Hong Kong S.A.R., Thailand · 31 Days · 53 Moments · January 2017

Brigid 's Thailand trip

2 February 2017

So apparently, there was a woman's march at home while I was in Thailand. My stick figures for homework were not the best, I am and will never be artistic. I ran out of coffee about halfway through the training ....Thailand doesn't have coffee if that's what you're wondering. They have instant coffee that tastes awful. My knowledgeable boyfriend knew this about Asia in general and gave me these great Starbucks packets in my Christmas stocking. I survived after running out and learned how to function without it and really enjoyed all the tea Thailand has to offer. (I am drinking coffee while typing this) Snack time in the afternoon upstairs was something I never hiked up the steps for. I went the first day and it consisted of cold raw corn on the cob. The last time I checked it out there were these purple beets. I skipped snack time after that.

1 February 2017

We were all assigned topics during the training to give a 20 minute presentation on. I was assigned meditation which was pretty funny since it was the area I struggled in the most. I stressed over this presentation to the point of face timing Wayne to practice it. The yoga school posted this photo on social media from it. As much as I didn't enjoy it I guess they did. We went to the fishermans market on our day off and there were assorted grilled meats and octopus. Nobody was brave enough to try the insects. We rushed to see big Buddha and it was unfortunately closed when we got there. A monk literally chased us away but I did manage to get one photo. We started the anatomy portion of our training in the 3rd week and it was pretty interesting but also painful. Our instructor was full of energy and tried to keep it as interesting as possible. I never knew a tennis ball could be so useful. Except when it bounces out of the Shala and off the cliff. Woops.

31 January 2017

The chia pudding at breakfast was addicting. Ive been making it since i have been home and it's almost the same but not quite. It was so hot during the training typically around high 80s-90s and the Shala had fans but our teachers refused to use them. Luckily we were provided water throughout the day from our rooms in glass bottles they refilled but I frequently went over to the mini mart across the street to stock up on more. Could not drink enough water. On one of my days off I ventured around the perimeter of vikasa and found this mermaid statue on a rock pile.

28 January 2017

I took full advantage of the spa at vikasa which offered traditional Thai massages on the floor. The spa was located at the edge of a cliff and The view was incredible ! I will never be able to enjoy a massage at home as much as in Thailand. So great and usually around $12-$30 for an hour! Unbelievable. Finding your shoes after yoga class or leaving dinner was always a challenge. Some people took the wrong shoes and there would be a note the next day from someone searching for their flip flops. Dr. Kinesh was our philosophy teacher for a week who lectured us on the power of karma and what it means to truly live a yogic lifestyle. This mans knowledge was incredible. He made the best jokes if you listened hard enough to his thick accent.

27 January 2017

We had a team building " Friday funday " project each week which was at the end of the day each Friday before our day off in Saturday. I became close with a group of girls from England, Australia, and Scotland. (I would say it may have had something to do with our similar skin tones and desire to hide from the intense Thai sun) We had to perform a mantra we had learned in Sanskrit however we wanted to. Our group decided to do a short chanting dance to the lion king's circle of life. I wouldn't even mention this if it weren't for the late night hours and amount of effort my group decided to put into something that we were told was to be fun and to not take too seriously. In the end it was pretty hilarious. And we got tank tops at the end of it! Wohoo! We celebrated that night by going into town to the market which sold everything from tiny Buddhas to weapons. The Thai people are some of the hardest working people I have ever seen. From a lady grilling fish in the street.

21 January 2017

I had a Small gecko that truly did not want to leave my room. I tried to let him outside multiple times but he chose to stay. He was a little like an alarm clock because he made a really annoying noise every day around 5am. I enjoyed the bench/boat in my room that I did not sit in but it did become quite a nice shelf for my books. I suppose it could double as a lifeboat if necessary to evacuate he island ? I tried taking panoramic photos on this trip which I did not do too well at. How do you keep the line straight ? The steps from my room up to where we ate and top of the resort where the main access road were located were intense. But thankfully vikasa had encouraging coconuts along the way with statements like "one step at a time" and "just smile" and "breathe" painted on them to push you along ;) especially after a 2 hour practice in the morning when lunch seemed so so far away. The raw vegan tiramisu from the cafe was amazing! If only I knew how to make it!

18 January 2017

I realized I failed to update the rest of my Thailand trip. Yoga teacher training became a round the clock time consuming experience which left little time for journaling. Vikasa was a great experience for the 200 hour training. The food was vegan for the most part with exception of eggs and occasional seafood at dinner. The sunrises outside my room were absolutely beautiful. I miss those now that I am home. I miss mango sticky rice more tho I think. Above all I miss my fellow students and teachers. It's crazy that while I was there I didn't think I could handle one more day of meditating or chanting Sanskrit. Now that I've been home for about a month I definitely miss it. I am so blessed and grateful to have the work schedule I do at home to be able to have had this experience. I will be forever grateful to my family, Wayne and the kids, and my friends for encouraging me to pursue something I had thought about for a long time, and allowing me to make it happen.

