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A Day in Nara: Deer and Sake

Our second day-trip out of Osaka was to Nara, an ancient capital city known for its historical temples and a large, tranquil park. A day in Nara was a lot more relaxing than a day in Kyoto, and everything is within walking distance. As soon as we got off the train we headed east towards the park in search of the deer that Nara is famed for. Over 1,200 wild sika deer freely roam Nara Park (about five square kilometers in area). Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death until 1637 and the deer are currently designated as national treasures. As we walked up towards Kofuku-ji, we spotted our first group of deer, followed by many, many more! Continue reading

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Eating Our Way Through Seoul

Growing up, my family hosted home-stay students from around the world who were studying English in Vancouver. Soo Yeong lived with my family in 2002. Years later we reconnected through Facebook (the magic of social media!) and I reached out when we were travelling through Asia. Dan and I were unsure if or for how long we wanted to visit South Korea for but shortly after talking with Soo, we booked our flights to Seoul. Having her as our personal tour guide and local friend was probably one of the main reasons that our stay in Seoul was so fantastic! No matter how many “travel like a local” blogs you read, you never really experience a city ‘like a local’ unless you are with one. Continue reading

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The Thai Islands

After an amazing month in Chiang Mai, Thailand we extended our Thai visas and spent two weeks island hopping in the south. We were joined by two friends (Dan S. and Cory) who flew out from Vancouver to travel with us for a couple weeks. We all first met in Manitoba working for Kiewit (our employer before we quit to travel the world). For two weeks we island hopped across the southwest coast and southeast coast Thai islands. Dan and I upped our budget a little to stay in nicer resorts and hotels and treated ourselves to a bit more partying and alcohol (that is, if you can call being incredibly hungover a “treat”; also, when did I start getting so old that I actually get hungover – oh how I miss my early 20’s.) Continue reading

Full Moon Party Koh Phangan (10)

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

The infamous Koh Phangan Full Moon Party supposedly started in the mid-1980’s and has since gained fame throughout the world of travellers. An experience to be remembered (at least through the photos on my phone), the party now draws somewhere between 5,000 and 30,000 people to Haad Rin Beach. The bars stay open all night and the party stops sometime after sunrise (if you can make it that long). It’s a hot travel spot for many travellers (especially young party-goers) and while Dan and I missed it last time we were in Thailand, this time it was part of our itinerary. Continue reading

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A Day of Food in Ljubljana

I have always wanted to do a food tour. I’ve heard so much about them from friends and fellow travellers expressing what a great way they are to experience a new city/country. We looked into it in Venice but it was insanely expensive. So, the next day we scheduled a food tour through old town Ljubljana with “ljubljananjam.” The company is a one-woman show; Iva was enthusiastic and energetic, she clearly loves her job as much as she loved food. Continue reading