Tag Archives: travel

Golden Triangle/Chiang Rai: Day 2 and Day 3

Once again combining these two days together.

(Currently Listening to Zelda Orchestrated: Ocarina of Time. every song from Ocarina. It’s awesome and great music to write to)

Day 2 of our stay at the Anantara in the Golden Triangle was supposed to be our half day mahout training. Mahout is a word that basically means elephant trainer. When you go to places where you can ride elephants, there is usually another person there, that is that elephant’s mahout. They take care of that elephant from birth, training it to know their voice and their vocal commands. This training was split up in two: From 7 -9ish, you met the elephants, you got assigned your elephant and mahout, and you basically learned how to get on and off of the elephant. They also took you on a small trek. Let me actually admit that I didn’t end up doing the training, even though I was supposed to. I was honestly a little scared, but now that I look back I highly regret it. Oh well. Then, in the afternoon, from 1 – 3, you met back with the elephants, and you rode your elephant into the water for a bath.

I guess I did really miss out, but in the end I was hanging out by the pool, so it wasn’t so bad. The view was incredible from the pool, and from our room. Chiang Rai is called the Golden Triangle because facing the Mekong River, you can see Laos and Burma. The rest of Day 2 was spent swimming in the gorgeous infinity pool, followed by drinks poolside.

I had an “Anantara Magic” which was Tequila, vodka, OJ and some other mix of juices. It was wayyy to sweet, with not enough alcohol.

Then, my dad and I decided to splurge and get Traditional Thai Massages.  It was ROUGH. They stretched my body in every way. In ways that I couldn’t bend. Though, she definitely helped my shoulder.

Day 3 was another exciting day. In the morning during breakfast, an elephant and his mahout were hangin’ out by our table. I got to feed it bananas!!! He was cute.

We then took a boat across the river Mekong, to Laos. (The Golden Triangle is composed of Thailand, Laos and Burma). on the trip, we got to actually go into Laos, to a market they had there. We didn’t have to show our passports, which was really sketchy. We got a bunch of souvenirs and stuff, then got back on the boats and traveled around viewing the jungles and fishing villages. It was so cool!!!

I got a REALLLLLY bad sunburn on my legs 😦 It hurt like hell. I had a sunburn line from where my shorts started and where my socks started. It was silly.

POOL TIME! The pool was amazing. Not only was it an infinity pool that looked over the jungles of the Golden Triangle, but it also had these really pretty designs in tile at the bottom.

yay! the next day we left early in the morning. My next blog will be all about Phuket!


Bangkok Day 3/Golden Triangle Day 1: Whirlwind of events!

I know I haven’t posted forever! I’ve been so busy, this is my first real FREE time! Here we go!!!!!

Bangkok Day 3 was basically a half day in Bangkok because we had a flight in the early evening to Chiang Rai. We got up early and went to the amazing breakfast buffet again (Sushi, Normal American breakfast food, delicious fruits, and more).  We went over to downtown Bangkok, where all the malls are located. My dad was went to go hang out with his friend at his office, while my mom, sister and I went to malls located on the Sky Walk.  The Sky Walk is a upper walkway, connected to malls all along downtown and Central Bangkok. Underneath are all the main streets, as well. If you followed the news about the Red Shirt Protests, you will know that downtown and central Bangkok is where they camped out. The Central World mall was the building that they set fire to. While we were walking near Central World, we saw bullet holes in the glass along the walkway. It was scary to think that happened only a few months ago. Then, we went into MBK, which is an 8 story mall, packed with small stores, department stores, and a market full of chachkies. We got a few souvenirs, and left to go meet up with my Dad at Siam Paragon (Fancy pants mall).

We walked around a bit more, then met up with our personal driver for the couple days we were in Bangkok, Mr.A (who was hardcore. It felt like we had a body guard or something), and he drove us over to the airport. Our flight was at 6pm on Thai Airways, only an hour flight, so it was easy.  We got met at the airport by someone from our hotel (The Anantara, for reference). It was close to a two hour drive from the airport to our hotel, but well worth the beauty.

Unfortunetly, we arrived after it was dark, so we didn’t get to see much of the beauty or the Golden Triangle, but our hotel was gorgeous. We got greeted at the front desk with lei’s of jasmine and flowers, and sweet lemongrass tea. A very nice and warm welcome.

