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Vernoica exploring Beng Mealea

Veronica, Southeast Asia & Alaska Specialist

Born in Australia to American parents, Veronica spent her childhood living in Australia, the US, France, and Switzerland. After graduating from Colorado College, Veronica moved to Iceland for work and from there went on to live and work on South Korea's Jeju Island. Veronica used Korea as a jump-off point for travel throughout much of the rest of Asia. This was when she first fell in love with Southeast Asia’s landscapes and people.

In addition to her passion for Southeast Asia, Veronica spends a lot of time exploring her own backyard in the US. She is currently based in Montana, just outside of Glacier National Park, and takes time to explore all that the Rockies and Southwest have to offer. Veronica is also lucky enough to have family in Alaska, bringing her to the state every year for a variety of fishing expeditions all over Alaska in every season (ice fishing is her favorite.)

Veronica’s living and travel experience in Asia and in the American Rockies paired with her frequent visits to see family in Alaska uniquely positions her to share her excitement and expertise in Southeast Asia as well as the American Southwest, Rockies, and Alaska with you.

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Veronica Spann

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Kuang Si Waterfall, Luang Prabang

I recommend visiting - Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is a pretty magical place. Not only is it the spiritual center of Laos, but also an amazing artist and craftsmen hub set in a gorgeous landscape.  At first look, I was struck by the nature surrounding Luang Prabang with beautiful hills hugging the valley, lush flora and fauna, and the most vibrant cascading waterfalls I have ever seen. The opportunity to experience the nature surrounding Luang Prabang is endless.  As a knitter and weaver, I also fell in love with the art community in town. Many women weave beautiful fabric for clothing and accessories that they then sell at the bustling night market in town. The markets in Luang Prabang tend to offer more authentic handmade items than other markets throughout Southeast Asia. The nature, art, and wonderfully warm people that make up Luang Prabang create the vibrant atmosphere I have come to love so much.

 

Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

I recommend staying at - Sala Lodges, Cambodia

First Class

When you stay at Sala Lodges, you get a very authentic experience without sacrificing any comfort. All of the lodges on the property were once homes of rural Khmer families that have since been reconstructed to serve as private villas. Reading about the history of the villa you stay in will make the experience come to life. Sala Lodges also boasts a wonderful Khmer-inspired restaurant that uses produce from gardens on the property and again fuses authenticity with comfort and luxury.  With the way the lodges are configured, it feels as though you’re coming home to a small, friendly village each day rather than staying at a hotel. 

I'll never forget when…

While I was staying in Mai Chau, I had the opportunity to visit a smaller Hmong village further up in the mountains. As I tend to feel most energized by mountainous landscapes and rural communities, I was already excited to spend time with the Hmong tribe. When I arrived as an obvious outsider, the whole village was incredibly warm toward me, practically showering me with rice wine and smiles. The local men were having a big, mostly-barefoot, soccer tournament on a dirt field with bamboo goals and invited me to play on one of the teams. Playing soccer with them and being able to connect in an authentic way without speaking a common language was really something special and a memory I look back on fondly! 

Photos of Veronica

  • Veronica in Valdez, Alaska, USA Veronica in Valdez, Alaska, USA
  • Veronica climbing in Golden, Colorado, USA Veronica climbing in Golden, Colorado, USA
  • Veronica looking for wildlife in Deramakot, Borneo Veronica looking for wildlife in Deramakot, Borneo
  • Veronica staying with members of the Iban in a traditional longhouse, Borneo Veronica staying with members of the Iban in a traditional longhouse, Borneo
  • Veronica carrying rice in Luang Prabang Veronica carrying rice in Luang Prabang
  • Veronica in a small village outside of Hoi An Veronica in a small village outside of Hoi An
  • Veronica visiting a beach near Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia Veronica visiting a beach near Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia
  • Veronica taking a cooking class in Siem Reap in Cambodia Veronica taking a cooking class in Siem Reap in Cambodia
  • Fishing with locals in Hoi An Fishing with locals in Hoi An
  • Veronica in Halong Bay Veronica in Halong Bay
  • Veronica in front of a villa on Song Saa Private Island Veronica in front of a villa on Song Saa Private Island
  • Veronica at Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang Veronica at Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang
  • Veronica meeting members of the circus in Siem Reap Veronica meeting members of the circus in Siem Reap