JayDTravel/Photography

Ao Yon Beach, one of the best beaches on the east side of Phuket, and one of our favorite beaches! 0

DON’T forget the sunblock!

I always feel right at home on the island of Phuket, but one thing I try to never forget is that the island’s location is a LOT closer to the equator than where I live, so the sun can be unbelievably more intense. I can promise you that if you aren’t careful, you will get burned unless you take a few precautions. It’s usually a good idea to watch out for the sun around 11 am until about 5 pm. I would most definitely suggest using some sunblock if you are going to be outdoors for a long period of time,...

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On my way – My 2017 SE Asia tour!

Oh my gosh, it has been so long, I think I almost forgot how to write…or at least how to use my WordPress site anyway, haha. So I am finally back in the saddle again, okay, okay, actually I was back in a seat on a plane, on a fairly longggg flight. I remember looking out the window at SeaTac, seeing those amazing, beautiful, snow-capped Olympic Mountains, BUT so happy to be getting away from the freezing weather that causes that snow! And, oh, by the way, neither of those planes are with the airlines I flew over on. I flew...

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Goodbye Phan Rang…I will miss you!

Our last day in Phan Rang had finally come, but it wasn’t a time to be sad! Instead we had decided we would make the most of it, and after sleeping in and getting a little extra rest, it was time to do a little shopping. That is one of the great things about pretty much every country I have visited in southeast Asia. You don’t have to go far to do your shopping. Right around the corner from Ha’s aunt Hien’s house was fresh local produce, fruits, and fish. And, as always, they all looked delicious! It had been...

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Wrapping up an amazing day around the Ninh Thuan province!

After finishing up our delicious chicken lunch, we headed down the road to our last stop of the day. If you have read my last two posts, you will know how eventful the morning and afternoon had already been. Any expectations I had of this day had already been met, and now anything else was the whipping cream and maraschino cherry on top of the ice cream! But as I had expected, Ha and her uncle saved the best for last Just a quick reminder for everyone, don’t forget that you can see all the photos on all of my...

Oxen with driver in the Ninh Thuan district of Viet Nam. 1

Phan Rang, an afternoon full of adventure and fun…

My last blog post ended with us wrapping up our visit in Bau Truc. I wish I would have had the ability to bring back more of the beautiful hand made figurines that were made in that household, but we weren’t able to carry too much while riding motorbikes. I did get my hands on a very nice little candle holder to take back to the US with me when my travels end. I really enjoyed my time watching the older woman and her daughter using their 12th century traditional methods brought back to life by this small village to...

Young fisherman 1

What an adventurous, fun-filled day traveling around Phan Rang!

I’m going to post this photo again, because, well really, because this was the morning I actually shot the photo. The morning of all mornings, the morning we started our epic adventure around all of Phan Rang and the neighboring villages. This was the day of all days, a day I will truly never, ever, ever forget…but I have already said that before, about so many of my days on this trip! It’s hard to come up with new superlatives when every day is even better than the day before it, only because it is the day that is NOW. Past...

Phan Rang fresh market 0

Po Klong Garai and the local market in Phan Rang…

Wow, I just looked, and it’s been two whole months since I actually posted a real post! My short story for my world religion class doesn’t count. It’s way past time for me to get a story out…so here goes. I’ll pick up where I last left off, just like I had been doing, like I was still there on my wild adventures around SE Asia. So, thankfully the bus ride we were on was over, not that it was too terribly uncomfortable, but…ummm, yeah well it actually was for someone that’s 5′ 10″ and needs to go on a...

Phan Rang Bay in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam. 0

My short story…the final chapter.

Homeward Bound My experience on Earth did not turn out the way I had expected. I had traveled here to enlighten the planet. To see how I could help these backward people, several hundred millennia behind our intelligence, get on the right path. Their governments were out of whack, their warring between one another was unnatural, their infatuation with nuclear bombs unfathomable, and their ultimate demise seemed to be the road they were on. We had hoped to prevent their destruction, and quite possibly ours if we could help them make better decisions in our shared solar system. Somewhere, though,...

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My short story on Travel/Religion for my World Religion class…

I have been so busy the last few weeks that I am going to do something different. I am going to post a fictional short story I have been writing for a written assignment in my World Religion class. We are to write about a fictional character that travels from another world to our planet. Their world knows nothing about religion, and is to find out about and try to understand what religion is, then take this information back to their planet. I am posting the first four parts to the story that I have written for my class so...

