• SE Asia,  Thailand

    Phi Phi Islands

    Once again we had an early start and at this point I’d gotten pretty tired of waking up early but was looking forward to going to the Islands. We had saved the best for last! We woke up at 6:30 am and had a delicious American breakfast at the hotel coffee shop: omelet with toast, ham, and fruit. Then, we headed to the airport to catch our flight to Krabi via Bangkok. We passed through Bangkok so many times on this trip, we were wondering just how many times one can go to Bangkok in a matter of two weeks. When we arrived in Krabi, we were greeted with a…

  • Cambodia,  SE Asia

    Siem Reap

    Walking down the plastic pathway that took us from the main road across the canal to the temple, I could hear the water swooshing underneath and see the first rays of daylight starting to peek behind the trees and this incredible, massive, ancient temple that we were about to visit. There was such silence and peace along with anticipation in the air, and all you could hear aside from the water swishing were the steps of everyone on this plastic platform heading to do the same thing: catch the sunrise over the temple. The dark sky was starting to get some pink streaks. On the outside, I was calm and…

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  • SE Asia,  Thailand

    Chiang Mai

    When I thought of Chiang Mai, I expected spectacular landscapes and mountains though I’ve read that there are also beautiful temples there. However, by the time we got there, quite honestly I was all templed-out. Plus, we would be spending two to three days in Cambodia only looking at temples since that’s all there is to see there, so we took a break from them and used it as an opportunity to relax.   Chiang Mai turned out to be a nice city to relax in a bit, as it’s a pretty, chill, and hip town with a great coffee culture. We walked around the Old Town and stopped off…

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  • SE Asia,  Thailand

    Chiang Rai

    From the outside it didn’t look like much. However, as soon as I stepped inside, I was drawn to the tranquil energy in the room. The room was very much blue with beautiful, intricate designs, few people, calm meditation music playing in the background, and an incredible peaceful atmosphere that immediately took me in. I headed over to the white Buddha in the “Touching the Earth” mudra at the front of the temple and kneeled down in front of him. I was captivated. I closed my eyes and started meditating. I found the complete peace and quiet inside me that I always try to reach when I meditate back home…

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  • SE Asia,  Thailand

    Ayutthaya

    In spite of having had a late night the previous one, we managed to wake up early and take a train to Ayutthaya. We were supposed to have gone the day before but having woken up late, we missed it. The local expats we were out with the night before recommended it saying that it was the Angkor Wat of Thailand, so we made it our priority this day. The train was a slow local one and the ride took almost two hours, much longer than we’d expected. When we arrived in Ayutthaya and left the train station, we had no idea where to go. There were absolutely no signs…

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  • SE Asia,  Thailand

    Bangkok

    I had heard a lot of bad things about Bangkok – smelly, dirty, polluted, chaotic, loud – so my expectations were low. It goes to show that expectations have a big effect on how we perceive things because I liked it more than I had thought I would. Sure, it is all those things: once in a while you do get a whiff of the funky smell coming from the sewers, and yes, it’s dirty and chaotic. Nevertheless, and maybe it’s because I’m coming from also-dirty-and-chaotic Rome, I thought it wasn’t all that bad. I had imagined having to walk around covering my nose and not being able to breathe…

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