Sunday, September 29, 2013

thailand travels part 4: bangkok & beijing

are you sick of these posts yet? almost done...
we spent another day and a half in bangkok on the back end of the trip.
we stayed with sister seangsuwan again, and she took us to eat at some local restaurants where i had no idea what i was ordering but it was some of the best food of the trip. i had to be brave, but the little shacks ended up being the best food - and the cheapest. 
on sunday we went to church and a missionary from utah translated all of the talks for us. it was awesome. 
then we went to jj market - the biggest outdoor market i've ever seen. 
it was crazy.
they had everything imaginable and so much of it was really cute - not just dinky souvenirs.
we were there for 3-4 hours and didn't even see the whole thing.
we took a red eye from bangkok and arrived in beijing around 7:30 am.
we had a 9-hour layover so joe lined up a personal tour guide to pick us up from the airport, take us to the great wall, and then back to the airport.
i am SO glad we did it.
our tour guide was super nice and spoke english really well.
we took a cable care up to the wall and walked as far as we were allowed. 
that meant LOTS of stairs that i was not prepared for.
(it was raining, i was wearing flip flops, not the best planning on my part...)
BUT, joe and i were in awe the whole time.
 it was so incredible and beautiful, and our tour guide was giving us historical facts the whole time.
hands down the best layover i've ever had, and we made it back to the airport with plenty of time.
one more 12 hour flight and we were back in sf. 
it was the most amazing, exhausting, eye-opening, exciting, adventurous,
(made-me-happy-to-live-in-america) trip i've ever been on.
biggest shout out to joe for planning everything, keeping me safe, taking me out of my comfort zone, and giving me the time of my life (until next year)!
oh, and because of the time difference, we got to celebrate our anniversary for 36 hours - starting in bangkok and ending in california. pretty good planning if you ask me.
cheers to two years with the man i love more than anything!
^ and coming home to this isn't so bad ^

thailand travels part 3: koh yao noi

the next part of our trip took us to an island called koh yao noi for 6 days.
it was small, peaceful, and beautiful.
it didn't feel touristy at all, which we absolutely loved.
we stayed in a private villa that was way too big for the two of us, and we shared a pool with only two other people. we spent our days relaxing, riding bikes, exploring the island on a scooter, kayaking, eating good food - finally some curry!, watching movies with hilarious english-translated subtitles, joe killed the biggest spider i've ever seen in real life, watching crazy lightning storms at night, doing yoga on the beach, collecting sea shells, swimming in the ocean during high tide, then exploring the tide pools during low tide, searching the island for some coca cola light because i didn't want to pay $3 for a can at the hotel (success!), swinging on the rope swings and hammocks, trying to catch crabs, and watching my legs become a connect-the-dots of mosquito bites. we took the risk of traveling during rainy season and it only rained once, at night, the whole time on the island. talk about luck.
it was a dream, and i'm ready to go back.
if you're thinking about going to thailand, or even if you're not, you should go here.