Travel


Hey everybody!

It’s been more than a month since…

I’ve gotten back from Cambodia.

I was basking in fun under the sun at Burning Man 2010.

I started my 2nd year at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

I’ve posted a blog on Asi es la vida.

It’s time to start writing again.

Yup. So here I am;

Ready….. begin!

In addition to irregular posts at Asi es la vida, I will now also begin irregularly blogging forThe Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Fletcher has several blogs. This summer I posted a few on “Fletcher Reflections” and I’ve since joined the “Year in the Life of….” [insert name of Fletcher student] crew of bloggers.

Here’s the first post of the (school) year…

View from a room with a view

So. Why? You might ask, did I decide I wanted to blog for The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy?

I like to think, try out, and process things out loud and with other people

I want to “work on my writing” (lifelong process people)

I wanted another (fun) form of procrastination

I have so many interesting things to tell you! (Uhhhm, you be the judge)

I really and truly love The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the experiences that it brings

I thought I might learn something new in the process

On the other hand, I didn’t start blogging for Fletcher because…

I get paid to do it and needed (another) job

I actually think you’re going to read my posts all the way through

I wanted to become famous or have future employers judge me by my blogging

I think I have spare time to read, write, rewrite, edit and perfect my posts

Now that we are clear, I’ve said it once and will say it again: If you have to come back to anywhere from an awesome, fun-filled summer, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is a fantastic place to land! It’s been wonderful being back. Everybody talks about the community at Fletcher and they are not exaggerating. The people, the places, the comeraderie, and most of all, the fun (!) that can be had while pursuing a degree in the field of international affairs, law, and diplomacy. Now that I’m settled and nestling back in, I’ll be bringing you up-to-speed on the pulse of a(nother) year in the life of… Me.

Talk to you soon ya’ll.

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"Sea of Trees" Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Traveling through Mondulkiri province in the northern highlands of Cambodia earlier this month, I found myself on the top of a hillside, taking in deep breaths of crisp fresh air, and enjoying the peaceful view onto the “sea of trees”. But somewhere in the back of my head I was thinking about the terrible stories I’ve heard about deforestation in Cambodia and couldn’t help wondering if this was an anomaly, or how long these trees would be there?

Cambodia is ranked the 3rd worst country for deforestation rates in the world.  I’ve heard people in Phnom Penh say, where you would once find vast forests in the northern regions of the country, there are now long stretches of green plains, hills, and farmland.

Cropland in Mondulkiri

The causes of deforestation have evolved with the changing political and economic climate in Cambodia, with timber sales funding the Khmer Rouge regime and subsequent wars, in addition to local needs for additional cropland and daily supplies of firewood for cooking.  According to the World Wildlife Organization, “the Lower Mekong Dry Forests once blanketed north-eastern Thailand, southern Laos, Cambodia and parts of Vietnam but a majority has been cleared for farming.”

More than 80 percent of Cambodia’s population lives in the countryside and depends on subsistence farming. “[Today] the main cause of the loss of forest is the increase in the population” said Deputy Governor Leng Vuth in a 2010 UNDP report, “we now have 70,000 residents compared to 10,000 – a seven-fold increase in a 10-year period.”

Our tourist guide's home

While visiting Mondulkiri, I asked a tour guide familiar with the region whether he kew if the forests were being protected or not.  He said there are now vast stretches of land where it is prohibited for people to cut down certain species of trees. He pointed to a checkpoint as we passed one alongside the road and said, “that’s where police stop cars and trucks to make sure they do not have any of the illegal [kinds of] lumber in their cargo.” “And if they do?” I asked. “If they do find that expensive kind of [prohibited] tree, you will have to pay,” he said, uttering expletives about government corruption, he continued, “so you still can cut down the illegal kinds [of lumber] but you will have to pay [the police].”

According to a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post, illegal logging continues despite Prime Minister Hun Sen’s efforts to make clear he would no longer tolerate military involvement in the facilitation of illegal logging. His announcement of a crackdown on all illegal logging has been largely ignored as a lack of enforcement, local official’s involvement in it, their implicit impunity, and a back-log of legal cases that would hold individuals accountable for illegal logging, all seem to contribute to a continuation of the status quo. It is clear that the current laws alone are not enough to halt natural resource destruction in the Cambodia’s forests.

