Page 2 of clarita the adventurista Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay March 26th 2012

HAVING SPENT TWO EXTRA (unwanted) days in Hue we just barely had enough time to breathe in Hanoi’s heavy, wet air suffused with the faint smell of flowers. When we arrived it was a chilly 50 degrees and rainy. It reminded me of New York City on a fall night – narrow lanes lined with hip shops, restaurants, and dark bars surrounded on all sides by a large, reverberating city. We only had the evening to stroll around as we were leaving in the morning for an all day tour of Halong Bay. After grabbing dinner and a cup of coffee at a neighboring restaurant which was housed in an ancient shop house we took a stroll through the streets to get a feel for the city. An older woman wearing the infamous conical hat ... read more
Mountain Peaks
Our Boat
Lunch Stop

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế » Hué March 20th 2012

WE CHECKED INTO THE HUE HOLIDAY HOTEL a mere four hours after we left Hoi An, a pleasant reprieve from our usual 12-13 hour jaunts. We decided to stop in Hue more out of necessity than desire. We had plane tickets to Bangkok in only five days, and there was a lot that I wanted to see in the north, including Halong Bay, the sight that had attracted me to Vietnam in the first place. Unfortunately there wasn’t a bus straight to Hanoi so had to stop in Hue to transfer; we decided we may as well spend the day there and leave the following morning. Against our wishes our one day turned into three – there were no buses available for the next two days due to the number of people that were traveling for ... read more
Old Carousel Inside The Citadel
Gates Of The Imperial City
Lots Of Moss

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An March 8th 2012

WE SPENT OUR LAST DAY IN NHA TRANG lounging in beach chairs by the ocean, trying to avoid the intense sun, since I once again resemble a lobster. Around 5pm we hopped onto a sleeper bus headed for Hoi An, a small riverside town about 12 hours up the coast. We pulled in around 6am and snagged a ride from two motorbike drivers – once again balancing precariously on the back as our large packs bounced up and down in the cold morning air (all of the actual taxi drivers were out of town for Tet). Our guesthouse was gorgeous! It blew any of the places we had stayed at in Bangkok or India out of the water. Just as I was peeking around the corner to investigate the buffet breakfast downstairs I heard a ... read more
Lantern Shop
Thu Bon River
Canoes On Thu Bon River

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang March 1st 2012

Normal 0 LUSCIOUS WHITE SAND! ALLURING TURQUOISE WAVES! There’s just something about the combination of these that makes me go weak in the knees. The word beautiful is not adequate to describe this devastatingly handsome landscape of Nha Trang. A sleek, modern city scape runs parallel to the white sands that slope gently into the clear, aqua waters. Dark forest green mountains jut up over the horizon. Nha Trang transformed us from thrifty backpackers to indulgent revelers without even asking for our consent. We ate delicious food, partied like rockstars, swam in the sparkling waters, a... read more
Communist Flag
Tree Sculptures By The Beach
The Ex-Pat Ladies

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 28th 2012

CROSSING THE BORDER FROM CAMBODIA into Vietnam was relatively painless. We took a two story deluxe air conditioned bus (pure luxury compared to the Burmese and Nepali buses we took) to the capitol of Phnom Penh, where we spent one night, and then continued on another 12 hours to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in a sleeper bus. At first sight Vietnam did not look much different from Cambodia. I stared out the bus window looking for differences in the landscape but they didn’t really appear until we reached Saigon. Once in the city the differences began to take shape. Here the streets were wide and clean, the buildings were new and modern and the air smelled like flowers. As we got off the bus a crowd of young 20 somethings crossed the street in front ... read more
Orange Tree

Asia » Cambodia » North » Battambang February 22nd 2012

AFTER SIEM REAP WE MADE OUR WAY to Cambodia’s second largest city, Battambang. We decided to visit Battambang because we wanted to visit a more traditional Cambodian town and we had heard the surrounding countryside was beautiful. We could feel the difference immediately upon arrival – the pace of life was slower, the streets a bit dingier, and the scenery not as picturesque. At first sight it was a little disappointing but after walking around it became clear that this was a much more authentic version of Cambodia and I was happy for it. Since there are no large monuments or attractions in Battambang it doesn’t see many tourists, which means it has a very local, almost provincial feel. A frothy brown river runs through the center of town with small, open face storefronts on ... read more
Riding In The Tuk Tuk
Serpent Statue
Machine Gun Parts

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap February 15th 2012

Normal 0 ONE THING THAT TRAVELING DOES is constantly break any and all stereotypes you have about a place. Take Cambodia for example. When I hear the word “Cambodia” I think of rural countryside, traditional villages, ancient ruins. Instead, after a long bus ride from Bangkok we arrived in Siem Reap and were greeted by neon lights, raging dance clubs, women in skin tight mini dresses, karaoke bars and lady boys selling frog legs (“sexy frogs…from sexy lady boy?”). While this obviously isn’t representative of the entire country, it is still at least a small part of it.Apparen... read more
Stone Asuras At South Gate
South Gate Of Angkor Thom
Entrance Of Bayon

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala February 9th 2012

WE CONTINUED TO FOLLOW INDIA’S WEST COAST southward until we reached the beach town of Varkala, beloved throughout Kerala and much of India for its blond beaches and dramatic cliffs which face the Arabian sea. The narrow, red dirt path that stretches out along the cliff face is overflowing with seafood restaurants, ayurvedic spas, small resorts and shops. Although well touristed, Varkala has a sophisticated feel to it, with flowy resort dresses outnumbering hippie pants and a far less stinky crowd. The air while we were there, however, was thick and unmoving, leaving a residue of slick sweat on our bodies at all times. Even jumping in the sea did not provide much relief – as soon as I exited the water the droplets on my skin began to instantly transform into sweat, leaving me even ... read more
Looking Up At The Cliff
My New Dress

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey February 5th 2012

ALLEPPEY IS A SMALL TOWN in the southern state of Kerala that is the entryway to the sprawling ‘backwaters’, or lagoons that run parallel to the Arabian Sea. Brilliant green moss and vines run rampant through the town and the air is heavy with the hum of those most evil of bugs, mosquitoes. Swamp filled canals crisscross through the town leading out to larger, navigable waterways. In an interesting contrast, the western side of Alleppey is lined not by marshes and swamps, but by a golden stretch of sand which slopes downward into the shining Arabian Sea. This strip of beach has a Coney Island type of feel with Indian families dressed in their glittering saris strolling up and down the beach and kids gobbling down cotton candy and ice cream.Vendors sell balloons, bright red and ... read more
Afternoon At The Beach
Playing On The Beach
Cotton Candy Vendor

Asia » India » Kerala » Wayanad February 3rd 2012

WAYANAD HAS THE MAKINGS OF SOMETHING truly wonderful. It has misty peaks, miles of tea plantations, tall, lanky palm trees, and gushing waterfalls – it is absolutely bursting with vegetation. It is also home to a large wildlife preserve that hosts elephants living in the wild, exotic birds, and numerous other species. Despite all of this, it only has rudimentary tourist infrastructure making it difficult and expensive to visit. Travis and I decided to visit anyway as we couldn’t resist the temptation of glimpsing elephants in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, thousands of other Indian families had the same idea. Many of them had decided to spend their month long holiday in between Christmas and New Years in this peaceful outdoor retreat, which had the effect of eliminating any trace of... read more
Pookot Lake
Lily Pads
Monkey Playing With A Flower

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