By Daniella (Bella)
Hello dear ones;
WEll, I made it to the land of smiles....the flights
were long but i managed to meet some cool girls from
the way....I didn't get
out of the airport in
until in the morning totally delirious from lack
of adequate sleep and totally awake from the shear
anticipation of what's to come...
I took a taxi to my friend of a friend of a friend's
apartment,arrived at around in the morning down a
quiet dimly lit side street and because it was so late
wasn't surprised to not find anyone there...
So...jumped back into another taxi and headed for ko
an overabundance of stimuli
Picture a long street filled with young thai men and
women, young western tourists like me, tuk-tuks(3
wheeled motorized taxis) running up and down, food
vedors everywhere selling some strange looking
food,music blaring, Bright lights, restaurants,street
perfomers..and me.....my turtle shell on my back,
lonely planet book in hand, eyes wide open but craving
to close for the night, desperatley looking for a
place to crash as it's somewhere around 4am now.
Finally found a room with it's own bathroom, shower
and a fan. SLept ok as the intial shock of where I was
in the world had completely washed over me.
Now it's around in the morning on the 5th? And I'm
about to go hunt down some food-there are so many
little places everywhere its hard to know where to
Still feeling slightly overwhelmed and exhausted I
Ayuthaya either by river boat or train.
THe weather is sunny and warm and slightly humid- if
feels good. Despite my little handy phrase book the
language barrier thing is definitely putting a twist
Looking forward to more adventures, yummy food, and
heading south!....and of course getting my first THai
Many Blessings and love to you all-you are all in my
Have you ever typed a really good e-mail and then just
when you are about to send it your computer messes up
and you loose it? I'm trying to breathe...
So, am I really motivated to do this AGAIN?
It will have to be the shortened version because it's
beautiful outside and I want to go play!
Feeling alot more acclamated and I feel myself opening
up more and more to my new surroundings as the moments
Spent all day in
riverboat, eating at wonderful Thai food places and
paying under a dollar each meal, window shopping,
two women from
later in the south, and getting an hour Thai massage
for 3 dollars!
I bartered for a sarong with a THai woman as nothing
is priced and everything is bartered for. As I
approached her stand she said "Hello, whish one you
lie?" I smiled warmly and held up the one I was
interested in and she said "180baht, how much you pay,
tell me" and I said "100baht" and she said "Ok, 140
baht" I laughed and she laughed and in that moment I
felt we shared some humor on the reality of what we
both were trying to do. I got the sarong for 100baht.
I am getting plenty of time alone and just the right
amount of time traveling with other people. One thing
I find interesting is how I have not met any Thai
person who speaks fluent English. They either don't
speak it at all or if they do it is broken English. I
am trying to learn and speak as much Thai as I can.
It's so different-French doesn't help at all.
Took a train last night to Ayuthaya where i was seated
with a 40 something thai man who said he loved me and
wanted to be my tour guide(he was harmless)a 27year
old thai girl and a 39 year old thai woman who spoke
some English. She worked in a jewelry store and wanted
to know the English translations of every kind of
jewelry that existed so i ended up giving a little
English lesson and learned some Thai along the way.
She was very sweet and very motivated.
When I arrived in Ayuthaya I met a couple from
my first day here will tour the city on bicycle and
check out all the temples and ruins.
Tomorrow I will head back to
overnight train to the South!
Dad-I feel your proud spirit as I travel alone
Joseph-please save these e-mails so i can read them
again someday-thanks love
Mom-no need to worry- I'm doing great!
Jena-wish you could see this
Kyer-how do I figure the time difference from here to
Isaac/jessica-I think of you two so much
To all-Much love...
Hello all you lovlies...
It was so great to hear from some of you....
Mom-thanks for your kind words-i'm honored to have
Ellise-thanks for your sweet wishes..i hope your dance
performance was spectacular! Well, of course it was!
