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Jeremy Raider

Posts published by Jeremy Raider

Saigon Revisited

That extravagant shift of lifestyle that I experienced while celebrating Tết with Việt wasn’t over. In fact, it was far from over. Việt hadn’t told me that back in Saigon he lived with a housekeeper, Linh, until after we had arrived. While it sounded crazy at first, I then remembered it was common to have domestic […]

Extension Before Expulsion: The Race to Saigon

Back at the very same hotel in Hanoi where we stayed before, Việt and I immediately fell asleep, exhausted from hiking the past three days. Early the next morning, we organized our bags and met his cousin, Thanh and her friend outside. We spent the afternoon foodhopping yet again, trying new signature dishes of the north like bún […]

Trekking to the Top of Vietnam

A thick layer of fog surrounded us in every direction as we trudged along into the mysterious morning haze in search of our guesthouse. It was 6am, frigid outside, but we had come prepared, layered up with all of our clothes including heavy jackets borrowed from Việt’s grandfather. After a few hours’ rest, we rented a […]

From Talk to Table: Foodhopping in Hanoi

By the time we were situated in Hanoi, Việt and I only wanted to eat a satisfying dinner then fall straight to sleep. Riding on another rented motorbike, we arrived in an outer edge of the city where we tried nem chua rán, a deep fried pork roll dish along with mangoes that Việt insisted I […]

“Blue Eyes, Money, Chopsticks!” – Rural Vietnam

Sitting around the living room coffee table, I sipped on Chè Thái Nguyên while snacking on butter cookies and Mứt Tết, a traditional holiday treat tray consisting of candied vegetables, nuts, custard sweets, and seeds. The world suddenly seemed smaller. The classic blue tin of the butter cookies and their sugary sweetness instantly reminded me of […]

An Extravagant New Year Shift

Monstrous mountains covered in green surrounded the bus as the dark sky loomed above us. We drove further into the storm. When the bus arrived in Nha Trang after the 4 hour drive from Dalat, the rain had only picked up. I fled to a cafe to wait it out and grab wifi to get in touch […]

Biking Down Sunburn Lane

After 8 hours on the bus, I had arrived in Dalat by the late afternoon. Luckily, with the lack of sleep from the night before, I briefly passed out on the way. Originally built by the French, Dalat was a town in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam intended to allow visitors to escape the heat and humidity […]

Swiped Right Into Vietnamese Culture

By the time I had processed the documents for my visa, made it through customs, and found a motortaxi into town, it was getting dark outside. Entering the streets of Vietnam, my imagination of how chaotic the traffic would be was confirmed. Streets were congested at all times of the day by fleets of motorbikes […]

Tips for Backpacking Myanmar 2016

When I traveled to Albania over the summer, the country seemed like a big puzzle before entering, but having left, I felt like I understood it. You can’t grasp a full culture solely by reading about it online or in textbooks. The same was the case for Myanmar, a country that I previously knew nothing of […]

40 Hours in Kuala Lumpur

My flight into Kuala Lumpur was already landing late, but my Couchsurfing host Patrick was very kind in making sure to stay awake until I arrived. As midnight struck, my plane landed and my 40 hours countdown in the country began. I had initially planned spending at least two weeks exploring Malaysia, even working on a tea […]

Expat Life in Myanmar’s Wannabe Capital

One of my favorite discoveries while traveling is coming across close-knit, like-minded friends who are reminiscent of friends back home. They immediately involve you in whatever upcoming plans they have going on so in this case, not only do you quickly feel comfortable in a new environment, but also culturally engaged as you take part in activities […]

City Life in Myanmar: Fusing the Past & Present

After checking into our hotel, Carlo and I went on the prowl for dinner. Roaming street after street, we were captivated and overwhelmed by the amount of activity bustling on around us. Although we had only been roaming Bangkok’s chaotic streets a little over a week prior, we had spent the days since in quiet, rural […]

Stomach Troubles and Wine of Inle Lake

With Oscar having left for Bagan by night, Carlo and I retired to our pre-booked room that looked way too nice for the price ($7.50 per night). We instantly drifted off to sleep, lulled by the warmth of the blankets in the heat of the guesthouse. Even better, the shower had the hottest and highest […]

Hiking to Myanmar’s Second Largest Lake

Abruptly woken up, I was hesitant to believe that the bus co-pilot was telling the truth when he claimed that we had already arrived in Kalaw. I peered down at my phone, it was 3am. How could we have arrived three hours earlier than anticipated? Arriving late was always expected, but arriving early? That never […]