The Best Things to Do in Chiang Rai: Why It’s Worth More than a Day Trip

Lam Nam Kok National Park Chiang Rai

I’ve always wanted to go to Chiang Rai, but it wasn’t until I got there that I realized just how sad it was that I hadn’t been there before. I absolutely fell in love with Chiang Rai. So many people go to Chiang Rai as a day trip from Chiang Mai or as a stopover … Read more

Heaven and Hell: The White Temple and Black House of Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai White Temple

Thailand is the land of temples, and perhaps one of the most famous and unconventional is Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple. It is certainly a gem of the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai, likely the attraction that brings in the most visitors each year. Those in the know also come for … Read more

Caving in Soppong: Adventures on Thailand’s Wild Side

Long Cave Soppong

Ask people what is the most traveled country in southeast Asia, and it’s likely they’ll respond with Thailand. In fact, this ancient land of Siam has been so popular as part of the Banana Pancake Trail that it’s arguably too touristy in some parts. I definitely felt it in certain areas in the southern islands, … Read more

Ultimate Guide to Chiang Mai: What to Do, See, and Eat

Wat Chedi Luang monks Chiang Mai

The first time I went to Thailand in 2014, I made a compromise with my friend and went down to the islands after we hit up Bangkok. But northern Thailand, and specifically Chiang Mai, remained at the top of my bucket list. So after I wrapped up my tour of China last fall, I immediately … Read more

The Best Temples in Chiang Mai that You Must Visit

Doi Suthep elephant Chiang Mai

The largest city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is home to literally hundreds of temples (wats). One of my favorite things to do in Chiang Mai is to walk around and explore new wats that I haven’t been to before, but the sheer number of them can be overwhelming to someone visiting Chiang Mai for … Read more

What I Packed for 5 Months in Asia, from the Himalayas to Southeast Asia

backpacking packing list Annapurna

When I left on my funemployment trip through Asia, the only plans I had was to start in Manchuria and work my way south as the weather got colder and to meet my boyfriend in southern Thailand for Thanksgiving. So I packed mostly warm weather clothes and a few layers for autumn in China, all rolled … Read more

Does Cultural Tourism Help or Hurt Ethnic Minorities?

Longneck Karen Thailand

Growing up, I don’t think I had a conscious awareness of race until we moved to Florida, where the ugly legacy of slavery and Jim Crow made race something that was much more obvious. But while race wasn’t on my mind, I had always been fascinated with ethnicity. Not race or nationality, but ethnicity. China’s … Read more

You Haven’t Experienced Thailand Until You’ve Tried This Type of Massage

Tok sen massage Thailand

As the first hammering pounds came down on my back, I winced a bit and wondered whether I’d made a good decision. What if she injures me? As she worked her way down to my buttocks, I wondered what bruises I was going to end up with. Stop. If your mind is going somewhere illicit, … Read more