Posts Tagged ‘thailand’

365great Day 278: fish spas

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 278: fish spasWhen I was traveling in Thailand, I found a fish spa to go try. I’d started to hear of them while working in Singapore, but they were generally too pricey for my taste. Then I found this one at their night market and I just had to give it a go. These little fish nibble at your skin and eat the dead skin cells. It’s a bizarre experience, all those little mouths pecking at you. At first it was very ticklish and I had to take my feet out a few times from the over-sensitivity. Once I got used to it, it was a hoot. These spas are supposed to leave your skin softer since the dead skin cells are removed. I certainly felt like my feet were softer, but that could have just been from soaking in the water. Either way, it was a really fun time – odd, but great and I think everyone should at least try it once.

365great Day 267: tigers

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 267: tigersI love felines of all kinds and my favorite of the large cats would have to be tigers. They have an air about them that is awe-inspiring and their strength yet grace is captivating. Their stripes are so fun and vibrant; it’s a unique pattern that no other big cats have. I got a chance to visit the Tiger Temple when I was in Thailand and it was such a special experience. When I approached the area where the adult cats were lounging, everything hushed and I carefully navigated through them with my guide. They didn’t seem to mind much that people were milling out and either let me touch them gently or didn’t even feel my hand stroking them. My favorite part was petting the baby tiger though – it was already quite big, with giant paws and far more strength than me. Yet, they still had an awkward, adorable quality about them. I absolutely loved being able to get so close to these creatures – what a great vacation stop!

365great Day 258: elephants

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 258: elephantsI got a chance to ride an elephant when I was traveling through Thailand and it was one of the coolest things ever. I’m in such awe of these creatures. Even though they’re so large, they’re very precise and delicate with the way they approach many things. Their gait is a funky jolt that makes riding them a bit of a rollercoaster, which is fun. It was amazing to be up so high in the trees as we passed by – I could see so much more! I enjoyed running my feet on their rough skin, which provided a sort of massage for my achy soles. They didn’t seem to mind that we were climbing atop them and touching them and basically being these annoying little distractions. There’s an air of wisdom and zen about them and it was great to be able to get up close to interact with them.

365great Day 155: Thailand

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 155: thailandThailand is one of the most amazing countries I’ve been to. It has a little bit of everything I love in a place: beautiful weather, gorgeous landscapes, fascinating animals, quiet beaches, sprawling bazaars, amazing food, a rich culture, and relaxation treatments. I enjoyed both Phuket and Bangkok for their very different experiences and I absolutely loved the tour I took, which included an elephant ride, lunch on a floating restaurant (and a chance to drift on a raft), splashing around in a cute park with waterfalls, and (omg) petting tigers. I had so much fun relaxing by the beach, getting a wonderful hot stone massage from a very nimble old lady, and getting rides from strangers on Phuket Island. I equally enjoyed roaming the streets of Bangkok where I had THE most delicious pad thai I’ve ever experienced. And then I’d wander off to the Chatuchak market to get my shop on. So much to do, see, and appreciate. Thailand is such a great country and I can’t wait to go back.

Check out some of my posts from my trip to Thailand:

Tiger baby [feeding a tiger milk]

Pet clam & sea snail [the cool creatures I found at the beach]

Burrowing clams [entertainment at the beach]

Tiger-rific [petting tigers at the Tiger Temple]

Fish spas, the newest craze [oh what a fun experience to have fish eat at your feet]

A story of shopping and sandals [when a trip to the market yields some laughs]

Serendipity [more on my rides with strangers in Thailand]


The Wanderlust Tag

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some background (feel free to skip if you’re a busy busy person!)…

The other day, I got a text from a friend (Maven) who suggested I check out Wonderly. When I went, I found they were interviewing Miss Glamorazzi who is apparently something of a YouTube star. In her interview, she mentioned her favorite YouTuber is essiebutton… and that’s how I got to this point. You see, one of the videos that essiebutton posted was the Wanderlust Tag that’s going around YouTube. It was started by amandamuse and I’ve seen some videos popping up with that tag now. Personally, it was something I really liked thinking about and talking about, so I decided to take a risk and film myself in the video. So far all my YouTube videos have been unboxings where I show it from my perspective. I mean, do you really need to look at me as I show you products? I hope not cuz that’s my style. Howeverrr for the tag videos, it would be strange to not talk to the camera and to ease into it, I decided to do it at night when the lighting is more forgiving. My skin is in a horrible state right now and I feel no need to document that.

