Mahachai, Samut Sakhon

thailand
เหี้ย (water monitor)

After my six weeks in Chaiyaphum, I moved to Mahachai. Christina worked at a school there and they just happened to need another teacher. I wasn’t ready to leave Thailand yet so I packed my bags and went to Mahachai.

I stayed at Christina’s for a few nights while the coordinator looked for nearby apartments for me.

🇹🇭

Three days later I was lugging my little suitcase to “the apartment near Pizza Hut.” That was my name for it for the first few months before I knew the name. I still called it that even after I found out the actual name. My apartment was about a fifteen minute walk from Indria’s, twenty minutes from Christina’s, and ten minutes to school. It was in a great spot.

Just to give a little perspective of the Mahachai layout:

The main road in Mahachai is called Ekachai Road. My apartment was on the corner of Ekachai and Setthakij 1 Road.

The closest Tesco Lotus was about a thirty minute walk from me. I love walking but it was rough. It wouldn’t have been so bad BUT it was always sooooo hot in Thailand so walking there wasn’t too enjoyable. I’d literally step outside and start dripping.

Som tam from Tesco 😍

Tesco Lotus had a few cute stores. Also, a twenty Baht store was right outside. Inside they had: a KFC, and a Dunks (they only sold donuts). They also had a cafeteria that had delicious soup, spicy som tam, and omelets. Sometimes Christina and I would go there after school and split some of the dishes. I miss their soup. Walking further past Tesco Lotus they had this sushi place that we went to once and then tried to go again but they were closed.

Funny story: within the first few days that I was in Mahachai, a few of us teachers went to Tesco. I went to MK Restaurant by myself. It was pretty difficult ordering since I barely knew any Thai. I ended up just taking a guess and hoping that the dishes didn’t have meat it them. It worked. Later I found Christina and Teddy. They laughed at me, of course.

Truffle fries 💗

So, The White Oven, Two Ladies, Christina’s apartment, and Number 8 was on the way to Tesco Lotus. The White Oven was a western-styled restaurant that was overly priced but they had truffle fries which were mouthwatering. Two Ladies was not actually the real name of the place but two ladies worked there so that’s what we called it LOL. Number 8 was our favorite spot.When we’d go to Number 8, we’d have a feast. I actually don’t know if that was the name of it either. As you can tell we made up names for a lot of places.

Cafe’ n Garden and Jaidee were close to Indria’s. Cafe’ n Garden had BAGELS. They didn’t have cream cheese so that was sad. I’d go there on weekends for help with my hangover.

Mahachai 💕

Central Plaza Mahachai had a Homegoods store, Robinsons, Uniqlo, Starbucks, and a few other good stores. Taking a taxi was only about fifteen minutes (with all of the traffic).

The train station that we’d sometimes take to Bangkok was about a fifteen minute walk from my apartment and past the school. Walking through the fish market was always interesting (and smelly).

Three Girls and A Boy was our weekend spot. They hated waiting on us though because we couldn’t speak Thai. That was on Ekachai Road too but looking at my apartment on a map, it was to the left. We rarely went to that side of town.

Baantoon was another weekend spot that was on the main road. They had AMAZING Pad See Ew. Ahhhh. I ache for it sometimes.

Mahachai Hospital was about a twenty minute walk from me which I found out when I walked there at 5am.. food poisoning. Over that way they also had a night market, which I regret never going to, and a yummy sushi restaurant that we went to a few times.

Huge snail

Christina, Indria, and I went to this “Michelin Star” restaurant called Ruean Panya Restaurant. We got a bunch of seafood and almost got attacked by a dog. I say “Michelin Star” because it was pretty crappy food.

So, off I was to the hospital after being in Mahachai for less than a month. I was given some meds then went home and slept. I think my favorite part of going to the restaurant was that when we were leaving we saw this huge snail.

Thailand was cool for many reasons, as I have mentioned.

7-eleven is a huge thing in Thailand. They don’t have as many as Japan. Off the top of my head I can think of one 7/11 near Indria, one across the street from my school, two near Christina’s, one near the van stop, and maybe three or four near the train station/fish market.

Christmas at Nampu Plaza.. How cute?!

Nampu Plaza was also a great little building that was less than five minutes from school. They had a DQ and KFC. Sometimes after school we’d go and get ourselves a little treat at DQ.

They usually had T-shirts for sale right when you walked in. Upstairs was the food court. They had som tam and fried rice with shrimp and veggies. Delish. On the other floors, they had video games, and a great DIY store. DIY had everything..from tools to house supplies to party favors and containers.

