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Archive for January, 2008

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. I’m sad to say that this blog has been quite neglected since I started my new position at ISB. I’ve been so busy, learning so much, that I haven’t had much time to reflect on my non-existent personal life.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been traveling. As soon as vacation starts, Alex and I are off on another adventure. Last month it was a fabulous two week tour of Thailand – from the southern state of Krabi to the ancient capital of Ayuthaya, to the northern city of Chiang Mai. We did all this lovely travelling with our two great friends from Munich, Sabine and Neil, who flew all the way here to experience the beauty of Thailand.

Sabine and Neil

We started our trip with a week at the beach, Krabi, where we had a surprising number of adventures:

On our very first day, we were enjoying a nice swim, when Sabine was stung by a sea urchin. She said the pain shot up her leg almost instantaneously. Thankfully, the hotel staff were incredibly responsive and carried her into the doctor’s office immediately (which, I must say was quite frightening to me – I’ve never seen anyone move so quickly in southeast Asia before!). It took her about 12 hours to recover – she was in a wheelchair for the whole evening. I can only imagine what might have happened had we not been staying at a hotel with a doctor!

That very same evening we were forced into one of my least favorite things about Thailand during the holidays. At all the major hotels (this one was a Sheraton) on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, they have these huge compulsory dinners – usually one dinner costs at least (and often more than) the price of the room. This time around we had a huge Christmas Eve buffet – which, in all honesty, was delicious. Unfortunately, whatever I ate was not quite fit for my stomach, so I spent the following 12 hours in the bathroom enjoying all the glories of food poisoning. So much so that I ended up at the doctor’s office as well. What a pleasure to spend my entire second day at the beach in the hotel room. Lovely.

After those first two days, things evened out a bit. We got to play with the hotel’s adorable baby elephant, RaRa, on the beach and in the water:

Rara by the Sea

she had such bristly hair on her back:

A Bristly Back

but she was still so cute:

Elephant's Eye View

We also spent some time exploring the various beaches and waters of Koh Phi Phi and around Krabi:

Swim

After Krabi, we flew back to Bangkok, spent some quality time at Jatujuk market, and visited the Grand Palace:

Guardian

There was so much to see – I can’t wait to go back the next time some friends come to town!

Next, we took a day tour of the old capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya:

Wrapped

Spotlight

Fly-by

After Ayutthaya, we headed up to Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand:

Not only was the weather absolutely perfect – so cool and refreshing – but it was so relaxing and green! We enjoyed visiting the beautiful nearby temples:

Lantern

Melt

and ruins:

Ensconced

took Thai cooking classes:

Ingredients

where we saw the cutest kid ever while we were at the market! He loved having his picture taken and seeing the result on the camera. I actually managed to teach him how to take a picture, he was enjoying himself so much!

Little Cutie

and took a trip up the river to a fruit and herb farm:

Sunset

We also spent quite a bit of time shopping while we were in Chiang Mai. Everything is so much cheaper than Bangkok, and with the cool temperatures, it makes it such a pleasure to stroll around the markets. We ended up buying quite a lot of teak furniture, which I absolutely love (pictures soon). I can totally see how easy it would be to buy a whole house full of furniture here (hmmm…. a plan is forming).

One of my favorite things about the first long vacation in a new country is exploring everything we new eyes. We had such a great time traveling around Thailand with our friends. Their first visit made it feel like our first visit! Honestly, I feel so lucky to be living in such a beautiful country with so many wonderful people and places to see…

We will definitely be going back to Chiang Mai, and I can’t wait to spend more time on the beach! I just wish there was a little more time for vacationing 😉

How did you spend your holiday season?

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