Travelblog: Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

I also joined my fifth and final cooking class with a Balinese lady leading it and a group of a British couple (the woman was taller! There is hope) and a funny Dutch lady (the former colonizers were everywhere). We made Ayam rendeng (chicken rendeng - more on rendeng later), krupuk (chips), tempe, a sweet and spicy dessert, and an eggplant (aubergine) salad washed down with Bintang (probably in the top 3 beers of Southeast Asia) beer. The hosts of my hostel were also kind (Indonesians are some of the nicest people in the world) enough to show us a warung (food place) with beef rendeng. Rendeng is cooking past curry where the sauce seeps into the food. It is one of the most delicious foods I ever had.

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Travelblog: Touristy Temples of Siem Reap, Kampuchea(Cambodia)

Food wise, this is the weakest country which is why Kampuchea may have been my least favorite country. Many dishes were similar to the neighboring countries, but without all of the spices. The only exception would be Amok - the national tasty fish dish. I will say that frog legs are tasty here even though the dish requires several tiny frogs. Eel stew is also great but beware the spicy peppers, I was crying and the Khmer lady kept filling up my beers and ice to help me. Angkor and Cambodia beer is decent overall. 

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Travelblog: Myanmar

Yangon is a whirlwind of senses because it is a SE Asian market extended to the whole city. No motorcycles, only cars that have both left and right facing steering wheels on right hand roads....Men rock larongs (getting one was hilarious with no English) and women wear dresses. The monks wear dark purple robes and are the nicest people ever. 

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Travelblog: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Anyways, on to the culture of Chiang Mai, there are some wonderful small temples to see here. One of my favorite Theravada Buddhist temples is here due to its hall symmetry. Doi Sothep on the high hill is also a marvel to look at if you can manage the stairs (there's a lift too). The old city is charming with great places to grab Thai Tea or Thai Iced Coffee.

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Travelblog: Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is controlled chaos. The traffic is heavy, there are tons of cars, and the people have a frenetic ebb and flow. At the same time, there are BTS skytrains and metros that bring in a semblance of order to move people around. There are also glorious temples like Wat Pho (pearl of inlay on the feet of a reclining Buddha - reclining Buddhas are one of the common position of Buddha in Theravada Buddhism). Another highlight  is Wat Phra Kaew which is the king's (insanely important to Thailand) palace and Emerald Buddha Temple. All of these I had a lot of fun with while dodging Chinese tourists and taking off my shoes everywhere.  In terms of culture, cooking classes and food tours on Tuk-tuks were other wondrous moments. As such, I now have an aversion for paying top dollar for Thai food since it was often a $1.50 for Pad Thai that was better than any in the US. Furthermore, my own cooking was better than most of the food I have had in the US.  This would also be my foray into Asian markets which I got so used to as it became the lifeblood of the regoin as people ate and bought ingredients in the markets.

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