Karen Stafford

Karen Stafford

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    What is your best tip for getting of the beaten path in Laos?

    Take a bus. It's not how, it's where you go. If you head up to the Phongsali area, you will be very much off the beaten path. One disadvantage is that there is really not much to see, unless you like looking at a lot of trees and perhaps a village here and there. Also, lots of cool islands in the south that the tourists don't get to. You have to charter your own boat to cross over form the main islands in Si Phan Don. Good for walking around and some pretty scenery but unless you know soemone in one of the villages there people will wonder what the heck you are doing there. I visit my friends' families while in laos and there is really not much to do but sit around and sleep in the daytime (too damn hot to do anything else), some of the men drink themselves silly, and then you eat, and drink laolao at night. Others get up at the crack of dawn to fish or work in the fields... about 8 years ago

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    Can someone recommend a good place to stay in Osaka (less than $100 per night)?

    Just google "Rakuten Travel" and you will find a lot of hotels for $60 or less. about 8 years ago

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    What is your best tip for climbing Mt. Fuji?

    Don't go on a weekend or during Obon (Aug 12~14) waaaay too crowded. And don't forget very warm clothes, it's freezing at the top. And wear sensible shoes. about 8 years ago

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    Will it be easy for me to rent a van or car in Japan for a week?

    Taking into consideration the cost + hassle of driving in Japan (can you read Japanese road signs and are you familiar with the laws/aggressive Japanese driving habits?) it woudl be better to rely on public transport, which is higly efficient. That said, yes, rental cars/vans are available but I believe you're looking at US$80 a day or so, plus gas $1.50 per liter, and road tolls/parking fees. If cost is no problem and crazy drivers do not bother you, go for it! :-) about 8 years ago

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    I am planning a 2D3N trip to Phnom Penh - anybody have hotel and things to do receommendations ?

    National Museum, Wat Phnom, Royal Palace (dress appropriately; no shorts, and women must cover shoulders) and Silver Pagoda next door, Russian market for shopping, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. For more info and places to stay, google "Canby Publications" for the definitive online guide for Cambodia. over 8 years ago

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    How can I do volunteer work in Cambodia?

    How do you qualify to do volunteer work? Do you have a medical license, teaching experience, done work with NGOs abroad, for example? If you are interested in a serious volunteering stint, then a lot of places will want yo to commit long-term, starting with a year or so. over 8 years ago

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    I heard that there is some kind of river tubing thing where you can get really really really drunk while floating down a river. Cant find it

    I just wanted to add that the husband of a couple honeymooning went missing while they were tubing in VV recently, and the man's body was found the next day. This stuff happens, it is REAL and it can be dangerous. Here is the discussion on another forum, I hope the link works http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293949-i9320-k3106981-Be_careful_when_tubing_on_the_Lao_rivers-Laos.html almost 9 years ago

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    cheap accommodation

    Capsule hotels are generally limited to men, and are the size of a generous rabbit hutch. Hostels generally tend to be grubby (at least the ones I have stayed at in Japan have been) and often have an annoying curfew. Business hotels are cheap and all over the place. Some family-run inns are cheap as well. Ther Toyoko Hotel chain is a group of cheapie business hotels. Google it and you will find one in the location you desire. If that doesn't suit your fancy, the Rakuten Travel site (google it) has a zillion reasonably-priced hotels listed. about 9 years ago