Live creatively. Travel more.

Month: November 2017

How to Avoid the Crowds at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is perhaps the most famous, popular destination in Southeast Asia. Before my RTW trip, it was one of the only sites in Southeast Asia I had already heard of! While there’s certainly something to be said for going into a place with few expectations, as I did in Vietnam, and discovering gems you didn’t know to look for, like Halong Bay, I think we’d all be lying if we pretended bucket list sights like Angkor Wat weren’t a major reason we travel. I’m a big believer in managing your expectations well when it comes to bucket list sights. It’s unrealistic to expect to have popular destinations all to yourself, but with a little insider knowledge (perhaps in the form of a guide), savvy planning, and willingness to roll with the punches, you can avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat and enjoy the moments of solitude and wonder you imagined in this sacred ancient city.

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Craft an Epic Southeast Asia Itinerary

I sometimes find myself arguing with people that yes, they are, in fact, creative. So many people assume only those in the traditional arts like music or painting have claim to that particular trait. I’m a firm believer that creativity at its heart is about turning tradition on its ear. Independent travelers – you’re the new creative class. (Just check out the collaborative travel dance and film project Alaine Handa is working on, or the badass dystopian costume design Faith Roswell makes for Wasteland Warriors all over the world.) When you charge forward into the world without guidebooks and travel agents dictating your every move, you’re creating something. In this latest addition of my itinerary series – designed to unleash your creative planning power, rather than give you a copy-and-paste blueprint for your trip – we’ll explore one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world: Southeast Asia. Its bottom dollar price tag makes it one of the best starter destinations for budget backpacking in the world, but there’s so much more to it than that. If this corner of the world wasn’t filled with sublime natural beauty, rich cultural traditions, and some of the most banging food across the globe, no amount of budgeting would be worthwhile. Read on for must-have information on some of the highlights you might choose to include in your own Southeast Asia itinerary.

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RTW Budget: Vietnam

Vietnam is lauded as one of the cheapest countries in the world to travel. Between street food, hostels, the acceptability of haggling, and the absolute least expensive beer in the world, the Backpacker Index claims you could conceivably get around even the country’s largest cities on less than $20 a day. Honestly, this was part of the draw for me to spend three weeks in Vietnam at the halfway point of my solo RTW trip. I knew my Vietnam budget would be minimal, and I could easily travel overland through Southeast Asia without worrying about the money. I didn’t know a ton about the country before visiting, so without those draws of ‘bucket list’ attractions, I needed to know I wouldn’t be going out of my way to travel in Vietnam. So was the Backpacker Index right? Read on for my detailed, penny-by-penny budget for Vietnam.

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