Vietnam: Hiking and Swimming in Ba Ho (Three Pools), Nha Trang

Ba Ho is a must-visit destination for a day trip while in Nha Trang. Regardless of local or tourist, Ba Ho is a popular place to visit for a day out in nature. Highlights of this trip includes waterfalls, clear pools of water, rock climbing/scrambling, hiking, river cruising, campfire, and great photo opportunities!

What is the Entrance Fee?

Upon arriving at the parking lot, we first pass a booth with employees taking fees for entering Ba Ho. 

The cost is 50,000 VND per person (~$2.2 USD) which is well worth it, in my opinion. With the attention it is getting from tourist, I recommend going while price is still low. 

The River

Suoi Ba Ho (Three Pools River), the base of the hike, is easily accessible from a 10 minute walk in from parking. There, we see several stone tables and swings by a shallow river, safe for kids to play in. We set our camp here for all our food and bags to rest while we explore the park.

The trail doesn’t actually start at the river. Passing the large clearing, follow the dirt path on the left that will lead to Ba Ho (the Three Pools). You know you’re on the trail when you cross a small bridge that is shortly followed by large rocks.

The Hike to Ba Ho (Three Pools)

Five minutes into the trail, the Ba Ho climb instantly became one of my favorite hikes in Vietnam. Prepare to spend at least 2+ hours hiking to the top and back. The hike is incredibly fun and beautiful, navigating across large boulders. With so many possible paths to take, and no wrong paths, we could have explored the rocks for hours!

Hiking large boulders at Ba Ho

Feeling like we’re in an adult playground, we took our time playing with different paths to take.

The red arrows markers leads us to the best way through the three pools in case we encounter difficult paths or get lost. The arrows were clearly visible and easy to follow.

Follow red arrows on the hike!

We had so much fun through the hike that we didn’t even notice any tiredness (which settles in the next day), only excitement! Each pool is clearly marked with a big red “1,” “2,” and “3.” Once we passed the second pool, the hike became noticeably more difficult and dangerous for children to continue. It requires wall scaling and crossing watery rocks to get to the other side.

Is it Safe for Kids? 

This hike is a great time to let kids try out their ability to climb on real rocks. We brought children from 6 to 15-years-old along on our hike.

Making it through a tough hike to the waterfall with the children!

We are extremely careful while holding on to younger kids, but still allowing them to take the steps on their own. It is priceless to see the children’s excitement of taking the right paths on big rocks. 

Shorter children will need to be carried on to the next boulder from time to time, but should be be fine if progressing slowly.

Can we Bring Food? 

Absolutely. We brought in large bags of banh mi (Vietnamese baguettes), boiled corn, fruits, ruou nep (rice wine), and other beverages.  

Other Notes

  • Prepared to see a lot of backpacker-style travelers seeking adventurous hikes. Luckily, unlike Yang Bay, we didn’t see hoards of tour groups to this site.
  • There are lots of photo opportunities! Be creative, and being there will bring out the kid in you!

 


Thanks for reading! Here are some posts you might like:

Visiting Nha Trang? What are your favorite places to visit?

Vietnam: Yang Bay, Nha Trang and Why I’m Not Impressed

Yang Bay Eco Park is a tourist destination approximately 1 hour away from the Nha Trang city center.

On a beautiful Sunday morning, our family group of thirteen decided to take a day trip to Yang Bay. All we’ve heard of Yang Bay thus far is that it has hot springs.

The Cost

Package prices as of January 2018 are as follows:

Standard Package (train transport, landscape, animals, crocodile, pig racing, instrument performance)

  • Adult- 120,000 VND
  • Child- 90,000 VND

Package 1 (Standard package + Hot spring) ** We chose this package**

  • Adult- 200,000 VND (approx. $9)
  • Child- 140,000 VND

Package 2 (Standard Package + Hot Mineral mud bath)

  • Adult- 290,000 – 360,000 VND (depending on number of guests, more guests=less expensive)
  • Child- 200,000 VND

Package 3 (Standard package + Mineral Cosmetic mud bath)

  • Adult- 550,000 VND
  • Child- 300,000 VND

See here for more information on package and attraction costs.

