My slice of Pai

I was excited to head to Pai now having a few friends there too it was good to keep moving my last stop before returning to Bangkok. I had no idea how long I would stay in Pai but was making up my mind as I went.( which may I add was working out pretty well.)

I remember being picked up at my hostel and taken to the bus stop we picked up another guy before we headed out and we started talking about our travels. I miss how easy it is to strike up conversations with strangers in a strange place.

We were then awkwardly moved from bus to bus with no one speaking English thankfully we were together laughing and hoping we were on the right bus going to Pai.
I sat next to an old Thai lady, and we communicated in broken English, and I managed to confirm that we were going to Pai. She then kept feeding me random fruit, and I managed to sleep. I will say this journey is a winding one and can make you feel a little sick. A little tip if you suffer from motion sickness make sure to take something.

We finally arrived it was dark, and we stopped in the middle of the town on a very busy street. I loved Pai at that very instant I call it love at first sight. I felt so free and at ease it was so strange I had not felt that feeling ever before. I said goodbye to my new friend as he was off to his hostel and me mine.

I arrived at Spicy Pai. It was awesome, and it was night time. Sometimes it’s the best to come at night to a new destination, so you get a nice surprise in the morning. Spicy Pai is no ordinary hostel it’s up on a hill in a field of open land with wooden bunk beds draped with mosquito nets and a fire pit, outside toilet and showers. I loved it. I put my bags down and went to grab a beer before trying to find my friend who was also staying at this place.
He found me, and I joined the rest of guys playing drinking games and met some new people, we ended up heading to the town. It was a fun night, but I had no clue what the next few days had in store and I was excited to explore.

The next few days were filled with scooter rides up mountains, hot springs, waterfalls,photography missions, (nearly getting arrested to get a good shot of the airport runway lol), elephant feeding, rice field meditation, body massages, fishing with locals, random puppies, sunrise missions and many friends good laughs and good food this was by far the best way to spend five days.

I loved being carefree, feeling like the gypsy I am. I remember sitting on the sidewalk one evening and a random guy was walking by and just stared at me I smiled at him, and my friends asked him if he wanted the girl or the dog who was sitting next me. He laughed and said, she just has such a good energy and a beautiful smile. I will never forget that moment; I radiated pure happiness, and everyone could see it.

This leg of the trip I reconnected with old friends and made plenty new friends, but I was never this happy in all my life.
Today I still talk to some of my friends from this trip, and they are my reminder of a good time in my life a moment when I was truly happy.

I was happy not because of anyone or anything, so much beauty surrounded me that only God could create, and I was around real people only God placed on my path. I was happy because I wasn’t thinking about what is, and what’s yet to come, I was truly happy in every moment I was experiencing.  Every morning I woke up with no idea of what my day was going to look like, but I trusted that it would turn out great because I was confident, happy, and the energy of everything around me was amazing.

I remember just sitting around a campfire and watching a guy play guitar and singing and feeling so content in that moment, not a single worry.

The final night a group of us stayed up to watch the sunrise, we didn’t see the sunrise that morning it was a cold misty morning. I remember all of us being tired but fighting the sleep so we could all spend the last moments with each other before departing on our journeys and share one last extraordinary adventure together.

That morning looking back now was somewhat metaphorical in a sense. We always search for blue skies and happy smiles, but that’s not life sometimes we do get the cold, cloudy days, but it’s how we deal with the cold, cloudy days that help us appreciate the blue skies and sunny smiles. We will always have that misty morning even though it wasn’t the perfect sunrise we had hoped for it was a magical ending in the end.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Back to Thailand I go.

Thailand has always held a special place in my heart it’s one of the catalysts that led me to this nomadic lifestyle I lead now.

You can read all about my very first trip to Thailand here.  The second time I had planned on visiting I fall into a love-hate relationship with Bangkok because I spent most of days in and out of the hospital.

This time was exciting I had gotten my zest for life back spent a week soaking up the sun and with my thoughts ready for the next adventure. I was excited to explore the North of Thailand for the first time as I had only visited Bangkok and Phuket before.

I left early on the second of December 2015. Me not being the smartest smartie in the box when I arrived in Chang Mai they stamped my passport and as a South African we get 30 days one month visa free entry into Thailand, I miss calculated the dates and my final day in Thailand according to my stamp was the 1 January 2016 and my flight back to Cape town was on the second. Luckily it was only one day and the fine is 500 Baht a day, each day you in the country after the day you’re valid to be in the country. Don’t make the same mistake I did people.

I arrived hoped into a taxi and made it to my first place I was staying called Mojito Garden. A random hostel world search the price was right and the reviews were good. It has that log cabin outside cubical shower and toilet vibe to it. No bunk beds thank goodness it was great. I was alone again and needed to get used to hostel life.

The next day during breakfast I made friends with a girl and we went to the Ma se waterfalls it was a beautiful walk in the forest it was great to be back in nature out of the mental city life.

