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Wow — what a week! This was the first time I pulled my passport out since arriving in Thailand in late September, and only the third time I’ve left the comfy shores of Koh Tao in the same time period. And while I’ve been endlessly content to sit still lately, this trip was a blissful reminder of how good it feels to move. We kicked things off with two days in Bangkok, spent primarily exploring the city’s so called Green Lung, the island of Bang Krachao — though we did escape to downtown one evening to eat tacos and watch Star Wars (a true expat vacation). Next, we hopped a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, one of my favorite destinations in all of Southeast Asia. Here, we settled in at the lush , where we spent four days enjoying the resorts’ wellness offerings and serene vibes and exploring the temples of Angkor.

It was a true vacation. We didn’t stress about bus schedules or scouring booking sites or doing and seeing it all. We put in lots of leg work planning the trip ahead of time, and simply enjoyed watching it come to life upon arrival. I can’t wait to share every detail — from biking through the island Bangkok forgot to practicing yoga and trying acupuncture in the gardens of Navutu — in future posts. For now, a little preview.

Because this post is going up a little late (I’ve had it written for more than 48 hours, but didn’t have a reliable internet connection with which to upload it — ah, Southeast Asia) I’m packing it with extra punches of visual goodness. Enjoy this special extended edition of Photo of the Week, and I hope that no matter where you are or what you’re celebrating (or even what you’re struggling with, since this can be a tough time of the year for many) you’ve found a way to capture a bit of the magic of this season.

Photo A

Bangkok Tree House
A brief stay at Bangkok Tree House

Photo B

Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise over Angkor Wat

Photo C

Navutu Dreams Resort
Our Siem Reap Sanctuary, Navutu Dreams

Photo D

Temples of Angkor
The twisted trees of Ta Prohm and the bold faces of Bayon

Photo E

Wellness Meals at Navutu Dreams
Breakfast of champions at Navutu

Photo F

Monks at Bayon
Saffron, the hue of Southeast Asia

Photo G

Navutu Dreams Cambodia
Goodbye, jungle paradise

Which photo is your favorite?

Housekeeping Note: I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas and I’m still blogging about my summer travels! There’s just so much to cover — no wonder I got so burned out on travel that I needed to take this time to catch my breath — and catch up on posts. You guys know I love sharing my travels chronologically whenever possible. However, I’m getting antsy to start sharing these Southeast Asia adventures with you along with the ones I’m currently blogging about — my summer Caribbean trip and soon to come, my American West one. What do you guys think? Do you mind if I start shaking things up by sharing a bit of both? As always, I’m open to your thoughts and feedback!

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72 Comments...
  • Gemma
    December 22 2015

    Photo G – it’s like some kind of tropical Narnia! Have a magical Christmas Meihoukai and go with what you feel like regarding the blog post themes!
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Gemma! Christmas was beautiful <3

  • Laryssa
    December 22 2015

    D! How could I go to Southeast Asia and NOT do Angkor Wat? Sigh…

    Regarding posts- switch it up! I personally can’t wait to hear about your SEA adventures. 😉
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      I think I will start mixing it up a bit. My roundups hopefully will make it clear for anyone who wants to see how all the pieces came together chronologically… 🙂

  • KMunoz
    December 22 2015

    I personally would love to see you mix them up. I love your blogging, but it’s a little weird to be reading about the US summer six months later.. I find myself skipping those posts a lot more. I’m definitely ready to hear about what you’re doing *now*!

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Aw, that’s a bummer to hear. And hey, it’s only four months 😉 But no, I understand. I usually try to keep it to 2-3 months behind “real time” but this summer was so chock full of awesome and gave me SO MUCH to cover that the only solutions were to (A) skip writing about some of it, which would make me sad (B) gloss over things and write shorter and less comprehensive posts, which I think I’m incapable of ha ha or (C) just do my thing and catch up when I catch up. None of them are perfect, tough call :/

  • Kacy
    December 22 2015

    Photo B. Stunning, gorgeous, can’t even deal. It looks like you’ve had a fabulous trip! And please share anything you’re feeling, I just love seeing your photos and hearing the stories.
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Kacy! I appreciate that 🙂

  • Paul
    December 22 2015

    B! It’s the one place I haven’t been in SE Asia – dying to go to Angkor Wat – hopefully this year. As for posts, I am always drawn to more recent posts, especially focused on SE Asia, but anything you post is great.
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Paul! There will be plenty of Southeast Asia coming up 🙂 I love this part of the world so much!

  • Joella
    December 22 2015

    B is beautiful! Personally I can’t wait to read about and see photos from SE Asia but that’s because I wish I was there! You should share whatever posts/stories you feel like.
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Joella! I have some California coming up too that I think you might be excited about 🙂

  • Jason Ernst
    December 23 2015

    I’m going with A, definitely inspired to splurge there for a special occasion. Great sunrise-over-Angkor-Wat shot, and E made me Homesick for SE Asia. It hasn’t even gotten cold yet, and I’m tired of Clementine Cuties.

