Thai Food

thailand
Som Tam from Two Ladies

This has been one of my favorite posts to write. I miss Thailand and its food.

We ate gooood while we lived there. Most of the time we ate Thai food but every so often, we’d go to a western-ish/international restaurant and splurge.

I would just like to start off in saying that I cannot believe I had never tried Thai food before going to Thailand. I was missing out!!!

Thai food is not the same everywhere which is sad. When I got it in the US it didn’t taste the same.

The spelling was always different everywhere we went because the English alphabet doesn’t the have exact translations for their vowels and consonants. I’ve noticed that here in South Korea as well.

Pad Thai from a restaurant near our school

Some Thai words that we learned were:

  • Ma Muang = mango
  • Kai = egg
  • Mangsawerat (mang-sa-wee-rot) = vegetarian
  • Khao = rice
  • Goong/Koong = shrimp
  • Pad = stir fry
  • Pak = vegetable
  • Chai Po = turnip
  • Som Tam = papaya salad
  • Boong = water spinach
  • Tang Mo = watermelon
Pad see ew & pad kra row goong with chai jiew

Whenever we’d go out to eat, we’d usually get the same dishes. Christina and I only ate fish so we had to learn our way around the menus in our town.

Pad Thai from Haven Outdoorism

The Thai dishes that we’d get:

One of the meals after a day of fishing!
  • Pad Thai
  • Khao Pad Kai (egg fried rice)
  • Khao Pad Pak (vegetable fried rice)
  • Pad Hoi Lai (clams)
  • Kai Jiew Chai Po (egg omelet with Chinese radish)
  • Pla Pao (grilled fish)
  • Khao Soi (spicy coconut curry)
  • Yum Kai Dow (Thai fried egg salad: egg, raw onion, tomato, lime juice and fish sauce)
  • Pad Kra Prow (spicy veggie rice)
  • Tom Yum Goong (shrimp tom yum)
  • Pad Pongali Goong (shrimp yellow curry)
  • Khao Niaow Ma Muang (mango sticky rice).

My all time favorite dish was Som Tam. It was spicy, sweet and somewhat healthy. It had garlic and tomatoes in it which are two of my favs.

We stumbled upon this yummy place towards the end of our Mahachai days.

I got som tam ped nid noi (a little spicy) almost every single day at school for the cheap price of ฿25. Whenever I would walk in the line in the cafeteria, the lady wouldn’t even say anything, she’d just start making it.

My last plate of som tam made me emotional. I was obsessed with it. Sometimes I’d have it twice or three times a day.

My friend Mo ended up getting me a mortar before I visited home in October. I tried to make it and it just wasn’t the same.

Number 8 food! Miss it 💕

Pad see ew was another mouthwatering dish. It was one of the first dishes that I had in Thailand.

Khao Soi

⬆️ top left: pad pongali goong, pad pak boong, pla pao, ma kheu (some type of eggplant dish), pad hoi lai

Sometimes we’d go to Khod Tim Cafe after a scrumptious dinner and get some of their delish ice cream. Whenever we’d get a craving for something sweet, we’d go there.

The Michelin restaurant that was called Ruean Panya Restaurant was close to Christina’s apartment. I don’t even remember what we got but it was a lot of seafood. Some of it was okay and some we were like uhhhh what is this??

Michelin star pictures ⬆️

From top left: khao niaow ma muang (mango sticky rice), roti, fruit cart, pad pak boong, kai jiew chai po

There were dessert cafes at every corner in Mahachai. Our friends Smart and Namkang took us to one and we got some ice cream and sweet stuff.

There were also fruit carts and one bag of fruit was usually about ฿20-30. I’d usually get tang mo 🍉

I really cannot wait to go to Thailand again and shove my face with all of the delicious food!! Once Covid is over, it will be the first place I visit!

The Home Experience – Thailand

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One of the nights when we were drinking with our friends at Landmark in November 2019, we all planned to go to Amphawa Floating Market in the province next to ours, Samut Songkhram.

Christina and I woke up and took a grab. Indria ended up waking up late so she missed our taxi ride.

We ended up meeting our friends Smart and Namkang there.

We were not feeling all that great so we stopped for some Pad Thai inside of the market and pushed our way through the crowd.

