Monday, May 14, 2018

An overwhelming but equally incredible country, it's time to Vietnam

Destination: Vietnam
Travel Companion: Anthony & Pia (Ha Long Bay & Hanoi), met up again with Kate - from Laos (Hanoi), Gayle (Hoi An) and met Sue (Ninh Binh)
Duration: 14 days
Budget: $1,500 - $2,000 pp (including internal flights - they're as cheap as $25 one way)

I did everything I could to get the chance to visit Vietnam, including working with an agency that charged me triple the price of what I would have paid if I planned the whole trip by myself, just because that was the only way I was able to get a visa. Vietnam, will overwhelm you, whether it's its past or its present. But spoiler alert, when you leave Vietnam, it will leave a mark on you and you will remember moments from your trip at random.

Warning: this is a very long post, but well... it's because there is a lot to say about Vietnam. To make it a bit easier on you, you can see below the different sections I am covering, so feel free to jump to the section that is the most pertinent to your ask!

In this post I will cover the following:
  • Duration & Budget
  • Visa Info
  • Location & Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Transport (Bus, Train, Plane, Tour or Car)
  • Money (Cash or card)
  • One to Two Day trips in and out of Hanoi
  • Places to Visit in Dong Hoi
  • Places to Visit in Hue
  • Places to Visit in Hoi An
  • Food & Drinks
  • Vietnamese words you can use
  • Fun Facts about Vietnam and Vietnamese people 
Ninh Binh - Vietnam

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Buddhism teaches 6 things

During my trip in South East Asia last November, I took quite a bit of interest in Buddhism, and this was only a continuation of a curiosity that was sparked during my visit to Kathmandu followed by Bali. Specially when seeing the very young monks, you're going to wonder: "what's going on?" More on that later.

When I was in Vietnam, my guide was showing me around and told me that Buddhism teaches 6 things which I really liked, they're simple, and could apply to anyone really, no matter the religion, or lack of it:

  1. Keep giving and sharing
  2. Keep a clean body
  3. Keep patient
  4. Keep learning
  5. Keep moving
  6. Show respect to the elderly

Luang Prabang - Laos

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quick Guide to Copenhagen

Destination: Copenhagen
Travel Companion: Wissam (from all the way in Canada)
Duration: 2.5 days
Budget: $530 pp (excluding flights - return flights from Beirut are around $600, internal flights / euro rail tickets in Europe can be very cheap)

As you know, there are now direct flights (3 times a week) between Beirut and Copenhagen with FlySAS and this is only going to mean one thing: my walking tour guide will be meeting many more Lebanese people! Lucky him :). Jokes aside, Copenhagen is beautiful but is equally expensive! At first glance, you will feel like this is a place that will be outside your budget, but if you plan it carefully, you will be able to manage.

Nyhavn on a sunny day - Copenhagen