*Current money conversions:

  • 1 USD = 22,709 VND

The Journey

The majority of the car ride from Nha Trang city center to Yang Bay was pretty dull, with several impressive pot holes. As we get farther away, we get to the rural areas with sparsely littered buildings.

Only ’till the last 30 minutes prior to arrival is beautiful, with luscious green mountains and plantations. We see cows walking on the road right along side our car.

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The Attractions

Fresh Water

  • Yang Bay, Yang Khang are natural falls right by each other where guests can get in and swim in the water. At this time of year, the water is very cold and shallow, coming up to our knees. It is a very safe place for kids to play in, so long as you don’t cross the ropes marking “STOP.”
  • The cool part is that we’re able to swim right next to the falls in the relative safety of a lifeguard watch. I got out of the water about 15 minutes in because the rocks underneath my feet hurt with every step we took.
  • There are some photo opportunities with a path leading right near the Yang Bay Falls.photoop

Hot Springs

  • Famous for its hot springs, Yang Bay attracts many locals as well as tourists. The pools drain water at 3:30 pm, so if your highlight was to go to the hot spring, remember to make time to visit the site early.

Wildlife 

  • Wildlife enclosements are available for viewing by everyone. Certain ones allow guests to get up close with the animal, which costs extra money. The Bird Garden (additional 30,000 VND) looked really fun as you can go inside and be in the garden itself. There is also a wonderful display of peacocks spreading its feathers. On the way into the park, we also saw a dozen white horses tied to a tree.

Feed the Fish with Baby Bottles

Exactly as it sounds, for an extra 12,000 VND, we can feed fish with a baby bottle filled with fish food. It was an intense several minutes were dozens of large fish jump halfway out of the water to feed from the bottle.

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The aggression of the fish lead us to believe that they leave the fish to starve through the day so they can amuse the tourists.

Fish Massage

Costs an additional 30,000 VND per person. If you’re really patient and still as a statue, you might get a few nibbles. Otherwise, it really depends on the people. Out of our group of 13 people, only 1-2 of us had a decent “massage.” Waste of money when we could be going to a natural spring where we get fish massage for free. 😉

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Crocodile Feeding

Costs an additional 10,000 VND per bait. As one free bait was supposedly included in our ticket price, we were peeved when the rep said that it was no longer in it and had to pay for it ourselves.

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Sneaking Food In

Unlike most amusement parks like Vinpearl, Yang Bay’s isn’t too strict with food restrictions. We can bring food and drinks in through the gate and most of the park.

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Once we reached the hot springs, the employees requested that we leave our foods and drink behind. We left behind a cooler with some ice and water, and kept our food hidden in our bags to eat once we got in.

Overall

Yang Bay, though with several good photo opportunities (if you’re into Instagraming-Facebooking your travels), was full of hidden costs and mediocre attractions that could be better provided elsewhere.

For the distance it takes to travel there and back, I felt that by myself, I probably wouldn’t go again.

Luckily, I was with my family, with nine kids, it was well worth it because they’re having fun and we’re having fun!

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My Travel Bucket List

Ah, my never-ending list of things I want to do and places I want to go. Today, I’m going public with my to-travel list. 

Destinations

Visit castles and go to pubs in Ireland 

To be absolutely honest, my very first impression of Irish culture is the time I ate potato skins at an Irish pub. There weren’t many vegetarian options. I thought that was such a bizzare dish, but ended up crunchy delicious! I was hooked.

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Aside from that, I simply adore Irish music. I always find myself putting on an Irish/Celtic playlist while going on long drives or hikes. Not to mention I love everything about the animated film, Brave. 

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And seeing myself walking down a medieval castle’s winding staircase. /dreamy sigh/

To cruise through, literally, anywhere in Africa to dance, listen to music, and explore wildlife.

In 6th grade, I memorized all the countries in Africa to impress a teacher, and won an award for it. I know it sounds kind of crazy to brag about it now, almost a decade later, but it was my first exposure to the continent.

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I love beat and rhythm of Kenyan music, the culture and history of Egypt, the friendliness of Ghana citizens. I also adore the colorful African clothing!

Not to mention I love everything about the animated film, Lion King.