We ended up finding them and they showed us around.

We walked around for a bit. Walking along the river was so nice. The views were great.

Christina did the dunk tank but instead of water it was little balls.

We walked around for a bit and went to a cute cafe.

Smart lives about 15-20 minutes away from the floating market.

We ended up spending the night with them, his family, and his dog and cat. It was cute. We cooked some prawns, mussels, and other food and had a little shabu.

We listened to some Barbie Girl and Kung Foo Fighting and then slept on his porch with a mosquito net. It was a nice cool, relaxing night. It was one of my most treasured nights while I was in Thailand.

The next morning, on our journey back to Mahachai, we made a few stops along the way.

Our first stop was to a temple with Smart’s family. We ate a great amount of food.

The next stop was a bull cafe. The place was huge. This is where I learned the Thai word for sweat, cause I was sweating a lot. LOL.

Then we were taken to the Chang-Eng Siamese Twins Memorial in Maeklong.

Chang and Eng Bunker, the famous conjoined twins, were born in 1811 in Thailand (formerly known as Siam) and brought to the United States almost 20 years later.

The statue of the twins was really cool to see. I had never even heard of them until Christina enlightened me. It’s an interesting story.

Near the statue, there is a boat museum. The museum was being renovated so we only got to see the memorial.

Our last stop was another temple, Wat Bang Kung. It was a tree temple. Near the temple, there was a little farm. They had horses, goats, all those kinds of animals. We fed them. It was entertaining.

On our way home, we stopped for some food and got some beer.

The weekend was enjoyable and safe to say very memorable.

Khao Sam Roi Yot

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It was HOT

Okay so I think this was my favorite vacation while we were in Thailand. I know I’ve said that before though 😆 It was such a relaxing and humble vacay.

Khao Sam Roi Pot is in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province in Thailand. It is even more south than Hua Hin.

We took a van from Mahachai on a random weekend in September 2019. From there, we went to the van stop in Khao Sam Roi Yot. It only took a little less than three hours. After we landed at the van stop, we took a grab to Stella Resort.

This dude showed us around the cave

Our room had one bed so the owner gave us an extra mattress for cheap.

The first day we woke up bright and early and had some of the complimentary breakfast that included eggs, toast and some fruit. There was one other couple there. I guess the resort was pretty empty.

The resort had motorbikes so we rented two for the day for I think 300 Baht each? All we had to do was bring back a full tank of gas when we returned them. I drove my own bike while Indria drove Christina and herself. I live life on the edge.

Stella Resort

We hiked our way up to Sai Cave and Khao Daeng View Point all in one day. The park was huge so the bikes were definitely useful and worth it. Each hike took about an hour one way.

While riding through the park, we got to see some cows and monkeys along the road. So cool!!!

We got some yummy food after our long hike.

After venturing around the park all day, we ended up at Searchlight Bar. We got a drink and chilled.

This guy from the UK owned it and he had a mini library there.

Then, we got a cute little dinner and saw some more farangs. There was also a cat there so that always makes things better.

The restaurant was across from a beach. I got a salad because feta. It was raining, but it was still a spectacular view. The beach picture above with the bike was our view!!

Greek salad!!!

That Saturday night, we had a chill night at the resort. We bought some wine and drank by the pool. We played some cards and talked a bunch. It was a memorable night.

The Sunday that we left, the owner of the resort was so sweet, she called the van company and they brought us back to Mahachai.

Searchlight Bar
Pretty view from the resort!

We always said that we wanted to go back. When we visit Thailand again, that is going to be on the list, for sure. It was such a great mini vacay, I can’t wait until we go back and have another relaxing weekend at Khao Sam Roi Yot 😀

Indria’s Birthday @Hua Hin

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Tuk Tuk ride to our hostel

Hua Hin is a district heading toward the south of Thailand in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

The weekend before Indria’s 23rd birthday in 2019, Indria, Christina, and I took a mini trip to Hua Hin. Luckily, Mahachai had a van stop that went from there to Hua Hin. It only took about two hours and some change for us to get there.

Soi Bintabaht

From the van stop we took a tuk tuk to our hostel. We stayed at Baan Rajdamnern Hua Hin Resort, which Google says is closed now.