International organizations including the WWF are working in the Mondulkiri and neighboring northeastern provinces where most of the wildlife crimes take place to help enforce the environmental protection in the region.  One of the guides  told us that teams from these international organizations spend weeks camped out in protected areas sleeping in hammocks deep in the forest in order to investigate suspected violations of the regulations.  As is often the case with enforcing national laws at the local level, the central government lacks presence and sometimes access to the region, and so international organizations work to fill the gap. When I asked what role the local government plays in protecting the forests he said, “the local government… we do not know. We do not know their plan.”

Destination...?

As many of my peers at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy conclude their summer jobs and internships by spending a few days traveling around, in the US and abroad, I found “ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Travelers” a timely read with useful suggestions on how to get the most out of your travel time while approaching “difference” with respect and reverence.

I know many Fletcher students already consider themselves to be “seasoned travelers”, wanderlusts, or “world citizens”. Many were born and/or raised in countries these bloggers refer to as being traveled to. But regardless of which direction we are traveling, or the international status we profess to have, I’m sure we could each tell many stories of time traveling where we found ourselves wishing we had let go of certain standards and expectations, communicated more effectively despite the lack of common language, or gone with the flow rather than rowing an upstream battle.  And chances are we have all come across a traveler or two we wished we could hand over a copy of these tips to.

First student of Ajan Malee's Int'l Cooking School!

If I were to add or emphasize one of the habits listed below it would be to challenge yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone and engage with the local environment and people. Some might say this is inevitable when you are traveling, but I find that so many destinations cater to the international traveling scene that these days it can be difficult to step outside the tourist track, go beyond your comfort, and to truly interact with the surroundings!

What advice would you give travelers as they embark upon new adventures and voyages? Which travel experiences are you reminded of when reading these seven habits?

Ajan Malee making sure I try *all* of the food!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Travelers

When people hear that we’ve been traveling around the world, they often imagine the two of us relaxing on a beach, drinking mai tais and reclining under flaming tiki torches.

Sure.

In reality, it’s no wonder that the word “travel” is derived from the French word travail meaning “to work hard, to toil.” While we may occasionally indulge in beachside cocktails here and there, our days are typically filled with on-the-fly problem solving in ever-changing contexts: finding decent places to sleep, negotiating safe transport, and keeping ourselves well and well-fed so that we may focus on understanding the places we visit and the people we meet.

But this makes independent travel sound like something of an exercise in endurance. Much more than that, it facilitates the development and sharpening of a rather specific set of life skills that not only come in handy on the road but also translate in the real world (you know, the place where tiki torches are replaced by fluorescent track lights).

In no particular order:

1. Seek First to Adapt, Then to Complain (a.k.a., Adaptability) – Living outside your comfort zone becomes the norm on the road. New environments provide different challenges; what worked in the last country may not work in the next. All that stuff you became accustomed to just last week? Forget about it. Independent travel forces you to continually size up each situation and adapt accordingly. Your resulting experience depends on it. Sometimes your life may, too.

We’re reminded of: When we (two American non-Muslims) were presented with a steaming bowl of goat bits at a feast to break the Ramadan fast in Kyrgyzstan, we joined in by reluctantly chewing on a jaw bone.

2. Plan With Multiple Outcomes in Mind (a.k.a, Planning) – Determine which variables are most important to you (e.g., comfort, cost, risk, time), do your planning, and optimize accordingly. In doing so, you create not only Plans A and B, but also Plans C and D, too. In the end, circumstances force you to a hastily crafted Plan E, which you later realize may have been the best plan all along.

We’re reminded of: When a Chinese train station attendant informs us that the train no longer runs to our next destination, we don’t force it. We find another one…and stumble upon a Tibetan opera festival.

3. Work a way in. Leave a way out. (a.k.a., Problem Solving) – Independent travel presents myriad problems to solve, from the mundane (how to find your way to the bus station) to the critical (whether taking that bus will present personal danger). Strikes close transport routes, hotels fill up, and conflicting information confounds. The constant challenge: work your way into the circumstances you want, while continuously leaving room for an exit strategy should the ground shift under your feet.

We’re reminded of: When the land border crossing from Uzbekistan into Kazakhstan engulfed us in a sea of humanity. We used not only our physical strength but also our wit to find a way out, barely.

