noah's Travel Journals

noah

 
What are the ethnic foods that you eat on a normal basis?

rice and spicy chicken (in thailand)

  • 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.

This is Why Study Abroad is Amazing

Thailand Chiang Mai, Thailand  |  Nov 06, 2011
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 Traveling is the most pure form of living besides true love 

So I was going to go through my travels since the floods started chronologically, but I feel as if the feeling I am having now needs to be explained in the moment.  What keeps coming up in my mind is 'traveling is one of the most pure forms of living'.  I just can't keep it out of my mind.  Logically I should be down about my apartment being flooded in Bangkok, my clothes are probably ruined along with photos and some other items, I don't know how credits are going to work out, classes are canceled until November 28th, but you know what?  I would not rather be doing anything right now except being in Thailand through CISabroad.  This experience has given me so many opportunities to see what I never would have known otherwise.  Fate is a funny thing.  

About two weeks ago I made my way from Chonburi to this amazing island called Koh Chang in the east of Thailand to join all of my friends from Mahidol University.  We all went there in the beginning to escape the floods, but it turned into this amazing trip where we all bonded and I got to know people from all around the world.  I spent nine days on an amazing Thai island with all of my friends for about 40 dollars!  It's almost inexplicable how awesome it was.  

First I arrived on Koh Chang after a five hour bus, then I took an hour ferry to the island while the sun was setting, which couldn't have been more picturesque, nothing like I could've experienced in Colorado. Then I met with my friends at this awesome guest house/resort on the far side of Koh Chang called GuBay where I shared a room with my French friend Jon for about 5 dollars a night.  The rom didn't have any airconditioning, but I was so content with the fresh air and the stars on that island that I could have slept on the sand beside the ocean or in one of the many hammocks next to the beach.

During my stay there, I met some very cool people ranging from Sweden to a Thai girl who backpacks for a living.  I was introduced to Sahara blues, the Lengths by the Black Keys, and most importantly people that I had previously not known very well.  Every day I would wake up, go for a swim, rent a scooter, and explore the island with my friends, then enjoy the night with everyone staying at the guest house.  It was literally some of the best nine days of my life, and you know what made it all possible?  Studying abroad.

After nine days and Halloween, everyone had made up there minds on where they were going from there henceforth till school started again.  Some were going to backpack through Laos, others were meeting friend back in Bangkok, and others were going to the south of Thailand to see beaches that are on a whole other level, from what I hear.  For me I decided to head to Chiang Mai to meet my friends Carla, Nicole, and Jo, who are from the U.S., Canada, and Romania, respectively. 

So we all set out from GuBay with our friends from the guesthouse driving us.  We rode in the back of a pick up truck, which in it of itself is an experience.  We got to the port and Kimchi, the manager of GuBay kept saying that he couldn't hug us too much or he would cry.  For me and my friend Jon, GuBay had turned into a home away from home. We had become friends with the GuBayees, lived for very cheap a life on the beach, and had become accustomed to Thai friendliness.  It was definitely hard to go.

From there we took a ferry to the mainland where I barely made a bus to Bangkok to get a bus to Chiang Mai.  Five hours later and some miming, I was in Bangkok. From there I ran to the place to buy a ticket to Chiang Mai, where I ran to the bus to Chiang Mai, needless to say, there was a lot of Noah running, miming, smiling, and buses.  After 20 minutes in Bangkok I boarded the bus to Chiang Mai, which happened to be a 12 HOUR BUS RIDE.  Twas cool though cause I slept most of the way.

On the bus ride, I met a Thai guy named Dio who was a cruise ship officer back in North America and offered to show me around in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.  This then turned into me meeting my friends and him offering us a ride to Chiang Rai.  Which turned out to be great and got us a free ride to Chiang Rai. We made sure of course to be very careful with our belongings and to not completely one hundred percent give everything to this stranger, but we were very nice and got a cheap ride to Chiang Rai as we paid him for gas money.

Next we went to one of the most amazing places I've been in Thailand, and I recommend everyone go who is looking for a peaceful experience.  It's called Doi Mae Salong.  From Chiang Rai, get a bus to the foot hills then a van to Mae Salong.  It's truly one of the best trips I've ever taken, visually, personally and mentally.  We traveled over the tops of mountains to a picturesque mountain village that I only imagined could be in movies and gave me an unexplained amount of peace.  

For some reason, some places just give a person peace in his soul.  Doi Mae Salong is that place for me, to wake up to see amazing mountains, have tea in the morning, amazing food throughout the day, and hikes up to picture perfect temples just 10 minutes away is something that I used to only dream of.  I can't explain the village anymore than saying that it was somewhere that put me at peace and made me grateful for everything that CIS, my parents, my friends, and everyone has done for me.  This is what traveling means to me, to realize what is in the world, to experience it, and ultimately recognize it and be grateful for it.  Mountains, Thailand, friends, amazing food, traveling, this is what my life is right now, and without CIS, floods in my apartment, my dad and mom, my friends, none of this would be possible, and for that I thank every single one of you.  

As for right now, I am in Tha Ton alongside the river that flows all the way through Laos. Tomorrow my friends and I will take a boat all the way back to Chiang Rai where we'll get a bus to Chiang Mai.  

Amazing, that is what traveling and studying abroad is.  

Post again soon,

Noah

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    Troy wrote: Sun Nov 6, 2011
    nice