Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weekend Excursion- Thanatthichaburi Resort

Hi Everyone!  Thanks for all of the comments on my previous posts, keep them coming!

This weekend was the first opportunity we had to meet the Thai students from Chulalongkorn University that we will be working with. They are part of a similar program to IQP that us students from WPI have to complete.  They are seniors in college though and they are all in the Bachelors of Science in Applied Chemistry program (referred to as BSAC).  So the WPI and BSAC students all left on Friday to head to a resort. For those of you who I am friends with on Facebook you could have seen this picture that I posted:

Needless to say the resort was beautiful.  It was a few hours southwest of Bangkok out in a mountainous region. The mornings and nights were much cooler and the temperature probably dropped down to the high 60s which is colder than I ever thought I would see it get in Thailand. The purpose of spending the weekend at the resort was for team building/ orientation. As soon as we got on the busses we were thrown in to a countless number of get-to-know-you games and I immediately met many of the Thai students. It can be difficult to remember names because their full names are on their name tags and almost all Thai people have nicknames because there given names are so long. For example, my group members names are Orachitr Bijaisoradat (who goes by Ju), Nachnicha Kongkatigumjorn (Fang), and Kunathon Wattanavit (Non).  They say that sometimes even their really close friends can’t remember their full names.  So all of the WPI students would look at the BSAC student nametags which didn’t help at all because it didn’t say the names that they actually go by. But besides that detail most of the activities were pretty fun.  One of the coolest things we did was a friendship/good luck type of candle-lit ceremony where all of the students lined up in rows in front of the ajarns (professors) and they tied a white rope bracelet around our wrists to symbolize the friendships we will develop here and to wish us good luck on our projects.

Not only did we do a lot of team building with all of the BSAC students as a whole, but we also got the chance to meet our group members for the first time, as I said their names are Ju, Fang, and Non. Here is a picture of all of us and one of the advisors at the resort:

At the resort it was pretty much a full time schedule of team building activities and breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. The food was great and there was a large selection.  At night there were activities like karaoke. The hotel rooms at the resort were much nicer than our rooms at the Reno Hotel where we are living for two months. There were huge bathtubs, balconies, rain showers etc. However, I am getting use to living at the Reno and the rooms really aren’t that bad (although I just had to buy a mattress pad, a disadvantage of having nice mattresses all my life).  At least now I know how to take a hot shower (I was turning the faucet in the normal direction which I didn’t know was actually making it colder).  Also at the resort, during our very limited hours of “free time”, I was able to go zip-lining (what they call “flying fox”). It cost 200 baht, roughly $6.50.  We didn’t know before hand but in order to get to the zip-line platform we had to go on a short high ropes course the involved climbing on a suspended rope net and a ladder bridge, both pretty high up in the air.  Our harnesses were hooked on to a line above incase we fell. Once we completed this we got to the zip-line platform and had about a 30 second zip-line ride that was completely across water. I had never gone before so even though it was a relatively short and simple zip-line it was still fun.  Here is a picture of us on the "bus" to go zip-line.

After we left the resort around 11am Sunday morning we made two stops, one at a fishing village to have lunch and one at a famous floating market. At the fishing village we ate at a family style restaurant that mainly had locals eating at it. When we got there they had everything ready to go for us. Two large bowls of white rice (a staple of every meal here), a large whole fish (I don’t know what kind), boiled squid, small whole fish (their version of tuna), whole large shrimp, and some unidentifiable seafood dish that looked like worms kind of that they told us was some sort of shellfish.  There was also a soup that contained pretty much all of the stuff I mentioned but in a broth. All of the food was interesting to say the least.  I ate mainly white rice and a simple vegetable dish that came with it along with apples for dessert. I did try a piece of the large fish though that was pretty good. I think I would have been braver if all of the food wasn’t in whole form and it was just served in small pieces, but maybe next time. A lot of the WPI kids at my table actually really liked a lot of it. This was really our first “authentic” Thai seafood meal.  (I will add a picture to this post once I find one). 

After we finished lunch we got back on the bus and headed to the Amphawa Floating Market. This is a very popular destination for both tourists and Bangkok locals. It was a very unique place with things to buy for what seemed like miles along a canal. Not only were there stores and vendors on the side of the canal but also people in boats who pull up to where people walk and try to sell their food.  Here is a link to the market so you can check it out before I am able to post pictures (which I will do when I find some later).

Thank you all for reading my blog and posting! I will try to post as much as possible but project work has already started and we are supposed to keep 50 hour work weeks (we’ll see about that haha).  In the next post I will tell you more about what I did Monday and Tuesday and how my project is coming along. 

