Author Archives: Jean Nguyen

Before Going to Egypt

For an incredibly foreign country, I can’t imagine any tourist or traveler arriving to Egypt without having done any prior research.  Upon my homework, I repeatedly came across the same information: 1. Since the revolution of 2011, tourism in Egypt … Continue reading

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Maasai Mara

Any online search for 3-day/2-night Maasai Mara safaris in western Kenya will show luxury options upwards of $800-$1,000 per person. Searching for budget options still resulted in $450-$500 trips per person. Seriously? What the hell. Fortunately while volunteering in Kenya … Continue reading

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Coffee and Tea Plantations

According to worldatlas.com, Vietnam is the world’s 2nd largest producer of coffee, and the world’s 7th largest producer of tea. Also in the list of top world producers is Kenya, the world’s 15th largest producer of coffee and 3rd largest producer of tea. … Continue reading

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Nairobi: Elephants & Giraffes, Oh My!

Full day tours of Nairobi cost about $100, with the highlights being the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center. However, visiting both places independently will cost less than $20 and requires only a half day. Traveling by bus … Continue reading

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Why I Won’t Visit Kibera, Africa’s Largest Urban Slum

The idea of touring a neighborhood simply for photographing and gawking over a community’s appalling living conditions has never appealed to me. I mean, how would you feel if the top 1% came to your neighborhood, your home, and took … Continue reading

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Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park lies at the Kenya-Tanzania border with grand views of Mount Kilimanjaro looming in the distance.  Hoping to witness the iconic Kenyan landscape, I meticulously planned an independent, budget trip to Amboseli for my first ever game drive without … Continue reading

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First Impressions of Hospitable Kenya

Little did I know that I would end up waiting for almost 4 hours for my pick up from the time I stepped out of Nairobi’s international airport…at 2:45am. Sitting on the sidewalk with my bags watching groups of tourists … Continue reading

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King’s Canyon and Sequoia

California boasts the highest and lowest points in the U.S. at Mount Whitney and Badwater Basin.  In addition to that, California also has the 2nd oldest national park in America (after Yellowstone), which is home to the largest trees in the … Continue reading

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Ghost Town Bodie

Ever since I stumbled upon Rhyolite, a ghost town of respectable size in Nevada, I learned more about the handfuls of poignant mining/gold rush ghost towns of California. Of the ghost towns, Bodie was the most notable but relatively distant … Continue reading

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Bristlecone Pines

I had just learned about the ancient bristlecone pine trees—the world’s oldest known trees—at Great Basin National Park, and my fascination with them plus further research led me to the discovery of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. During my side … Continue reading

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