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Aug 08 2016

Adventure Activities in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai was our beautiful home base for a year and there are always plenty of things to see and do in this amazing city. Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand and the most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand. There are hundreds of temples and cultural sites to visit within the city limits. Chiang Mai also offers plenty of adventure activities which we were excited to explore. We found some great tour companies and locations to explore and highly recommend braving the heat and going on...

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Apr 20 2015

Countryside Motorbike Tour In Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia is a country rich with culture and historic terrain begging for explorers to leave the tourist centers and venture out into the countryside. Aside from visiting the famous Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, we knew we wanted to go off the beaten path to see what life is like for most Cambodians in the countryside. With Tinggly, a company that facilitates giving the gift of travel, we took a motorbike tour through remote neighborhoods down dirt roads and got to meet the locals. If you’ve ever been stuck with a...

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Mar 20 2015

Glory Legend Cruise Review: Halong Bay

On our trip to Vietnam we knew we could not miss the famous UNESCO Heritage site of Halong Bay. There are only a few options to explore this historic site and the most popular is an overnight cruise. We tested the new Glory Legend Cruise experience for a three day and two night cruise in luxury and comfort. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4005,4004"] The Room The room was small and simple but well decorated and had a night stand, lamp and racks to hang our clothes on. The bathroom was pretty nice and had a...

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Nov 07 2014

Thavorn Palm Beach Resort: Phuket

The Thavorn Palm Beach Resort's bragging points are its lush grounds similar to those at Thavorn Beach Village and Spa, and its five swimming pools. Jumping in and out of each you will find waterfalls, crocodile fountains, a swim-up bar, multiple lounge areas and kiddie areas all with a view of the ocean. The resort is in a great location in Karon Beach, Phuket, right across the street from the beach and surrounded by a few other hotels, restaurants and bars. At night tuk-tuks lit up with neon lights and fitted...

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Nov 06 2014

Diving In Krabi With Aqua Vision Dive Center

When we were first planning our trip to Krabi we realized that it would be the perfect opportunity for my first dive trip and it didn’t take long for us to realize that there are well over a dozen different dive centers around Krabi Town and Ao Nang. It seemed that they all offered similar diving classes and prices and traveled to similar diving sites. Then we happened across Aqua Vision Dive Center in Ao Nang. Their clean-cut website described how they feature small group diving using speedboats to arrive at...

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Don’t Look Up

Thailand is a country very in touch with nature. It is ingrained in their culture and made apparent through the presence and acceptance of strays in the streets, the number of restaurants that are essentially outdoors and even in traditional Thai architecture which allows many critters to come in and share the home. An occasional cat will wind its way through our legs while out at dinner and no one bats an eye. That being said, the Thais are incredibly clean. They remove shoes before entering homes, temples and some...

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Nov 01 2014

Thavorn Beach Village and Spa

As you wander the grounds of Thavorn Beach Village and Spa in Phuket the resort’s history and legends about the area unfold. Statues of mythical and earthly creatures alike emerge from the dense tropical plants and fountains that are incorporated around the resort’s focal point, the lagoon pool. When Mr. Thavornwongwongse built the resort, the land was given to him by an elderly couple who used to farm the area. This couple told Mr. Thavornwongwongse that this property is the place where Naka the dragon-snake fell in love with a woman...

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Oct 31 2014

Poplar Travels Is On YouTube!

We have had some amazing experiences on our travels so far. Thailand has proved a beautiful and adventurous place. Not only do we have thousands of photographs already, we also collected some pretty awesome video footage. We decided you just needed to see it, so Poplar Travels has officially launched our YouTube channel! We are learning a bit of video editing as we go along, so things will only get better from here. Subscribe to our channel so you don't miss our upcoming videos from Phuket! Check out what we've uploaded so far...

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Oct 21 2014

Rock Climbing In Chiang Mai With CMRCA

Our Introduction to Rock Climbing Class with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures (CMRCA) was just as amazing as our caving experience with them. I have taken rock climbing classes many times before in Colorado and the quality of CMRCA’s class and instructors was up to par. All their instructors are certified under American climbing standards and pay close attention to safety. We arrived at the office of CMRCA about half an hour before we were supposed to meet them so we could grab a quick breakfast and coffee at a nearby cafe....

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Oct 17 2014

Bangkok Tree House Hotel: A Green Oasis Inside The City

We began our first trip to Bangkok with a night at the Bangkok Tree House Hotel, an environmentally friendly, uniquely designed hotel in a quiet section of the city. We weren't exactly sure what to expect when we arrived, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience. The mission of this small hotel is to allow guests the opportunity to connect with nature and provide an escape from the bustling heart of the city. However, this hotel goes far beyond ambient bird sounds and picture windows. One room option even...

