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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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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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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6 Exotic Massages & Spa Treatments to Try in Southeast Asia

exotic massages and spa treatments to try in southeast asia

Coming from New York City, massages are a bit of a luxury. A cheap massage where I used to live cost about $60 an hour. A good massage could run up to $300 for the same amount of time. They're so expensive that it's hard to experiment and try new things because no one wants to pay that much for a bad massage.

Southeast Asia however, is a mecca for spas. Oh, and did I mention that an hour will only run you about $10 in most countries. I guess you can kind of do the math and see why I...

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Celebrating Tihar in Tangting Village and Pokhara, Nepal

Tihar Festival Pokhara Nepal

One of the best parts of traveling is learning about other cultures. After spending a month in Bali and seeing the daily Hindu rituals performed there, I was excited to experience Tihar (a Nepali Hindu festival). My friend, Kalu, thought it would be fun for me to see the difference between celebrating in a small village and in the city. We spent half of the festival in the mountains in Tangting which you can read about here. The other half, we spent in the city of Pokhara.

Tihar is a five...

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Experiencing Pure Nepal in Tangting Village

Tanting Village Pure Authentic Nepal

Nepal seems to be one of those countries that never runs out of beauty. Just when you think it can't get any better, it does. I'm lucky enough to have a local friend who was willing to show me what he referred to as "pure Nepal." We'd be heading into the Annapurna Conservation Area, but we'd be on a route that few people touristed. The location was a surprise, so when we arrived at Tangting Village I was absolutely blown away. This tiny little town sits perched on the side of a mountain and...

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17 Things to do in Pokhara, Nepal besides the Annapurna Trek

Things to do in Pokhara

Pokhara is one of those places with an endless list of things to do. Pretty much walk in any direction, and you're surrounded by beauty. It's a haven for trekking and adventure sports. For those  who don't fancy themselves "thrill seekers" there's tons of places to sit back and relax as well. The best part, it's not expensive. Below is a list of all the things I was able to do during my time in Pokhara.

1. See the Sun Rise from Sarangkot

My friends and I attempted to...

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Running Off a Cliff in Nepal: Better Known as Paragliding

Paragliding Pokhara Nepal

I ran across the street in the downpour of rain. Within seconds my entire outfit was soaked. My friends and I all looked at each other and laughed while everyone in the bar was dry. The rain pounded the roof so loud, you almost couldn't hear the live band. If we were going to be stuck in the bar, we might as well make the most of it. After a couple of beers, a local man sat down, and I was introduced. My friends knew so many people in Nepal that it seemed crazy.

I'd been looking for a...

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Learning the Art of Making Momos in Pokhara, Nepal

momos cooking class pokhara nepal

Momos seem to be synonymous with Nepal. It was the one thing I heard consistently every time I did research or told someone what country I was visiting. "Eat all the momos," they said. I knew they were a form of dumpling, but I wasn't really sure what made them so special. I arrived in Kathmandu on the last day of Dashain (a major festival) when everything was closed. Only super touristy restaurants were open, so I hopped into a place and ordered the momos. Like most hyped up things, they...

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