New Zealand

One of my biggest inspiration of visiting New Zealand is from listening to Flight of the Conchords. 

The country itself is gorgeous, and I’ve heard so many great things about it. Not to mention the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed there. Image result for lord of the rings New Zealand

Stroll around Paris, France (with my SO)

City of love, eh? I loved Paris the first time I visited. The architecture, the people, the food, the music, the energy. Can’t beat that. However, I want to go again with my SO- because I’m a romantic like that. I want to experience the city right.

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Alaska- To See the Glaciers

Need more be said? I’m a greedy girl. I want to see the great glaciers before they all melt away (at the rate we’re going). I’ve never been, but I imagine it’s similar to Colorado, but bigger and colder. Confirmation?

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Activities

Cruise

We’re budget travelers. Cruises are too luxurious for us. That might change in the next year or two, as I’m about ready to go on one finally! I should mention I’m a pessimist on open water, and am deathly afraid of sharks/whales/icebergs/storms/pirates running over my poor cruise ship.

… I blame Titanic. 

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See Northern Lights

I just really, really want to see pretty lights.

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Pack Bags and go to random destinations

Shame on me for taking pride of being spontaneous, but never actually set off on a blind. I’ve always had some sort of planning, even though a day ahead. The most I’ve ever done true spontaneous travel was while wandering around New York City.

Rock climbing

I’m always looking for something new to try. I want to do it in nature versus at a gym or something.

Fly First Class

Here’s to hoping some airline is going to have price mistake soon.

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Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!

What’s on your bucket list?? As always, I would love to connect and exchange stories!

Here are some other posts you might like:

Read more of my posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1:  A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known travel tips

Week 3: Funny travel story

Week 4: Travel Misadventures
Week 5: Top Three Cultural Foods
Week 6: Unusual Travel Activities/Photos
Week 7: Inspiration for Traveling
Week 8: My Five Favorite Travel Blogs
Week 9: Gross/Disgusting Travel Stories
Week 10: The Most Unforgettable Adventures!
Week 11: What’s in my bag?
Week 12: Happy and sad travel stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: My Travel Confessions and Regrets

These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Guest Post: Why Africa should be your next travel destination

So first, a bit about me. I’m Giles, a 26 year old travel blogger from the UK blogging on gilesmeetsworld.com. Last year was lucky enough fulfill my dream of traveling around the world, quitting my full time London job to visit 18 countries across 5 continents. The final leg of my trip was a camping group tour through Africa lasting 40 days, driving from Cape Town to Nairobi. We traveled through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and Kenya. It was without doubt one of my all time travel highlights so this post is just a taste of why you should make Africa your next travel destination.

The Experience

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Admittedly Africa probably isn’t on the top of most people’s travel lists. I went to Sub-Saharan Africa as I wanted to go somewhere different, go somewhere which wasn’t on your standard gap year route, experience new things, push myself out of my comfort zone, and most of all, travel in a way that felt like an adventure.

Africa certainly didn’t disappoint. From the moment I landed in Cape Town, looked out of my hostel window and saw Table Mountain in all it’s splendor, I was treated to so many incredible experiences you just wouldn’t find elsewhere in the world.

Africa has some of the most beautiful species of animals and wildlife in the world, some of the most stunning landscapes you may have not even heard of, and some of the most friendly and inspiring people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

In 40 days I traveled over 10,000 miles, experiencing cities, desert, river deltas, lakes, canyons,white sandy beaches, not to forget the Serengeti (think Lion King) and so much more. I experienced the scorching heat of the Namib desert whilst climbing a 170 metre high sand dune, came face to face with lions mere feet away, and sat on the edge of the Victoria falls. This is just a taste of some of the once in a lifetime things you can experience here.

Wildlife

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Wildlife, wilderbeest migration

For many people, this is the most common reason to come to Africa, to go on safari and game drives and see some of the incredible wildlife it has to offer. We were lucky enough not only to just see it, but we were immersed in it through camping in national parks un-fenced off from wildlife.

We would have hippos and elephants make their way through the campsite at night, have hyenas calling out all around, and have buffalo casually strolling over to block our toilet facilities. We sat watching a water hole in Etosha national park, whilst Giraffes, wilderbeest, and rhino all came to take a drink.

