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Hakone: Mt. Fiji and Onsens

Heading south from Tokyo, towards Nagoya, we stopped in Hakone for one night. Yet another hot spot for tourists, Hakone is most widely known for its picturesque views of Mt. Fiji and its abundance of natural hot springs. However, the chances of actually seeing the infamous image of Lake Ashinoko with Mt. Fuji in the background are quite slim due to weather and poor visibility. Continue reading

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Spa Land: Our Jjimjilbang Experience

Korea was full of new experiences; and our Korean spa experience was no exception. I would be at a ‘jjimjilbang’ every day, or at least every week, if I lived in Korea. A jjimjilbang is essentially a large, public bathhouse (gender-separated) furnished with hot tubs, showers, saunas and massage tables. Every spa offers unique features; however, there are often snack bars, ondol-heated flooring for lounging and sleeping, wide-screen TVs, exercise rooms, ice rooms, heated salt rooms, and even sleeping quarters. Most jjimjilbangs are open 24 hours and are a popular weekend getaway for Korean families. During the week, it’s common for business men to stay overnight after either working or drinking late. *The one we visited is one of the only ones in Korea that closes at midnight and has no sleeping quarters. Continue reading

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Pamukkale: Another Gorgeous Vista in Turkey

The village of Pamukkale, which translates to “cotton castle,” was where we headed to after Cappadocia. After our amazing time awing at the stunning landscape of Cappadocia, I didn’t think anything else could match up to it. However, Pamukkale was so unique in it’s own way that I believe it’s one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world. It’s much smaller than Cappadocia and you really only need one full day to enjoy the natural beauty it offers. Continue reading

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Seven Day Stopover in Iceland

Our plan was to fly from Vancouver to Europe and we were looking for the cheapest city to land in – Paris, Frankfurt, London, etc. We checked prices to Reykjavik out of curiosity (I had always wanted to go Iceland) and they turned out to be surprisingly cheap. While Icelandair offers a “free stopover up to one week” en-route to Europe, it was even cheaper to only book a flight to Reykjavik with them and then another airline to England (we flew into Bristol with EasyJet). Continue reading