A Very Merry Thai Christmas

We have spent the last 2 weeks in beautiful (and slightly insane) Phuket, Thailand at the Thailand Camp (formerly Promthep Muay Thai and perhaps also known as Phuket Fit) on Rawai Beach. I’ll be honest, I had zero interest in ever visiting Phuket – though beautiful, I had heard it was absurdly touristy and at times a bit dangerous – and considering Thailand’s plethora of beach options, why visit this one? But we had 2ish weeks to kill and it …

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I got 99 islands

After spending 4.5 days enjoying some quality time, Thanksgiving fanfare, and delicious eats (more on this below) with Jen and Kevin in Kuala Lumpur, we decided to head to Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 islands off the coast of Malaysia. This was Tyler’s second visit to the islands, but he had managed to forget enough about his first trip to make it feel like a new experience. Langkawi has some of the most beautiful (and expensive) resorts around, but given our …

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BeerLao: The Beer of the Wholehearted People

*BeerLao is the best local brew we’ve tried in SE Asia thus far. The name might not be the most creative, but the slogan is nothing short of amazing. Yes, it’s been a month since I last posted. Yes, we were in Laos for 12 days ¬†about 3 weeks ago, and I didn’t write a thing about it. I have no real excuse, though I will say the laidback vibe of Laos got the best of us, and we succumbed to …

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Happy Diwali from Laos! (never thought I’d say that)

It’s Diwali – eve (Laos time), and I can’t help but reflect on this absolutely incredible year past and contemplate all that my future year holds. As it is the New Year, it is the perfect time to reflect on my life and relationships and to focus on the triumph of light over darkness (metaphorically- good over evil – and more than physically in my case considering how dark I’ve gotten with all my sun-time this year). Our year has …

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Northern Glory

We arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday morning from Hoi An via a cheap one-hour JetStar Pacific flight (train-$60; death bus-$25; flight-$40). Despite being less populated than Saigon (~12mil), Hanoi (~8 mil) has a much more frenetic, crowded, and busy feeling, especially in the old quarter where every step taken without getting hit by anything/anyone feels like a battle victory. The sounds, smells, and sights are everything you imagine Indochina to be – more so than anywhere we’ve visited thus far …

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Tailors, Tastes, and Tales of Hoi An

We arrived in Hoi An on Wednesday night via a 1 hour flight from Saigon to Danang and a 30-minute taxi ride (the nearest train station and airport to Hoi An are in Danang – the cab ride is about USD $16 – though there are supposedly buses during the day). It is advertised as the most charming city in Vietnam with its river-side location, French colonial architecture, friendly population, and beach resorts. We were skeptical – these types of …

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Good Morning, Vietnam

I’m a little late on this post since we’ve already been in Viet Nam (I’m going local) for 1.5 weeks, but mark that as a testament to how much fun we’re having. Our journey from Cambodia on Thursday the 18th was neither our least nor most interesting border crossing experience. Our shuttle bus from Kep took us to the border and dropped us off – we then rode a different shuttle bus (but coordinating companies) to Ha Tien to catch …

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The Cambodian Coast

The final piece of our Cambodian adventure had to be oceanside, so we decided to visit the towns of Sihanoukville and Kep. From Siem Reap, we took a night bus to Phnom Penh then on to Sihanoukville (after about a 30 minute “layover” in PP – just enough time at 1am for T to tuk-tuk to our PP hostel to pick up our point-and-shoot which we had accidentally left there). The night bus is a new concept in these parts, …

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Angkor What?!

Once again, Tyler and I found ourselves in a place that leaves you speechless – that completely exceeds the hype – that demands introspection upon inspection – that inspires architectural awe and fills you with wonder. The serenity, splendor, and spirituality of Angkor Wat and surrounding temples is well-known and documented, but is something to experience firsthand. We were lucky to have an overcast misty day to keep us cool-ish (still 90+) and to add to the mysterious aura surrounding …

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Putting the Indo in Indochina

In Central and South America, I was mistaken for all of the following nationalities: Belizean, Nicaraguan, Panamanian, Dominican, Israeli (to be fair, the woman might’ve been high), Colombian, Peruvian, and Brazilian. One week in Cambodia and I am decidedly Indian – even the woman giving me my $5 mani/pedi yesterday pointed out my Indian nose. This is my first time in Indochina, and I’ve always wondered how people in this region feel about both their giant over-populated neighbors. India and …

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