Website Update #8: Two Years of Blogging!

Hello everyone! It has been 2 years since I started this blog and while that may seem like a lot, time has flown. But 55,000 views and about 180 posts later, I thank each and every one of you readers for sticking around. There are a lot of things I wanted to do on here that I never got around to, and plenty more which I started and ditched because of the extreme time commitment.

One such thing I decided to finish for this anniversary post, so, I present to you, the “Travel Timeline.” Read more

Website Update #7: 21 Months!

Hey GUYS!!!

It is that time again! Time for that, WTH did you do the last three months and what’s new on the blog post. These have been a pretty crazy last three months with ups and downs. Let me just get on with it.



1) Where Did I Go?

From July 2 – Sept 17, I took a trip through South East Asia. I always wanted to do this trip and was glad I finally just went out and did it. Here is where I went:

Thailand (5 weeks)

Koh Tao

Koh Samui

Koh Chang

Ayutthaya (World Heritage Site)

Khao Yai National Park (World Heritage Site)


The highlights for me were Ayutthaya and Khao Yai (surprise, surprise). Ayutthaya was an ancient city which was once the financial center of the world. It was an amazing part of history I had no background information on, so a nice surprise. In Khao Yai, I was in search of wild elephants. I didn’t want to ride a domesticated elephant (for reasons I detailed here) so was on a 5 day quest to find one in its natural habitat. I failed, but I did come across a 4 meter long python! Scary stuff.


Cambodia (2 weeks) 

Angkor (second visit) (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Koh Ker / Beng Mealea

Preah Vihear  (UNESCO World Heritage Site)


Sadly, Sidney got sick which delayed our progress into Laos as she rested up for about a week in Cambodia.

Angkor never ceases to amaze and it solidified its position as my favorite World Heritage Site. However, the highlight had to be Beng Mealea. This amazing jungle setting temple was truly raw with trees growing everywhere. The best part is that I had the whole thing for myself. It just goes to show that if you are flexible, you might come across some truly remarkable places.

On a personal note, my favorite thing was surprising my buddy Barang. I made up a story on how I was sending him another customer for his tuk tuk services and how I was sorry I wouldn’t be able to make it to Cambodia on this trip to SE Asia.  I thought it sounded suspicious, but it totally worked. His was speechless for the first few hours.

Barang is an awesome person I met on my first visit to Cambodia over 4 years ago. At the time, he was in his early 20s and borrowing a buddy’s tuk tuk to try and bring in some cash by showing people the temples of Angkor. Four years later, he is a married man with a son, a whole new life, and his own tuk tuk. He again invited us to his village, in a rural section just outside of Siem Reap and it truly was one of those ‘local experiences’ people talk about.



Myanmar (3 weeks)



Inle Lake


Kayah State

Pyay (Sri Ksetra) (UNESCO World Heritage Site)


I think you long time followers already figured this out, but Myanmar was easily my favorite country in this trip. The people have not been spoiled by extreme tourism in the same way the rest of the region. Bagan lived up to the hype and Mandalay was an amazing surprise as we made friends I still keep in touch with.

Inle Lake was okay, but to be honest, kind of disappointing. Of course, we saw some pretty interesting things, but not the natural wonderland people made it out to be. It felt like a Disneyland of sorts, but still enjoyable.

Kayah State was my most pleasant surprise. It is the home of the Kayan people. I promised Sidney not to take pictures out of respect to the Kayan, unless I was explicitly asked. Unfortunately, I don’t have many to share, but I am okay with that. The people have been exploited enough in Thailand and I was just glad to be there.



Malaysia (2 weeks)

Kuala Lumpur

Melaka (UNESCO World Heritage Site)


I was pleasantly surprised at how advanced and interesting I found the entire country. It pretty much has all of the conveniences and advantages of a first world country, without a first world price tag.

Melaka, to be honest, was a pretty disappointing for a World Heritage Site, but still enjoyable. It was not awful, but for what used to be one of the most important ports in the world, there isn’t much left that reminds you of that history. My expectations were too high.

Langkawi was pretty mind blowing. We spend one day borrowing a kayak and going from the mainland to nearby uninhabited islands. If that is not enough, one of the nights, we got lightning during sunset. Red lightning is one of the most amazing natural phenomena I have ever seen. In addition, on the main beach, the water recedes about 500 meters, exposing dozens of starfish on the beach. I did not expect to like it this much.



2) A Month of Sadness in New Zealand Sept 17 – Oct 17th

After three of the most amazing months of my life and a total of 7 months without worrying about work, it was time to get back to business. Getting to New Zealand initially wasn’t going to be thrilling and my mind wasn’t set on a ‘new experience.’ All I could think about was that I would soon have to search for menial work for about half of what I got paid in Korea. I passed up potential engineering jobs and a few offers to further my educational career for this? Needless to say, I did not come with the best attitude.

