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  1. Travel Photo of the Week: Happy Easter from the Wumpus Bunny

    April 20, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    cute bunny rabbit
    Parts Unknown

    Itchy Feet on the Cheap and Wumpus want to wish everyone a happy Easter. Remember kids, rabbits can’t lay eggs — they’re mammals. They give birth to live young, just like we do. If you see a chocolate looking thing comes from a rabbit’s under-regions, don’t eat it, it’s probably poop.

  2. Travel Photo of the Week: Soviet Army Memorial in Slovakia

    April 13, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    Bratislava, Slovakia Slavin Memorial

    Bratislava, Slovakia

    Slavin sits on a field cemetery in the hills of the Slovak capital. It was created to memorialize the Soviet soldiers that died during World War II. The Soviets liberated Slovakia from Germany, but there are mixed feelings about them. The Slovaks were grateful to be freed from the Nazi stranglehold, but I don’t really think they were down with the Soviets either. A popular Slovak leader was unseated as the Soviets backed the communist party. The whole thing is kind of strange, but it was probably better than having a bunch of Nazis running around. While the Soviets occupied Slovakia, they decided to build this memorial. I’ve heard from a Slovak that the Soviets even demanded that a church steeple be lowered because it was higher than the memorial. At any rate, it’s worth the walk up to the memorial for the views of the city alone. I’m always trying to hunt down the best free spots for aerial views of the city I’m staying in. Slavin takes the prize in the B’slav.

    For more Slovakia -> More Slovakia!!

  3. Travel Photo of the Week: Enter Machu Picchu

    April 6, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    Machu Picchu ruin

    Machu Picchu, Peru

    The precisely cut stones that make up the walls of Machu Picchu’s ruins are a impressive feat. There was no mortar used — the stones are custom cut to fit together. The technique is called ashlar and it shows us how amazing the Inca people were at constructing buildings, especially considering the time at which it was built and the location of it. For these structures to survive Peru’s earthquakes for over 500 years, shows us just how amazing they are.

    For more Peru or more Machu Picchu.

  4. Travel Photo of the Week: Viet Street Life

    March 30, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    Outside the market in Ben Tre, Vietnam

    Ben Tre, Vietnam

    We love Ben Tre, Vietnam. I think I’ve said that on here before. Its market is filled with amazing things be it snakes, fish, or sexy looking vegetables. This photo shows the street just outside the market building. It was taken from a bridge that spans the Ben Tre river. Check out that tilt shift blur. Oh yeah, baby.

    More about Ben Tre, Vietnam

  5. Books and Movies to get you Pumped for your Trip to Vietnam

    March 25, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    There’s a ton of entertaining books and movies about Vietnam. Before you pack your bags, why not watch a few films and read a few books. You’ll not only learn something about the country, but you’ll also get yourself psyched for your adventures. Here’s some recommendations from me. Full disclosure: the links will take you to Amazon where you can buy the product. If you do happen to buy it, Amazon gives us about a buck. We promise not to buy anything frivolous with that money.

    Vietnam: The 10,000 Day WarVietnam – The Ten Thousand Day War (1980)
    We all know how great Vietnam War movies are. I could fill this list with some of my favourite films (Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter), but frankly those films don’t really have much “Vietnam” in them. If you really want to learn about the war, Vietnam – The Ten Thousand Day War is your best bet. It’s a mini-series comprised of 26 half-hour episodes that cover everything you need to know. The Canadian filmmakers did a great job in presenting the information in an unbiased way, from both sides of the story.

    A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
    No one describes Vietnam like Anthony Bourdain. He loves the country, and his excitement for it is contagious. The way he describes the food makes me want to fly to Saigon for my lunch break.

    As the black coffee dribbles slowly through and around the ice cubes, swirling gently in dark-on-white wisps through the milk, I feel Vietnam doing the same thing to my brain. I’m in love. I am absolutely over-the-top gonzo for this country and everything in it. I want to stay forever.

