Red Lotus Sea in Udon Thani, Thailand

Red Lotus Sea

The Red Lotus Sea in Thailand is a beautiful place that is slowly becoming more popular in recent years. However, the name is a bit misleading…the Red Lotus Sea is actually a lake and the lotuses are pink, not red.

lotus flowers, red lotus sea, lake, thailand, udon thani, travel, expat
Looking out at the Red Lotus Sea

Located near the city of Udon Thani in northern Thailand, an overnight bus from Bangkok was the most affordable option for us. My friend and I took the Pattaya 407 Company for 389 Baht at 8:30 pm and arrived at Udon Thani at around 6 am.

From there, we took a Tuk Tuk for 250 Baht per person (negotiated down from 400 Baht per person). It took about an hour to get there.

We took a small boat for an hour which cost 300 Baht total, but if you have a group there is a bigger boat for 500 Baht.

boat, boat ride, red lotus sea, water, lake, thailand, travel, expat
Boat ride on the Red Lotus Sea

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The New York Times: Footsteps Book Review

footsteps, New York Times, travel, literature, nonfiction, book, booksBy: The New York Times


292 Pages

A curated collection of the New York Times’ travel column, “Footsteps,” exploring iconic authors’ relationships to landmarks and cities around the world

Before Nick Carraway was drawn into Daisy and Gatsby s sparkling, champagne-fueled world in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald vacationed in the French Riviera, where a small green lighthouse winked at ships on the horizon. Before the nameless lovers began their illicit affair in The Lover, Marguerite Duras embarked upon her own scandalous relationship amidst the urban streets of Saigon. And before readers were terrified by a tentacled dragon-man called Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft was enthralled by the Industrial Trust tower– the 26-story skyscraper that makes up the skyline of Providence, Rhode Island.

Based on the popular New York Times travel column, Footsteps is an anthology of literary pilgrimages, exploring the geographic muses behind some of history’s greatest writers. From the “dangerous, dirty and seductive” streets of Naples, the setting for Elena Ferrante’s famous Neapolitan novels, to the “stone arches, creaky oaken doors, and riverside paths” of Oxford, the backdrop for Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, Footsteps takes a fresh approach to literary tourism, appealing to readers and travel enthusiasts alike.” Continue reading “The New York Times: Footsteps Book Review”

Ladyboy Show in Chiang Mai, Thailand

For those who don’t know, a ladyboy show is the Thai equivalent of a drag show where men dress up in “drag” (as women) while lip syncing and dancing. Ladyboy shows are a popular and well-known part of Thai culture. While I was in Thailand, I wasn’t going to miss my chance to check one of these numbers out! 

Since I was in Chiang Mai at the time, people from my program and I went to Ram Bar which is an easy songtaew ride away from Old Town. The show is free if you buy a drink (the cheapest drink is 170 Baht = 5 Dollars) which is pretty reasonable. 

So here are some of my thoughts!

Ram Bar’s Ladyboy Show

ladyboy, ladyboy shows, ram bar, chiang mai, thailand, expat, living abroad
The costumes ranged from beautiful (like the costume above) to edgy urban to 1920s glamour

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Vegan Food in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai’s Old Town has vegan food options for days! Now, of course, there are areas outside of Old Town where vegan options aren’t rubbing elbows on every block, but even then I didn’t struggle too much to find something good to eat.

My vacation to Chiang Mai quickly become a vegan food vacation as I chowed down on way too much yummy vegan food! So here is a list of all the food I ate! 😂 (My dignity= zero!)

Note: While I am emphasizing that these dishes are vegan for my vegans out there, these dishes are equally delicious for you  non-vegans. If you like good food, then this is for you!

Note note: Going to a self-proclaimed vegan restaurant might cost you a little bit more money by Thai standards, but for us foreigners a fabulous meal will only cost you around 6-7 Dollars and that’s if you get a drink or dessert with your meal or go for the more expensive options on the meal!



Khao Soi, Reform Kafe, vegan, veganism, food, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Khao Soi and Hot Chocolate at Reform Kafe

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Day Trip to Lopburi – Monkey Temple and Sunflower Festival

Lopburi is a three hour train ride north of Bangkok. My friend and I took the slower train which only cost us 28 Baht (32 Baht = 1 Dollar). Not too shabby! (However, the faster train is still pretty cheap by American standards so if you want to be in a nicer train and spend more time in Lopburi then go for it!)

