oh thank heaven, 7 Eleven!

There is no greater sight when your hungry and kinda broke (and quite possibly a little drunk) than the orange and green neon from the brightly lit store you can find one or more of within walking distance, which pretty much has everything you could ever need to survive. They are literally everywhere (probably more of them than pictures of the King!) and are open 24 hours. You really can live off of only 7 eleven in Thailand as it is cheap, they have all kinds of ready made food, microwaves to cook it in and ice cold air con to enjoy during your shopping trip. Being homeless and living on a budget we have spent many hours and eaten many meals at various 7 eleven's around the country (my favorite one so far was in Haad Rin, Koh Phangan - they had popcorn, a toastie assembly line and cute soi puppies outside!) and I thought I should showcase some of the finer points of this fundamental establishment.

Bangkok smiles

This is an amazing video shared with me by a good friend... literally cannot help but smile while watching and remember what an amazing place I am living! Taking one day at a time now, that's all I can seem to do, no home, no job, no computer; practically no life at all except somehow I am loving it more than ever! People are wonderful and life is full of smiles. Enjoy!

Bangkok smiles from Travelettes on Vimeo.

All people smile in the same language.

wrong side of the road...

It's my fourth day at my new school, Little Dragon's International School and I am exhausted. It was a long day at the zoo yesterday, I have been teaching a class all week for a sick teacher and it is the most intensive training possible. I have been quite busy and therefore slacking on writing, about Thailand and about my travels, and I have a lot on my mind to share!

A few things I have noticed about Thailand thus far (I will share pictures and stories from our trip soon, I promise!)

- I am living in the suburbs of Bangkok, I had no idea there were rich spoiled suburban children here too. But boy is there. And I am their teacher.

home sweet home?

Well, after a hard decision to leave flooded Siem Reap (we could barely get out of our hotel, 200 tourists were evacuated from some temples by air during a flash flood so we thought it better to cut our losses and go back during the dry season to do Angkor Wat right) we traveled much earlier than planned to our new home, Thailand.

But the story doesn't really start there, nor end.

I love your blog on Thailand. Heading out there next month. I'm excited! ...What other advice can you offer for a newbie like me? :)

I am working on two more posts about Thailand, which are really photo-heavy at the moment, but I will throw some text in as well. I will post those next week so please check them out.

I’m not sure if you have a lot of travel experience or if you’ve planned out your trip much at all, so here are three general tips.

(1) Spend your time researching where to go. Time spent learning the language is pretty useless, because everyone seems to speak English. Great English, actually! Shouldn’t be too worried about booking accommodations during low season. Talk to people when you’re there to hear what they did and listen to their tips. Going on a cheap tour that will pick you up at your hotel is a quick, easy way to meet people staying near you.

flooding in Cambodia

We arrived in Siem Reap to explore ancient temples and fabulous wonders late last night. The drive from Phnom Penh was beautiful, water surrounding the road everywhere you look, sometimes covering the road. There were many huts and small towns along the way and I was saddened to see many of them were flooded or had water up to the door when the house was on stilts. Rainy season in Asia. I guess you get used to it?

Our tuk-tuk drove us to some guesthouses to find one in our budget and as we passed the river through the center town, we realized we might be getting wet.  After a long night of (not exaggerating) torrential down pouring, we woke up to this...

Being back in Portland, I’m trying to remember all the...

Being back in Portland, I’m trying to remember all the good things about Thailand. Like all new cities, at first Bangkok was overwhelming and kind of scary. Then, I became more confident and ventured a little further each time. I miss it, but it was time to get back. With the school year starting next week, it’s time to get serious about life. There are important choices ahead to be made.

Yet, before I forget, a quick list of things I don’t want to forget about Thailand:

Venturing outside of Bangkok, I took a long bus and boat ride to...

Venturing outside of Bangkok, I took a long bus and boat ride to Had Yao beach, Koh Phangan (for 600 Baht). The full moon party is long over and the beaches are sparse with bodies during low season. The beach is gorgeous with soft, white sand and inviting warm water.

I begin my mornings enjoying Thai coffee, which I’ve come to enjoy, and fried curry with shrimp. Time in a hammock reading Lonely Planet has become a favorite pastime. I enjoy feeding local strays chicken and pork from my curry, from extra spoons at my table.

Going to take a ferry and bus back to Bangkok for 950 baht. I’m running short on money and my camera battery is dead, but I’m confident that my trip is not being hindered in any way.

Love. xx

The answer is "No."

I had a funny experience at Rambuttri Village Inn that I want to share. Overall, it is a nice place to stay. Clean, quiet, and in a good location. The front desk service leaves something to be desired. The few times I have spoken to them have been a tad unpleasant, yet when I’m in a good mood, laughable. Example: I wanted a fuller pillow.

Me: Excuse me, may I have an extra pillow?

Front Desk Lady: No.

Me: May I exchange my pillow for a new pillow?

FDL: No.

Me: May I pay extra for another pillow or to exchange my pillow?

FDL: No.

Me: You have no other pillows?

FDL: No.

Me: Okay.

FDL: No.

I am so excited to write about the time I had at the Tiger...

I am so excited to write about the time I had at the Tiger Temple. Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Buddhist temple 3 hours away from Bangkok. It was founded in 1993 as a forest temple and sanctuary for wild animals, including, of course, tigers.

The bus ride was long, but the tigers were awesome. I didn’t make any friends on this trip, so I only have two photos of myself with tigers, but the experience was indescribable. Tigers are such majestic animals, and these were very happy tigers.

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