Sak Yant means a yantra or prayer tattooed on the skin. Generally, the wearer uses them as a form of protection, a prayer, or a charm. This tradition originated not among monks but in hermit culture. Today, however, monks and Arjans (Sak Yant masters who are not presently monks) give these wearable protections. I received my Sak Yant in late April 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand and the following is my personal experience.
Taking the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand is probably the easiest and most enjoyable way to travel between the two cities. If you're planning a trip to Thailand, both Bangkok and Chiang Mai probably appear on your itinerary (as they should!) There are lots of different ways to get there. You can [...]
I'm not trying to argue this is a complete list. There are other things I find shocking and many more aspects of Vietnamese culture that are just plain interesting. But these culture shocks are the ones that stuck out to me immediately during my first couple weeks in Vietnam. While the elements of Vietnamese culture [...]
After a 40-minute ride on a bumpy, rented motorbike (a.k.a. scooter) we arrived at what we thought would be a mountain pass up to the Golden Bridge. That wasn't the case. Read the full post to hear why the Golden Bridge outside Da Nang, Vietnam didn't meet my expectations. Just in case you need to make a quick decision, here's everything you need to know to see the bridge.
Just in recent years, Ho Chi Minh City became known for its craft beer scene. I made this tour for craft beer lovers like me who want to try all the city's unique beers, even if they have a limited amount of time. Visiting the breweries in the order I suggest below adds up to only 2.7 km (1.7 miles) of walking. However, you can get a taxi (or order a Grab motorbike taxi for extra fun) anywhere along the route.
After our long flight, Ethan and I decided to treat ourselves. He needed a haircut and I told him to wait until we were in Vietnam. We found a funky barber shop where tattooed barbers played rap music and cut designs into fades. Ethan and I don't know much Vietnamese yet, but we came prepared with a picture and his barber was able to copy it perfectly. He paid ₫80,000 which equals $3.45 or €3.03.
We left Chicago on a chilly gray day and landed in a lush, green country full of life. A border patrol agent checked our passports and took our photos. After feeling a little nervous throughout the whole planning phase, we were glad to receive little pink stamps in our passports saying "Republic de Cuba, 26 Oct 2018, José Martí." (If you love passport stamps as much as I do, you'll be happy to know we got another upon exit.) Some people say Cuba is like another world. It definitely feels like a place frozen in time. It's charming, colonial, and decaying. Still, despite years of uncertain economic circumstances, the people there are full of energy. Everywhere there are neighbors in the streets chatting, bartering, smoking, and playing.
If you've never visited before, some aspects of culture Havana, Cuba will surprise you at first. Here are five challenge you're sure to experience after arrival. 1. Feeling terrified your taxi will run someone over Taxis are the main mode of transportation around Havana and the rest of Cuba as well. We read that the driving was crazy before we arrived, so we were somewhat prepared for that. Drivers used their car horns on a wide range of occasions—equally when they were happy and when they were upset—at other taxi drivers, at pedestrians, and at their friends. If you are out walking in areas like Old Havana (Habana Vieja) where the streets are very narrow and used both as a road and sidewalk, and hear a horn, it's best to move to the side as quickly as possible.