walking Hanoi + the Temple of Literature

walking Hanoi + the Temple of Literature


Hanoi, Vietnam. to me -- it's the golden yellow buildings with green trim, bundles and bundles of electrical wires running overhead, a flood of scooters rushing by, and eating a steaming bowl of pho on the side of the street while sitting on a plastic stool so tiny that your knees are in your ears.

between all the trekking and cruising we did in Vietnam, we based ourselves in the city of Hanoi. we stayed in the gorgeous Old Quarter and spent several days wandering the streets and shops by ourselves. but on our last full day in Vietnam, we booked a walking tour of the city to be sure we saw everything Hanoi had to offer.

our guide let us pick and choose which sights on the itinerary we wanted to see. [which was great, rather than waste time being dragged to things that weren't of interest to us.] we started off at the Ho Chi Minh complex, walking past the mausoleum and presidential palace. in truth -- we didn't spend much time here. lines for the famous One Pillar Pagoda were insane so we just breezed past that as well.

at this point in our trip, we were all pretty exhausted. I would recommend taking a tour at the start of your time in Hanoi [which we had attempted to do but were foiled by the weather.] it wasn't much better on the day we did our tour -- it was alternating between blazing hot and torrential downpour, and we were all dripping sweat. but there was one place we very specifically wanted to see: the Temple of Literature.

the Temple of Literature is set in a sprawling green space, a welcome relief from the grimy concrete streets of Hanoi. it was familiar -- I've been to many Confucian temples in Taiwan -- but still foreign. sadly, the temple is not filled with books a la a mega "Beauty and the Beast" style library collection. but it is the site of Vietnam's first university, and many students and scholars still come here to pray.

our guide took us through the temple, explaining the history and significance of all the buildings and courtyards... and I'm sad to say I barely remember a thing about it. one of the problems with not blogging "in the moment" is that you tend to forget so many of the little details of what you see.

but what I do remember: the feeling of being in this place. it was peaceful, intellectual, and a lovely break from the chaos of the city.

I remember touching the belly and feet of the statue above, as thousands of visitors do. I remember our guide telling us about the four holy beasts in Vietnamese culture -- the dragon, the tortoise, the unicorn, and the phoenix [the last of which our guide was named after.] and I remember buying some kind of sweet rice cake snack from a lady selling them on the street outside the temple.

it's true that I could google the berita on this temple for you -- give you the guidebook highlights. but maybe, the details aren't always so important.

eventually we left the Temple of Literature for the chaos of Hanoi outside it's walls. there was more rain, hordes of scooters, and even egg coffee at the famous Giang Cafe in the Old Quarter. but my favorite memory of the tour was our peaceful wanderings through the gardens of the temple... even if I'm sketchy on the details.

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life's adventures lately

life's adventures lately

hi, friends! it's been a loooong time since I've written you a little life update. with so much blog material from the past year's travels stockpiled, I sometimes miss out on the present happenings. [I haven't posted one of these updates since February!]

but -- here's a few things that have been going on around here lately

writing for a cause

many of you might recall that I've been writing a novel off and on for the past year. I kicked off my current project last November with a kegiatan called NaNoWriMo, which is an online collective that encourages people to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. well, I didn't quite make it that far. I have, however, gotten my word count over 30,000 these past few weeks. I had been planning to participate in NaNoWriMo again for some motivation to start writing more regularly [and to finish my first draft.]

enter: The Mighty Pens. authors Susan and Kat have put together a writing group that will fundraise for the Malala Fund with every word. when November 1st hits I will share a link to my fundraising page, and I hope you will consider a donation. not only will you get to motivate me to keep writing, but help fund education for girls who desperately need it.

celebrating fall weather

the weather has finally, FINALLY changed. temperatures have been in the mid to high 70s this week and it has felt fantastic after all the heat and humidity of the past few months. the overpriced pumpkins are out in the grocery stores [I had to buy myself a tiny one, it's tradition] and half the locals are already in puffy jackets. I am even wearing jeans today. jeans! we are also prepping for Halloween by planning a Stranger Things marathon and of course: Hocus Pocus.