To make matters worse, I had the worst landlord experience to date, and that is saying a lot as I used to rent from Orly Taitz (that lady who was suing Obama for not being a ‘natural born citizen’). Constant bursting into our (supposed) private room, private bathroom that was not so private, and daily emails, texts, and voicemails were just the tip of the iceberg. Initially, I thought about making a full rant article on this alone, but why bother. Needless to say, that is over.

The first month in NZ was very depressing. Everything was incredibly expensive and we went from being able to afford anything and everything, to second guessing even the cheapest take out food. Sid and I struggled to land interviews and quickly found out that the “Working Holiday Scheme” is not designed for young professionals with skills, but for straight out of high school kids willing to do any sort of job regardless of whether or not they were being exploited and oblivious to the fact that many were essentially working for far less than minimum wage. This was Auckland, this was paradise. If anyone was wondering why I took a good month off of blogging, now you know.


3) A Month of Hope Oct 17th- NOW

We had a choice to either run with our tails between out legs or double down on this experience. As luck would have it, both Sid and I got jobs within days from each other and even across from one another too! Our schedules match very well and our new place is just wonderful. I bought a car which was an incredible bargain and we are starting to learn how to budget like we should have in the first place. I also took to Reddit to ask for travel suggestions in the North Island and the response has been amazing. Auckland nor New Zealand as a whole sucked. It was a combination of shitty cards and a bad attitude that sucked. It is always hard when you come down from your travel high, and more so in a foreign country.

Right now, we are saving for trips within the North Island, and hopefully Fiji or Bora Bora is in the cards soon. I still have about 80k travel miles which expire in April, so I definitely should use those.

Anyways, I am rambling. In conclusion, I hated NZ initially because I was unemployed, running out of money, and had a terrible housing experience, but I am much much happier now! 🙂



4) Gear List

I have been asked for a list of reviews on the gear I use and I dragged my feet for months. To be honest, I really need to spend a really long time with a device before I feel comfortable recommending it, but I am now ready. Expect that soon in the “About Me” Section.



5) Where I’ve Been

This section of the blog will also get a makeover soon. This actually takes a lot of time, so I apologize for taking so long in between updates.



6) WHS Re-evaluation (and the purpose in the first place)

Upon my evaluation of Namhansanseong, I got some backlash for not truly understanding the meaning of the site and under-rating it. To be honest, I knew that a re-evaluation was eminent, but as always, I truly appreciate your input (Kyle).

When I evaluate a site, I think about where it lands on the rankings. Then I think to myself, is this place really more enjoyable than the site below it but less enjoyable than the one above it. With 39 sites now, as you can imagine, this is proving a difficult task. Rest assured, re-evaluation was always part of the plan.

Most blogs don’t bother to change past posts and there is a very obvious reason why. There is no profit or incentive. If you change a past post, very few people will notice and for a for-profit blog, it is not worth it. Furthermore, re-evaluating 50 different posts is a monumental task taking about 100 hours. Thankfully, it is my blog and what I do with my time is my business. I simply don’t care that it is not profitable or ‘worth my time.’

I am honored to have had some friends consider me a ‘travel expert’ which in all honesty, while I know more than most, that is way too much praise. Ideally, one day, if someone asks me “I have never traveled before, give me some suggestions,” I would like to point out to the Rankings List and have them pick from the top to the bottom as my top recommendations. That is the point, and that is why re-evaluation is not only necessary now, but will continue to be an ongoing process as I rethink my formula. I plan to re-evaluate when I hit 50 sites (give or take).



7) Logo and Banner

Shamefully, I can’t code. I learned C a long time ago, but nothing useful. I’ll spare you the blabbing, I am looking for someone to make me a logo and a banner for this site. Of course, I am willing to pay, but to be honest, since this blog is not making any money, the cheaper the better. Pitch me some quotes and we can work for there. I don’t plan on underpaying anyone, I simply don’t know how much this work costs.



8) South Korea Project

South Korea will always have a special place in my heart. I am looking to undertake a project of splicing together pictures and short vids of all over Korea as a sort of advertisement to encourage people to come. If anyone is interested on being a part of that and is willing to donate some pictures, I would love to add them. I obviously have not been everywhere in the country, but continuously notice how underrated it is. I just want to see if there is any interest and take it from there. For the South Korea Travel Guide, I had some help and evaluators, so I just thought I’d ask.



Anyways, that is all for me. It has been 21 months blogging and are close to getting 100 search engine hits per day, which is pretty cool. The blog has grown a lot slower than I hoped, but I am still happy with what it has become. Thanks everyone!

