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330 days. 26 countries. 336 seconds.

10 Days in Vietnam.

Ten days in Vietnam is not enough time. That's just a fact. But I had three weeks free, and I couldn't let go of the idea of seeing either the Philippines or Vietnam. So I made the decision that made every other backpacker think I was a weirdo, but made me really happy: I visited both.

Do I wish I'd spent more time in each? Of course I do. But do I wish I'd skipped either for the sake of seeing more of the other? Not a bit.

But there's still the issue of how to spend those precious 10 days in Vietnam. The stunning natural beauty of the Phong Nha Caves? The peacefulness of Dalat? The picturesque rice fields of Sapa? The hustle and bustle of Hanoi or Saigon? Some combination of the above? In the end, I decided to aim right for the center. There's no one right answer, of course, but it did teach me a lot of lessons about what's right for me.


Day 1.
I flew into Da Nang, then headed directly to Hoi An. I strolled around the busy streets, then happened upon the t…

to a friend visiting Medellín

I'd been in Medellín about a month the first time a friend asked me for recommendations. After one lonnnnnng draft to her, then a few more weeks and a few more edits when other friends asked the same question, I ended up with what you see here. All shared with tons of love for this vibrant and fascinating city!


First things first, general stuff....

Neighborhood. Everyone's going to tell you to stay in Poblado. Don't. It's like the Khaosan Road of Bangkok or the Cancun of Mexico -- it's not awful and it definitely has some stuff worth seeing/eating, but knowing you and how you travel, it's not your Medellín. I recommend Laureles personally: still a little touristy, but on a whole different scale. Plenty to do and eat, but with much more of a neighborhood vibe. If you want more hustle and bustle, El Centro is gritty and has a lot going on. On the opposite end of the spectrum would be Envigado.

Food. Obviously I can't speak to the meat dishes, but they're re…