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Crossing the Nam Khan

Temporary bamboo bridge Luang Prabang, LaosOn our first day in Luang Prabang, Laos, we discovered these cool bamboo bridges that they erect over the Nam Khan river during the dry season when the water level is low.

So what’s a traveler to do when he finds a rickety looking bridge in a new town? Cross it, of course, to see what is on the other side.

 

 

Thailand, Where Food is an Attraction

Never have we had an easier—or tastier—time feeding ourselves on the road than in Thailand.

I thought if there was one thing that would wear me down during four and a half months of hotel living in Southeast Asia, it would be finding food. The endless quest for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in ever-changing environments can quickly lead to travel fatigue. We can’t eat like we’re on a perpetual vacation, both for our waistlines and our wallets.

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An Ethical Elephant Encounter in Thailand

Elephant Eye close up

After landing in Bangkok for our first time ever we had a whole host of unanswered question about how we’d spend the next four months traveling around South East Asia. One thing we knew for certain, though, was that we wouldn’t be riding any elephants.

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How to Make (and Keep) a Traveler’s Hippocratic Oath

Tours you can take, although we'll pass

Tours you can take, although we’ll pass

First, do no harm.

It’s an oath sworn by physicians and a pledge that every traveler should make as well. As guests in the places we visit the very least we can do is respect our hosts by not hurting their country or their people.

Unfortunately such pledges are easier made than kept. That’s especially true in areas of the world that lack strong regulations protecting vulnerable populations. It’s not uncommon to see plenty of exploitive activities marketed to tourists. And sometimes those activities are even cleverly disguised to prey on our very desire to do good.

Visiting and volunteering in a children’s orphanage in Cambodia, for example, sounds like a good way of directing your travel dollars to a worthwhile cause. That is until you learn about the fake orphanages that separate children from their parents for the sole purpose of separating tourists from their money.

So how do you travel ethically when unscrupulous tour operators do every thing they can to hide the truth of their operations? Here are some suggestions.

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