Until then….

Sawatdii kha

<3 Kaily


  1. Sawatdii krap. The bus picture reminds me of whitewater rafting. I'm sure it was a lot of fun. We looked up the floating market. The reviews were all very favorable. We saw pictures of prawns that would eat you if they weren't cooked. Glad you're having a chance to get out and have fun. Keep up the great work...

  2. Hi Kaily,
    I am enjoying reading all about your wonderful trip! The floating market, the very cool buildings, food, your project, zip lines and people. Glad to hear you are safe but not afraid to lean in and give it a go - not sure I would have eaten the fish either :)
    Can't wait to hear more... I'm hooked. Hugs

  3. Hi Kaily,

    Thanks for the email.It is really amazing to be able to talk to you and see what you and your group are experiencing.You are very blessed to have this time to study with and enjoy people of another culture. We're all very proud of you!
    Love, Paulette

  4. Hi Kaily,
    Read your blog this morning at home. A day off. Like Michael the, the first thing I thought of when I saw the bus ride w/ helmets, I thought of all the whitewater rafting trips we've done. Bet it was fun. With all the work and activities you'll be doing enjoy the moment. You'll have so many memories to bring home. Love reading your blog and all the pictures.

  5. Hi Kaily,
    We look forward to your blots. We are on this adventure with you ..thank you for sharing these wonderful experiences. Now the whole fish with eyes ..no thank you! :)
    And remembering the real names of your new friends would be difficult but just loved the nicknames. Enjoy yourself, Kaily, this is such a fun learning experience . Hugs for you.
    Love, Sheila

  6. Good morning baby, glad you are getting to experience so much culture and gaining so many valuable lessons and memories.
    Always rely on your instincts and street smarts to keep safe. From all the comments I read I want to thank everyone for offering love and support,it means a lot! Continue to be wide eyed and amazed,soak it all in and enjoy. I am so very proud of all that you do, you truly are amazing. Luv dad!

  7. Hey Kaily, Thanks for the blog we look forward to reading about your adventure. It makes us feel like we are kind of there with you. Have a wonderful time and take a lot of pictures. We can't wait for your next blog... Be safe and enjoy!!

    Mike H.

  8. Wow! I finally figured out (by myself) how to do this!!!
    Happy belated 20th birthday.......one I'm sure you will always remember "where you were". I LOVE your blog....and the pictures are wonderful. A hug and kiss to one of my "transplanted Maine Gang".........Phyllis

  9. Hi Kaily, What a memorable birthday weekend you had! Thanks again for sharing. Love the "truck taxi " and that was so kind of the English man to tell you about the boat to the island. Now we thought the windmills on the island was a great idea! By the way, your birthday cake looked delicious ...yum. I'm sitting with Joe in the hospital. He has pnuemonia but is doing good. Will probably be here a couple of more days ..lots of sickness going around here this winter. So glad that you're not so overwhelmed and enjoying yourself and must say you have a great looking group you're touring with.
    Our love to you, Sheila and Joe

  10. Hi Kaily,
    Happy belated B-day from David and me. Thank you so much for the wonderful commentary and great pictures of your weekend excursion.
    Glad you all had a good time...looking forward to seeing more.

    Love, Paulette

  11. kaily, I feel as if I am on a guided tour. Great information and lots of insights. I'm learning a lot. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    Happy birthday, a little late.

  12. Thanks for Day 2...Sounds like you had a great time! What are "we " going to do this weekend? Hugs, Sheila

  13. Aunt Joan and HanaJanuary 20, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    You are having such an interesting time, Hana and I have really enjoyed reading them. What an opportunity!!!!!! It will truly be an unforgettable experience. You will be a great tour guide when your mother, Michael, and Griffin come. Glad it is going so well for you. Hello to Taylor and all. Happy writing! Love ya, Hana and aunt Joan

  14. Hi Kaily, My goodness they sure have tons of tire issues over there :) It would be great if your teams could give them even one idea to put these tires to good use. What alot of waste otherwise. Very interesting project. Meanwhile, shopping in those magnificent malls, dan
    cing, and eating sounds like a great respite. Thanks again for taking us on this journey.
    Enjoy this great experience. Love to you, Sheila

  15. Hi Kaily, Wanted to say hi! We all were asking about you last night at Bobbie's birthday party. Kim filled us in. Enjoying your blog, makes us feel like your not so far away. Before you know it your family will be there. Take care Jean and Peter

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