Website Update #6 (18 months of Blogging!)

It has been 18 months. If you didn’t have faith that I could continue a blog this long, I don’t blame you. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, this is the longest I have ever stuck to a hobby. So, what is new?

*** Revisited Korea and Japan (May-June, 2014)

After two months in the US, I went back to Korea. This time, I didn’t have a nice job or a neat apartment waiting for me and spent a lot of time cooped up in a tiny little room known as a ‘koshiwon,’ an experience I do not recommend. In between the two months there, I ended up going to Japan for two weeks, which was awesome as always. If you didn’t know yet, it is my favorite country in the world. Finally, I left Korea on July 2nd for my next adventure!

*** Thailand and SE Asia

I have been in SE Asia for a month and plan to be in the region until September 3rd when I fly out of Malaysia. So far, Thailand has been pretty cool and am currently in Cambodia. Here, I was able to surprise Barang, my wonderful driver and friend who I met here four years ago. A lot has changed since then with him being married and having a kid now, but at the same time, a lot has stayed the same. He is still an awesome person. While everyone always talks about “meeting locals,” the truth is, that’s harder said than done. I am glad to have a wonderful local friend in Barang ‘the man’ Hang.

On a side note, I kept getting mixed reviews about how Angkor was too crowded and how it was different than I remember it. I was worried at first, but reaffirm, it is the most incredible World Heritage Site I have ever seen.

*** What’s next?

In a few days, I head to Laos for the first time. I have done zero research, so this should be interesting. After that, Sid and I have to decide between north Thailand or Myanmar. We are both leaning towards the latter due to its relative “off the beaten path” allure, but it will come down to money.

There was actually a sudden change of plans. We are skipping Laos and headed back to Bangkok. After a brief stay, we will spend most of the remainder of the trip in Myanmar. I think it is the right choice, and more on this later. Sadly, this means I will not be able to complete every UNESCO world heritage site in SE asia, but at least I will get to see Bagan, a town I am incredibly excited to visit.

*** Updates

With all of the traveling, I haven’t really had time or motivation to make any radical changes to the site. I want to focus on writing and not just to get views. While I like food as much as the next person, I think that niche of travel blogging is so saturated, I can skip it. What the hell am I talking about? Oh yeah. My point is, I have to think hard to come up with a unique story or theme that hasn’t been done to death. Wish me luck!

*** Instagram!

I decided to give Instagram a try and I love it! Pictures will be divided into three categories from now on. Silly, but completely unspectacular pics will go on the FB page, good travel pics taken on my phone will go on instagram, and of course, the best pics taken with my (girlfriend’s) SLR will go on blog posts… or stored on my computer forever. Oh yeah…

*** My SLR Broke

My Sony Alpha 33 could not handle 2 days in the Bangkok heat and humidity. It threw in the towel and for now, I am carrying a pretty large paper weight. Thankfully, Sidney is letting me use her SLR (which is much better, an Alpha 57) and am managing fine. Sucks to have a big piece of junk though.

*** The Race to Beat Brad

Brad is my friend from college who is also into UNESCO World Heritage Sites. He surpassed my count and I have been trying to catch up ever since. Not sure if Brad reads the blog, but if you’re out there Brad, I WILL catch you!!! 🙂 At time of writing, I have visited 61 62 WHS and he has been to 65.


I think that is all. It has been a wonderful 18 months of writing and hope to have 18 more. Thanks everyone for the support.

Website Update #5 (15 months in!)

This update is a couple of days late, but I have a really good excuse this time! While writing an update every 3 months isn’t a rule set in stone, it allows me to verbalize what has been done and what I need to do next. It is like thinking out loud without worrying about pictures and all that other nitty gritty stuff that comes with blogging.

Oh yeah and as for that excuse?


*** I’m back in Korea! Read more

Website Update #4 – And Happy 1st Blogniversary to me!

Wow! It’s been a whole year since I first started this blog. I know I said this on the last update, but I will say it again, I NEVER thought I would continue doing a blog for this long. I would like to thank each and every one of you readers who have made this possible. Seriously, I am obsessed with you guys! The first thing I do every morning is see how many views I’ve gotten by 9Am… yes… I know I have a problem, but please don’t leave me! 🙁

Anyways, given how this is Travel World Heritage’s anniversary, and by extension, my own…  I wanted to share a few things. After thinking about it for 2 weeks now, I came up with… nothing… absolutely nothing. I thought of “my favorite posts,” “ten things about TWH you didn’t know,” or “a recap of 2013” but instead, I will just ramble about 10 things concerning all of those.