Gina-Have a great time in India-wish I could come over
and play with you-joseph is coming on the 20th-cant
Well, I finally and I mean FINALLY made it to the
am safely on the
back trak alittle, Ayuttaya was so amazing. Sweet city
completely encircled by a river making it somewhat of
and referred to as an island. The locals were so kind
and friendly and honestly although I am enjoying
highlights of my journeys are interacting and
connecting with the Thai people. I spent some more
time with a great couple
them) and took a solo bike tour around Ayuttaya
exploring the ancient temple ruins and wats. Took a
picture of a very famous buddha head encircled by a
banyon tree to the point where only his face was
showing-so beautiful and so magical.
Found a wonderful vegetarian Thai restaurant with
excellent food and such fun and friendly thai guys.
oh, by the way, I am loving the food-settling well and
I've been more or less good about food combining
well(joseph it's easy to do here)and you can avoid
mass intake of sugar despite the amount the Thais use
in their cooking. I had the most amazing fresh mango
smoothie for breakfast yesturday! Rocked my body
So headed back to
along the way who treated me to lunch. He was a nice
man and it was a nice gesture but after a while I had
to say goodbye because he was getting alittle too
clingy and I wanted my independance back.
So, long story short I missed my train down south and
had to stay another night
too happy about but made the best of it nonetheless.
Spent the next day shopping alittle and hanging out in
this huge beautiful temple mesmerized by the chanting
of the monks inside.
from the city when it starts to get to you-the sweet
smells of incense,the energy there brings you back
into your center in a heartbeat and you find yourself
The train ride was pretty fun- got a sleeping bunk
since it's a 12 hour trip and didn't want to waist a
day of traveling so took the night train. I met an
American guy with a Swedish girlfriend-interesting
couple, an Australian woman whom I'm now traveling
hanging out with from time to time, and another couple
a bus which took me to the
Thani about 35 minutes or so away, then got rushed
onto a boat that took me to Koh Phagan 4 hrs.
later...needless to say when I got there I was
exhausted and starving but it didn't end there...took
a tuk-tuk taxi to Had Rin where the Full moon Party is
and walked around sweating profusely and searching for
the bungalow at which I would live for the next couple
When I found it, it was so worth all the crazy
traveling....cute little hut up on a hill looking over
a beautiful view of the ocean right below me. This
so gorgeous-right up there with
It's owned by a really sweet THai woman and her son.
It's far enough away from downtown Had Rin to be
peaceful but close enough if I want to go and
socialize and be where the party's at...
With the exception of the folks I met on the train, my
experience with meeting other travelers especially
Australians has not been good. As soon as I open my
mouth and they discover that I am American I feel
It is very disheartening...I can't say I am proud of
my country right now and I'm beginning to fear being
asked "where are you from" because it just stops
there. It's a very interesting time to be traveling as
an American. Had Rin is full of young people who are
here to rage-tonight is half moon party night and the
rest of the week every night will be building up to
the grand event. I will probably lay low until the
full moon-especially tonight since I just arrive today
and am so tired. I got myself my 3rd Thai massage so
far on this trip today and It was the best so
far...tomorrow I will take a yoga class at a local gym
and check out the Sanctuary spa.
So making friends here has become difficult for me
which is kinda a new experience especially since I am
not considered worth talking to because of what
country I am from. I can understand their anger and
hatred it's just unfortunate that they can't see
So even though I have one Australian companion friend
here-we travel and live very differently so I'm not so
drawn to hang out with her too much. I'm preferring
solitude right now.
Joseph, I ran into Rasa(totally recognized her),
another girl who i can't remember her name, and
Ananda, one of the guys that had that discount import
store where you bought Jai's shirt. They'll be coming
soon and hope to run into them. I hung out with Ananda
my last night in Bangkok-it was fun.
Well, there's much more but i will stop here- my solo
time has been trying to interact with the locals as
much as I can. I enjoy them so much and have so much
to teach us.....
My love to you all....
