Four Years Later

It’s been a minute since I wrote on my blog, so let’s see if I can get my mojo back.

In the past four years, a lot has happened. I left off after writing about my first trip to Thailand*, and since then I have been to a whole lot of places, and my life has taken a few unexpected turns.

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Starting a new adventure in Suzhou, China

In September 2014 I moved to Jiangmen in the Guangdong province of China. I came here to study chinese and I got a job along the way teaching english at a school.

The chinese learning was going well in Wuyi University in Jiangmen, but life in this city was pretty boring and monotonous. For this and a few other reasons, we decided to move (I say we because my younger brother is on this adventure with me).

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What to wear in Thailand and my attempt at fashion.

 I’m not a fashion blogger nor do I really know much about fashion,  but as most women do I like clothes and trying to look my best.  For my Thailand trip I wanted to try out taking pictures in the different outfits that I wore, which were different from the usual shorts and t-shirt that I wear when travelling. The point was trying to dress according to the place I was visiting.

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Phuket town, the more “real” side of the island.

For our Thailand trip, we saved the best for last. The beaches in Phuket!

I had been in China since September, so  for my vacation in February I wanted to get out of the country. The first thing I thought was , wouldn’t it be nice to be tanning on a beach in Thailand? And from there things took off, I messaged my  Trinidadian friend that lives in Korea and she was down too. So basically this whole trip started because I wanted to go to one of those paradise like beaches.

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Boating around Bangkok

Day 2 in Bangkok was all about temples. We started our day by taking the sky train to  “Saphan Taksin” station, from where it’s easy to get to the “Chao Phraya river” . We purchased a one day pass with “Chao Phraya express” boat.  For 150 Baht you can use the boats on this line all day , making it easy to access all the major sightseeing points.

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Waking up in Bangkok

I left off my Thailand posts in Chiang Mai. This is where I spent a day with elephants, visited a beautiful temple, got an oil massage, shopped at the Sunday night market and more.
After 4 days in Chiang Mai we made our way by night train to the bustling capital of Thailand, Bangkok. When planning our Thailand trip, I was unsure about going to Bangkok. I had mixed reviews about it, and some people actually told me “skip Bangkok”. But my friend and I thought we should see for ourselves.

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I’m back! I recently took a break from studying chinese and working to attend my brother’s wedding back home in Chile. I was there for about three weeks and I only turned my computer on twice! But I’m happy to be blogging again as I still have loads to talk about my recent trip to Thailand.

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Massages in Thailand, from oil to Thai and happy endings.

The first few days in Thailand were pretty busy, so on our last day in Chiang Mai, we decided to have a chill day since we would be taking the night train to Bangkok that evening. The best thing to do was pamper ourselves with a relaxing massage.

I had heard that Thai massages can be pretty painful, but after they are done with you ,you feel light like a feather. Well I wasn’t buying any of those stories, because in China I experienced a very painful massage and I was sore for days after it. I didn’t want to go through a similar experience again and just chose to get an oil massage, so we headed to the area were all the massage places are located. We realized prices were pretty similar , between 200 and 300 Bhat for an hour massage.

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The colours of Wat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai.

The “Wat Phra That  Doi Suthep” temple is a must see. If you only visit one temple in Chiang Mai, this should be it.

According to the legend, the temple was constructed to enshrine a magical relic. In order to  find the correct location for the temple the king placed the relic on the back of a white elephant, which set off to “Doi Suthep “mountain. In the spot where said elephant died , is where they decided to build the temple.

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The Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai

My Thailand trip kicked off in Chiang Mai. This city is located in Northern Thailand,  and was built in 1296. Due to its proximity to the Ping River it was of significant importance for trade between southern China and Burma. Nowadays is the second largest city in Thailand after Bangkok and number 24 on the “25 Best Destinations in the World” list by Trip Advisor (2014)

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Spending a day with elephants and why you should NOT ride them.

