Oct 122009
 
The Wormy Side of Silk Creation!

Worms, silk. Silk, worms. You don’t realize how weird a combination this is until you see the dirty, bug-filled process it takes to birth the regal material!

Dalat, Vietnam has a number of silk factories, and it is absolutely worth it to tour one. The moment Lulu and I walked through the dusty doors of the building, I started gasping.

Come along on the amazing tour of captions for each photo!Top Left: A [...Read More!]

Oct 112009
 
A Tip on Tall, Skinny, Cheap Hotels

Please Note: If your hotel looks like this (a tall, skinny number with rooms stacked five flights up around one central spiral staircase), the sound WILL echo up from the lobby and into your small barred window with no glass.

Furthermore, there will also be in the lobby, at all hours of the night, one or both of the following: 1) Australian tourists loudly discussing their plans for tomorrow, or, 2) The [...Read More!]

Oct 102009
 
The $10 Tour Around Fascinating Dalat

What can you get for ten dollars and seven hours in Dalat, Vietnam? Sheesh– what CAN’T you get? Check out all the amazing and bizarre sights…

1. Linh Phuoc Pagoda: There’s a massive roaring dragon sculpture and two golden beasties making googly eyes at you! What’s not to love? Walk around the back and see that Mr. Dragon’s tail undulates up and down through the pools of water. Then up the stairs, [...Read More!]

Oct 102009
 
Essential and Useless Travel Gear

After two months on the road, voyaging from Boston to California, to Japan, to Southeast Asia, which gear has proven to be the most and least useful? What should YOU consider packing if you’re planning a long-term trip, particularly to the Developing World?

1. A medium-sized travel backpack (non-wheeled!) which zips more than halfway open (not top-load) and which fits in an airplane overhead bin. I almost splurged on a [...Read More!]

Oct 092009
 
The Bumpy Bus from Mui Ne to Dalat

Busty travelers of the world: strap on your triple strength sports bras before attempting the passage from Mui Ne, Vietnam, to Dalat! And if you’ve got back problems, hoo boy! Better bring a rigid brace and some Advil.

For the five hours from Mui Ne, our small bus jolted and banged along the rocky road, twisting around mountains and overlooking mist-shrouded green vistas. When a particularly ominous stretch of [...Read More!]

Oct 082009
 
Sankara: The Forefront of Mui Ne’s Evolving Face

There is a place in this world for true beauty, and truth be told, I have a massive crush on Sankara. Walking into Mui Ne’s newest venue, you gasp in awe and your heart passionately races. You have the urge to whip out a camera and photograph every billowing white drape, every sensual pool of water, every soft shift of rainbow lights against the palm trees. With [...Read More!]

Oct 082009
 
A Fantastic Vietnam Birthday

Really now, your birthday evening cannot be anything but FABULOUS when it kicks off by receiving the following email:

“Happy b-day Ms. Marshin. Thanks for everything u did for me at Ctown. U shudda took me wit you on this world wide trip. But it’s all good– u still my Home Dogg. – Terrence”

I laughed uproariously, then wrote back with love from Vietnam. Thank the heavens and [...Read More!]

Oct 072009
 
Birthday Realization: A Vice May be a Boon!

Reflect for a moment: What is something you absolutely adore (it makes your heart pitter pat and wakes you up in the morning with excitement), but which drives everyone around you absolutely CRAZY?

For me, one of these things was my Internet addiction.

Picture this: I would be having a perfectly delightful evening with my closest friends, then I would spot an unsupervised computer in the next room. Excusing myself [...Read More!]

Oct 072009
 
A Terrifying and Amazing Update from a Traveling Friend

I just found out that my first friend in Thailand was almost killed recently.

“I have a story for you,” Anish typed to me from his medical school in Aruba.

I was prepared for a joke or a piece of gossip– not the heart-stopping story that followed.

“You remember those sacred tattoos I got by that monk in Thailand?” he asked. “They’re called Sak Yants. One was done with tiger fat mixed [...Read More!]

Oct 062009
 
A Humble Birthday Present Request

Tomorrow, October 7th, is my twenty-eighty birthday! Huzzah!!! I may or may not be on a seven hour bus ride to the central mountains of Vietnam, but we’ll deal with that later.

In the meantime, do you desire to give me a small gift? If so, here is my present request: please forward this website to one or two people who you think might enjoy it, or (let’s be [...Read More!]