bangkok’s exquisite temples

Today was spent exploring the Grand Palace and mystical temples at Wat Pho (home to the giant reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun, riding a boat across the river from Wat Pho to Wat Arun, and winding down with some food and night shopping at the MBK center. The temples are absolutely incredible, breathtaking in their detail, color, and shape. And I, most definitely, don’t mind all of the gold, it’s the best part. The contrast between gold, white, emerald greens, yellows, and blues creates such a beautiful visual.

  

bangkok’s weekend markets and shopping

It still amazes me how in just one day I can be transported to the other side of the world. West to East. Freezing to hot. Familiar to foreign. It’s even more amazing how much you can see and do in just one day. 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds to divide and conquer. The trip started with a quick stop in Taipei before setting off to Bangkok for the first time.

 SLC –> Taipei, Taiwan

A hidden cafe in Tianmu

Bangkok, Thailand

Today was simply about exploring all of Bangkok’s infamous weekend markets and shopping extravaganzas. Chatuchak street market, Or Kor Tor food and agriculture market, Siam Paragon (said to be the largest of shopping centers in all of Asia), Central World, Big C, and Chinatown. Might I add, all are absolutely packed with locals and tourists. Hot pink and lime green taxis line up on the streets alongside tuk tuks. The smell of salty fish, coconut, mango, curry, and smoke mix with the polluted air. The sounds of American pop songs, incessant honking, and loud chatter fill the streets, making itself known to all that indeed, it is a big city. This is Bangkok: alive with noise, bustle, endless food, markets, and color. Constant movement.

 

Pretty blooms at the Chatuchak weekend market

Phuang Malai flower garlands

Mounds of garlic

Nothing like fresh guava at the Or Tor Kor food market

Thailand soccer victory?

Siam Paragon

Delicious mango sticky rice

Chinatown

provo

I have lived in Utah for almost half a year now, yet today was my first time visiting Provo! I’m almost always in SLC on the weekends just resting, running errands, skiing or hiking, at coffee shops, or reading at bookstores. Having heard so much about this staple city (home to the famous BYU here), Hyunah (my roomie) and I decided to venture out of SLC. Here are some snaps from today’s wintry adventure:

Bridal Veil Falls 

Provo itself is a calm, suburban town that reminds me of Aurora, Colorado. The shops and streets are older, the houses crowd vast, once-void spaces, and the mountain backdrop simply steals your breath away. Even though Provo is not the most eventful city, you can find hidden gems with a little bit of searching and wandering.

big island, big adventures

Two weeks ago, I packed my bags and said ‘see ya later’ to my corporate office job and headed for a vacation to Hawaii the Big Island. So many have people have told me how amazing Hawaii is and vacation there all the time. I had seen beautiful pictures and gotten an idea of the whole island-beach-life, but to be honest, for a while I had thought Hawaii was overrated. I thought it was just mainly beaches and not too much else. But this trip shattered my preconceptions…there is so much to explore!

While flights took up almost a full day, the (then) four hour time difference helped extend my stay. I arrived in Hilo on a Wednesday afternoon to an incredibly small airport that takes you outside after just walking down one hall. I was incredibly excited to see my boyfriend for the first time in almost four months! He’s currently studying at University of Hilo for the semester. So, we rented a car, and off we went to begin a series of big adventures in a small amount of time.

Day 1

Cam and I

Rainbow Falls

Exploring sights off the Hamakua Coast

Akaka Falls

Waipio Valley

Laupahoehoe Beach

Day 2

Rainy day, but we’re set!

Beautiful ferns

Lava tube

Hiking craters

Loco moco overeasy

Day 3

Richardson Ocean Park

Getting ready to snorkel!

 

Lava tube on Halloween night

Zero and Agatha at the top of Mauna Kea Observatory

Day 4

Bamboo, my favorite!

Liliuokalani Japanese Gardens

Kava Bar

Lava Tree State Park

Tidal Waves, one last snorkel

The Big Island made me quickly adore its quirkiness in just four days: roosters became reliable alarm clocks, napping on the side of the road became a reasonable full-time job, tsunami lookout towers were the size of a mini-tree house, avocados were the size of grapefruits, lemons were the size of footballs, painted signs were for all things, including puddles, mongoose roam about instead of rabbits, and hitch hiking, vagabond hippies are a normal encounter.

Cheers to a warm, adventure-filled, and sweet time spent with the best adventure buddy I could ask for.

Till next time Hawaii!

fall in SLC

There is so much that has not been posted on the blog since graduating – my trip across europe, new york, memories made with friends – but what’s a better way to start blogging again than with some pictures from fall adventures in this new city and new season of life as a full-time, working adult taking on the ‘real world’.

with good reason, fall is my favorite season.

winter

I enjoy the chill,

Leaves crumple, accepting their end at this moment

Bare –

Naked, I am exposed.

When everything begins to fade, stillness remains;

Freckled flakes quiet all the towns,

For I am silent, but I am loud.

Assemble within boxes of all shapes

Holding Magic and Memory of years past and those to last –

Warmth is my favorite color,

Sweets are my favorite taste,

Laughter is my favorite song.

I welcome the year’s peaks and quarries,

I accept what is out of my hands,

I realize I am Blessed,

I love being quarantined by divine weather

Because it compels me to reflect;

I am the end and the beginning –

chai tea latte recipe

With the cold winter weather hitting Colorado hard this past week, I’ve recently come up with the best chai tea latte to date to keep warm. With just a few ingredients around the apartment, you will love making this seasonal drink.

What you need:

  • Celestial seasonings Chai Tea (pillow tea bags)
  • Milk (I personally use soy milk)
  • Pumpkin spice coffee creamer
  • Cinnamon
  • Whipped cream
  • Honey

Putting it together:

  1. Fill your mug up with 1/3 milk and heat it up by putting it in the microwave for approximately 1 minute.
  2. Boil hot water; add the chai tea bag to your mug; fill the remainder of your mug with hot water.
  3. Add a dab of any pumpkin spice coffee creamer (I just use Coffee Mate).
  4. Drizzle as much honey as you wish, depending on how sweet you want your chai.
  5. Add a few dashes of cinnamon.
  6. Stir all the ingredients together.
  7. Top it off with as much whipped cream as you’d like, and decorate it with cinnamon.

And that’s it! Super simple but so tasty. Perfect for cold days when you want something besides hot chocolate.