SE Asia


In October of 2012, we packed up and headed to Thailand to teach English for 6 months. We spent our most of our time traveling and falling in love with Thailand’s landscapes and people. We spent the last two months of this trip adventuring through Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Singapore and Malaysia and had the time of our lives! We hope you enjoy reading about our second home – South East Asia!

Our Last Days - November 12th, 2014 - We arrived in Bangkok at some ungodly hour at a bus station we were 100% unfamiliar with. We wandered around trying to get our bearings and figure out how to get to the city center. Eventually we found where the city buses stop and waited there for the buses to start rolling. I think it … Continue reading Our Last Days
Island Life - November 12th, 2014 - We got into Surat Thani pretty late, but with plenty of time to make it to the night boat. I was not super excited about the idea of being on a boat for 6 hours or however long it took because I get sea sick. But we really didn’t want to spend the night in … Continue reading Island Life
Where did we leave off?… Oh yea. Koh Lanta! - November 12th, 2014 - So life has been pretty crazy and busy since we returned to the USA, but I wanted to finish writing about the end of the trip so we will always have those memories in writing. I hope to always remember our time there, but having something to read is so fun! So let’s go back … Continue reading Where did we leave off?… Oh yea. Koh Lanta!
Ethan’s Backpacking SE Asia Notes - April 26th, 2013 - Notes for our post teaching trip… VISAs suck so here’s the information we need!Laos: VISA on Arrival (~$30)Vietnam: In Advance in Luang Prabang (~$30-$40)Cambodia: VISA on Arrival (~$20)Thailand: VISA on Arrival (Free)Bali, Indonesia: VISA on Arrival ($10 for 7-day transit; $30 for 30-day tourist)Singapore: Visit pass for 30 days (free) Malaysia: 30 days for freeThailand: … Continue reading Ethan’s Backpacking SE Asia Notes
Three days in Malaysia - April 11th, 2013 - Our trip to Kuala Lumpur (KL) was definitely not my favorite, but it could have been worse I guess. We took a bus from Singapore over the bridge to Malaysia where we went through customs and then walked to the train station to wait for our train to KL. The train was like the trains … Continue reading Three days in Malaysia
Singapore: Phenomenal City, Itty Bitty Living Space! - April 10th, 2013 - From our few moments in Singapore, I knew I was going to like it. The airport had free internet and was one of the nicest I’ve ever been to. Reportedly, there is a pool and a garden somewhere in there, but we didn’t have time to check it out. We met up with the girls, … Continue reading Singapore: Phenomenal City, Itty Bitty Living Space!
Learning to SCUBA! - April 5th, 2013 - We came to Bali hoping to get some relaxing beach time in, but when we walked into Padang Bai we were slightly surprised by its lack of beach. Let me rephrase: there was a beach, but it was being used as a dock for about 100 boats, so it wasn’t quite the beach scene we … Continue reading Learning to SCUBA!
Ubud, Bali - April 1st, 2013 - Our plane to Bali left at 6am and we got to the airport before they even opened the check in station. It was brutal being up that early, but the excitement made it easier. The plane ride was a blur because I slept most of the time. After we landed and got our bags we … Continue reading Ubud, Bali
Bye bye Emily! - March 29th, 2013 - The bus ride from Siem Reap to Bangkok wasn’t too bad, but the border crossing was down right awful. We had to change buses (because Cambodian’s drive on the right and Thai’s on the left) so we had to bring all of our stuff with us to the outdoor departure counter and then walk across … Continue reading Bye bye Emily!
The Killing Fields and Angkor Wat - March 26th, 2013 - The border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia was the easiest cross we had so far. We barely had to walk and the bus driver filled out all of our departure/arrival cards for us. After we got our visas we hopped back on the bus. Super easy. (the bus driver did accidentally leave my passport at … Continue reading The Killing Fields and Angkor Wat
Beaches, Snorkeling, Museums and Tunnels… - March 21st, 2013 - (March 16 – March 20) The bus ride to Nha Trang was uneventful, thank the Lord. We arrived sometime in the morning and found a a place to stay. Ethan and Emily went out looking around the city, while I took a nap. A few minutes before my alarm went off they came busting in … Continue reading Beaches, Snorkeling, Museums and Tunnels…
Losing Track of Time in Hoi An - March 16th, 2013 - (March 10 – March 15) Well the bus ride wasn’t nearly as bad as the 24 hour one! There was a bathroom on board and we only made one strange stop. We all slept a little bit and when we got to Hue (where we had a 4 hour layover until the bus departed for … Continue reading Losing Track of Time in Hoi An
Goooood Morning, Vietnam! - March 11th, 2013 - (March 7 – March 10) After our bus ride from hell we were super excited to have a place to sleep and to reunite with our pals Shannon and Alexis. In the morning Ethan found their hotel, so we packed up and moved to that place. We felt much better about paying for a place … Continue reading Goooood Morning, Vietnam!
