Things to do in Tam Coc: The Hidden Gem of Vietnam

Tam Coc Vietnam - Trang An

When it comes to Northern Vietnam, it seems that Sapa has been deemed the most beautiful. Everyone I met said it was their favorite part of their trip. So it was a bit of a bummer when we arrived in Hanoi and heard it was pouring and freezing cold there. I'm a big believer in being flexible, so instead of going to Sapa and trying to have the same experience everyone else has there, we decided to spend more time in other places. Tam Coc had made our original itinerary, so we spent some extra...

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How Much it Costs to Spend a Month in Bali, Indonesia

How much it cost to spend a month in Bali Indonesia- Budget

Usually, my months are filled with cheap hostels and street food, but this month I was traveling a little differently. I convinced my mom to come visit me in Bali for a much needed month long vacation. Since we'd be traveling together, we chose to stay in homestays and eat at restaurants. Even with the changes, I wanted to stay on a $30 a day budget. I've done a breakdown below of what we each spent over the course of 27 days (just under a month).

My Itinerary

7 nights in...

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10 Fun Things To Do on Cat Ba Island in Vietnam

Sometimes we make mistakes, and sometimes we make happy mistakes. My friends and I booked a Halong Bay cruise with some high expectations. Needless to say, it didn’t live up to them. You can read more about that here. After hearing “Follow me! Follow me! This way! Quickly,” a few too many times, we decided to abandon ship (literally), and stay on Cat Ba Island where we had been dropped off. We said goodbye to our group in the morning, thrilled to be able to go at our own...

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Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes – 18 Day Itinerary

18 Day Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake Trek Itinerary

I decided to do the Everest Base Camp Trek with a tour group since I was an inexperienced trekker. Previously, I'd only done three day treks at most, so an eighteen day trek was beyond my level of expertise. Add in the fact that I'd be in a third world country with a danger of altitude sickness, and I was way out of my element. Having done the trek and completed it, I thought it'd be helpful to share the itinerary with others who may want to try it on their own.

Our group of ten was able...

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Trying Laughing Gas Balloons on Cat Ba Island in Vietnam

laughing gas balloons hanoi vietnam

I should start by stating that this post is meant for entertainment purposes only and is not an endorsement of this activity. While I want to share my personal experience, there are risks and dangers involved with trying laughing gas balloons. Everyone should do their own research before making an informed decision on whether or not trying it is right for them.

I breathe in continuously as the nitrous oxide enters my lungs. I look up at Jim who is sitting across from me with a...

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3 Days & 2 Nights on a Halong Bay Cruise in Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam 3 Day 2 Night Cruise

When it comes to travel in Southeast Asia, I always try to keep my expectations in check. Every once in awhile, that gets challenged. My friends, Lisi and Pat, flew out to Vietnam to spend my birthday with me, and we all decided to book a cruise on Halong Bay. We were shown an elaborate book with beautiful photos of the boat. The rooms looked like a fancy hotel on the water, the dining area vast, and the deck the perfect place to sit back and sunbathe. It was perfect. For $140 each, the...

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Experiencing the Tallest, Longest, and Steepest Zipline in the World

At 6,000 feet long, with a 2,000 foot vertical drop, and a speed of 75 miles per hour, this zipline sounds absolutely terrifying, or thrilling depending on how you look at it. Going ziplining has been on my bucket list for the longest time. When it came down to it though, I decided to go paragliding instead. For $80 I could paraglide for a half hour, and ziplining cost $68 for a mere two minutes. As a budget traveler, it was an easy choice. The thing is, paragliding wasn't as thrilling as I...

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How Much to Budget for Food on the Everest Base Camp Trek

How much to budget for food on the Gokyo Lake Everest Base Camp Trek

Before leaving for Everest, I had so many questions. One of the big ones was how much money to bring. Although there is an ATM in Namche Bazaar, it's nearly impossible to get money out once leaving Kathmandu. I didn't want to carry too much, and I definitely didn't want to run out too early. My tour agency recommended I bring $600 for food which seemed pretty steep to me. I'd spent only $800 the entire month I spent in Nepal including accommodations and tourism. Note, that I did the Gokyo...

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The Pros and Cons of Booking with a Tour Group

When I first set out on my yearlong adventure, I would have done anything to join a tour group. Unfortunately for me, the costs of tour groups were too high. I could either do a year of solo travel and figure things out on my own or two months with a company. The idea of solo travel scared me initially, but the more research I did, the more confident I became. Once I was on the road, I was happy that I’d chosen to do things on my own. I’ve learned to go with the flow and adapt, and...

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Trekking to Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lake

What it's like trekking to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake

When I set out on my trek, I thought it would change me. Trekking to Everest Base Camp sounds so impressive that I was sure I’d have some kind of epiphany in the middle of the Himalaya. It was a sure thing. Is there any better place to find yourself then at the bottom of the top of the world? Everest isn’t just a mountain. It’s THE Mountain. But the truth is, I didn’t have an epiphany. I didn’t have an eye opening moment. In fact, I came back feeling basically the same. I know,...

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