Take Away

Beach Again – Ssak3

Hello!

I hope everyone is doing well as can be during a global pandemic. It has been quite the roller coaster of events and emotions these past few months personally, but I am finally here. It has been about 4 months since my last blog post, and my goal was to write a post at least once a month. Let me remind myself that my blog is $114/year to maintain. In my defense, or to give myself and my small audience an excuse, work (veterinarian) has been kicking my behind.

With that said, I have been able to use this past week as a mini vacation from work. In the state of Virginia, a veterinarian must complete 15 hours of continuing education as a requirement to maintain an active veterinary license to practice. I had planned to attend a conference in California around this time, however due to Covid-19, the conference was canceled. As a result, I completed 15 hours of online lecture with testing at home. I like to complete work in large chunks if possible, so I chose to complete all 15 hours of lecture with testing in one day. This left me free to visit my brother, who has been working from his home in MD since the beginning of the pandemic, and focus on eating delicious take away for a week (no dining, contactless delivery, and etc.).

There are numerous topics that I can touch on related to the last 4 months, but this post will mainly be focused on delicious food! I will try my best to post soon after this for additional topics.

Before I get into the food, I want to talk about how I was able to eat all the take away in a safe and affordable manner. I have not been paying attention to the reward points that have been accumulating on my credit card (Chase Preferred – I will be happy to refer anyone interested). With that said, I saw that I had a lot of points and ordering a digital gift card for DoorDash was perfect timing. It was perfect timing in that Chase was offering 10% off when using points! I opted for a $200 digital gift card (cost was $180 in points), and I am proud to say, I put it all to good use! Additionally, DoorDash offered a 30 day free trial for DashPass, which removes the delivery fee on most of the restaurants in this area (or the places I wanted delivery from).

Now to get into the topic of the actual food! I will post the food based on the order that I ate it, and no food went to waste. I am truly thankful for the treadmill because it has been raining nearly every day to some degree.

La Barrita Restobar

Trio of Empanadas (Spinach, Chicken, and Beef), Spaghetti Carbonara, and Parrillada x2

This was by far the most expensive meal, but I have been waiting to eat at this place again since my last visit. I posted a few items from this restaurant in a previous post, and I vowed to return for their traditional Argentinian mixed grill plater (comes with a side of french fries and mixed salad). If you go to this restaurant, I highly recommend the USDA certified prime cuts of Black Angus beef! I personally thought the carbonara was too salty, and I would not order it again. I have tried a different pasta dish from this restaurant previously, and it was delicious! Do not forget to ask for the free bread and chimichurri sauce (Argentinian Pesto) since take away is encouraged (the chimichurri sauce is the absolute best)! I apologize for this picture. It pains me, but this is when I realized that taking pictures of take away food is not the easiest (compared to taking a picture in the restaurants).

Jazz + Soju

Jazz Wings Half & Half 16 Piece

I had to get my fix of Korean fried chicken! These chicken drumettes and wingettes were fried twice giving it the crunch Korean friend chicken is known for. The half and half means there are two flavors, soy garlic and spicy soy garlic. The fried chicken was a bit expensive to be honest, but it was good, especially with beer!

Angeli’s Pizzaria in Little Italy

Margherita Pizza

This is by far the best margherita pizza I have ever eaten. The crust was perfectly crunchy, and I could smell the basil as soon as I opened the box. I will most definitely be seeing this pizza again soon!

Twist Fell’s Point

I was so shocked at how delicious this breakfast was despite being delivered. I ordered the Chesapeake Eggs Benedict because it had jumbo lump Maryland crab meat, and I felt obligated to eat some crab before leaving. I could actually taste the crab, and it was delicious. However the most shocking was the poached eggs. Despite being delivered, the eggs were perfectly poached! I also ordered the Salmon & Bagel Plate and it was perfection!

Jong Kak

Fried Dumplings (Pork), Seafood Jjam Pong, Jja Jang Myun, and Tang Soo Yook

A typical Korean lunch! For those of you unfamiliar with these dishes Seafood Jjam Pong is hot and spicy noodle soup with assorted seafood and vegetables, Jja Jang Myun is noodles topped with brown peking sauce with diced pork and vegetables, and Tang Soo Yook is deep fried battered beef with a sweet sauce.