4. Find the Common Ground (a.k.a., Negotiation and Compromise) – As in life, fruitful travel experiences depend often on seeking an outcome where all involved are reasonably satisfied and feel that they have been respected in the process. And we are not just talking about agreeing on the right price for your hotel room or compromising with your travel buddies about which bar to go to. Win-win relates to the larger issues of negotiating common space where prevailing cultural norms and standards may be at odds with your own.

We’re reminded of: In the hills of Svaneti, Georgia, our host family shares their emotions, we share their sorrow. Then we find a graceful exit.

5. Tune In, Filter Often (a.k.a., Observation and Perception) – Seek out the signal while filtering out the noise, particularly in order to fully appreciate what it is that you’ve come to see: the culture, the people, the country. And while you keep your eyes wide open to all that is new around you, also keep in mind that wide-eyed perception is well-served when paired with a finely-tuned bullshit detector.

We’re reminded of: In the middle of the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, two Tajik soldiers train their Kalashnikov rifles on us and ask for our documents. We formulate an excuse to return to the view of our driver and jeep.

6. Have Less, Do More (a.k.a., Resourcefulness) – Develop an ability to very quickly uncover relevant sources, glean meaningful data and assimilate it. Information can be found everywhere – from local people on the street to other travelers to quick searches on the internet. But the trick to finding the golden nuggets: remain open to the right people while sifting out the shills and the under-informed.

We’re reminded of: Our goal: hiking in Nepal’s Himalayas without breaking the bank. We were astounded by the prices we were quoted initially (in the $1000s of dollars) for this trip-of-a-lifetime trek for which we eventually paid about $500. How? We performed some online and on-the-ground research, talked to everyone we met who completed the trek, and triangulated our data. The result: we took the same trek as supermodel Gemma Ward.

7. Find a Common Language, Create One if You Must (a.k.a., Communication) – Interacting with people is arguably the most rewarding part of travel. It can also be the most exhausting. Having to frequently adjust to different cultures and languages takes both skill and energy. Leverage your non-verbal and verbal communication skills in order to build bridges of trust and worthwhile relationships.

Source: http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2009/09/7-habits-of-highly-effective-travelers

Having missed a great opportunity to visit Vietnam this weekend, I thought I’d share some photos of the places I have visited in and outside of Phnom Penh since arriving to Cambodia.  The first is the Royal Palace.

Roayl Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

There are at least 5 wats in Phnom Penh, and so before visiting the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, I had to ask the almighty wikipedia, what is a wat? Here is what it had to say:

A wat (derived from the Sanskrit word वात Vattaka) is a monastery temple in Cambodia, Thailand, or Laos. The word “wat” (Khmer: វត្ត, Thai: วัด, sometimes rendered “vat” when referring to Laos) means “school”.

Halls wrap around the main building

The Royal Palace itself is not a wat but rather a place dedicated for the royal family of Cambodia.

Spirit House on the Palace Grounds

Like the Gargoyles of Paris!

Lesson: Contemplation

Old Assembly Building, Phnom Penh

Hello from hot and sweaty Phnom Penh! A lot can happen in ten days and indeed since I arrived I’ve been busy gettin’ busy with taking in this wonderful new city, establishing a place for myself, starting an internship with International Bridges to Justice, grasping my first 15 words of Khmer, and a whole lotta learning about Cambodia by meeting and talking with people and making new friends.

Pork & Noodles

Like landing in any new place there are so many new things to take in, it’s hard to know where to begin. I mean…  how does one describe a city, let alone a country or a people?

I would start with the smells. Mmmmm! Delicious warm foods like soups, fried pork and rice and noodles followed by fumes and interspersed with sewage finished by the scent of incense dancing through the air.

It’s just not really all that blog-able.

Lunch Counter at the Market

The good news is that I landed in Phnom Penh and climbed right into Mr. Phea’s tuktuk taking in my first views of the city and signing a lease to a great two-bedroom apartment thanks to the gracious hosting of Jui and Nick and the blitz and determination of my fab new roommate and fellow Fletcher ’11 Marianne.  Wow it’s so much easier to get to the fun parts when you don’t have to reinvent the expat wheel all over again.

