FC: The Emerald Eagle Scholars Presents ADVENTURES in THAILAND summer 2011
1: Table of Contents | chapter one: the explorers chapter two: preparation chapter three: journey to thailand chapter four: welcome to bangkok chapter five: jungles of chiang mai chapter six: fun in phuket chapter seven: the journey home
2: Sam Cogley | Megan Storie | Mariam Khan | TJ Davis | Cris Ugarte | Sharae Rogers | MyVan Ly | Chinazo Onwukaike | Amy Hillberry
3: Alice Dalby | Celeste Graham | Brittany Echols | Mrs. Katy Miller | Professor Jennifer Rogla | Professor Dan Spears | Evan Pritchard | Tahirah Dean | Kole Franklin
4: Before the Trip | before leaving for thailand, we attended a class taught by professors Dan Spears and Jennifer Rogla. the class focused on thai culture, travel etiquette, sustainable tourism, and leadership. we were broken into three groups that concentrated on socio-cultural, economic, and environmental aspects of thai culture.
5: our bags are packed, currency exchanged, we have our tickets, LETS GO!
6: the journey to thailand | the emerald eagle scholars experienced the taste of airplane food! | after being slightly delayed in dallas and finally making it to minneapolis,, the emerald eagles sprinted through several terminals only to find our flight to tokyo had been delayed- for an entire day! seeing the situation as an extra opportunity rather than a set-back, we checked into a hotel and went to visit the infamous mall of america! | even though everyone else had been on an airplane before, it was brittany echols' first time, and she received a pair of wings from the flight attendant! | while in minnesota, we met two students on our flight heading back to their home in thailand. they taught us a little bit about thai culture. and language.
7: during our two-hour layover in japan, many of us enjoyed authentic japanese cuisine and shopping! | welcome to the suvarnabhumi international airport, bangkok, thailand!
8: MU International House and Mahidol University | before attending our first lecture in bangkok, we explored the campus of mahidol university. | our first two lectures, which took place at the faculty of environment and resource studies building, focused on the green leaf certification system in thailand. after dr. chirapol sintunawa, assistant professor from the green leaf foundation, discussed this, dr. ramesh boonratana presented a lecture on globalization, sustainability, and development. | during our stay at mahidol university and the salaya international house, we ate at the herb garden café, run by the culinary and hospitality students at mahidol.
9: after a lecture in the main building of mahidol university by dr. spears and dr. kannapa, the emerald eagles met with a couple of thai students and went to the local salaya fresh market, where we found many interesting and unusual things to buy...
10: Thai Cooking Class | looking sharp in their white chef uniforms, a group of students from the culinary and hospitality schools taught us how to prepare a few traditional thai dishes. the menu included fresh spring rolls, papaya salad, and chicken pad thai. it was a delicious experience!
11: after picking up our tour-guide worada, and some accompanying thai student volunteers, we explored and ate lunch at the damnoen saduak floating market. this adventure was followed by a lecture back at mahidol university presented by dr. songyot waew hong, who discussed thai culture and tourism.
12: after an exciting day, several thai students brought the emerald eagle scholars out to explore the infamous khao san road, or "backpacker street" in downtown bangkok. we quickly discovered that this area was focused on tourism, and we observed many western influences such as mcdonalds, seven eleven, and even an irish pub.
13: the emerald eagle scholars visited many different iconic thai temples, or buddhist "wats". this particular temple, called wat phra pathom chedi rachawaramahawiharn, was built during the reign of king rama the fourth in 1853.
14: while in thailand, we saw many examples of agriculture and food sources.
15: the ancient city of Ayutthaya | ayutthaya is a UNESCO world heritage site, which we will learn about next! it was a siamese kingdom that was built in 1350, and is characterized by it's overwhelming number of sacred reliquary towers.
