Category

Asia

Category

Pamukkale

Let’s practice saying this together because we still can’t get it right. Pah-MOO-Kah-lay However you say it, it’s beautiful. I know you’re just here for the pictures, but for those of you that are actually going to go here, here’s some tips. Then the pic explosion. 1. Take the minibus from Denizli Otogar. The train station is right near there too. We chose a hotel next to the bus station so we could walk from the train and bus station. It was perfect. The minibuses leave from the bottom level, Peron 76 (Gate 76). The buses are comfy, seat about…

Ephesus

Today was awesome! We woke up at 6am this morning. Not by choice. By a screeching prayer blaring through a megaphone. I think it’s funny that in America they’ve taken prayer out of almost everywhere, but here in Turkey they’re forcefully injecting prayer into everywhere. We tried to fall back asleep, Isa was much better at it than me. I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I’m thinking it may have something to do with the time change – I was in Alaska last week. And then Florida, New York, and now here. I’m afraid to admit it, but I may be…

Selcuk and Ephesus Museum

We left Istanbul this morning. We didn’t have to rush to the airport, which was nice. We got to have breakfast and then relax in the hotel for a little bit. Isa’s putting on a brave face there. Unfortunately, she got food poisoning last night. This is more like how she felt this morning: The 90 minute flight from Istanbul to Izmir was wonderful. It’s one of the least expensive flights we’ve ever taken ($20 each, I think) but they still gave us a warm snack. So good. And the view was surprisingly nice too. We flew Atlas Global because…

Istanbul Mosques, Markets, and Ice Cream

We are loving Istanbul! We walked over 13 miles and 26k steps today! We explored a TON! It all started at the Grand Bazaar. It was much different than we had expected. I was picturing dusty, crowded alleys jam-packed with people and noise and excitement. Definitely not this. It’s grand, for sure, there were so many stores spread out over a big area. It was just so much cleaner and more organized than I had hoped. We were also surprised by the amount of expensive goods – jewelry and high end designers. We figured there’d be more local crafts…

Exploring Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and more!

I hope you like pictures, because Istanbul is rather photogenic and we had a lot of adventures today. We started off with a fantastic breakfast at our hotel (Edibe Sultan). It was such a good spread of food with lots of options, all turkish. This was round one. I ended up getting 3 plates. We’re staying in Sultanahmet, which is old town Istanbul. We’re within walking distance to pretty much everything, which is why we chose this location. We started off wandering over to the Hippodrome, which features a few obelisks from Emperor Constantine’s reign. The Hippodrome is a large,…

A Guide to: Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

If vacationing to Northern China during the coldest part of the year doesn’t sound like a fantastic vacation, you’d be so wrong! 😉 This is one of the coolest (quite literally) things we’ve ever done. The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China runs December – January. The dates vary by year, so be sure to check. This festival, along with the lantern festival (Yi Peng) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was the main reason we came to Asia. So we had very high expectations. And our expectations were smashed. So cool. Here’s a video of just one part of…

Angkor Thom Again

After visiting Angkor Wat this morning for sunrise, knowing this would be our final day in the park, we wanted to do all the things we haven’t done yet and take the iconic pictures we hadn’t taken yet (basically, the pictures you see on the postcards). The first thing we hadn’t done yet is climb the small hill next to Angkor Wat to Phnom Bakheng (phnom means mountain or hill in Cambodian). The path up to the top is wide and gradual because it’s used as an elephant path. You can easily jog up it in 5 minutes, unless you…

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Today was our last day in the park, so we wanted to do all the things that we haven’t had a chance to do yet. First things first, sunrise. Sunrise is early. Like, crazy early. Even earlier considering we rode our bikes up there. Sunrise was at 6:15am, so we left our hotel room at 5:30. We knew it only takes 20 minutes to get to Angkor Wat, so that would give us plenty of time to get there. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that the coolest part of sunrise happens 20 minutes before the actual sunrise. So we were just…

Angkor Thom

We spent the entire day today in Angkor Thom. This is a walled city just north of Angkor Wat. (“Angkor” is the name of the ancient Capitol city. “Wat” means temple, so Angkor Wat was the main temple for the city of Angkor. “Thom” is Cambodian for big. Angkor Thom was the actual city where people lived.) There are several gates into the city, mainly in the cardinal directions. Inside the walls are numerous temples and ancient structures, the most famous of which is Bayon. But before you even get there, you pass by these guys, and they’re super fun…