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Oct 10 2014

Intro to Caving Course: Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure

Our Introduction to Caving class with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventure (CMRCA) ended up being a lot more rappelling and scaling up ropes and a lot less crawling through holes than we expected. It was an unforgettable experience and the cave was an amazing natural phenomenon to behold. We met the team at CMRCA's office in the southeast corner of Old City where they fitted our gear and we filled out some short paperwork. The drive from the office out to Crazy Horse Buttress was about an hour filled with lovely...

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Oct 08 2014

Flight of the Gibbon: Zipline Through the Jungle in Thailand

If you have ever visited Chiang Mai, you've probably seen the brochures and banners promoting the zipline company Flight of the Gibbon around Old City, on tuk-tuks and in Cafes. We knew we needed to give this popular tourist activity a try, and we were not disappointed. We were pretty excited to fly through the jungle and spend a day eye-to-eye with the treetops of Thailand. Flight of the Gibbon picked us up from our apartment and drove us in a van with other adventurers about 45 minutes to the zipline...

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Oct 05 2014

Chiang Mai Sky Adventure: Taking Sightseeing To The Next Level

There are many fun activities to do and beautiful places to see in the city of Chiang Mai. I could easily sit down and write a lengthy list of the most interesting and breathtaking things to do on a visit.  I believe that my latest adventure could easily sit in the top of that list. I was not familiar with microlights nor had I even seen one in person before we drove up to Chiang Mai Sky Adventure airstrip a few Kilometers outside of Chiang Mai’s Old City. I have flown...

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Sep 18 2014

Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: Cooking on an Organic Farm

One of the main draws of traveling to Thailand is the amazing food. What better way to take that experience home than to learn how to cook it yourself. Chiang Mai offers lots of opportunities to take a Thai cooking class and we decided to do our first course with Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School. We were excited about their philosophy of sustainable tourism and their classes offered on their organic farm. The owner and one of the class instructors, Gayray (or Gay for short), has traveled the world learning about...

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Sep 13 2014

Elephant Nature Park: Chiang Mai

Long before we decided to travel to Chiang Mai, we had a strong desire to see and interact with elephants and always knew we wanted to do it in a responsible manner. Wildlife tourism is something that should always be approached with skepticism and plenty of caution. Elephants, especially, are mistreated in Thailand. Elephants in Thailand Historically, elephants in Thailand were used in the logging industry. When the Thai government banned all logging in protected areas in 1989, thousands of elephants were left homeless. Mahouts, the elephant handlers, resorted to using their...

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Sep 10 2014

Hiking an Active Volcano: New Zealand

I gazed into the massive crater of the White Island volcano, holding my camera in one hand, trying to capture the wisps of steam and smoke creeping up the cliff side. In the other hand I held my gas mask tight against my face as a cloud of fumes engulfed me. When the cloud had passed, the chaotic beauty of white island's moonscape was fully exposed. In my recent travels to the North Island of New Zealand, my sister and I were looking to have an unique and exciting trip. With...

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Aug 19 2014

Palomar Observatory Trail

During our stay in San Diego we realized that it was time for us to start eating healthier and exercising more often. After many years of living and working in the city, our trips out to the mountains and forests for hiking have grown few and far between. We decided to change this so we headed out to Palomar Mountain to hike the famous Palomar Observatory Trail. The Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail is a great easily accessible hiking trail that leads up to the Hale Telescope and the world-class Palomar Observatory....

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Aug 12 2014

New Zealand: Craters of the Moon

As I walked down the path into the craters of the moon I watched in awe as the wind threw wisps of steam from the billowing thermal vents into spirals. I could hear boiling mud in the distance as I ventured further into nature’s sulfurous spa. The Craters of the Moon is a must-see geothermal field close to Taupo, New Zealand on the North Island. Wooden walkways have been constructed over the hot soil and vents so that visitors may safely pass through the field and view the various craters and...

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Jun 04 2014

New Zealand: Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

During my travels to the North Island of New Zealand this year I made my first ever trip to Hot Water Beach on the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula.This beach is truly unique due to two volcanic mineral springs beneath the beach that push heated water up through the sand. Near the rocks at the southern end of the beach you can dig a hole in the spring area to create your own personal hot tub in the beach sand!

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Apr 25 2014

Goodbye Cherry Blossoms, Hello Spring in D.C.

The abrupt end of the cherry blossom in D.C. serves as a reminder not to miss out on the offerings of your home town. While you’re daydreaming about far away places, it’s important to remember to notice the beauty and opportunities that are waiting right at your fingertips. This past weekend marked the first true occasion worthy of shorts this year and the blossoms were in full bloom. The sheer number of pink fluffy trees surrounding the tidal basin is breathtaking. The views are certainly worth the risk of being knocked...

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