Death Bus Ride from Hell - March 7th, 2013 - Ethan here. This is a timeline of the worst transportation I have ever been involved with. Some of the times are approximate and might have occurred out of the order they are listed here. I was a bit delirious from the trip and waited a week to write this. I’m going to try my best … Continue reading Death Bus Ride from Hell
Bye Bye Thawangpha – Hello Laos! - March 6th, 2013 - Leaving Thailand. The last week of school was exam week, so we didn’t have any teaching or really anything to do except pack up our stuff. Wednesday night the English department held a going away dinner for us at their favorite restaurant near town. It was nice to see them one last time and they … Continue reading Bye Bye Thawangpha – Hello Laos!
Late February Blog Post - March 1st, 2013 - Outside the Temple of Dawn For the last two weeks we have been excitedly preparing for our adventure through SE Asia. The weekend of the 16 & 17 we spent in Pua with our friends to say goodbye. We spent Saturday afternoon at our favorite waterfall and stayed up until the wee hours of the … Continue reading Late February Blog Post
SE Asia Map - February 21st, 2013 - This will be a work in progress. Key: Marker: Destination Marker: Border Crossing Marker: Possible Destination Line: Bus Line: Slowboat Line: Possible Bus Line: Train (shown on roads, not train tracks) Line: Flight
Thailand Map - February 20th, 2013 - I made this today to show everyone where we’ve been in Thailand. Key:House: HomeTriangle: National Park camped Hikers: National Park visited Marker: CityMarker: Historical ParkLine: BusLine: TrainLine: Motorbike
Birthday Bliss at Si Nan National Park - February 17th, 2013 - Last weekend was our friend Tristan’s birthday and what better way to spend it than exploring another one of Nan Province’s national parks?? We didn’t have school on Friday, so Thursday after our classes were done Ethan and I took off for Nan city. The park we were headed to was about an hour from … Continue reading Birthday Bliss at Si Nan National Park
Road Trip! - February 15th, 2013 - Two weekends ago (Feb 2-3…..Geez! I’m really falling behind here! I wish I could say it was because I’m so busy doing important things, but that would be a lie!) we decided to take the motorbike to Chiang Rai, a popular tourist destination about 3 hours (we were told you can get there in 3 … Continue reading Road Trip!
Birthday Weekend Camping - February 5th, 2013 - This past weekend was Ethan’s birthday (now two weekends ago.) Yay! Happy birthday Ethan!! 25 years young! (E- My Darren McCarty birthday!!) We decided it would be a great weekend to FINALLY camp at the national park near us – Nanthaburi National Park. If you recall, we had been briefly once and the second time … Continue reading Birthday Weekend Camping
Reunited and it feels so good! - January 25th, 2013 - We had to crouch so we wouldn’t be showing Buddha our bums When we got back to Ayutthaya, we checked into our room and met up with Alexis and Shannon. We’d been talking about meeting up with them for months and we were finally able to do it – even with our last minute change … Continue reading Reunited and it feels so good!
When I see an elephant fly… - January 25th, 2013 - Last weekend ended up being a bit longer than we expected. Last week, we knew we had Wednesday off for teachers day. We also didn’t have school Friday because of the province-wide sport day that lasted until Saturday. So, over the prior weekend we decided to ask for that Thursday off and if we could … Continue reading When I see an elephant fly…
How We Did It – Chiang Mai - January 22nd, 2013 - Ethan here, Warning: This is an informational post aimed at helping our fellow CIEE / OEG friends that might want to travel to a place that we have already visited. I’ll be including how we got to our destination, what we did there / how we did it and any advice that I would have … Continue reading How We Did It – Chiang Mai
A Chiang Mai Christmas - January 2nd, 2013 - As I am sure you are aware, we were very very excited to get on the road for our much anticipated vacation from school. Friday evening, after getting back from picking up our work permits in Nan, was spent packing and prepping the apartment for our long absence. I taped over the gaping holes at … Continue reading A Chiang Mai Christmas
eventfully uneventful - December 21st, 2012 - Monday: So this past weekend we stayed local and didn’t do much of anything. We went to Nan Friday night for a birthday party where the theme was to dress in a costume that started with B or X (in honor of those people whose birthdays we were celebrating). So Caitlin, Kristin and I went … Continue reading eventfully uneventful
The land before time: Sukhothai - December 16th, 2012 - We made full recoveries from our leech bites last week…in case you were wondering. And neither of us got sick! Hooray! It was a pretty easy week in terms of school. We had Wednesday off for Father’s Day (the King’s birthday). Tuesday night we went to Pua to eat dinner and hang out with the … Continue reading The land before time: Sukhothai
Doi Phu Kha - December 3rd, 2012 - In my previous post I could not remember what had happened Friday afternoon, but Ethan kindly reminded me that we did have a somewhat eventful day. We decided a while ago that we wanted to go to Sukhothai, which is one of the old capitals of Thailand. It has a bunch of ruins and other … Continue reading Doi Phu Kha