The hostel was interesting. It was right near Hua Hin Market Village. The room had three beds but the bathroom was in a separate part of the building so we had to walk outside to go there.

We went to the famous Hua Hin Soi Bintabaht Walking Street.

Along our stroll, we came across this place called Ibiza. We became friends with the owner, met random peeps, and played pool.

First night

The DJ was great too. We requested some Britney Spears, J Biebs, and a few of our other favorites then we got to jam out to them.

After it closed, the owner and some of his friends took us to this restaurant where we drank some more.

The next day, we had a beach day. Before we beached it, Indria and I found a Au Bon Pain because bagels. Au Bon Pain was always on my mind when we went to Bangkok or a touristy area because I was deprived of bagels while in Thailand.

My vacay sunglasses

After beaching it, we went to a restaurant on the beach and it was cute.

Our second night was just as entertaining. We tried to go to this Jamaican bar but it ended up being dead so we just stayed on the tuk tuk and went back to what we knew: Ibiza.

Jaidee celebration 🎉

Every single time we tried to venture off and try something new in Thailand, we were reminded as to why we stuck to what we knew.

We hung out with the owner again and met this group of bikers and they were chill.

When we got back to our hostel, there was this kitten that followed us upstairs. We sat outside on the bench and talked while I played with her 💕 I wanted to bring her inside but Christina is allergic 😔

The night of her actual birthday, which was a Monday, we went to Jaidee and then Whaz. The performer who was singing that night sang happy birthday and we got a cake. It was a nice lil celebration.

Maeklong Railway Market

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Salt Farms, Samut Songkhram

On one of the days that we were let out early, Christina and I hopped on the ferry near the fish market and began our journey to Samut Songkhram.

From the Mahachai Pier, we took a ferry to Tha Chalom Pier. From Tha Chalom, we made our way to the Ban Laem train stop. It was only about a fifteen minute walk from the ferry stop to the train station.

Tha Chalom is a delightful town in Samut Sakhon. You can cross the Tha Chin River to get there from Mahachai so we had to take a ferry. You can also drive but the ferry is much quicker. It is not very populated, from what I’ve seen.. At least compared to Mahachai where there is non-stop traffic.

Thai teachers brought us there once during lunch. We drove there and I got some Pad Thai. Deliciousness.

Soooo, since we had to wait for the next train, we sat and got some food and saw some cutie kittens.

The train ride was pretty cool but as always, scorching hot. There were some fans on it that functioned though. But for 10 Baht (~$.30) can you even complain? We saw some salt farms along the way. I wish we could’ve actually seen the salt, but hey, the views were still captivating.

My head was turned toward the window the entire time. If you put your hand out of the window, you’d be touching the trees or sometimes even houses.

The best part is when you reach the market and all of the vendors move their items and tents that are along the railroad track:

Wat Laem Suwannaram

They sell anything and everything at the market. From pig heads to earrings. We got some coconut water to hydrate and saw many farangs. I bought a cute handmade fan.

On the way back from the infamous Railway Market, we visited the temple that you can see across the pond from Mahachai. Some dude took pictures of us.

The Maeklong Railway Market was a fascinating experience. I can see why it is so attractive among tourists. If you are ever in this part of Thailand, the market should be on your list!

Wat Sam Phran

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The 17 story dragon temple is in Amphoe Sam Phran in Nakhon Pathom Province. It is located north of Samut Sakhon so it was only a few hundred Baht and an hour-ish Grab ride away from us.

It’s also about 26 miles (~41km) from Bangkok.

On a hot November Sunday, we made our way there. We got dropped off at the wrong location so we had to get another Grab. Are you surprised??

The parking lot was empty.

Tunnel entrance

We walked around the base of the temple and viewed the shrines, then found our way inside.

And of course, I wasn’t thinking and I wore shorts so my knees were showing ahhhh.

I was grateful that they had thin sarongs that you could borrow for 20 Baht.

Since you don’t have to pay to get into the temple, we all donated some money and were on our hike up to the top.

The stairs led us to the tunnel. Inside the tunnel was tough and a bit narrow. It was a spiral way up and there were some fans along the way so that was helpful.

The first staircase after the tunnel led to the windows with a beautiful view.

There was another steep staircase and the views were even more stunning.

