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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is from Bangkok, one the most chaotic asphalt jungles in the world. After five months in this city it feels natural that fresh air is non-existing, cars and motorcycles drive recklessly without rules and the smells are strong and differ from delicious street food to the nasty odor of sewers. And what it’s like to study in this kind of chaos metropol?
Assumption University of Thailand, or ABAC is the first and most well-known international university in Thailand. It’s a catholic private university and most of the students are from high class families because the tuition fees are quite expensive. Most of the teachers here got their degrees from USA or Europe, so their English skills are quite good. I’ve seen that in the big world, especially in Asia, studying engineering can be a tough choice. More than I’ve learned about engineering, I’ve learned about handling stress and pressure on your shoulders. Studying in this Hogwarts of Asia (yes, the campus is like in movies) is an always surprising experience and it’s never boring, even though it can be hard from time to time.
What about living in Bangkok? Well, this is a city with a lot of diversion, infinite possibilities and cultural experiences. There’s a surface level of bars, restaurants, malls and tourist attractions where you can spend your time in Bangkok without noticing a big difference. And then if you dig a bit deeper you will find the real Bangkok, with poverty and people struggling to make their living. It will give you perspective and I would put that experience over the actual studies in a country like this. First being shocked and slowly adapting the new environment and way of thinking is something that no-one can read from books or get from a lecture in Finland.
For the final words, everything is pretty cheap here, I pay under a 100e for my studio room and eat in a restaurant twice a day. It will be hard to adapt back to the standard of living in Finland. Still one more semester to enjoy all of this!