Hello all my dear ones;
My days on the island have been quite interesting. I
am currently coming out of an internal and very heavy
hearted space. It has been difficult to find friends
as this island is infested with more and more partiers
as the time grows closer to the Full Moon Party. It is
a big drinking vibe full of unconscious people who
beat their bodies to death every night and don't know
when to quit. And as many of you know, since I am not
the drinking type(except an occasional glass of wine
is just lovely...)this makes for a very solo
experience. I was feeling very lonely for a few days
and on the verge of tears for some time but now as I
am feeling more at home here I'm feeling more like
I have found a beautiful place to practice Hatha
massage, tai chi, yoga, meditation and it's on the top
of a hill in a bamboo and straw hut with wooden floors
overlooking the ocean! That's what I get to stare into
while doing yoga! So amazing. My teacher is this small
but powerful Thai woman named Naa. She's very good and
her personality cracks me up. I've been doing two
solid hours a day and it feels great. The weather here
is HOT..you sweat all the time...actually it's like
being in a Bikram studio every minute. I'm getting
used to it and then there's my frizz ball hair....
The bungalow hut I sleep in is a 20minute walk from
the main town where all the bars, restaurants and
clubs are. The bungalows around me are full of men so
I'm getting more than enough my share of
and craving some female companionship.
I have yoga at every morning so going out late
isn't really an option but that's ok because my soul
purpose on traveling alone before Joseph, Jessica and
Isaac come out has been to relax, do yoga and spend
some quality time with myself and the Thai people.
I've met a lot of Isralis,Canadians and English
people(no americans!) and in fact I've been talking to
so many English people that i've started to pick up on
their accent. It's funny to hear myself talk but I
kinda like it. I've met a sweet girl in my yoga class
who is here with her boyfriend and hopefully will be
having dinner with them tomorrow night or soon
The food, good god the food, is so damn good! I have a
fresh mango shake every morning with a fruit salad
mixed with yogurt and museli. This is my fav!
The curry dishes are amazing but I don't eat them
everyday since that' where the sugar is hiding....lots
of rice and noodle dishes makes my belly and my taste
buds sing with pleasure! The thais don't use
chopsticks to eat with. You see them here occasionally
but that's only due to the Chinese influence.
Everything is served with a fork and spoon. You use
the fork to push your food into the spoon and them put
the spoon in your mouth. To the Thai people, putting a
fork in your mouth is as ridiculous as it would be for
a westerner to eat with a knife. If you ask for
chopsticks they will look at you funny unless you have
ordered a noodle dish,then you'll probably get served
I met with my Naa today to talk to her boyfriend about
doing private lessons with him. He is a German man(I
think he's safe joseph)who has studied Hatha Yoga for
15 years and teaches on the island along with Chi gong
and meditation. I have my first session with him
tomorrow morning and at that point I will decide
whether or not to continue with him based on
techniques and whether or not I resonate with how he
teaches. He is asking for whatever I can afford which
is so kind of him.
The crickets here are soooooo LOUD they sound like
they should be about the size of my foot at least.
Well, there's lots more but i'll save it for next
Samantha and Debra-Thanks so much for your loving and
supportive words..they brought me to tears.
Jena-glad you are enjoying my e-mails so much.. i'll
keep em' coming!
Kyer-thanks for the pic of Joseph but i couldn't open
it for some unknown reason..i so appreciate the
gesture though. Big hug to you!
Phet-I miss you and can't wait to see you in Chiang
Mai! it will be like a dream!
Joseph-I miss you! i miss you! I miss you!
mom and Nana and Papa-i love you so much
To all-my love and many blessings
p.s-i just remembered something so funny-I met 3
friends of an Israli guy i've been friendly with and
one of their names is Yoni. For those of you who don't
know, that's a sanskrit word for vagina. I was trying
so hard not to burst out laughing....he he he.
Chiang Mai and Pai
Hello dearest ones;
close(for the moment he he he)and the four of us(me,
Joseph, Jessica and Isaac) made our way up north to
Jessica and Isaac were busy taking care of their
import/export buisness stuff while J and I rented
bicycles one day and toured the "old city" surrounded
by a brick wall and a mote checking out all the
temples and food! I love seeing the monks everywhere.
