We started our month in Vietnam with a nice, four day stay in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) – pretty uneventful other than Jenna meeting a fellow Clemson grad while we were out at a reggae bar one night. Small world.
We purchased a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus ticket that would take us north from HCMC through 5 cities, the last of which was Hanoi, Vietnam’s northern-lying capital. Side note: this ticket, covering nearly
Now before I get too in depth into our experience I must submit one caveat – we were only in Cambodia for 5 days total. Not nearly enough time to acquire an accurate view of any region of the world. The reflections below are simply my initial thoughts from the people we met and the experiences we had in our short time there.
The night after our whirlwind tour of the beautiful temples of Angkor near
For the longest time at work my desktop background was the following…
The silhouette of Angkor Wat at sunrise.
Nothing else so purely symbolized travel for the 3 years I sat at my desk in Baltimore than this very scene. I envisioned waking up in the darkness, making my way through dense, steamy rainforest to finally break through a clearing and have this majestic scene stretch out in front of me.
Now that we had landed
Having our previous two hiking attempts foiled – the first in Nepal and the second in Yogyakarta after the trail we were supposed to take up a volcano was closed because a local fell in (yes, fell into the volcano) – we were determined to get back into the wilderness.
In KL we had done some reading on that country’s crown jewel of National Parks – Taman Negara – and decided that’s where we’d end the
After our wonderful stay in Indonesia we hopped on one of Air Asia’s delightfully cheap flights destined for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s shiny, ultra-modern (oil funded) capital city.
We spent a couple days in KL wandering around its glitzy shopping malls and pristinely manicured parks. One afternoon our bus was accosted by a man who appeared to be the Muslim equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church – his ranting was in Malay but based on the fact
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