March 30, 2017

Full Moon | Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam

Travel: VISA Required. Can apply for VISA on arrival. 
Health: Up-to-date routine vaccines, Typhoid, Malaria prophylaxis
Get Around: Motor bikes and taxis 
Stay: Hanoi Pearl in the city center and booked round trip through Indochina Junk Dragon Pearl 2. Our hotel was lovely with very welcoming and helpful staff. We were also able to store bags at the hotel for the weekend trip. 
Eat: The ship crew and food was delicious!  
Do: Visit the Floating Fishing Village, explore caves, kayak, and meet some amazing people! 
Don't: Spend time after the trip at the water puppet show

March 26, 2017

Full Moon | 48 Hours in Tokyo

Travel: No Visa required 
Health: Up-to-date routine vaccines. Optional- Japanese Encephalitis if >1month or rural area or if your insurance covers it (in the case of my wife) 
Get Around: We did a lot of walking (average 12 miles per day) and used a lot of public transportation which was clean, safe, and straight forward. 
Stay: Imperial Hotel (high brow but very helpful for making dinner reservations) 
Kyubey Ginza (high brow) for traditional tatami style dinning
A Furi for Ramen is such a hit that they are opening one in Portland which is the ecosystem must similar to Japan's
- Zoetrope - for Japanese whiskey tasting, phenomenal old Japanese cartoon films, and a wonderful host
- Yurakucho - Under the train tracks along the JR Yamanote Line.
- Tsujiki Fish Market - be there by 2:50AM for tuna auction. We missed the auction but did make it to sushi at Dai which was a 4 hour wait for 9 courses of sushi. 
- Shimo-Kitazawa - this is the Brooklyn of Tokyo and the winding streets and shops will not disappoint. We had ramen at Busokei, played at a cat cafe, had coffee, and did some light shopping. 
- Harajuku - there is no equivalent for this insane neighborohood of trendy tweens and desserts
- Meiji Temple - beautiful walk to the temple and saw a traditional wedding 
- Senso Ji Temple - this was CHAOS but beautiful 
Shibuya crossing and food show - busiest intersection and is really quiet impressive. 
- Ueno for the Cherry Blossom Festival- unforuntatley the cherry blossoms were not in bloom but everyone had so much fun drinking and dinning in pop-up areas!
- Onsen at La Qua - I love spas and onsens seemed so central to the japanese culture that I couldn't wait to experience it but Lauren freaked out 87 minutes in... 
- Shinjuku - this is the Time Square equivalent. It was incredible to see and there are infinite dinning options but we had an impossibly difficult time trying to find a spot to eat. We eventually settled on a pub on piss ally/memory lane which was lovely. 
- Go to the wrong airport...there are two... 
- Try to see Mt Fuji from the Imperial Gardens Mt Fuji Viewing Tower...because you can not climb it and if you climb it you still wouldn't see Mount Fuji. 

Imperial Hotel 

Tsujiki Fish Market

Ginza Shopping District
Imperial Palace East Gardens


Kyubey Ginza



Shibuya Crossing
Meiji Temple

Shibuya Food Show

Senso Ji Temple