Saturday, June 28, 2014

29!

Last year, I celebrated my birthday in Chile with work colleagues, trying to enjoy a birthday dinner at a Japanese fusion restaurant while simultaneously negotiating some difficult details for a Gatorade shoot the next day. This year, I spent the day gallivanting around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with my main squeeze, dining on street food at miniature sidewalk tables. Life is an adventure and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Twenty-eight has been a crazy year filled with lows and highs, sadness and happiness, losses and gains, monotony and adventure. At the end of the day, I can say that I am so incredibly grateful for the people in my life-- my family, my friends, and most of all, my love who I get to share this awesome adventure with. Here's to another great year of this journey we call life!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sriracha Tiger Zoo

The Sriracha Tiger Zoo, about two hours outside of Bangkok, was an interesting experience. I love love loved the opportunity to see tigers up close and marvel at their beauty (they are incredible!), but I was a little saddened seeing them behind cages and especially watching them perform "tricks" for a trainer with a giant, prodding stick in front of a huge group of camera-holding tourists. 

In addition to tigers, this zoo had elephants, crocodiles, pigs, camels, water buffalo and the biggest rodent in the world (ew, I know). Here are some of my favorite pictures of the animals. 







And here are the pictures that tell the true story of how these animals are used to entertain and turn a profit. 



{Stupid animal tricks or stupid human tricks? Not sure.}






After we watched the shows, we planned to walk around and see the animals close, but something interesting happened which is a supreme example of the way businesses are run in America versus Thailand. Technically, the zoo closed at 6PM, but by 5, we literally found ourselves in a deserted zoo wasteland. All the shows were over, all the big tour groups had left, and all of the stores and food vendors had closed up and gone home. We found this mildly hilarious and took the opportunity to enjoy some fun surrounding all the cheesy statues and signs around the park. 

WARNING: lots of random, cheesy, immature pictures below. 











{Me, pictured with the largest rodent species in the world at over 100 pounds. Clearly, I am not happy about this new knowledge.}






Thanks Sriracha Zoo for a random, funny, happy, sad day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok is my kind of market. Treasures of all kinds to be found up and down alleys that go on FOREVER. It's impossible to not get lost in here, but it's such an experience to see all there is to offer. And the prices? We paid $4 for a pair of pants and $5 for a pair of flip flops. They were offering ties for 30 cents, bright colorful bags for $4, the cutest embroidered elephant stuffed animals for $6.

Here are some snaps of the long, varied alleyways and some of my favorite things spotted:






{Necessary pineapple-in-a-bag nourishment to endure the long, hot, endless rows of shopping}






Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bangkok: The Grand Palace and Wat Pho


After a week and a half in Malaysia, we made our way back to Bangkok where we spent a week sightseeing this wonderful city to our hearts' content, starting with the Grand Palace (which houses the Emerald Buddha--the holiest Buddha in Thailand) and Wat Pho (which houses the famous reclining Buddha statue, the largest reclining Buddha in the world). Here are some pictures of the stunning (and huge) Grand Palace.









Then it was on to Wat Pho, another (slightly smaller) complex of temples, shrines, stupas, and Buddhas. Here, we lucky enough to drop in on a group of Buddhist monks praying and chanting in front of the great Buddha statue in the inner complex. What a treat to sit in such a beautiful temple and hear them all worshipping in unison.