Christy and Aaron Tracker

Follow Christy and Aaron on their backpacking trip around the world

Take a Bow

Posted by Christy in Posts on 02 20th, 2011

Lying just outside Kyoto is the small town of Nara, an exquisite village with a unique quirk: Hundreds of deer roam the public parks surrounding the temples freely, being pampered by the locals and the tourists that travel there just for them.

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country. (Extracted from the Nara Wikipedia article.)

Somewhere along the way, the deer learned a charming little trick in order to lure food out of the hands of locals and tourists…

Oh, yes. The deer bow. Am I gonna lie to you and tell you we didn’t travel to Nara, or even Kyoto, just to see these deer? No, I’m not. That is PRECISELY why we traveled eight hours west of Tokyo.

And was it worth it? Oh, yes. Even when this happened:



Memoirs of an A$$hole

Posted by Christy in Posts on 02 18th, 2011

From Tokyo, we headed  to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and the home to some of the more fabulous temples and gardens:

My favorite part of Kyoto, which I have to admit is kind of sick, was Geisha stalking in the Gion district of Kyoto. For those of you who don’t know what a Geisha is, it is kind of like one step up from being a hooker. You can read about them more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geisha

In the Gion district of Kyoto, the Geisha industry is still running, albeit just barely.
In the 1920s, there were an estimated 80,000 Geisha in Japan. In 2007, there were just 196 registered in the Gion district.

To view the few traditional Geisha left in Japan, the best time to visit Gion is between 6 and 7 PM, when they have to arrive to their first appointments. So, cluttering the quaint historic street at this time are hoards of tourists, waiting to catch a glimpse. As soon as the made-up women peer around a corner…

SNAP! SNAP! SNAP!

It is just like the paparazzi. I felt like such an a$$hole. The women held their heads down as to avoid the significant amount of flashes. But I’m not gonna lie, I loved every minute of it.

Maybe I should make a move to L.A….



Angkor WHAT?!?

Posted by Christy in Posts on 01 18th, 2011

I am gonna be honest, I had no idea what Angkor Wat was before we arrived in Cambodia. It was merely a recollection buried deep inside my brain that I had heard in passing in 7th grade world history class. It actually has a very interesting background behind it, which I will share with you now:

Angkor Wat is the principle temple of the region of Angkor that served as the seat for the Khmer Empire. There are over one thousand temples in this area, which were built approximately between the 9th and 13th centuries.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious building in the world. It was built in the 12th century and dedicated to the god Vishnu of the Hindu religion. A century later it was moved to the Buddhist religion. Today the Buddhist religion is still practiced there.

Visiting Angkor Wat and the other surrounding temples was a very enjoyable experience for us because, unlike Rome and Paris, it was a free-for-all on where you could venture in the temples. We could literally climb the walls of any structure and nobody would say a word.

We were in Angkor during the high season, so we expected vast crowds of tourists. I have to say though that it wasn’t bad AT ALL, especially compared to, once again, France and Italy. Plus there are so many temples to explore, in such a huge area, we didn’t feel the slightest feeling of agoraphobia.

I would say, if you are in Southeast Asia, Angkor is definitely worth the trip. It is a little steep for the backpacking bunch ($20 per person), but we have no regrets at all, and trust me, we are very cautious with our money.

Also, if you feel up for it, we recommend renting bikes to explore the area. The bikes cost us $2 apiece, and it is only 6 km to the temples from Siem Reap (the closest accommodations to the area are located there). Also the area is so big, you can’t get to every temple on foot, so you either have to rent a bike or rent a tuk –tuk for the day, which will set you back $20 and it is not much fun.

I would also like to add that I am not as narcissistic as I appear. Aaron holds the camera in his pocket, and as a result takes more pictures of me rather than himself. I try to take as many pictures of him as possible, but you know how I am a video kind of girl, so he ends up in a lot more videos.