Phan Rang Bay in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam. 0

To Phan Rang in the Ninh Thuan province by sleeper bus…

Ha and I spent the next couple of days hanging out with her sister, Hoan, walking around the streets of the university market. Here are a few photos of some of the places we ate at and walked by…I wanted to give everyone more of a feel of the streets surrounding the universities. I posted a few in my last blog post, and thought I would share a few more here. You haven’t had a banh mi sandwich until you have had one in Vietnam. Pretty much any one of the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of banh mi carts in Saigon...

Walking around the streets of Vietnam National University 4

Hanging out in the Thu Duc district of Saigon…

My last post had us shopping for veggies and fish. I am sure many of you know that Vietnamese food is pretty delicious, but there is no comparison to eating the real thing, right here in Saigon. Everything is fresher, the spices are spicier, the sauces are more succulent, the fish so moist and tender, even the most sophisticated palate will dance with delight when slurping down the delicious pho soup made from the hands of my hosts, Hoa, and Ha. It was hard for Hoa to finish cooking; I couldn’t stop taste testing the broth she was whipping up on the simple propane...

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Finding out what life is all about in Saigon…

Ha, Hoa, and I finished off our delicious bowls of pho soup I was writing about in my previous post, and now it was time to stop being slackers, get off our butts, and take a stroll around the area. Obviously Ha and Hoa knew where they were going…it was their neighborhood, but for me, each corner we turned was a new sense of adventure! Here in Saigon’s District 9, there aren’t a lot of foreigners, so you begin to feel kind of like a rock star when everyone is smiling and waving at you. I can honestly say it was pretty fun feeling like the celebrity in the crowd! After about 10 minutes of walking in and around the...

Awesome coffee shop in District 9 of HCMC. 3

Welcome to District 9, Saigon…no, not the movie!

I showed everyone this map, courtesy of Cody Leseman, that lays out the many districts of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City in my last blog post, and thought I would share it again so everyone could better understand where District 9 is in relation to the rest of the city, and also how large the district is. Most of my experiences for my two weeks in Vietnam will be centered around this district, and District 1, also known as the “Backpackers district.” I will also be sharing my experiences with another region in Vietnam in later posts, but for now, back to District 9! If you’ve been reading my posts, I’ve been...

One could say there are a few motorbikes in Saigon/HCMC... 0

On my way to Saigon…

I love Saigon…it’s a crazy, crazy place. Just looking at the photo above, you better have your wits about you. Crossing the street isn’t for the faint of heart. I recall one of my first conversations on my initial trip to Saigon last year. I was talking to another American tourist from Hawaii, and I will never forget him telling me how every time you cross the road you were risking your life. Well I wouldn’t go that far, but it is quite the adventure! You never know which direction a motorbike is going to come from, and, even if...

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From Bangkok to Vietnam…with my Visa on Arrival!

My first stay here in Bangkok was going by so quickly, and I knew I would miss my time at the U-Baan Hostel. How could I forget my new friends I met here my first week…Taylor and Sonya, you guys are awesome, I miss going out and having dinner with the two of you! Diego, it was great to have you as a roommate for my first couple of days in the hostel, hearing your stories, and drinking Chang beer with you and the other guests until all hours of the night. By the way, Diego, if you ever read this…that hundred dollar bill...

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How to save money when flying into Vietnam…

For everyone that has been following my blog posts, you might recall that I was going to take the train to Cambodia, but instead ended up at the wrong station and had to change my plans altogether. I wrote about that experience in this post. I was going to travel through Cambodia and then on to Vietnam by bus. Now, because of that missed train, I changed my plans and decided to fly directly to Saigon and skip Cambodia altogether. SO, the first thing I needed to do before flying to Vietnam, is what this blog post is all about! If I can spare any of you a bit of anxiety and apprehension on what you need to do to secure...

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Over the river and through the woods…Part 2.

Fortunately, if you read my previous blog post, I made the jump safely onto the ferry as it was departing from the dock. Now, sitting next to Pierre and Bila, I had no idea where I was headed…but I knew I could put my faith and trust in my two capable companions. How can you NOT trust someone (Pierre) who had already been traveling for over seven months, from France to South America, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, and everywhere in between! It was also apparent to me that the beautiful, and gracious Bila, was herself an extremely accomplished traveler!...

