Thailand

Ban Bat: Bangkok’s Monk Bowl Village

Amorn Kuldinksamphan, a welder in Monk Bowl village

All over Southeast Asia, the morning alms ceremony is a wonderful sight (if you can get up at sunrise). Each morning, Buddhist monks walk around their neighborhoods to receive food offerings from members of the community. The monks carry metal bowls called ‘bat’ to receive their food donations. The bowls, which for centuries were made by hand, are almost all now produced in factories. And many of the communities that used to make these bowls have vanished…except for Bangkok’s Ban Bat, the Monk Bowl Village. Bangkok’s Ban Bat is the…

Washing elephants: a how-to guide

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In her last post, Amber mentioned the opportunity we had at the Elephant Nature Sanctuary to help bathe the elephants as the played in the river. You may be asking yourself: how exactly does someone wash an elephant?  Well, I can show you.  Or at least, I can show you how NOT to wash an elephant: Whoops!  Just missed her. So, do you want to see how it’s done?  See how a real professional bucket-wielder helps clean a pachyderm?  See how the water is just breaking over the back of…

Baby Elephants

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As I sit here in our apartment near the Italian Alps, I am still so excited about our experience at the Elephant Nature Park. At the end of my last post about it, I promised you baby elephants. And I will deliver. But first, for the curious, a brief summary of our stay. We chose the “Elephant Helper Overnight,” which was around $400 for the two of us. It was a large financial splurge, but the experience was totally worth it and the money was going to a good cause.…

Elephants of Thailiand

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In Thailand, there are elephants everywhere, from temples to pants to the King’s palace to incense holders. They are revered as a holy animal and an important part of the culture. Many tourists who visit Thailand put seeing the elephants at the top of their “to do” list. To celebrate our anniversary, we decided to splurge on an overnight stay at the Elephant Nature Park just outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. This definitely ranks among the top trip experiences thus far. It also resulted in Jeremy taking over 1,500 pictures in…

A Tale of Two Cooking Classes: Thailand

Thai Farm Cooking School

We really enjoyed our first cooking class in Indonesia and we decided to give it a go again twice in Thailand. Our first class was in Bangkok with my sister and her boyfriend, who came to visit us on our trip. We went to Silom Thai Cooking School (STCS). In Chiang Mai later on, Jeremy and I ventured to Thai Farm Cooking (TFC). I’ll put them head to head in a cooking school death match below. Both classes offered a market tour, cooking assistants who do most of the chopping…