India: First Impressions

We’ve been a lot of places over the past year or so. Beautiful places, ugly places, loud places, peaceful places, places with millions of people, and places where it felt like we were the only people in the world. For a while, it was beginning to seem (naively) that we had run the gamut, and […]

Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park

There’s elephants in Thailand everywhere you look.  They’re adorning statues outside temples, tattooed on both tourists and locals, and of course decorating the seemingly endless sea of stretchy elephant pants favored by every girl that’s ever been to Thailand.  You’ll also, unfortunately, see elephants in poor conditions used to entertain tourists by giving rides, painting […]

Splurging in Singapore

After three weeks eating delicious food in Malaysia, we decided to head to Singapore for a little modern city living.  Singapore, a city-state on the southern point of the Malaysian peninsula, is one of the smallest countries in the world, but there is a lot to do packed into a small area.  Make no mistake, […]

Eating Well in Penang

The restaurant’s name is also its entire menu: Hainan Chicken Rice.  Three generations of family run the place every single day, as they have for years, serving up the dish they’ve perfected over the decades.  The elderly matron bellows orders over the heads of the sea of customers and her family members scurry to carry […]

A Quick Guide to the Thai Islands

Thailand is perhaps best known for its islands.  Boasting some of the most paradisiacal stretches of beach in the world, the stereotype of crystal clear waters, white sands, and swaying palm trees come to life in Thailand’s seas.  Not all of the islands are created equal, however, so here’s a quick overview of the islands […]

Three Days at Angkor

Angkor Wat is by far the most recognizable landmark in Cambodia.  It’s so integral to the country’s history and tourism that it’s featured on Cambodia’s flag.  We heard from one guide that tourism to Angkor alone provided as much as 20% of the entire country’s GDP.  Not knowing much about Cambodia going in, Angkor was […]

War Stories

Over the past few months, we’ve had the opportunity to visit three different countries in which the United States has, one way or another, been involved in a war.  Japan, whose horrifying devastation brought a swift end to World War II; Korea, which is divided to this day along geographic, political, and cultural lines; and […]

Suffering Through a Ha Long Bay Cruise

In stark contrast to Japan and Korea, Vietnam does not have what you might call a “service-oriented” culture.  In fact, in some ways, it swings right past neutral and dips its toes into the “actively hostile” end of the spectrum.  There seems to be a collaborative game in the Vietnamese tourism industry to see just […]

Korean Bath Experience

What better way to relieve the stresses of traveling than by visiting a Korean bathhouse?  Called a jjimjilbang, these traditional spas are frequented by many Koreans starting from a young age.  A low entry fee (around $10) gains you access to a multi-level spa with numerous facilities.  The bottom floor is host to a number of […]

Tokyo: Megacity

Japan is a living dichotomy, a country steeped in history and yet one at the forefront of the future.  The threads of its past are woven inextricably in the architecture, language, customs, and culture, and its people embrace the past even as they continue to push forward.  It’s not uncommon to see a temple or […]

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