Lopburi is home to the famous Monkey Temple and sunflower fields perfect for Instagram. Lopburi is a small town which can easily be covered in one day.

Monkeys and Monkey Temple

Going to the Monkey Temple was a mixed bag for me. It will cost you 50 Baht which is pretty reasonable; however, the temple itself is quite small. Furthermore, it is in the middle of town so it comes across as even more of a touristy location. Combine that with the trash littered throughout (vendors sell food and some sort of red liquid in plastic bags for tourists to give the monkeys) and the fact that you can see the monkeys pretty much anywhere in town makes this an okay-ish spot rather than what I had built it up in my head. Still worth checking out I think, but just keep your expectations in check.

monkey, temple, monkey temple, lopburi, thailand, travel, expat
Monkey at the Monkey Temple

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Vegan Food in Pai, Thailand

As a vegan and a massive foodie, one of my first thoughts about going somewhere is: will there be vegan food? And now that I had been in Thailand for a little while, I knew that my luck of obtaining good vegan food ranged from a delicious all-vegan restaurant to blank stares from street vendors, and so I was curious to see what Pai had to offer.

The verdict? Less options than Chiang Mai (not very surprising since Chiang Mai absolutely spoils us vegans), but Pai still had some yummy food. Of course, I was only there for a few days so I’m sure I would have discovered more if I had had the time.


vegan, veganism, thailand, pai, spring rolls, pumpkin salad, salad, food
Spring Rolls and Pumpkin Salad at The Witching Well

While tasty, these were two of the few options that can be made vegan (I had to ask for no feta on the salad). I found the name of this restaurant on another blog, but since they made the blog two years ago, The Witching Well must’ve changed their menu because it was not nearly as vegan-friendly as I was expecting. Continue reading “Vegan Food in Pai, Thailand”

Bangkok’s Flower Festival

From December 1st to the 10th, Rama IX Park hosts Bangkok’s Flower Festival.  The Flower Festival costs 10 Baht to enter which is pretty cheap (32 Baht = 1 Dollar). Besides pretty flowers, the festival also has good food, music, entertainment, and knickknacks.

Here are some pictures from my time at the Flower Festival. Enjoy!

Flowers and Scenery

I was lucky to have a beautiful sunny day to walk around this festival and the flowers were in full bloom.

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Flowers for days at Bangkok’s Rama IX Park Flower Festival!

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Hag-Seed Book Review

By: Margaret Atwood


301 pages

When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?

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The Sunlight Pilgrims Book Review

By: Jenni Fagan
310 pages
Set in a Scottish caravan park during a freak winter – it is snowing in Jerusalem, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to arrive off the coast of Scotland – THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS tells the story of a small Scottish community living through what people have begun to think is the end of times. Bodies are found frozen in the street with their eyes open, euthanasia has become an acceptable response to economic collapse, schooling and health care are run primarily on a voluntary basis. But daily life carries on: Dylan, a refugee from panic-stricken London who is grieving for his mother and his grandmother, arrives in the caravan park in the middle of the night – to begin his life anew.

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Busabout, Hop-On Hop-Off, Europe, 2017, Travel

Big Announcement! I’m Backpacking Europe!

I’ve had to keep this news secret for way too long, but today I’m happy to share with ya’ll that I will be backpacking Europe for 2 months starting Tuesday July 25th!

(See below for my full itinerary!)

This will be my first time backpacking and my first time traveling for so long nonstop. I can’t wait to take ya’ll with me!

How are you able to travel for two whole months you might be asking? Well, last year I entered an Instagram contest hosted by the lovely Glo from The Blog Abroad to win 2 Busabout Hop-On Hop-Off passes in Europe.

And, surprise, surprise, I won! (All thanks to the support of family, friends, and my amazing camera-woman, Joy Grace, of course!)

For those who don’t know, Busabout is a travel community that provides transportation and community to independent travelers. They provide the best mix of a conventional tour and freestyle travel. For their Hop-On Hop-Off Europe passes they have buses picking up and dropping off people at their recommended accommodation on a large loop throughout Europe in big cities and smaller towns.

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