Thailand, Vietnam · 13 Days · 15 Moments · June 2017

Katie's voyage in Southeast Asia

19 June 2017

Last night for our final dinner we went to a restaurant kate was recommended that had an American chef who cooked Thai dishes. We also. We also checked out a few bars people said were cool. One was on a roof top overlooking part of the city. the other was this weird dungeon looking bar from some famous Thai designer and they lit my drink on fire since it was called "burning bush". All of our drinks were soo good though. Today we just chilled at the hotel because we had to leave for our flight.
Today is our last full day. We went to the grand palace and a bunch of wats this morning which was pretty cool. The grand palace was the most crowded thing we've done and it was so hot so we were a little overwhelmed but the wats were amazing. We came back to the hotel after and the pool area at the hotel was INSANE. The views of Bangkok and the river over the Infiniti pool were nuts and there's real sand in the pool area.

18 June 2017

Yeseryday we got into Bangkok super early so we had time to explore quite a bit. Our hotel is amazing and looks over the river/city. It has a free shuttle boat that will take you across the river right to the sky train, so that's very convenient . We went to the Jim Thompson house/museum which is the house of this American who went missing in Thailand years ago. Then we went to these huge markets that seriously never end and had some amazing pad tai street food. We treated ourselves to a nice dinner at this Japanese/western fusion place called salt that was really cool.

17 June 2017

Met up with Kate's friend from home in Chiang Mai this afternoon who has been in Thailand for almost a year on a Fullbright teaching program. He had an interesting perspective on Thailand and some good recommendations for Bangkok. We all went to this museum that talks about some of the history of the northern Thailand area. Now we are on a 13 hour sleeper train back to Bangkok. It's actually really nice kate and I have our own little sleeping bunks and the train seems pretty empty.

16 June 2017

Went to a bunch of markets around chiang mai yesterday afternoon/night. They were huge and had tons of food/artistan/tourist type stuff you could buy for really cheap. The night bazaar was super interesting (umbrella photo) because it was really westernized with lots of food trucks and stuff. Today we are exploring at the temples or Wats and they are pretty amazing.
Made it to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand last night. First thing this morning we went to this jungle sanctuary where we got to feed and pet elephants. This place rescued all its elephants except for the ones that were born here and also has hundreds of dogs, cats, water buffalo, and some other random things. The elephants were pretty funny they were just like big puppies especially when they were rolling around in the water and mud.

14 June 2017

Made it to Thailand yesterday. We had met some travel agents on our boat that recommended we stay on the island of Koh Lanta so we found a hostel there close to the beach. The town is pretty sleepy and beachy. This morning we had breakfast at this cute little garden restaurants and the owners pet cats were everywhere (kate loved it). We rented bikes today and tried to find a decent beach but the super nice ones are apparently down south a ways. We ended up using this resorts beach/bar/food all day and their beach was nice. We even got real Thai massages right on the beach in this little cabana for pretty cheap.

11 June 2017

This morning kate and I got up for Tai Chi on the boat deck and it was actually so relaxing. We went to this cave and got to check it out for a bit and then went back to the harbor. The trip included a stop at this little village on the way back to Hanoi for a water puppet show which was so bizarre but kind of exactly what we expected. We fly to Thailand tomorrow so we are back in Hanoi for the rest of the night.
Our last night in our gross hotel/morning getting lost (walked 5 miles before 10am) was absolutely hell. Spirits were low but we finally got on our boat hotel in Ha long bay and it's AMAZING. The weather is perfect, the boat/room is SO nice, the views are insane, and we get like 6 course lunches and dinners. Today we got to kayak to this little remote beach and swam for a bit. At dinner some of the crew members played instruments for us and made these crazy food sculptures. Well leave the boat around noon tomorrow.

10 June 2017

Kate and I took a bus to Ha Long Bay today. There were about 6 tourists on the bus so that worked out well for a 4 hour ride. Our hostel was less than ideal but there weren't many options..we are trying to stay out of the room for as long as possible. The city itself isnt great and is pretty much abandoned so we somehow ended up at at a weird amusement park to keep busy. Everyone else takes boats out to snorkel or kayak or whatever but today was a travel day so we didn't set anything up. We are looking forward to tomorrow because we are staying on a hotel on a boat and will get to be on the water for 2 days/1 night.

9 June 2017

Kate and I visited Bai Dihn pagoda today which is a huge temple. It's a series of buildings up the mountain and each have these ornate statues/shrines. We kept going further up to the ancient temple and there were similar statues but in caves and super old structures. By the end of it we were actually dying it was so incredibly hot and humid. I think we climbed around 65 flights of stairs according to the fit bit.

8 June 2017

Arrived In Ninh Binh today via 2 hour train. We had some lunch down the street from the hostel and then took a taxi out to tam coc which is a Unesco site. You take little boats down the river through these huge mountain/cliff things. Then it absolutely down poured on us as we floated back.

7 June 2017

Explored Hanoi today. We went to see the temple of literature which was originally the first public university but now a tourist site/place of ceremony and prayer. We also walked all around the city center area. The main city area surrounds this lake with a little temple thing in the middle.
FINALLY made it to our hotel Hanoi at like 1am last night. This is the view from our room this morning. They have these really cool floating villas on this little lake in the middle of the city.
25 hours later we met up in Bangkok but not without a slight hiccup.