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Make your own passport or visa photos

Before we left to travel, Her and I used a Photoshop template to create our own photos for our Indian visa applications.  CVS wanted to charge us $9.99 each for two passport photos, and although they would have done all the work, I am a real cheapskate and was sure I could find a way…

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“It’s tobacco spit…”

“Hello!  Where are you from?” a stranger asked us as he kept up with our rather brisk stride. We were walking from our hotel in Paharganj to the New Delhi train station, just about half a mile away.  Through our online research, we had discovered there’s an international tourist ticketing office in the New Delhi…

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Arriving in India

Though I expected to be shocked by the craziness of India, I felt the previous two months we spent backpacking in Southeast Asia had prepared me to handle whatever the subcontinent could throw at me.  As it turned out, I was just a rookie world traveler, and India had a few difficult lessons to teach…

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Thailand Budget

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a country budget, so I am going to try to catch up over the next week or so. After spending two months counting every penny while traveling in very expensive Australia and New Zealand, the value of Southeast Asia was outstanding.  Instead of cooking our own food, we…

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Kyoto: Hundreds of monkeys and a hair rope … oh yeah, and some awesome temples

While thinking back over the cities we’ve visited, Kyoto is on the top of my list.  The city is a mesmerizing union of modern and medieval Japan. Of busy city life and nature.  A thriving metropolis dotted with mind-blowing Buddhist temples and Japanese gardens.  The city, for me, exemplifies what I love about travel and…

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We’re big in Japan, or: How to ride overnight buses in the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan has a reputation of being an astronomically expensive country. To be sure, it’s not a budget destination, but one of the biggest expenses travelers face — intra-country travel — doesn’t have to leave you with an empty wallet. Many people purchase the JR rail pass which provides unlimited travel within the country’s train system…

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Warhol-ing it in Hong Kong

After our less-than-stellar experience in Hanoi (though the rest of our visit to Vietnam was very enjoyable), and a couple months in the developing world craziness of Southeast Asia, we were looking forward to the First World comforts provided by a major world city.  Hong Kong did not disappoint. We arrived very late, but the…

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Ho Chi Minh City: A friendly bunch of commies

When we landed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (formerly Saigon), I was expecting to be immediately surrounded by communist propaganda portraying the evils of western capitalism and the virtues of dear Uncle Ho and socialism. Instead, the taxi ride into the city revealed a thriving, modern city complete with bustling markets, neon lights loudly…

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Happy pizza, sad history

We were driving away from the Phnom Penh airport in our hired tuk-tuk when the driver turned around, at full speed mind you, and asked, “You like shooting? AK-47?” This was when I first realized Cambodia is a country where anything — ANYTHING — is possible for the right price. Our driver, Leap Theary, was…

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Paradise and projectile vomiting

According to the in-flight magazine that inspired our trip to Railay, Krabi’s rock climbing is unparalleled.  Climbing enthusiasts dream about scaling the limestone cliffs surrounding the beaches here, and just about everywhere you look are people and monkeys dangling from seemingly impossible places. Our Lonely Planet guide had informed us that somewhere along the walkway…

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