Haven Outdoorism was a cute spot. It was on Ekachai Road. They had camping gear and yummy Pad Thai. Nutty Cake which was this dessert place we went to a few times was right across the street from it. A few doors down from Haven was another bar called Saan D Me Bar. We went there a few times. They had live music too, wooo. We went there every once in a while and also the night of my 26th birthday. It was a hoppin’ place.

So they had motorbike stops at basically every corner in Mahachai. I would walk by six stops on the way to Tesco. You’d just tell them where you were going and hop on. I became friends with the guys at two of the stops because I walked by so frequently. We’d just say hello and I’d be on my merry way.

Overall, Mahachai had some great spots and succulent food. I’m excited to talk about Thai food. That will be another post because I have maaaany pictures.

New Year’s Vacay 2019

thailand

From Bangkok to Pattaya to Koh Chang

Sweet little dog at the hostel
Bangkok, Thailand

Since New Year is coming around the corner again, I thought I’d write a throwback about better times and a fun New Year.

The long 5 day weekend started off in the capital on the 27th of December. Christina and I took a train from Mahachai to Bangkok. Taking the train was always great- it was 10 Baht and took about an hour. It stopped at Wonwian Yai. The BTS skytrain (not the band) was about a ten minute walk. So convenient.

Christina and I got to Bangkok before the others. We stayed at Phobphan Hostel in Bangkok. There was this sweet little dog there. We stopped at EmQuartier to do some shopping. Christina finally got me to shop at Zara. I got a cute shirt and skirt and she got a dress. We had dinner and waited for Jules and Indria to get to the hostel and then we were on our way. First, we stopped at Havana Social and met some cool peeps. We ended up hanging out with some people from New York. We got free shots and bottles. That’s always nice, Then this dude took us to Levels and we got more free drinks. Yay.

Havana Social
Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is great cause they have 7s on every corner. Indria and I went to the closest one and I waited outside for her while smoking and talking to some cool Thais. We got Christina food but she was passed out by the time we got back.

We ended the night late and started the next morning early. Christina realized that she left her purse in the Grab (that’s just a fancy word for taxi that they use in Thailand) that we took back to our hostel. Luckily she was able to contact the guy and get it back. This was the start of an unforgettable New Years.

We stopped at a random spot to get a song taew to the bus station
Trat, Thailand

Jules and I had to get food in our stomachs so Indria and Christina stayed behind to get her purse. Jules and I ended up finding a Pizza Hut that was in the middle. Then, we had to take a Grab from there to the bus terminal. We had no idea where we were going so that’s always fun. Christina already bought all of our tickets and the bus was about to leave. Indria ended up coming to the bus terminal but Jules and I were already on the bus. She ended up taking the next bus. Soooo, two of us were on the same bus and then the other two were on separate buses.

The streets of Pattaya

Once we got to Pattaya Jules and I took motorbikes to our Air BnB. That was amusing because we had our big bags with us. We got to the apartment complex and waited outside. Since Christina booked the Air BnB, the lady that was supposed to collect us came out a bunch of times looking for her. We realized this about 20 minutes later?? Eventually we showed them a picture of Christina and got let into the apartment. Soon after, Christina and Indria arrived. We got settled and went out for a night walk.

The impeccable rooftop view.
Pattaya, Thailand

We had a chill night. We went to a Mexican restaurant close to our apartment and I got some tacos. There was a rooftop pool that had lovely views. The sunset was amazing. We walked the beach and saw a bunch of farangs. The next day we were on the move.

💗

We were off to our destination: Koh Chang. We went from Pattaya to Rayong and made an adorable tiny friend. From Rayong we took another bus to Trat. From Trat we hopped on the ferry and were almost to the island!!! After hopping on a curving and swerving and almost falling off of the road, we made it to our Sleepyowl Hostel.

Got a little carried away

Sunday was our first night on the island. We found this packed bar and danced, sang, and drank a lot. Indria and I found some face paint that was glow in the dark so that was entertaining. I ended up covering my whole face. LOL.

Also we saw a few fake 7-elevens on the island which was humorous.

The next day Jules, Indria and myself went to a beach and that was nice n refreshing. Christina wasn’t feeling too good lolol. The beach was hot but beautiful. The weather was perfect and the water was warm. I’m used to freezing cold water up near Boston so it was a nice change.

For some reason I think that I’m a professional photographer heheh

After the beach we went to a Greek restaurant. We were obsessed with Aesops in Bangkok so we had to compare.

Our 7/11 gear 😃

That night we strutted through the town in our 7 gear, met this bartender (picture below) that could spin his bottle opener, and met some more farangs. OH and we decided to get buckets and split them between two people. WHY? Idk. But we did it and we survived.