That afternoon on my way back I packed up and moved to another hostel called spicy Thai. A recommendation from a fellow traveller. It’s a good place to meet people. I met heaps of crazy travellers and got roped into going to a lady boy cabaret that evening.Not before sharing my wisdom about Cambodia to my new friends who were planiing on heading out there in the coming days. It was great to make friends and connect again.

The show was such a laugh we sat right in the front and the guyts that were with us got a few kisses and lap dances we we could not contain ourselves with laughter. I suggest that whenever you are in Chang Mai to check this place out its in the main night market area. After that the squad rolled out to another popular watering hole called Zoe yellow. It was packed we danced until the lights came on it was great.

The next day I didn’t do anything really said goodbye to a few people. Hung out in the common room watched a movie. Planned to meet up with my English friends I had met in Cambodia who were now in Chang Mai. Tow of my new American friends were headed to Pai a place I was going to in a day or two and planned to hook up with them while I was out there. That evening I went out for dinner with my girls we caught up got some beers and headed back to the place they were staying and drank wit the rest of the guys everyone was so friendly and fun. It was also the kings birthday so many bars and clubs were closed.

The next day I booked a  bus to Pai and met up with a friend of mine I had met when I was ending my time in Vietnam. She is really a special soul we got our nails done and she was heading to an Island for her last few days before heading back home after travelling for 8 months while I was headed to Pai. I will end there as Pai deserves a post entirely dedicated to itself as its just such a special place to me.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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The Last Leg of my Cambodian Adventure – Phonm Phenh

After leaving my new favourite place Arcadia, it was a heaven sent that I found it so much so that the book I was reading was about travellers finding Arcadia. ( The age of Magic by Ben Okri) and the book was given to me by my first traveller friend Henry in Hong Kong  you can check out my Hong Kong post.

I headed off on the 20th of November to the capital city of Cambodia Phnom Penh I had heard mixed reviews about this town some people like it other people hate it. I also heard that you must be careful with your belongings I wasn’t going to take a chance with anything or listen too much to naysayers but rather experience it for myself each to your own right!
I arrived and again being very lucky and blessed my uncle owns a hotel here. As I asked the tuk-tuk driver to take me to Hilary’s Boutique Hotel, he said oh Hillary Clinton and gave off a chuckle and he continued to tell me that people ask for Hilary Clintons hotel lol. I made my way in the tuk-tuk to the hotel.
I was so surprised I didn’t know what to expect but it was so charming and quaint a little slice of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the bustling city. I met up with my two Swedish friends for a drink and then I heard the sad news of my friends phone been taken straight out of her hand when she was looking for directions! So with that in mind, I was going to be more cautious!
The managers at the hotel were lovely treated me like royalty as soon as I walked in. It was so strange living in a hotel now; it’s so quiet and no bunk beds, but it was nice!

The next day we went to the Tusol Genocide Museum and it was heartbreaking to hear the history of what happened a good twenty or so years ago killing innocent people and children is never ok.
I later went to the killing fields the emotions I felt that day was unreal! I remember coming back and feeling so sad and shared my experience on Facebook.

This is what I wrote:
The feeling after seeing the killing fields: How do you put your feelings to paper or even make sense of it out loud it’s crazy! I didn’t know anyone who died but yet I feel as if I do. I watched people as they walked around and the look on their faces as if they were at a friend or family member’s funeral this is history and was people’s reality for many years! I sit here with a lump in my throat knowing now what I didn’t an hour ago yes this feeling of helplessness and sadness will pass but the harsh reality of the past will never! Every single Cambodian I pass by in the street has had a family member killed. What pains me Is it was unfair and there is nothing we can do about it now but pray that it will not happen again!! The killing fields a place of calmness and peace now; ironically it was a place of brutality and hate!
This is something I wish everyone to experience if you have the chance to visit this city.

I spent about a week in Phnom Phen it was great to unwind after the crazy three weeks I had just had. It was also boiling so spent most days in the pool watching movies, reading and when I needed some human contact I would wander down to Mad Monkey hostel get a beer, and people watch for hours.

I visited the Royal Palace too, it’s beautiful, and my tour guides the managers of the hotel were so kind explaining their culture and history to me. I am very grateful to them for taking me to exciting, authentic restaurants. I feel I got to experience the real city side of Cambodia also the Russian market is not bad for trinkets and clothes! I also got the chance to visit the Cambodian Children’s Fund to see the great work taking place here. An NGO that’s transforming lives of many children giving them a place to stay and education and something critical health care to many people in a small village in the city. I left feeling inspired and call to do more where I can.

I didn’t hate Phnom Penh I guess because it all depended on your experience with a place and I was very blessed to be treated to a real relaxing time in a beautiful place in a great location and highly recommend Hilary’s Boutique Hotel ( not being biased because I know the owner.) It’s a great place for families, solo travellers and people on business trips. They make yummy food too so defiantly check out the restaurant, and the staff are fantastic.

I entered Cambodia unexpectant, not knowing anything about the country but I truly left enriched and with many excellent friends.
Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