A Travellerspoint blog

First encounter

with Thai nightlife

overcast 31 °C
View My exchange on balloonimal's travel map.

Yesterday we had the day off. Well actually we always have Fridays off, not that I complain. It was a nice change of pace since we have had something we had to do every day since we got here, getting up in the morning at 7 and going to bed at 11 in the evening. We got our internet yesterday which was a relief. We had to wait quite some time for it though since the IT guys obviously took Thai time too seriously. They started at 9.30 in the morning and I got my internet after 1pm. The "Thai time" they use here has taken some time to get used to but it's slowly sinking in.

Anyways, in the afternoon we went to Futurepark again for some shopping and in the evening we all went to have a look at the nightlife found around here. We had a "local guide", an exchange student from Tampere who has been here for two months, who showed us around a little bit. We went to the Bungalow bar and Virgin night club. We were the only westerners at both places but we still had a nice time. The payment method in Virgin was a bit weird though. Instead of paying to the bartender there were three ladies, cashiers, who you had to order from, pay to and get a receipt from. This receipt you then had to show to the bar and receive your drinks. This wasn't very efficient but I guess it takes a lot of pressure off the bartenders, the cashiers however seemed quite stressed. One thing you have to love though are the taxi rates around here. A 20 minute ride to Virgin costs about 200 bahts, or around 5 euros. A trip that would cost approximately 30 euros from Närpes to Övermark. Enjoy some of the few pictures taken last night.

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Posted by balloonimal 19:01 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

First few days in Thailand

sunny 30 °C
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Due to the lack of an internet connection I haven’t been able to keep you updated since my departure from Finland. The flight went well and next to me on the plane sat a Swedish guy who works in the IT department for Volvo. He was on his way to Bangkok to do some work. He seemed moderately pleased with this but the salary and benefits were worth it. The food on the plane was above standard I guess since I found the food quite good.

We arrived to a Bangkok in the morning at around 7am. It wasn’t that hot since the sky was overcast and it had been raining a couple of hours before our arrival. This made the air quite humid and, in addition with the smell, reminded a lot of being inside a greenhouse in Närpes. We didn’t do that much on Monday, went to a large Tesco to buy some essentials, try to find a school uniform for me (which was harder than I thought since my size is apparently not that common here), taking care of accommodation at our apartment building and exploring our surroundings. Here is the view from the stairwell in our apartment building, a picture showing that HACCP isn't taken into consideration in this country and a picture of one of the buildings at our campus.

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The second day consisted of orientation at our university and getting our schedules, we have a lot of events coming up during our time here. You will hear more of this later on when they actually take place. In the evening we went to a large shopping mall which is called Futurepark, where we found Panda Land.

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The second day our buddies, or tutors, took us to Bangsaen beach. It’s a beach mainly used by locals and the vibe at the beach was quite relaxed. Stayed there for six hours and then we went back to Bangkok. On our way we did a pit-stop at a hill overtaken by monkeys. It was a weird experience standing one meter from a horde of monkeys walking around in the middle of the street. We also made a stop at a Chinese temple where you could sound a bell and drums. Back in Bangkok we went on a river cruise tour/experience where they had a buffet. I wasn’t that impressed with the food, but the view from the boat was nice and it was paid for which is always a good thing.

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Yesterday we went on a Bangkok tour with our buddies to the two most visited tourist attractions in Bangkok, Wat Pho and The Grand Palace. Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple where you can admire the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. We got a guided tour from one of the monks in the temple. The Grand Palace was where the king used to live and at Wat Phra Kaew we could admire the Emerald Buddha. No pictures from these two attractions though, since I forgot my camera in the bus, but photographing was anyways limited at the premises. The evening we spent by chilling in one of the small food market next to our apartment building.

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This will be enough for now. We have a packed weekend ahead of us, we are probably going to spend it in Bangkok at Khao San road.
Here’s a last picture of one of the monkeys enjoying his lunch. Looks a bit like he has gone to heaven.

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Posted by balloonimal 22:27 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

T minus 2 hours and 30 minutes until lift-off

sunny -10 °C
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As the title of this post suggests I'll be sitting on a plane in about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Where will I be going you might ask yourselves? Well if you didn't already figure it out by looking at the map above this text, and the subtle hint given by the name of this blog, I'll be spending the next three months in Thailand. Vacation? Not really. I'll actually be studying Asian hospitality management down there. But I don't mind the fact that I won't have to put up with the weather we have here in Finland at the moment, we had quite a nice storm yesterday.

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So what's the purpose of this blog and why do I write in English? The aim is that I'll provide you with daily, or near to daily, updates of what's going on during my exchange, cultural differences, general observations and other (possibly) random things. I choose to write in English since i guess some of my readers might not have Swedish as their mother tongue as I suspect some of my classmates might pop in to have a look once in a while.

Anyways, need to get the last things sorted out now and start my trip up to Vaasa. By the way, here's a picture of my luggage for the next three months. Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything.

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Stay tuned for the next update coming tomorrow, hopefully.

Posted by balloonimal 11:40 Archived in Finland Comments (1)

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