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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - South East Asia Trail


Three weeks into our trip we arrived in Pai. During our stay there I was able to (for three nights and four days) live in a Buddhist monastery where we would meditate, chant and live with a few Buddhist monks.

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Being honest, I was a little apprehensive about teaching abroad. I didn’t really know much about the Asian schooling system, and had no idea what to expect. On the other hand, the new experience also excited me, and I was intrigued to find out what was in store.

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What can be said about Koh Rong Samloem? Well, it’s a very small island just off the West Coast of Cambodia located in the Gulf of Thailand and it is full of utterly wonderful people who’re delighted to invite you into their, very recent community.

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At the start of our third week in Thailand, we were still in Kanchanaburi. As we had visited the World War II Cemetery, The JEATH war museum and the Death Railway a couple of days ago, for our last day we had to visit the Hellfire Pass.

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Hi all. We started the week off by travelling from our hostel in Kanchanaburi to the train station in Bangkok. Here we played a couple of card games such as Go Fish, whilst waiting for our bus leaving at 7pm.

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We arrived in Chiang Mai on Sunday and spent the evening exploring the Sunday Market. Stalls stretched down the streets in every direction as far as the eye could see, selling everything imaginable.

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Hello, This week has flown by. We started off on a day trip around Chiang Mai and visited the Thee Kings Monument, a couple of temples and a famous rooftop bar.

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I landed at 18:30 at Bangkok Airport on Monday 1st January and the first night that I experienced was quite relaxed. As a group we all went down to one of the main streets in Bangkok to eat dinner and this was my first encounter with authentic Thai food! I ate Tom Yum which is a chicken and vegetable soup dish. Our second day was more active as we went to experience Khao San Road in daylight which involved many market stalls with local Thai clothing, food and decorations.

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The constant bustling of people, the intoxicating aroma of street food or a cry for a tuk tuk is what comes to mind “when the sun goes down” to quote Alex Turner of the Artic Monkeys. A completely different culture to the rest of the world for the most part but yet, at night, we are united for the thirst for entertainment and it is no different here. The nights of South East Asia show a different mix of colours that were revealed to us during the day as to those that light up the dark skies.

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Thailand has been full of celebrations this week for the Thai new year called Songkan, also known as the water festival. This is Thailand’s most famous festival and the name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’.

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