Cambodia and so much more!

All I can say, is I have fallen in love with Cam­bo­dia! We spent about two weeks through­out a few dif­fer­ent areas, and the coun­try left me never want­ing to leave! We spent some time in Siem Reap, which is the tourist cen­ter of Cam­bo­dia. Siem Reap is amaz­ing. I had such an amaz­ing time. We built ver­ti­cal gar­dens in some vil­lages, taught Eng­lish in a vil­lage, donated bikes, and even learned how to cook some Khmer food. work­ing with Teach­ers for Tomor­row and teach­ing Eng­lish in a vil­lage for three months. I really can­not wait to return and start this new chapter!

After Siem Reap we spent a cou­ple days in Phnom Phen, the cap­i­tal city. We went to a few sites left from the Khmer Rouge Era which was very emo­tional and quite dis­turb­ing, how­ever, I learned quite a bit about the awful things which occurred.

As we made our way back to Thai­land, we spent a cou­ple days on the island of Koh Chang, which was much needed relax­ation and time away from cities.

Today we are back in Bangkok! Cur­rently in Bangkok a mil­i­tary coup is in place. This is an awe­some and inter­est­ing time to be in this coun­try. There are so many new rules, a cur­few, as well as var­i­ous peace­ful protests through­out the city.

We are down to less than two weeks of the pro­gram and I am already start­ing to miss my study abroad family!

I will post more about the Bangkok sit­u­a­tion soon!

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Time Flies!

It has been a few weeks since my last post due to con­stant travel and poor wifi! How­ever, since my last post, we have trav­eled through Laos and made it back to Bangkok. After about a week in Bangkok after Laos, we vis­ited the small beach towns of Hua Hin and Pran­buri. Both were gor­geous and left us all want­ing to stay! After the last few days in Bangkok, we vis­ited Ayut­thaya which is the old cap­i­tal of Thai­land. Some of the ‘Wats’ or tem­ples we saw today were built as early as the 1300’s! It was absolutely breath­tak­ing and worth the day trip.

Tomor­row begins our next adven­ture of trav­el­ling to Cam­bo­dia! We will get to work with even more NGOs and see even more amaz­ing sites.

Next post will be from Cambodia!

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The Golden Triangle!

The past two weeks have been crazy! After one week in Bangkok we trav­eled to Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land which is in the north­ern part of the coun­try. We were able to be in the city for Songkran which is Thai New Years! Songkran con­sists of city-wide water fights and many bless­ings and prayers for the new year. For about four days you can­not walk around the streets with­out get­ting soak­ing wet! We had the awe­some oppor­tu­nity of par­tic­i­pat­ing in this fes­ti­val. The water rep­re­sents cleans­ing for the new year.

After four days in Chi­ang Mai full of water fights, ele­phant camps, and zip-lining through the jun­gles, we trav­eled even fur­ther north to Chi­ang Rai. Here we met with a friend of the group, and she allowed us all to join her fam­ily for din­ner in her vil­lage, and also allowed the women to spend the night at her house. This time spent in the vil­lage has been the most incred­i­ble part of my time abroad thus far. In the morn­ing we woke up before the sun and par­tic­i­pated in the cer­e­mony at the tem­ple. We were all blessed by a monk and given a bracelet from him as well.

After this amaz­ing expe­ri­ence, we were very close to the bor­der of Burma, and had the oppor­tu­nity to cross. I did so, and spent a cou­ple hours in Burma vis­it­ing another tem­ple and par­tic­i­pat­ing in another prayer with a Burmese influence.

This trip just keeps get­ting bet­ter! We are cur­rently stay­ing right next to the Golden Tri­an­gle which is where Laos, Thai­land, and Burma meet.

More sto­ries to come!:)

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One Week in Bangkok!

I have offi­cially spent one week in Bangkok, Thai­land! The past week has been crazy busy! The city itself is insane. The streets are always full of cars and peo­ple, and the city is always alive. We had a team amaz­ing race scav­enger hunt around the city a few days ago which was an awe­some way to learn about the city and how to get around. A few days ago we took a boat ride on the Chao Phrya river which was amaz­ing. It was great to see the river parts of Bangkok. On this trip we vis­ited the Tem­ple of the Dawn which was incred­i­ble. We also had the chance to visit the Royal Barge Museum as well as the Grand Palace which is home to the Emer­ald Buddha.

We finally started Thai lan­guage class as well as our other two classes as well. Thai is a dif­fi­cult lan­guage to learn but so far it has been super fun!

Tomor­row we leave Bangkok and head up to Chang Mai in north­ern Thai­land! My next posts will be from there.

Peace,

Jamie

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Temple of the Dawn

Tem­ple of the Dawn

River Boat

River Boat

My Very First Blog Post!

Blog by Jamie Clark — Study Abroad, Thailand

Only five days left until I take off to Thai­land. Cur­rently, I’m just try­ing to get every­thing together. Finally started pack­ing and get­ting my last neces­si­ties taken care of. It has been sur­pris­ing how much stuff there is to do prior to this trip! Time is just fly­ing by. I have been work­ing on our pre-departure research paper and learn­ing quite a bit about the coun­tries we are going to be trav­el­ing to. Safety is some­thing that we are tak­ing very seri­ously and so we have been learn­ing all about the coun­tries and how to stay safe while still hav­ing an awe­some time. Only a few more days to get things done and then it is time to take off! My next post will be from the ground in Bangkok, Thailand!

Peace.
Jamie Clark 

3/28/2014