Rasta View, Koh Chang

Andddd the night after was NYE. We went to this Jamaican bar and witnessed another memorable view. After sweating A TON (cause that’s what my body does), we made our way back to our hostel and went to the bar that we became regulars at 😂 LUCKILY, we all made it out for NYE. They played Sorry by J Biebs (MY ALLLLL TIME FAVORITE SONG. EVER.) and played some other exciting throwbacks and we screamed in the new year. I also found some balloons so I had some accessories.

Our voyage to the mainland.
From Koh Chang to Trat

We left Koh Chang on New Years Day. That was rough. Jules had to leave earlier than us cause she was going back to southern Thailand.

Koh Chang, Thailand

Me, Indria, and Christina took the song taew back to the ferry. It was a loooong and rough ride. We struggled all the way. We all agreed it would just be easier on ourselves to take a taxi…..who wants to take a taxi then bus then van to their destination?? Especially on New Years Day. Yeah, no one. We were able to get a taxi back from Trat to Mahachai. It was worth every penny/Baht. The driver stopped at 7s on the way. We played categories, sang, and took naps. It only took a few hours.

Safe to say our New Years vacay was memorable. We all laugh about it now because of all of the complications that we faced. From Christina losing her purse to all of us being on separate buses to being complete disasters in our 7-eleven shirts. New Years is coming around the corner again so reminiscing on our NYE from last year has been great. Ahhhh, Covid-free times, it’s always fun looking back on those memories.

From top left: tacos from Mexican restaurant, fake 7/11, picture with some farangs, hummus from the Greek restaurant, FaceTime with my friends from back home, our hostel in Koh Chang, the city life in Pattaya, beautiful view from the Greek restaurant, our bartender friend, this crazy cat that bit Indria (no rabies though), and the Rasta View restaurant with their sweet little doggie.

I’m Freeee

south korea

I waiting for 12pm since I got here. It’s weird that I can close out all of my apps now because I no longer have to have my quarantine app open at all times.

It feels wrong that I was able to walk outside. I felt like I was breaking the law. Is that what two weeks in solitary confinement does to you?? (kidding)

I just went for a little stroll around my neighborhood and was able to see (up close) the progress that the construction workers had made on the building that is very close to mine. They’ve made quite some progress within the past two weeks. That has been some of my entertainment these past two weeks.

My neighborhood looked a bit deserted from my window.

Turns out it wasn’t THAT much of a desert as I thought it was going to be. There were stores and several apartment buildings and restaurants once I left my street. Everything was about a 5-10 minute walk from my place which is super convenient.

There was a lot to see in my little town; It was riveting. I only walked a total of two miles aimlessly because it started getting dark and I was hungry so I started to walk the wrong way home. Fun. I’m glad that KakaoMap works without cellular data because I would’ve definitely been lost if not. I saw the Dominos that I order from twice throughout my quarantine period. I saw a few hair and nail salons. I also saw a bunch of parks and people walking around. And this box with pet food and water inside that was on one of the walking paths which made me smile and warm inside. HOW CUTE.

7/11. Yay!

I also went to a 7/11 which brought me back to Thailand because 7’s in Thailand were literally every other building. When I went to grab some Soju, they had Singha!!!! My day was instantly made. Quarantine guys, quarantine, it is worth it. The lady inside 7/11 thought that I was younger than 20, which is the legal drinking age in Korea. Good thing is that I downloaded English and Korean on Google Translate since I don’t have a phone plan yet this came in very handy. Of course it made me laugh because that happens to me everywhere even though I’m well over 20. Everyone always thinks I’m younger than 20. Not mad about it but I didn’t have my passport soooo that could’ve been a problem.

I got 2 Singhas 😆

I got a few snacks at 7 to try because why not. I have no idea what they say on the packaging but I got Cheetos and a candy bar. I thought that the Cheetos were spicy but Google told me otherwise. I guess they’re sweet and spicy. They are sweet. Back home, the spicy Cheetos are wicked spicy. I tried.

I’ve been eyeing this place since I got here because I thought it said “Paris Bagels.” Anyone who knows me knows I am have a sick obsession with bagels. After a quick KakaoMap search, I learned that it is called “Paris Baguette.” Still, it’s bread so I thought I’d give it a try on my walk back home. They had quite the selection. I got some egg salad and potato salad to try and this watermelon bar which was palatable because I also love watermelon 🍉 I also got a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, imitation crab, and some spicy sauce.

Today was an interesting day and I am a bit relieved that my city has more to offer than I thought; I feel giddy. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds! Tomorrow starts a new day AND my first school day. I am excited to do some more exploring before school. More pictures to come!