Guess who’s back? Back again. Rach’s back. Tell yo friends!
So, I’m guessing most of you didn’t notice that haven’t been posting for the past month and a half. I do have a good reason for that! I mean, I could have been way ahead of the game and written a bunch of posts before that month and a half, but I have never been that prepared and I probably never will. Anyway. I just got back from a trip around Asia! I graduated from college this past June and almost immediately after graduating I left for a trip around Asia with one of my oldest friends!
It was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m so glad that we were able to make the trip happen since we had been talking about it for years. Potentially since late high school. In case you’re curious we went to 5 countries and 11 cities/towns, not including one 24-hour layover in Taipei, Taiwan on our way back home, over the span of about 6 weeks. We ended up traveling to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand; Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Ninh Binh in Vietnam; Beijing in China; Seoul in South Korea; and Tokyo, Fujikawaguchiko, Kyoto, and Osaka in Japan. While the entire trip was beyond amazing, I wanted to try to narrow down my best experiences and memories to a top three.
Going to the little town of Fujikawaguchiko that’s right by Mount Fuji. Something you may not know about me is that I used to be pretty into anime. One of the genres I especially liked were atmospheric slice of life anime shows that generally took place in little towns such as Fujikawaguchiko. The entire time we were there I felt like I was living in an anime and I think I actually squealed once or twice I was so happy. My favorite memory from this town was when we were riding our bikes around the lake and it started raining so we ducked into a little traditional restaurant to escape the rain for a while and had some sake and what was the best meal of the trip. It was a hearty udon type soup with a bunch of vegetables and some tofu, it was so good that we all ate our share until we literally couldn’t eat anymore.
While we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand we booked a half day experience at an elephant sanctuary. Now, before anyone makes any comments about how elephant “sanctuaries” in Thailand are bad and they let people ride the elephants and blah blah blah, I’m going to say that we put a significant amount of research into different elephant sanctuaries in Thailand and made sure that the one we chose does not exploit elephants or people. Now that I’ve said that, I just want to say that this was literally one of the best days of my life. We got to learn a bit about elephants, learn how the sanctuary takes care of the elephants, we got to feed the elephants, rub mud on them/”play” (more like watch) them in the mud, and “swim” with them! Elephants are really incredible creatures and I seriously suggest going to an elephant sanctuary if you’re ever in Thailand to see these amazing creatures in person and support an organization that helps them!
My third favorite memory or experience is just Vietnam in general. Vietnam is one of the most gorgeous countries I’ve ever been to and has some of the nicest and most engaging and curious people I’ve ever met. While we were there we were able to go to Halong Bay and Ninh Binh, both of which boast incredible scenery. It honestly took my breath away. On top of that we didn’t have one negative experience with a native Vietnamese person while we were there. We actually had several groups of kids come up to us throughout our trip to speak to us and practice their English! In fact, while we were in Hanoi at their prison museum, we learned that Hanoi is internationally recognized as a city of peace!
I also managed to go to this super cool library that’s in an underground mall in Gangnam, Seoul!
As you can probably guess, I didn’t get as much reading done as I normally would in a month and a half. However, I did manage to get some reading in between all my exploring. I won’t be talking about that on this post though. I just wanted to write a quick “hello again” and explain where I’d been before I jump back into book blogging!
One last thing before I go. I’m planning on moving to LA at the end of this month so my schedule may be disrupted again around that time. I’ll do my best to make sure it won’t be, but knowing me it probably will be despite my best efforts. Regardless, I’m excited to get back into it and back into a better reading schedule!
I hope you had good reading the past month and a half I was gone! See you next time!