February of 2018 was the month where we truly embodied the namesake of this site and wound up in the country we had planned NOT to travel to. After seeing our friend Ilan in Hong Kong, we had planned on flying to Bangkok to begin Thailand part two. Unfortunately, Chinese New Year threw a wrench into our plans, skyrocketing flight prices out of Hong Kong. We reviewed all of our options and getting a cheaper flight to Taipei and weathering the New Year there made the most sense, even if most of the city would be shut down for a week. We wanted some downtime anyway after rushing through Bali, the Philippines, and Hong Kong in just 3 weeks.
The good news is we LOVED Taiwan. It is probably the most foreign place we have traveled to yet, but in all the right ways. Taipei is a very modern city, but also steeped in tradition that was so fun to grow accustomed to. 24 hour bowling/arcades, public hot spring baths, sprawling night markets... I ate probably 5 pounds of dumplings in ten days. There are hardly any Western tourists around, which was a great change from Southeast Asia as well. I really hope someday we make it back there and I encourage anyone traveling through Asia to consider it as a destination, it will surprise you.
One would think that after Taiwan we would return to our original itinerary, but flight prices can change all of that. We managed to find a flight to Hanoi for $80 each (including bags!) and decided we'd instead begin our 5 week motorbike journey through Vietnam. I'm mildly terrified of biking 2000 km on a semi automatic carrying 2 people and 15 kg of luggage, but I feel like after the first couple days it will get easier. At least I hope so. We hope to arrive in Ho Chi Minh by April 6th, with many stops along the way to places like Hoi An, Ninh Binh, Hue, Dalat, and many more. It's going to be such an adventure, hopefully one of the major highlights from the trip.