Michael and I are just back from two and a half weeks in Asia! It was my first time to this part of the world and I thoroughly enjoyed every chance to meet people, experience their culture, and taste the food! I have lots to share.
Here's a rainy photo of Singapore from the cable car ride we took the first Saturday. Singapore is a tiny island-city just south of Thailand and Malaysia. It was originally colonized by the British but gained its independence after World War II. The city is a mix of east and west cultures owing to it being settled mainly by Chinese but colonized by Britain.
I can't wait to show you all the wonderful flowers we saw at the Gardens by the Bay! Their current flower show is "blue flowers" and we spent a delightful morning admiring and photographing all the displays.
You can't go to Singapore without hearing about and tasting the infamous durian fruit. Durian's aroma is so distinctive it is banned in most hotels and buses. Trying exotic fruits became one theme of our trip.
We headed to Malaysia our first week, joining the congregation from Pilgrim Covenant Church in Singapore for their annual Family Camp. The camp was held at a lovely resort. I felt like I'd returned to Africa! I couldn't get enough of the tropical plants and lovely views.
Our trip was most certainly about getting to know the members of the PCC congregation. The young people were particularly friendly and eager to talk. It was lovely to see a group of teens enjoying one another's company.
It was Michael's job to present six talks/sermons at the Family Camp. That meant he did all the hard work and I got to reap the benefits.
After the Family Camp we returned to Singapore for the weekend where we were invited to attend a wedding. It was a memorable day and I look forward to telling you all about it!
Experiencing Asian food was something I looked forward to and thoroughly enjoyed. This plate here was the first of 9 courses served at the wedding -- the plate included cuttlefish, jellyfish, lobster, seafood mango salad, and roasted pork.
It was very exciting to go off on a trip just the two of us! It's hard to believe our kids are old enough to handle a long separation! And we are thankful for the many, many people who made this possible by their willingness to help watch our kids!
After the second weekend Michael and I headed up to Chiang Mai, Thailand to enjoy a few days of vacation. Our hotel turned out to be just the perfect place to relax!
Chiang Mai is filled with historic temple after historic temple. We spent our days wandering the streets and photographing all the beauty.
Observing another religion provided plenty of food for thought. It almost felt like stepping back in time to see the massive buddha structures inside ornate temples.
Thai food was amazing! In her new book At Home in the World, Tsh Oxenreider mentioned a restaurant they loved in Chiang Mai. Having read the book on the plane ride over it was too fun to go and find it for ourselves! (I highly recommend the book. Such good armchair travel. It also cured me of ever wanting to travel the world at length with a bunch of kids in tow!)
Chiang Mai overflowed with artistic beauty. It was everywhere we looked. I couldn't get enough pictures of the patterns, the colors, the gold, the inspiration!
The city was a photographer's dream!
One evening I took a Thai cooking class! It's a very popular thing to do among travelers there. We made five dishes and then ate our creations. Can't wait to show you more!
One afternoon we took a boat ride and along the way learned about many of the different fruit trees and vegetables Thailand grows.
And of course we went shopping in the vast markets that contained everything from tailor-made garments to dried fish, piles of fresh orchids to knock-off Cath Kidston.
Our week in Thailand eventually came to an end and we headed back for one last weekend in Singapore. Friends took us to Chinatown for a Dim Sum feast and then proper Chinese tea at a teahouse (so very exciting!!).
Who could have guessed that there would be a Downton Abbey exhibit just opening in Singapore while we were there. Somehow it seemed just the thing to go to in a fitting east-meets-west sort of way.
Yes, it was a wonderful trip in so many ways!
And the kids survived!
Jetlag is a nice excuse to try to take life slowly for a little while and reacclimate to life in a busy household, and sip the memories of far-off Asia slowly like a perfect cup of White Peony Tea.
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