Temples, Pagodas and a Cooking Class in Thailand

We woke early in Ayutthaya to visit 700 year old ruins of palaces and temples.  We walked around mainly brick and stucco structures and even saw a Buddha head entwined in some roots. One of the pagodas was hollow and had quite a few bats living in who did not seem too pleased that we had visited as well.

Ayutthaya Thailand


Ayutthaya Thailand


Ayutthaya Thailand


Ayatthaya Thailand

Bats Ayutthaya Thailand


We drove from Ayutthaya to the Bangkok airport and took a one hour flight north to Chiang Mai.  This large city has a population of about 1.5 million people.  Our hotel was centrally located. Upon arrival we had a chance to shower and then all met for dinner.  We walked to a nearby Thai restaurant and then had fun shopping in the night market.  We bargained for scarves, t-shirts and elephant pants.  Some stayed shopping and some of us went home.  Then one of us found a massage parlor near the hotel.  One hour for 250 baht ($9) – I’ll meet you back at the hotel!

Kao Kab Kang Chiang Mai

Night market Chiang Mai

Night market Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

The next morning we all woke up and took a taxi (cute mini mini van with 2 benches) to a local food market.  There we met the chef for our cooking class named Kong.  He took us shopping for the foods we would need for our class.  He also explained a bit about the different foods.

Thailand Cooking Class

Chiang Mai market cooking class

Chiang Mai market

Chiang mai market shopping for cooking class

Then we took another taxi to the cooking school.  We learned how to make spring rolls, cashew chicken curry, chicken stir fry and banana cake.  Kong was a great teacher and we all enjoyed eating everything that we cooked.

Chiang mai cooking class

imageimageRunaway widow Chiang mai cooking class

We learned about some of the different foods. I had never heard of Dorian but we tried some. It is a fruit with a creamy texture like avocado yet it is sweet and a bit grainy.  It smells bad and is dangerous if eaten with alcohol due to the gas. In fact our hotel won’t allow you to bring it in. Tried it but probably never will again.

One of the travelers in our group successfully caught a rare Pokemon on our dining table so I am sure my blog has just gotten way cooler!

After cooking school, we walked over to visit the 14th century Wat Chedi Luang Buddhist temple.  We took pictures and met some monks at the temple.  We had time for a rest or swim back at the hotel, I chose a swim, then left to visit the golden Buddhist temple up on the mountain.  The ride up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was quite curvy and we all felt a bit ill by the time we reached the steps.  There are 300 steps or a tram that takes you to the temple.  The views from the top were spectacular.  We could see planes taking off below and all posed for amazing photos.

Runaway widow Thailand travel

Runaway widow

At 6:00 pm the monks knelt and chanted.  Some visitors joined in as well. It is a very spiritual feeling to be surrounded by such dedicated faith.

I found a local restaurant after a bit of supper to reflect on my trip so far and write my blog.  I am enjoying writing and traveling and spend little time thinking about the loss of my husband and being a widow.  For me this is the best therapy and I could travel all the time.

We started a whatsapp group with our travel buddies to share photos and videos so it took longer to download it all to my iPad.  Thanks for reading my blog and sharing in my adventures!


At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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5 Responses

  1. Jayne says:

    Can’t wait for you to cook for us!

  2. Leslie says:

    Hi Kristen! I am so glad you decided to post a blog!! I love following your travels! I think you definitely have the travel bug now! Your groups sounds like fun and I am so jealous of those Thai massages!! I hope our writing class helped you in some small way. I am looking forward to seeing you. XO Leslie

  1. January 25, 2018

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