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City Break

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Needed a little break from the city and headed to Bang Krachao! 60 – 90 min cab drive from Bangkok, a little boat trip, and suddenly you feel that you are far away from the big city. We rented way too small bikes and cycled around on the island. A little fun for the girls. The main attraction is however a park which is located not too far away from the pier. Bang Krachao is insanely green as you can see, even the water… I got myself a little jungle getaway so I’m happy!

Wat Saket

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Weekends are for discoveries. This one is being spent in Bangkok, but hey! there is much to both see and do here. Wat Saket, or Golden Mount as you may also call it was todays destination. The Golden Mount is a temple, but for those who find these spots rather boring; Wat Saket can be recommended anyhow. To get all the way to the top you need to conquer 322 steps, and the way up is rather entertaining with beautiful scenery. When you get to the top you will find a little temple and a great view over Bangkok. Wisdom from today is btw that the monkeys that you can see over here are not something the «emoji» company came up with, but they are actually buddhist monkeys symboling «see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil». Think about that next time you are trying to express your shyness through the monkeys. I will however think that you are trying to send me some kind of Buddhist message.

Wanderlust

One of the main reasons I chose Bangkok as my exchange destination is the unlimited opportunity to travel in Asia. The countries surrounding Thailand are luring me just like a pokemon. I hope to be able to visit as many countries as possible in addition to travel in Thailand as well. I’m really a schizophrenic when it comes to traveling. I can switch from being the most careless backpacker demanding nothing else than a roof over my head, or a real luxury animal craving rooftop drinks and high heels. Under you will find my top 3 dream destinations in 2016, but believe me, there are way more Asian countries I want to visit!

1. Bali

globaladventure.com(Photo: Globaladventure.com)

Can you find a more dreamy place? I’ve heard so many good things about this destination. The endless beaches and the exotic nature and culture is what really draws me to this place. Gili Islands is of course a part of this!

2. Singapore

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Western and Asian style in one lovely mix. Skyscrapers, infinity pools, and street food, getting the best of both worlds. I cannot wait to visit Singapore!

3. Myanmar

Myanmar-landscapes(Photo: ovationdmc.com)

Soaring over Myanmar in a hot air baloon during sunrise is a real dream of mine. Have you ever seen something that beautiful? I don’t know why Myanmar fascinate me that much, but it always have. I think it has to be because of the exotic nature and their special buildings. Definitely a country on my must visit list!

 

Playing with fire

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If you thought the beach was just for daytime tanning I guess you’r wrong. Evenings in Koh Samet always contains some food and some fire. You know, my mum always told me not to play with fire, but I guess I stamped on all rules big time tonite. Liar liar pants on fire! And hey, if you don’t know how to limbo under a burning stick; make someone do it with you! Good night lovelies <3

KOH SAMET

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Weekend trip to Koh Samet! This lovely little island is situated 3-4 hours away from Bangkok. It is really convenient to get there, which means there will be more weekends in Koh Samet to come. From Victory Monument in Bangkok you head for a minivan that takes you with a 3 hour drive to the port outside of Koh Samet. From here you need a floating device, where the cheapest alternative is a small «ferry» that takes you all the way in a 30-40 min trip. Compared to the speed boats that takes you to the other side in like 10 min it is a slow alternative, but also a very relaxing one. If you are like us, and have all the time in the world, the ferries are budget friendly and good alternatives. There are accommodations all over the island, and unless it is not a special holiday or something, finding a place when you arrive is okay (as long as you are not picky that is).

The island life is way more quiet and calm than the buzzing Bangkok big city life, and it was really relaxing to spend some time here. Koh Samet is a small Island, and really easy to get around; if not by bike, by foot is also okey. We just walked from beach to beach, stopping for some pineapple shakes in between. If you haven’t been there before; I’ll join you!

 

New Adventures

As of this writing moment I am seated at the airport with way to much luggage heading towards new adventures! I am finally on my way to Bangkok, a journey I have been waiting for since my day of application to the university. A semester of exchange awaits, and a semester of new experiences, knowledge and friendships. When starting to blog (which is not a long time ago!) I promised myself I will never write any posts where I complain about how busy I am, and how I have not been able to blog. I must lay down flat on the floor, as we say in Norway. Actually, I should lay under the floor, cuz here I am. All my blog friends, I now get you, and I will bow your way and not Mekka’s before going to bed. The last days have been spent with friends and family, days well spent in my opinion.