    And I can understand your desire to share your travels chronigically. But I also say mix them up. Most of the content on your post is evergreen, and I bet switching gears after you write about one place for a while and then revisiting hour notes to write more could prove inspiring. Just keep publishing your holiday posts on relevant dates!

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Jason! Sounds like you guys are okay with some mixing around. That’s great — it will give me some freedom to go with what inspires me on a certain week.

  • Karlijn Travels
    December 23 2015

    Very hard to choose, but I think D is my favorite. Beautiful set of pictures! About your posts: just write about anything you feel like! I can imagine you’re really inspired by your most recent trip, and I can’t wait to read about your Southeast Asian adventures 🙂
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thank you so much! That photo on the left was hard won with the crowds 🙂 And appreciate your chiming in on my query!

  • Taylor Fuller
    December 23 2015

    Hey! heading to bangkok next week for new years eve! any tips? also where did you eat tacos? I’m in need of semi-good mexican food!

    Thanks!

    Taylor
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Hey Taylor! I’ve never been to Bangkok for NYE but I’m sure it will be a blast. Bring your ID if you plan to get into an clubs — they have been checking recently. Bars you won’t need it. When in Bangkok and craving Mexican I either call sunshine tacos for delivery, head to the La Monita taco truck in Siam Paragon or go for a sit down meal at Charley Brown’s on Soi 11. Enjoy!

  • Leah
    December 23 2015

    Tie for A and C for me this week! Both of those places look spectacular. Hope you’ve enjoyed your little vacay!
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      It was bliss! A little tough getting back into the post holiday and holiday routine again 🙂

  • Camille
    December 23 2015

    I’ll go with F! Reminds us in all this crazy world about the cultural and ancestral magic still going on in parts of the world…

    Was there ten years ago, and they were talking about how scared they were of all the swimming pool hotels popping up and pumping the water from the ground, making the temples’ stones crumble a little. At the time, they were taking the issue seriously and talked about longer-term and environmental friendly solutions. Did you hear anything about it now ?

    While I love reading your blog in chronological order because it feels there is a “red line” to follow, I admit I skip a bit the posts that are from a long time ago…Seeing the pic of the week makes me exited for what you have to tell about these places 🙂

    Happy holidays!

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Interesting — no, no one had mention anything about the pools in any of my trips to Siem Reap. Maybe they figured it out?

  • Bunny
    December 23 2015

    Meihoukai, you are a hugely talented blogger. I look forward to all your stories and photos of destinations in southeast Asia. I’m hoping to make it to Thailand in 2016; it seems like a magical place.

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thank you so much Bunny! You are too kind!

  • Melanie Fontaine
    December 23 2015

    I love Photo A because it looks like such an incredibly unique place to stay in! And I honestly wouldn’t mind, if you posted about both your summer travels and your recent SE Asia travels at the same time – now that a grey winter is upon us in Europe, I could certainly do with some tropical inspiration and I’m also really interested in all your recent trips! 🙂
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks for the thumbs up Melanie 🙂 Indeed, no matter where I’m posting about it will be a hot and sunny destination if I have my way, ha ha.

  • Jessica
    December 23 2015

    I’d love to get to hear about more of your travels all at once! You’re blogging is truly excellent

  • John Baackes
    December 23 2015

    B or D because it brings back fond memories of traveling there with you in 2009. Love Dad…and Merry Christmas

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      I talked Ian’s ear off all about our trip, and we even drove by our hotel. Miss you!

  • Marni
    December 23 2015

    Photo D! I would love to see that in person! Photo F was a close second, though – I love that bright hue against the muted stone.
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Me too — I think that’s one I’ll have printed out and hanging up someday.

  • Ashley
    December 23 2015

    Extra photos make it so tough to choose, but I think I’ll go with Photo F – with D and E as close seconds! I’ve seen some photos of that Bangkok Tree house on your Instagram, and it looks absolutely unreal!
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      It really is quite unique. I’m looking forward to writing about it…

  • Janice Stringer
    December 23 2015

    Photo A is really special but they’re all lovely this time Meihoukai.
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Janice! It was a gorgeous week — couldn’t stop snapping!

  • Dominique
    December 23 2015

    For me it’s a tie between A and D. A because that tree house looks like a great place to stay and D because I love the Bayon faces in Angkor!

    In regards to your posts, you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable. You could for example continue writing chronologically but on one day (of the week or month or whatever frequency suits you) write some fast-forward posts about your travels now. Don’t overexert yourself though! Sharing your stories should be a fun activity not a forced activity 🙂

    Happy holidays!
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      You’re the best, Dominique! Love your suggestion and your reminder not to burn myself out 🙂

  • Kristina
    December 23 2015

    Toss up between A and C! These are the dreams that carry me through cubicle life while I search for a remote job 🙂
    I love absolutely everything you post no matter what order. Go with your gut and share what lights you up. That is the great energy that comes through your blog no matter how long ago it happened!

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thank you Kristina — that means so much to me and is a great relief to read.

