Goodbye Chiang Mai
Today is my last day in Chiang Mai. Can’t believe it really. I thought I’d feel kinda sad, but I think I’m leaving on a good note - feeling really optimistic ‘bout tings. I got to see a few of my old students after stopping at my school to sort out some $$$ tings. It was cool! I do have one regret, though. I definitely didn’t spend enough time getting to know the...
Let's Move to the Country
This song’s been running through my head these days as I’ve been travelling around. I’ve been in between things for a bit too long - just kind of looking forward to “returning home.” MP3: (Smog) - Let’s Move to the Country Let’s start a… Let’s have a… I love the way the words ‘family’ and ‘baby’ are left unspoken,...
My mop is racist
I didn’t buy this mop, it came with my apartment. Thailand doesn’t have the best grasp on racial issues…
The Mekong River
On my two-day journey from Luang Prabang to the Laos/Thai border, I probably spent around 21 hours travelling up the Mekong River. It was a slow, peaceful ride through the mountains and jungles of a pretty remote area. Besides our overnight stop at Pakbeng, I didn’t see any kind of modern development (roads, powerlines, etc.) the entire way. I’ve never been in such wilderness for so...
Huay Xai / Chiang Khong
After a night in Pakbeng, it was time for another 10+ hour boat ride to the Laos border of Huay Xai. The boat always arrives just after the border to Thailand closes (so you’re stuck in town for the night and spend $$$ in Laos). Huay Xai. We arrived at the port. I didn’t want to be in Laos. I wanted to be in Thailand, my home for the past year. I could see Thailand across the...
During my two-day ferry ride up the Mekong River from Luang Prabang, we stopped of at a small town/village called Pakbeng. It seemed to subsist entirely on tourists stopping off from the “slow boat” from Luang Prabang. The whole town seemed kind of desperate, all competing for the small amount of cash a boatload of 30+ foreigners could provide once a day. Pakbeng was essentially...
Wow, I feel like I haven’t interacted with the modern world in a long time. I guess it’s only been two days, but it feels crazy. I left Luang Prabang on Thursday morning for a two-day ferry ride up the Mekong River, ultimately headed towards the Laos/Thailand border town of Huay Xai (I’m on my way back home to Chiang Mai, Thailand). It was called the “slow boat”...
I decided to put all temple photos I’ve taken in Luang Prabang in one post… ———————————————————————————————————- ...
Luang Prabang photos: Part 1
I just woke up from a massively long nap. I haven’t had a bed in three days, so it’s been awesome. I’m staying in this traditional Laos house. All really solid wood, great design, very tranquil and everything. Probably one of the best rooms I’ve stayed in. So I got into town at around 6am I think. I took a shared taxi to the city center, where I roamed along the...
It’s important to follow the rules of the hotel you’re staying in. Here are my hotel’s rules for the night. I don’t quite understand #1. However #5 and #6 are probably the most important to the average traveler. For #4, it’s too bad I’m not an official, becuase I have all this ammunitions and nowhere to put it :(
I am in Luang Prabang, which is in the country of Laos. It is incredibly chilled, but totally more classy than I had imagined. The dirty backpacker element isn’t here, unless I just haven’t seen it yet. It’s protected by UNESCO (which I don’t know much about), but apparently that means you have to maintain the city’s cultural identity. I think there are strict...
More pictures from Vientiane
I took these after I wrote the last blog yesterday. While I was waiting for my bus to leave, I decided to head to the river for a brew. Beerlao is Laos’ national brew. It’s really good. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = After only a few minutes of sipping some brew, a thunderstorm came in and I was forced to evacuate. = = = = = =...
I am in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. My first impression is that it seems very Thai, but with a euro style. I think the French controlling the country for so many years may have had something to do with that… There are actual parking spaces here! Overall, it looks a lot “nicer” in the traditional sense when you compare it to Thailand. But I’m sure the rest of...
Day of Transportation
Yesterday (and today) was probably one of the longest traveling experiences I’ve ever gone through. In 24 hours, I managed to make it from Siem Reap, Cambodia, across and up through the entire east side of Thailand (Isaan), and over the Mekong river, crossing into Laos. This isn’t the route I took, but it’s the best image I could find on Google image search: I woke up at 6am...
I am backpacker.
I am backpacker. I am not dancer. Before I judged. Now I just ‘am.’ I don’t have preconceived notions about other travelers. We’re all just trying to “expand our horizons” together, relaying our crazy experiences and forming bonds along the way. Living in the USA is way too mainstream and constrictive for people like me. You’ve gotta travel across...