    The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War
    Pulitzer Prize winning photo of a naked girl running from napalm.Kim Phuc was seven years old when she was severely burned by napalm. This image was taken of her running naked down the street. It won a Pulitzer Prize and is without a doubt one of the most disturbing images of the Vietnamese War. Denise Chong wrote Kim Phuc’s biography detailing what happened before and after the photo. The book tells an amazing story and haunts its readers, similar to how the photo haunts its viewers.

    The Quiet American
    Published in 1955, this political novel about the French war in Vietnam is frequently included in top 100 book lists. It focuses on the relationship between a French journalist and a young, well-educated American man. It’s anti-war, and some claim anti-American. In any case, the author Graham Greene (a former war correspondent for The Times) puts together sentences that make you float from word to word in awe.

    So it always is: when you escape to a desert the silence shouts in your ear.

    The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)
    The only Vietnamese film nominated for an Academy Award, although it was made by a French company, and shot entirely at a studio in France. It tells a nice story about a young Vietnamese girl in the 1940s who works as a servant for a family. The shots are beautiful. The pacing is slow and calculated. It’s worth watching it for the nasty little boy’s trademark move. I don’t want to spoil it, so all I’ll say is that it surprised the crap out of me and made me laugh uncontrollably.

    Three Seasons (1999)
    Three Seasons
    This film’s story revolves around various characters in Ho Chi Minh City, but the real star of the movie is the city itself. Westernization is coming, Saigon is changing, which means the people must change too. Three Seasons was the first film to capture both the Grand Jury Award and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. If that’s not enough, in one of the many story lines Harvey Keitel plays a Vietnam War vet who comes back to Vietnam to find his daughter. It’s hard to find a recent movie that showcases modern Vietnam like this film does. The cinematography is stellar.

  6. Travel Photo of the Week: Self-Reflection

    March 22, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    Bruges, Belgium canal

    Bruges, Belgium

    A few years ago, Sara and I spent Christmas in Belgium. Although it was freezer-ballz cold, it’s a pretty magical Christmas destination. The Christmas markets are fantastic and the scenery is festive, especially in Bruges — the former European Capital of Culture. The canals and their perfect reflections make you… well, reflect.

  7. Travel Photo of the Week: Hippopotamouth

    March 15, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    A hippo at the Bratislava Zoo

    Brastislava, Slovakia

    This guy was not a happy hippo. He was angry with the hippo in the next pen over. I don’t know what they were arguing about, but this guy was all, “check out how big my teeth are” and the other hippo was all, “please don’t hurt me”. It was pretty entertaining.

  8. Travel Photo of the Week: Beaches be like…

    March 9, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    Costa Rica beach

    Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

    Located on the pacific coast of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas, Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, but as they say ‘size isn’t everything’. The park is filled with awesome wildlife like squirrel monkeys, white-faced monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, and some weird furry rodent-looking thing. After you’ve soaked in the fauna, why not cool off in the water? The park also has four guh-orgeous beaches. In 2011, Forbes was all like, “This national park be like one of the best 12 national parks eva!”

  9. Travel Photo of the Week: Former McDonald’s Meat Plant

    March 2, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    abandoned factory

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    This empty space was once a bustling meat packing plant that provided hamburger to all the McDonald’s in the area. It’s now used as a location for crappy music videos and scary movies. Watch out for ghost cows — boo/moo!

  10. Travel Photo of the Week: Food Truck Yumz

    February 23, 2014 by Itchy Feet on the Cheap

    Per Se Food Truck in Toronto

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    It’s no secret that we love street food. Toronto’s food truck scene has been growing for the past few years even though the city’s laws aren’t very conducive to the restaurants on wheels. It seems that’s about to change though as a new policy is on the verge of being passed. It would allow trucks to park in paid parking lots, on city streets, within 20 to 50 metres from regular restaurants. My belly is smiling. This photo shows Per Se‘s food truck at a York University football game. Per Se is a catering company that was founded by Chef Camilo Olarte. This porchetta sandwich is a brilliant twist on an Italian-style meat, served on a brioche bun with an apple and onion marmalade.