Tag Archives: Thailand

Greetings from the Land of Smiles

I have been studying now for three months in Rangsit University. University is located about 30 minute drive away from the center of Bangkok. Campus area is really big, you can find shops, cafes (Starbuck, Amazon+ others), banks, many different kind of food places, hospital, dentist, library, swimming pool, gym and athletics field.

Rangsit University
Rangsit University

The quality of teaching here is not the best one but it is okay. The teaching methods are quite different than in Finland. We have traditional homework that we write on paper and ten return them to our teacher. Also there are not that many group work and no projects, only lectures, exams and presentations. What I find funny is that everything related to school is discussed in Facebook and not in school intra etc.  All my teachers here talk really good English but content of courses are quite boring. We just have midterm exams and I think they were easy.

At school we have to use school uniforms and they are really hot to use because weather is almost every day about +35 degrees and it is getting hotter when summer is approaching. Men have to wear black trousers, plain white shirt and University’s necktie. Teachers and other students here have been really friendly and helpful.

First day at school with other Finnish exchange students
First day at school with other Finnish exchange students

I have here school only Monday 9.00-18-00 and Tuesday 9.00-15.00 so got some good time to travel in Thailand.

We have been travelling in many places inside of Thailand with other exchange students and it has been really cool. First two months we travel inside Thailand borders but after that we have been in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Macau.

Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta
Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son

I am staying here two more months and calendar seems to be almost full. We have plans go to Vietnam and Bali. If we have time i would also like to visit Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Singapore
Singapore
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Macau
Macau

 

Sa Watdee All The Way Form Thailand!

I am currently doing my practical training as an office trainee at Raya Divers. Raya Divers has five offices altogether and mainly all of the reservations as well as bookings are done through the Phuket office. My tasks include customer service, making reservations (both b2c and b2b), translations, updating webpages, answering emails & chat enquiries, equipment inventory & sales and working as an occasional tour guide. I work six days a week and only in the office during low season. When the peak season starts in mid-November, I will be working usually one day on one of our island or snorkeling tours and five days in the office.

Found this little fella wandering aimlessly in my apartment.
Found this little fella wandering aimlessly in my apartment.

I am really happy that I arrived during the low season as I have had a large variety of assignments. I have also gotten to know a completely new industry and answered customer chats for the first time in my life. Work days are quite long and my days off are always packed with activities because I want to see as much as possible here.

So you thought its always fun and games here? Wrong. Rain season ends just before peak season and if I hear another person complaining about rain in Finland I might have to do something about it.
So you thought its always fun and games here? Wrong. Rain season ends just before peak season begins and if I hear another person complaining about rain in Finland I might have to do something about it.

The weather is either really good or really bad, no inbetweeners. The forecasts show rain for every single day but it really rains like maybe twice a week. But when it rains, there’s nowhere to hide! Umbrellas are useless and Fishing waders would be useful as the roads tend to flood. Oh and yes, everybody wears those highly fashionable rain cloaks.

But then again...life is pretty good when it's sunny on a day off!
But then again…life is pretty good when it’s sunny on a day off!

As I mentioned before, I have one day off per week so it is always pretty nice to see the sun on those days. Raya’s office is located in Chalong and that’s where I also live. It’s a bit further away from everything and many people do drive a scooter. I have reclined to drive one as the traffic is really mental here.

Everything is cheap(er) here and i'm happy to make you all jealous by telling that there's a rooftop pool at my apartment building.
Everything is cheap(er) here and i’m happy to make you all jealous by telling that there’s a rooftop pool at my apartment building.

I lead almost the same kind of life here as in Finland: I wake up, go to work, go to the gym, eat, sleep and repeat. Only exceptions are tour days (once a week for me) and days off. Last week I had a chance of working as one of the tour guides on a snorkeling tour. It was a lot of fun but we had to go through training first. A swimming test, maritime rescue exercises, safe snorkeling instructions, recognizing poisonous sea creatures and so on. Not many people think about the tour guide training.