Today was a very exploratory day. Yesterday was a day of rest. I woke up pretty early to head to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap’s main attraction and the reason people come here in the first place. Angkor Wat is a massive complex of ancient temples sometimes spead kilometers from eachother. The entry fee was $20. I didn’t read up too much on the temples beforehand. I kinda thought...
I am in Siem Reap. Do you even know anything about it?? According to my guidebook, Siem Reap means “Siam (ie Thailand) Defeated.” I still don’t understand why the Cambodian people are called Khmers instead of Cambodians, but whatever. They’re very proud of this defeat that probably occurred hundreds of years ago. I took an 8am bus to into town from Phnom Penh. It was...
Photos from Phnom Penh
Finally, I was able to upload the photos I took yesterday. Apparently there was some sort of virus on my memory card. Phnom Penh was a really insane place. The city is just one chaotic mass of motorbikes, cars, bicycles, naked babies, and three wheeled ‘motos.’ There’s no kind of order whatsoever (no traffic lights or stop signs, etc.). Somehow the streets function, and I...
Morning in Phnom Penh
It’s 6:30am here in Phnomn Penh. At 7:45am I’m taking a bus to Siem Reap, home of the Angkor Wat temples. Some people say it’s the 8th wonder of the world! I’m really tired (passed out around 9 last night with all the lights on), and kinda frustrated because all the computers are really old here. They’re unable to recognize my digital camera = I can’t post...
I’m in Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh. I took an early bus and now I’m here. I got dropped off in the city center which was complete chaos. After dodging the moto drivers trying to give you a lift, I escaped down a side street in order to find the river. I got lost and ended up taking a pretty wild mototaxi ride to the backpacker ghetto street. I’m seriously...
Chilling on the beach.
In Sinhoukville, When you’re chilling on the beach in one of the lounge chairs, these ladies (and children) will come up to you even if you’re sleeping. They try to sell their things to you. They usually wear a kind of tray-hat carrying fruit, an arm sleeve of bracelets, and a bucket of personal hygiene items to perform pedicures, foot massages, and stuff like that. They’re...
Photos from Sihanoukville
I took some pretty hot photos today. Boats in the morning. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = A side street off the main beach. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Some kids playing soccer. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =...
One more day!
Last night I decided to stay another day in Sinhoukville. I was having such a great day, I couldn’t imagine leaving in the morning for another 4+ hour bus trip again. I was kinda burnt out from four consecutive days of travel and was digging the laid back beach atmosphere of the city. I woke up pretty early (I’m still on teacher time), took a stroll down the beach, and then headed...
I had a great day today here in Sihanoukville. I’m considering staying another day but I think instead I’ll take a bus to Siem Reap tomorrow. Everywhere I go it seems like westerners are complaining about stuff. It’s getting really annoying. People in Southeast Asia don’t show anger or argue about things in public. It embarasses everyone around them. You basically...
I’m an in Cambodia! I made it from Trat, through the border, and to a ferry into Sihanoukville. Right now I’m in a crappy internet cafe where an obnoxious (and stinky) english guy is arguing about his internet price. So rude. So I’m gonna head somewhere else where I can upload pictures. Here’s a map of where I am:
Trat is where I am right now. You’re probably thinking it doesn’t really sound like a Thai city at all… Well I don’t know. In any case, I left Koh Chang this afternoon. It was a bit of a hassle getting a taxi to the pier. They only come once an hour. But eventually I made my way back to the mainland. Since no one was heading to Trat after the ferry back, I...
I figured out how to allow people to leave comments on the blog. Not even sure how many people are reading this, but yeah, now you can leave some hot new comments. Today’s a kind of cloudy day here on Koh Chang. I was gonna stay on the beach for the day but I think I’ll just take the ferry back to the mainland. Goodbye Koh Chang :( It was fun.
Koh Chang pictures
Koh Chang is incredibly beautiful. The beaches are clean, there’s plenty of space to set up your station, and there aren’t any boats or jet skis in the bay. Pretty much the opposite of Koh Phi Phi (where I was around new years), which was terrible. Loads and loads of eurotrash people smoking, everything was overpriced, and there were cheesey “party bars” everywhere. ...
Where I am
I’m in Koh Chang right now. I took a 7:30am minibus four hours along the southeast coast of Thailand towards Cambodia. It only cost about $18 for the trip including the boat ride to the island! I’m beginning to travel very far from my home of Chiang Mai. I’m staying on the west coast at “Lonely Beach.” Pattaya was definitely an experience, but I’m glad to...