They are so beautiful and humble and sweet. They wear
bright orange robes wrapped around their bodies so
they are very easy to notice. Every morning they walk
the streets carrying big metal bowls in hopes of
receiving food from local Thai families(which they
always do)and eat from that for the day. They
typically don't eat dinner. But there is just
something about seeing them that warms my heart and
makes me smile. They are so peaceful...
Another day Joseph and I rented a motorbike(we love
doing this!) and got out of the hub bub of Chiang Mai
and headed up the mountain to see a very well known
and most stunning temple called Wat Doi Suthep. The
ride was great. We passed a beautiful waterfall along
the way and could smell the sweetest smells in the
crisp fresh air as we rode up the mountain.
There were 300 steps leading up
atop a peak overlooking all
Along the sides of the steps were elaborately
decorated with two huge long dragon carvings with
maybe 6 or more smaller dragons coming out of the
larger dragons mouth. These dragons are called "naga"
and are the protectors of
itself was amazing. Gold covered Chedis and colored
mirrors and Budda statues everywhere...lotus flowers
and incense for offerings. Big gongs and bells to
chime with and bright and I mean bright fuscia colored
flower trees and sweet smells of jasmine in the air.
We took loads of pictures which we will be happy to
share with you soon!
We finally met up with Phet, our beloved Thai goddess,
and had dinner at a local and very good Indian
restaurant and toured the Night Bazaar. I've done more
shopping here than I've done all together in the past
year! Ok, maybe not but it sure feels like it.
This morning we got up early and jumped on a rickety
old bus with tons of people crammed onto it and headed
out and up to the small but very quaint and intimate
here-Brent,Samantha and Allen from the
house and had dinner together tonight and desert at a
local Jazz cafe that had the most decadent homemade
deserts and live guitar music by a local Thai man who
had a very unique style.
That reminds me...what impresses and inspires me so
much about the Thais is because they don't have crazy
jobs and things to rush off to all the time like we do
in the West, they take a lot more time to put their
energy into their art and it shows....mind blowing
paintings and wood carvings you wouldn't believe and
jewlery carvings, batiks, clothing, lights the list
goes on and on....such unique creativity. And
many smiles. "The
Tomorrow I will be doing yoga in the morning with
Brent and getting Thai massage and breakfast and
shopping some and touring around on motorbike, eating
some more, exploring
I'm bringing back lots of stuff to sell to anyone who
is interested...Thai pants, sarongs, cowry shell
belts,anklets, bracelets, hand bags,
purses,jewlery...any requests? let me know!
Joseph and I will be looking for a sweet bungalow home
tomorrow as well.....We are seriously looking into
creating a healing center here and living here for at
the year and
It's looking very possible and I'm so excited!
I will try to return to
depends on where I will be doing my Yoga Teacher
Training-either here or there...to be seen....very
exciting! I love being alive!
Much love to you all and big Thai smiles and lots of
June-so glad you got my e-mail! i've been sending them
to you but they kept getting returned-maybe you needed
to empty your mailbox or something? Thanks for your
light girl-I totally felt you! Wow, lots of changes
for you but you sound great! Keep me posted on the
Howie tip. Hope your health is on the upswing.
Patience dear one-YOU WILL HEAL.Much love to you babe.
Tamar-Please forward this to all our goddesses in our
womans group. I didn't have time to put their e-mails
in my address book before I left and want them to know
I think of them so much during the peak phases of the
moon and send them lots of love.....maybe if you have
their addresses you could give them to me? love you..
Tears of unrest and appreciation...
Tides of doubt, uncertainty, happiness, joy, unrest,
gratefullness, and sorrow ripping through my being as
I travel and experience these times of now and then
and there all wrapped so tightly into ONE...stopping
to Re-MInd mySELF that I am alive that I am blessed
that I have the POWER TO CHANGE my reality at any
given moment....moments so precious...LIFE so full...
full of polarity's intensity and God's given grace...
I pray for this planet....
I pray for all my brothers and sisters of this
May we all find love and peace in our hearts....and
live from that place always with the greatest of
More days of Thai inspiration...
Dear friends and family,
Where do I begin?.....let's see...where did I leave
off from the last e-mail...Pai...yes..yes...