18 January 2017

Finally made it to ko samui at the vikasa yoga school. Haven't had too much to report since the past few days have been a bit of a monsoon outside. I also spent my first day here with a touch of food poisoning from the Phuket airport. I have learned to stick to the local food which I have become quite accustomed to. The sun is finally shining this afternoon and we are on our second day of class. My room is quite lovely with panoramic views of the ocean and palm trees. The hike upstairs where we are served breakfast and dinner is a bit of a challenge, but worth the view. Our teachers are from Brazil, Puerto Rico/bronx ny, and Portugal. I am one of 4 students from the USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ out of 30. Our schedule each day is pretty jam packed from 730am-530pm, which in a way is a good thing because it does not leave too much time for being home sick. I am at the half way point of my trip as of today! Which is good since I am missing Wayne, the kids, Betty and the rest of My family ❀️❀️❀️

13 January 2017

This boat trip was so much fun and absolutely breathtaking. This is our whole contiki group.
Today we ventured to krabi by ferry. I had to take boat pictures for my Dad and brother. And primarily because I think we need to paint a boat all one color like this purple ferry. Our hotel here is the nicest I've stayed in so far. I quickly found the spa and had a lovely aloe Vera massage. There are multiple infinity pools with awesome cliff views. Couldn't ask for anything more but for my family and friends to be here. And Betty! Dogs are highly respected in Thailand 😬

12 January 2017

We went for a hike the night before we left phi phi to get a view of the whole island. It was a killer hike! Straight up and wicked steep! So hot.

11 January 2017

We had quite an exciting evening in phi phi because we had the opportunity to watch a fire show. Which was equally as exciting as it was frightening. Especially when they took volunteers from our group up to be a part of the show. After that we went to the full moon party the phi phi islands are famous for. We opted to get some dayglo tattoos, not real tattoos which are extremely popular in Thailand. Drinks at this party don't come by the glass but they do come by the "bucket". And this would be my first and last time having one of those, or paying 20 bhat to use a bathroom. (I hope but no worries 20 bhat is only 50 cents) This party also had a jump rope they lit on fire πŸ”₯. And thats all I have to say about the full moon party πŸŒ•
We went on a boat tour and our first stop was monkey beach. Our tour guide informed us you need 3 rabies shots if one of these monkeys bites you. I opted to stay on the boat. We then went to visit Maya bay where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed the beach. It is national park so you can not bring anything into the beach with you. When you arrive it's like a hidden lagoon between these massive lime stone cliffs. So beautiful!

10 January 2017

Our hotel has a pretty treacherous hill involving some steep stairs to get from the lobby to the rooms. The rooms are little huts built up high to get a nice view of the beach.
We started our journey to phi phi by Ferry. Having been on ferries in the Caribbean I wasn't too shocked at first when we arrived at the terminal. Until they told us we had to climb over the stern of two other ferries to get to ours. With our luggage. Once aboard the departure time was delayed by filling the boat way over what the capacity would / should be back in the states. So we simply had to sit on the deck and fry like eggs. The only thing we could do was buy some changs and pray we don't pass out from heat stroke. Amy pointed out it was like the cape may whale watcher 4th of July weekend. Very accurate comparison. There was a "1st class lounge" you could upgrade to for 500 bhat. Had air conditioning and these lovely red couches and NOBODY sitting in it. We wouldn't pay it of course but we did take a photo. I think the cape may whale watcher needs a first class section. Grouponers stay in economy ! Once docked you have the pleasure of searching for your luggage.
We went to visit big Buddha overlooking the whole city of Phuket on the top of a mountain. It was beautiful! And Buddha certainly lived up to that title of being big. It was massive!

9 January 2017

Today we finally had some sunshine so our boat trip was able to make it out to Panang Bay to see James Bond island and go kayaking through beautiful limestone cliffs
Words can not describe how beautiful this day was. We felt like we were in a movie
We stopped by a fishing village which literally was on stilts in the middle of nowhere. This village started with 2 families and had grown to 2,000 inhabitants.

