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.

THE WITCHING WELL

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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

Fiction

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
Fiction
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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Mr. Fox Book Review

By: Helen Oyeyemi

Fiction

324 pages

What makes a marriage? Is it the end of fairytale romance? It might be if your husband is the writer Mr Fox, who does devilish things to the heroines of his stories. His wife is unable to change his ways, but when his imaginary muse, Mary Foxe conjures herself one sunny afternoon and confronts him, things take an unexpected turn.

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This Side of Paradise Book Review

By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fiction

288 pages

This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s romantic and witty first novel, was written when the author was only twenty-three years old. This semi-autobiographical story of the handsome, indulged, and idealistic Princeton student Amory Blaine received critical raves and catapulted Fitzgerald to instant fame. 

 

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Age of Innocence Review

Age of Innocence Cover

By: Edith Wharton

Fiction

305 pages

Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it.

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Station Eleven Review

Station Eleven Cover

By: Emily St. John Mandel

Fiction

336 pages

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

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