Joseph and I found a sweet place to lay our travel
worn bodies in Pai with a back deck overlooking
rolling hills and a beautiful river where we could
watch sunrises and an occasional Thai man drifting by
on his hand-built bamboo raft. It also had a somewhat
soft bed! yeh!..these are very hard to come by in
We spent some more time shopping in Pai, eating at
amazing little restaurants spending evenings with
Samantha, Allen and Brent at a cozy little jazz cafe
where a local Thai man played guitar and served up the
most decadent desert I have ever eaten! Banoffe pie!
Thanks Brent for introducing me to such divine
One day, the five of us went out on an adventure about
an hour out of town by motorbike up to the countryside
to where the hill tribes are and amazing mind blowing
caves. The drive there was definitely a highlight.
Beautiful countryside and farmland wizzing by, my arms
wrapped around my love, the sweet smells of flower
tainted air, the wind combing through my locks of
hair,and an immense sense of freedom in my heart.
We finally made it to the Cave Lodge where alot of
treks are arranged and where we had lunch and then
headed out to Cave Lod.
There were three different caves to explore one of
which we had to take a bamboo raft through....so
The caves themselves were huge, full of a silence that
told so much history it was overwhelming. The
stalagtites that hung from the ceiling and sometimes
all the way down to the cave floor to make union with
a stalagmite where beautiful...sometimes white as if
it was covered in glue, sometimes glittery as if
someone just dumped their entire burning man supply on
them...sometimes just downright alien looking.
We had 3 guides total. The first one was a Thai woman
who only really knew a few words in English and her
young son. She showed us all the stalagtite
sculptures that resembled monkeys, dolphins,
elephants...you name it. She was really sweet.
The next part of our exploration was led by a Thai man
who didnt' speak any English and instead made a lot of
animal like noises as he led us around. He was quite
amuzing and got all of us in on his way of
We were finally led back to the cave lodge by the
young son who mind you was so adorable....the children
here are the cutest little beings you have ever seen.
I enjoyed them so much.
Headed back to Pai on our motorbikes to end our very
full and eventful day.....oh did I mention the drive?
Cant emphasize that enough!
Now back in Pai to eat some more shop some more and
wait for the arrival of Jessica and Isaac as they
stayed behind in chaing Mai to finish up more bizness
More adventures await! Hill tribes experience to come!
much love to all and a heart felt prayer for peace on
our beloved planet...
Hill Tribe Adventures...
Greetings beautiful ones...
quick note:we are actually back from
back on the 18th...sorry for the confusion but I did
not get a chance to finish logging my journeys as I
was having too much of a fabulous time! So I am
recapping them all now from home so as not to forget
them and still sharing my experiences with all of you.
Hope you enjoy...
So last day in Pai- Joseph and I took a day long Thai
cooking course which totally rocked both our worlds.
We were taken to an open air market to start where we
learned how to identify all the different ingredients
and vegetables with which were typically used in Thai
Cuisine. Then back to the outdoor kitchen with Tom our
fiesty Thai leader where we learned how to make our
own curry paste(red,green, masaman, tumeric), tom yam
soup, coconut soup, and curries and stir frys. Then we
got to eat it all! We invited Jessica and Isaac to
come share in our creations and had a feast. The next
night we went back to practice what we had learned and
eat again! It was scrumptious!
The next day we head out on motorbike back out to the
caves and the hilltribes where Jessica and Isaac had
decided to go a day before us.
We motorbiked along that same spectacular beautiful
drive once again-(could do it a million times and it
would still amaze me like it was the first time.)The
four of us stayed at the Cave Lodge the first night
then headed out on our own trek through the
jungle,crossing the river at least(or it seemed) 25
times and yes! those cool river currents felt so good
on my feet as the day was very hot. We headed into a
Karen hill tribe village and on the way in came across
a small parade of elephants coming around the corner.