8 January 2017

This definitely is not one of the most intelligent things I've ever done but when in Phuket, get in a cage with a tiger 🐯
We have now joined our tour group in Phuket .... quite different than Chiang mai. We visited tigers today since it is raining

7 January 2017

Our last day in Chiang mai we chose to take a guided tour of the temples. There are nearly 40 temples in the city of Chiang mai. The last temple we visited was the largest
Outside of the last temple we visited there was a cemetery for princes and princesses
The silver temple was the only temple we visited where women were not allowed in. Our guide informed us it was because "women menstruate." Well ok then.
So many temples and different Buddhas. First rule of visiting a temple is to leave your shoes outside and dress appropriately. Knees and shoulders covered. Do not speak once inside the temple and bow once you reach the front of the temple usually where Buddha sits.
Each temple has a pagoda behind the temple. The pagoda is where you can pour water on top of it by use of a pulley rope system. Our guide told us this gives a person good luck and blessings.
The largest pagoda we visited was partially destroyed by a earthquake so you weren't allowed to go near it
So many beautiful temples it would be hard to chose a favorite .... and we didn't even see half of them !

6 January 2017

Saw some monks on the way home πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»
We made a red curry paste using a mortar and pestle .... 5 hours later we had curry. Just kidding! But that took some work. The prawn stir fry was quite simple, however tastes nothing like you would think of stir fry at home. Desert was a black sticky rice pudding. It involved a great deal of stirring fresh coconut in the wok. I now know why they call stir fry, "stir" fry.
We started with pad Thai and our instructor kept reminding us "MIX AND STIR FAST FAST" ! Followed by coconut lemongrass soup, spring roll "roll tight" and then onto the curries.
I would also like to point out this whole class was taken barefoot since it is disrespectful to wear shoes in a persons house in Thailand. Never have I been so fearful of a knife dropping in my life. Or a hot wok flying off the stove.
Today we joined the basil Thai cooking school to learn how to make traditional Thai dishes. Our day started in the Market to learn about Thai spices and vegetables.

5 January 2017

Tonight we had dinner at a restaurant down the street from our hotel
Today ended with massage at an incredible spa also conveniently located down the street from our hotel. πŸ™πŸ»πŸŽŽ
They give you tea before and after your massage β˜•οΈ
Stopped by a temple and found reclining Buddha by total accident! I wonder if he would fit in the living room ??
At lunch a few Thai women were selling scarves so I tried to tell them I was running to grab my money from my bag. I returned to Amy being instructed on how to make them. The lady said don't worry it will only take 3 days to finish 1 scarf!
After we fed the elephants it was time for their mud bath. They easily maneuvered themselves down the same hill I almost fell down. So impressive ! I noticed some of them really enjoyed keeping their heads underwater which I thought was pretty interesting.
The elephants were very friendly. We were given bananas to feed them by saying "bon bon!" And they would lift their trunks and let you put the bananas right in their mouth. Amy met a particularly friendly elephant who wouldn't stop hugging her. Mine just kept trying to steal all my bananas.
Today we traveled to the elephant jungle sanctuary. This is where they have rescued elephants from riding parks and the circus. It was about a 2 hour trip in the back of a pickup truck, with 7 other strangers which became fast new friends ! I of course sat down next to a girl from philly, who had a friend, in cape may. What do you know? Small world

4 January 2017

Peace out Bangkok airport ✌🏻 no air conditioning, elevators being for "service only" and ticket desks that don't actually sell tickets ... I will be avoiding you on my way home if possible ✈️✈️✈️
Wayne would have preferred i tried the grilled squid which was extremely popular.... then some shopping/negotiating and a speedy tuk tuk ride home and we are tuk tucked in bed resting up our elephant sanctuary tour tomorrow. Starting at 6am🐘
After arriving in Chiang mai we made massage appointments for the next couple days, took a quick nap and it was off to the night bazaar. Our front desk recommended Uber and we're blown away since it cost a whopping 50 bhats, or $1.40 American ! Amy had pad Thai and I opted for chicken in lemon grass curry
Brigid made a boo boo... there are 2 Bangkok airports. Lesson learned ! For our last flight from Bangkok to Chiang mai we could Not find our airline anywhere on the departure screen. At this point we had been traveling for about 24 hours and were very confused. Until Amy informed me, by reading the airport codes, and speaking to an agent, I booked the wrong flight leaving from a different Bangkok airport 45 minutes away. 😳Wooops. After some running around with all our luggage, up and down steps, escalators, and back and forth with Multiple ticket agents we were off to Chiang mai!!
After our second Cathay pacific flight, we learned we do not like their airplane food .... especially since we were served the same exact breakfast twice. It was like deja vu of Conjee chicken Aka rice porridge... πŸ˜‘
Hong Kong was a huge airport ! But it had showers and a nice lounge which were greatly appreciated after a 15 hour flight 😊
The mountains around the Hong Kong airport looked beautiful at sunrise πŸŒ…