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AHHHHH WE’RE BACK

Feels great to be home!

We’re back on Canadian soil! WOW WOW WOW!!!!. It feels insane really. It’s such a crazy feeling to be back in such familiar territory but to have it feel so unfamiliar. It’s a hard thing to explain, and it’s something I wouldn’t have really known to expect, but it’s been weird. It’s been great of course, but still weird.  It’s been almost two days now since we landed in Toronto and we’ve been fighting off jet lag and reverse culture shock, but we’ve also been having an amazing time catching up with our travel guru’s, friends and former co-workers  from New Zealand Sheryl and Chris.  They picked us up from the airport and we’ve been staying with them for our first few days back “home”.

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We ♥ Hong Kong

Light show from Kowloon

It’s a true testament to the greatness of a city when you enjoy the heck out of it despite awful weather. Such was the case with us and Hong Kong. Although we were only there for one super rainy day we really fell in love with the city. I was completely surprised by this since I had come to find I mostly dislike large Asian cities.  Apparently Hong Kong is my exception.

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Last stop in South East Asia – Chiang Mai, Thailand

At the amazing Elephant Nature Park

After our long journey from Luang Prabang we were really happy to be back in Thailand. We had a lot to look forward to in Chiang Mai! My Mom and her wonderful friend Vicky were going to be meeting us for a whirlwind week long trip to the city followed by our flight back to Canada via Hong Kong.

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Top 5 Animal Experiences

Top 5 Animal

I LOVE animals! By far and away one of my favourite parts of traveling is getting to see and meet some of our planets most incredible creatures in their native environments.  We’ve had the opportunity to get up close and personal with several wonderful animals and these memories will forever be some of my best.  Although animal tourism is a huge draw for me and so many others it’s important to remember that the most important thing is the animal and not your personal enjoyment as a tourist. If participating in this type of tourism you should always make sure to do your research first. Seek out the most responsible, natural and nonintrusive way to meet our planets animals. Never support exploitation even if it means a cheaper price tag and closer contact with the animal.

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Luang Prabang, Laos

Monks at the waterfall

From Vang Vieng we took yet another extremely twisty, bumpy and generally uncomfortable bus ride to the main tourist town in Laos – Luang Prabang.  Although it is just over 200km’s away from Vang Vieng it took us more than 7 hours to get there. That should give you a pretty good idea of the state of the roads in Laos. The scenery on this journey was stunning, however. It almost made up for the 7 hours of nausea.

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Journey into Laos

Vang Vieng Views

I didn’t think we were going to make it to Laos this time around.  If I’m being completely honest my vote for our last two weeks was to head to another Thai island for a few more beautiful beach days before making our way up through the north of the country to Chiang Mai.  But, Luke really wanted to come to Laos so I gave in.  We had heard nothing but good things about the country so I convinced myself that it would be a good thing for us to go. Maybe we would experience something different from everything else we had seen so far in South East Asia.  Well, so far I can’t say that I’m in love with this place.

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Top 5 Natural Wonders

Top 5 Natural Wonders

We’ve been to some pretty incredible places in our travels and have seen some unbelievable landscapes.  We are constantly being blown away by the beauty of our planet. Although this was a nearly impossible list for me to make I was finally able to whittle almost two and a half years of wonder into this top 5 list. 

Here are our Top 5 Natural Wonders in descending order:

 

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Cruising Halong Bay

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You know how we said we never do tours? Well, we just did one. In our defence there isn’t really a better way to do Halong Bay. Situated in Northern Vietnam roughly a 4 hour drive from the capital of Hanoi is Halong Bay, one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. It is a gorgeous bay filled with over 3,000 limestone cliff islands and it is absolutely stunning!

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Charming Hoi An

Beautiful Lanterns

Our second stop in Vietnam was the charming little town of Hoi An. The old part of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is incredibly popular with tourists of all kinds. This is something that has surprised us about Vietnam in general – the amount and range of tourists. I kind of expected to only see backpackers around but there are so many families with young kids and older couples as well. Who knew this was such a popular destination for that kind of tourist? That said now that we’ve been here for a few weeks I can see why it is as popular as it is. Vietnam has been one big pleasant surprise.   

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Top 5 Best Travel Decisions

top 5 decisions

In order to best plan a trip like ours it’s essential to think about what you want to get out of your time traveling. Here are the top 5 travel decisions (in no particular order) that we feel have most enhanced our trip. Maybe some of these tips will help you to get the most out of your future travels.

If you missed our last list, Top 5 Islands you can check it out here.

Stay tuned for our next list, Top 5 Travel Mistakes!

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