  • Leigh
    December 23 2015

    Love them all, but F gets my vote! 3 months until I get to see this myself!
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Prepare for your breath to be taken away 🙂

  • Erika
    December 23 2015

    I’m between A and C — both of them look like excellent places to relax in paradise!
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Indeed — it was the perfect holiday holiday 🙂

  • Katie
    December 23 2015

    Photo F, although I love them all! Just came back from Myanmar and so many monks there
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      We were quite lucky as there was some sort of monk ceremony going on at Angkor Thom during our trip, so there were plenty mulling around making us smile 🙂

  • Phil
    December 24 2015

    Photo D because it brings back such good memories of my 2 favourite temples out of 1000+ (!!) temples around Siem Reap which is my favourite town in my favourite Country Cambodia (along with Australia my home!).
    I have done a lot of travelling and been lucky enough to see many beautiful countries, places, cultures and people but something about Cambodia stands out. I can’t describe exactly why because I haven’t been able to work it out myself. Cambodia is a spectacularly beautiful country, but it is something about the spiritual, happy people and the culture that makes her a stand out.

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      I said more or less this exact same thing to Ian (my travel buddy on this trip!) on our plane ride in. I also name it as one of my absolute favorite countries in the world.

  • Dani
    December 24 2015

    Photo B because I love sunrises!

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      I actually saw two on this trip. And they were both gorgeous! I’m normally more of a sunset girl, but this was worth it 🙂

  • Lauren
    December 24 2015

    Please do start sharing your SE Asia adventures. I read that and I’m like what, she’s been there since September?! I wanna hear more about the “settled” life on Koh Tao and everything around it ( the American summer adventures too, don’t get me wrong).
    Also, thanks for the Christmas wishes at the end of this post–well said, especially the “struggling” part.

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Well, I actually got back to Koh Tao in October 🙂 August and September were craaaaazy jam packed. No wonder I was ready to temporarily retire my passport by the time I touched down here!

  • Kiara Gallop
    December 24 2015

    I’m heading back to Bangkok next year so I can’t wait to read about Bang Krachao and your stay at the Bangkok Tree House. So difficult to pick my favourite photo as I love everything about Southeast Asia (apart from the mozzies!) but if I had to choose I’ll say D, the beautiful, ruined temples of Angkor 🙂
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Ah, I know how you feel. Bangkok Tree House is so unique — excited to write about it when I slog through editing the rest of those photos!

  • Anna
    December 24 2015

    Out of order is 100% fine. But I really want to hear about Burning Man!

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Oh man… I have a whole notebook full of thoughts and memories and notes from that week, and I still have no idea how I’m going to turn them into a post! It’s coming though!

  • Julia Nix
    December 26 2015

    photo a. looks so relaxing to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. small luxury boutique can be a treat. looking forward to read more about it.

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      We did stay in some really cool places this trip! Thanks Julia!

  • Julian
    December 26 2015

    Foto F – always love the contrast of the orange monk robes with the surroundings.Will be heading over to Siem Reap beginning of January and are looking forward!
    Great posts btw, can read about your trips all day long :
    Merry xmas
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Julian, that means the world and makes me smile!

  • Marie
    December 26 2015

    Bangkok is really a beauty inside and out. I love each pictures you shared. Sum up what Bangkok’s beauty looks like.

    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Marie — but actually, just the first picture is from Bangkok. The rest are Siem Reap 🙂

  • Rashaad
    December 26 2015

    I choose the second part of Photo G – it looks like a path to paradise.
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    • Meihoukai
      December 26 2015

      We couldn’t get over how lush the grounds were. It almost felt like it was fake! (It wasn’t 🙂 )

  • becky hutner
    December 28 2015

    This is such a beautiful entry, how oh how do I choose? With the proverbial gun to my head, I’ll go with F for the beautiful framing & pop of saffron that is so classic SE Asia!

    • Meihoukai
      January 2 2016

      I know… I never get sick of that color!

  • Lara Dunston
    January 3 2016

    Hey Meihoukai
    Happy New Year! We’re missing you already here in Siem Reap X
    I’m like you and I’m way behind in posting. I used to get hung up about it but I came to the realisation that readers don’t really care as long as they’re reading interesting, inspirational, helpful stuff.
    Lovely to see your gorgeous pics! Looking forward to more.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2016.
    Hugs
    Lara
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    • Meihoukai
      January 4 2016

      Lara! I’ve been meaning to write you. I’m trying to get un-hung up on it 🙂 It’s definitely a problem that I think is mostly in the blogger’s head. Here’s hoping our paths cross again in 2016!

  • Lara Dunston
    January 3 2016

    Whoops! Forgot to say that I adore your monk shot! Beautiful image.
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    • Meihoukai
      January 4 2016

      We lucked out — a shot at Bayon without any other tourists 😉

  • Izwan
    July 7 2016

    Hey Meihoukai! I love your pictures! Can you also share some ideas about what camera did you use and any tips on travel photography for amateur traveler like me?

    • Meihoukai
      July 7 2016

      Hey there! Check out my obsessions page — all my camera gear is listed there!