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When Spring Break Comes 2 Seasons Early >>>

When Spring Break Comes 2 Seasons Early >>>

The Chinese National Holiday (October 1-7) is perhaps the craziest time in China because everyone is on vacation so everywhere around China especially in the cities is crowded … what is the best way to avoid this? Leave the country!! We got lucky this year because the first started on a Saturday and the 8th and 9th were also weeken d days, so we got an extra long vacation and chose to spend it in Thailand.

For having no idea what I was getting myself into (besides the fact that Thai Grill besides Loyola is where I go for my weekly Pad Thai fix), it was an (almost) perfect vacation, and was nice because we planned the whole thing by ourselves – I feel so adult now.

We spent the first 3 days hanging around Bangkok. We went to visit the Grand Palace, went to see a floating market via river boat, and went rooftop bar hoping – fun fact: the hangover 2 features Sky Bar which we obviously had to go see. My favorite thing are the little Tuk Tuk’s that drive around. They’re basically a little car, but kind of outside and they drive and weave in and out of traffic. There is about 33 baht to 1 USD, and you can get some fantastic street food, whether it be Pad Thai, Noodles, Pancakes, or fruit for about 30-80 kuai. We also liked to splurge for nice meals which were around 12o baht which is still only like $4 USD. Also, I tried a Scorpion if you want to add that to the weird foods list! Don’t think I’d eat that again.


We then hopped on a short 1.5 hour flight to Phuket. We decided to splurge and book ourselves 2 nights in a resort – which was the nicest present I could give to myself. The room itself had such a comfy bed, and came with an hour Thai massage. If you ever get massages, or want to get a massage, nothing can ever compare to massage Thai style where they literally sit on top of you and make your body pop in places you didn’t even know could be popped. While in Phuket we had some fun exploring the night life and the beach, but the highlight was riding the elephants.


After 2 days in Phuket, we decided to travel to Phi Phi Island, about 2 hours off the coast. No words to describe probably one of my favorite places I’ve visited yet. While it is an island targeted for tourists, it is completely isolated from the outside world and is absolutely gorgeous. There are no cars allowed on the island, and the main road is a little yellow brick path. We stayed at a hostel that was located on a mountain, and while we had to climb almost 200 steps to get to our room, we could see the beach and parts of the island from our room. The water was the nice green blue, not the murky brown you get almost everywhere else. The weather was a perfect 90 degrees. About a 20 minute ferry ride from the main island is a smaller one, that the government does not let anyone live on expect for native cave dwellers and park rangers. The movie “Beach” starring Leo DiCaprio (I’d never heard of it) was filmed on the island. We spent 6 hours on a boat exploring the different coves of this island via kayak and by jumping into the water and snorkeling and visiting the part where monkey’s inhabit. IMG_4141 IMG_4173

We treated ourselves to a spa day by getting a fish pedicure and all you can eat BBQ. Fish pedicures are indescribable – all I can say is that it is not a pleasant feeling – you can feel the fish nibbling at your feet, and if you concentrate hard enough, you can narrow in on each bite. However, my feet are so smooth and not gross – so I’d say it’s worth it.

The reason why I say this trip was ALMOST perfect was that, on our last leg of our flight (after 30 hours of traveling), our plane got delayed. Somehow, after taking a ferry and 2 planes, our last plane decided it wanted to have mechanical failures – so after sitting at the gate for 2.5 hours we unboarded and did not get on the plane until 9 hours after the intended takeoff. 40 hour day with no sleep. As miserable as the experience was at the time – it taught me how to utilize my Chinese to communicate with staff, and how to be flexible when traveling without my family and the guidance of my all-knowing parents.

I learned a lot about myself and study abroad on this trip – It’s such a nice experience to be able to travel with some of your new (and old friends) and you learn a lot more about who they are as people. As much as I love China, it’s nice to be able to experience new cultures (get some fresh air) and to explore places I don’t think I will get the opportunity to travel to in a long time. Planning the trip and booking the hotels made me feel more and more like an adult with responsibility.

Now I’m back in Beijing missing my Pad Thai (which we *surprise surprise* ate at least once a day) and the fresh mangoes and juice and pancake crepes and fried ice cream and thai omelets and coconut water in a coconut but all in all, super refreshed and happy and ready to survive and enjoy the next 2 months I have left here.


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