It was a bit of a schlep up to our room, especially being hot and humid out (Even at night), but in the end they were beautiful. My only real problem was that there was no real “bathroom”. The bathroom, instead of being separated by a door, was separated by a couple sliding doors that had near-see through plastic in them. I didn’t understand, but I got over my bathroom modesty rather fast.

That’s all we did that day/night. Stay tuned for more. I know I am very far behind with blogs, but I’ve been really busy!

Bangkok Day 2: New Bangkok.

A good way to classify yesterday is “Old Bangkok”. We saw the underside, the belly of Bangkok. Today, we saw where all the action happens. Where all the “new” people live. Giant malls lining the sidewalks, filled with high end stores. We walked on the “skyway” which is above downtown, with entrances to all the malls. One really interesting thing we saw was Central World, which is the biggest mall in Southeast Asia, but it’s not open currently because of the bombings from the Red Shirt protesters.

Our family friends had to be evacuated from their apartment, because they were right downtown, which is where all 50,000 or so protesters camped out. We saw windows that had bullet holes in them. It was eerie, because people were walking around like it was nothing, like nothing had happened. But, a lot of these peoples lives were greatly effected.  The protests went on for two months, and they had speakers set up that would BLAST speeches 24/7. It was not easy to just ignore this when your windows were shaking constantly.

Anyways, then we went to the Jim Thompson house. He was a man who moved to Asia post-WWII, and fell in love with Thailand, the people and the culture. He revived the Silk industry here in Bangkok, and was a very important man, til his random and strange disappearance in the 60s.

It got really hot out at this point, and really humid, so we decided to go home to the hotel for a quick swim before dinner. Dinner was at the Vertigo restaurant 61 stories with an open roof top. It was really pretty, but the food and drinks were mediocre. We got to see sunset, and it was nice enough out that we weren’t that cold all the way up there.

So sleepy. Bed now. Tomorrow we leave Bangkok and go to the Golden Triangle, and Chiang Rai (spelling?)

Bangkok Day 1: Life Changing.

Let me say this: I will edit the last post eventually, but first I need to talk about today.

So, today was our first actual day in Bangkok (We arrived last night). We woke up, and went downstairs for our “complementary” breakfast. Which to me normally means a small amount of fruit,bread, maybe cereal, who knows…nope…here FULL buffet…tons of baked goods, amazing fruit, meats and cheese, pancakes and waffles,etc. It was awesome! I tried dragonfruit for the first time. It was yummy, kinda tasted like kiwi.

We got picked up by a van, which looked like a normal van on the outside, but was like a limo on the inside. We went to the Grand Palace and Temple first, where the famous Emerald Buddha is located. It was so breathtaking. I took a million pictures, so await those, eventually (I swear I will post pictures online! I just have limited time!) I can’t even explain how I was feeling. It was so incredible watching everyone praying and bowing towards the Buddha, it was very special.

Next, we went to Wat Pho, where the very VERY famous temple of the Reclining Buddha is located. Made of cement, and covered with gold plating, the Reclining Buddha is over 46 meters long (VERY LONG). It was breath taking, and wonderful.

After that, we walked over to a dock, which we took to take a canal ride through the back streets of Bangkok. It was very interesting, because lining the river were tons of huts were people lived. The best part, was that I didn’t feel bad, or sympathy at all. Most of these people looked, and seemed very happy as we rode by on our boat. Most people also waved and smiled at us. Just being happy, no matter where you live, no matter what possesions you might own, or not own, is beautiful.

Then, we walked through the Flower Market, and the Fruit Market. I’m sure we only got a slight taste of what everyday life in Bangkok is like, though. Tons of colored flowers lined the streets…of all sorts of flowers that I’ve never even heard of…the fruit. Tons of fruit stands scatter around. We got a Mango-stein. it was so yummy! It was kind of like an orange, but it tasted like mango. STRANGE.

We then went over to Chinatown, and walked through the crowded marketplace there. Markets are VERY popular in Bangkok. There are all sorts of goods that were sold in the Chinatown market. Fresh fish, meats, dried fruit, beans, nuts, vegetables…fresh food ready to eat, paper goods, random goods. So much to see and do, and so much to say. Honestly, talking about Bangkok is very difficult. I will eventually post pictures and as a reader, you might understand a little bit better.

