Love a good pun. Pronounced hway (not really exactly right don’t @ me) not hugh like the color or Grant, this very proud city was the former Imperial capital of Vietnam until the end of the Nguyen dynasty in 1945. I’m sure you’re familiar with what happened next. Vietnam has three regions, and this is the largest city in the central region (see previous posts on Hanoi and Saigon/HCM).
Hue was the stop after Hoi An, my favorite on the Vietnam itinerary, and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I NOT GOTTEN SICK on the way there. I made a rookie travel mistake that you will read all about after the jump. Hot tip: don’t drink foreign beverages.
right hue, wrong hue
Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, the large island formerly known as Formosa, just off the coast of China. Officially, this commonwealth is currently a part of the PROC, but it has had a very tumultuous history due to its location between Japan and China.
Because of its location as a gateway to the East, it is a very popular stopover destination. I have used it as such twice and found it to be every bit as exciting as some of my final destinations.
Perhaps the most well known feature of this city is its bounty of night markets and food. The origin of your milk teas and soup dumplings, Taiwan is a food lover’s fever dream.
Happy Lunar New Year! Yes, it’s not only Chinese people who celebrate the lunisolar calendar, so show a little love to your friends who are celebrating the start of year of the pig/boar today!
In Vietnam, the new year celebration is called Tet, and it is HUGE. Lots of festivals, lion dancing, fireworks, fashion, bestowing of li xi or lucky red envelopes, and feasting. If you’re ever looking for nonstop partying this time of year, book your trip to Asia to join the revelry.
A throwback to my favorite city in Vietnam today, happy new year!
In the words of the great Jose Feliciano, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! Feliz Navidad is one of the all time great Christmas songs, and Mexico is one of the all time great travel destinations. The culture, food, history, people– everything about this country is amazing.
La Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX) is one of the foremost cosmopolitan areas of the world, with bustling energy, a lively arts and fashion scene, inventive and traditional food culture, and architectural gems galore. There are well preserved alhambras and monuments reminiscent of the grand plazas of Europe amongst a sea of modern skyscrapers and high rise hotels.
Fun fact: I won the Spanish language award my senior year in high school. Another fun fact: my Spanish is terrible. Like muy terible. I have the worst American accent when I attempt to speak, but I do try, y es la intencion es lo que cuenta? Un poquito (read: oohn poke-ee-toe)? En acualmente, escribo mejor que hablar, que lastima! Lo siento, yo se mi espanol no es bueno, pero me humor por favor.
Nota: Todas las photografias en esta blog post son cortesia de mi hermana.
CDMX is having a real moment right now, so brush off your Paso a Paso book from high school…vamos a Mexico! HOLA y Bienvenidos a Mexico!
There are not enough adjectives to describe the wonder of Paris. No one needs a guide to this city, there are a million ways to enjoy it, and the little discoveries down every alleyway are what makes this place special. You don’t need a ton of money, you don’t even need to see any of the popular tourist attractions. You could walk around for days and not spend one cent and be content. It’s all splendor. The air is different when you arrive in this city of light and magic. You feel different, you get a new lease on life– nouvelle joie de vivre.
I’ve been all over the world, and there is no city that causes my heart to take flight like Paris. No city that comes close in terms of architecture and art and food. It’s the ultimate muse for any travel fantasy, it puts the lust in wanderlust. There’s a romanticism that cannot be recreated anywhere else; it’s no wonder that Paris salons attracted the best in art and literature to a bohemian lifestyle in the capital city.
To get a true sense of the city, you have to at least spend 4-5 days here. My first visit more than a decade ago lasted for almost two weeks. I saw the entire city as a 16 year old, and even though we did not have smart phones back in the dark ages (le horreur), I’ll never forget the moments during that trip. It started my love affair with France and gets reignited every time I come back. C’est magnifique.
la vie en rose
Hoi An was easily my favorite stop in Vietnam. It was a colonial trading post, and has a completely distinct feel from any other city in Vietnam. One, the Old Town architecture preserves the history of this port city and adds to its charm. Two, foreign influences laid the foundation of international sophistication since Hoi An was a stronghold for the Cham people in the spice trade centuries ago.
I only spent a very short day here while traveling through Vietnam, but that was more than enough time to enchant me and make me want to plan my trip back to this coastal town.