Divya’s Week 3

This week the whole office had the week off for Eid. After asking around the office about what people usually do to celebrate, I got the sense that the week is a time to hang out with family and eat as much as possible. Seeing as that I’m not Muslim, and I didn’t want to intrude on anyone else’s family, I figured I would take the week to explore Thailand. I spent 4 days in Bangkok and 3 days in Chiang Mai. Bangkok, like KL, has spent the last couple of years beefing up its infrastructure. Their train system, the BTS, runs pretty much everywhere relevant and is also accessible to the main airport, which is a financial pain to get to otherwise. They also have a public ferry type of service that takes you to any major tourist attraction (the temples) for just 20 baht. It’s such a beautiful, clean city that I think is underrated for how accessible and modern it is. I could honestly see myself living a comfortable adult life in Bangkok. Traveling alone is extremely intimidating, especially given the reputation Bangkok has and the fact that I am female. However, I didn’t particularly feel unsafe as much as I did lonely. It’s a lot of time for introspection, most of which I filled by eating. It’s weird when your thoughts are given so much free reign.

I stayed in a hostel, the Yard, for the first time, and it was the best planning decision I made this trip. All the rooms are structured around an actual yard that doubles as a bar/hangout space. I met a lot of helpful people, loads of Canadians,  that helped break my lonely spells. It was also situated about 5 minutes from the Ari BTS stop, meaning I could access almost any part of the city. My favorite temple in Bangkok is Wat Arun. Unlike the other temples, it has little to none gold and is made out of marble(?). The day I went it was 105 degrees outside and as I sat around sweating and staring up, I couldn’t help marveling

Wat Arun!

Wat Arun!

at the person that designed Wat Arun. That kind of talent is astounding.

So many tourists at the Grand Palace

So many tourists at the Grand Palace

my favorite meal, it's pork Khao Soi

my favorite meal, it’s pork Khao Soi

After Bangkok, I flew up north to Chiang Mai. The city itself is more like a small, sleepy town surrounded by vast mountains. It’s the ideal place for all things nature, and it’s significantly cooler than Bangkok. I decided to visit an elephant sanctuary my second day and it was the BEST idea. Watching them roll around in the mud was perhaps one of the funniest experiences of my life

This is Peter. He's five years old

This is Peter. He’s five years old

sticky falls

sticky falls

The next day I hiked around the sticky falls area, about an hour drive from Chiang Mai. If you love to hike, Chiang Mai is the place for you. The locals come around here to picnic and go swimming. It was really nice to see whole families hanging out on a Saturday afternoon.

Overall, my eid break was wonderful and Thailand was everything I wanted it to be and more. Back to work next week!