Page 3 of Staci and Martin Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen March 24th 2010

People back home: "So...are you fluent in Chinese yet?" Us: "Yeah...we know how to say that we like to wash our clothes and that we eat eggplant. That counts, right?" I realize we haven't updated anyone lately on how our language acquisition is going, so I've decided to do just that. As you know, we attend Chinese class every Wednesday and Friday afternoon in the city center of Shenzhen. Our teacher last semester was awesome (all the teachers are from Shenzhen University) and we were really hoping we'd have her again but because of low class enrollment, they basically cancelled our level one class and put us all in the more relaxed level one class. I now feel like a genius and Martin is enjoying the pace of the class. Our new teacher is also pretty ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen March 17th 2010

Whew, here I was thinking it was fine if we didn't write AS much and all of a sudden I'm getting scorned for not writing more frequently! So, I'll give you some updates. :) This past weekend, our friends Jimmy and Cali ventured out to our home in Bao'an for the first time. We have spent countless weekends at their apartment in Yantian District, mainly because there are more things to do and they have an off-campus place, but we decided it was finally time for them to experience our corner of Shenzhen. After Chinese class on Friday (yes, it started again), the four of us made the hourish trek back out to our campus, bought beer from our favorite little 'store' under our bridge (it's literally just the front of someone's house) and spent the ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen March 8th 2010

Another two weeks in China have flown by. Sort of unbelievable how quickly our lives seem to be moving here. These past two weeks have mostly seen us teaching, coughing and sleeping. Thrilling, right? About one day into the new semester, the cold weather moved out and a weird humidity and heat moved in. We quickly switched from heaters and gloves to air-conditioning and flip flops. None of our clothes would dry out on the balcony and floors around campus stayed wet for days after they'd been cleaned. Then suddenly, two days ago, we flipped back to cold weather! It's not nearly as cold as before, but we're finding ourselves in jackets again and needing a comforter at night. According to our contact teacher it's supposed to get warm again in the next few days and ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen February 22nd 2010

Well, we've been back for almost a week and life is already starting to settle in. The first day back, we ventured out to Nanshan, our neighboring district, to buy Martin a replacement coat for the one he left in Thailand. We ended up getting the exact same coat, half off. Score! That area of Shenzhen was CRAZY crowded with Chinese tourists from other provinces, while Bao'an felt eerily empty. On our packed bus ride home, a woman began vomiting all over the bus. Then, we walked into the grocery store building where we always shop and witnessed a baby pooping in the corner. Welcome back to China. It was bitterly cold the first few days back (but is starting to warm up)- I never thought we'd pack a space heater in our backpack for a ... read more
Super Bowl
Longgang Pagoda

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen February 17th 2010

Well, we made it back! We'll be doing back-blogs to cover the last week of our vacation, so keep an eye out for those to be posted soon. :) Our flight landed in Shenzhen at 10:40pm last night. It went smoothly, but we were quickly reminded that we were headed back to CHINA as we sat in the Bangkok Airport waiting to board our flight. One kid was let loose from his family every five minutes and ran around the waiting area like crazy, causing the Air Asia workers some serious distress. One of them actually threw up her hands and made a loud whining noise when the parent tried to run out of the security area to go get his kid. Across from us sat a young Chinese couple, shoving Burger King in their mouths. ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 13th 2010

We started off the day with sleeping in...something that is ALWAYS wonderful, right? Well, unless you have to be somewhere I suppose. But today we didn't, so it was glorious. We got up before 10 to eat breakfast at the hotel, and then took our time getting ready. Around 11am, we ventured out...but not too far. Just around the corner from our hotel is a big spa called "RELAX EXPRESS". Sounds great, huh? It's pretty fancy though and looked much more legit than a lot of the little massage shops lining the main drag that probably come with a 'happy ending'. As neither of us had experienced a Thai massage before, we decided to go for it. I mean...we ARE in Thailand. We had to put on really sexy pajama-like clothing that was 'one size fits ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 12th 2010

Woke up excited today for what we (correctly) anticipated being a highlight of the entire vacation. The Elephant Nature Park is where we booked our trip to Chiang Mai with, and the package we selected gave us one full day at the their park. Their park, in short, is a conservation/refuge that currently has 33 elephants. Click the link above to find out more, as it is an amazing organization run by an incredible woman. Anyway, their representatives picked us up with a small group of others, and we took the 1.5 hour drive to the park. In the van, we watched a documentary made for The Animal Planet that featured this exact organization. We learned how back in the day when Thailand did more logging, elephants were used as workers, hauling loads up and down ... read more
Feed Me!

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 11th 2010

Ugh, last night's sleep was about a thousand times worse than the last train ride. They never ended up turning off the main cabin lights, meaning there was a gigantic light just shining on my face all night long. In addition to that and the extra rockiness of the train, I woke up probably every half an hour. This top bunk was tiny and parallell with the train, so that I rolled from side to side and didn't have a bar to keep from falling off. Not the most relaxing experience, but definitely not our worst travel day. :) I got out of bed around 7 and we pretty much killed the next few hours on the train by reading and chatting. We'd brought food & coffee with us so that we didn't pay for overpriced, ... read more
Traditional Dinner/Show
The Food
The Show

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok February 10th 2010

The big news for today was to make it to our train in the evening for our trip to Chiang Mai. We walked around Bangkok, enjoying more wonderful food and Thai Iced Teas and Coffees. We had our hotel arrange a taxi to take us to the train station, but all they could get as a tuk tuk. We negotiated a lower price, and took off, zooming our way into the rush hour traffic of Bangkok. Nothing is worse than Chinese rush hour, but it was still pretty bad here, especially in a tuk tuk where we could practically feel the cars next to us, inches away. The train station in Bangkok is large and beautiful, offering many things to buy as well. With time to spare, we decided to go upstairs for a drink and ... read more
Tuk Tuk Traffic Jam
Anna's Kitchen

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok February 9th 2010

After a night of pretty good sleep (for me) and okay sleep (for Martin), we arrived in Bangkok around 6:30am. We were quickly able to get into a metered taxi and were on our way to our hotel for the evening, New World Lodge/City Hotel near Khao San Rd, the huge backpackers area of Bangkok. We'd decided to stay at a nicer place for the evening so that we knew our vouchers for the trip to Chiang Mai would be safe, as the company sent it to our Bangkok hotel about a week before we arrived there. A hostel probably would have been fine, but we wanted to make sure. It turned out to be great, because we were able to check in right when we arrived shortly after 7am, and promptly fell asleep for another ... read more
Thai Iced Tea
Street Food

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