Another view from the top!

There weren’t that many people inside the temple either. I was shocked because we went on a Sunday so I figured more people would be there. Butttt, it was nice to not have to push our way through.

At the very top of the temple there are two bowls that you throw coins in. A guy was throwing the coins into the bowl and told us one was for good luck and the other was for happiness. It took us a few times to get the coins into the bucket but they eventually went in.

There is also a shrine (pictured below). You can purchase/donate flowers for the shrine.

You can also purchase the red ribbon and write your last name on it and tie it to the railing.
crab rangoons!

After going to Wat Sam Phran, we had a relaxing dinner at Riva Floating Cafe. They had one of my favs: crab rangoons. They weren’t like the ones back home, but they were still delish. We got some dessert and Grabbed it back to Mahachai.

Weddings in Thailand

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Wedding #1

During my ten wonderful months in Thailand, I got to go to two weddings.

You can invite whoever to the wedding up until the day which is pretty cool.

Sometimes the weddings also have themes. We didn’t have a theme for the first one.

A previous employee came to our school one day and invited our head teacher and then invited the rest of us.

Pregaming

Luckily, I was going back to the US for a bit so I was able to pick up a dress so I had time to prepare.

Since everyone in Thailand is so small, it was hard finding things that fit me.

November 2019 was my first wedding. Yay. It was cute. Christina, myself, and the head teacher at our school had to take two taxis to get there. The first one dropped us off and we had to call another one cause we were at the wrong address. We were there for about an hour? We mingled, ate, and then we went to Haven. I had my favorite dish there: Pad Thai. Then we went to Jaidee.

We were drunk at 11am

The second wedding was in February 2020. The theme was mint so that’s why we all had mint-ish colored dresses. It’s also interesting because the weddings are in the morning and they last all day. Love it.

Selfies @ Christina’s
Minty Fresh 💚
Wedding selfiezzz

The second wedding we went to was one for the books. We were invited I think a week before the actual wedding? We all had to get dresses. I found my dress at a shop near my apartment. Christina, Jade, and I went to Central Plaza Rama II to shop for their dresses. Jade had a sprained ankle. Christina was able to find a wheelchair so we wheeled her around the mall.

Being farangs in Thailand was always laughable because we already stood out and then other things would happen that made us stand out more 😂 So it was amusing to see people’s reactions when they saw us wheeling Jade around in a wheelchair hahah.

We have numerous pictures of us four in the bathroom 😂

After a few hours at the mall, we we all ready for the wedding.

Our morning started off at 10am I think? We prepared ourselves by getting a few bottles of Prosecco when we were at the mall.

We met at Christina’s apartment the morning of the wedding. It was convenient because she lived 3 minutes away.

A few hours later we walked to the school. One of our friends let Jade use crutches so once we got there, she was stable.

The wedding was a blast. We sat at a table and of course, drank a bunch of whiskey and ate quantities of food.

The afterparty was great. We went to a restaurant and they had karaoke which was exciting!!! We ate some more food and got to sing our hearts out. Indria, Jade, Christina, and I horribly sang Britney Spears and some other peeps, and of course Jbiebs. We all took turns singing and being obnoxious. We ended the night earlier than usual, around 8 or 9pm? I mean we had been drinking for the whole day and started super early, so I think we did a pretty good job.

Love this photo and these peeps

That wedding was hands down one of my top ten favorite days in Thailand.

https://www.instagram.com/three_blindmice555/

Ayutthaya

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My 26th birthday in 2019 was my favorite birthday to this day.

The Friday night before my birthday, we started off at Mahachai Jaidee (of course). My birthday is on September 28th and that year it was on a Saturday, so it worked out pretty well.

We stayed at Jaidee until after midnight. They got me a cake and a few of them got me cute stuffed animals. It was a good time, as always.

We woke up wicked early for the start of our long journey to the old capital. Indria had to tutor so Christina and I went with our friends Mo and See.

The drive was maybe around an hour and a half to get there.

We jammed out to music and I got a little karaoke sesh in. I don’t think anyone liked my voice but I was having a grand old time.

Before we actually went to the Ayutthaya Historical Park, we stopped and had some food. We ate some prawns and some other delicious food (picture above).