Dinner was at a very fancy restaurant (That of course I can’t remember the name of right now). Pina Coladas on the rooftop, watching night fall over Bangkok. Then a nice Thai dinner (Rice, veggies, etc, all family style). Followed by a swim in the infinity pool that’s located in our hotel, overlooking the river that flows through Bangkok. After the swim, we went upstairs to the Executive Lounge (top of the hotel) and had a night cap (Margarita for me. Not much of a night cap, but it was good!)

So tired though, I am getting terrible at writing blogs, especially because i usually write them late at night.

Tokyo Day 5/6/Bangkok Day 0: A whole lot of STUFF.

So, I’m combining 2 days of posts into one, because the second day (Tokyo Day 6 and Bangkok Day 0 are the same day).

Tokyo Day 5: Akihabara, and Alice and Wonderland.

There isn’t too much to say about this day. I woke up grumpy, and had a really bad day the whole day.

Went to Akiba, a GIANT electronics store and spent like, 3 hours there. Then we went over to Ueno Park, to the Tokyo National Museum and walked through the first floor. It was cool, lots of cool artifacts, some swords, old maps of the highways, and a special exhibit with Buddha statues from across Asia, and the path of Buddhism.

We went to go eat, I got in a fight with my parents, blah blah blah.

Then we took a few hour break, then went to the Alice and Wonderland themed restaurant in Ginza. It was really awesome! I slightly dressed up. I wore my musical note tshirt, blue skirt with my new Mania Q tutu underneath. Eventually when I get home, I’m going to start blogging about my outfits and such.

Tokyo Day 6 and Bangkok Day 0.

Today we went to Mauri One, which is a mall in Shinjuku aimed for 20-somethings. The first week of July is a huge sale week, so lots of stuff was 50%, but it was still VERY EXPENSIVE because most of the stores in the mall were lolita brands. I did get a pair of unicorn bloomers from ACDC though.

Then we headed back to Harajuku one last time for Daiso to buy gifts for people. We also got a few charms from Paris Kids.

then we were off to the airport to fly to Bangkok. 6 hour flight, not so bad. VERY TIRED NOW. going to sleep.

sorry if this is a really bad blog, but I wanted to let people know what was going on in my life.

love you all.

God, I am so tired I can’t even think. We are staying a really nice hotel in Bangkok though, the Millennium Hilton. Nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in.


Day 4: Roppongi Hills/Art Museums/Walks in the Park

Yesterday was an awesome day. Now, we are all a lot more adjusted to the time, so we were able to stay out until 11pm, and not be total zombies.

We started the day walking towards Shinjuku, through Shinjuku Park. It was really pretty, though we had to pay to get in :/ but it was worth it in the end. Very peaceful. We left the park near downtown Shinjuku, and found a french bakery inside one of the Marui malls. It was really yummy 🙂 We ate fast, and got on train towards Roppongi Hills.

First, we went to Tokyo Midtown, which was this really nice, high end mall that had the Suntory Art Museum in it. It’s a small museum, and only hosts one exhibit at a time. It was a cool exhibit though, all about the dress of Kabuki theater. Then, we sat in the atrium/plaza thing in Tokyo Midtown, which was pleasant because we were able to be outside without dying from being so hot.

Next, we headed across a few blocks to Roppongi Hills, another GIANT multi-complex. Mall, hotel and museum  all in one. We were there for the Mori Art Museum, a modern art museum located on the 52nd floor of a tower in Roppongi. The exhibit was really awesome. A lot of multi-media projects, and interactive art. A few of the pieces are as follows:

– A short video documentary about a woman and her husband who built their own church and lived there their whole lives til he died a few years ago. Sad, but really inspiring to live and follow your dreams.

-A CD experiment. We walked up to this station, that had a bunch of AWESOME cd’s on the wall including : Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Devo, The Ramones, and more. at first glance, they look like normal cd’s. They had a listening station as well. My mom and I put the headphones on to listen, and we thought something was wrong with the CD player at first. Instead of Blitzkrieg Bop coming out of the headphones, it was a self-recorded man singing the song. The artist took all of the songs on the CDs on the wall, and re-recorded them himself, using only his voice for all the instruments. At second glance, all the CD’s on the wall were hand drawn replications of the album art. It was really awesome!

-A giant room with a bunch of robots in it made from old electronics. Sounds unusual, but almost cliche, right? Not quite. Every four minutes, the machines come to live and make music! I have pictures of it I will post up.

It was a really cool museum. Upon leaving the exhibit, we got to look out the windows and down at the city skyline of Tokyo. It was really awesome, because the building was 360*, so we were able to see from all views. BUT..I am afraid of heights, so I only got so close to the windows before freaking out a little bit.