I saw some of the world’s most beautiful and breathtaking animals in my 40 days, and saw them in their natural habitat right where they should be. There really is no substitute.

Landscapes

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Landscapes, Namib desert

I’ve briefly touched on a couple of landscapes in Africa but the amount of natural wonders you can see, and the sheer size of it all is something to behold. I’ve mentioned it above, but sitting in the ‘devils pool’ on the edge of the Victoria falls (see main pic) has always been on my travel bucket list, and it really didn’t disappoint.

The water is shallow enough and rock formations such that you can safely sit right on the edge of the falls poking your head right out.

On top of this: we visited Fish River Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world behind only the Grand Canyon; stayed on Zanzibar in Tanzania with its sparkling white beaches and aquatic life; we climbed sand dunes and explored the Namib desert; stayed in the Okavango river delta traveling by traditional dug out canoe to make our way past hippos to camp on a small island; saw and did game drives in the Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti; and swam in Lake Malawi with some of the friendly locals. I could go on and on and on about how much there is to see and do here, most of which I never expected.

Summary

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So in summary, I don’t actually work for the Africa tourist board, I just saw and did SO much in such a short time that I can’t speak highly enough of my experience. Having been to other places in my travels that become overrun with tourists and have the local culture diluted somewhat, traveling through these seven countries you get a real experience that feels like an adventure. In my time in Africa I was pushed out of my comfort zone and learnt more about myself than anywhere else I’ve traveled, and for that Africa will always be a special place for me.

If you enjoyed this post, I’ve got lots more on the rest of my trip and other experiences here, and here is part 1 and part 2 of my Africa travel journal with plenty more on my time there. Thanks for reading and happy traveling!


As always, thanks for stopping by, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading my latest collaboration. See my post on published on Giles’ page, writing about “My Firsts in Central America!”

Have a safe night, and safe travels. Also, Happy Halloween!

 

Guest Post: Five perfect European Weekend-Getaways

 

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Emma, a 20-something year-young girl from Belgium. I have my own blog, called Curlygirlabroad (which might change name soon). Winta was so kind to reach out to me, so I can share a post of mine on her blog. I have done quite some travelling in Europe and like to share five great cities for a weekend-getaway.

Antwerp

Being a proud Belgian, it might not seem to odd I am promoting this city in my country. Antwerp is very diverse, and not so well known for tourist. That’s why it is the perfect city to explore. The city center is filled with beautiful medieval architecture, and also has some beautiful baroque buildings. If that is not your cup of tea, you can talk a walk along the river, admire paintings from the Flemish Primitives, do some shopping, spot diamonds, or get multicultural in Chinatown and the Jewish Quarter. There is something for everyone in Antwerp!

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Almeria

I travelled to Almeria in January and absolutely fell in love with the city! It is located in the beautiful region Andalusia and might not be as known as other cities in that region like Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba. Yet it has so much potential! The city clearly shows the Moorish history and has a beautiful city center. You can easily fill your weekend in the city itself, but if you like some change there is much more to discover in the neighbourhood. The natural park of Cabo de Gata brings some lovely change with its beautiful volcanic rocks. Also nearby is the desert of Tabernas, and there is of course always the sea.

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Caernarfon

Besides the fact that I have no clue how to pronounce it, I do enjoy the small town of Caernarfon. Up in the North of Wales, the weather isn’t always that great but this town definitely makes up for it. Also here, it is perfectly possible to combine culture and nature within a weekend. Whether you like to walk along the coast path, climb Mount Snowdon, or visit another cute town in the neighbourhood, you’ll have a variety of things to do in and around Caernarfon.

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Carcassonne

I’ve been to Carcassonne twice now. Every time it “served” as a stopover destination towards Spain. I love to walk around in this medieval town. It can get pretty crowded though, but it is definitely worth it. Unlike other towns/cities where there are several medieval buildings, Carcassonne makes you dive back into history. A walk on the city walls is recommended!