When planning my trip to Thailand there was only one thing I knew for sure; I had to spend a day with elephants. In my mind I was thinking, I would ride an elephant in the jungle on our way to a river where I would give him a nice wash.

While this is entirely possible to do in Chiang Mai, the first stop of my trip, it’s not what I ended up doing. As much fun as it would be to actually ride an elephant, the moment I found out this is actually not good for them and hurts them, I knew I had to find a place where the  well-being of the elephants was a priority as opposed to putting on a show for the enjoyment of tourists.

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Made in China

Most people have the idea that China is dead cheap, I did too but I was wrong. These days pretty much everything is made in China, and when buying these products in our countries it’s fairly cheap. But made in China products IN China can actually be expensive!

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I am a teacher!

Since late November I have been working as an English teacher at a school here in Jiangmen.

When I decided to come to China, I knew that besides studying chinese I also wanted to find a job to make money for travelling. Teaching English is what most people come to do here, so I thought why not try. Even though I am not a teacher by profession, I did tutor kids back in Chile so I had a little bit of experience in the area. But teaching a classroom full of kids is a totally different thing.

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The untold struggles of life in China

I came to China 2 months ago to learn chinese, and let’s just say it has been no walk in the park.

I love travelling, learning from new cultures and trying new things but in China, my trip didn’t start off all that well. Nothing bad happened, nor was I unhappy, it was just a major culture shock and it took a toll emotionally. I had been to China before, as a tourist but actually living here changes things.

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About goodbyes and new adventures

 Here I am, finding myself in the same situation I was one year ago when I was leaving to France to finish my studies. After only 2 months of being back home, today I’m off to China.

I have done this “leaving” thing a few times before,  it’s easy because  even though you will miss your family and friends, what you are leaving for is all that you want and will make you happy. But the return gives me mixed emotions,  on one side being back home with my family is great, but on the other I look back on the life I built and friends I made, and I will miss it dearly.

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Getting scammed in Crete

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands the last stop during my trip in Greece.

I took a ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, which is the capital of Crete. But I was spending the night in Chania which is 3 hours away from Heraklion by bus and from where I had a flight back to France the next night.

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Mykonos: Tan, Swim, Drink, repeat

Greek Island Hopping

The first stop in Greece was Athens. After a day of sightseeing, which honestly disappointed me, I embarked on a ferry to Mykonos. The ferry was the best way to get there and only costed 34 euros! The ride lasts for about 6 hours and it’s pretty smooth.

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Istanbul at last

Istanbul was my last stop in Turkey, but I had already spent a night there upon my arrival in the country. That little glimpse of the city by night making my way to the hostel through Istiklal avenue, one of the busiest streets in Istanbul, was enough to make me excited about exploring this place for 4 days.

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Sights of Cappadocia

The landscape created by erosion and volcanic eruptions in Cappadocia, Turkey, is unlike anything I had seen before. And civilizations back in the day took advantage of this and created underground cities and caves to live in.

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Turkish food you say? Delightful!

An essential part of travelling is food,  I love to eat and wherever I go I make it a point to try a variety of traditional plates. While in Turkey I tried some pretty delicious dishes.

I have just a few pictures of some of the food I tried, because I was usually too hungry and excited to eat to even think about getting my camera out and snapping photos.

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The Turkish Riviera; Antalya

Antalya is a beautiful Mediterranean beach city and one of the most visited places in Turkey . This  city can compete with any other famous resort town in Europe, as it offers amazing beaches and landscapes, good nightlife and shopping.

Although my stay was just for one night and one day, it was one of my favourite destinations during my Turkey trip and I managed to visit most of the sights and even found time to chill at the beach.

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Bathing in the Pamukkale hot springs

I had seen pictures of Pamukkale before in different “Places you must see before you die” type of travel lists but I wasn’t aware that it was located in Turkey. So when planning my Turkey trip I had to make sure to include it in the places I would visit.

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