Ok now the real meat of it:

I liked making the video and discussing the answers with Panda so much that I’m gonna blog about it. After all, I’m a blogger at heart, merely testing the waters of vlogging for now. You can watch the video if you’d like; this time around I will discuss the answers in relation to Panda’s and how our answers may differ (or not!).

picture and shiny seal of visa to study in uk

Big smiles!

1. What’s your most treasured passport stamp?
My answer: It’s actually a visa sticker, which I got so I could go study abroad in the UK my third year of college. That was a wonderful experience and look at how happy I was in the photo!
His answer: Uhh, he doesn’t have one yet! So it will have to be the one he gets when we go to the UK later this year. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll rack up some more soon enough.

2. Can you recite your passport # from memory if asked?
My answer: The first three digits of my old one, but I just got a new one a few weeks ago so definitely no. At one point I could since I was filling it out a lot, but nowadays it’s a distant memory.
His answer: No (I mean, he hasn’t had to use it so…). But he’s probably the type to memorize it before going on a trip abroad, just in case. We shall see when he leaves the country for the first time later this year!

sitting in first class seat of plane with headphones on

If first class was cheaper I’d do it all the time.

3. Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or automobiles?
My answer: Trains are a ton of fun! When I was kid, the ones in China gave out super fun little keychain toys – it was a 3D puzzle that formed a sphere. I loved that thing! And I enjoy being able to get up as I want and enjoy the landscape flying by. I certainly don’t mind planes as long as I get a window seat, but they’re not that exciting anymore.
His answer: Planes for the service (well he’s like a gold or platinum member so he gets spoiled and often gets upgraded to first class free – of course he’d like that!) or a car for the views. He’s never really experienced trains (only short-distance ones) so maybe he’d like that. We’ll see after he rides some more in the UK, but I’d really like to take him on an overnight ride sometime.

4. Top 3 travel items?
My answer: Camera (total photo addict – I’d love a DSLR soon), jacket or blanket (gotta stay warm! and we’re both sensitive to the cold), and toiletries (gotta stay clean right?). I’m totally cool with traveling light since I’m going places to see the places, not to bring all my stuff with me. However, I might need to bring a large suitcase to carry all the things I acquire while on the road…
His answer: Headphones (so he can be in his own little world), jacket (also to stay warm), and phone (to stay connected).

5. Hostel or hotel?
My answer: Hostel if I’m traveling alone, since it’s such a great way to meet people and share experiences with fellow travelers. Hotel if I’m with family or friends, since we’ll probably just stick to ourselves and we can split the cost.
His answer: Hotel! He’s like a gold member with a hotel chain so there are perks plus you earn points. Oh, and he’s never stayed at a hostel.

6. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
waikiki beach sand and palm treesMy answer: New places! I am all about new, new, new and trying to hit up as many places as possible while I can. Then when I’m older I know which places offer the experiences I’m looking for in my next vacation, whether it’s beautiful scenery or a lively atmosphere or tons of history.
His answer: Repeat visitor to Hawaii! Well, we haven’t yet returned since his first visit last summer, but it looks like we’ll be going there every other year (last year he got to choose our vacation destination and next year is his turn again). I’ll try to convince him to go to a different island/region each time so it’s not toooo repetitive for me.

7. Do you read up on your destination (culture,history,safety) or do you wing it?
My answer: A little bit, just so I know what attractions I might want to visit/explore, but otherwise I rely on my basic knowledge of the place.
His answer: He not only reads up on it, he actually contacts the local tourist office and requests more material! Lol, what a dork. 🙂

8. Favorite travel website?
My answer: Gogobot, because there are awesome people on it helping you plan your trips and give advice, plus there are reviews and guides and trip planning tools. I love the vibe on there and I actually get to meet local Gogoboters through events!
His answer: TripAdvisor (or TripAdvisory as he calls it, hehe). There is a lot of useful information that he likes to arm himself with ahead of time.

