Another year has passed, and my big brother has wound up in Asia for the second time in his life. Last year he saw straightforward Japan, but this time he’s in mean China, a country that never throws foreign travelers a crutch. Will China chew him up and spit him out, or will he be one of the rare Westerners that falls in love with the country? Read this interview to find out what my brother thought of the Middle Kingdom after spending one month in the country traveling to four very different cities.
I always want to think the best about my homeland, but my experiences abroad have taken those rose-colored glasses off and forever changed the way I see it. I recently spent two months back in the good ol’ US of A, but I could never enjoy myself too much because of the usual never-ending American BS. Read this article to find out which ten uniquely American traits were the most reverse culture shock inducing.
I have mostly fond memories of my two trips to Phnom Penh – the cultural vibrancy, the laid-back vibes, the nightlife, the excellent foreign cuisine – the city was just such a cool place. But those trips were over five years ago, and both me and the city have surely changed a lot in that time. So can Phnom Penh still hold on to its former glory? Read this trip report to find out.
In part two of my Vietnam trip report, I find myself down south in Ho Chi Minh City for the third time in my life. I previously had mixed feelings about Vietnam’s largest city, so will anything change this time around over five years later? Read this trip report to learn my third impressions of Vietnam’s famous city in the south and just how it compares to its famous city in the north.
After a long five year hiatus, I’ve once again found myself in Vietnam. My two week trip starts in the capital of Hanoi, and then ends in the megacity of Saigon. Though I’ve been in the country twice before, it’s actually my first in Hanoi. Did I wait eight years too long to see Vietnam’s cultural capital, or is it just a visit once then never again kind of city? Read this trip report to find out what the former capital of French Indochina is really like in 2017.
Never assume you know a place until you’ve actually see it with your own eyes. I waited eight longs years to see Hong Kong, because I had always (falsely) assumed it wouldn’t fit my tastes. Read this 4,000 word trip report to learn why Hong Kong instantly went from zero to hero in my travel book.
Just when I was about to declare this year’s trip to Northeast China a giant flop, Shenyang came in to rescue my fleeting hope for the country. But what set Shenyang apart from neighboring Chinese cities like Changchun, Yanji, and Mudanjiang? How could it even be that much different? Read this trip report to find out what made Shenyang – the largest city in Northeast China – well worth a visit.
China can really be a hit-or-miss kinda country. At one city you could have the time of your life, whereas another makes you lose all faith in the country. This last February I unfortunately encountered another one of those lows, in Changchun of all places. Read this trip report to find out why the former capital of Manchukuo was such a letdown.
I took a three-day trip to Yanji, the capital of China’s autonomous ethnic-Korean prefecture, to see what an ethnic minority region in Northeast China looks like. Did I find myself surrounded by all things Korean, or was Yanji Just-Another-Han-City™? Read more to find out what a Chinese city right on the border with North Korea feels like.
Have you ever celebrated Chinese New Year in China? It’s a heck of a lot different than celebrating it back in the States, that’s for sure. The eating, the drinking, the mahjong, and the fireworks all make for an unforgettable experience for the uninitiated Westerner. This travelogue is all about spending the Lunar New Year in the Middle Kingdom as the white elephant in the room.