We are excited to have a guest blog post from one of our travelers, Vaychan. Vaychan just returned from an amazing trip with her husband to Vietnam and Cambodia. Thanks Vaychan for sharing your travel experience with us!
When we were deciding on the countries for our next international trip, I figured it was time for me to make it to Asia. Other than work trips to the Philippines & Japan, Asia was an unexplored continent to me. It wouldn’t be that odd other than the fact that I’ve spent a great part of the last decade backpacking through other parts of the world and second, I was born in Thailand to Chinese parents. We left when I was three- many stories passed on and a few pictures but no memories. Probably, the biggest hesitation with going to Asia was that I prided myself in being a traveler who plans her own itinerary and finding her own way around. But with Asia, I knew I was going to need some help planning and executing, if we were going to spend more time doing things rather than being in transit to somewhere.
Two weeks, two countries - we picked Vietnam as our first country since my friend was born there (our husbands were game for whatever we decided on). For our second country, it was a toss up between Thailand and Cambodia, since China was too vast. My birth country or my parents’ birth country-Thailand seemed more fun with its beautiful beaches, but I was curious of how much of my upbringing was influenced by the Cambodian culture. My parents had been one of lucky ones who had escaped Cambodia to Thailand when Khmer Rouge took over in 1975 and made it to the States in 1979. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure I was ready to face that history since this was supposed to be a vacation, but curiosity won this one...
After an awesome week of hiking, kayaking, learning how to cook and sightseeing in Vietnam, we flew to Siem Reap, the city where Angkor Wat is located. Siem Reap has one of the quaintest airports in the world, with its slanted temple roofs visible from the tarmac.
Japan is ready to once again extend its famous hospitality to travelers! In the wake of the tragic March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Japan's tourism industry has seen a significant decline, though most of the country was not directly affected by the disaster. One direct way you can support Japan's economy and morale is by visiting the country.
US Lifts Japan Travel Warning
The U.S. and other governments are no longer advising against travel to Japan. The U.S. State Department published an updated Travel Alert for Japan on April 14, lifting the voluntary authorized departure status instituted on March 16. Experts from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and scientists on the ground in Japan assessed the situation and concluded that the health and safety risks to those in areas outside of the 50-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are very low and don’t pose a significant risk. Read more about the Japan updated travel alert in our recent blog.
With Thailand still attracting approximately 15 million tourists a year, most travelers head down south to soak up the sun on some of the world’s most famous beaches. Tourists have been flocking to destinations like Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Koh Pha Ngan for years. Yes, these popular spots have some of the best beaches, but an overdeveloped beach flooded with tourists isn’t my ideal vacation experience. If you are wondering what Phuket may have been like 10+ years ago, get off the main tourist track, and head to the beaches of Koh Lanta.
A few members of the Global Basecamps team just returned from a whirlwind trip to Ecuador, including a cruise around the Galapagos Islands. One of the highlights of their trip was discovering the Hacienda Rumiloma, located on the foot hills of Volcano Pichincha, overlooking central Quito (and just minutes from downtown). Rumiloma is a unique boutique hotel, and the only hacienda in the capital of Ecuador. Just 10 minutes outside of the UNESCO World Heritage colonial center of Quito, the hotel boasts spectacular views of the city and 100 acres of Andean cloud forest. The main building has an incredible restaurant serving international and Ecuadorian style cuisine (worth a visit in its own right) and an intimate Irish/Ecuadorian pub. The restaurant utilizes the best local ingredients and draws inspiration from the owners’ travels throughout the world. Their wine cellar has more than 200 bottles of the best quality wines from Argentinean, Spanish, Chilean, and Italian vineyards. There are several comfortable sitting rooms to relax in after a day of sightseeing or to enjoy a drink with incredible views. Though the hotel is just minutes from downtown, in this Andean oasis you feel like you are a world away.
1 point can be redeemed for a one night stay at a silver level hotel, and 2 points can be redeemed for a one night stay at a gold level hotel. Participants may receive up to four nights free.
Silver Level Hotels
Some examples of silver level hotels include the following:
Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hotel Maya is a boutique urban resort in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Located in the center of the business and commercial district adjacent to Kuala Lumpur’s famous Petronas Twin Towers, the newly renovated hotel offers travelers spacious rooms and contemporary accommodations.