Of scorpions and tigers

It has been more than three weeks since I returned from vacation and it is about darn time that I look through my 800 photos. I had an absolutely splendid time in Southeast Asia and would definitely recommend taking a visit. Rather than going through the details of random things I did, I thought I’d come up with a few tips for traveling in that part of the world. Here goes!

InsectsEat an insect. Seriously, how often do you get the chance to try a creepy critter? They don’t taste anything like you’d imagine, mainly just fried. Plus, how great is it to tell your friends that you ate a scorpion?  They’ll never look at you the same. (This may be a positive or negative thing…)

Tiger!Pet a tiger! Now this is somewhat controversial as it is unknown why the tigers are so darn calm. I was told that they were tired and liked to lounge during the afternoon due to the heat of the day (it was hot). This is definitely part of the reason, but there may be other factors as well. Nevermind that, when else will you get to love on these gorgeous creatures? And I’m praying that the money I spent will go to a good cause.

Cooking Pad See EwTake a cooking class. You can’t go wrong. Chiang Mai in Thailand is known for their many classes and all of them are rated very highly. In fact, you may just run into a friend while perusing the market.  :) During the class I learned how to make six different and delicious dishes. The recipes are fairly simple to follow and the chefs make sure everyone has a great experience. Although I may not be able to find ingredients that are as fresh, I look forward to recreating the items again.

IMG_7994Try street food. Yes, the doctor probably told you to avoid it. But let’s be serious here, why are you traveling? Yeah, that is right, to enjoy all of the delicacies you can find whether it is in a restaurant or on a street corner. One of the best decisions of my trip was to go on a food extravaganza. Even though I was traveling by myself, I didn’t let this deter me. I found an area dominated by locals (only a handful of white people to be seen) and ordered what the locals eat. And let me tell you, it was legend-ohdeargoodness-ary. Sometimes I had to point at items because the vendor didn’t speak English. It was an experience and an adventure, definitely worth your time. Just remember, if you want to try everything (as I did), don’t eat the full item or you’ll wind up sick and unable to try more. On the positive side, I got some phenomenal food for less than $1.

RambutanDevour all the fruit you can. It’s fresh and it’s delicious. Don’t be afraid, once you peel off the skin and sink your teeth in it will be well worth it. There are many vendors with containers of fruit that will be happy to blend it up for you. Do it! One of my best decisions was to go for a pineapple mango smoothie. Trust me, I went back for another each day.

IMG_7503Ride in a tuk-tuk. They may not seem like the safest of vehicles (they aren’t), but sometimes you have to do something that scares you. In fact, you should try to do one thing a day (which isn’t tough in this part of the world). Don’t let the drivers swindle you, ask your hotel how much a tuk-tuk should cost to your destination and get that price from the driver. Tuk-tuks are different in each country, I suggest trying each type. Let your hair blow in the wind and enjoy the scenery!

And lastly, remember to have fun and take plenty of photos! Say Yes to random adventures, who knows when you’ll have the chance again. I had an absolutely amazing time on my vacation and I’m sad that I couldn’t have seen more of the area. It is now back to the daily grind for me, but I enjoy looking at my photos (especially those of tigers) and reminiscing on my time abroad. Cannot wait for the opportunity to travel again!

What adventure do you want to go on next?

About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on January 31, 2013, in Running. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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