Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The First Few Days

The first few days in Bangkok have been overwhelming to say the least. I can't think of a place I have been that I can even begin to compare to here. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes, everything is completely different. I am living at the Reno Hotel in Bangkok with the 23 other students and we are located next to three of the largest shopping malls I have ever seen. The closest one is MBK (which was the largest mall in Asia when it opened in 1985) and it has 8 floors, all dedicated to different types of goods. We have been spending a lot of time walking around and eating there.

We have done a few short trips around the city in the past few days, the first day we went to the Wat Po temple, home of the reclined Buddha. Which involved taking the sky-train and a river taxi to get there and a bus, subway, and sky-train to return. This place is pretty much impossible to describe. I was talking to one of my advisors and I liked how he put it, "It is kind of a place you hope no one asks you how it was because there is no way you could explain what it was like". I totally agree, it was awesome in the true sense of the word. So instead of trying to describe it you can look at it here.  And see a picture of me infront of the Buddha below.

Yesterday, after getting an American food fix at Burger King, we headed to the Dusit Zoo. After paying the hefty $3 admission (everything in Bangkok is really cheap), we immediately saw two elephants right up close and personal. They were standing in a small pen waiting until their next show. People could pay to feed them and I got to touch them. It was so cool to be so up close but I can’t lie, it was a little frightening.  We then saw an amazing elephant show and the elephants did so many things (like crawl and shoot a basketball) that I would never guess they could do. They were so smart! We saw lots of other types of animals like reptiles, birds, zebras, giraffes and chimps. The chimps were really cool too, people would throw them water bottles and they would open them, and drink the water through a straw. They were so human like. I noticed that so many things like this that happened at zoo would never be allowed to happen in the US. In general, there are a lot less laws and regulations here. Here is a picture of one of the elephants (no zoom). 

Today was a little less eventful. We spent hours at MBK trying to help one of my fellow students get her cell phone fixed and finding something to eat (I had fried spring rolls and a crepe with bananas, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate ice cream). We then went to China town, which was extremely busy and filled with large trucks and motor cycles going on streets that were way to small for them. I tried fresh squeezed key lime juice which was really good. We took a tuk-tuk back, a 3-wheeled vehicle, which are slightly dangerous but definitely part of getting a true Bangkok experience. They are actually pretty fun. 

Tomorrow is when some of the work I came here to do starts. We are meeting at noon to go over to Chulalongkorn Univeristy and do some orientation type stuff until 4. The next day we leave for a river resort a few hours from Bangkok, where we will do team building activities as a whole group and meet our Thai partners. This is where we will be until Sunday night.

So be sure to check out all of the links I included if you want to get a better feel of what everything is like since it can be so hard to describe. I will post again when I have time after I get back from the resort! Until then, Sawatdii Pii Mai (Happy New Year) from Bangkok!



  1. Awesome honey, thanks for sharing so much, everyone is going to love your blog with pictures!
    Sawatii pee mai - Happy New Year everyone.

  2. Kaily,
    The zoo trip sounds awesome! Can you ride the elephants? I'm so envious. Have a great time, and soak it all in. What an opportunity, and when you get back, you can give us a slideshow and presentation on your trip. Sawatii pee mai-!!!

  3. Hi Kaily,

    Glad to here you are settling in. Sounds like an awesome place to visit. My yoga teacher said that visiting India was like that, the smells, colors, etc. Enjoy going to the resort. Can't wait until your next post. Remember "Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

  4. Kaily, I already love your blog! What an adventure...I'm envious too! (like that Aunt Cindy lady)

    You aren't missing anything back's really really really really cold. And we don't have elephants :(

  5. I want that crepe it sounds so good! And I want to go shopping in that mall :) Love and miss you already!

  6. Great blog! I love all the info and details.

  7. Great blog! I love all the info and details.

  8. Hi Kaily,

    I just spoke with your grandmother and found you are doing OK! Very different world where you are and I am sure you will be very glad you made the choice to go to Thailand. Interesting food there and ummmm...burger king! Take care...have fun with team building.

    Love Aunt Judy

  9. Hi Kaily,
    We are just trying to see if we can get through. We are anxious to read more about your Thailand experience. We are having trouble commenting on your blog so will see if this goes through so that we can keep in touch with you. Love Aunt Joan, Uncle Bobby, Hana, and Greg

  10. We didn't get to walk around the resort last night -- that's okay. Enjoy the team building. Zip lining sounds like so much fun. Looking forward to the tour of Bangkok. We'll get Griffin to stroll with us. BTW -- Jared found my snow pants...

  11. Thanks for commenting everyone, it is so nice to hear from you all when I am so far away from home!

    To answer Aunt Cindy's question, I didn't get to ride elephants at the zoo but we plan on doing that somewhere before the two months is over. We have heard of a winery where you can ride elephants, although drinking wine and riding an elephant seem like quite an unusual combination.

    Aunt Joan- I can read your post so it is working!

    Michael- I ran out of time before breakfast but I plan on Skyping you guys to show you around in the morning (tonight for you). Can't wait for you three to get here!

    I will post about this weekend sometime early next week. Our actual project work starts on Monday so I'll be spending more time on my computer and should be able to post more. I look forward to hearing from everyone! And thanks again to those of you who have posted, it really means a lot!

    <3 Kaily

  12. richmondlucille@att.netJanuary 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Hi, KAILY, Grammy Margaret says "Hi" and "glad you made it to Thailand safely. Talk to you later". Love, Grammy (and Lucille)

  13. Kaily, great blog. I'm learning a lot about Thailand. I guess I thought it was just a picturesque, sleepy Asian country. Looking forward to more.



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