James Arnold

Buffs303

James Arnold

Hey Everyone,

I am a 27 year old college graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I love adventure, adrenaline, and good food. Travel and photography have become a passion of mine and I keep feeding the addiction. I live in the beautiful mountain town, Steamboat Springs, CO, but I do my best to get out and experience the world. This outing will by first time to re-visit South East Asia since I was 4 years old and my very first visit Down Under, where I get to meet Natalie's family and see what Australia is all about.

Blue Skies!

James



Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang July 23rd 2011

7 hours and a couple hundred kilometers from Vang Vieng lies the lazy town of Luang Prabang. To get here you need to cross winding mountain roads (not of the highest quality), pass grazing animals, and endure the rain. It was a long, packed journey with 11 people stuffed into a van. It was on this trip the "when in Laos" theme came true....a couple of times. When in Laos....never expect the first bus you board is actually your bus. We got onto 3 different buses (luggage made it to 4) before we were actually directed to the correct vehicle. 1 hour later. Buses dont leave on time, so try to not be in a hurry. When in Laos....watch porn in the van with a group of people to pass the time. Yes, you heard that ... read more
More Meat On A Stick
Noodle Buffet
Waterfall Afternoon

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng July 21st 2011

You have entered The Twilight Zone! A lazy town in the middle of towering green moutain faces filled with hungover travelers and eyes glued to big screen tvs playing re-runs of Friends day and night. It feels like I am in college again! Only this time its far more dangerous. The tubing capital has captured the imaginations of travelers all over the world and brought them all to party in one place. Its not really how I imagined spending my time in Laos, but I met a fun group of guys looking to party and I went with them for the ride. Luckily, I came out with the least amount of battle wounds from floating the river. Most days start very lazily with a couple episodes of Friends and a delish meal of Laap or other ... read more
Beautiful Swimming Hole w/Cave
Than Jang
Fun Stairwell

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng July 19th 2011

It was a sad day to leave Sapa and head back to sweaty Hanoi, but thankfully it would only be for 12 hours. The day was spent eating, shopping, walking around, and catching up on my travel blog. I needed to rest up for my last Vietnamese overnight sleeper bus. 20 hours to Vientiane, Laos. I am so glad to be short. These sleepers buses are far more comfortable for me than most people. I slept like a baby despite the wafts of urine entering my nose from the nearby toilet. It was a long bus ride and a simple transition at the border. Laos was awesome as soon as I crossed the border. I think it was the nice snack of deep friend, battered bananas at 8 am. Sugar kick in gear the journey continued. ... read more
Travel Friends

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Lao Cai » Sapa July 9th 2011

Finally, a town without deadly heat. Sapa. A beautiful name and region, full of indigenous peoples and terraced farming. I arrived along a winding road in the early morning and was pleasantly surprised at the friendly faces awaiting my arrival. Hoards of Hmong women with smiling faces pointing at me as I stood on the bus. They basically picked me out of the crowd and decided I was theirs for the taking. I had 5 or 6 women following me within seconds. My biggest surprise was the quality of their English. The Vietnamese English speaking skills do no touch that of the Hmong women. It must be that their language is not tonal like many of the Asian languages. My two main followers, Sa and Gochi, lead me to a guesthouse area and demanded to wait ... read more
Location, Location, Location
Terrace after Terrace
Making Rice

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay July 9th 2011

I know I said I was going to Hanoi, but in all honesty, I spent 1 night there and less than 24 hours. It was a stopover/junction point at best. Upon arriving I booked a Halong Bay tour. Everyone along the way told me that I need to book it for as cheap as I can no matter what the tour selling people say. Every boat is the same, every tour is the same, so don't get screwed by these guys and their photo books of over marvelous adventures. I heeded the advice, and booked it for $40. 2 days, 1 night. Not bad. When I booked the tour, I had low expectations in mind. I didn't even ask what tour did, but made sure I wasn't getting screwed on accommodation, food, and entrance fees. They ... read more
Jockeying for Position
Hello Halong
Funky Photo

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế » Hué July 9th 2011

Hue, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Hoi An. Yet it still takes a good 3 hours by bus. Actually, every bus ride in Vietnam takes forever. Unlike South America, where the drivers go as fast as possible, Vietnam has very slow speed limits. No big deal. I have time. Hue is another city I wish I could have spent more time exploring. Upon arriving, I knew that I would only be here for 1.5 days. Therefore, time was of the essence. I met a Spanish girl on the bus and we both got suckered into staying at the same hotel by a guy that jumped aboard our bus before it even arrived. A free taxi to a cheap hotel....done! Although Hue has a few hundred thousand residents, it somehow feels like a small ... read more
Think it smells?
Grandma's Penthouse
Pagoda on a Hilltop

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An July 8th 2011

finally, a relaxing city. hoi an. its amazing. small streets, narrow alleyways, boutique shops, and amazing food. what more could someone ask for. well custom made clothes for one. this small town boasts 200-300 custom tailors. its overwhelming. most people come here just to get clothes made. i was not so sure it was necessary, but an exciting event none the less that put smiles on a lot of peoples faces. hoi an is not a town for many tours, but it does have a few. i took a tour of a 'my son' a ruin site an hour from town. it has many temples and craters. the craters are from the us bombs during the vietnam war which destroyed some of the temples and left its remnants in the form of craters still very visible ... read more
i love food
my son
minh dien

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang July 8th 2011

the shift key doesnt work, so thats why this blog will be missing shift necessary elements. bia hoi. the cheapest beer this side of the mississippi. actually in the world. less than 50 cents for a liter of home brewed beer. it was nha trang that introduced me to this novelty. an old run down german drunkard named bobby. what a guy. nha trang is the first beach city on my list. its a party town with tourists zipping in everyone direction. in all honesty, its not my favorite place because it does not offer much relaxation besides laying on the beach which i have trouble doing. instead i did what i always do....roam the city to see what i can see. lots of street vendors selling pate and pork sandwiches. delish. at 6 dollars a ... read more
rocky coast to myself
singing on stage
shared lunch

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 24th 2011

Good Morning Vietnam!!!!!!!! wait, wait..... Xin chao buoi sang Viet Nam!!!!!!!! Its pronounced just like it looks. RIGHT. The language is not easy here, but I am getting by. My arrival in Ho Chi Minh City was welcomed with humidity and heat. I have swamp ass 24/7. So far everything is great here. Lots of smiles, plenty of hotels, and quite easy to get around even without knowing more than 1 saying in Vietnamese. There are food vendors everywhere selling Pho (noodle soup) at all hours of the day. After securing a hotel room I hit the streets and booked a tour to the Cu Chi tunnels for the following day. It seems a bit tougher to do things on your own here so you dont have much option other than bite the bullet and pick ... read more
Escaping from the American Military
Beep Beep
Working on the fly

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Wheelers Hill June 20th 2011

Once a vacation is booked it takes forever for the departure date to arrive. However, the vacation itself goes by in the blink of an eye. I spent 8 months waiting to leave for Australia and now my 17 days in Kangaroo Land are already over. We seemed so busy the entire time I was here that we did not get too many chances to relax. Lucky for me, our busy activities weren't that exhausting. Outside of a few hikes in the beautiful Dandenongs walks through the cities, and driving down the coast, our busy times consisted of meeting people for coffee and going out for dinner. In 17 days we must have gone out for coffee at least 17 times. The past 8 days have allowed us to go out to dinner 7 times and ... read more
Avian Bird Flu?
Bells Beach
2 Apostles




Tot: 3.12s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 21; qc: 115; dbt: 0.0629s; 3; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb