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Meet Your New Best Friend: Blonde Traveler, Trip Advisor for Women by Women


Swish likes to travel. Surprise, huh? I think that you might have noticed this in our numerous blogs and photos; however, Swish also likes to travel in style but within a budget, and with a comprehensive knowledge of the region that we are in. I don't care how many guidebooks you read and how good they are, nothing beats the advice of your stylish and adventurous girlfriends who have been there and done it all before, right? Let me introduce you to your new best friend: BlondeTraveler.com.  BlondeTraveler is a travel site for Southeast Asia compounded from real life experiences and testimonies from women who have been there and done it! Women who, like you dear swish reader, " doesn't mind getting [their] feet wet (or muddy or sandy or what have you...) on [their] travels to Thailand, Laos,Vietnam, Cambodia, and the rest, but who also guiltily wonders if [they] can cram her Jimmy Choos into her backpack (you can't)."

Creator (and Swish girl) Kailia Krayweski traveled and blogged extensively throughout Southeast Asia. After her travels she created BlondeTraveler because, "While planning my backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, I was shocked to find there were no travel sites geared specifically for women. So, I decided to start one up myself! The goal of BlondeTraveler is to make travel for women safer, more fun, and less frustrating."

BlondeTraveler also allows travelers to connect with other female travelers and ask questions. This is an easy way to connect with new friends who are also traveling and to get up to date information on the next place you are headed from someone who is also there!

If you are worried about your safety in Southeast Asia  BlondeTraveler also offers their platinum blonde service for $25 a month, which provides you with legal advice, visa assistance, dietary advice, tracking services, emergency assistance, live travel counseling, live translation services in addition to discounts on hotels, bars, restaurants, and clothing! The discounts are to places and products that have been tested by the Blonde Travelers personally (BT Platinum members get 10% off Swish products). This means that during your travels your membership will mostly pay for itself.

I was fortunate enough to meet the stylish Blonde Traveler Team while in Bangkok, and let me tell you these ladies know their stuff! I had an amazing visit with them and they helped me find the best shopping locations for specific goods, where to get amazing food, the best bars and parties, as well as reputable tour services around the pulsing throngs in swanky Bangkok. As I traveler and a female, I highly recommend this site to anyone traveling around Southeast Asia.

Morning Bangkok

Creative Commons License photo credit: jonrussell

Check out their teaser video here and visit their website for great articles (some written by a very familiar Swish blogger!)



Tales from Vietnam: Let's get combustible (Da Nang, Hoi An, China Beach)


The next morning we arrived in Hoi An from Hue, which used to be the largest harbour in South East Asia and is another UNESCO world heritage site.  It's buildings are largely influenced by the foreign trade industry.

We spent one day and evening in Hoi An mostly walking around the buildings and night markets. The town is very cute if nothing but a little touristy.

We woke up slightly groggy after the night in Hoi An, and remembered that we had heard something about an international fireworks festival one town over in Da Nang. Feeling a little more than our normal spontaneous selves, we hopped on the next bus out.  We ended up staying at China Beach instead of in the center of Da Nang. China Beach was a popular retreat for soldiers during the Vietnam War and is now a surfing Mecca.

Kate had been living in Siberia for too long, so the first thing she did was run to the sea to have a moment.

We then headed into Da Nang to the international fireworks festival, where various teams from across the globe competed to see who had the best display. The streets were absolutely crackling with excitement and Kate and I were feeling young and combustible.

I was very impressed by the display with eyes all shiny and excited to watch things explode. Kate's only response to my childlike state of hyper excitement was "Come to Chinese New Year" hmmmm. . . Might have to do that soon. . .

Stay tuned for more of Kate and Victoria's adventures in Vietnam! Coming up next. . . The girls head to the coast for some serious swishy beach and dive time.