The Home Experience – Thailand

thailand

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.

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 ๐ŸŽ‰

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 ๐Ÿ’• I wanted to bring her inside but Christina is allergic ๐Ÿ˜”

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

thailand
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!

Weddings in Thailand

thailand
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 ๐Ÿ’š
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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚

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/

Mahachai Jaidee

thailand
First night meeting our new friends (we didn’t know Indria yet)

I met some great people in Mahachai (aka Indria and our Thai friends) and became better friends with others (aka Christina).

Jaidee was just a bar on the side of the road that we would pass when leaving Landmark.

Christina and I were walking to our apartments one night from Landmark and these people were like “HEYYYYY.” She was like “so this girl before you never wanted to go there do you?” Of course I said yes because they sounded fun.

When we took Indria to Jaidee ๐Ÿ˜
Post fishing

Little did we know we’d be spending 95% of our weekend nights there. We’d always try some place new, but then we’d just end up at Jaidee. The thing is is that they were all great and entertaining and they were genuinely good people.

Indria, Me, Christina & Mo

Sometimes they’d take us on little day adventures to temples, their houses or cafes. I went fishing a few times with them which was so much fun!!! I caught my first and only fish ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We’d go to Jaidee on Fridays or Saturdays (sometimes both).

A few of our pictures are encased in the Jaidee bartop ๐Ÿ’—
Polaroid cameras are great

I’d usually have a mojito….or 5 when we’d go. Mai nam tan (no sugar). Sometimes I’d switch it up and get a bottle of Singha, which was my favorite Thai beer.

This one night we got really drunk off of our boxed wine at Indria’s apartment. We all forgot to eat dinner???? We showed up at Jaidee and brought our wine with us. None of them liked it. They usually just drank Singha, Chang ๐Ÿ˜ท, Leo, or Hongtong.

After Jaidee closed, we’d go to Landmark or Whaz. We were also introduced to Let’s Bar a few months later. Let’s Bar was always packed and the live music was great. You’d have to push your way through all of the people to get to the bathroom.

Christmas at Mahachai Jaidee

Landmark and Whaz were right down the street from Jaidee and there was a 7 along the way so that was always great. Whaz had live music too. Landmark had a bunch of tables and chairs so we’d go get beer at a nearby store and drink there for hours listening to some tswizz (Taylor Swift), Britney Spears, Thai music, or just whatever we were feeling that night.

Typical night at Jaidee

We’d sit and talk. We always laughed a whole lot. Indria, Christina, and I would be at one end of the table and everyone else would be on the other end but we’d all yell to each other.

At the end of the night, (usually somewhere between 11pm-6am) they’d all take us home or we’d go and get some yummy food.

โ™ฅ๏ธ โ™ฅ๏ธ

There was this one time when I fell off of a bike.

I always told Indria and Christina that I was going to fall off of a bike at some point because I always had to hop on and off with my little legs. The bikes were too high and my legs just couldn’t do it.

So, there I was.

Love them ๐Ÿ’œ

Everyone was sitting at the table eating at a restaurant we’d go to sometimes and I face planted into the concrete. I still have a bump on my head that I think will be with me forever. LOL.

Our our weekend mornings/afternoons, depending on when we got home, we started off deciding where we could get greasy or western food. Hangover helpers hehehe. Our favorites were: Baantoon, Three Girls and a Boy, and The White Oven.

The night we forgot to eat dinner. Can you tell??

After doing our errands for the day, we’d usually end up back there again at night. Orrrrr, we’d go to Indria’s and watch a movie and then go there ๐Ÿ˜†

At the end of the night, (usually somewhere between 11pm-6am) they’d all take us home or we’d go and get some aroi mak-mak (very delicious) food. We’d try new food and drink beer.

My last night ๐Ÿ˜ข

My last night at Mahachai Jaidee was bittersweet. It was such an enjoyable night but it was also sentimental. I was excited to go home but leaving was also hard. It was a quick but great goodbye. Some of us got matching tattoos which is always fun ๐Ÿ˜‚

Christina, Indria, and I still talk about the random, yet unforgettable times that we had at that bar and all of the places that they took us to. Mahachai will always have a place in my heart.

Juup Juup ๐Ÿ’œ

Mahachai, Samut Sakhon

thailand
เน€เธซเธตเน‰เธข (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.

๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ

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 ๐Ÿ˜

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 ๐Ÿ’—

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 ๐Ÿ’•

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.