san francisco sunset neighborhood

Stories from the Sunset

We’ve already established that when it comes to San Francisco, I’m pretty clueless. I don’t understand the city’s neighborhood boundaries; its streets, lacking a numbered, lettered, logical grid system, leave me disoriented and, too often, sputtering elaborate and nonsensical profanities. If you asked, I couldn’t recommend a nice place for lunch or a favorite bar…

vietnam night bus

Night Buses in Vietnam: the Good, the Bad, and the Scary

Here’s how I know I may have been backpacking for a bit too long: initially, the idea of Vietnamese night-buses did not strike me as weird. It seemed like a logical progression, I suppose, in my ever-devolving list of transportation choices: I’d started off my trip with flights, rental cars, overnight trains. Then I’d moved…

Two Treks in Sapa

The single greatest endorsement you can give a place when talking to a Southeast Asia backpacker is “cool.” I’m not talking about a destination’s bars or restaurant scene or fashion sense. I’m getting specifically at temperature. After enough time in Asia’s sweaty cities and humid beach towns, any mention of the words “mists,” “fog,” or…