A Travellerspoint blog

Siam Park City

rain 28 °C
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Since we had the day off today we went on a trip to Siam Park City, an amusement park found quite close to Bangkok. We weren't there for the rides but for the water park that they offer. Here you can find the world's largest wave pool, it's even official by Guinness world records. Looked quite cool when the waves rolled in over the "beach" and the sound of it was even more authentic. The sky was a bit cloudy though but this made the temperature quite pleasant. We were just there for some chillaxing so I didn't mind the clouds, not yet at least. No shoes allowed on the beach though.

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After some hours though the clouds turned intimidating and not long afterwards a thunderstorm had snuck up on us. The rain poured down and there was nothing else to do than pack your things and start looking for a taxi back to Rangsit, which was easier said than done. We got home though to a sunny Rangsit where the storm didn't dare to go.

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During the weekend I will be on a overnight trip with our group and other international students that are here at the moment so no update until Sunday evening.

Posted by balloonimal 18:04 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Food and stuff

sunny 35 °C
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Since there aren't any kitchen facilities here in our apartment building everything we eat is either bought in one of the restaurants or food stalls on the street. This isn't an issue though since the food on offer is delicious and the amount of different meals are staggering. For today's lunch i had Pad Thai, or stirred fried noodles, with chicken. The other day I had Pad Thai with pork which i actually preferred to the chicken option, both are however delicious. During our Thai cooking lesson we made some simple spring rolls, suitable as a small snack though. Later on in the afternoon I bought a coconut slushie from one of the street vendors.

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During a stroll through the campus area later on in the evening I also took some pictures. The altar is one of two found on the campus, at least of the ones that I know of.

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On another note we went and took some passport photos for our visa applications to Laos the other day. Apparently photoshopping the heck out of your passport photos over here is common practice. Not that anyone complained since the guy was a real pro on what he did, in a matter of almost seconds you looked like a model. Just felt strange to look at all the changes he did since the computer screen was turned towards us.

Posted by balloonimal 08:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

First days of school

and the gecko party

sunny 35 °C
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Three days of real school with lectures behind us now. We basically have four different courses these six first weeks: Spa, Thai language, Thai boxing and Thai cooking. The spa lectures are surprisingly interesting, there are much more to a spa than I at first thought. Then again I have never been in a spa or gotten a treatment, that will however change in the following weeks when we are going to learn how to give different massages and facial masks etc. At the end of the course we will also visit a spa. The Thai language is, as suspected, quite hard to learn. It is basically based on four tones, so one word could have four (or more) different meanings depending on what tone you keep your voice. This I see as one of the main problems with the Thai language and the very steep learning curve of it. The boxing classes are a nice change of pace and it's good to get some exercise, even though you sweat as you never have before. Tomorrow we will have the first class of Thai cooking, so it will be interesting to see what and how much they let us cook.

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Tonight ten of the local geckos were having a party by the entrance door to our apartment building. They seemed to have enjoyed their buffet already since no flies or other bugs were nowhere to be seen. However, there is a possibility that they don't like the geckos either so they wouldn't want to show up. They were friendly enough though to let me take some pictures of them.

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Posted by balloonimal 20:33 Archived in Thailand Comments (4)

The Muay Thai experience

overcast 31 °C
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Yesterday after checking out from our hotel at Khaosan we got in a taxi and went to see some Muay Thai, which is a combat martial art that originates from Thailand. Our boxing coach/teacher at school had gotten us discounted ringside tickets which put as right next to the action. This was a completely new experience and even though I in general don't enjoy watching two men hitting each other, this was something I looked forward to.

The arena wasn't that big and it was packed with people. Thai national TV was even there so now and then we were recorded by the camera guys, I guess we stood out in a room full with Thai people. All fights start with the fighters doing a dance or ceremony to honour the boxing gods, something which I found very noble.

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There were six fights this day and one fights lasted approximately 20 minutes and all of them are accompanied with a tune that a small band was playing next to the ring. The fighters are actually rocking up and down with the rhythm of the music, at least when they aren't hitting or kicking each other. The first two fights were exciting to watch and it didn't take long before the crowd was standing and a lot of betting was done continuously. The sound from the cheering was deafening and with each "combo" the crowd yelled louder. The four other games would have been more interesting if you actually knew the rules of the sport but it was money well spent.

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Today we had our first day of real school which included a Spa course, Thai language and Thai boxing. More thoughts about school accompanied by pictures later on.

Posted by balloonimal 19:55 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

MBK

and Khaosan road

sunny 31 °C
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After waking up from the first encounter with the Thai nightlife we set off towards Bangkok and Khaosan road. All of us had accommodation at a cheap hotel conveniently situated in the middle of Khaosan. The road is known as a backpacker ghetto with cheap accommodation and as a base for travel, so for the first time in a week I didn't have to feel like I was the only tall white man in this country at the moment.

After we had checked in we went to MBK Center, or Magboonkrong as it is also known as, for some shopping. The place is enormous with its eight stories and somewhere around 2000 stores, which however makes finding your way in the building quite hard. I didn't buy anything this time though but saw some things that would make another visit later on essential.

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When we got back to Khaosan it was already evening and the whole road was basically a big party with bars, signs, market sellers and people everywhere. I found three nice t-shirts for a reasonably good price. Bargaining for almost everything takes some time getting used to but as long as you have some patience it doesn't take that long to get the price you are seeking for, or at least to get the price down by a couple of hundred bahts.

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After a stroll down Khaosan we went to the hotel to get ready for the evening and some chilling. To pass the time we played some Backgammon, a game I've never played before but quite easy to learn when you have a good teacher. It was loads of fun but this might have something to do with the fact that I won the first game of Backgammon that I have ever played.

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When we were ready we headed out for the nightlife on Khaosan. We mainly visited two places: a "regular" bar, where we bought a couple of buckets, and a nightclub conveniently named "The Club".

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Stay tuned for tomorrows update which will include today's activity, Muay Thai.

Posted by balloonimal 07:04 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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