As last year was split between Korea and the US, so was this year split between Thailand and the US. My time in Thailand came to an unexpected end, but I had a pretty awesome time and I’m really glad I spent 6 months there.
These photos are all from my janky phone camera but I have a new digital camera now and 2019 should be pretty legit.
January – You know I love board games (and this one has the best meeples I’ve ever seen) but this picture represents a January trip to Salem Oregon to visit my friends Craig and Martina. I got to explore Salem, which despite being the state capital is not a place I know very well. We bopped into the bookstore, rambled along the river front, and played a bounty of boardgames. Great start to the year!
February – A late snowstorm blanketed Portland and I spent a couple days walking around the winter wonderland. I have been up Mt. Tabor probably a hundred times but this snowy vista was one of the best.
March – My birthday month. And I celebrated it my favorite way–a hike in the morning, followed by an afternoon/evening of board games. (With vegan food at Sweet Hereafter for bonus points!) This picture is from the Salmon River wilderness in the foothills of Mt. Hood.
April – I left the US and headed to Monkeytown! Lopburi is not a super exciting place to live, but the Khmer ruins are really amazing, especially at first. I’m honestly not a big fan of monkeys but seeing hundreds of them roaming around the town is pretty cool.
May – Over the last decade, I have spent some quite time in Thailand, both in the north and the south. But I didn’t know central Thailand very well. Exploring the temples and ruins and lakes and towns of central Thailand, some of which are very off the beaten path, was vastly rewarding. This delicate Buddha at the end of a little train ride at Pa Sak Jolasid Dam was one of many such places.
June – I did a lot of great things in June, saw some really nice places, but this amazing picture of all the teachers at English and I is a must-include.
However, Immigration officials who saw this “raided” our school, which involved me being sent home, twice in one day, and two other teachers being sent home from the kindy, even though our school was allegedly “legit”. Still it’s an amazing work of art.
July – More central Thailand exploration. This giant depiction of Hanuman is a little outside Lopburi but well worth the visit. A nice temple with great views and a little climb up to the statue. At the top is a pile of pineapple and watermelon where monkeys wander up to and have a snack.
August– The ancient town of Ayutthaya (อยุธยา) is only an hour train ride (1 dollar each way!) from Lopburi. I went on a scorching hot day (40 degrees C) and walked around the ruins for several hours. Ayutthaya is one of my favorite places in Thailand, if not all of Asia.
September – I’ve written about Buddhist Hell before, but Chonburi is an amazing destination even beyond this Hell park. The closest beach to Bangkok, it has a nice night market where I got to watch a Thai band playing 90s rock anthems. This was probably the highlight of my entire time in Thailand.
October – I wasn’t in Lopburi long enough to see the sunflowers, but these fields of wildflowers on the way to the Peacock temple are my favorite part of the Lopburi area.
November – Back in Portland! My sister and I hiked the Cape Horn trail in November, late fall, and it instantly became our favorite day hike in the Portland area. We each took a hundred photos but this view of the gorge was overwhelmingly nice.
December – I made it to my first Crafty Wonderland, where my mom and I crafted our own felt Yeti. You can tell how excited we are from our own yeti smiles.