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San Sebastian

The Spanish Basque country is way less touristic then other regions in Spain. While Bilbao seems to be the more known citytrip, I find that San Sebastian or Donostia has much more character. The town itself is absolutely beautiful and perfect for foodies! Hiking up the hill will give you a beautiful view over the bays as well as the town itself. The perfect spot to try some Pinxtos (or tapas) and enjoy the local culture.

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Hope you enjoyed the post! Let me know: what is your perfect weekend-getaway on Europe?

Emma from CurlyGirlAbroad

Also do check out my guest post on her blog! “How to Get Over a Bad Experience While Traveling” <3

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling Japan (for Beginners)

Whether you’re an avid manga reader, or lover of Japanese culture, or just fascinated about Japanese technology, there is always something mystifying and beautiful about Japan that draws millions of tourists in the past decade.

Today, I’m thrilled to share one of my three favorite cultures encountered while traveling: Japan. This is a three part series response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge, so please check out the rest of my responses!

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling Japan for Beginners

Who is this Guide For? 

This guide is for anyone and everyone to peruse. Though, I am writing it specifically for:

  • People who have general knowledge of Japan and want to catch a glimpse of the magnificent country in 3 weeks.
  • People who like cool technology and want to see it in person.
  • People who like anime, but want to know what real life Japanese culture is like.
  • People who like adventures, because really is one big adventure.

When to Go

The timing of going to Japan is very important as it could change your itinerary completely. Japan is a very versatile country. On top of a million reasons to visit the country, here some highlights of seasonal activities in Japan.

  • Winter for the hot springs and skiing/snowboarding.
  • Spring for the famous and beautiful Cherry Blossoms.
  • Summer for the fireworks and climbing Mt. Fuji.
  • Autumn for the beautiful foliage amidst Japanese culture.

Japanese Festivals (Matsuri) occur year round, entailing large parades, floats, food, traditional clothing, and costumes. Each shrine has its own local festival, so you will encounter one unique to the location you are visit.

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Transportation

Japan is mostly accessible by plane, where tickets are typically quite expensive to buy, unless you could find the cheap off season ticket deal. Throughout the year, there are various Japan flight deals from theflightdeal.com, as little as $600 for a roundtrip ticket!

Once you’re in the country, there are railway systems everywhere. Tokyo Metro is the subway system of Tokyo, taking you anywhere you need with in 30 minutes. Be mindful of the time though, because unlike NYC subways, this one is not open 24/7. These are much more economical than taking a taxi, as those could run you a hundred dollars. We had to take the taxi on hour first night in Japan because our flight had arrived too late and the metro had closed.wp-image-1577289470

If you want to catch a good glimpse of Japan in a short amount of time, I highly recommend purchasing the Japan Rail (JR) Pass, which was by far the most expensive thing we bought (about $200/pass). However, it is entirely worth it to ride a bullet train (on my bucket list) and cruise through the country within hours. They also have an option for regional passes, which are more economical. 

Luckily, through Couchsurfing, we met our good friend Keisuke, who had a car and showed us around Yokohama for a couple of days.

Biking is a great way to explore the streets of Japan, especially while exploring architecture in the rural areas. Imagine riding around Kyoto on a beautiful afternoon by beautiful temples in the Autumn. /sigh

Useful Things to Bring

If you’re traveling with backpack, check out my comprehensive guide to what to pack! However, I just want to reiterate the importance of bringing:

  • Smartphone, with pre-installed:
    • Google Translate
    • Google Maps

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Walking down the streets of Tokyo, there are minimal amounts of English in writing or speaking. We heavily relied on our translation apps, including when we interacted with our Couchsurf friend.

Accommodations

Generally, accommodations in Japan are cheaper than the United States, but only by a smidge.

Airbnbs

For those who aren’t familiar with this site, it is a fantastic accommodation option for travelers to stay with hosts (though still like a hotel, because all bedding and linen are provided). We used Airbnb throughout our travel in Japan. Without knowing language or pricing in Japan, Airbnb provided us an authentic, cheap, and no nonsense stay with our hosts. Do get $40 off your first stay with Airbnb through our referral link here!

Capsule Hotel

Sleeping in a Japanese Capsule Hotel is exactly as it sounds, and has always been on my bucket list. I finally had my chance! Surprisingly, it not as cheap as you would expect, pricing around $30 to $50 per capsule. It features exciting amenities of a tiny door with blinds, a tiny TV, and a tiny desk to eat on!