10) The Best Items I Crossed Off My Bucket List in 2013

While I didn’t get to go to the Philippines, I did cross out two HUGE things off my bucket list. I finally visited Komodo National Park and Machu Picchu and both were just as amazing as I imagined. I am sure either of those are in many people’s lists and much like me, you probably have said “some day” way too many times. 2013 was long enough wait for me and I encourage you to make 2014 your year.


9) I’m finally leaving Korea 🙁

I initially moved to Korea to try something different. I didn’t want to be like everyone else in the corporate world and jumped on an alternative. Korea turned out to be so cozy and the money so good, that I have been here for 4 years. Come March though, my goal of being debt free will be accomplished and again, I am willing to take a risk to try something new. If all goes well…



8) New Zealand Baby! (or Australia?)

My visa has come in and I am all ready to go to New Zealand to start a working holiday! However, one last hurdle remains. Sidney will be coming with me, and I have my fingers crossed that she too will be able to get a working visa in May. If all else fails, we will go to Australia… which isn’t a bad consolation prize so I’m not too concerned! Expect more posts from Oceania in the next few months after some intensive travel… which reminds me…


7) 2014 Will be the Year of Travel

After March 1st, I plan to be unemployed and pretty much just chilling and traveling for a little over six months. It starts with a small vacation in Japan next week (6 days). Here is the full plan:

Jan 30 – Feb 4 Japan

Mar 1 – Apr 23 USA

Apr 24 – May 16 Korea

May 17 – July 14 South East Asia ( Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and MAYBE Malaysia)

July 15 – Early 2015 New Zealand or Australia

Not bad eh?


6) TWH in numbers – Most Popular and Least Popular

You might have noticed that I am a bit obsessed with numbers. While TWH hasn’t gotten ridiculous amounts of views, I am still honored that some of you find it worth a look. I might not have put forth the best travel stories, the most amazing (cough:: altered) pictures, nor been to the most exotic places. Nevertheless, I try to be as accurate, informative, and come on, my pictures aren’t THAT bad!

Anyways… after 11 months:

Total Views: ~ 23,000

Unique Visitors: ~ 13,000

Most Searched Key Phrase: “I hate Koreans” (seriously people, what’s your deal!)

Most Popular Post: Five AMAZING places you are FORBIDDEN from Visiting (Although 1500 of those came from reddit alone. Thanks Reddit!) 2,200 views

Least Popular Post: Bayon is Watching You! (My attempt at ‘interesting’ titles failed miserably) 6 views [Why did I even bother?]


5) Charity and other Good Causes

One section that I started a few months ago was “Make a Difference.” It was meant to showcase charities, companies or individuals who I thought were worthy of your business as it would go to a good cause. Since its inception, TWH has promoted:

i) Awamaki – Helping Native Rural Peruvian Villages

ii) Vitalise Charity – Helping People with Disabilities go on Vacation


iii) Barang Hang – An awesome Tuk-Tuk Driver in Siem Reap near Angkor, and an even cooler person once you get to know him.

If you have something you think should be featured on this blog along these lines, let me know!


I would also like to establish a more direct charitable work over the next few years, and hopefully, get other travelers to help me out. If you are interested in helping those in need,  stay tuned.


4) My Favorites of 2013

While I’m not a huge book guy, most of my free time is spent reading articles, top 10 lists, and the like. Here are the 5 best things I read in 2013:

i) 40 Maps To Will Help You Make Sense of the World (#2 and #17 are shocking, but the best is #36)

ii) 101 Incredible Rock Formations Around the World (I’ve been to 2 lol)

iii) Palmerson: The Island At The End of the Earth (A traveler’s dream)

iv) Elon Musk’s Hyperloop (The future of travel)

and the best

v) Return to the rainforest: A son’s search for his Amazonian mother (Just an incredible and eye-opening story)


3) Website Redesign

You might have noticed that the site looks different. It went from a free template provided by WordPress to the paid “Explorer” template. The transition wasn’t as smooth as I imagined, especially since I am not a programmer. I will work on fixing things as quickly as I can. One thing I do like a lot is that the main page is map based, and although it might not be a very popular feature, I will give it some time and see what happens.


2) The Yoga 2 Pro

Blogging has gotten a lot smoother since I got this new computer, the Lenovo Yoga 2. This beast of a machine features an i7 4th gen intel chip, 512 GB SSD, and a 3200×1800 screen resolution. I will write a review on it after I test it on the road, but in short, it is by far the most powerful computer I have ever owned.


1) Feb 1st isn’t really the Anniversary, but so what?

If you have been there since the beginning, or taken some time to look at the archives, you would see that my first post was on Feb 13th, 2013.  In short, using Feb 1 really makes the math easier and it’s nice not to have the anniversary right before Valentine’s Day.