16: lecture and meeting at UNESCO bangkok, thailand | after a busy day of exploring the ancient side of bangkok, we headed over to the bustling downtown business district for a lecture at the UNESCO building. we met with several representatives from around the world to discuss world heritage sites and the mission of UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
17: the VIE hotel | also in the busy business district of downtown bangkok, we checked in to our beautiful five-star boutique hotel, the VIE!
18: evening at the KHON, or the THAI MASKED DANCE at SALA CHALERMKRUNG THEATRE | fun fact: ever heard of the infamous traffic problem in bangkok? just to put it into perspective, it took us about an hour to drive to the theatre, and five minutes to drive back on the same route!
19: the GRAND PALACE | one could spend all day at the grand palace; there is so much to see, and the grandeur is breath-taking! resembling a small city of gold, art, and craftsmanship, the grand palace is obviously high on the priority list when it comes to budgeting for upkeep and maintenance. marvels like this are products of the healthy government support and budgets for the arts in thailand!
22: bangkok DINNER CRUISE | as our last day in bangkok comes to a close, we head over to the river city hotel and shopping centre, where a dinner cruise down the chao praya river awaits!
23: time to head north: Payap University and Paradonparp International House, Chiang Mai
24: KHAN TOK DINNER SHOW at the OLD CHIANG MAI CULTURAL CENTER
25: visiting the MAE TAENG ELEPHANT PARK | the mae taeng elephant park was definitely a highlight for many of the emerald eagle scholars! along with feeding and riding the elephants through a river, we also watched an elephant performance show, rode ox carts, and drifted down the jungle river on scorpion boats made of bamboo. several of us also met with the owner of the park, who told us about the park's goal to care for any sick or injured elephant for no cost.
26: HOMESTAY VISIT | during our stay in the northern jungles of thailand, we spent some time living in the homes of an indigenous hill tribe called the karen hill tribe. we were welcomed by the village with a traditional welcoming ceremony called "baai sri", which included a series of prayers and a traditional dinner of mangoes, brown rice, chicken (sacrificed specifically for the ceremony), and curry. our home mothers helped everyone dress in traditional attire, and the next morning we participated in a daily ceremony called "making merit", which involved making food offerings to the local monks
27: while in chiang mai, we visited a paper umbrella factory, which employed local artisans to build paper umbrellas in a factory-type manner and paint pictures on souvenirs. in many of the more tourist-focused areas, decorative saucers were sold with rub-off photos taken of tourists as they enter the area. we also walked around a handicrafts village, where one can buy "authentic" imported goods, mostly furniture. we traveled by tuk-tuk, which is an open-ended van (pictured above).
28: our friends at Prince Songklah University graciously welcome us to Phuket!
29: several thai students welcomed us to phuket by bringing us to the beautiful sunset point by the ocean. afterward, we had a traditional dinner outside by the beach.
30: PATONG BAY HOTEL phuket | we spent a free day on the beaches of phuket while staying in a resort-style hotel on the beach. some of us chose to go on a day-long snorkeling excursion, some chose to shop, and some chose to just relax on the beach
31: phuket FANTASEA half cirque du soleil, half thai-disneyworld, this was definitely a unique side of thai culture that we had not yet experienced!
32: the emerald eagle scholars traveled to the remote parts of phuket to participate in a "fun factory" project with the children of a sea gypsy village affected by the tsunami.. after an enlightening lecture by professor mary doerflein, the organizer of the project, we headed over to pama praew village to meet with the chief, survey the village, and get to know the children.
33: during the fun factory event, the emerald eagle scholars and PSU students helped the children make and package frames to sell to help raise funds for the rebuilding of their village.
35: the Emerald Eagle Scholars would like to thank the donors and coordinators for this trip. it was truly a journey that we will never forget, and we hope that others will be able to have the same opportunity to experience what we have. we would also like to thank Dr. Dan Spears, Dr. Jennifer Rogla, and Mrs. Katy Miller, our dedicated professors and mentors during the trip