My first impression of Chang Mai was ‘what a clean city!’ There are fountains everywhere and, for the most part, little trash and stray animals. (Asian countries seem to have an abundance of stray animals roaming around) We arrived at our hostel and were immediately welcomed with an ICE by Sonny. We stayed at Guesthouse #11, I highly recommend this hostel for anyone going to Chang Mai. The owner was AWESOME! He helped us book all of our excursions (Muay Thai fights/Tiger Kingdom/Eagle Ziplining/ Chang Mai Elephant Excursion). They were all safe for us and, more importantly, they came highly recommended for their care of the animals. He was so helpful and comical that by the end of our stay we had him in on our ICING escapades too.
If you like to go a little bit off the typical tourist route… this might be the beach for you. If you love rock climbing, snorkeling, sea kayaking…this might be the beach for you. If you have a hippy spirit and don’t mind a lizard or two in your room…. this might be the beach for you. Surrounded by nothing but amazing limestone cliffs that attracted some very talented rock climbers, this secluded beach, that is only accessible by a long tail boat from Ao Nang Beach in Karbi, might be your slice of heaven.
Ahh the island of Koh Samui. A time where we lived like Kings and Queens in villas. Spending days on the beach, hiking to waterfalls and roaming the island on our scooters….and one very, ahh intriguing ladyboy encounter. And our nights spent with personal chefs, playing cards, pulling playful pranks of ‘icing’ one another and taking late night dips in the pool. This beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand is surly where one must go to make lasting memories with friends and explore a luxurious beach life on the dime.
This cannot be my life. I mean really, how did I end up with an opportunity to travel through Thailand for 16 days with 7 of my closest friends… and make money at the same time? If this is a dream ,I hope I never wake up. This is the Bangkok project, three days packed full of the good, the bad and the ugly of what is Bangkok.
1/16 /14 Arriving to Bangkok
10…9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1….HAPPY NEW YEAR! Is what 10 foreigners screamed on Heaundae Beach at midnight. Excited for our first New Years in a foreign land we had high hopes of what Korea would have instore. Crazy parties? Tons of fireworks on the beach? A possible KPOP concert in the sand? Not quite. When the clock struck 12, we cheerfully yelled into a crowd of people unshaken by 2014’s first few seconds of existence. …… It was a little awkward to say the least.
This weekend Kevin and I celebrated Thanksgiving with our closest 20 friends. My favorite English couple, Joli (Jade & Oliver) invited 10 of us to their massive apartment in Uiesong. That group of 10, although from all over the world, is my family in Korea and I felt so blessed to have them for the holidays. However, the holidays are tough for people living abroad and who were we to exclude anyone else? So one drunk night out in Deagu and a few home sick people later, we ended up inviting 10 more awesome people for the biggest Friendsgiving ever.
If there’s anything that Korean’s love more, its a good celebration. Whether it is family filled fun or a good excuse to bust out the soju, either way, Koreans will gather and celebrate. They have parties or festivals for everything under the sun. Love chicken and beer? Korea has a festival just for that. Cherry Blossom trees are in bloom… have a festival. Your town has awesome mud…have a festival. There is even festivals dedicated to bathing and washing hair to get rid of bad luck, Yudu Festival. However, this post is about one of my favorites, the Andong Mask Festival.
The 2013 International Film Festival in Busan was an awesome experience. Kevin and I took the KTX 45mins south to Busan from our humble home in Deagu for a three day weekend. Upon arrival our day went quickly downhill.
**This is the story about how I learned how important it is to map out where your staying in accordance to your main destination…..you THINK it would be common sense… but sometimes it escapes you.**
We arrived, and were so excited to see the Miami of Korea that we got immediately on the subway (a good 45min ride from Busan Train Station) and headed for Heaundae Beach. It was only once we arrived that we realized we should look up where our hostel was. This started the fall of our new city adrenaline.
Nine days of complete ciaos and I could not be happier. I had finally arrived in Seoul (where we thought we were staying) just to find out that the other teachers and myself still had a 3 hour bus ride to Jeonju University. Needless to say we were NOT pleased…..this is where my original blog on orientation ended. I have recently switched blog sites and tumblr deleted the majority of this one. 😦 So here is a brief recap… have any questions? Let me know. I’ll do my best to recap.. but my brain is a little foggy of the first two months in Korea.
My first flight moving out the country did not leave me un scathed. Keep in mind this was my first time moving out of the US and I was convinced you had to bring everything down to the hangers in my closet. After all…….What’s a trip without a little drama??