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Over the river and through the woods…Part 1.

Okay, so the title of this blog might be a little bit off, because I didn’t really go through any woods, but how about a train ride through some jungles, rice paddies, and salt fields. I also DID cross a river, and that is where I will begin this story, but first, I’d like to write a little bit more about Maha Chai (renamed Samut Sakhon in 1913, but still known by the local Thai people as Maha Chai or Mahachai). As I mentioned in my previous post, Maha Chai deserves a much longer look around than I was able to give...

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From Wongwian Yai to Maha Chai by Train…

Wow, I had to look…it’s actually been two weeks since I last posted about my travels in real time, BUT by magic (okay not really magic), it’s only been a day in blog time, ha ha! So, back to my adventures in Thailand and Vietnam! What the heck do I do since I missed my train to Cambodia, and Siem Reap? Well, my first goal was to figure out how to get back to the hostel, and with a bit of Joy’s help (if you read my last post, yes I did wait for her to wake up)…I finally managed to make that happen. Once back to the U-Baan, I...

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Two full days in Bangkok, and Cambodia next?…nope, wrong train station!

If I was going to stick to my plan of arriving in Vietnam in a week, my initial stay in Bangkok was going to have to be a short one. I decided to spend my second full day checking out as many places as I could, and then depart for Cambodia and Siem Reap in the morning. It definitely turned out to be an awesome day, as I roamed around the area with a friend of mine, Scott. We met near the Central Pier on the Chao Phraya River. The pier is just below the Sathorn/Saphan Taksin BTS  station on the Silom Line. We decided we were going to go temple hunting, and not knowing our...

Sunset over Bangkok from U-Baan Hostel, Wongwian Yai 0

U-Baan Hostel is so AWESOME!

Wow, it was soooo nice to finally drop that damn duffel bag! Note to self, never, ever, ever use a duffel bag again. It served it’s purpose for this trip, but it’s so hard to pack around. The shoulder strap, unless you have a really nice padded one, will constantly dig into your shoulder, and it’s just too big and bulky when trying to get on trains, buses, and other types of transportation! My suggestion to anyone thinking about traveling with a duffel bag is, DON’T…but that is only my suggestion, you might have to experience it yourself, just like...

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I got this…if only I could figure out where my Hostel is?

  The very first thing I learned about Bangkok, is that I love, love, love their transit systems, and mostly the BTS, also known as the Skytrain, or the Bangkok Mass Transit System. The BTS makes life so much simpler. They also have the MRT, which is the subway system, a nice bus system, and canal and river boats. Taxis are also pretty reasonable, especially if you split the fare with your hostel friends. Often using a mix of these types of transportation systems makes it very easy to beat the traffic of Bangkok. For the BTS I purchased the Rabbit Card,...

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Arriving in Thailand…wow, I’m really here!

Yes…I’m back in the US, already missing South East Asia, and wow, I have so much to say I could post for days about my trip… and actually I will be doing just that! My fingers want to go a thousand strokes a minute on my keyboard to get my story out. All the cool, and sometimes not so cool things that happened to me, but hey, everything is pretty cool when you are traveling, so even the not so cool things can be kind of cool! I can still see everything like it was yesterday, even though I started my journey to Thailand...

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My adventure begins…with a bit more on EVA

It’s hard to explain the excitement that builds inside of me when I am getting ready for an adventure like the one I am on now…but my roomies and new friends from U Baan Hostel know what I mean. It’s also hard to believe how fast the time flies by when you are traveling, and I feel like it was just yesterday when I boarded my flight with EVA air! I have to write one more post about EVA air because of their over the top service. I PROMISE this is my last advertisement for them. I really need to...

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My First Post!

How do I start my first blog post? I don’t know…I have never done this before! I do know this, my blog is supposed to be about traveling, and photography, and so in a little less than five weeks I will be heading on a new adventure in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam! I am already tasting the awesome Thai Basil stir fried rice, mouthwatering Pho Soup, and anything that Cambodia has to offer…maybe some type of new flavorful curry? Anyway, my photo says it all for me. If you have read my “Home” page, you know how much I love...