View riding in a tuktuk

Not that I haven’t had my share of fun on the oft unintentional city tour navigating the streets of Phnom Penh with moto drivers who say they know where you want to go but really just want to go. Fortunately, between a misguided moto driver, a lost newbie, her map, and the help of another 10 or 12 Cambodian friends along the way, you will always arrive, it just might take a little longer than you were expecting to get 8 blocks from your original destination.

"Moto? Moto-bike lady? Moto-bike?"

Speaking of which, the driving  in this city is remarkable! People said the traffic might be worse in Phonm Penh than the deadlock and congestion I remember in Bangkok but I can’t imagine that’s true. Phnom Penh is really quite a small, manageable city, and the traffic is filled predominantly with motobikes, some tuktuks, a good number of bicycles, and very few cars compared to the United States. It’s refreshing, save for the epic pollution produced by the thousands of tiny unregulated motorized bikes.

And where some might see total mayhem and anarchy, I find the method to the madness of motos shifting  in and out, coming and going in both directions on both sides of the streets and the clusters that pause at stop lights and gas stations before flowing like herds to the front of the traffic packs to be an impressive and interesting form of organized chaos to watch.

Not to mention the incredible numbers of things you might see on a moto on any given day. The first day I arrived I saw an entire family of five on one moto and on another a person carrying a 14-ft ladder upright on a moto through rush hour.

This is not to romanticize the risk of traffic accidents and health hazards in this system, especially as I set sail into the pack on a three-speed bicycle and $3 helmet myself. There are plenty of downfalls as well. Lack of mirror and helmet usage, pollution, traffic violation enforcement, and no form of public transportation in the city could all be improved.

With all this transport talk you might ask, where am I going and what I have I been up to!?  Here are some highlights from my first ten days in Phnom Penh…

  • Going to the Russian and Orusey markets to bargain for sheets and towels, soap and shampoo
  • Joining crews of expats at bars on the Riverside and relaxing by the pools off of Norodom
  • Attending the “theater” to see the Phnom Penh Players perform a cabaret
  • Sitting in the shade or AC of coffee shops sipping Khmer coffee – strong coffee on ice with sweetened condensed milk –  to evade the 100 degree weather
  • Sweating at the AC-free office while learning about the Cambodian legal system and way of life from my colleagues
  • Dancing (and sweating) like mad at the Pontoon club floating on the River and a glimpse of the popular TinyTunes breakdancing crew

Breakdancing w/ a few from TinyTunes

  • Taking a tuktuk from the office to evade the daily downpours and street floodings of the rainy season
  • Bicycling to the stadium for a weekly game of patanque – a game similar to Bocce ball, played typically by Cambodian men
  • Haggling with moto drivers and turning down a marriage proposal from one of my regulars
  • Eating dinner at any of the delicious Khmer, Indonesian, Thai, or Euro-American influenced restaurants and off the street vendors while catching-up on interesting and funny foreigner stories of the day
  • Strolling through the Royal Palace and posing in photos per the request of people I do not even know
  • Blowing kisses to the kids I pass on my alley each afternoon while their grandmother laughs hysterically

Monk with Umbrella down the alley

When I was nine years old my family lived in Bangkok, Thailand for three months. It wasn’t until recently I realized the wit and fearlessness my parents must have had  in taking my sister and I, ages 9 and 13, out of school and in tow for our first trip abroad.  We  spent Christmas with my aunt and uncle in San Francsico before boarding the plane in January, Tokyo then Bangkok, 1992.

I’ve been thinking about those three months a lot lately. My sister could tell the story better and she does. I chime in but mostly to confirm the images I still have in my head. I knew one day I’d be back and here, eighteen years and a world of reasons later, sitting in 52A with grateful goodbye tears streaming that I find myself like you might one point amongst an infinite number along a full circle.

There are so many events, images, and stories to tell from those three months. The smell of stepping off the plane and onto the tarmac, long walks through busy streets to the bus stop, to the  market, to the University pool, stretching of sheets to fit the beds, Beatles duets while washing dishes,  train rides through the country sides, slash and burning fields burning in the night, vendors meeting a hard bargain with (me) “the baby”, cockroach mortuaries on the laundry floor, learning Thai from “Mr. Dang” on a cassette  tape, incense sticks on spirit houses, intricate daily flower arrangements, making offerings to monks in morning, Buddhist temples,  rose apples, learning to love and learn through living, the meaning of graciousness and filial piety.