My mouth dropped open to see such amazing and huge
creatures slowly yet very steadily heading towards me
with thai men sitting comfortably on their heads. The
four of us where in awe and decided to go for a ride
with the condition that we could ride on them without
a seat/chair thingy they usually strap on to the
elephants back. We kinda got both. Both Jessica and
Isaac were on one and J and I on another. Jessica and
I sitting on the neck of the elephant right in front
of a huge pair of ears that flapped back hitting me in
the thighs every 30 or so seconds while Joseph and
Isaac started out on the chair harnesses. Feeling the
movement of this huge beast walking under me was such
a cool feeling and most interesting was how J's and my
elephant had insisted on throwing it's snot on us from
time to time as we rode. Very amusing at first and
alittle wet by the end....he he. Overall, it left me
with mixed feelings as the elephants had huge chains
around their necks and we definitely not free to roam
as they should do....but I am still grateful to have
had that experience nonetheless...
The village children came out to watch and their
curiosity and cute little faces made me smile.
After the ride we went over to where the village
people sell their weavings as this is what the Karen
tribe specializes in. All the women came out talking
all at once in Thai pointing to all their creations
hoping we would buy...and of course I did. I felt good
about supporting them and everything is hand made and
beautifully done. I saw a very old woman sitting on
the ground in process of weaving something of her own.
When she stood up she walked still very much bent over
in very much the same position that she was sitting
down and I thought that maybe this weaving was
something she has done all her life for hours of every
day to have posture like that.
Being in these villages was a very eye opening
experience for me. Living such simple lives in such
poverty yet so friendly and happy and giving. Lots to
be said there without any words at all...
The next day ,we drove out to Ban Nam Rim where we
stayed at a place where Jessica and Isaac had stayed
last year when they were here. It is called the Lisu
Lodge as it is right next door to a Lisu village and
run by a Lisu woman named Ami and a German man named
Rudi. They were very generous and sweet people. Got
ourselves a little thatched roofed bungalow for sleep,
ate breakfast and decided to spend the day hiking
around the jungle with jessica while Joseph and Isaac
went on their own adventures through more magnificent
Jessica and I had a very interesting hike to say the
least....(jessica, I know your laughing right
now.)Long story short....we hiked out with one of
Rudi's dogs heading out to a Karen village, ended up
there with another scardy-cat pup, walking around the
village going door to door checking out the hand woven
blankets, bags and sarongs the village people had
made. Beautiful color fabrics, sweet smiling people,
lots of sign language and giggles...this is where i
really wanted my travels to take me...into the heart
of the hill tribe people....and little did I know,
this was only the beginning.
That night when the four of us reconvened for dinner
we were graciously treated by ami and Rudi with a
tradiional Lisu dinner and then around or so
headed out to the Lisu village school yard to do a
fire performance for the village people. Rudi had told
all the village the day before that we were performing
so as we walked down to the school yard with all our
gear...I turned around to look behind me and saw the
whole village coming out of their homes and following
right behind us. In that moment I felt such an
overwhelming feeling of excitement, honor, disbelief,
There must have been at least a hundred people circle
around us to watch including all the children. We
danced...not to music that we are used to but the
music of the murmuring of the village language(which
wasn't Thai either)and the occasionsal English
comments of "beautiful" and "thank-you". What a
pleasure to have the opportunity to share our light
with these wonderful Lisu village people. They were so
present and held such wonderful space for us.
After our performance we were invited to partake in
the tail end of their week long celebration of their
new year. We were taken to an old barn like building
where there were older men sitting in circle and
singing songs that were taught or passed down from the
eldest man. They sang about their daily lives..what
they do from day to day. Of course we did not
understand exactly what they were saying but just
hearing the sounds of this melody and their voices was
so beautiful. We sat with a villager who spoke some
English so he filled us in as to what was going on.
He shared his light with us, his food(freshly cooked
pork that we had just seen chopped up whole minutes
before), cigarettes of really strong tabacco and
homemade whisky....it was such a pleasure to partake
in their ritual. I couldn't believe I was there in
certain moments but mostly so grateful for this was
the kind of experience I was longing to have....to get
deep down in the backcountry culture of this country
and we surely did....
Many thanks to you Jessica and Isaac for opening and
sharing this wonderful experience together...
Much love to you all and see you soon!
Love and light,