Indria’s Birthday @Hua Hin

thailand
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 πŸŽ‰

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 πŸ’• I wanted to bring her inside but Christina is allergic πŸ˜”

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.

Unpackingβœ…

south korea

Two and a half weeks later and I am moved in!

It feels soooo nice to be settled into my apartment.

It’s cool cause the apartment that I’m staying in has been used by the previous teachers at my school so it already had some things that I would’ve had to buy here. More on that later.

I’m still trying to find places for stuff. I have about 90% of my belongings in their places. The pile of stuff in my bedroom will find homes at some point πŸ˜†

So I don’t have to keep repeating myself, I just want to mention that I’m not sure when I’ll even be back in the USA. I packed up my whole room and either brought it with me, donated it, or gave it to friends/family. Everything that I brought is in good condition so why throw it out?

It pains me to think back at the $500 that I spent for my huge suitcases. As I was unpacking, I realized that I did bring WAAAAY too much. So, was paying the $500 for my huge suitcases worth it? I’d have say no. However, I didn’t really know what to believe from the videos and blogs that I stumbled upon before arriving in Korea so it is what it is.

Things that I brought:

International Driving Permits: What Are They and Do I Need One? - Travel  World Heritage
AAA IDP. Not mine but mine looks exactly like this
My universal adapter. I got it on Amazon for $20 two years ago and still works great πŸ‘
  • Pictures. I have a bunch of pictures taped to my fridge. I printed them out at CVS and am SO happy that I did. My apartment in Thailand was not really that homey. If I had pictures I think it would’ve been.
  • Clothes. I brought lots of socks and bras/sports bras, dress shirts, jeans, tank tops, shorts, underwear, etc. I think I could’ve chilled with the amount of socks, bras, and tank tops that I brought. But most of them were new. I am excited to go shopping in Seoul to see what they have to offer. There are also some cute stores near me but it is cold and Covid is making its way back so I’ve decided to put my adventures on hold.
  • HDMI cord and Apple adapter. Other necessities: lightning cables, my universal adapter, portable chargers. I know I mentioned some of these in a previous post but, the HDMI cord and Apple adapter have been sooo useful. Of course, you can also get those here. But they were nice to have from my days in quarantine to now in my new apartment. It’s nice to be able to watch shows and such on a TV rather than my tiny iPad screen.
  • My IDP from AAA. I mean I haven’t used it yet but I’m really looking forward to renting a car and driving here. Again, since we’re in the middle of a pandemic it’s not recommended to take public transportation so starting on December 21, I can rent a car here and drive around. We’ll see if that actually happens. It’s cool cause you can post date it up to (I think) three months.
  • I also brought a duffle bag on the plane to bring because two suitcases just wasn’t enough πŸ˜’ I used my backpack and duffle bag as my two carry-ons. I’m thinking that the duffle bag will come in handy when I’m actually able to travel and I use my backpack to bring my laptop and small dinner to school.

Things that I brought that I definitely did NOT need to bring:

My water bottles 😍 If I had more space, I would’ve had more with me.
  • My cervical pillow (I found some at Homeplus that were actually half the price I paid for back home). Of course, they also have regular pillows.
  • Water bottles. I have a sick obsession with water bottles and I don’t know how to stop. I brought 2 water bottles, 1 travel tea mug, and a CrazyCap water bottle. I brought that for when I go on trips so I don’t have to buy plastic water bottles. They have plenty of different water bottles at Homeplus. Butttt, to be fair, the pandemic made me buy stuff that I clearly didn’t need. So I blame Covid.
  • Sneakers/any other shoes. Seoul has all different types of stores from Sephora to New Balance. I have yet to go there but I have looked up some stores for when I do go there post-pandemic.
  • Workout gear. I have my resistance bands and two ankle weights. I also brought my acupuncture and yoga mats. On one of my trips to Daiso, I saw that they had a good amount of workout gear so one of these days I’m taking my empty shopping bag and going crazy.

You can also buy items online through Gmarket. There’s also this cool website called Borderlinx where you can buy items, have it shipped to the US/UK and then they will ship it to you. There are other websites like Borderlinx but that’s the first one that came to mind. From what I’ve heard you do need a Korean bank account though so I guess I will have to wait. Luckily, I also have family in the US sooooo they can just ship stuff to me for a lower price (I think/hope) πŸ˜‚

I’ve also read that they don’t have deodorant here. They do. I think maybe it depends on your location? Either way, if they don’t have the kind you like, you can buy it online. You really don’t have to go too crazy (like me) and bring a bunch of stuff that you can easily buy here. The only thing is is that it might be more expensive here. The way that I look at it is you either pay lugging all of your things from the other side of the world or buy stuff here. It’s a lose-lose situation. I also think back to Thailand because I couldn’t find good shoes and other stuff that I needed so I thought “better be safe than sorry.” I just didn’t want to be stuck like that again.

iHerb also has a website in Korea, so that made my year. They’re international so that’s cool. Amazon also ships here but I haven’t tried it cause I’m thinking it will be expensive like it was in Thailand. I had ordered vitamins from iHerb back when I was in the US and loved them. I ran out right before I came to Korea but then found out that they are a thing in Korea so it was a great moment. I’m not sure how it works yet but once I get my ARC (alien registration card) I can play around with these online stores and write about them. What I do know is that iHerb has awesome products from supplements to makeup to tea. I’m actually scared for my bank account when I get my ARC.