Simply Sip Tea

Coconut Mango Bliss and Earl Gray Milk Tea with Boba

This was my first time trying Simply Sip Tea and it was a 10 out of 10. I typically do not get fruity drinks, but I got the coconut mango bliss (only comes in large size) because it was a popular drink. The mango pulp and chunks of mango made the drink, and it was refreshing. I also ordered a medium earl gray milk tea with boba in case I did not like the fruity drink. I will be returning here. Note: I ordered these drinks with less sugar and it was on point. I personally do not like sweet drinks, so I would recommend ordering with less sugar if you share a similar taste. Below is a picture of all the drinks and customizations you can ask for when ordering your drinks.

Ekiben

The Original, The Spicy Neighborhood Bird, and Fried Tofu

This was not on my list of foods, but what a wonderful discovery! Ekiben is currently only accepting online orders and with an option for delivery or pick up. I picked up these bun sandwiches after grabbing some tea in the same area. I purchased the Original (Thai chicken meatballs, coconut black peppercorn sauce, seasonal slaw, roasted aromatics and fresh herbs) because it was my first time trying this, but I was more interested in eating the Spicy Neighborhood Bird (Taiwanese curry fried chicken thigh topped with spicy sambal mayo, pickles, and fresh herbs). I recommend the Spicy Neighborhood Bird 100% (non-spicy version available).

RA Sushi

Bara Chirashi Poke

This was so good! After eating a lot of heavy foods, a bowl of tuna, salmon, ahi tuna, and shrimp with cucumber, avocado and green onions in poke sauce over rice (topped with sesame seeds) hit the spot.

Akira Ramen & Izakaya

Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki

I am so glad I got to eat takoyaki (savory ball-shaped cakes containing chopped octopus and made from wheat batter). I have been craving this for a long time, and these hit the spot. I also ordered okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake with seafood, meat and vegetables), and it was delicious as well. Eating these foods reminded me of Japan, and I hope to visit again soon!

I hope you all enjoyed the post and have a chance to try these foods! Have a wonderful weekend, and stay safe! Until next time.

Essential

Hello Everyone,

I said in my last blog post that I would try to blog and post within a month, and as you can see, it did not happen. It has been a little over one month, and it is insane how much has changed in that short time. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced COVID-19 as a pandemic, meaning global outbreak, and many of us are socially distancing/isolating ourselves to protect not only ourselves but the community. I initially planned to post about my activities this past month, but I want to keep this blog post short.

For those of you that may not know, I am veterinarian. I purposefully do not speak about my work on this blog, in an attempt to maintain a healthy mental state/work life balance, but with COVID-19, it is difficult not to speak about my job. Frontline veterinary practitioners and staff are among the health care professionals who provide surveillance for diseases deemed reportable by state and federal governments, such as zoonotic diseases. Veterinary teams are critical to animal and public health, providing essential animal care and serving as trusted members of the local community in disaster situations. For these reasons, veterinary practices are deemed essential at this time. In all honesty, I do have to remind myself throughout the day that I am part of a team and profession that is essential, as I personally live with high risk individuals. It can be mentally exhausting, not only working during this trying time, but worrying about whether or not I am doing everything I can to protect my loved ones at home. However, I am grateful that I work for a company that allows unpaid leave if their associates do not feel comfortable working (those that want to self isolate), and COVID-19 related sick pay if associates are showing symptoms and/or have had direct exposure. There is a lot of anxiety and fear that comes with uncertainty, but I do hope, people would show kindness and think of others as you would yourself.

To end this post on a positive, here are some spring flowers grown in my own backyard. Until next time, I pray everyone stays safe, healthy, and kind.

The Simple Things

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone has been safe and healthy. It has already been one month since my last blog post, and I have been meaning to write for awhile. However, I could not get myself to sit still to write a meaningful post until now. I think it is a positive that I pay for this blog on an annual basis. Since I am paying for this website, it motivates me to quiet down and write down/organize my thoughts at least once a month.

