I have been wanting to travel to Thailand for a long time and I finally got to go and surprisingly it wasn’t all that I hyped it up to be. Not to say it wasn’t amazing, but I would have done a few things differently
Stay in Bangkok for 3 days, max, —Bangkok is cool but after 3 days it’s boring and you are sick of being hustled out of your money.
You might get scammed —Thailand makes the majority of their money through tourism, so scams are everywhere. The scams may be harmless, merely just upping the price or trying to push you to buy something, but just to warn you. There are nice people in Thailand, but sometimes people can be too nice. Usually those are the ones who are after something. Scam Rings of hustlers exists.
Don’t stay at Patong Beach
—Unless you want that city hustle like Bangkok again.Patong was a cool place to party and shop, but not the place to relax and enjoy the beach. However, Karon beach is much nicer and more chill. The water is more blue and clean too. I would have rather stayed there or on another island.
Fight for the price you want —I knew this going into Thailand, but the price they give you is high, so make sure you haggle the price with them. Walk away and they might pull you back and give you that price you want. Someone explained it to me as if you two are flirting with each other.
I’d spend more days at the beaches in Thailand
—because it is more worth it than staying in Bangkok. The islands and the beaches are beautiful and they are what make Thailand so beautiful.
Ride an elephant in a ethical sanctuary
—The tourist elephant trekking advertisements are probably inhuman and sad. They don’t treat the elephants with the care they need at those places. There are many sanctuaries in Chaing Mai, but we went to one in the Phuket area, near Patong Beach. It was by far the best day of my whole trip. The sanctuary was amazing and we learned so much about these beautiful creatures. The sanctuary is call Phanga Elephant Sanctuary http://phangngaelephantpark.com/
Take out money at home and exchange at the airport. Simple rule but ATM’s charge so much and it adds up in the end. Just make sure you keep your cash in a safe place. Money packs or in a safe at the hotel etc..
This week has been very crazy busy, plus I’m getting sick. I woke up this morning with a cold, so I told my host sister, Yumi. And she says…
Yumi: “Oh My GOSH! You need to go to the hospital. Lets go! You need to go!”
Me: “Yu-mi. I’m fine… I don’t need to go,”
Yumi: “Ahh! In Korea you don’t need appointments, so we just go to the doctors.”
Me: “Yeah Im fine though. I’m not going to die though. We go to hospital in the US if were going to die or something. I only have a cold.”
Everyone here just goes to the doctors or hospital for minor problems. Probably because health insurance is SO cheap.But even without healthcare, it’s cheap to see a doctor. It makes me wonder why on earth the US can’t manage to turn over a good universal healthcare system.
I ended up being pushed to go. I felt pathetic going to the hospital for nothing but for a minor cold. So I decided that I just won’t tell my family I’m sick or mention anything.
Anywhoooo. Change of subject, but I have to note how crazy my school is.
Going to an all girls school is crazy. All I hear all day is screaming.
“OMG HE’S SO HOT”
Not going to lie, its kind of getting annoying.Everyone just yells all the time! Like I said before, I have seen girls tackle each other in the hallway. It must be the built up sexual frustration from the lack of boys.
But then on the opposite end, everyone sleeps for half the day. And I understand. Its hard not too. I mean the classes here aren’t interactive, so the teacher stands up there and lectures, sometimes you take notes, but a lot of times they just talk.Plus, they aren’t the most engaging teachers. It gets boring.
It cool getting an inside view of the Korea school system, although learning isn’t possible with my lack of language skills, its cool to see the environment. :]
Just another day in Korea, but today everyone is taking a big test. Fortunately, Kelly (the other foreign student I’m with), and are in this random room for the next 7 hours just chillin’. A day full of sleeping,studying, and Facebook! There’s no way we could even attempt to take the test. My Korean skills are not up to par yet.
These days I’ve been thinking a lot.
I have to write this essay in Korean for my program. I was going to write it on the difference between Korean high schools and American high schools.But I’ve found out you can’t really do that.
I came to South Korea comparing it the only other country I know, the US. However, its not fair to compare the two.
It obstructs your intake of knowledge, diversity, and point of view.
Everyone has a way of doing something, whether it’s a better or more difficult method, its their own way. I may disagree with certain methods here, but then I think,
“Well I’m in Korea, Hello! This is their culture and their ways.”
By learning about the things I dislike and like, I have grown to appreciate and respect my own country. We are so fortunate.
We live in a democracy. We have a vote in things. We grow up speaking the international language. And so much more. Just little things.
Maybe we should spend less time blaming our President or nation and spend time being appreciative of the democracy we live in.
Of course, South Korea is also a democracy, but here, I have come to appreciate some basic privileges we have in the US. One would be air conditioning and heaters in schools!!! Yeah they don’t have any here..OR CARPET! I miss carpet in the house. You’d be surprised how much you’ll miss it.
Like I said the little things.
