Page 2 of ArielP Travel Blog Posts


North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage May 26th 2015

We wake up early to a free breakfast at the hotel. Fortunately there are blackout curtains so we actually got some sleep. We pack up our economy size bright cherry red Mazda, and we head downtown. We fit right in among the F450s. I'm pretty sure we will die if we have any run-in with the local wildlife. Our plan for the day is to bike the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We went our bikes downtown from a sociable man named Pablo. He informs us that this trail was voted the number two most beautiful bike trail in the nation. So we are pumped. I get a cruiser and David gets a mountain bike. We take our time in the beginning of the trail. We bike through Earthquake Park, which is the site of the San ... read more
ak4
ak5
ak6

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage May 26th 2015

I arrive at the Las Vegas airport on Saturday morning sans a drivers license. For those who know me well, this really isn't that surprising. Unfortunately, after a late night out at Tao nightclub, I lost any form of photo identification. I would like to say this was my first time traveling without an ID, but that would be a lie. My second year of orthopedic residency, I arrived at the Santa Clara airport with no form of identification except for a library book. I was able to get on the flight that time, mostly because of my sheer pathetic appearance after a 30 hour overnight shift, and I was hoping my luck would hold. Fortunately, it did. After an interrogation, pat down, and a luggage search, I was able to board the flight to Seattle. ... read more
ak2

North America » United States » California December 27th 2014

Well, here it is. The inevitable self-reflective, "my life is changed", wannabe philosophical blog about the end of my travels. Feel free to stop reading now. Today I come home. Over the past 6 months, I've traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. I've seen beaches, glaciers, mountain tops, vineyards, oceans, lakes, rice paddies, volcanoes, the bush and the rain forest. Seen kangaroos, echidnas, spiders, snakes, geckos, monkeys, lizards, kookaburras, koalas and really big bugs. Lived in a dingy flat, slept in friends' beds, strangers couches, bungalows, tree houses, a nudist's sons room, mansions, and 8 bedroom dorms. Rode the bus, hiked, cycled, drove on the left side of the road, rode on motorbikes, hailed tuk tuks, kayaked under icy waterfalls, sailed on longboats and took a helicopter to a glacier top. Drank ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City December 27th 2014

StreetFoodMan So, I decided to celebrate the end of my trip with a street food tour of Ho Chi Minh City. Street food has been harder for me to manage than in Thailand. In Thailand, often there are multiple dishes in a stall, and you can just point to what you want, or there is a menu with English or pictures. Not so much in Vietnam. There is usually a stall which only does one dish, and this is advertised in Vietnamese, and there are just random things hanging in the glass and covered pots of simmering somethings. Also, many dishes have pork, which I don't eat, making things more difficult. The street food has been good, but not with the variety and complex flavors of Thailand. The best food I've had thus far is in ... read more
1509003_10104621556275993_500644463842936443_n
10848066_10104621555806933_5634132514494664329_n
10858397_10104621556350843_3899073423782946548_n

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Hoa Binh December 16th 2014

Which Hue? So I get off the train coming back from Sapa, and I have a very chilly motorbike ride back to the hotel. I get some warm tea there and await my taxi to take me to the airport for my flight to wait. I don't know much about hue, except that it was the ancient capital of Vietnam, and has a lot of ancient ruins. On the airplane, I see a guy wearing a Detroit Tigers hat. Therefore I ask him, "Are you really a Detroit Tigers fan?" He replies, "No, but I'm from Michigan." And I say, "No way, I'm from Kalamazoo!" And crazy enough, not only is he from Grand Rapids, he moved to the Bay Area seven years ago, and now lies in Oakland. This is so ironic, since I moved ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai December 15th 2014

Sapa Oh, just typing the word make me happy. It was such a gem of my trip. The antithesis of my Halong Bay experience. As an aside, I should probably stop hating on Halong Bay. So many people love it. Just a personal and uncommon opinion. I get back to the hotel, and I meet a nice American architect from Minnesota. We get to chatting and decide to go around the corner to try to bia hoa, or fresh beer. By "bar" I mean a structure with a porch like thing and kid size tables and chairs which you scrunch into with the other locals. Goo thing the Vietnamese are small, because the furniture for dining is just comical. I don't know much about the beer except that it's brewed fresh that day and is cheap ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi December 15th 2014

Hanoi So I get my chance to check out Hanoi the day after I return to Halong Bay. I have breakfast at the hotel and get a map and get walking. My first destination is the Hoan Kiem lake with the temple and the turtle tower which is located in the Old Quarter. A guy I met at the hotel told me that the lake was to Hanoi as the Eiffel Tower is to France. Horrible comparison. The lake is nice and a lot of people are walking around it for leisure or exercise, but it's really very simple and nothing to write home about. I had a nice walk, and then spent some time in the market. I was planning on doing more walking around the old town, but I kept finding things to buy ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi December 11th 2014

Halong Bay I am now down a day in Vietnam because of my delay in Bangkok, so I skip my typical "arrival to a new city" routine of drinking a local coffee and walking all over the place, for a tour of Halong bay. I usually skip tours because I don't like to travel like that, but there aren't really many other options for Halong Bay. You can take a local bus down, but then you'd have to hire a boat when you got there. I opt for a day trip even though a lot of people recommend an overnight tour, but it's expensive and I am already strapped for time. I really like my hotel, the dorm rooms are spacious and the beds are really comfortable and the staff are beyond friendly and knowledgable. A ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi December 8th 2014

Good Evening, Vietnam! I breath a solid sigh of relief when I am given a boarding pass, only of course after paying for my changed ticket and a ridiculous luggage fee, even though I only had two pieces of carry-on sized luggage (they only permit one). Note - avoid VietJet air if possible. After all my transactions I see I only have $37 left in my bank account - car payment went through. Automated bill payment, so great and so terrible. So I send out another SOS, and this time my friend Linda bails me out and drops another $500.00 into my bank account. I exhale. Until I am physically on that plane I remain on edge. I also don't have any baht left, so I can't buy any food and I am starving. I crush ... read more
image

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok December 8th 2014

Bangkok's Got Her Now (Hangover II, anyone? Movie makes a lot more sense now...) **more of a personal entry than a travel blog post, fair warning*** I hesitate to write this because I already feel the bad memories swirling up to my throat as my insides clench to try to keep them in the pit of my belly. They hurt less down there. But here goes. Cameron leaves early am, and I have a long sleep and an AMAZING breakfast at the hotel. I even make myself a little sandwich for later. I check out if the hotel and leave my bag at the desk and check out Khoa San Road (the backpackers spot, intentionally avoided for the nights unless drunken 20 year old debauchery is your thing, but fine in the day). I'm looking for ... read more




Tot: 2.742s; Tpl: 0.036s; cc: 15; qc: 108; dbt: 0.0662s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb