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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