24 hours in Hanoi

Less than 24 hours in Hanoi

Though I spent well over two weeks in the wonderful city of Hanoi, many use it as a jumping off point to neighboring destinations like Sapa and Halong Bay.  I did too, but I broke up each jaunt with at least five or six days in this home away from home before grabbing my pack…

Ha Giang laundry

Ha Giang: Laundry Adventures

Following one of the most extraordinary hikes of my life, I found myself being yanked back to reality and to the mundane: laundry.  With only a few shirts, one skirt, shorts and pair of capris, I tend to run through my entire wardrobe rather quickly.  Luckily for me, clothes cleaning services in Southeast Asia demand…

ha giang trekking

Ha Giang: Trekking Mountainsides and Dining with the Dao People

If I were dropped on a mountainside in Ha Giang with no context to determine my location, I would swear I had been transported back to prehistoric times.  Or I had somehow wandered onto a Jurassic Park set.  Both are, of course, completely feasible. Unlikely scenarios aside, I felt privileged to be trekking through the…

Sapa to Ha Giang

Getting from Sapa to Ha Giang

I loved my time in Sapa.  How could I not?  I trekked through some of the most gorgeous sights my eyes have ever seen, roamed through the quiet town of Cat Cat Village and even went on a day trip to the Bac Ha Market. But it was time to go.  Still wanting to stay…

bartering at the Bac Ha Market

An exercise in nonexistent planning: bartering at the Bac Ha Market

Sometimes I’m a planner.  I research cities, regions and countries with a fervor that expands my knowledge base and reveals hidden gems I may never have stumbled upon otherwise.  Other times I just show up and figure it out. My trip to Sapa was the latter.  When I arrived, I knew only two things: where…

enamored with Sapa

Enamored with Sapa

After two weeks of not so patient recovery following my motorbike accident, I could finally walk.  No more gimp, no more bandages and no more outward displays of pity as I hobbled past en route to my next place of isolation.  My scars were shiny and pink, but they didn’t stop my skin from stretching,…

sugar fix in Hanoi

5 places to get your sugar fix in Hanoi

“Hello, my name is Ashley, and I am an addict.” If it’s in the house, I can’t stop myself, I practically inhale every last crystal.  I rip apart the plastic with a knife if it’s near or with my teeth if it’s not.  I don’t even bother with a bowl.  In my frenzy to ingest,…

motorbiking through Pai

Superman in Oz: motorbiking through Pai

How did I find myself here: half naked in two day old clothes, binge watching Homeland and typing part of this post with one finger from each hand? It all began with euphoria…