This is my first “regular” blog post, after the chain of travel related posts, and I hope to see for myself that the simple things, can bring as much relaxation and happiness as an international vacation.

The start of 2020 was a quiet and humble one. I was able to welcome the near year with a couple of close friends and light the candles I brought from Thailand. I had spent all of the Christmas Holidays visiting extended family and spending time with family at home, so it was nice to see some friends after traveling.

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5 Different Scents: Moke, Orchid, Box Tree, Lavender, and 5 Flower

 

When I think about where I am in life, I am grateful that I have a career that challenges me in every aspect. With that said, in the last couple of weeks, I have met, interacted, and seen some of the most difficult people in my life. I am sure that I will continue to come across people that are hard to please, but at this time, I am blessed to have people to share my frustrations with during these times. When the negative feelings passed, it helped to remind myself that it is not personal. People are worried about their pets, and when finances are a major concern, a person may sometimes place blame where it is not due. I can find pleasure in the fact that my patience and endurance are being tested/becoming stronger. However, I have to say, I have also met some of the most wonderful human beings, during a time that may be one of the most difficult such as saying goodbye to a loved family pet.

This seems like an appropriate time to discuss my growing interest in Scotch whiskey! I enjoy winding down after a long day with a pour of Scotch whiskey. This is officially my go to drink, as it has truly grown on me this past month. If anyone is interested in this topic or have any recommendations, please let me know! I had to find an alternative to beer, wine, and other drinks post travel. I am pretty sure most of the travel weight gain was from the affordable beer and other alcoholic beverages. Personally, beer is too filling (I still enjoy) and wine is a bit high in calories (and it is difficult to only have one glass). I have gone to a whiskey bar and tried a few different pours, but I am trying to stay in a price range of $50-$150 for bottles. I am more interested in quality and enjoying the drink, as opposed to anything else (quality vs. quantity). I have purchased a Glenlivet 12 year, Glenmorangie Original 10 year, and Macallan 12 year. I wanted to purchase a Macallan 15, but I ended up with the last two, as they were on sale, and Macallan 15 was not available at that time. I recently visited a bar in MD, planning to drink some beer with some appetizers, but ordered an Old Fashioned instead. I enjoyed that I did not feel full after half my drink! I highly recommend trying Scotch if you have never tried before! I will try to keep updating this blog with random bits of my new found interest.

Now to discuss my favorite drink, coffee! This past month I purchased an automatic coffee bean grinder, and it has changed my life. I have put away my manual grinder for now, and highly appreciate, how quickly I can grind a large amount of beans in less than 2 minutes. I am trying to purchase local beans from places that I visit, so if anyone has recommendations, I am open to them!

My goal is to use my free time to discover and post about food! There will be a few food updates at infrequent intervals as it can be expensive, and I have my other hobby of Japanese FluentU that is still ongoing (it is going well if you were curious). Plus, I recently committed to paying for four new tires, cabin and engine filters, and a new battery for my car (sad face). For now, see below for some food highlights with pictures and captions!

La Barrita Restobar, Baltimore, MD

I will be going back to this restaurant at dinner time (pictured is brunch) for the $90 platter of steak meats (for two people), and I am sure it will be worth it!

Pho Bac, Baltimore MD

I spent way too much money here. The food was delicious, but I am not sure about spending more than $10 on a bowl of pho. To be fair, there was a lot of quality meat in the pho compared to an $8 bowl. I personally like more noodles than meat.

Huck’s American Craft, Baltimore MD

Not pictured is the old fashioned, which was a bit sweet for my taste. The crab dip was a bit too salty, however the cheese curds were on point.

Desserts

Simply delicious

Well, that is it for now. I have a long stretch of work ahead of me, but I will hopefully make my next blog post soon (goal is less than a month until my next post). Be safe and stay healthy!

Post Travel Blogging: Bangkok, Thailand

Hello Everyone! It is great to be posting for the first time in Year 2020! I am excited to be wrapping up my Thailand travel posts with this final post about Bangkok.

