Travel · Uncategorized

Two Days in Phuket Thailand

When I was in Malaysia in December, my friend Lydnsey and I wanted to go to Thailand. We decided to go to Phuket Thailand for two days. It was a short flight (an hour and a half) to Phuket Thailand and inexpensive. We flew from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket Thailand from Air Asia. It was $111 for round-trip plane ticket. We left Christmas day and left the day after. While we were there, we wanted to see as much as possible. We booked a really nice hotel for $117.00 dollars a night and made reservations for the Phuket elephant sanctuary on Christmas day and a boat trip from BJ Canoeing tours for the day after.

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View from our hotel

We got to Phuket at 10 AM. When we got to Phucket we took a taxi to our hotel. We had not eaten all day, so as soon as we got to the hotel we ate a late breakfast buffet. Then we rested in our room and eat lunch. I ordered a pad krapow (thai basil chicken) and Lydnsey ordered wok noodles. Both meals were delicious. The we went to the Phuket elephant sanctuary. There we got to look at elephants that had been rescued from the industry. The sanctuary looks for injured and older elephants to rescue so they can enjoy the rest of their lives comfortably and happy. The money you pay to visit the sanctuary, goes to take care of the elephants. To me that is money well spent. We got to meet all the elephants at the sanctuary and got to feed two of them. We fed them watermelon, bananas, and cucumber. I could see in the elephants eyes that they were happy. Then  after they provided us a vegetarian buffet. It was the first time I had dragon fruit and I loved it. After we left the sanctuary, we swam at our hotel pool and dressed up cute, ate dinner with drinks, and listened to Christmas music at the hotel. It was a good Christmas day.

The second day we had to wake up at 7:00 AM to make our shuttle at 7:30 AM to take us to the boat tour, BJ Canoeing tours. The location was about an hour and a half from our hotel. They also picked up other people on the way. We took our luggage with us to leave to airport for Kuala Lumpur after the tour. The boat tour is from 9AM- 5PM, so it’s all day event. The boat tour was amazing we took a speed boat to cruise between the islands. We saw caves, did a canoe on Phang Nga bay, saw the James Bond Island, ate in a local town, and we relaxed in Na Ka island beach. I feel like this tour helped us see a lot of  Phuket Thailand in a short time. I really recommend the tour its $60.00 dollars and they provide you drinks and lunch. In the morning they provide coffee and tea with cookies.

Phuket Thailand was a cute beach area. Our view from our hotel was beautiful and the nature sights we saw on the trip were amazing. It made you forget how humid it was. The locals were so nice and very appreciative. I had a taxi driver thank us so much after we paid him. Our tour guide at the boat tour gave us cash to buy drinks at Na Ka island, we did not have any. Of course, we paid him back when we got to an ATM. My favorite part of the trip was the elephant sanctuary because of what they do to rescue the elephants.

 

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

Why Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is Underrated

Back in April my friend Lydnsey invited me to go to Vietnam. I was excited because I have never been there and I heard amazing things. However, the plane ticket was more expensive and we wanted to try to do a more inexpensive trip. She found that Malaysia was a good price, it was $1,000 dollars and it was inexpensive to visit. I was not ever sure where exactly Malaysia was. I had never even heard of the city Kuala Lumpur. I bought my plane ticket and started researching. I even looked up my friends on Facebook to see who had been there to message them. According to my Facebook only eight people had checked in to Malaysia. When usually it’s a lot more on my Facebook. Even going to the airport for my trip, airport staff were really curios why Malaysia? People were stunned I was going for vacation. I had never gotten that reaction before. I was in Kuala Lumpur for a couple days and had an amazing time. I feel like tourists should visit it more. I know from the United States its a long flight but it was so worth it.