adventures around Taiwan

I did a lot of hiking over the 10/10 weekend -- in no small part thanks to borrowing a friend's car. [we are very seriously considering purchasing a vehicle now, because being able to escape out into the mountains so quickly was amaaaazing.] in the past few months I have also taken a trip down to Hsinchu for a scoot adventure, biked across Taipei in search of giant lily pads, and revisited some of my favorite old temples and hikes with new friends. now that it's cooled off, I hope to be getting out even more.

haunted by a cockroach

the other day, I spotted a cockroach in my living room. while it's true that roaches are just a part of life in climates like this, it has been a long time since I've seen one in my apartment. [I've had plenty of ants and my ceiling sprung another leak though.] the cockroach was squirming around on its back -- it should have been easy prey. but I hesitated. and instead ended up flipping him back over, and he dashed under my couch.

so now I'm living in fear that he will climb out to interrupt my Netflixing Star Trek Discovery, Mindhunter, or Outlander. Happy Halloween?

so, I might be a witch

speaking of spooky things... the other day while skyping with my parents, my dad filled me in on some interesting ancestry facts. namely: that we have both a witch and a murderer in the family. I guess I should say falsely accused murderer. he was executed for killing his mother, who was then exhumed, twice, and it was determined he did not actually murder her. obviously, a little too late.

but I'm more excited about the ancestor who was tried as a witch. apparently she lived. so clearly, she must have been an actual witch and used her craft to survive her trial... and therefore I've got magic in my veins. [I haven't been this enthused about family history since my mom told me a great-aunt claimed we have gypsy blood.]

upcoming blog projects

I still need to complete my expat recap series, though year 5 has proven difficult to write. I am working on a blog redesign, but can't settle on a small tweak vs complete overhaul. [this also may be put on hold since November will be pretty focused on book writing.] I think there may be another reader survey coming, an update to my "visiting Taiwan" series, and of course continued posts from Turkey, Prague, and the Pacific Northwest.

also: I've just realized that publishing this will bring my number of posts this year to 31, which is how many I managed last year between several extended breaks away from my blog. so that's kindof exciting.

and since I've run out of both coffee and things to talk about... that's all for now. hope you all are enjoying October, wherever you are.

[if it's a place that has candy corn, please eat some for me, ok?]
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Asia’s iii best Places to Visit inwards July

Asia’s iii best Places to Visit inwards July

July a summertime vacation menstruation inwards many countries. Get the best go ideas for July from our go blog. The travelers who  love culture, great food, scenery together with natural beauty, history together with architecture, unique experiences, active materials similar hiking/biking, together with beaches don’t fail these places inwards this July for brand your month  a notable one.

If you lot desire to conduct maintain a wheel trip through the rice paddies, a hike to a tropical waterfall, a trip to a historic temple or a Balinese cookery course of report hence the isle of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, Lombok, Flores, the Gili Islands together with Komodo inwards Republic of Indonesia is the best alternative inwards this July. The long white beaches together with sparkling bluish seas of Republic of Indonesia brand your trip a remembering one.
Do you lot intend of travelling inwards jungles, rain-forests, lakes, active volcanoes and paradise beaches inwards this July, Then don’t waste matter time!!! In Asia, Republic of Indonesia stands out equally the best finish at this fourth dimension amongst an equatorial climate moderated past times the body of body of water breezes.Temperatures are simply nigh ideal betwixt 25-30°C which is perfect for travelers in  Indonesia.

Abbottabad, Pakistan

Julyone of the Pakistan’s most unique destinations, together with summertime is a prime number fourth dimension to go. The Sun is out, the skies are clear together with the temperatures are comfortable. Shimla Hills inwards Abbottabad is i of the best hills to instruct over persuasion of entire valley together with nearby colina resorts. It’s the perfect alternative for you lot to taste at that spot amongst your family, children tin taste rides inwards common spell you lot tin conduct maintain a loving cup of tea or java along amongst snacks inwards opened upward air eatery amongst family.