Honestly, everything else that I brought I am okay with. Yeah, you can always go shopping here but walking everywhere with your hands full can be fun for only so long (cause I walk everywhere) It’s also difficult right now because of the whole pandemic thing.

What I wish I brought:

I honestly can’t think of anything that I wish I brought. I do miss my computer adapter, but I can easily just buy that online or at a store so I’m not too worried about it.

South Korea does use a different type of plug than the US. In the US we use type A and B. Korea uses C and F. Korea also has a voltage of 220 V and 60 Hz while the US has 120 V and 60 Hz. Like I said, I brought my little adapter. I kind of wish I brought something like this though cause it just would’ve made my life easier. But that is what online shopping is for.

You know when you’re packing and you’re like ahhhh I’m going to forget something?? Well, even after being here for more than a month, it’s still in the back of my brain. If I actually did forget anything, I will update this.

Make sure to check out my TikTok for some videos that I think are funny but they’re probably not πŸ˜€

Two Weeks in Korea and then I’m Free-a

south korea

Honestly, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be. But ask my friends and family how I’ve been and they may say the opposite.

Picture of my cutie dog because I miss his face

I got a box from the government within the first few days of being here. It was filled with tasty food. How sweet of them?! I also received a thermometer and a white bucket with an orange biohazard bag to throw my trash in (Don’t worry, I am allowed to set my recyclables aside). Yay. My TikTok has videos of the goodies that were in the box that I received. I’ve eaten about 80% of what they sent (some of it is meat). Even before I got the box, the head teacher at my school went food shopping and had my fridge stocked before I arrived. She let me borrow some of her cookware for the two weeks. I felt at home right when I walked through the door.

South Korea is really on top of it when it comes to Covid. Four days after I got to my apartment, I was taken to get another Covid test. I was picked up and dropped off. It was exhilarating to see the outdoors. The quarantine app is pretty cool, when it works. My health officer has called and texted me when she couldn’t see my location. If you have an iPhone, I recommend leaving the app open at all times and having the Background App Refresh on. Expect a phone call or Kakao message if your location isn’t visible. I have to log in at 9am and 3pm every day. A few times my health officer has messaged me asking what my temperature was, even after I had logged my info in. I had some complications with the app at first because I was trying to write my address in Korean. It took a whole 12 hours to fix it so that was my thrilling activity for the day.

Here are some of the other activities that have been keeping me busy:

“Write Korean” App
  • Netflix & other apps (I’ve probably mentioned it 10x recently)
  • Reading
  • Meditating (I listen to a few different podcasts, but LOVE Chel Hamilton). Podcasts in general are pretty awesome.
  • Taking courses on Coursera. edX is great too.
  • Practicing Korean (I listen to YouTube videos by Korean Unnie, Mina Oh, & Korean Class101). I also downloaded this cool app called “Write Korean.” It’s my favorite so far because it doesn’t throw the whole alphabet at you all at once. I’ve also used other apps such as Duolingo and Memrise but I found that they had different pronunciation for each of the vowels which was super confusing. I do love Memrise for other languages though.
  • FaceTime and WhatsApp. Zoom and Skype. You know, those apps. It’s hard with the time difference but I’ve made it work so far!
  • Cooking has also been a huge part of my day. I LOVE to cook. Having a stove top in my apartment really makes my life easier and more enjoyable.
  • Organizing my apartment was also on the list but I am not in my official apartment yet. Living out of a suitcase was easier said than done.
  • Self care is always important! My favorite part is putting on a face mask and watching TV. I really needed a face mask after wearing my mask for 20+ hours.
  • Exercising is a great way to pass time. I have been slacking during quarantine but now I’m back at it with my little weights and resistance bands.
  • TikTok has been entertaining (when my internet works). I started making them the day I got here and I can’t stop.

I cut my hair because my friend told me about the #BradMandoChallenge πŸ˜‚ It looks nice and healthy now.

A great idea I had when I was back home was to buy a projector in case I didn’t have a TV, like in Thailand. I bought an HDMI cord and a Lightning to Digital AV Adapter off of eBay because they were cheap. BUT, make sure the AV Adapter is the Apple brand because it might not work if it’s not. Another amazing idea of mine was to read some posts on Facebook to see which VPN would work best. I decided to buy Nord VPN for a month so I could have different options aside from Netflix. I’ve been able to used Hulu, HBO Max and Disney Plus. Love that for me.

As time goes by, I regret unpacking my suitcases. I haven’t unpacked fully but let’s just say it’s going to take a few trips to get all of my belongings to my new apartment. It’s only a floor upstairs so it’s not a huge deal.

I cannot wait until I move into my apartment and unpack! I’m prettttty sure I brought more than enough of my belongings with me considering my two ginormous suitcases and also breaking one at home and another one other here. Guess we’ll find out.