The captain's cabin at our day boat.
The captain’s cabin at our day boat.
Raya Yai - tie paradise island where Raya Divers was born.
Raya Yai – tie paradise island where Raya Divers was born.

 

Love,

Roosa

Greetings from Bangkok!

All things considered Thailand has treated me pretty well these almost three whole months that I have now spent here. Somehow time has been really flying, but after this midpoint of my stay I’m still lucky to have another three months in the heat of Asia before packing my bags and coming back home into the middle of the coldest time in winter.

Studying at Assumption University’s beautiful Bangna Campus takes place three days a week and then there’s always a long weekend to discover other nice places, too. So long the best trips have been to Ayutthaya, Krabi and Koh Samui in Thailand, yet adventures in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Cambodia and Vietnam are still waiting for me!

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Rolling my way to BKK

When I first came to Thailand in autumn 2014 I never thought that I would end up staying in the country for one and a half years. My time here begun with an exchange at a Thai university but instead of returning home after the semester I decided to stay in Bangkok in order to work on my bachelor thesis. While doing the field research for my thesis I managed to find a training placement. How things ended up being was nothing that I planned before but I’m happy how everything turned out.

Lumphini Park and Bangkok skyline
Lumphini Park and Bangkok skyline

I started my training in the beginning of August and now I’m already half way through. I’m interning in a Thai skateboarding company called Preduce which produces skateboarding content for clients, imports and distributes well known skateboarding brands and also manages its own apparel and hardware brand. My main work tasks are to make social media reports for clients and to help with distribution. Though, the company is really small which has given me the opportunity to get familiar with various different kinds of work tasks.

Preduce Office
Preduce office

Preduce is partly owned and run by Europeans so the adaptation to different working culture has been easy. I have Thais as colleagues but not as superiors, which means that I don’t have to pay too much attention for acceptable behaviour caused by hierarchy. Also the skateboarding culture itself is pretty equal and chilled, which creates a relaxed, open and friendly atmosphere in the office.

Since I work five days a week there hasn’t been time for travelling, which is fine because I got to travel a lot when doing my exchange. Right now my spare time is filled with Thai language classes, other regular hobbies and spending time with my friends. Basically doing same things I would do back in Finland as well. But with a little twist.

Practicing my written Thai
Practicing my written Thai

For now I’ve been happy for my time spent here. Time will show if I get to stay in the city still after the internship or if there’s something else waiting for me somewhere else. But right now, I’m stoked to be here!

A view from an abandoned skyscraper
A view from an abandoned skyscraper

Greetings from Thailand!

Sawatdii khrap!

It’s now almost four months since I arrived here in Thailand. In that four months have happened a lot! My attitude and way to see world have changed many ways and also my interests about different cultures and travelling is just growing up every day.

I organized my courses so, that I have only two long days school in week. That way there’s long weekends time to travel and explore Thailand. Most of the time I’ve been just inside the borders. There is so much to see in Thailand, that even five month is not enought to see all the places I liked to. Thailand has also nice neighbour countries, which everyone has something totally different to see. I’ve had only one week trip in Laos this far and unfortunally it might be my only one during that exchange.

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That beach is  from beautifull island Koh Samet, where we spent amazing weekend with other exchange students.

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My first trip outside of Bangkok headed to old capital Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya was full of different kind of monuments, Buddha statues and tempels.

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Most of the Islands have amazing fireshows that you can watch in the evening time. Same time you can lie on triangle pillows and enjoy your great time with friends. That picture is from Koh Tao-island where I was four days to graduate my scupa-diving license.

Assumption University’s Suvarnaphumi campus, where are most of the classes nowadays, is huge place. For me that campus was something totally new and something that you usually can see only in movies.

There is a huge contrast between teachers in ABAC. Some teachers speak really good fluent english and really want to teach and help students. Unfortunally there is also few ones who are not interested about students at all and their english is really difficult to understand.

