Ladies and gentlemen it’s been a while, but I am back in Hong Kong and have started classes/gotten adjusted to my schedule and the HK lifestyle. I’m so happy for my return-it has proved itself to be worthwhile and I am LOVING my 2nd take at Hong Kong. For one, I partially know where I’m going when I hop on a bus and two, the experiences just keep getting better. As an update, in December I traveled to China, South Korea and Thailand:
Returned to the states in the later part for Christmas, New Years and my brother’s Beautillion:
And am now back in the HK! With great roommates, a fabulous group of friends and more exciting stories to share.
So stay tuned-Ill try and keep you as updated as ever!
China>Korea>Thailand Excursion, a set on Flickr.I’ve finally returned! Out of 2,700 photos I’ve selected the following 443 to represent my trip. Enjoy!
Our 4 days in Korea are over and my, were they DELIGHTFUL and MAGNIFICENT! I was able to meet up with Lani and she took care of us and led us around the city of Seoul! We visited so many places but here are a few of them:
While in Korea I visited Insa-dong and Namdemun, as well as the Seoul Tower, Myong-dong, a jimjobong (the overnight spas), norebong (karaoke), Dongdamun, a handful of palaces. Hanok Village, Bukachon, and a few other places. I also got to witness people protesting against the FDA agreement Korea just made with the United States. Overall it was a fantastic 4 days and I’m now in Thailand for another 5. Becca and I just arrived yesterday night, went straight to our hotel and woke up the next day to a beautiful pool and sunshine and WARM WEATHER! A nice contrast after Korea. We ended not being able to couch surf as planned so we are booking hostels daily and moving around the island of Phuket. Today we made our way to Patong Beach and are currently resting after a day on the beach and eating food from street vendors (corn, fresh coconut water from a REAL COCONUT, adn “banana pancakes”). I have taken SO many pictures and it makes me truly sad that I can’t post them in real time, but rest assured there will be so many when I get back to my MACkenzie in Hong Kong. Today we rode elephants in Phuket and booked our travels to Phi Phi Island for tomorrow’s adventure where we will scuba and snorkel and be beach bums : )
Hosteling is… interesting. It defenitely makes me more aware of how I want to travel in the future, but on the way, wayyyyy positive side we have had American toilets ever since we left mainland China and I am extremely grateful (don’t mind the holes in my sheets or that I have to share a room with 3 men and 5 other girls). Some of the people I’ve met here are on trips longer than mine… like 3 month trips. I’m thinking, “Do you have a job?” or “When do you work?” But I keep those thoughts to myself and act like I’m a novice at this “traveling and sharing my space thing.” Thai people are extremely nice. My dear friend Bristol who lived in Thailand for a while taught me some words before I left and they have basically won me every man in Thailand… joke. But people do like it when you speak their language and I feel very humbled in trying to communicate with respect. Like everywhere else in Asia, products are dirt cheap here… nothing to follow that, just a fact. I return to Hong Kong on December 2 and received confirmation to volunteer at the TEDx conference and I am excited!
A quick shout out to Matt for housing and putting up with 2 girls in his apartment for 3 days, Lani Barry for being our personal tour guide, Korean teacher and “Random Korea Fact” informer, and Apostolos and Kendall for coming all the way into Seoul to karaoke with us. Everybody raise a glass (of water) to more adventures and travels for the next few days before heading home to America!
Email me your addresses if you want a postcard! I may not have internet for a few days but I will do my best to get one to you!
Wow, 2 words: FOOD and KARAOKE! Today Wathen, Becca and I ventured around downtown Seoul. We visited a palace, got some yummy drinks at Nescafe Cafe, saw the Tteok (rice cake) museum, went through Insa-dong bought the GREATEST brooch (from this cuteeeee boutique), made our way to E-Mart (Korean K-Mart) and helped save Matt’s future marital status by assisting him in picking out a jacket instead of a grandpa sweater he would like to classify as a jacket. We then met Lani’s friend Dani for dinner and then met up with APO! (Another Wheaton-ite) and his girlfriend Kendal and Lani/a group of students from Konkuk Unversity (Lani’s school). We then all headed down to karaoke across from Lani’s campus and had a BLAST! So much singing, so much laughing and so much FUN! Had a blast. Becca has all the video’s on her camera so those will be uploaded whenevs, but for now the written will have to suffice! Tomorrow we go to an overnight spa with Lani and ALL GIRLS! Ooooo, can’t wait!
More to come!
So our first, full day in Seoul was a success. We got around a lot, bought some goodies, ate some treats (bibimbap) and met some AMAZING people. We had to have had at least 5 different languages being spoken at once. It made me glad for Lani’s experience in Seoul-a true abroad opportunity where she not only learns the language, but is surrounded by people who live in the culture and help her to learn more about it (or teach them as they all protest to Lani’s informative tendencies). It was so good to see my friend! Truly truly grateful to be able to share it with not one, but two people from previous walks of my life, and one new one. Very exciting! Can’t promise photos but they will be on Flickr ASAP!
Good night from Seoul!
OHMYGAWSHHHHHHHHHHHH we’re in KOREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Thanks to Matt Wathen for hosting us with heated floors and a shower/bathroom duo. Becca and I trained here for 24 hours, folks. TWENTY FOUR. Which we thought was going to be 16. Ha. We didn’t even speak chinese and figured it out. But after peeing in the floor, being 2 feet from the ceiling in a sleeper car and eating pomelos all night we made it. Got to Beijing, took a taxi to Tianamen Square, got to the Forbidden City at 334 and discovered it closed at 330. We ate some street food (Becca=shark meat on a stick and dumplings, me=noodles), had some hot chocolate/espresso and then headed to the Airport after fighting our way through the subway. You would’ve thought Yao Ming was at the back of the train the way people were literally pushing against us to get on the train. Then as we exited someone yelled, “Welcome to China.”
Big plans for Korea! More to come tomorrow.
Today is my little sister’s birthday! WOOOOOO! As I am not in the country and without phone I must send a video, but I hope it will suffice. May you have the happiest, of happiful birthdays.