I remember before leaving Thailand our friends and Dad’s colleagues at the University held an elaborate farewell luncheon for our family.  There were so many to thank and bid farewell, toasts and speeches to give, gifts to give and receive and a banquet of food to devour. Dad said, my sister and I were to be prepared to speak, give our thanks and goodbyes. I remember the long table was set for several courses and crowded with different sized cups and glasses. The cashew chicken oozed thick and dark brown with purple peppers overflowing on the pink and white plates.

At thirteen, mature and confident speaking in front of a table full of faculty and family friends, Clare stood and dutifully delivered on Dad’s request when called on. Unprepared but unworried and knowing I was next, as everyone at the table turned their heads towards me like slow motion and I immediately burst into tears. Overwhelmed and unseasoned it was all I could do at the time to express the gratitude and emotion I felt for the people around the table, and the time that we had spent with them there.

I learned a lot during those three months. We met a lot of people, had a number of  formidable life experiences, and between all of the fun and funniness of forging through heat-shock and cross-cultural mishaps, our family had established ourselves and a way of life there. It was hard to leave.

I tell this story because it reminds me of Fletcher.  It reminds me of how I first became interested in  international affairs and the world beyond Falcon Heights, MN . It reminds me of the importance of experiential learning and teaching. It reminds me how quickly we bond with new communities and surroundings, and how many meaningful and memorable moments can take place in the blink of an eye, an era we will look back on and think of fondly, some of the times of our lives. And it reminds me how hard it can be to say goodbye to such experiences and accept the circles and transitions of life.

After a phenomenal first year at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, filled with an immeasurable number of fantastic moments, events, experiences, relationships, new knowledge and skills, even the lows stand out as highs in my 27 years of life. And the Fletcher community. It’s not hard to close the textbooks and shelve the note cards for a summer internship in Cambodia, but I find myself back to sitting at the banquet  table wishing I could find the words to express the magnitude of gratitude and emotion I feel towards my fellow Fletcherites and especially the graduating class of 2010 who ushered us into the magical mystery tour.

After spending eight month’s worth of beautiful days and long nights debating, challenging, laughing, learning and loving with a tight group of people in libraries and on dance floors at house parties in Medford, MA only to turn around and bid farewell to many whom you now consider really good friends for life, I find myself returning to one of my Dad’s “life-long learning” adages: life is like a convoy.

On the one hand it’s so obvious: people get on and off your convoy, some stay longer than others.  But the key is that your convoy keeps moving.  It  navigates the intricate seas of social relationships, chance, serendipity, and fate. And though I still find it difficult to leave and let such wonderful people, places and times go, I am reminded though your convoy docks at various ports along the way enabling people to get on and off along the way, it does not stop. We keep moving.

And so I remind myself that while I feel so much is forgotten when we forget to remember, as my convoys sails to Phnom Penh for the summer, it now carries the carvings of this past year’s people and passageways, as we leave pieces of us wherever we go.

After two short months and four visitors later, I have managed to make the rounds to most (if not all) of the monumental meccas and touristical fancies of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

El Flor de Buenos Aires

El Flor de Buenos Aires

I won’t rewrite the travel guidebook, but after landing in BA after 8 wonderful years in Washington, DC, I felt it necessary to share with you at least one monumental tour of this nation’s capital, starting with the one that made me (miss and) feel most at home – El Obelisco!

Long street view with Obelisko

Long street view in BA with Obelisco

The obelisco was designed by Alberto Prebisch and built in1936 for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city of Buenos Aires.  This 220 feet tall  is located at the center of la Plaza de la Republica, where Avenida Corrientes and Avenida 9 de Julio intersect.

Obelisko close up

Obelisco close up

They say that Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest street in the world, stretching 16 lanes across, 8 on each side, and squeezing even a few more depending on the hour of the day.

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio

While Buenos Aires is a great walking city, it would probably take an entire week to see this monumental tour by foot.  If you prefer to avoid driving or taking a taxi in the craziness that is BA traffic, you will want to get to know the BA Subte, or subway, and numerous bus lines flowing through the city.

Buenos Aires Subte

Buenos Aires Subte

At the end of the D line, and where several subte lines intersect is the famous Plaza de Mayo, the heart of many political moments in Argentina’s history including legendary Peronista political rallies and later weekly demonstrations by the “madres de la plaza de mayo“, mothers of the disappeared.