After spending a relaxing time in Krabi, I booked my next flight to Bangkok with Bangkok Airways. This flight took about 1.5 hours, and to my surprise, an in flight meal was provided. Compared to my previous domestic Thailand flights up to this point, the cost of this one way ticket was the most expensive. The ticket cost was ~$120, but Bangkok Airways did provided great service. After the flight, I found my bags (I was all about checking in all my bags, at this point) and found a taxi to my last hotel. I stayed at the 12th Avenue Hotel, and it was a nice place. The location was a 3-5 minute alley walk to Korea Town and the main street. The hotel provided a shuttle service to the main road every 30 minutes, but most of the time, if the tuk tuk shuttle was not ready to go, I walked.

There are so many things to do in Bangkok, and it is easy to find tourist packages to different sites such as temples, markets, and etc. Most of the time, these tourist packages take care of transport for the whole scheduled activity, and the payment is made up front. However, I did not participate in any of these packages, and opted to explore Bangkok in a relaxing manner. I am personally not a city girl, and it did take me a day or two to get used to the smells, noise, and number of people. I did miss the calm and coolness of Chiang Mai, as well as the relaxed vibe of Krabi, but Bangkok did provide everything I needed to have a good time.

After two weeks in Thailand, I needed some Korean comfort food, so my first stop was obviously Korea Town. I had Korean BBQ the first night I arrived, and in the following days, continued to eat Korean food periodically. No matter where you go in the world, there will always be a Korea Town somewhere.

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Korea Town is more like a plaza of restaurants and small Korean grocery stores.

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A Beautiful Soju Bottle Christmas Tree.

On one of my last nights in Bangkok, I was eating at a Korean restaurant called Myeong Ga, and a youtube crew arrived. I saw the owner dressed in a traditional Korean Hanbok talking about her restaurant. I ate in silence, while watching the interview from the side, as I was the only customer there (there was no sign saying that the business was closed for youtube filming). After the interview, the crew left and the owner seemed relieved. I spoke with her in Korean for a bit, and she asked if I would like more helpings of Korean BBQ. At this point, I was so full, I genuinely meant it when I said no. However, for those of you that know, it is difficult to decline offerings, especially food, from a Korean Ahjumma (older married woman in this context). She then asked, “What about Yuk Hoe?” This is a more expensive raw steak tartare with a raw egg and served with sweet asian pear on the side.

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Yuk Hoe: Raw Steak Tartare

I felt the burden of the expensive freebie, as well as being absolutely too full to eat, let alone finish, the dish. However, she did not take no for an answer and ordered up a Yuk Hoe for me. It was so delicious, and I did not get food poisoning (raw beef and raw egg)! I did have that concern regarding the Yuk Hoe because I did not want to get GI illness while traveling. However, I honestly would have ate and finished the dish, even if was not good, because I felt bound by Korean mannerisms. Thankfully it was yummy, and I had just enough room to shove it all down.

I am a fan of small bar food dishes with a nice drink. With that said, my favorite dish in Korea Town was roasted capelin (fish) with a nice cold beer.

You also cannot leave out Korean fried chicken when visiting a country with refreshing and affordable beer!

I visited two large shopping malls in Bangkok, called Terminal 21 and MBK Center. Terminal 21 was about a 10 minute walk from my hotel. This mall is designed like an airport terminal with multiple floors that have a world famous city as the floor’s concept. There are common brand name stores such as H&M, Bath & Body, and etc., as well as individual sellers depending on the floor. MBK center is a large mall with 8 floors. There are so many stores and items being sold at this mall, you could spend multiple days here and be entertained. I wanted to visit MBK because there was an arcade, and I ended up playing a good amount of arcade basketball and a sniper shooting range game. My favorite floor to shop was a floor that consisted of individual sellers that were selling touristy items and knock off brand name items (I am most proud of my $10 oversized Adidas sweatshirt) . When visiting Thailand, I recommend buying souvenirs at MBK. Multiple sellers are selling the same items, and it is much easier to haggle. I recommend responding back with half the price they are requesting and pretending to be disinterested if they do not seem willing. It works.