Kuala Lumpur is inexpensive, it has many sights, and it’s very diverse (Chinese, Indian, and Malaysians). Here were some of my favorite things:

Batu Caves: It’s a Hindu temple about 30 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur. They have 272 steps. Also, if your a women make sure you’re wearing pants, a maxi skirt, or a maxi dress to enter the temple. I wore shorts and has to pay 5 Malaysian Ringgits ($1.23 dollars) to wear a long skirt They do give 2 Malaysian Ringgit back ($0.49 cents) when you return the skirt. There is also these cute monkeys walking around but be careful because they take your food and drinks. I would advise to not take food and drinks with you to go to the Batu caves.

Eat Street: This place has so many restaurants. My friend and I ended up choosing a Chinese restaurant. We got noodles with chicken. My meal was $4.00 dollars with a coke. Then after we got mango and sticky rice for dessert for $2.00 dollars. Eat Street was a four minute walk from our hotel. I really recommend MOV hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Menara Kuala Lumpur: Our first taxi driver recommended this to us to see a view of the city.  It’s a communications tower and it’s the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world. It was an amazing view, we got a lot pictures. we did not get seat in the box because we had an hour wait. We decided to eat at an Indian restaurant downstairs. I had a samosa and two tiger beers.

Pavillion Mall-  Is located in the Bukit Bintang district. It has three major components a retail mall, an office block, and two residential towers. The mall is amazing, it has lots of shopping and amazing restaurants. It was never ending, you can be there all day and still not see everything.

Tean Hou Temple: This Chinese temple is dedicated to the queen of heaven. It’s a beautiful temple and it’s free to visit. They even have a restaurant, if you want to relax and eat.

Butterfly park: This park was so cute, there is butterflies flying around everywhere. One even landed on my friends shoe. They  even an indoor option where you can see different insects from all over the world. The park was about $4.92 dollars. Make sure you bring cash because they do not accept card. If you go to the butterfly park the bird park and national mosque are not far. You can walk to those areas or take a grab (uber there).

Petronas Towers: Of course you have to visit the tallest twin towers in the world. They use to be the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004. I did not do a tour inside because it was sold out. However, there is a park called KLCC park in front of the building that I did not get to see. I saw pictures and it looks amazing. You can even get good pictures of the towers.

There is so much to do in Kuala Lumpur that it was hard to narrow it down on this list. We were recommended by taxi and grab drivers to visit a tea farm. However, it was four hours away from where we were. I wish I could of spend more time there but I am just happy to of been there at all. I know you might not hear a lot about Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia at least. I did not before I went but it is a place I really recommend to visit. The locals are friendly, its very diverse, it inexpensive to visit, and again there is so much to do!!! I hope to go back and see more nature in Malaysia. One grab driver told me there is a lot scenic nature areas to visit.

Travel · Uncategorized

Tips to Follow Before an International Trip

I’m leaving for Malaysia and Thailand in three days. My trip inspired me to write this blog about tips before an international trip. These tips are not last minute tips, so you will have to plan these tips in advance. Remember, it is very worth it to prepare before your trip. Here are some tips to follow when you set your international trip:

  • Travel Vaccines:

Check with the CDC to see if you need to get any travel vaccines. My brother (a doctor) told me I needed to get travel vaccinations for Malaysia and Thailand. The CDC says: I need Typhoid and Hepatitis A (you can get these diseases through contamination through food, water, and ice cubes). I also got my Flu Vaccine and Tetanus (since it been more than 10 years). I would get the vaccines a month before your trip for them to take affect.

I made an appointment with the University of Texas at Austin Health Center for the vaccines. The appointment was an hour because they explain the vaccines and talk about ways to stay healthy when traveling. Talk to your health care provider about your destination and immunization history.

  •  Check expiration date on passport:

If your passport expires in 6 months, most countries will not let you enter.  I would renew your passport if it expires 6 months before your departure. It’s better to be safe and renew and then to spend money and not be able to travel.

  • Budget:

I like to budget before I buy my plane ticket but I also like to budget spending money for my trip.  I use the app digit. It’s about 2.99 a month and you can set what you want to save for. You connect your bank account and it saves money from there. You can also pause it and withdraw from it whenever you want.