Plaza del Mayo

Plaza del Mayo

The plaza stretches out in front of the Casa Rosada, or pink house, where day to day political business decisions are made and the president and their cabinet offices are located.  Unlike the White House in DC, the Casa Rosada is not where the president and her husband reside; there is a presidential mansion in the province of Buenos Aires that they call home.

La Casa Rosada

La Casa Rosada

Just a short walk from the Plaza de Mayo is a stretch of the city that runs along the Rio Plata known as Puerto Madero.

El Puerto de Rio Plata

Rio Plata, Puerto Madero

Puerto means “port” in Spanish.  Buenos Aires being a port city, this area was a crucial commercial focal point in the history of Buenos Aires, and the origin for the name of people from Buenos Aires, “Porteños”.

Old storage along the waterfront promenade

Old storage along the waterfront promenade

Much like the warehouse district of Minneapolis, the old port buildings and surrounding area of Puerto Madero have been transformed into a hip part of Buenos Aires, home to some of the newest modern BA condos , and a slew of classy, tasty restaurants, all the while keeping that historical ‘feel’.

Puente de la Mujer

Puente de la Mujer

About a 1/2 mile through the city grind beyond the peaceful riverbank of Puerto Madero is the biggest, and best plaza in Buenos Aires, Plaza San Martin.

View of English Tower from top of Plaza San Martin

View of English Tower from top of Plaza San Martin

The beginning of the plaza starts at Avenida del Libertador (San Martin was afterall the liberator of Argentina) and runs up along one of the only major hills in city of Buenos Aires.  The top of the plaza boasts a spectacular view, and a spacious plaza lined with lovers on park benches and voluptuous trees year-round.

Plaza San Martin Arbol

Following Avenida del Libertador to the north you’ll want to take a slight detour to the Recoletta to see the beautiful cemetery.

Recoletta Cemetery

Recoletta Cemetery

The cemetery is home to some of the most famous, and infamous,  figures in Argentina’s history, including Eva Peron, and continues to be a place where the highly esteemed hope to bury their kin.

Un angel (con fuerza!)

Un angel (con fuerza!)

Where city meets cemetery

Where city meets cemetery

Back to Avenida Libertador and following it north leads us to another greenery stop along the monumental tour: El Jardin Botanico.

Green!

Glorious!

I don’t really know NYC that well, but everyone likes to compare Buenos Aires to Nueva York so I’m giving it a shot: the botanical garden is to BA what central park is to NYC. (!)

Greenhouse

Greenhouse

With over 5,000 varieties of species from all over the world, this Jardin is truly a piece of heaven in the midst of a bustling, elbow-to-elbow, bumper-to-bumper, grime to grim, 24-hour energy and noise producing city that we love.

Peaceful

Peaceful Heaven

Even the kitties know when it’s time to take a break and seek refuge in the garden!

Kitten H(e)aven

Kitten H(e)aven

The botanical garden is adjacent to the Zoo, near Plaza Italia, on the edge of the Palermo neighborhood.

Plaza Italia

Plaza Italia

Palermo is home to one of several weekend fair and craft markets, but is better known for its fashion boutiques shopping and as one of the centers of nightlife in Buenos Aires.

Palermo by day

Palermo by day

While I don’t have photos of inside the boliches, let’s just say that the night life in BA is vibrant! Porteños are late eaters and night riders with some clubs opening at 3am and another round at 6am with so-called “after hours” locales keeping the party running through midday the next.

Palermo by night

Palermo by night!

The dance culture in BA could be divided into club dancing – anything and everything you might see in a club in any major city in the world plus a bunch of salsa – and TANG-GO…

BA Tango Shirt

“Real Tango” is almost like a hidden gem in Buenos Aires, you have to be “in the know” before walking into a Milonga, or dance parlor, where the real dancers show their moves.

Tango for Tourists

Tango for Tourists

For those not interested in taking a Tango lesson or just staying in BA on a shorter time frame, a trip to San Telmo and La Boca on a Sunday afternoon will likely satisfy your taste for a view into this sexy and sultry music and dance.

La Boca

La Boca

You’ll also likely want to checkout the San Telmo Sunday crafts fair and antiques market before heading home to share your favorite photos, facts, and folklore about the great city of Buenos Aires.

Closing of the flor at dusk

Closing of the flor at dusk

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