The next place I will talk about is Artbox. Artbox is a trendy outdoor market where you can find handmade items, souvenirs, food, and drinks. The hours are 4PM to 12AM, but if you arrive at 4PM, most of the venders will still be setting up shop. The whole market is covered in lights, and it is beautiful. I additionally liked that it was smaller and less crowded. There was also axe throwing, which is harder than it sounds. I was however able to hit a few bullseye’s!

This blog post is getting long. Like I said, there are always things to do and see in Bangkok. I will post below some pictures with captions of randoms I did not talk about in this post.

I took so many photos and ate too much in Bangkok. I was not able to post everything, but I hope this post gives you an idea of how stimulating Bangkok can be. After all the fun, I left Thailand as a happier person. Word of caution: Never get in a vehicle in Bangkok from 7:30-9:30PM because you are not going to move an inch!

I leave you with a pregnant Bangkok cat!

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Post-Travel Blogging: Krabi, Thailand

Hello from the U.S.A,

I have been back a little over one week now, and I feel that I am well over my jet lag. Returning to work after a long travel forces a person to get over their jet lag quick. People still have pets, and pets still get sick. However I am blessed to have an amazing team, making the transition back as smooth as it could have been.

If you have been keeping up with my previous blog posts, I finished posting about Chiang Mai, and will now be posting about Krabi. I stayed in Krabi for about one week, and my main goal was to relax at the beach. During my last few days in Chiang Mai, I purchased a flight to Krabi with AirAsia for ~$80. I opted for a more expensive direct flight with no stops, so if you do not mind stopping, you can find a ticket for cheaper.

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AirAsia flight to Krabi took about two hours. I highly recommend AirAsia for domestic flights, as I had no problems with the flight at all. 

Once I was off the plane, I found transportation to my hotel at the airport. You do not have to plan for transportation, as it is readily available to book at the airport when you land. I decided to take a bus, which was significantly cheaper than a taxi for approximately $3.50. The hotel was about 40 minutes away from the airport, and I thought this was well worth the cost. In all honesty, after the bus ride, I thought that I should have paid for a taxi instead. The bus made multiple stops, and at a certain point, I wanted to eat and rest. The taxi would have been double the price of the bus, but it still is not expensive by any means. You also get the added benefits of going straight to your destination with ample room to relax. The bus ride to the hotel, with all its stops, took about 1 hour and 15 minutes. There were times where we went to the wrong stop and time was lost. Before you get onto the bus, you tell the driver where you need to go. He will write it down and take you there, but sometimes, there may be some miscommunication.

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All of the passengers’ luggage was situated at the front of the bus. 

I booked Hotel Blue Sotel for my stay in Krabi for the pool and location. On the days I did not go to the beach, to avoid the sand and people, I relaxed by the large pool with a swim up bar. The Hotel was also situated on the main street, and it was easy access to multiple restaurants. The Aonang beach was also less than 10 minutes away by foot.

If I look back, I am sure I gained most of my travel weight while I was in Krabi because all I did was relax, eat, and drink for one whole week. If I was walking, it was to a nearby restaurant to again relax, eat, and drink. It was a great week. Below is a collage of some of the dishes I consumed while in Krabi. Be sure to hover over the pictures for the captions and click if the captions are too long for a quick hover for more information regarding the individual dishes/food.

After gaining about 10 pounds, I was ready to catch my next flight to my final destination within Thailand, Bangkok. I will be sure to post my last post about Thailand soon! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and enjoy all the New Year’s festivities.

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I drank so much, which also probably contributed to my astronomical travel weight gain! However, no regrets!

Cheers!

Chiang Mai: Night Bazaar and Saturday Night Market

Hello from Bangkok!

I hope everyone has been well, and keeping warm back home! I am behind on my posts, and as you can tell from my greeting, I am in Bangkok! This post will be about two night markets in Chiang Mai, and then the following post, will be a short one about my time in Krabi. I stayed in Krabi for five days, but my post will be quick because all I did was relax at the beach and hotel.

