Hanoi: The Beginning of the End

Our arrival in Hanoi was with heavy hearts (and shoulders–backpacks, duh). On our bus from Mai Chau, the scenic and friendly rice village home-stay we had just left, we were told our long awaited Ha Long bay cruise had been canceled due to a typhoon named Ramussan heading straight for the Northern Vietnamese coast. We…

North of Hoi An

Vietnam continued: leaving Hoi An and heading north. Wow, how to catch up on a whirlwind of a first week in Vietnam. This country has been emotionally tolling for me, and I can’t shake that I’m-almost-about-to-cry feeling all the time. The placesĀ I’ve seen, how they have made me feel, and the people I’ve met. It’s…

Entering Vietnam

Saigon is almost exactly how I read it in class, and how I imagined it would be a thousand times in my head. Times 30. Plus a billion. It is chaotic, the streets crammed with motorcycles that practically kill you; you can feel a slight wind at your side as they just barely miss clipping…

Siem Reap: Day 2

Today we went back to Angkor Wat. We went around 4 p.m. to avoid the brunt of the tourist craziness. It was kind of an overcast day but ridiculously hot–I was trying not to use my t-shirt as a sweat mop. We went to our favorite spot in the temple, the third floor, which is…

Into Cambodia

It’s been harder than I thought it would be to keep a scheduled account of what we’ve done on this trip. Every day deserves a book. We just got back from Koh Tonsay, an island on the Gulf Of Thailand which Westerners know as Rabbit Island. There are no rabbits on this island, just geckos,…

Vang Vieng: How to Get Lost in Asia

We soon arrived in the virtually stoned, hippie village of Vang Vieng, tucked in the jungle mountains of northern Laos. Feeling a little daunted and alone since our good friends had stayed behind us in Luang Prabang, we were both relieved and freaked out to see a ton of Westerners on outdoor cafe beds watching…

Traveler’s Reflections: Chiangmai, Thailand

Thailand is Thai. That is the only real way I can think to describe it. The heat holds you in its arms like a comforting grandmother wrapping you in a fleece quilt on a 98 degree day with 100% humidity. It’s busy, but it’s not as busy as I thought it would be. Everything smells…

Was Freud Wrong About Traveling?

2 Days prior to departure. Passport. Wallet. Camera. Phone. I repeat my packing list over and over again so that it becomes a mantra: a saying that is so familiar it’s comforting. This particular list, however, is much longer than usual and I find it hard to keep it in mental order. Bug spray. Sleeping…