I also think the fact that I am an ambassador for my country, makes me appreciate it more. I get so frustrated when people tell me,
“Oh the US is not safe. Everyone can have a guns” (And this was before the mass shootings in the US)
“Well I have seen people go study to America and come back druggies..”
Really? Like I doubt that.It’s only because of Hollywood people believe that.
Anyway, respect your country. No country is perfect.
Hello , everyone! Well the other day a lovely mosquito came to visit me. He prettied me up with little red spots.
Maybe about 9 bites?Never gotten so many in my life.
Then a grasshopper decided to come into my room (I live on the 15th floor. That thing must of rode the elevator!) I pulled my bed out looking for this sucker. Finally my host mom just came in and just casually picked him up.
Actually there aren’t too many bugs around, unless you go to the country side. It probably helps that we live on the 15th floor too.
I started a hip hop class today, and I am really excited to have something fun to do during the week!
I was a bit embarrassed today though. This girl in the class starting speaking English to me. Naturally I spoke English back, because she was good at English. Then she talks to Kelly( who is the other American girl in my program, who goes to the same school as me) and Kelly responds in Korean.
Everyone was like “OMG your Korean is amazing,” They decide to reiterate her excellence back to me. I felt like I got slapped in the face.( I speak Korean too. Just give me a chance.) . Afterwards everyone paid attention to her rather than me.
In Korea there are three top universities that are called the S.K.Y. universities. They stand for Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. They are the top schools, hence “SKY.” If you are lucky enough to get into one of these schools, you are basically promised a job once you graduate. To get in to these schools is what every girl and boy works for throughout their middle school and high school life. Of course, a majority know they will never be able to make it. It is extremely competitive. But hey, always be optimistic.
Every day is just a normal day, but something is always happening that makes it very different. if that makes any sense. Everyday I find how hard Koreans have it. I was in shock when my friend in class told me she had an english class, after 14 hours of school, from 10 pm to 1 am…every other day…. I think its absolutely ridiculous.
I can’t speak Korean well enough to participate in academics and tests, so I am an outsider as far as knowing how the girls feel. It’s hard to see people get heart broken. Its not over boys either!! That will be a whole other struggle for them, they will be bewildered by. They easily get heart broken over bad test scores and the amount of studying they didn’t finish. I’ve seen to many girls cry and throw fits from stress. And they are rubbing off on me, because I had a break down the other day too! What math can do to a girl..
Keeping my head up though!
A few pictures of the Iksan(where we lived) crew and one of everyone.
I already did a full blog on Kilkenny, but I decided to fit my whole trip into one blog. Its easier that way. So Enjoy!
Day 1-Day2: Dublin–> Kilkenny
We landed at 5 am and caught a bus to Kilkenny. It wasn’t the easiest to find, but we asked around and found it. It cost us about 25 Euros. We got to Kilkenny and rolled our luggage on over to the hostel.We stayed at the Youth hostel which was not to shabby. Location and the people were both great!
Kilkenny was my favorite town. It was so small and quaint.
You could probably do Kilkenny in one day, but considering we were EXTREMELY jet lagged we took an extra day. Kilkenny is small enough to walk around. We just ventured around the town seeing the Cathedrals, the Black Abbey, and the castle. We went to a few pubs and just hung out with some of the locals.
Day 3-Day 5 Kilkenny–>Cork
We left early morning from Kilkenny in the pouring rain and headed to Cork via bus. Yet again rolling our luggage from the train station to our hostel (Bru Bar and Hostel). We arrived midday a bit tired so we rested a while then walked around the town a bit.
Honestly Cork was my least favorite town, but I had the best two days while staying in Cork.
Right down the street from our hostel is a place called The fish wife. Their fish and chip are incredible! You have to go!
On day 4 we visited the Rock of Cashel. Probably is on the top on my list of favorite places. They offer free guided tours, which I’d highly recommend. Theres also an abandoned Abbey at the bottom of the hill you can explore!. That was quiet fun!
(It is about 30 minutes from Cork by bus.)
Day 5 we went to Blarney castle to kiss the Blarney stone. No matter how long the line, you have to wait! It’s a must do in Ireland. Blarney Castle grounds is gorgeous and huge. You could probably spend your whole day there. Unfortunately, we had to get back to catch a bus to Killarney.
(Blarney is about 15 minutes from Cork.)
Day 5- Day 7: Cork–>Killarney
So we caught a bus from Cork to Killarney and arrived late day. We got some dinner and food at the pub. We met some locals and as it was Saturday night we partied and went clubbing! haha
The next day we booked a bus tour with Paddywagon to see the Ring of Kerry. It was a 6 hour tour and you do stop for lunch. The Ring of Kerry is gorgeous and it is a must do in Ireland. There is also the Dingle Peninsula tour.I heard it is beautiful, but we didn’t have the time for it. Day 7 we rented bikes for half the day and rode through Killarney National Park. I really wished we could have stay there all day. It was so beautiful and so peaceful. If St. Patricks Day wasn’t the next day then I totally would have. We had to get back to Dublin for the festivities though.
