The Present Perfect

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Visiting one of the floating markets in Vietnam was one of the things I knew I wanted to do on my travels in Southeast Asia (perhaps the only thing I had in mind, really). I think maybe I’d seen a picture of it somewhere, on the cover of a guidebook, perhaps? I didn’t know much about the floating markets, actually, but I had an image in my mind of what it would… Read More

In the last seven weeks of traveling through Southeast Asia I’ve learned that one of the best ways to get to know a culture is through its street food. By eating food from street vendors you get authentic food that is made for locals not tourists, you get to eat side-by-side with the locals, and a lot of times what you find isn’t even available in restaurants. Not to mention it’s really… Read More

What else can I say about Hoi An other than it’s just so darn cute? I mean, it really is cuter than cute. Perhaps a bit too much so. The center of Hoi An is made up of a few streets along the river that are all dressed up in their Sunday best for the tourists. Fresh coats of bright paint, lanterns, and shutters adorn each shop. One can find eateries, art… Read More

Huế (pronounced hway–not hue, as in a gradation of colors, as I so gracefully referred to it when inquiring to the hotel receptionist in Hanoi about the train. Oops.) is a small city right smack dab in the center of Vietnam’s coastline. The historical center of Huế is roughly a square surrounded by walls and a moat. Within the walls, just north of the Perfume River, is a walled citadel, with yet another moat around… Read More

Or so my Lonely Planet poetically described the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. In the back of of the taxi, fresh off the plane from clean, orderly, and cosmopolitan Singapore, I watched as the countryside flew by. Green landscapes stretched off into the distance as peasant farmers in their recognizable conical hats tended the fields. Motorbikes whizzed up and down the highway while slower bicycles yielded to the sides. As we crossed… Read More

I discovered on my visit to Singapore that it’s a pretty colorful pace–literally and figuratively. At times it was even a rainbow of colors. Check it out.

I was really excited for the Singapore leg of my trip for two reasons. First, my friend Erin is obsessed with Singapore having been there several times to visit her parents who lived there for a few years. From all of her pictures and talk of warm weather, food, and exotic fruits, it just seemed like a place I’d like to go. The second reason I was really excited for Singapore was… Read More

I went to Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it’s known, without much expectation. The strongest association that I had with the city was seeing it on the Amazing Race many years ago–I have a vague recollection of the contestants racing to get to the Petronas Towers–and that may actually have been the first time that I had really heard of the city, which happens to be the capital of Malaysia. (Side Note: The… Read More

While traveling through Malaysia I started noticing that a lot of the words I saw on buildings and signs looked suspiciously like English, but with the accent already built in. Here are a few signs that I managed to capture around Kuala Lumpur. Press butang tiket, resit Bas lane Restoran Muzium Tekstil It was a fun little scavenger hunt for English-looking words in the city.

It’s been ten days now since I arrived in Vietnam and ten days that I haven’t been able to access WordPress or my blog. Add to that the five days I was in Singapore and slacked off on writing to hang out with my lovely hosts Kate and Rob and, well, it adds up to a whole lot of neglect for my poor little blog. Fortunately I am able to access WordPress… Read More