Loy loy krathong, Loy loy krathong - December 3rd, 2012 - Monday and Tuesday were quite a blur in our preparations for Loy Krathong…nothing really exciting happened. After school Tuesday we packed and got a snack so we could eat a late dinner on our way to the bus station. The bus didn’t leave until 9:30, so we were taking a chance with food places being … Continue reading Loy loy krathong, Loy loy krathong
Yee sib haa: Thaigiving and my birthday - November 27th, 2012 - The end of last week was pretty great. almost all the food we had for 1st Thaigiving Thursday we went up to Pua to have Thanksgiving, or Thaigiving as some of us called it, at Colin’s. We stopped at the grocery store and got cheese bread and Choco pies before heading to Colin’s house. It … Continue reading Yee sib haa: Thaigiving and my birthday
Ask and you shall receive…eventually - November 22nd, 2012 - Mid-week Update So in a previous post I talked about our plan to ask the principal if we could go to Loy Krathong. Well, finally after numerous attempts to speak with this seemingly elusive man we found him. Kru Rin and I went to his office yesterday and by some huge stroke of luck he … Continue reading Ask and you shall receive…eventually
English Camp & Pha Tup Caves - November 22nd, 2012 - Saturday morning we woke up at 7 and prepared for English Camp. We had no idea what to expect other than the very limited agenda we’d been given and the lessons they told us we needed to teach. Ethan and I would be teaching about the nations of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) … Continue reading English Camp & Pha Tup Caves
Loy Krathong?? - November 19th, 2012 - Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!! It is so weird being in a country where no one cares about getting together on the fourth Thursday of November and eating a bunch of food. We’re a little sad about it, for sure, because we will miss spending all that quality time with our families and eating all that D.E.licious … Continue reading Loy Krathong??
Her Majesty, spiders, roti and caves - November 13th, 2012 - After our trip to Nan we were exhausted and the week went by painstakingly slow, yet again. I even feel asleep in the math office one day – we were both on the struggle bus pretty much all week. The good thing about the week was the youngest princess of Thailand was coming to the … Continue reading Her Majesty, spiders, roti and caves
I plead The Fifth - November 5th, 2012 - (Note: The title is relevant, but we can’t explain it any more for fear of being deported from the country. If you were with us Saturday night, you understand. If not, well just think of it as a meaningless title.) At dawn….we ride! After sport day, the rest of the week went by slowly even … Continue reading I plead The Fifth
chasing waterfalls + sport day - November 3rd, 2012 - After our first “full” week we wanted to relax and see some of the sights around Tha Wang Pha. We knew there were a few waterfalls around the area and thought we’d check one out on Saturday. In the morning Ethan went for a run and ran into one of the deputy directors (assistant principles). … Continue reading chasing waterfalls + sport day
Farang ride motorbike (and first week of teaching) - October 27th, 2012 - It’s Friday!! Hallelujah! It’s been an…. interesting week. We got the motorbike back on Monday and spent quite a bit of time practicing our motorbiking skills (ok…Ethan was driving the whole time so I didn’t practice, but whatever) and riding about town. The motorbike makes a world of difference here because it’s just too hot to … Continue reading Farang ride motorbike (and first week of teaching)
Mama mia pizzeria - October 26th, 2012 - Mâi pét – my favorite/most useful Thai phrase. It means “not spicy”! Almost everything they eat here is spicy. Sometimes it’s a little bit (nít noi means little bit) spicy and sometimes its out of this world, burn your esophagus and bring you to tears spicy. I’ve never tried anything more than a little spicy … Continue reading Mama mia pizzeria
Tha Wang Pha - October 22nd, 2012 - Sawatdee – means hello in Thai! The last couple of days we have been attempting to adjust to our new life in Tha Wang Pha (pronounced Tah Wahng Pah). We arrived here at about 4am on Thursday after a highly uncomfortable 10 hour van ride from Bangkok. We unloaded the van to find out that … Continue reading Tha Wang Pha
Elephants! - October 19th, 2012 - Orientation – Hi! It’s a another very hot day here in Thailand! For those of you who want to know all about orientation continue reading, if you don’t then well you’ll just have to wait for the next post. Our first day of orientation was interesting. We had one big group meeting and then split … Continue reading Elephants!
Greetings from Thailand – The Land of Smiles - October 19th, 2012 - Pre-Orientation – Hello everyone! We’ve been in Thailand for 9 days now and we arrived in our town very early Thursday morning. So it’s been a blast, but our new home is going to take some getting used to. Before I go into that I’ll talk about orientation and stuff. We arrived in Bangkok on … Continue reading Greetings from Thailand – The Land of Smiles


More info from this trip…

Ethan’s Backpacking SE Asia Notes

Thailand Map

SE Asia Map


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