In traditional Thai school culture it’s not accepted to ask questions in class or doubt with teacher, so specially dealing with some older Thai-teachers it’s still working that way..

At the end I want to recommend Thailand as exchange-country for everyone. Studying here is maybe not the best quality you can get and everyday life is not always as cool as in pictures, but that has still been great time here in Thailand!

 

Best Regards!

Aki Kortetmäki

Building services engineering

Coral reef greetings!

Sàwàtdii khà from warm and sunny Thailand. I am now living in nice and calm village called Chalong in Phuket and my life in here is quite peaceful. I am doing my practical training here in Finnish diving company, Raya Divers and atmosphere here is really good!
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I have been working in the office with reservations,info meetings and also in excursions during the day. Both sides are really good because you learn something new every day and also learn about the nature. Sometimes if my days last 12 hours in work, it doesn’t feel like working when you can float and swim in the sea with customers and fishes but it is important to be there and see that everything goes well.

Asia was definitely my first option to come to do my practical training because I had dreamed about Asia for three years before. First this scared me but then I was relieved that my dream came true and I can meet local people from different culture and lifestyle. Traffic is different here and faster and also two times one man asked on the move that where are we going and it was little bit funny. Phuket is known about the tourists but right now there is not so many western people on this island. It is really peaceful to notice that even the things might not be really well, people are still really happy every day and smile on their faces. 🙂

Before I came here I didn’t know almost anything about diving but right now I have to say that I did two diving courses and I am certified diver until 30 meters!! Diving will be part of my everyday lifestyle in the future and I will do also more courses. Animals and nature what you see under the water is totally the best thing in the world and everyone should experience that !
This journey have been really good for my life and I have learned from locals to be really calm and peaceful every day.

I will continue my journey around the world and will carry these awesome things with me what I learned during my training!

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-Susanna-

Sàwàtdii khà!

Hello and warm, almost hot greetings from the land of smiles, Thailand! I am currently living in a small fisher village called Chalong, which is located in the island of Phuket. I’m doing my practical training here in a Finnish dive center Raya Divers and I got to tell you guys, this has been amazing!

My work is kind of divided into two main areas; working at the office and working at the excursions. I can’t really decide which I prefer more since in both of these two, my days are never the same and I learn something each and every day. Though it might seem like a paradise, I am here to work and learn, not on a holiday. I work six days a week and the hours vary from nine to twelve. Still it doesn’t feel like that while I’m snorkeling three hours with amazing customers and blacktip reef sharks 😉 but I’m sure you get the point.

This is my first time in Asia, so I admit that I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that even though Phuket is very popular among the tourists and it’s getting more and more modern, Thailand is a developing country. While abroad I always try to get the authentic feeling from the place by talking with the locals, getting lost somewhere not so touristic areas and learning about the place. I have come to the conclusion that I love this place. I love how genuine people are, how they are happy for the fact that they are living in this planet and I love the mountains and the sea. This island is full of places you can go to relax, to think, to talk, to be alone and to explore. And to eat. Thai food is amazing, though I’m most certain that in Finland I don’t want to eat rice for a while…

The coolest thing I’ve ever done and which I have dreamed of many years is now my favorite thing while having day offs; diving. I can’t describe how cool and amazing and beautiful it is, you have to experience it yourself. I never knew there would be such a world underneath the surface and the best part is that I get to do it with my awesome co-workers. I did few courses and now I’m certified diver who can dive until 30 meters 🙂

I have never enjoyed working as much as I do here. This has been the best decision of my life so far and who know’s what this will bring to me in the long run 🙂

Here are few pictures of my office and life here, enjoy!

My office My office Diving in Phi Phi My office Raya Divers

-Kristiina

Sawadee Kha!

Greetings from sunny Raya Yai island!

It’s my first time in SE Asia and it’s been awesome time here! First I got a little bit homesickness but not anymore. I’m doing my practical training in Finnish diving company Raya Divers and our office is in Raya Yai island, located about 20 km from Phuket. This is a very small island and here isn’t even bank, doctor or general markets. This island is so small that we don’t actually need cars or motorbikes to moving here,  we use tractors and trailer to carrying diving equipment’s (and customers) to the beach.

