#JLAsia2018 Recap II: Being white in Patong

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Patong beach.

After Bangkok, our next stop was Phuket in southern Thailand and specifically, Patong beach area.

I’m just going to come right out and say this: I got hit on a lot in Phuket. At first I thought it was just because they know I’m a tourist/foreigner so they’re just chatting me up and giving free service (food, drinks, etc. not sex please stop thinking about that), but it got to a point where I was getting business solicitations and endorsements. And the biggest reason is because my skin is white.

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#JLAsia2018 Recap I: Moving to Bangkok

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Outside the MBK Center.

We started our southeast Asia backpacking trip with 1.5 days in Bangkok, Thailand. We decided not to stay in Bangkok for too long because we didn’t have time to visit the grand palace (you need to be there before 8am), and because we wanted to see other parts of Thailand more.

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and definitely has the “big city” appeal – lots of luxurious malls and more expensive food and shopping compared to the rest of Thailand (it’s still cheap in general).

The most interesting revelation I had in Bangkok was not necessarily related to Bangkok itself, but more related to my two friends who actually moved and live in Bangkok now.

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#JLAsia2018 return!

IMG_1330I have returned from my backpacking trip through southeast Asia more tanned, tired and poor than before. My priorities this week include laundry, catching up on work and not getting sick (my body is not used to zero degrees yet!).

I’ll be working on my annual montage video as well as a series of blog recaps – highlights include a lantern release, elephant poop (yup, they’re big) and sad poor country life, but feel free to take a look at some of the photos we’ve been sharing throughout our trip with the hashtag #JLAsia2018.

Today I wanted to write to you all about just how happy I am to be back.

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#JLAsia2018: See you soon Thailand, Laos and Cambodia!

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It’s time for my annual backpacking trip and this year I will be going to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia for 2.5 weeks this November with my old classmate, Julianna!

My trip will be half self-planned and half Contiki, a travel tour for 18-35 year-olds. The cities I’ll be traveling to are:

  • Bangkok
  • Phuket
  • Chiang Mai
  • Luang Prabang
  • Vang Vieng
  • Vientiane
  • Phnom Penh
  • Siem Reap

I’ve only been to Bangkok with my rich aunty where we stayed in nice hotels and spas so I am ready for a hobo in-the-jungle backpacking adventure where I get to give elephants mud baths, stay overnight at a temple, and go cave exploring.

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Alaska cruise recap

In May I went on my first cruise ever with my family aboard Holland America. It was an 8-day adventure through the interior passage, stopping at Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Glacier Bay.

Compared to most of my backpacking adventures, this was luxury. I had a nice bed, balcony, room service, unlimited food, access to a private spa and jet pool (thank you rich aunty)! It was also, sadly, kind of boring.

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Canada 150: Cross-country train trip in July 2017!

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I am a lucky holder of the equivalent-to-a-Willy-Wonka-golden-ticket VIA Rail 150 Youth Pass! Last week, VIA Rail announced a special promotion for Canada’s 150th birthday – unlimited train travel for $150 in July if you’re 12-25 years old*. For context, a 3-zone month bus pass in just Vancouver is almost $200, so I jumped at this deal!

Chaos broke out, their website crashed, people were on VIA Rail’sΒ phone lines for hours, and at the end of 36 hours, over 4,000 Canadian youths will be embarking on a train adventure this summer (and I’m one of them -screams-)!

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#FLEuro2016 Recap: Part 10 – the end!

Yay! This is my last FLEuro2016 recap and to commemorate my entire trip is my travel montage video above.

The last city I am going to write about is London, which was actually our first stop. We only had 1 full day in London, so it was jam packed with tourist activities like riding the red double-decker buses, seeing Big Ben, eating fish and chips, etc. Fatima and I were excited to do and see everything because not only was it a city that neither of us had ever been to, it was the beginning of our first ever backpacking trip!

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#FLEuro2016 Recap: Part 9

Fatima and I standing on top of one of Amsterdam city's many canals.
Me and Fatima standing on top of one of Amsterdam city’s many canals.

I am nearing the end to my #FLEuro2016 recaps (“About time” – Tracy), but how can I end my recaps without a post dedicated to my wonderful travel partner: Fatima?

Fatima and I did not grow up together, in fact, we only became friends in the last few years, so I was both ecstatic and worried when she agreed to go on a backpacking trip with me. On one hand, I was excited to go with her and glad that we had similar destinations we wanted to visit. On the other hand, I was worried that at the end of the trip, we wouldn’t be friends anymore.

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