Collection of travel moments from 5 weeks in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Cambodia

I wanted to remember the little moments during my travels that feel special or interesting to me, so I started taking notes. Life is made up of these little moments after all, and travel is especially good for noticing new things about others and about ourselves.

These aren’t really linked to each other except by chronology and by virtue of having all occurred to me on this one trip. But are all moments that I’d like to remember and look back on. Some might mean something, some don’t. Some were fleeting glimpses into other people’s lives, some are feelings that I felt in the moment that I would like to keep.

Some moments reflect on me being a woman, or a foreigner, or being Asian. Besides a few moments of frustrations, nothing to shout about, but sometimes I wonder about things.

Petals and leaves on steps in Ella, Sri Lanka

Petals and leaves on steps from my guest house in Ella, Sri Lanka

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Blue coffee mug Coffee at Rocket cafe in Bangkok

Bangkok in contrasts

Bangkok is changing very rapidly, just like any other major city in Asia. The interesting thing about Bangkok is that you’ll find areas that have become something entirely cosmopolitan overnight next to others that aren’t changing at the same rate (or at all).

Two sides, same coin

Two sides of a lightrail train station in central Bangkok
2013-09-28 16.52.15_smallfile2013-09-28 16.53.52_smallfile
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Sunset over the ocean

Young white male asks me for money. Thoughts on #whiteprivilege from a tropical island

I feel like I almost got scammed. I was waiting to get on the ferry off of the island in Thailand to make my way back to Bangkok to catch a flight.

While sitting on a bench, a young white male comes up to me and starts talking to me. At first I don’t understand what he saying, partly because he has an accent and partly maybe because he was speaking quickly. He repeated himself, “Could you give me 100 baht for the ferry…”

My gut immediately refused him. I said I’m sorry but I don’t have any change. Sure, 100 Thai baht is little more than 3 US dollars, but I didn’t feel compelled to give this young white guy my money. Why should I when this person, just by luck of birth, has all the advantages in the world. Why should I, a young, poor, female, minority (in my country) student, give him, a young, seemingly healthy, white, man, my money?
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Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. The Terrace, a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

2013 in signs and sayings, plus life lessons for 2014

On my travels to various parts of Asia, I often stop and take photos of interesting signs or pieces of English that I find interesting. Here’s a list of life lessons that we can glean from signs I’ve come across in 2013.

We all need money…

"Press for money" sticker on a crosswalk button in Singapore.

“Press for money” sticker on a crosswalk button in Singapore.

…but it isn’t worth going to jail.

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[Review] Cafe Bicycle (Bangkok) review

Cafe Bicycle near Phloen Chit BTS station in Bangkok

From what I’ve heard, this cafe has closed down. That’s really too bad. It was a nice place!

Another cafe you might like is Too Fast to Sleep, or you can check out this list.

Cafe Bicycle is another coffee shop in Bangkok that I recently visited on my trip to Thailand. It is tucked away under the Phloen Chit BTS station. It’s a cute cafe with a sustainability angle and modern vibe. It isn’t a very big place, but it is pretty cute and comfy! Continue Reading

[Review] Too Fast To Sleep in Bangkok

Too Fast To Sleep is a coffee shop or cafe in Bangkok, Thailand near the Sam Yan MRT station, and a short walk from the Sala Daeng BTS station. This is my Too Fast to Sleep review.

In addition to having a pretty awesome name, this coffee shop is a cool place to settle in and get some work done. Like the name suggests, it is open 24 hours and 7 days a week. Although I haven’t seen much of this city, I think this is my new favorite hangout in Bangkok… Continue Reading

Leaving Sakaerat today…and some thoughts on meeting Americans abroad

Chewy in Sakaerat

I’m leaving Sakaerat today! I’m a bit sad to go, definitely because the people here have been great and the nature and wildlife have been amazing. I wish I could come back, and I’m glad that I came. The colleague I came to visit has some really impressive research going on here, and I’m glad that I got to go out and search for her study species (Chiromantis hansenae) with her field team.
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A few days in the forests of Thailand…

I’m in Thailand to spend about 4-6 days at the Sakaerat Environmental Research Station in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. It is a few hours bus ride northeast of Bangkok (about 300km).

Last time I was there, I didn’t get to stay very long or see very much. I’m glad to be able to spend several days in at the research station, which is in the dry dipterocarp and dry evergreen forest! Although I’m admittedly a newbie at outdoorsy things, I think I’m really going to enjoy this time here. It is nice and cool at night, and not too hot during the day. Continue Reading