Singapore a keen lively city, amongst skyscrapers, bars, music, delicious international restaurants, infinity pools together with unforgettable skylines you lot must taste your July hither  With fabulous food, fascinating colonial architecture together with enough of kid-friendly entertainment. Singapore is the best choice for you lot to taste the summertime vacation it’s the blend of modern architecture together with attractive skyscrapers amongst the natural gardens together with Marina Bay.
The multicultural ethnic blend of china, Republic of Republic of India together with Arab brand the metropolis stand upward out. Don’t forget to conduct maintain the boat trip inwards the isle of Sentosa i of the natural beauty sites of Singapore when you lot conduct maintain a interruption from modern Singapore city.
Want to forthwith to a greater extent than nigh best finish inwards Asia? Follow my postal service here 3 Budget Friendly Destinations inwards ASIA for 2014

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4 Tips for Women to Travel Safely Around the World

4 Tips for Women to Travel Safely Around the World

HowHow squeamish it would live on to explore the basis beingness a tourist woman. Being the women the selection of Best Travel Destinations matters a lot for your safety. There are several locomote mistakes which happens due to the ignorance or carelessness which sometimes totally spoils your trips, therefore to brand your trip a memorable one. I suggest simply about of import travelling tips below for a adult woman traveler it for certain helps you lot to brand your journeying superb one.
 Join a Group Tips

HowI highly recommend you lot to bring together a travel grouping of wise women who lead hold sentiment virtually that house where you lot become for your trip, In this agency you lot tin savor more. Another choice is to honor the solo travelers inwards the hotel where you lot stay. Other alternative is to bring together a local woman somebody guide; she guides you lot virtually the local norms, cultural as well as places.

HowPackage Selection Tips
Always mass your trip alongside a well-known traveler company for adult woman adventures. They must facilitate you lot alongside the especial packages for women. These packages include traveler guides, hotel stay, carry etc. These packages lead hold unlike type of preference you lot tin select according to your ain selection as well as budget. It too includes simply about kind of shopping as well as beauty salons discounted vouchers for women. To bring together someone tin too heighten your security during travelling. 
Dressing Tips
You lead hold correct to wearing clothing upward according to fashion but non on travelling,try to vesture that wearing clothing which is much comfortable as well as encompass your torso parts appropriately. Before choosing the dresses continue inwards heed the civilization of that place. You salve yourself from harassment past times wearing an appropriate dress. You tin vesture shirts , jeans as well as all those multipurpose clothes which suites you lot as well as too brand your packing lean. Always wears fleet shoes or joggers when you lot are on travelling.Never always vesture heal during travelling. You volition experience much tired past times wearing heals as well as pumps on your trips.
Lean Packing Tips
Before packing the luggage gauge the fourth dimension of stay. If you lot are going for few days as well as therefore you lot bespeak piffling lay out of clothes. You tin trim back this lay out past times taking the laundry services inwards the hotel. This helps to continue smart your packing. Always endeavor to locomote low-cal and natural during travelling, avoid to utilization heavy makeup, pilus treatments.This habit continue you lot tension costless during trips.
There are therefore many other travelling tips that are too of import during trips but the inwards a higher house basic things are real essential on priority bases for women traveler. I promise you lot savor your adjacent trip past times keeping inwards heed the inwards a higher house women traveler guides.

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5 Travel Tips for Pregnant Women

5 Travel Tips for Pregnant Women

For close women, pregnancy has its fair part of nausea, anxiety too fatigue. But the skilful summary is all 3 symptoms won't unremarkably bridge the total ix months. Take payoff of the mo trimester when you've expected overcome morn sickness, but non however felt the attack of increased fatigue. When possible, it's best to schedule your Travel between the 20- too 30-week marks.
It tin endure perfectly prophylactic to Travel during your pregnancy. But you'll bespeak to create about extra planning too precautions. Here's A listing of Travel Tips continue next these earlier you Travel inward pregnancy:

Pregnancy Companion Mobile Apps

There are lot of costless mobile apps inward the marketplace which helps too direct y'all during pregnancy alongside the mention of costless Pregnancy Companion mobile Apps, these app lets women depository fiscal establishment stand upwards for drug safety, rails hydration, "Ask the Docs" pregnancy-related questions too follow the baby's daily growth through video too images. Use these kinds of apps during your Travel in pregnancy.

Travel Vaccinations
Avoided to travelling during your pregnancy to countries where vaccinations are needed. If y'all are going somewhere that requires Travel vaccinations, run across your doctor. Your doc volition allow y'all know which ones y'all bespeak for the province y'all are visiting too which ones are prophylactic during pregnancy.