2 B a creeper
I realized it takes a lot to be a creeper. Things you need: 1st: You gotta be 50+ years old. 2nd: You gotta be white. 3rd: You gotta be a man. Sometimes it’s easy to mistake an old Russian woman for a man. 4th: If you’re not old, you either gotta be: a) really fat b) really fugly c) have greasy hair It takes a lot to perfect the creeper look. What’s most disturbing here in...
I’m in Pattaya today, a notorious beach town three hours south of Bangkok. When I arrived at the bus station, I took a motorbike taki to the beach! It felt dangerous and cool. Overall though, it doesn’t feel very Thai here. Almost everything is in English and it’s very sleazy. There are Thai prostitutes and really old men everywhere. It just gets worse as the day goes on, and...
Some photos from Bangkok
Here are the first batch of photos I took today. I’m in a really slow internet place right now so I can’t upload all of them. I saw some cool stuff today! The weather was so incredibly not hot it was great.
I took a night bus from Chiang Mai into Bangkok this morning. I got in at 6am and arrived at one of three bus stations (not sure which one). I didn’t really know where I was, so I tried walking around to find a subway or something. I got pretty lost and tried taking a taxi to “city center” - my driver couldn’t understand anything except “Chinatown” so he took...
Off to Bangkok
I’m leaving tonight for Bangkok! I’m taking a night bus that arrives in the city at 6am.
More pictures from Pai
This is a weird sign for a restaurant, right?
I can’t believe people like this actually still exist. Where do they come from?? The dog is not happy this dude’s in his town… Does wearing short fisherman pants + a shaul sound like a good idea? Balloon pants? Where did you get these, girl??? When people like that were walking by, I’d notice these two dogs give eachother “the look” - I know these dogs are on...
Back in Chiang Mai
I’m back in Chiang Mai. The drive back from Pai was insane. For some reason, they burn the mountains at this time of year, something to do with the rice harvest I think. The result is terrible smog levels all around. I was basically driving through a cloud of smoke burning my eyes for a half hour. It’s illegal, but you know, this is Thailand. It was a sunny day but you’d never...
This cat is evil, he will stop at nothing!
Curlz & Jokerman
I took all of these pictures within 10 minutes of eachother.
Sid and Oliver
Sid: Oliver: Oliver is a very sensitive guy. I think he’s an alt. Sometimes when he doesn’t come home at night, he’s actually at band practice.
I'm in Pai!
I’ve made it to Pai. I’ve never been on a motorbike for 4 consecutive hours. It’s not very comfortable… I got into Pai around 3 o’clock maybe and instantly fell asleep from the long ride. After walking around a bit, it seems like a pretty cool and low-key place. Kind of reminds me of a beach town, or a small western town or something. There are people in...
First Stop: Pai, Thailand
Tomorrow I head off on my journey. I had the option of taking a bus, but instead I’m taking the motorbike about five hours northwest of Chiang Mai to a town called Pai. This is the longest trip I will have taken on the bike. I’m kinda worried about breaking down, and it’s a really windy, mountainous trip up to Pai. The city’s close to the Myanmar border, with lots of...
Weird Thai Products Volume I
Lemon-Lime shaving cream, what??
My neighbors have been giving my cats fish heads to chew on lately. I don’t think it’s very cool. First of all, they’re my cats so don’t feed them. Second of all, the heads have tiny bones - isn’t that unsafe? It’s also really gross when my cat comes in with a chewed fish head and drops it on the floor. I live next to a “french chef” and his...
I don’t really like the word “backpacking” - it has a lot of negative associations in my mind. Mainly dirty hippie associations. A lot of people go “backpacking” in Europe, which might seem crazy to some people - but it’s actually incredibly safe (and expensive). It takes a different kind of person to make the trip to Asia - someone who’s willing to step...
I’m officially kicking off my travelling journey tomorrow. I’ll basically be travelling around for about a month. I’m starting off in Thailand, making my way south and across to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and then back to Chiang Mai. I never really travelled alone like this before. Kinda scared, but I’ve got the blog to make me feel better. Aside from Thailand, I don’t...
Things I'll Miss
I finished teaching here in Chiang Mai on Friday. Still can’t believe I survived a full year doing something I never thought I would be doing. I’m gonna miss this place! I’ll miss… my students + my cats + my bike :( + the atmosphere + the people
Hi, this is my new blog. It’ll be kinda of a travel blog during the next month as I start travelling through Southeast Asia.