To begin, there were a lot of souvenirs to buy at the night bazaar, but I planned to limit my spending in Chiang Mai and Krabi. I only packed a small carry on, and I planned to save my shopping for Bangkok. I recently purchased a large hard case suitcase on the street right before Terminal 21 (a large shopping mall in Bangkok) for 1,295 baht (~$43 USD), so I could take home souvenirs. You can always haggle with street venders for a lower price because you will see the same items everywhere in Thailand with varied prices. I did not get a good picture of the bazaar, but the night bazaar is located on Wua Lai Road. I did get a short video clip, but it is very shaky as the bazaar was crowded. As a general rule, no matter where you go in Thailand, there is always a place with multiple stalls of food nearby.

 

The Chiang Mai Saturday Night Market is open only on Saturdays, as the name implies, and is open from 4 PM – 11 PM. This market attracts more locals, so the prices tend to be lower compared to a tourist heavy market. I personally think there were more worth while things to purchase at this market such as tote bags, accessories, and less touristy items. I purchased two elephant coasters for a total of 100 baht (~$3 USD). This market was crowded, as the stalls are situated on either side of the road and people were stopping left and right to view items they wanted to purchase. I felt like a fish going down the road, following the flow of people, and going back to the entrance was a bit suffocating. If you have claustrophobia, this may be a bit of a test. Note: At the entrance of the Saturday Night Market there are food stalls, and I highly advise asking for the price of a food item before sitting down. Unfortunately, some food stall vendors try to get your order without disclosing the price/seating you at their table (consumer assumes that it would be about x baht since the same food item is x baht at another close food stall). Then the bill comes out, and you may find yourself paying 350 baht (~$12 USD) for a fish that should cost 200 baht (~$7 USD) at most.

 

That it is for Chiang Mai! I will try my best to make a post of all the little bits that I am leaving out here and there, in one last post, when I am back in the States. It will be a good time for me to reflect and write while recovering from the jet lag I am sure to have. My next post will be about Krabi, but until then, be safe and happy everyone!

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Chiang Mai Dog Tax

Chiang Mai: Maerin Elephant Home and Doi Suthep

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Hello Friends,

I was able to visit the Maerin Elephant Home during my stay in Chiang Mai. I also visited the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which is a Buddhist temple, the same day. Most people refer to this temple as Doi Suthep for short even though “Doi Suthep” is the name of the mountain where the temple is located because it is well known. I was able to make a morning trip the the Elephant home and then visit the temple in the afternoon. The taxi driver that drove me from the CNX airport to the hotel, drove me to these two destinations. He provided me his card when he dropped me off at the hotel, and informed me that it would be 1,000 baht (~$33 USD) for the day’s transportation. In my opinion, this is a great deal because each destination (hotel to elephants to temple to hotel) took ~ 40 minutes. The admission price for the Elephant home is 1,500 baht (~$50 USD), and the temple admission price is 30 baht (~$1 USD), which includes the cable car ride up.

Let’s start with the Maerin Elephant Home. There were four elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary and for the admission price, I was able to roam with, feed, and bathe them! When in Thailand, I highly recommend avoiding places that allow the riding of elephants, as most of these elephants are abused in the process of training to cater to tourism. The Maerin Elephant Home is 100% against elephant riding, performances, tricks, and any method of training or discipline where pain is inflicted to achieve a result. The four female elephants at the sanctuary that day were all rescued (Mo Wa: 50 years, Uthai: 38 years, Mo Khux: 36 years, and Nong Luck: 28 years). I mostly spent the morning with Mo Wa, who is a year into her pregnancy (elephants are pregnant for 2 years).

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Mo Wa: 50 years old and 1 year into pregnancy.

I was able to wash her toenails, feed her, walk with her through the jungle to a river, and then give her a mud bath with a rinse. I did not provide pictures, but I was also able to hug her trunk, climb up on her leg and onto her back (brief), and was easily lifted up by her trunk!

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With the elephants well taken care of, the morning ended with a plate of Pad Thai and local fruit.