Car Travel inward Pregnancy
Make frequent breaks to stretch your legs too view the toilet. Always article of apparel a seatbelt. If y'all are sitting inward the forepart rider seat, motion your spot good dorsum from the dashboard to trim airbag demeanour on inward illustration of a collision.

Flying inward Pregnancy
Consult alongside your doc to speak over whatever potential risks detail to your pregnancy. Check alongside the airline – about airlines won't allow a adult woman over 35 weeks to wing at all, or require a doctor’s note. Don’t forget to depository fiscal establishment stand upwards for the fine impress of your Travel Insurance – about policies may non encompass pregnancy. Arrange alongside the airline for a bulkhead spot or a spot close an leave of absence for extra leg room or volume an aisle spot inward this agency going to the can volition endure a lilliputian easier for y'all during flight.

Sailing inward Pregnancy
Ferry companies convey their ain restrictions too may turn down to send heavily important women (often beyond 32 weeks). Check the ferry company's policy earlier y'all book. For longer boat trips, such equally cruises, discovery out if at that spot are onboard facilities to bargain alongside pregnancy too if at that spot are medical services at the docking ports.

Don’t forget to follow these Travel Tips during Travelling inward pregnancy for taking much attention of yourself too your baby.

There are some Travel Tips too guides, don’t forget to depository fiscal establishment stand upwards for it out 4 Tips for Women to Travel Safely Around the World
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Murree, Islamic Republic of Pakistan H5N1 Best identify unit of measurement Travel Destinations inward Asia

Murree, Islamic Republic of Pakistan H5N1 Best identify unit of measurement Travel Destinations inward Asia

As nosotros are all besides aware with, family Travel tin teach expensive. Even a trip that sounds inexpensive at first, adds upward when you lot see you lot accept to multiply it past times four, five, 6 menage unit of measurement members. Here I say you lot 1 of the best destinations of Asia where you lot Travel amongst your kids past times keeping your budget calm.Pakistan’s almost pop loma station for families Murree is located along Islamabad-Kohala highway. People from all over the public see this beautiful loma resort to escape from the sweltering heat. Mountains covered amongst lush greenish trees, mutual depression temperature atmosphere, fresh air, beautiful valleys as well as almost importantly clouds on the roads hugging you lot amongst total of happiness.

addsEnjoyment of kids
Kids must taste climbing on mountains, which overhung amongst pines as well as oaks, bubbling amongst crooning springs, crisscrossed past times streams, dotted amongst spreading lawns as well as orchards total amongst fruits introduce scene of Paradise on earth.

Where to Stay?
Murree beingness a well-established finish for families has a broad multifariousness of accommodations available to adapt all pockets. There are diverse measure hotels are available inwards Murree. Another selection is to hire summertime houses. Murree also has a break of somebody as well as authorities owned residue houses or Dak bunglows. Generally the summertime flavour rates are 5 to 6 times the wintertime off flavour rate.

Where to Eat?
There are many restaurants in Murree, to a greater extent than frequently than non along The Mall, must taste the traditional nutrient of the share inwards Murree it’s also a budget friendly alternative for you.

Where to Buy?
Murree has a variety of handicraft shops selling curios for the tourist to remind them of their see to this loma station. Traditional vesture items, caput wear, carved walking sticks, jewelry items as well as leather goods are abundantly available. Don’t forget to purchase the shells primal chains amongst alphabets write on it.

Places to encounter inwards Murree
There are lot of beautiful places inwards Murree which total of natural beauty that blows your hear as well as brand you lot survive amongst your menage unit of measurement these places includes, The Mall Road, Bhurban, Pindi Point, Kashmir Point, Patriata(New Murree), River Neelam, Kuldana, Upper Topa as well as Lower Topa, Galiyat, Darya Gali, Rawat, Ghora Galli, Nathiagali, Kala Bagh Point (Green Spot), Baragali, Ayubia,  Ghora Daka, Khanus Pur etc. These beautiful regions render your menage unit of measurement an splendid opportunities for tracking. Different tracks passing through lush greenish virgin forests that grade a beautiful ikon inwards your retentivity of this menage unit of measurement trip.

For to a greater extent than Travel Tips to Enjoy Wholly don’t forget to follow the link Steps to Travel on a Budget
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