Koh Lipe is The Thai Island You Will Absolutely Fall in Love With

My search for the perfect Thai paradise has thrown me in every possible direction of the country. 

From Chiang Mai in the North to Ko Tao in the East, all the way to Ko Lipe on the border with Malaysia in the South West.

After spending over a month in the country, I can safely say, I have found my paradise in Koh Lipe, and I am not wanting to leave.

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Getting a Custom Suit Made at Yaly Couture in Hoi An, Vietnam

At some point during my first long-term trip I began thinking about what I'd have to do once I returned home. While considered a general no-no for long term travel, as one can often get fixated on the unknowns of life, some thoughts began to cross my mind.

One of those was interviewing for jobs once I returned, and I realized that my wardrobe was absolutely lacking aside from a nondescript off-the-shelf variety suit jacket. 

So I began shopping.

It all started with silk ties in Yangshuo during my visit in China Golden Week, which are said to be great quality at reasonable prices.  I found two amazing silk ties that I scored for a deal of $7.  Knowing that I could not get one real silk tie at home for less than three times this, let alone two, the quest to put together the best custom suit began.

It wasn't until I arrived in Hoi An, Vietnam, just a few weeks later that this quest really kicked into gear, and this only happened because this town was serious about one thing and one thing only: custom suits.

I quickly looked up the best places to go, and was on my way.

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Hong Kong to Hanoi – World’s Shortest Overland Travel Time

2018 Update: We've been told via the comments that the bus we used may no longer be in operation or on limited days. Please keep this in mind when planning.

Direct travel from Hong Kong to Hanoi has been described as a headache for many travelers who have attempted the route without flying.  Why is this a headache you might ask?

Well, according to train travel site Seat61, the shortest possible itinerary that includes train travel takes just over two days, a few connecting cities (there is no Hong Kong to Hanoi train directly), and nearly $100 USD of funds consumed in the process just for transportation alone.

However, in my planning I found another method that could quite possibly be the worlds shortest duration in traveling between Hong Kong and Hanoi, requiring just 23 hours from door to door and a grand total of roughly $60 USD.

Train travel on this particular route siphons you through multiple different cities, typically being Hong Kong/Shenzhen to Guangzhuo, onward to Nanning, and then finally to the border and down to Hanoi.

The problem with this is that one or more of the routes is often done by night train and produces an extra day of travel and an increased cost.  However, there is one often overlooked option: a night bus.

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You Better Not Miss Reed Flute Cave in Guilin, China

After arriving in Guilin, my very first order of business after settling into my hostel was to make a trip out to nearby Reed Flute Cave. 

Reading about it online and seeing pictures of the iconic scenes placed it as my top site in Guilin to see, apart from trips out to Yangshuo and Lonji. 

After returning from the cave, however, it seemed like every traveler I spoke to had not only missed seeing the amazing wonder but did not even know it existed.

To me, this was very reminiscent of the Monkey Park experience just outside of Kyoto Japan. Of which I've already had people tell me they enjoyed it based on my advice.

So, to put it bluntly: when visiting Guilin, do not miss Reed Flute Cave

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