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.

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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

Nonfiction

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”

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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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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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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