Travel · Uncategorized

A Twisted Christmas

Last Friday, I experienced a unique Christmas with my friend Amanda. I went to a Scream Hollow Twisted Christmas in a town called Smithville TX, it’s about 40 minutes from Austin. They had three Christmas haunted houses, a bonfire, a Jack Frost maze, the Grinch, bad Santa, Krampus, and nightmare before Christmas characters. Scream Hollow also had a band playing Christmas music, Christmas lights, they had food, hot chocolate, alcohol, and hot cider. When we first got there we walked around and got drinks. Then we ordered food and listen to the band. They had Oogie Boogey, the Grinch, and  Elf on the shelf walking around. They follow the guests and try to talk to you. It was very interesting and fun. We did take a picture with the Grinch and Oogie Boogey. It felt like October for me. It was a good thing for me because I did nothing for Halloween. We took a picture with Bad Santa and Krampus but we did not tell them what we wanted for Christmas.

We visited all three haunted houses back to back. My heart was racing and I kept thinking it was October. The three haunted houses all had different themes The Slaughter House Toy Factory, Mansion of Terror Krampus, and asylum. The most scary for me was the Krampus one because it took us out to the woods and it was very dark. I had no idea where I was going. I’m so glad I was with a friend because it made the experience less scary. The toy one had more actors that would jump and scare you. That house was the more suspenseful one. I think that my favorite haunted house was the asylum because it had different holidays like Valentines day, Easter, St. Patrick’s and the actors participated by the holiday.

Overall this place is a good place to check out if you want to experience a different Christmas.  It really was a unique Christmas experience. The tickets are $24.95 dollars and it’s free parking. They are opened from 6 PM-11 PM Fridays and Saturdays. The haunted houses were creative and the actors did a good job. My advice would be to get there at 7 PM to see the Krampus parade. I was late and missed the parade. I feel like this is more of an adult Christmas. So I would only bring kids that are 12 and over.

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

My Boyfriend does not Travel with Me

My boyfriend and I have been together five years. During those years we have not traveled much in the United States or internationally.  He went to Seattle for my 30th birthday and Portland for my summer 2019 trip. All my other trips for the past five years, I have gone alone or with friends. I like to travel so if my boyfriend does not want to go, it’s not going to stop me.  I feel like if I do not travel now when will I? My friends and family do ask why he does not travel with me? It does make me think is he suppose to be going with me? Does it mean it’s a bad relationship? My boyfriend is different than me when it comes to travel. He rather save for other things than travel and I want to save for travel. I know traveling is expensive, so I completely understand. That’s why I try to save for awhile before a big international trip and use travel points when I have them.

Relationships can be difficult because you are both different people. However, you do want to have things in common with your significant other and be apart of each others lives. That means even doing activities that they like that you do not. I do like other things besides traveling. Like exploring my city, Austin and having a lazy day. The fact that I get spend those days with my boyfriend is amazing and I really cherish them. We even do some traveling in cities and towns near Austin. He does want to go to Japan and New York. So I am hoping I can plan those trips soon. I’m trying to see if I can get cheap flight deals.

You might not see me and boyfriend on an international trip any time soon. Unless I find really good flight/hotel deals. However, I do love the times I do spend with him even if it’s not traveling. You will see us visiting Fredericksburg TX a cute wine/German town, trying new restaurants in Austin, having potlucks at our friend’s place, and just spending time together. The fact that we have the time to spend together means the world to me and who knows Japan can have cheap flight deals really soon.

