noah's Travel Journals

noah

 
What was the strangest food you ate while traveling?

cooked over a fire pig

  • 27 years old
  • From Florida, United States
  • Currently in Cusco, Peru

Fall Semester in Thailand with CISabroad

My fall semester studying abroad at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Chiang Mai Pt. 1

Thailand Chiang Mai, Thailand  |  Nov 11, 2011
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So here I am in Chiang Mai, one of the most popular cities in Thailand, situated up in the north where the weather is cool and the culture even cooler.  The old town of Chiang Mai is located within the four sided square wall at the center of the city, allowing anyone to become easily accustomed to the layout of the city based upon wherever the walls are at.  There are beautiful temples here, nice people, and a LOT of tourists.  

That last characteristic actually surprised me most about Chiang Mai, I was under the impression that the north would be less touristy than Bangkok and other places I had stayed.  However, it posseses the same amount of tourism that anywhere else does.  The menus and signs around the city are in English instead of Thai, I've seen more tourists than Thai people, and the prevalence of sex tourism in bars around the old city is horrendous.  It's a little shocking to me that people would come to such an amazing place as Thailand, only to eat Mcdonalds, drink Starbucks, and mostly act as though they would back in their home countries.

However, one of the closest people in my life has always told me that my experience abroad is what I make of it.  So I've decided that I want to rethink my experience in Thailand to that of what my idea of a true traveler is.  I am going to try and learn a bit of Thai on my own, such as creating flashcards and such, only eat local food unless I am really really craving something from back home, and do my best to communicate in Thai to Thai people.  It is not their place to learn English for my sake, I am in their country and should try to communicate to them in Thai.

Anyways, besides the bad taste left in my mouth by westernization, globalization, and the sense of entitlement I have seen by farangs here, I still think Chiang Mai and the north of Thailand is amazing, and I am so happy to be here. I am trying to meet with a volunteer organization this week to see if I can help out with anything, but if that doesn't work out, I think I will travel around the mountains again.  As for now, I am content to take in the amazing temples and sites around the city.  

I'll have more later. 

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