We drove around and went to two different spots in Ayutthaya. It was really interesting to see the old temples and statues. It was heartbreaking to see people riding elephants though. Those poor things. 😢

Before leaving the historic town, we went to a cute cafe called Wiwa House Cafe. I ordered cha dam yen mai naam tan (black iced tea with no sugar), got some roti sai mai and played some Jenga. The roti sai mai tastes kind of like cotton candy. It was addicting.

On the ride back to Mahachai, there was some more karaoke and laughs (cause I’m hilarious). We got dropped off at our apartments and got ready for the night.

Ayutthaya was amazing.

Look at my little curly piece of hair

Later that night, a few of us English teachers went to Saan D Me Bar. It was cute cause my friends set up the table with birthday decorations. It was a surprise how cuteeeee. I got a birthday hat and some other sweet things.

After Saan D, we trekked our way to Jaidee and celebrated some more.

After Jaidee, a few of us went to Landmark. We sat and chatted for hours. That was one of my favorite weekends with some of my favorite people. I say weekends because we started off Friday night and it basically lasted until Sunday morning. We were driven home around 6am on Sunday #memz

Here are some pictures of our adventure (thanks to Christina for sending me some):

Greenheart & Xplore Asia

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I wish I bought this

I came across Greenheart after I joined a bunch of Facebook groups.

In January 2019, I was finishing up my practicum hours through the YMCA in a nearby town. I loved going and helping the students.

I ended up talking to this dude through Facebook who said he was sick of life in America and was going to teach in Thailand. I was on the same boat too, so I looked into Thailand.

7s everywhereeeee

Looking back on it now, signing up for Greenheart was a good decision. Would I do it again? Definitely not.

It was expensive but worth it because I was lucky to meet some great people. I ended up paying over $1400 to Greenheart, plus the flight which was ~$800, amongst other things. They give you a full breakdown on their website. I could’ve done all of the things myself, like I did with Korea (I ended up finding my job in Korea from a recruiter). Buttttt, going abroad for the first time by yourself can be nerve-racking so I do recommend going with some type of program for your first time. Unless you are going with a friend or something.

And again….

With Greenheart/Xplore Asia, they figured everything out for you…. job placement, visa, and they included an orientation week so that was convenient. I still had to do everything on my own AKA get my visa, get a background check, and a notarized degree. I do have to say it was less stressful going through a program though.

Christina and I got off at the Asiatique Pier and got some sushi. Yummm

Once I was ready to go to Asia, Greenheart handed me off to Xplore Asia.

Some guy picked me up at the airport and brought me to a hotel in Bangkok. That’s where I met Christina. We were the first two to get to Thailand. We were roomies.

I look back at my ride from the airport to the hotel and it’s funny cause my first time in Asia I was freaking out because I had no cell service from the airport to the hotel. But I was able to look at my Google maps to see where I was going.

If I were to take a taxi in the US alone for that amount of time with no service, I probably would’ve been in trouble.

The second time (AKA now) I was like “Yeah I won’t have a phone for a bit so here’s my email for my Apple ID. I’m taking a taxi from the airport to my apartment which is about an hour. I’ll let you know when I’m at my apartment” #noworries… I just got a phone plan two days ago.

I love cats

Once I got to the hotel, since we were the first ones there, Christina and I walked around Bangkok. We were right near the center. We went to a few temples, Chatuchak, and the Grand Palace so that was fun.

Our AC didn’t work…. That was rough. We talked to the front desk and once we returned it was fixed. We got some pad see ew. It was my first time having it and that was the moment I fell in love.

Thennnnn, once everyone from Xplore Asia was there, we were off to our second location: Hua Hin. That’s where we had our orientation.

Night Market with the Xplore Asia peeps

So, from Bangkok, we took a van to Hua Hin. It was about three hours.

We stayed at Glory Place Hotel and we were right near a Hua Hin Night Market which was cool. They had live music in English, food, and beer. Yay.

The first night we were all in Hua Hin, we went to a nearby 7 and got alcohol and drank near the pool. The pool had a slide which. Cool!!!! I split a bottle of Jameson with another girl in the program. It was a good time.