I loved Killarney!
Day 8 ST PATRICKS DAY
We didn’t get in until late the night before so we crashed and got up a little early to head out to Dublin. Staying in the city on Paddys day was expensive and fully booked. We stayed in a hotel by the airport, which was not too bad. Our bus dropped us off around 10-1030am in Dublin. We met up with some locals who we knew from a mutual friend and pub hopped all day. It is a mad house with hundreds of thousands of people. It was so much fun, but it is crazy.
We left our hotel and moved to a hostel in the city called The Generator. It was a really nice hostel and fairly new. Definitely recommend it! We spent the day recuperating after a gnarly St.Paddy’s day. One thing I enjoyed about our trip was that we weren’t rushed to do things all the time and it gave us lots of time to relax from all our crazy nights of drinking. haha
Day 10 Dublin
All of the sightseeing things in Dublin a pretty close to each other and can be walked to. We walked by St. Patricks Cathedral, but didn’t go inside since there is a fee. You can always go during Mass to get in for free, but we weren’t interested enough to go inside. We checked out Dublin Castle which we weren’t to thrilled about either, so we decided not to pay to take the tour. We had already seen so many cool castles. We were over being royal!
We stopped by Trinity College and went into The Long Room. Very cool place! A must see in Dublin! So many old books being preserved there!
That night we headed to Temple Bar. For a Thursday night, it was crowded and loud. It is a must see in Dublin, but drinks are a bit expensive and we weren’t feeling the crowd that night so we headed back to the hostel!
Day 11 Dublin
We switched hostels and moved to Jacobs Inn. They have a pub crawl they do with 4 other hostels in Dublin. It’s 12 euros and you go to 4 pubs and a night club.(A free drink or shot at each place and free club entry!) I recommend it! We had so much fun that night. We met people from all over. Also if you keep the wristband you don’t have to pay the next time around!
Day 12 Dublin
We spent a few days in Dublin, more than needed. But considering our drinking habits it might have been a good idea. haha We went to the Guinness Storehouse on Day 12. The place is huge and really interesting. It is a bit far from the main part of the city, and is situated in a rougher area. I wouldn’t recommend walking there at night.
Day 13 Galway/Cliffs of Moher
I wish we could of stayed in Galway, but we just did a day trip to the west coast to see the Cliffs of Moher via Paddywagon tours. You have to see the cliffs. 700 feet of amazing cliffs. The bus will drop you off at different places to see along the way too!
Day 14 Dublin
Our last day we ran out of things to do, but we did visit the old prison which is on the other side of town in Dublin. You get a tour with your entry and you get to learn a lot about Irish history and rebellions. I enjoyed the tour. We did walk from the main part of the city and it is quiet far. I would suggest a taxi or maybe bus. Although we had the time so walking was fine for us.
Day 15 Return
It was time to head home. That was the end to our amazing trip. <33 I loved Ireland.
I blame all those Korean dramas and rom-com’s for making me believe in perfection…but I am happy as the independent women! Being single can be so awesome and it can suck sometimes. I feel like a lot of people look down on being single, but honestly, its amazing. I have learned a lot being on my own!
It has been enlightening to me, so here are the things I have learned so far as a single girl.
I have discovered myself. I know what I want to do now and have found the right path for me. I discovered a career path and how much I actually love school.
I can do and travel where ever I want by myself. I can live in a different country without my significant other holding me back.
I have trouble understanding my friends and their relationships because I am single. I am also slightly biased to being single.
Relationships take too much thought and thinking. I do enough of that as a college student, thank you, but no thank you.
School is so much easier when you don’t have boys or girls on your mind.
No matter how many years you have on “the boyfriend,” the best friend will always be placed second. Its a truth I still have a hard time accepting. “Chicks before dicks” and “Bro’s before ho’s” is not a real thing (Most of the time!).
Being the third wheel sucks and is awkward, but yet you always get stuck as the third wheel, because you love your friends.
And everyone tells me that I am single because I am so picky, but F*** that. I have every right to be picky, and I am glad that I am picky. Because I won’t settle for a guy I kind of like. I want a guy I really like. :]]
I have a perfect image in my head of love and I know its not going to be like that, but I am hopelessly waiting for it.
Once I threw boys out of my life, I found happiness. True happiness. I can’t emphasis this enough. Without guys I found what I wanted and what was going to make me happy. Which doesn’t mean I want boys out of my life forever, but some time without them was needed.
So my advice. Find yourself before you find a life with someone else.
And yes, every relationship is different and this may not always be true, but its a good start if you don’t know where you want to go in life. So pack your bags and head to a different country, or enroll in a cool class, or talk about your future with others. Then you will realize what it is you want.
The Life as the Third Wheeler can be pretty awesome.