February 18, 2013

Traveling in Thailand (with days in Laos & Japan)

Traveling in Thailand (with days in Laos & Japan)

February 18, 2013

16 hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong. One hour in Hong Kong airport with free wifi, I facetime Wil and praise the Lord for technology. Three hour flight to Bangkok. I wake up in Bangkok and see this out the window. My lens fogs over from the heat and humidity.

we had a day at a hotel close to the airport to adjustand flew at 6am the next day to Khon Kaenthis hotel also had a cold pool without deck chairs (what gives?) but I was quickly adjusting to sunshine :-)a day working in Khon Kaen with mom. Her speech the following day was cancelled so we drove to Vientiane, Laos
lots of temples, and a funny story about this
late night flight back to Bangkok from Udon Thani. it took an hour to drive downtown from the airport. so many lights, it reminded me of Vegaswe stayed at the Somerset, which was amazing
it was SO hot the day we went to the Grand Palacemonks of all ages, everywhereauthentic Thai cuisineon the sky train! which is like 1,000x better than the L (cleaner, faster, quieter)what is it about fresh flowers? 
one of the best stops of the trip was actually the tallest open air bar in the world! 65 floors upour last weekend in Thailand we were in Hua Hin which is a fun beach town with the best night market!
goodbye Thailand, hello 6 hour flight to Narita, Japan. Since we had a really long layover we decided to leave the airportthey had the most delicious honey soft serve & sugar cookieswe walked to a temple that just happened to have the most beautiful gardensit was so nice to be completely surrounded by nature after so much city timefish! in Japan! I felt like a total tourist and we clinked champagne flutes to a fantastic trip in the lounge before our last 13 hour leg from Japan to home.

Here’s a gallery of all of my favorite images from the trip if you’d like to see more!

The full week in Bangkok was SO cool to get to know our way around and actually feel like I knew were I was going. I’m really happy we were able to spend a day in Laos and part of a day in Japan too; I wasn’t sure if those would happen. I hadn’t really been to Asia before, but I definitely look forward to going back someday. Wil wants to come with next time ;-) It was cool to see part of what my mom’s normal work life is like (she spends at least two weeks out of every month in Southeast Asia for work). And we didn’t fight…except about the debt ceiling! An honest to goodness miracle folks. But really, it was so cool to have that time with you mom! The Thai people were really friendly even though we couldn’t say more than “hello”(sowadikah) and “thank you” (kapunclub for men and kapunkah to women). I think the hardest part of the trip for me was the a huge disparity between prosperity and poverty, I couldn’t find a middle class. It was heavy on my heart the whole trip. I know it’s different in the developing world (how quickly we forget here in the US what it’s like everywhere else), it reminded me of our mission trips to Mexico when I was growing up. It’s funny the familiar things we saw there that I didn’t expect. Oddly enough I liked the fashion and bought more clothes on this trip than I did when we were in France in November. In the vein of food, we passed no less than five Starbucks, McDonald’s was everywhere of course, and KFC. Who would have guessed? We did try the street food, and some of it was really good (fried dough wrapped banana slices are DELICIOUS) but something we tried first day definitely made me kind of queasy so I was less adventurous the rest of the trip than I originally set out to be. I had a really hard time deciding when to carry my camera (it gets heavy after a few hours of walking) and when to take a real break and not carry anything big. I also realized this trip that I won’t ever be able to take a real vacation unless someone else is answering my email. Even though January is “off season”  for weddings it’s high time for inquiries that I wasn’t about to let sit for two weeks. Lots of things learned, and more to consider :-) It was good to have a chunk of time away though, and at least mostly clear my head. I’m also happy to be home now and figuring out a new routine. I can’t think of a good way to end this so I’ll just sign off…cheers to you if you’ve made it through the whole post! XXOO

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