After dealing with the scams of Hanoi and the tourist factories that are Sapa and Halong Bay in the north, we started to enjoy ourselves as we explored Southern Vietnam. Hoi An's Lantern Festival and beaches along with Ho Chi Minh's happy and helpful locals gave us the Vietnamese experience we had been hoping for. Read on to learn about where we had the best banh mi, what it was like to crawl through the famous Cu Chi Tunnels of the Vietcong, and how we fared negotiating in the markets!
With so many people telling us, "You HAVE to go to Sapa and Halong Bay!", we expected big things out of both side trips from Hanoi, Vietnam. Unfortunately, neither destination lived up to our inflated expectations. Read on to find out why!
Hanoi, Vietnam, is the most challenging and frustrating place that we experienced on our trip around the world. From the constant noise, the ever-crowded streets and sidewalks, the unwavering heat and humidity, and the persistent scams and disrespect from the local people, we had a tough time enjoying ourselves. The food, however, was downright delicious! Check out our time in Hanoi, our first stop in three weeks of travel around Vietnam.
We let our new friends, Charlotte and James, ask us any five questions they want, and we promised to answer honestly! Read on to see what they were curious about!
In Luang Prabang, we got brave and ate dinner from buffet tables in a dirty alley, watched the Morning Alms ceremony, visited a beautiful waterfall with our new adventurous friends from Britain, and learned that the US bombed Laos more than any other country during the Vietnam War. Read about our eye opening experience in the former French Colony.
We're halfway through our trip! To reflect on what we've learned so far and how were' doing, we asked ourselves some thought-provoking questions. See what's on our minds in this post!
In Chiang Mai, we finally fell in love with Thailand! Find out why in today's post!
In today's Lessons Learned, we'll go back to a freebie lesson we got before we even left for our trip - check your flight's departure time, and then check again, or risk missing your flight! Did we get from Central Wisconsin to LA on New Years Eve after missing our early morning flight? Read on to find out!
Most blogs and reviews of the islands of Thailand described them as "magical". We didn't get it, and certainly didn't love our time there as much as we had hoped. What did we love, though? Getting SCUBA certified! Read on to see our take on these "magical" places!
Our first stop in Asia was Bangkok, Thailand! We stepped off the plane into a place that was so different, so unfamiliar, so hot! Bangkok was an attack on all of the senses! See how we adjusted in today's post!
In today's Lessons Learned, we find out what happens when you leave your cellphone on the bus that brought you to the airport! Jake's phone was heading back to Stockholm while we were clearing security for our flight to Bangkok! Read on to find out what happened!
The Schaals joined us for a quick visit to Berlin where we searched for the best biergartens in the city, and ate all the currywurst we could find! And, before closing the book on our European adventure and heading to Asia, we spent a fun (and expensive) 24 hours in Stockholm where we had one of our favorite European meals!
We started our exploration of Prague with Jake's parents, and ended it with the Schaals! For Beth's birthday, she and Tom decided to join us in Prague and Berlin! Read all about our beer-filled adventures around the City of 100 Spires!
Jake's parents, Joan and Al, joined us on our European Adventure to explore Krakow! And double bonus, we even got to meet up with cousin Adam on his summer abroad program! Read on to learn about our exploration of the "Royal Heart" of Poland, the Salt Mines, and Auschwitz.
We loved Warsaw so much that it's one of our favorite cities in Europe! Find out what made it so incredible in today's post!
We spent a quick few days in Heidelberg, where we found some of the best ice cream in the world, before heading to Cologne to meet up with Kip and Cammie! Read about our time with our good friends drinking kolsch beer in today's post!
Read today's post to learn all about the delicious and dry wines of the Alsace region, as well as our time in the adorable town of Colmar. As we biked through this super cute place I couldn't help but think, "Is this real life?"
Oh Gimmelwald, you win first prize for Most Beautiful Place! We LOVED our week in this tiny mountain town in the Swiss Alps!
If someone told us we had to move to Vienna, we'd be ok with that! We loved our time in this beautiful city! Read about our food tour, getting lost in the vineyards on the way to a heuriger, and the BEST ice cream in the whole world!
During our last week in Budapest, we needed time to rest! While we had a great time with our visiting friends Courtney and Shawn (who we stayed with in Amsterdam) on a pub crawl, Noelle had a tough time recovering from a roofie that somehow made its way into her drink. Our last few days in this great city were spent resting.