After a wonderful time with the elephants and the caregivers at the sanctuary, I was off to Doi Suthep! I paid 30 baht for admission and the cable car ride. There are 309 steps to the top, and I chose to take the cable car up and the steps on the way down. At the top, where the temple is located, you can see all of Chiang Mai. After taking off your shoes, you can enter the temple and view the 79 feet tall gold plated (top to bottom) Monument, or Chedi. This temple is one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand and is a major pilgrimage destination during Buddhist holidays.

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After returning to the hotel, I enjoyed the night life with food and drinks. I will write a separate post about all the food and drinks that were consumed at a later date. As a preview, 3 large beers and seven gin and tonics cost 1,080 (~$34.33 USD) baht at a place called Ratana’s Kitchen, and this was only the second stop of the night! In the next post, I will write about the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar that I did not make it to previously and the Chiang Mai Saturday Night Market. The Saturday Night Market is a market that caters more to the locals and offers better prices for the same foods and items you may see around Chiang Mai. Be happy and safe everyone, until next time!

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Elephant Tax: Mo Wa enjoying her mud bath!

Chiang Mai: Ploen Ruedee

Hello from Krabi!

I am a little bit worn out from the travel yesterday from Chiang Mai to Krabi, but I am happy to be relaxing in my hotel room writing this post. I will hopefully be able to hit the highlights of my stay in Chiang Mai, so if anyone would like to travel there, this post may be of some use. If you have any questions or would like more detailed information, please contact me via email (provided under the contact tab).

My first night I planned to visit the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, but I stopped at the Ploen Ruedee Night Market instead. The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar was a bit further of a walk, but seeing as I was tired, Ploen Ruedee Market was more than fine with me. Ploen Ruedee opens at 6PM and is open until Midnight. This market is set up like a square with many stalls offering delicious foods and drinks. There is always a live band playing in the square, if you want to sit right in front and enjoy a couple of beers. I opted to sit on the benches closer to the food stalls. I personally dislike crowds, but the amount of people in this area was perfect. It was not difficult at all to find a seat. Also walking around Chiang Mai in general did not feel dangerous at all. There were always a good amount of people walking around and the night life was bustling. I apologize for the shakiness, but this short clip is just to give everyone an idea of what it is like walking to and into this market.

 

I am going to provide some pictures with captions in slideshow format of the walk to the night market and the night market/food below.

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Ok, that is it for now. My next post will include elephants and more of the daily life.

Chiang Mai

Hello from Chiang Mai!

If you have had a chance to read my previous blog post, I wrote last about waiting for the check-in line to open for VietJetAir at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. After passing through immigration and, while eating my ham and cheese sandwich, I booked a flight to Chiang Mai through VietJetAir for $55. I booked the flight on my phone, as it was 12:40 AM and everything was closed.

Around 3 AM small places to eat within the airport began to open. I bought a grande Americano from Starbucks and headed to the check-in line. I suggest standing in line 30 minutes prior to check-in opening (counter opened at 4:10 AM), as people begin to line up quickly. At the counter I had to pay the cost of my ticket to check-in my carry on, as it was over the weight limit, but at this point, I was glad to check-in my suitcase.

After passing security, which I was so over at this point (taking my laptop out, removing my jacket, shoes, etc.), I found a deserted section with multiple free seats to lay down (Yes, finally some leg room). After a couple of hours, I hear the call to board. I am so ready at this point to get on the plane that will take me to Chiang Mai within an hour. All I can picture is how amazing it will be to lay in the hotel bed when I finally make it there. To my great dismay, I am walking towards a shuttle bus (I died on the inside just a little). Everyone had to stand close together in the dimly lit shuttle bus, and it seemed like an eternity before we made it to the plane.

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BKK to CNX via VietJetAir, 1 hour flight.

 

 

 

After a one hour plane ride and picking up my checked bag, I was ready to find transportation. Immediately out of the gate, I saw a counter with a sign that said Taxi 1-2 people, 150 baht (~$5 USD). I provided the hotel name and address, and as simple as 1,2,3, I was on my way. There was also a big taxi available for 4-5 people for 250 baht (~$8 USD).

