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Southeast Asia

Postcard from Phu Quoc

Here's something I never expected to say: my absolute favorite beach in the world is in Vietnam. I headed to Phu Quoc with a few guy friends from home on a whim: they were working in Taiwan, I was in Chiang Mai (with less than a week left on...
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Saigon After Dark: seeing HCMC nightlife on the back of a Vespa

The two things I loved most about Saigon: crossing the street and eating. The traffic is just as full-on as the countless food opportunities: both are adventures that require a heady dose of bravery and a willingness to throw caution to the...
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Going to the hard places

When I was planning my first solo backpacking trip around Europe, I chatted with one of my uncles who had lived in Munich. He recommended an afternoon in the beer halls, a bike ride around Englischer Garten and a visit to Dachau Concentration...
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Postcard from Dalat

Nestled in the Central Highlands, Dalat is a cool breeze after the sweltering heat of Saigon. Known for its year-round mild temperatures and bright blooming flowers and as a kicking-off point for motorcycle tours through the mountainous region, the...
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My list of Southeast Asia travel joys

My love affair with Southeast Asia was one of those opposites-attract scenarios: uptight, punctual hipster meets chaotic-bordering-on-crazy. Although brief, it was intense: it reminded me the act of breaking my rules can be its own reward. It...
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Staying skinny in Vietnam: it’s a constant struggle

The 80/20 rule that I apply to travel budgeting is also how I approach healthful eating. The vast majority of the time I eat whole, natural foods: raw fruits and veggies (yes, much too much pineapple to the chagrin of the barefoot doctor), cottage...
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Postcard from Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai isn't as breathtaking as the islands in the Andaman Sea or as bustling as Bangkok; indeed, the northern Thailand city is laid-back and livable. The streets are lined with food carts attached to motorbikes, selling tangy papaya salad,...
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Saigon: an assault on the senses

In Saigon, even something as mundane as crossing the street turns into a potentially-life-altering adventure. There are no stoplights or crosswalks: instead, there are massive roundabouts with countless, constantly shifting lanes of traffic. Cars,...
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Postcard from the Bangkok flower market

A note to any potential suitors: fresh flowers are the one thing that I ALWAYS want. It doesn't matter if it's my birthday, an anniversary or just a rainy Saturday morning or a sunny Tuesday afternoon: a bouquet of flowers (anything but roses,...
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The details of the Grand Palace in Bangkok

"Look at this attention to detail, even where you can't see it. Steve Jobs would be proud." Sure enough, my friends--an engineer and entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, if you couldn't tell--were right: the craftsmanship was exquisite, even...
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