A song taew would pick us up and bring us to wherever we needed to be that day. Our orientation was a two second walk and in the same building as Wagging Tales Cafe. That place donated the money that was made to Xplore Asia’s partner company called Rescue Paws. So obviously I had to support every day of orientation.

During our orientation week, we went to a Muay Thai class, went to Rescue Paws, and went to our daily orientation classes. Plus we learned some Thai. The animals at Rescue Paws were adorbs. On our last day, we also took a cooking class where we learned to make my favorite: SOM TAM 💜 It was aaaarrrrooiiiiiii.

Song tawes

We stayed at a hotel for the week. I roomed with the girl that was teaching in China. I think I snored too loudly cause she switched rooms.

Orientation week was fun cause we all got to hangout and go to a night market that was near our hotel. We listened to some Thai and English music, got food, and skedaddled.

We had ourselves a little fun night. We stayed at hotel and decided to walk to a nearby mall…..on the side of a highway. We walked on the side of a highway.. There were guardrails. But yeah it was uhhh weird? People beeped. But hey we were just some farangs.

last day of orientation

Our last night we went to a beach and had ourselves bonfire. The next day we were off to our towns. That’s when Amy, Dina, myself, and others went off to Bangkok to Media Kids. After Media Kids is when the three of us and the other Xplore Asia peeps split up.

Although the program was pricey, I am happy I went through with it because it was such a great experience. I made life long friendships. I also would have never went to Mahachai if I had never met Christina. Things happen for a reason.

Teaching in Chaiyaphum

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I guess this is my name in Thai
Dried strawbzzzzz. Yum

There were 6 other foreign teachers at Anuban Chaiyaphum. The first day of school, one of them came and picked me up. So sweet.

My first day walking home from school I got lost (shocker). I walked by this restaurant and these two ladies were kind enough to help me. I called my advisor from Media Kids and she spoke to them and there I was hopping on the back of my second bike ride. She drove me back to my apartment. Apparently I took a right instead of a left. Sometimes I amaze myself.

The walk to school

The Thai teachers were so sweet. One of them got me some dried strawberries from the northern part of Thailand. Sometimes she’d bring me random food which was awesome. I love trying new food. And then, on my last day, she gave me a skirt. So cute 💗

So before Thailand, I had never taught before. Soooo, teaching a room full of 40+ students was A LOT of work. I had to use a microphone and even then it was hard to hear myself. I never knew my voice could go so high.

I worked Monday-Friday. The English teachers had to do a morning talk once a week and we had to go on stage.. in front of the whole school 😟 It was embarrassing for me because I was a horrible MC. I can’t do large crowds… unless it’s karaoke hehe.

The kids were cute though. I had P6 which were 11-12ish and then I had K3 which were 4 (I think). I actually forget their ages but I think I’m kinda right. Either way, they were all adorable. It was fun but also super stressful and overwhelming.

I went through Media Kids in Chaiyaphum and they were okay. I had heard some mixed things about them before going to Thailand. They gave you the curriculum and you just had to make the lessons enjoyable and exciting. It was hard with 40+ students but it worked with the ones that actually wanted to learn.

There was no AC in any of the rooms so I had to plug the fan in prevent the sweat from dripping off of my face. It was dry and scorching.

They have a huge turnover of English teachers. Not only just in Thailand, but everywhere. So I think it is hard for the students to engage themselves into the subject when they have a new teacher every few weeks.

One of my students drew this. How cute ❤️

I interviewed with Christina’s agency one day and weeks later, I was off to Bangkok with Anna and Amy (Dina had already left) after my contract had ended. Anna was this super cool girl that I worked with. She didn’t start til after me but we became instant friends.

My last day with all of my kids was emotional. Of course, I cried. Honestly, I never knew how emotional I was until I met those students. There was this one student who just followed me around and hugging me. It was so precious.

Before I knew it, it was my last day in Chaiyaphum. Anna, Amy, and I all met Christina and Teddy in Bangkok. Teddy was one of my new co-workers at my new school.

Chaiyaphum was a cute little town. I miss it. I think Thailand in general had such a great impact on my life. Everything that happened there will always be a fond memory.

My K2 kiddies 💗 💗
I teared up. Miss them.

I never noticed how much 6 weeks could go by so quickly, but also make such an impact on your life.

Chaiyaphum was merely the start of my Thailand journey.