Weeks 16 and 17: Winter Break

Hello and happy new year! It’s been awhile since I last updated my blog. I had a very packed but fun winter break and have been busy this week with the first week of my internship. For this post, I’ve written about what I did over my winter break as I had two weeks of freetime in Thailand! Lots of pictures to accompany here!

Part 1: Chiang Mai

For the first half of my spring break, I was lucky enough to have two of my friends from K come visit me in Thailand! I really enjoyed getting to see them and showing them around my temporary home. For the first few days, we stayed in Chiang Mai so I got to show them my favorite parts of Chiang Mai! On the first full day they were here, December 24th, I took them around to my favorite temples in Old City, fed them lots of street food, and at night, we went shopping at the Chiang Mai Night Bizarre. For Christmas, we got to spend most of the day hanging out with elephants! We had to get picked up from our hotel at 7:00 am, but it was totally worth it. We got to fed a baby elephant and some adult elephants, check out a beautiful waterfall, and then bathe the elephants. At the end, they served us Karen style lunch which was cool because it gave my friends a glimpse of life during my homestays in villages. It’s always so amazing to see elephants up close (engaging with them in responsible ways of course)! That evening, we went out to the movies. It was definitely a Christmas to remember!

Me, Talea, and Uyen with an elephant

During the last of our time in Chiang Mai, my friends and I visited Doi Suthep, a beautiful national park in the mountains near Chiang Mai that I have previously hiked and camped around. We got to see several great view points and Wat Doi Suthep. Afterwards, we went and goofed around at a fancy cafe and to finish off the day, we got Thai massages. Thailand is known for Thai massages, however, I hadn’t gotten one before. It was an interesting experience! Before our next stop, Bangkok, I got to show my friends the apartment that I live in now and introduce them to my friends here. It was really fun acting as a tour guide and showing my friends my life here. Next, we flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for the next part of our adventure.

Uyen, Talea, and I at a view point overlooking Chiang Mai at Doi Suthep

Part 2: Bangkok

I was happy to visit Bangkok again because I got to see more of it than when I had just gone for the weekend. On our first night there, our only mission was to travel from the airport to our Air B and B. We took the metro a ton in Bangkok which was very convenient. On our first full day there, December 28th, we got to explore the area around the king’s palace. First we went to Wat Pho, a temple that had many intricate buildings and is home to one of the largest reclining Buddha statues in the country. After a few hours of exploring the temple grounds, we took a water taxi across the Chao Phraya River for 4 Bhat (equivalent to 1 cent). Across the river, we got to check out Wat Arun, one of the oldest and most well-known temples in Bangkok. It was so beautiful, especially as we got to see it as the sun was setting. For the night time, we wound up at Iconsiam, one of the many malls in the city. The following day, we went to Chatuchak Weekend Market. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is the biggest market in Thailand, about 35 acres with thousands of vendors. We spend hours there looking at and buying clothing, Thai handicrafts, other souvenirs , and of course eating tons of delicious food. That evening, we found ourselves exploring another mall before we headed back to our Air B and B. The following day, December 30 was less packed as I sadly had to return my friends to Japan, the country they are both studying abroad. We did get to squeeze in a quick visit to Bangkok’s China Town for one last delicious meal and temple visit. It was a hard goodbye to my friends, but it was amazing getting to see them. The following morning, December 31, I left Bangkok for my final trip to Phuket.

At Wat Arun in Bangkok

Part 3: Phuket

On New Year’s Eve, I met up with three of my friends from study abroad in Phuket, a popular island in Southern Thailand. It was great! We stayed just a ten minute walk from the tropical, sandy beach. For New Year’s eve, we went to a celebration/ countdown/ dance party on the beach! There were crowds of people there but it was a lot of fun. The following few days, we pretty much spent relaxing and hanging out in the beach. We were able to rent chairs and umbrellas which called for great beach lounging. Whenever we got too hot, we’d just go for a swim in the ocean. It was a much needed break and an awesome start to 2020. On Saturday, January 4th, we left Phuket and made it back to Chiang Mai for time to unpack and get ready for our internships.

Beach sunset in Phuket

Thank you for reading! My posting schedule is pretty sporadic as I no longer have a consistent schedule. This week, I started my internship and for the following two weeks, I’ll be in the field with my internship, unable to post. I’m excited for my internship – I will be working as a facilitator for outdoor education programs with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures. You can expect an update shortly after I return to Chiang Mai in a few weeks! As always, make sure you check out my the rest of photos on the “pictures” page here!

3 thoughts on “Weeks 16 and 17: Winter Break

  1. I enjoy reading your blog sooo much! Thank you for sharing!!! What an amazing life experience! Keep having fun!
    From your moms sewing group in Washougal…Kathy

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  2. Way to show your friends around… just like a native!! Your adventures and posts are so amazingly positive and inspiring!! Your time there is getting short, but WOW!!!… what an adventure!! Thank YOU for sharing so much with us!! Happy New Year, kiddo!!! So good to say hello Saturday morning with your mom!!! I know she misses you so much!!

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