9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit?
thai temple in bangkokMy answer: Bangkok, Thailand. It’s a beautiful country and Bangkok is a city offering a ton to see and do. You can do a day trip out to the Tiger Temple and float on a river raft and ride an elephant and learn about historical battles or you can stay in the city and go shopping at Chatuchak Market and the Night Market and enjoy the best pad thai cooked outside and get pampered at spas.
His answer: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. We went there last summer and he had so much fun he wants to keep going back, so naturally he’d recommend it to anyone! It’s a great tropical paradise where you can get away from your normal routine and feel like you’ve gone to another country, but not have to deal with currency exchanges and roaming charges and language barriers.

10. You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no object, where are you going?
My answer: EVERYWHERE! I’d pick up and start going to every single country and city I was ever interested in (bringing Panda with me, of course) and then I’d hop on a shuttle to go into orbit around the earth and enjoy weightlessness and spectacular views.
His answer: London, since we’re already planned for it and he has a good idea of what there is to see, where we can stay, and what we can do. In other words, much of the prep work is done so he doesn’t have to worry about cramming it all in in one night before leaving!

As you can see, we take very different approaches towards traveling. If Panda could have his way, he’d get tons of information from the tourist office and read up on it, we’d fly first class to our destination, get a nice rental car, stay at a classy hotel, check out a few places of interest, but mostly hang out and relax at the hotel enjoying free food at the executive lounge, relaxing and playing by/in the pool, and enjoying some delicious dinners at local restaurants. Meanwhile, I’d be the pack up and go randomly as opportunity strikes, fly economy, then take various forms of public transportation to a decently-located hostel or hotel (depending on the price/availability), spend all day out and about exploring the city and surrounds, grab whatever street food we can find, and jam pack as many experiences as possible. We’ve found a pretty happy medium where I get enough exploration and he gets enough relaxation, so I think our travel styles are actually pretty compatible.


laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Well, my mom missed a connecting flight today, so I decided to share some videos from when I was sitting around at an airport in Thailand…

First, the retracting of the bridge when all the passengers are loaded:

retracting jet bridge from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

The plane, unable to back up itself, gets pushed by a pushback tractor (I believe that’s the correct term).

pushback tractor working its magic from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

The next plane comes along and the bridge slowly seals itself against the side.

jet bridge meeting plane from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Our luggage is loaded and soon we get to boarding to start the process all over again, for anyone still sitting there to watch.

luggage loading from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Tiger “baby”

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , ,

At the Tiger Temple in Thailand, caretakers fed and cooled down the felines by squirting water or milk from a baby bottle into their mouths. Kind of a funny thing, a huge grown tiger being fed much like an infant child. Look carefully and you can see one getting squirts in the background:

thirsty tiger from Mary Qin on Vimeo.


laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , ,

You know how catnip makes cats go crazy (in a good, happy way)? Well, this tree apparently is just as good-tasting to elephants as catnip is to cats. When I went elephant-riding, my elephant tried to break off some to eat, but that was a sturdy branch.

elephant catnip from Mary Qin on Vimeo.


laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , ,

The Tiger Temple in Thailand is pretty amazing.  There’s a certain awe surrounding creatures so magnificent and powerful.  When you go, there’s an area where the adult tigers hang out during the day, with lots of keepers around who take you around to get pictures with the tigers.  Each person who goes to take pictures is paired with two keepers – one to lead them and one to take pictures.  I put my camera on video mode so I could get a little live footage before the photographer keeper figured it out and switched it to camera mode.  Here’s that footage:

petting a tiger from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

I then noticed one of the tigers pacing around as the keepers tried to calm him.  Nobody was allowed to take pictures with him while he was in a mood.

pacing tiger from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

And then in another area, two baby tigers were playing with the monks who take care of them.  They’re so cute!  But don’t be fooled, these suckers are strong!

playful baby tiger from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

baby tiger playing from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Preserving little lives

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , ,

I had noticed a plank of wood floating in the waves at Nai Harn Beach, so I decided to pull it out.  But once I saw that these mussels had made it a home, I couldn’t let them die!  And thus I released them back to the wild ocean currents.

the mussels are aliiive! from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

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