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Manga Kissa

Have you slept in a manga book store before? It’s actually quite common in Japan! The pads in our private cubby makes a great bed for tired souls. This was our chance to take a break from wandering, and sit, read manga, cruise the internet, and sleep.

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Where to Go

Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan. One of the the most populated urban areas in the world, and a giant hub for technology, business, travel, culture, foods, weirdness, and much more. Tokyo is made up of several large districts with its own character.

  • Akihabara– electronic, anime, video games center.
  • Shibuya– temples, culture, foods. Don’t forget to check out the Shibuya Crossing (just a really busy pedestrian crossing that looks like a giant ant colony collision from above)
Kyoto-Osaka-Nara

Do visit the Kyoto-Osaka-Nara for the rich, authentic culture and traditions. The temples are beautiful and palaces magnanimous.

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Hiroshima

We were touched by the remnants of the Hiroshima bombing during World War II. Such a sad history for such a beautiful city. We were taken through a heart throbbing journey of recovery. History class lecture is nothing like being in the city itself.

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Things to Do

  • Check out the Tokyo Tower! It’s essentially a version of the Eiffel Tower, except it’s 13 meter taller!
Explore Culture and Temples

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  • Asakusa Temples – this area features a variety of beautiful temples. Traditional foods and souvenir items are bountiful here as well!

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Explore strange, but cool things in Japan
  • Cup Noodle Museum – We made our own cup noodles!!! I’ve been a huge fan of Ramen since my youth. Now, I finally made my own unique label and packaging (and eating it!), standing in front of the wall of ramen– feels amazing.

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  • Robot Restaurant – possibly the craziest dinner show I’ve ever been to. Our tickets were $40/person (includes dinner and drinks). No regrets, because this gave me just the experience of Japan that I expected. See my post on our adventures at the Robot Restaurant here!

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  • Vending Machines – Ramen vending machine? Yes, please!

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  • Who wants a black burger?

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  • Using the Toilet is an adventure in itself. No English to indicate whether or not there’s going to be water splashed up my butt. Awesome.
Feed your nerdy interests:
  • Ghibli Museum (anime fan) – Upon going to Japan, I knew I had to visit Studio Ghibli. I’m a huge fan of the animated films and their soundtracks. The studio is as amazing as I imagined!! Don’t forget to order your tickets early, as they are booked out veryyyy far back. <3 Let me know when you go!

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  • Manga Kissa – Rows on rows on rows of manga! *drools*

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  • Pokemon Center – My favorite starter Pokemon, Torchick!

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  • Hop on the Hogwarts Express at Harry Potter World!!!

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Feed your love for cute things:
  • Hello, Kitty!

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  • Maid Cafe

What to Eat

Great Tea Kit Kats – 258 yens ($2.30 dollars), whereas in the US could run up to $6/bag. If you’ve never heard of this, it may sound a little weird to you, but they are so delicious.

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Sushi – What’s Japan without Sushi? Even though we’re vegetarian, there were awesome options for us on the Sushi belt! 

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Soba Noodles, Ramen, and Tempura

Dango (Sweet Japanese Dumplings)- if you’ve seen Clannad, you’ll know what I’m talking about. wp-image-86198478

Onigiri (Rice balls) – sold across all 7/11, possibly one of  my favorite Japanese foods, it is so delicious. A perfect snack with all the ingredients I love.

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Fun Culture Facts

  • Walking and eating is frowned upon. We ate our home-cooked meal out of a grocery bag on the sidewalk.
  • Tokyo Metro rush hour in Japan is BAD, even comparable to NYC rush hour subway. The trains are so cramped! The best way to step into the cart is by facing the other direction and stepping in, so that no awkward looks pass as you shove yourself into the crowd. Very professional.

While there is an endless amount of things I could write about Japan, I would love to hear any questions, stories, and comments you all have! I would happy to write more or clarify, and especially to hear your thoughts! 

Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Week 1:  A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge

These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!

 

Gross/Disgusting Travel Stories

Welcome back, my fellow travel enthusiasts!


