Trekking the Annapurna Circuit: Chame to Manang

Today was the first actual day of hiking on the Annapurna Circuit and we woke up to beautiful blue skies and snow capped mountains after a crazy ride from Kathmandu!  We had about 25 km between Chame and our acclimatization day in Manang .  It would take us 2 days to climb over 1000m and reach the highest Read More …

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit: Leaving Kathmandu

Kathmandu is filled with a whirlwind of dust as trekkers from around the world prepare for their journey into The Himalayas.  My brother and I met our guide Thakur the night before and today we found him waiting for us at the hotel just after breakfast. We took a taxi past merchants setting up shop in Read More …

Koyasan, Japan – Where Buddhism was Founded

Koyasan is the founding location of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.  A priest then known as Kukai, and posthumously referred to as Kobo Daishi (The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching,) learned the esoteric ways of Shingon Buddhism in China before traveling to Japan in 816 and getting approval from Emperor Saga to build a mountain Read More …

Best Places for Winter in Korea

South Korea is quickly becoming famous for its winter wonderlands and there are lots of great places to visit during the snowy season.  In 2018 South Korea will host the Winter Olympics and there are plenty of other great destinations to visit in this country during the chilly months.  Whether you are looking or a Read More …

Hiking Dinosaur Ridge – Bangawoyo Tours

Last weekend I did what I vowed never to do again and I hiked Dinosaur Ridge yet again!  Ronda had never been on the trail so we joined Bangawoyo Tours for a weekend excursion to Seoraksan National Park.  We started our 15 hour trek with about 15 other crazy people just as keen on climbing the ridge-line Read More …

The Ultimate Jeju Island Guide – 12 Things to do on Jeju Island – Bangawoyo Tours

Jeju Island‘s white sand beaches, giant waterfalls and amazing swimming holes give it the nickname “Korea’s Hawaii.”  Jeju is a 4 hour ferry ride south of mainland South Korea putting it in sub-tropical waters.  Its a large island so be sure to give yourself a few days to explore Jeju. I joined my old SHG friend Read More …

Crocodile Island & Ondal Fortress- A day trip from Seoul with Bangawoyo Tours

Last weekend I joined Bangawoyo Tours on one last summer outing to Crocodile Island. We took an early bus Sunday morning and headed towards Chungju and headed for a short hike.   Crocodile Island is a really a wonderfully unique lake which gives the surrounding land a slight reptilian shape. Its actual name is Chungju Lake but Read More …

Blue Flames of Kawah Ijen Volcano – Java, Indonesia

I first heard about Mt. Ijen’s blue flames from a British biologist who hiked Bromo with me. Thinking it would be impossibly far away I was happy to hear Mt. Ijen is on the way back to Bali from Mt. Bromo! To save money I took a public bus to Bangyuwangi and found a group Read More …

Mt. Bromo – Java’s magnificent volcano on a budget

My absolute favorite part of Java was trekking Mt. Bromo and Mt. Ijen.  Bromo, an active volcano tucked into the Sand Sea, is constantly erupting a cloudlike smoke while Mt Ijen has magnificent blue flames!  This post will tell you how to explore Bromo on a budget. Mt. Bromo for $30/day You can easily see Read More …

Taroko Gorge- Hehuanshan – Motorbiking from the Pacific Ocean to 3,416m

After hiking Shakadang Trail I was convinced I needed to see more of Taroko National Park and decided to take my scooter to the highest peak. Doing some quick research at my hostel I discovered Xiafengkou(siafengkou) had a 2 hour hike to the top of Hehuanshan at an altitude of 3,416m. Locals told me the Read More …