Archives For July 2013

Elephant riding, Luang Prabang, Laos

Riding our elephants on the way to bathe them in the river!

Overall score (Dan) = A
Overall score (Jocelyn) = A

Total days = 8 nights, 9 days
Total cost = $740
Cost per day = $82/day
Flight costs = Took flight from Hanoi to Vientiane ($175/each)
Cities visited: Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Pakbeng, Huay Xai Continue Reading…

Cu Chi Vietcong Tunnels

July 26, 2013 — 1 Comment

Here’s a quick look at the Vietcong tunnels outside of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam.  They were incredibly advanced and stretched out hundreds of kilometers with multiple underground levels ranging from a few meters up to 15 meters deep.

Entrance to Cu Chi tunnels outside of Saigon

Entrance to Cu Chi tunnels outside of Saigon

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Tour guide shows us the underground bunkers with the small holes where they shot through.

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Check out Jocelyn’s latest video on the temples in Indonesia. Read our full experience and see the rest of the pictures here.

http://youtu.be/FTgMgg-RFbI

Overall score (Dan) = B+
Overall score (Jocelyn) = A-

Total days = 15 nights, 16 days
Total cost = $1,672
Cost per day = $105/day
Flight costs = Took the bus from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cities visited = Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Long Bay

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If you get a chance, check out my guest post on my wife’s blog (Revealing World) on our scary encounter with a gate agent! Click here to read it

From the post:

As we approached the queue to the airline counter, we waited to see which of the 15 agents we’d receive. There she was, a middle aged woman no different than any of the others we’d previously worked with. She took our passport before uttering the phrase that was now foreign to us – “where is your proof of onward travel?” Just as we’d rehearsed, I pulled out my printed off itinerary and handed it over to her, expecting a quick glance over and then our boarding passes in return.

Click to read the whole post

It’s easy to save money when we have a job, the car is running fine, and you’re not worried about the economy falling off a cliff… so why is it so hard to actually save money when everything is going well??

I’m guilty of it. After 22 years of not having my own money and finally graduating college and getting a job, I spent my new paycheck faster than one of those Sex In the City girls at a Jimmy Choo store (I’m not sure what that means but Jocelyn told me it’d be a good analogy… ok, ok, I’ve seen a few episodes but I’m not proud of it). Things where finely going my way, so I had to screw up and create my own company store that I was in debt to.

In 2007, when I finally paid off my $50,000 of debt with two hard years of scraping by and living without, I found myself slowly moving back into the bad mindset that got me in trouble in the first place. I felt like I deserved to take a break as I had worked hard to pay off my debt. I was at risk of losing my financial momentum and without discipline I could easily fall into the same debt trap.

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How Much Did We Spend in Cambodia?  Angkor Wat

Jocelyn and I standing in Preah Khan Temple within the “Angkor” complex

Overall score (Dan) = B-
Overall score (Jocelyn) = B-

Total days = 8 nights, 9 days
Total cost = $889
Cost per day = $98.78/day
Flight costs = None, took the bus from Bangkok

Cambodia Spending Summary

We didn’t know what to expect from Cambodia, but from the beginning it was always one of the countries we were the most worried about. We didn’t have any real reasons for worrying, but it’s one of those places you never hear much good about and “ending up in a Cambodian prison” just had a certain ring to it!

Cambodia is a country coming back from the brink of destruction after decades under a cruel dictator and a non-supportive world. Much of our time was spent learning about the atrocities that happened under their Dictator, Pol Pot, along with the destruction they received from the Vietnam War and the decades of abandonment by the world after.

Pol Pot was the worst though. In his attempt to create a Socialist Agrarian Society, he celebrated poor rural farmers and used the kids as soldiers against the “urban” people because he saw them as evil. He evacuated the cities and either killed its inhabitants – including anyone with an education or even glasses – or sent them into the fields. Their people have been through hell.

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It’s been a lot of work getting through SE Asia, so I’m taking the week off!  Instead, I’m excited to share a guest post from a great blogger, Jon Jefferson.  He left a really good comment on my post Clearing Rain Forests Makes Economic Sense, so I asked him to elaborate on his comment.  Be sure to check out his bio at the bottom of this post and his two blogs – 10th Day Brewing and Misadventures in Strange Places.

Guest Post:  Fight the Lie

Years ago, it didn’t take much to survive. I remember when I was in the Marines, as a married corporal I was making roughy 8.50 an hour (that is if we were paid hourly wages). That was enough to have an apartment and food even go to movies and such. It was livable.

After I was back in the real world, one of the jobs I worked at paid 6.75 an hour. This was a couple dollars over minimum wage. I was the only one working between my wife and I. We had our first child with me making less than 10 dollars an hour. In fact we even had our second child with me making less than 10 dollars an hour. I was the only one with a job. For the first few years of my children’s lives they had a stay at home mother.

Working jobs with no education, factory jobs that were some of the best you could get with no education outside of high school, I climbed as high as 13 dollars an hour. During this time it only took one of us working outside the home.

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