Getting a Vietnam Visa

When you travel to Vietnam you MUST pre-order a Visa.  Most airlines won’t let you on the plane without proof of a visa.  The good news is its really easy to order one and very affordable.  When I went to Vietnam I was overwhelmed by all the choices for Visa on arrival.  I sorted through Read More …

6 things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam – A cultural gem tucked away in paradise

After spending the best week of my life exploring Son Doong (The World’s Largest Cave) I ventured southward towards Hoi An, Vietnam.  It began with a Boomerang Bus trip to Hue City where I spent one night before jumping on a motorbike for a day of cruising which delivered me to Hoi An.  I heard Read More …

Top 10 Travel Photos of 2014 #1

2014 was my most traveled year yet.  I had the good fortune to bring in the New Year in the Philippines before returning to my job in South Korea.  Summer vacation was spent backpacking Vietnam and Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) brought me to Japan.  I ventured to Shanghai before heading back to America for the end Read More …

Son Doong Day 4 – The most glorious bath ever taken

Grimy and ready for a bath, we arrived at Son Doong Camp 2 after frolicking beneath the Great Wall of Vietnam in the muddy Passchendaele Trench.  We were greeted with our porter’s friendly smiles.  Most of them refused a hug and instead adroitly maneuvering a cup of tea into my hand convincing me to chow down on Read More …

Castaway on an island in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – Day 2

Waking up on Castaway’s boat in Ha Long Bay and walking to the sundeck for a relaxing morning would have been fantastic.  It was cloudy and we had to transfer to a smaller boat soon after breakfast and hustled across the side to the other vessel.  A few hours on these choppy seas caused the worst Read More …

Son Doong Day 4 – Great Wall of Vietnam

Rising early I enjoyed some hot tea while listening to Son Doong’s morning chorus of insects filled with an avian duet, buzzing beetles and the occasional hooting owl.  I hoped to hear a monkey or spot some of this magnificent wildlife, perhaps even the fabled flying foxes Howard mentioned.  Sipping my tea I settled for Read More …

Castaway on an island in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – Day 1

Ha Long Bay is a New World Wonders and should be a stop for anyone visiting Vietnam.  After polling other travelers and hostel staff I decided to go with a 3D2N excursion called Castaways; it was slightly more expensive than the other options but I already knew a handful of the people signed up and Read More …

Son Doong Day 3 – The Garden of Edam

Son Doong’s Garden of Edam peeked through the next passage like a half moon keeping a wary eye on foreign travelers.  Hiking once more in the dark, our headlamps illuminated bulbous calcite deposits left by a millennia of rainy seasons carving its way through this ancient waterway.  In another million years our passageway will likely Read More …

Son Doong Day 3 – Watch out for Dinosaurs

Breakfast our second morning in Son Doong proved even more delicious than the first.  Sitting at a picnic table eating fruit-filled fresh crepes boggled our minds as we imagined the prehistoric scene awaiting us in the distance.  We broke camp and were on the trail by 9:15 AM heading under the boulders on a new Read More …

Son Doong Day 2 – Jungle & Descent

Mother nature’s alarm clock began to ring as soon as light shone through Hang En’s massive entrance above us; with any luck we’d arrive at Son Doong by this afternoon but as the chorus of cicadas and swifts convinced me to check my watch I decided that could wait.  5:15AM, I think I’ll snooze for Read More …