 

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After a 30 minute drive (it felt like less, maybe because I was so glad to be in a automobile as opposed to a plane), I arrived at my hotel (more specific information to be provided in a later post) ready to get into bed for a quick rest. Check-in was not until 2 PM, but after asking if I could check-in early, approximately 5 hours early, they said yes!

After an hour or two of rest, I needed to move around. There are many places to eat, but I found a random neighborhood eatery to eat/drink. I do not even know the name of spot, but it was delicious! I ordered a Chang Beer (Chang means Elephant and this is a common beer in Thailand), pad thai (of course), and a plate of fried morning glory. The total for this meal was 190 baht (~$6.33 USD)

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I am posting this on Dec. 8, 2019, but these are all the activities from the morning to afternoon of Dec. 4, 2019. I am going to go eat some breakfast, so I will stop here for now. I visited a small night market/food court in the area that night, so I will continue my next post from there! Have a safe and happy day everyone!

The Reality of the Journey’s Beginning

Hello from Thailand!

It is currently Dec. 6, 2019, 6:16 AM, and I am sitting in my hotel room typing up this blog post. I have been up/in and out of sleep since 4 AM, but I can feel that I am on my way to adjusting to the time difference. When I first arrived on December 4, 2019, it felt as if I had not slept in 3 whole days. I have been wanting to type a post every night, but after a day of exploring, I mentally and physically crash.

Let me detail the honest realities of my travel experience so far. I took a flight from Dulles International Airport (Washington D.C.) to Incheon International Airport (Seoul, South Korea) which took about 14 hours and 50 minutes via Korean Airlines. Last time, I visited Korea via this flight (2018), I vowed to take business class because I was so exhausted after the flight. Do not get me wrong, Korean Air has great service and amenities, it is that I personally cannot sleep on a flight and I am get uncomfortable sitting for a long period of time (back pain, leg pain …). Only if business class and first class were within my budget! All I truly want is the option to put my legs up, but I could not justify paying thousands of dollars for that leg prop.

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In flight meal #1: Bibimbap which is mixed rice with meat and vegetables

 

 

 

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In flight meal #2: Cod with potatoes and vegetables. I did not eat the salad in mustard sauce, cake, or bread. Not because it was not good, I do not eat well when I am in the air.

 

 

Prior to getting on my flight to Korea, I had not slept the night before as my flight was at 3AM. What was the point of sleeping right? I should have slept. After landing in South Korea, I had a layover for approximately 5 hours. There are numerous shops, places to eat, and a lot of sight seeing that can be done in Incheon Airport Terminal 2, however, I was half dead. I went straight to the Matina Lounge (credit card perk) to explore. I wanted to take a quick look and then find a place to sleep for a couple of hours before my next flight, which was to Bangkok. Unfortunately, I thought my phone would automatically update to the current time zone, and I lost track of time in the lounge. I was unable to take a nap and after brushing my teeth and washing my face in the bathroom, I was on a 5 hour flight to Bangkok.

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I ate a fish cake with soup and downed a coffee before leaving.

 

 

 

 

After arriving in Bangkok, local time Dec. 4, 2019, 12:40 AM, I had to pass through immigration (I had to pass through security so many times in multiple countries, which also contributed to my exhaustion), and purchase a domestic flight to Chiang Mai. The earliest flight to Chiang Mai on VietJetAir was at 6:10 AM. I quickly found a ham and cheese sandwich and waited until 4:10 AM to check in (lines opened at this time).

KakaoTalk_Photo_2019-12-05-06-16-01-22.jpegMy first meal in Bangkok, and despite it being slightly burnt and extremely crispy, I liked it. The over toasted bread soothed my overall discomfort/exhaustion.

…. to be continued. I must go get some free hotel breakfast. I am going to see Elephants at a sanctuary and visit a well known temple today. Until my next post, be safe and happy everyone!

General Note: Low quality photos were taken on my phone with little effort. Higher quality photos were taken with a DSLR.