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About 80 % of this island is jungle and here is only a couple of hotels. Here is 5 different beaches and those are so beautiful. My favorite beach is Ao Siam. You can really realize that this is a paradise when beautiful butterflies are flying over your head, so amazing!

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My usually workday starts about 8 am and it ends at the earliest 7 pm, if we have some night dives we have to be at the office until 9 pm. So we are doing pretty long days, but working rhythm isn’t so hard so it usually doesn’t feel so hard. In the middle of the day we can go dive with the customers or take customer to island walk. Of course we have to do also office works and prepare and upkeep diving equipment’s. I have learned so much more about diving equipment’s and now I have knowledge and confidence also to sell those.

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I have complete Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver courses and now I can dive maximum 30 meter depth.  I’m enjoying of diving very much, definitely going to continue with this hobby.

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Greetings from Thailand!

Hello! Its been a great time here in Thailand. I work in a Finnish diving company Raya Divers.  I am living in the small island, Racha Yai. It is about 6 km long and it is absolutely like a paradise. Here lives only 100 local people.

This is a Muslim island so here is not any dogs or you cant order any pork dishes.  Blue water, white beach and sun, what else could i wish for. Most of the time the weather is perfect and heat is sufficient. People are so warm and helpful. Smile is a big part of this country and I am not surprised why it is called a land of smiles.

thailand

First time in my life i got a change to try diving. And it was awesome. I did open water diver and Advanced open water diver courses. All my work tasks related to diving. I do also different kind of office works, selling, diving equipment’s washing and preparing and working as a snorkeling guide. Days are long about 9-11 h per day, but it is not always so hectic and i get a change to take it easy sometimes so it is not that hard. So I could say I feel good in here.

sukellus

 

MAI PEN RAI – It’s ok, don’t worry

I have been studying in Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, which is the oldest and one of the best and most respected universities in Thailand. However, I feel that Chulalongkorn in general is just well branded and it didn’t really meet with my expectations. The quality of teaching wasn’t that good and I feel that the lack of good teaching methods was the reason for the endless useless group projects that provided nothing new for anyone. Also, Chula is the school for rich Thai kids who have a lot of pressure from their parents and therefore they are after good grades. That means that there isn’t the same kind of questioning of teachers or the freedom to focus on the things that interest you. Teacher’s opinions matter more and the subjects of group projects are chosen to please the teacher.

At school we had to wear uniforms that are said to represent the respect towards the education and are needed to create social cohesion. However, the uniform rules were different for example for first and third year students and postgraduates didn’t have to wear the uniform at all. Therefore, in my opinion the uniform is just one way to maintain the hierarchical community between students as well. People will know your current place in a society by just looking at your uniform. And I hated mine.

At school it was pretty easy to create the schedule that allowed people to travel a lot. Almost all my friends, including me, had only three days of school and the rest of the week was for exploring and traveling and trying to find places from off the beaten track, places where tourists don’t go or don’t know about.

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Traveling in back of a pick up truck in Isan, Northeast Thailand
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Making Som Tam in a local home
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Watching the sunrise in Baiyoke Tower, tallest building in Bangkok

 

Kids in Myanmar
Kids in Myanmar
Surfing in Koh Phayam
Surfing in Koh Phayam

 

I have heard from many people that they hate Bangkok and there is not much to do or see. I agree that if only visiting the city for few days you’ll get to see the expensive tourist attractions, traffic jams, huge shopping malls and annoying street vendors and tuk tuk drivers. However, when actually living there and getting deeper knowledge about the people and the culture is something that made me to fell in love with the city. I love how things don’t work as they do in Europe and how you never get what you expect. That creates patience and acceptance and forces you to focus on things that really matter.

Sangklaburi
Sangklaburi
Sunset in Laos
Sunset in Laos