After that, we decided to grab an early dinner at a grill-it-yourself restaurant. (Not quite sure what it’s called in English…)

It’s interesting. I’m starting to get used to automatically hearing everything in Japanese, or being the only white girl on a subway car…

After a nice siesta at the hotel, we left for Karaoke. Now that was an interesting experience. We got there and put our names down, and had a 20 minute wait. When we got up to our room, we didn’t know how to use the machine, or that there was an “english”  book of songs, as opposed to singing a Queen melody, in Japanese…(Which is what I did, except I knew all the words in english, so it didn’t matter that it was showing me Japanese characters).

We then ordered some drinks next, I got a “China Blue”. It was so nasty. I couldn’t really tell if there was alcohol in it or not, but it was so sugary and sweet. (There was alcohol in it, but it was all sweet sugar alcohol). After we got the hang on how to use the machines, it was SO FUN! I sang such tunes as :Ticket To Ride + She’s Leaving Home (Beatles), Dark Lady (Cher), Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen) and more. It was a really fun night overall.

I really am missing home though. Now that I got all settled into my new apartment, It’s really sad to be away. But, soon I will be back.

also, I’m trying to post a blog per day, but i know that this is from yesterday and it’s already evening time. Whatever.

Day 2/Day 3: Because I didn’t post up yesterday.

So now that I’ve had two full days here, I’m starting to really adapt to life in Tokyo, also, I’ve noticed a few things:

1. Tourists don’t take the Metro/JR/anything. Every time my family and get  onto a train, people give us the strangest looks. Not like a disgusted look, just a “wow. white people.” look. It’s actually really interesting. Coming from San Francisco and New York, I’m use to just a bombardment of cultures, and races, without assuming that they are tourists. ESPECIALLY SF (because I’ve taken more public transit there), there are so many Asian people in SF and surrounding areas, that I never assume they are a tourist. But in Tokyo, there is NO (or practically none from what I’ve seen..) western Immigration.

2. Walking and using phone isn’t taboo. Not saying that it is in America, but EVERYWHERE I look people are using their phones, while walking, talking, on the metro. It’s really interesting just to compare cultures, not in positive or negative ways, but just seeing how we differ as countries.

NOW! Onto what I’ve done the last couple days!

Day 2: Fish Market/Ginza/Harajuku/Shibuya (28 June 2010) (Monday)

So, we all fell asleep around 10pm on Sunday night, and got up around 8am, which worked out nicely cause we wanted to get an early start. We immediately headed down to the water, to Tsukiji Fish Market. being a vegetarian, it was a very…interesting experience. I didn’t ENJOY it so to speak, but it was very different then what I was used to. The market is located in a HUGE warehouse, and within the warehouse are thousands of stalls selling all kinds of fish products, some just selling toppings or packaged goods, others gutting the fish right there for all to see. A lot of the stands had Styrofoam crates which housed all kinds of odd fish that I’ve never seen before.  Once we were done walking around there (The stall workers would throw dirty fish water on the ground, so it was really slippery), we walked around a few streets in Tsukiji. Lots of stalls selling all kinds of goods. We got a knife 😀 We also got sushi (because the fish market is RIGHT THERE.) I got Kappa Maki (cucumber sushi), and it was soooo good (I mean, I make goooood sushi, but this was great). Instead of serving you wasabi and giner, they add the wasabi to the sushi. It was tough at first, cause I’m not trained for spices like that, but now I love it!

Next, we took the train to Ginza, which was really like Manhattan, so we didn’t spend too much time there. We saw the Sony building and decided to escape the heat. We got to demo some 3D tv’s which were awesome, but you still have to wear glasses, so I don’t know if the trend will catch on or not.  My family split up there. My dad went off on his own, and my mother, my sister and I went back to Harajuku. We didn’t spend that much time there the day before, so we figured it’d be fun to go back on a less crowded day.

We got there and immediately went into Closet Child, which is a second hand Gothic Lolita/Visual Kei/Sweet Lolita second hand store. A lot of the clothes were still REALLY expensive even though they were second hand (Because they are all name brand). I did get a REALLY AWESOME orange zip up Algonquins dress for only 1,400 yen (Which is around $14 US). I will post pictures eventually :P.  Then, we walked around some more and I got a tutu from Mania Q, a bow tie from Body Line (I got a skirt the day before, as well from Body Line), bloomers, a pin, and some pens from Swimmer, and some silly stuff from Daiso.

