Of all my experiences from living in Taiwan for 9 months, backpacking the Holy Ridge Trail in 5 days was one of the highlights. The Holy Ridge (or “雪山聖稜線” in Chinese) is an awe-inspiring, often razor-thin ridge of mountains in Taiwan’s Shei-pa National Park. It spans from north to south, connecting the famous Snow Mountain (“雪山” / “Xueshan”) all the way to Mt. Dabajian (“大霸尖山” / “Dabajianshan”). At 12,749 ft, Snow Mountain is Taiwan’s most famous mountain and second highest. As we traversed this ridge in an O-shaped loop, our views spanned the mountain range and we summited several peaks along the way and climbed more than a few sketchy scrambles. From sparse, steep rocky bits to lush forest hiking, this trip had some unforgettable views and even better memories. Continue reading
Author Archives: Mia McMahon
Thailand Photo Journal
What should you do if equipped with just ten days in Thailand? Instead of turning the trip into a frenzied race to see all the most important spots with what little time we had, my favorite travel companion and I decided to pick just one town in the north and south of the country to spend more time in. The result was a lot more relaxing, in-depth, and enjoyable than burning ourselves out and spending more time than we wanted on just getting to different places.
The first stop? Chiang Mai, of course!
Philippines Photo Journal
This gallery contains 31 photos.
What does a week in the Philippines on a backpacker’s budget look like? Well, 4 islands and approximately $430 later, and I have the water-damaged iPhone pics to show for it: If you’re looking for a beautiful place to visit … Continue reading
The 5 Lightweight Items We Can’t Travel Without
Packing lighter is no news to backpackers and trekkers who want to ease sprains and strains on their weary muscles. But the ultralight packing trend that the outdoor industry is embracing can be applied to travelers as well – even if your end destination is a resort instead of a tent under the trees. If you have a big trip coming up but are fed up with lugging around those 2 exactly-50-lb suitcases, this article is for you! Not only will international transfers be a breeze, but you also don’t have to break your back stuffing it into the back of a taxi, shuttle, or longtail-boat-transfer-to-tiny-island-resort. Win-win! Leave the packing tips to us, embrace the minimalism, and focus on all the R&R you could want on your actual vacation. Continue reading
Columbia River Gorge: Munra Point
For the last post in our series of winter hikes in the Columbia River gorge (see our previous features on the Cape Horn Trail and Eagle Creek Trail) we have the seriously stunning Munra Point Trail. Continue reading
Columbia River Gorge: Eagle Creek Trail
Part 2 of our Columbia River Gorge winter hikes feature is the Eagle Creek trail! This is one of the most popular trails in the gorge due to its close proximity to downtown Portland and relative easiness. The trail gently slopes and you can pick how far you want to go – if you only make it to Punchbowl Falls, you’ll log 3.8 miles round trip. The furthest people tend to hike in a single day trip is Tunnel Falls, which would be a solid 12 miles round trip. You can go a total of 26.5 miles to Wattum lake, which people tend to turn into a multi-day backpacking trip to make it more doable. Any way you slice it, the Eagle Creek trail is a crowd-pleaser with a lot of options. But that being said…it should be noted that you’re not going to get very far on this trail in the dead of winter. Or at least, we didn’t. Continue reading
Safest Airlines in the World: 2016
For the third consecutive year, AirlineRatings.com has released its annual list for the world’s safest airlines. They base the ratings off of factors like certifications, audits, fatality records, and incident records. And for the third year in a row, Qantas Airlines was the top pick for safest airline! The company remains completely fatality-free, which got praise from the editors as “extraordinary.”
The entire list of top 20 airlines, alphabetically arranged, are as follows:
- Air New Zealand
- Alaska Airlines
- All Nippon Airlines
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Scandinavian Airline System
- Singapore Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
…and on the other end of the spectrum, they also rated the 10 worst airlines (womp womp):
- Batik Air
- Bluewing Airlines
- Kal-Star aviation
- Lion Air
- Sriwijaya Air
- Trigana Air Service
- Wings Air
- Xpress Air
They all happen to be from Indonesia, Nepal, and Surinam. C’mon, guys!
For more info about this year’s winners (and losers), head over to their full review.
P.S. featured image courtesy of TechDrive.
Columbia River Gorge: Cape Horn Trail
This is part 1 of 3 of our favorite winter hikes in the Columbia River Gorge! This post covers the Cape Horn Trail. As far as PNW beauty goes, it’s hard to beat. The trail is a loop that runs a hair over 7 miles long with an elevation gain of 1350 ft. – moderate, but totally doable. It’s a newer trail with a lot of varied views, from deep woods to great lookout points to waterfalls to even some black sheep on the way back! Enjoy: Continue reading
2015 Gift Guide for Travelers
It’s that time of year again! In case you loved last year’s Christmas gift guide, we’re back with all-new ideas for you to get the world traveler in your life: 2015 edition! Continue reading
Don’t Post That Boarding Pass Pic
Congrats! So you’ve already gone through the stress of packing, repacking, weighing your bags, re-evaluating your life, repacking…and then you waited through long lines, dutifully whipped your laptop out and kicked your shoes off for security, and found your way to your gate…