we arrived and to our further delight, the stadium just happened to be a 10 minute walk from our hostel! Game on!
So we headed off with the hordes of Carpheads (just made that up) toward the field donning a pair of plastic bats hung around our neck (thanks to our hostel staff) meant for clapping together to cheer the