My last experience in Thailand overlapped with a surreal transitional ~life phase~ , serving as a high-key emotional goodbye to the life that I’d lived in California. This time, my time in this lovely country was much more mellow than it was melodrama (though I still definitely ugly-cried a few times).
My beloved K (not to be confused with my significant other KT, who unfortunately could not join me on this trip) met me during our layovers in Singapore. I’d just finished a frenzied half-day tour of the city and checked into an airport lounge. (Thanks to a credit card perk, I’ve discovered the beauty of airport lounges and not-so-secretly enjoy feeling like a part of the 1%. My. Goodness. To think that I was sitting in terminals for so many years, when I could’ve been going HAM at buffets…)
After that, it was a quick flight to Chiang Mai. K and I got numerous massages, people-watched at hip cafes, explored a mountaintop temple, braved a literal flood during a downpour, and, of course, ate our weight’s worth in khao soi: that regional, zingy coconut curry filled with crispy and cooked egg noodles. Most importantly, we celebrated the marriage of our sweet T & V, for whom we’d traveled around the world. While they now call Berlin home, our most jet-setting friends used to live in Bangkok and have family in Chiang Mai — hence their destination wedding.
Having made twenty or so new friends in the mountains, we then hopped on over to seaside Phuket. Unbeknownst to us, T & V had rented out two villas of the Most Extra Luxuriousness. A master architect had designed several airy, gorgeous villas, placing an oasis of palm trees, cabanas, koi ponds, and a saltwater pool in the heart of the property. It was unreal, and we happily spent most of our time there.
Once the party was over and the wedding group disbanded (cue tears of gratitude and bittersweet goodbyes), K and I headed over to Krabi, a beachy province in Thailand. There, we spent equal amounts of time exploring the shores and touring the tropics. We nearly lost our minds hiking up to a famed mountain temple — and then nearly lost our lives boating through choppy, monsoon-made waves to the most perfect-looking islands. You can be sure that we celebrated our survival with boba, McDonald’s, and, yes, more massages. Never enough massages.
After two blissed-out weeks in Thailand, I was ready to return home to the States — right on time for the start of school and my first natural disaster. More on that soon…