All posts by Nhia Yang

Home is Where the Heart is


As much as I love Thailand, home will always be where my heart is. Unlike many lucky students, my journey to Thailand was quite a bumpy one. I mean, I did end up going to the hospital four times! BUT, I have to be thankful; no dengue fever. My fortune at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep was right!


As irritating as these hospital visits were, I did get the opportunity to experience receiving medical care in Thailand. When you compare this to the United States health care system, the difference in cost is mind boggling. After four visits to the hospital including medication and lab test, my total cost came up to around $100. If you compare that to services in the US,  it would have easily cost a couple thousand dollars.

This whole getting sick-thing honestly really made me miss home. During the plane ride home, all I thought about was coming home to my mom and my fiance.  It was emotionally satisfying to soak up their warmth and love as they welcomed me home. They are my boat and anchor; sailing me to tomorrow and grounding me to appreciate what’s around me.

Man in a Boat


As I nestle back into my comfort zone, I start to think of all my what ifs and should haves. ‘Oh what if I purchased my zip-lining videos?’ ‘I should have taken more videos!’ ‘I should have eaten more fruits!’

But then I look back at my photos, and realize I did capture breathtaking scenery,  and create lifelong friends that made this trip absolutely worthwhile.

Sunkiss Temple

A pinch of this, a pinch of that!

The first week of Thailand has been wonderful. I am continually amazed at how intentional Thai cuisine can be.  On our first day in Chiang Mai, we learned how to cook Thai food. Each step and each ingredient had a specific purpose; the combination of sour, salty and sweet was a recipe for harmony for your taste buds! As we moved through the week, I start to see how Thailand’s economy is guided by food. Not only in the food we eat, but the growing process.

In Chiang Dao, the school was self-sustaining because they grew their own food. In the Hmong village, they developed the land to grow many types of fruits and vegetables and transition into organic growing. This change has helped to sustain the livelihood of the Hmong Tribe along with provide jobs and training for students and villagers. At the restaurants where we stopped to eat, many grew their own ingredients. The structure of the restaurants allowed for it to be a part of the natural environment.  As we stroll through the city, a large percent of shops were restaurants, neighborhood were not taken up by big department stores.

A culture is very much reflective in their food. Thais cooks their food with meaning and purpose. Each ingredient is a note in the melody of the dish.  It’ll be interesting to see what’s coming next in Chiang Rai.


Blog Post #1


As we enter into Wat Temple,  the sun was bouncing off my winter-white skin and the birds were chirping their daily songs. We were struck by the spring breeze that brought immediate calmness to our busy mind. We sat quietly as the Monk enlightened us on the multiple benefits of using breathing techniques to bring calmness and peace into our lives.  What stood out to me,  was when the monk mentioned that we should live our lives in a world where we are not dependent on material things.  When we can survive by the simplest things in life,  that’s the best way to live. We are often blinded by how materials things can enhance our image in the society we live in. I appreciate the simplicity in the Thai culture, in their food and their values.  My goal for this learning abroad seminar is to go back to my roots and learn to live life with simplicity.