This week, I’d like to share some of the grossest and most disgusting things that has happened to me while traveling. (I apologize in advance if I grossed you out with this post)

This one’s a difficult one to write, because it takes a lot to gross me out. I’m a very laid-back traveler, could eat from a (clean) floor and sleep in a hole if I needed to.

So what in my travels has given me the irks?

My first thoughts came back to the time I had almost died on my motorbike. I thought of the image of how my wounds had infected, pussed, healed, infected- and repeat- for about a week because of my constant activity. Then I thought of how I had witnessed a ping pong show in Thailand, in a “when in Bangkok” night out with my friends. Which after a lot of contemplation, I decided that I did not want to write about because it did not contribute informatively or positively to my blog.

Generally, the easiest way to gross people out is through dirtiness, unfortunate gory events, and food.

Finally, I decided with my specialty. Food.

You see, Southeast Asians are very creative when it comes to food. As a food enthusiast, let me introduce you to some of the grosses foods I’ve encountered while living in Southeast Asia.

I should give a full disclosure that I am vegetarian, and have been vegetarian all my life! I have been exposed to these foods through culture, friends, family, and travel. Take my input with a grain of salt.

Number 1: Balut (Fermented Embryo)

Hailing from the country I was born in, Philippines. Balut, hột vịt lộn, fertilized duck embryo is EGGxactly as it sounds, HA!

You may have heard of this one, or may have even encountered and tried it! Fertilized egg, boiled, and served is one of the most famous strange delicacies in the Philippines and Vietnam.

You can even hear and feel the crunch and slither of the baby duck in your mouth. Ooh!

Image result for balutAs you can see from the photo, there is plenty of juice in the egg to have a sip of it to get the full experience. This gem is typically enjoyed with beer. Check out an this guy eating his first balut with locals’ guidance!

Number 2: Tarantula

Tarantula is a famous street delicacy in Cambodia (and I’ve also seen these on Thailand’s streets). They’re usually deep fried, but I’ve also seen them eaten alive before! Spiders were eaten dating back to the Khmer Rouge days, where food were in short supply. Image result for fried tarantulaOften times, you can still their little tarantula hairs sticking out! I’ve never eaten these (being vegetarian), but they have been described by my friends as “tasting like chicken.”

Number 3: Deep fried insects & grub

One step up (or down?) from tarantulas are all the other critters. Scorpions, crickets, cockroaches, larvae, you name it. I saw hundreds of these vendors on the streets of Bangkok. Often times, with signs saying “pay to take picture.”

Image result for fried insects

Number 4: Libido boosting foods

  • Snake Wine
    • It turns out that using snakes as medicine can help clear a lot of illnesses. In the case of snake wine, snakes are stuffed and fermented in rice wine until its poison seeps throughout the jar.
    • Sounds cruel right? Well, fun fact: in 2013, a snake that has been fermented for 3 months jumped out and bit a woman who had wanted to take a swig of the medicinal wine.
    • In all seriousness, stuffing/drowning snakes in a jar is inhumane and illegal- one of the few souvenirs to avoid while on vacation.

Image result for snake wine

  • Penises and testicles of deer, snake, bull are believed to provide plenty of energy. There are restaurants upon restaurants dedicated to this wonder of a treatment. Gross. Image result for penis restaurant

Number 4: Grass juice

  • I first encountered grass juice in Thailand, where everybody was drinking it like it was the elixir of life.
  • Only upon research did I find out that there were health benefits to drinking wheat grass.

Image result for grass juice

You may have heard of the telltale infamous/famous Durian.

Personally, I love durian. It’s one of those foods that you just have to get accustomed to! But it’s smell is possibly one of the most pungent in this entire world. It is also very suitable as a weapon (average cause of fatality per year: 1). If you get your hands on it, do try!

Did you try any of these foods? Would you?

I’ve always loved watching Bizzare Foods. These foods makes a great story and challenge. Very mind opening to know there are those who eat like that across the world. It’s not to say that other countries don’t have any crazy cuisines, but Southeast Asia certainly trumps it for me.


That’s all folks!! What did you think? What are some gross travel stories you have?

Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Week 1:  A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge

 

These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!