 

In addition to my blog, you can follow my journey on my Instagram @Idakjoh and Snapchat: Idajohlol. The lol in my snapchat name describes my silly other side. And don’t be afraid of my over use of emojis! I am not crazy just trying to be creative. Sayonara for now.

 

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A TIME LIKE A BLANK

Hi lovelies! Wanted to share my ultimate tip for you if going to Japan; Visit a ryokan! This is a traditional Japanese Inn designed the Japanese way with sliding doors, tatami floors and futon beds. The ryokans often provide public or private onsens (hot springs), yukatas (casual summer kimonos), and scenic areas.

We were lucky to stay one night at Beniya Mukayu in Kaga, which is one of the most relaxing and beautiful places I have ever visited. The whole ryokan is designed with elements from the nature and nearly empty decorated rooms filled with light to signify that a mind entirely free of everything exists in a place of nothing. When arriving we were given our yukatas and then welcomed with a private tea ceremony. The rest of the stay was spent with yoga, Japanese dinner delicacies, spa and best of all; our own private onsen.

Thank you Beniya Mukayu for an extraordinary experience.

 

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Japan

One of my top 3 destinations the last decade has been Japan, and this summer I was able to realize my dream with a 2,5 weeks travel throughout the country. I came home from my journey few weeks ago, but as I did not have a blog back then I will share some few experiences with you now. Japan is a country very different from Norway, and that is why it so exciting for me. The more different, the better. We actually spent 1,5 weeks in Tokyo, and 1 week traveling with train visiting Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, Kaga and Himeji. Traveling by train is really convenient in Japan, as you can get almost everywhere. Thanks to Shinkansen you can also go between the biggest cities in few hours, sometimes minutes, depending on where you are going. If going to Japan I really recommend you to buy a rail pass, which costs the same as a roundtrip Tokyo – Kyoto. This makes you able to travel as much as you like for a certain period. Remember to buy the pass before you leave, it is not possible to buy it in Japan!

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Osaka Castle with its beautiful details

My favorite cities in Japan were definitely Tokyo and Kyoto, and I wished we had stayed in Kyoto for some more days. If you have limited time when going to Japan I recommend you to visit these cites as they cover both the new and modern with Tokyo, and the historical and old in Kyoto. If you want to see a real Geisha or Maiko, Kyoto is where you should go. I was lucky to meet a girl dressed up in her Kimono, and wow these costumes are beautiful. You will find Japanese people dressed up in their Kimonos everywhere in Kyoto, but if you are really lucky wandering the streets late in the night you might catch a glimpse of a real Geisha.

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Pictures from Kyoto and the Fushimi Inari-taisha. Worth a visit!

As the city girl I am, Tokyo did not disappoint! Ginza, Sushi, Maid-cafe, second-hand treasure hunting, purikura, shopping, dining, manga, cat-cafe, Harajuku, tempura, karaoke… The list never stops, and with good reason; Tokyo has so much to offer. If you want it classy go to Ginza, are you searching for the quirky Shinjuku will do it for you, and if you like it crowded Shibuya is the place to be. I must admit that I did not get the real Tokyo feeling before I visited Akihabara which is the anime center of Tokyo. This is where you find everything in electrics and anime. Even though you are not an anime or electronic fan, Akihabara is a must visit! This is also where you will find the Maid cafés. If not for the food, it is worth it for the entertainment. As I mentioned we actually stayed in Tokyo for 1,5 weeks, and we always had a lot on our daily to-do plans. Thus, a little relaxing in Kaga at the Beniya Mukayu Ryokan was necessary and oh-so-relaxing. It is one of the most relaxing places I have ever been, and a real Japan experience. I am therefor going to dedicate a whole post for it, as it was really worth the trip up there!

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Shinjuku Tokyo

Anyone visited Japan? If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I feel like a real Japanese now 😉

MO I RANA

Yes you read right, I am in Mo I Rana right now. Norway’s hidden gem? Im not totally sure about that, but what I do know is that traveling in Norway is underestimated. However, it seems to me like a lot of Norwegians have opened their eyes to holidaying in their own country. I have been traveling a lot in the northern part of Norway, and what I love the most is the never-ending days. By that I mean the midnight sun. Yes it does make you a bit confused as you never want to go to bed, but it also gives you some extra energy to finish your unfinished business. Can you believe these pictures are taken late in the evening?

By the way, now you can follow me on bloglovin!

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