We then walked to Laforet, a mall located near Takeshita-Dori. SO AMAZING. I had a Lolita-gasm. The bottom most floor was the best, because that’s where all the epic Gothi-Loli stores were. Alice and the Pirates, Angelic Pretty, Atelier Pierrot, Peace Now/Black Peace Now, Sexy Dynamite and more. I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. Maybe when I’m rich one day.

After I could breathe again, I got a crepe from a street stand, and we went back to the hotel for a little break before dinner.

We went to dinner on some side street near our hotel, and it was an interesting experience. We got soba noodles, but instead of ordering like normal, we used a little machine. Put our yen in the slot, clicked the button that had a picture that we liked, and boom our food was ready in under 5 minutes. It was crazy.

After dinner, we took the train to Shibuya, and went to Shibuya 109. Gah! It was so awesome. Another mall, not quite Gothi-Loli, but still really awesome none the less. Most of the stores weren’t very expensive either, so teens to early 30s could shop there.

Day 3:  Asukusa/Museums/Lots of Walking (29 June 2010) (Tuesday)

Last night I went to bed around 11:30 or 12am, which was good because I am adjusting to the time pretty fast. I was able to talk to my boyfriend last night on Skype as well, which made me happy :).

This morning, we woke up around 8 again, and we were out of the hotel by 9am. Took the train down to Asukusa, and got some food down there. Asukusa is known for it’s Tempura, and there was a stand open that early selling all kinds of veggies and fish tempura. I got sweet potato, onion, and string beans. We also gave in and went to a Starbucks. It was kinda cool o.O We were embarrassed to go in, because we are American going into a Starbucks..but it was busy. It was really awesome, because Soy Latte was RIGHT on the menu! I didn’t have to ask for anything special! It was yummy.

We went to a bunch of shrines and temples (I honestly can’t remember the names right now, because I am tired). I got to shake a metal box (while doing so, making a wish)that dropped a stick out, and I had to match the  Japanese character written on the stick to the box. The character was a drawer, and inside was a fortune. I got “Best Fortune”. We also washed our hands in a holy fountain.We walked EVERYWHERE. From the FunFair, to shrines and temples on the other side of town. By lunch time, we went to a traditional style restaurant.  We had to take our shoes off and sit on the ground on mats. It was cool, but I didn’t like what I ordered. (Which was alright, because I was still pretty full from the tempura). We also found this “crafts” museum, which was really just an upstairs room showing off locals that still do traditional crafts. It was cool, but it wasn’t a very long experience. Then we went across the town to the Drum Museum, which was actually closed. But the store was open, and it had all kinds of traditional drums, outfits and other instruments.

After that, we took a taxi to the Edo-Tokyo Museum. It was REALLY COOL! It had a lot of artifacts from the 17th century (When Edo, now known as Tokyo, was founded). They recreated Kabuki Stages, Houses, clothing, and more. All real-life sized. Another really cool feature was window exhibits that looked like models, but “came to life”.

By this point, it was around 5:30pm, and we were all tired, but we still decided to stay out, and went to Ueno park, which was a shlep, but we stuck it out. We found a cool statue that had a lot of paper cranes in all shapes and colors hung up. (I took some great macro shots). Then we went back to the hotel for a short rest before dinner, which was sushi again.

Tonight we wanted to go out and do something fun, instead of just sitting in the hotel room, so we decided to go bowling. We took the train to Shinjuku and found a bowling alley. It was fun, but we only played one game because we had a long day before us, and felt like walking around a bit before going back to the hotel. We found a Pachinko Parlor, and wanted to go in. I played a round of it (I can’t even EXPLAIN what it is, go look it up.) It was kind of stupid :/ especially that we didn’t totally know how to play, just based on the few english words the clerks spoke, but it was fun none the less.

The best part of today? Walking out of the parlor, to the pouring rain. The busy Shinjuku streets filled with people my age (I would have loved to stay out later, but I’m with my parents, so I take what I get), umbrellas up, and excitement up as well. Right now, the Japan vs. Paraguay game ended 0-0 .We were out before the game, and people were SCREAMING in the streets with excitement!!!  I felt so proud to be in Japan, even though I’m not even Japanese 😛

Now I’m off to bed, looking forward to tomorrow. We are going to Roponngi Hills, and the Alice and Wonderland themed restaurant for dinner 😀