The Great Thai Adventure

We’ve returned from our trip to Thailand – ten days of beaches, rainforests, and more fruit smoothies than you could possibly imagine. It was a great adventure and a nice chance to see another side of Asia while we’re in this part of the world.

I made a few observations in between longtail boat rides and endless bowls of curry, which I can now share with you as my field-tested advice for travel in southeast Asia. You might not find all of these tips in your average travel guide, so pay attention:
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A mountain tale

This is Mount Fuji:

Mount Fuji (from Wikimedia, public domain images)

According to sources on the internet, this is what the summit of Mount Fuji is like:

Mount Fuji torii (from Wikimedia, public domain images)

I will have to take their word for it.

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Kamikochi and the rainy season

This is the continuation of the tale of our weekend adventure in the Japan Alps. In case you missed it, you can find part one linked here. We began our trip into Kamikochi with the requisite bus ride from the overnight parking lot. The light rain from overnight had turned into a steady drizzle, but we were not to be dissuaded. After all, we’re from Seattle – what could the rainy season possibly have on us?
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Giant salamanders and 48 waterfalls

For some reason, the vast majority of the rivers that we’ve encountered in Japan are lined in concrete. I understand that the city waterways need to be confined to canals, but why do the beautiful rivers up in the mountains need to be cemented into place as well? For someone who prefers the wilderness over the city, all that concrete can be exhausting – so we set out in search of something a little more natural. Continue reading

In search of solitude

Now that the weather is consistently warm and the snow has melted out of the nearby mountains, we find ourselves hitting the trails on most weekends. Partly it’s because we like to stay active, partly that we enjoy the scenery, but mostly it’s because we just need to get out of the city each week. Call it therapy, if you will.
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Hiking the Nakasendo

This weekend we took a much-needed break from city life and headed for the hills. The plan was to hike a section of the Nakasendo highway between two restored post towns, Magome and Tsumago. The Nakasendo, which loosely translates to “central mountain way”, was a road that was constructed in the 8th century to link the major cities of Kyoto and Tokyo. Now of course the old road has been replaced with modern highways, but sections of the historic route remain.
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