I am here sitting at the Bangkok airport waiting to get on the plane to go back home, trying to put words together to explain this incredible experience but no words can describe how good it has been.
With this trip I can finally tick the Asian continent off the map. When I landed I was excited and amazed by the country and the people but I did experience a big cultural shock. I had never been to Asia before and the language, the culture, the food, the lifestyle is so different to what I have experienced in Australia and in Europe.
The cultural shock did not last long, as soon as I got to the university after long hours stuck in Bangkok famous traffic, the feeling vanished.
Once at KMUTT accommodation I met with my roommate and more people from UTS and from that moment onwards everything was a dream.
The university facilities offered us a range of different experiences, from learning and expanding in new areas of science like cooking and understanding the science behind fermentation of a traditional Thai dessert “Khao Mahk” to challenge us by experimenting with completely out of my field areas like quantum mechanics, nanotechnology and thermoelectricity. We also had the opportunity to experience the real nature at the All Green Learning Center a few hours out of Bangkok where we learnt about sustainability and the importance of working together with nature like using natural dyes instead of chemically based ones or using renewable energies and reusable plastics. I had the chance to swim in a natural swimming pool free of chemicals as well as bond more with our Thai buddies that taught us how to play “Bob Dang” a traditional card game. My roommate and I got to sit in a really cute swing but only for a few minutes as it broke and we ended up on the floor in-between laughs!
My favorite activity by far was visiting the elephant research and rehabilitation fund where we had the opportunity to learn about elephant biology and the animal conservation and rehabilitation work they do. The animals were majestic and I got the amazing opportunity to ride a female elephant. There was also a rescue dog that we put to test; he smelled me and I hid behind some bushes. Right after he came to find me in order to rescue me! He was a legend; he stole everyone’s heart with his sweet cheekiness!
We did so many things that provided us with incredible knowledge: from learning Thai language and culture, Muay Thai, and walking around the Bangkok streets, visiting the Grand Palace and the national museum to going to a winery as well as a fish factory in order to learn the industry.
The Thai people stole my heart they are kind and trustworthy. They have beautiful souls and are always happy to help. From amazing classmates, teachers and lecturers to amazing taxi drivers and kind hearted people. Humans can be incredible and I had a taste of it in the most amazing way. And what to say about Australian people, they once more proved to me the most amazing people. I can say I made lifelong friends in this trip, which I am sure we will reunite once in Sydney, our “Thai Family”. We experienced real Thai cooking classes together, we bargained in the markets, we ate until we dropped and we danced the nights away on sky bars and in the Bangkok streets. We wondered alleys, cooked with natives, experienced the real Thai monsoon and ride taxis with 5 people at the back. We even got to travel across Bangkok to find a lost phone during our last night. It proved us how nice Thai people are as we were really lucky! WE GOT IT BACK! We worked as a team and stayed together keeping each other safe at all times like a family.
There is nothing else to say but thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you to UTS, to KMUTT, to all my peers and to everyone who made this experience possible! It has been incredible!
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