Travel · Uncategorized

My World Record Bucket List

I have seen the world’s smallest park and the world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guinness Book of World Records. So I thought I could try to continue this World Record thing while Traveling. Not all of them are Guinness Book record things, its a list of interesting things I want to do. I do not know how many I will do or when I will see the next world record but I’m going to try. Here is my world record bucket list:

World Oldest Bar

Sean’s bar in Athlone Ireland, the bar has been operating since 900 AD. Athlone is about an hour and 30 minute drive from Dublin. I am definitely having a drink at Sean’s bar and checking out the bar scenery. Since, the United States is really new compared to other countries. The World’s oldest restaurant and bar really fascinate me.

First New Year

I want to go to Kiribati (the Christmas Island) because they experience New Years First in the World. The island is located in the central pacific Ocean. Every New Years, I tend to forget that other parts of the world are already in the New Year. When I go to the Christmas Island, I really will be the first to experience New Years.

World Tallest Building

The World’s tallest building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, I hear that the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia opens in 2020 and it will be taller than Burj Khalifia. I will have to keep researching if the World’s Tallest building keeps changing.

Oldest Pizzeria 

I want to go to the oldest pizzeria in the United States in New York City and the world’s oldest pizzeria in Naples Italy because I love pizza. The United States one will be easier to visit for me, its called Lombardi and it has been open since 1905. It’s been recognized on the Pizza Hall of Fame as the first pizzeria in the United States.

The pizzeria in Naples is called Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba it was founded in 1738 as a seller of street food and became a pizzeria in 1830. I will be going to Italy in September 2020. I need to see if I can stop by Naples to visit this pizzeria. It would be very worth it.

There is other World Record places I want to see and experience but I made my list small to not overwhelm myself. I really do want to accomplish these things. I have a lot bucket lists and little by little I am accomplishing them. The world record thing is really interesting to me; I think it would be cool to have a drink at the world oldest bar, experience New Years first in the world, see the world’s tallest building, and eat pizza at the oldest pizzeria. It’s just amazing how many things they are in the world to experience.

Travel · Uncategorized

My Day Trip to Barcelona

There is so many sights to see in Barcelona that it was impossible to see them all in one day. I was only in Barcelona for 9 hours but its better than not going at all. I was in Madrid for only a week and my friends and I wanted to visit Barcelona. We had no airbnb or hotel there. So we decided to just go for the day. We decided to take the AVE, fast train because Barcelona is a six hour drive from Madrid. With the AVE train it would only take us three hours to get there. We bought the tickets at the station and there were $194 dollars for a round trip ticket. It was about 10 bucks cheaper to fly and faster but we wanted the train experience. We tried to buy the train tickets online but there was complications. The train heading to Barcelona made two other stops, so it took three hours. The train heading back took two hours because it did not make additional stops. The train was a good experience, they offered food and drinks. We even got a free beer out of it.

We got to Barcelona at like noon and left at 9:30 PM. We made a plan of everything we wanted to see before we got there. First we visited Park Güell, then Sagrada familia, Casa Batllo, Port of Barcelona, and a flamingo show on las ramblas street (popular street). To get the majority of the places we took a taxi but after Casa Batllo we just walked. The trip was great and I was happy that we did a lot in such a short time. We did not get to see inside of any of the sights because there was a line and we did not buy tickets in advance. However, we enjoyed the views from the outside. So, I advise that you buy tickets in advance if you want to see the popular sights in Barcelona. The flamingo show was great, it was like mediation for me. The place also offered a sangria with the flamingo ticket.  I just sat there with my sangria and watched the amazing flamingo show. After the flamingo show, we ate paella tomato bread, calamri, and drank some beer. The restaurant was touristy because it was on las ramblas street. It was expensive but the food was good with great service.  Then after we took a taxi back to the train station to head back to Madrid.

Barcelona was fun to visit. I wish I could of seen the beach but we did not have enough time. One of the highlights of my trip was eating lunch at this place called Buenas Migas and having a view of the Sagrada familia. I had my chai latte and pizza and just enjoyed the view.  I also had fun just walking around with my friends while we explored Barcelona. It kinda reminded me of Boston and New York together. Hopefully, one day I can go back to Barcelona and see more.