Tea and Tranquility in Vang Vieng

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After a long and bumpy ride, along steep cliffs and winding roads, we make our way from Luang Prabang to the little village of Vang Vieng. Almost immediately we discover the truth behind the rumours we’ve heard to much about: the legendary “Friends bars”. Although we’ve never figured out why, but nearly every bar and restaurant in town has repeats of Friends playing constantly – yes, the NBC show from the 90’s. Although it was quite fascinating, it was without …

The Slow Boat into Laos

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Waking early enough for a quick breakfast before doing one final pack of our bags, we make sure everything is in order and make our way down the dusty path toward the dock. The literal border ‘crossing’ is done in a small canoe powered by an outboard motor, just strong enough to fight the currents of the Mekong River.
 
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A Jungle Trek in Thailand

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We walked to the shop just after sunrise. The guides were waiting by an old pickup truck. The two other travellers joined us soon after. One, a Thai university student living in Bangkok, the other his German classmate. They were on vacation. We climbed in the back of the truck and it drove us far outside of Pai. After some time, the truck stopped and the four of us hopped out. The two guides loaded their guns and told us …

Meditation and Monks in Thailand

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While Kylee has been brought up around Meditation her whole life, I have not. However, we decided to sign up for a ten day Vipassana meditation at Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, a monastery atop a mountain on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. Regarding the meditation itself, Vipassana roughly translates to: ‘seeing things as they really are’, and it is stated as being the process of self-purification by self-observation. So essentially, awareness of ones true self. The temple area itself …

Bangkok: The Moment I Knew I Was a Traveller

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Still riding the high from the Blade Runner-esque shock of Tokyo only a day prior, I stood standing on the rooftop of our hostel, struggling to grip the fast-warming sweaty beer in my hand. I remember every detail of this moment, the light brown stray dog in the alley below, the blue skirt drying on the line across said alley, the shards of broken glass embedded in concrete surrounding the local properties.
 
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Visiting Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market

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The Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo Truly one of the most overwhelming and incredible experiences on any visit to Tokyo, is the Tsukiji fish market. We woke up much earlier than normal for this chaotic experience and navigated the early-morning transit system to arrive on the outskirts the market. Standing by the gate, pre-coffee, still groggy, we look at the gauntlet that must be run to reach the main door. Forklifts and other loading vehicles are zooming in every direction, …

Tokyo

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It was like stepping into the future, some 1980’s science fiction movie – Blade Runner perhaps. Everything was recognizable, yet evolution had somehow seemed to have taken its toll on every tiny aspect of day to day life. It began the moment we sat down on the train, still in awe with the fact that the subway station sold beer, with the press of a button our chairs spun around so the four of us could face each other for …