First Post/Impression by Holly T.

Day One, Dec 28th 7:30pm- Today was my first day out in Bangkok. It was so cool. The buildings are so tall and the city is so big! It is truly amazing. It does smell though. I woke up to the sound of birds I think, but at first I thought it was people talking. I then went to breakfast and it was so yummy and the view was amazing. I am just trying taking everything in. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It kind of reminds me of Mexico because it is dirty and very compact. The cities back home are compact but they are clean so they seem bigger. After breakfast we walked around for awhile and then had lecture. After lecture we went to the mall and took the bus, but it was basically a light rail. The mall had 7 floors and all the stores were very close and small. They packed so much into their stores that it made is seem tiny. At home I think it would be a fire code. After the mall we went to the train station for an overnight ride to Chang Mai. The train is as well very compact. It was weird we didn’t have a ticket or anything just we got right on and no one checked anything.  This city is so amazing. Can’t wait to experience more!

Day two, Dec 29th 7am- I’m on the train and have no idea where I am but I woke up to a jungle. It so awesome! I didn’t expect this! It reminds me of Hawaii so, beautiful even though it really doesn’t smell all that great right now. I can see villages, huts, and dirt roads. This area that I’m passing through must be poor. I’m not sure if they are hills or mountains but they are beautiful. The train ride is an experience. I’ve never been on a train before. Sleeping was okay but I woke up a few times thinking I was going fallout because it was moving from side to side. In the middle of the night I had to use the bathroom and that wasn’t fun; there was no light. I’ve also been really hungry since I’ve only really had a real meal since breakfast yesterday. I also woke up at about 5 in the morning and looked out the window. I saw this area almost like a park that had dinosaurs in it. The town/city we were going through also had decorations for New Years. This country from what I can see celebrates a lot for this holiday they take 5 days off for it and everywhere in Bangkok was decorated for it! Along with a lot of Christmas trees which I didn’t know they celebrated or maybe they don’t.

9pm– After we got off the train we went to the hotel and were able to freshen up and get something to eat. There was something right across the street. I got chicken and sticky rice. Some student got what they thought were chicken skewers. They were really chicken guts. It was kind of funny! After lunch we went to learn how tradition Thai massage is done. It was very interesting but I was so tired because I was still jet legged. When we got back from the lecture we went to the Sundaymarket. It was very cool and everything was so cheap. They had a performance going on which was interesting to watch. I brought a few items and I’m just hoping they all fit in my suitcase! For dinner I got spring rolls and rice. It was excellent. They only thing I didn’t like about the market was that it was packed and so hard to get around but they had some really cool things there! The time here is going by so fast and I’m enjoying every second of it. I love the “Thai time”. How it is laid back and not “go go go”. I really should think of that more when I go back home, just relax and be in the present time. There is so much that I want to do and explore! Chang Mai is a very cool city. I love how authentic it is. I can’t wait to experience more!


Welcome to Thailand

After a long, strenuous flight, I have finally reached Thailand. As I sit on the shuttle back to the hotel, I am filled with anticipation for the many new adventures in the great country of Thailand. I recall hearing about my parent’s experience in Thailand as refugees and the stories of the many Hmong families that now call Thailand there home on my way to the hotel. As a Hmong American, I often wondered about the differences and similarities between Hmong Americans and Hmong Thai, are we more similar that we are different or were we more different than we were similar? With my first night in Thailand steadily coming to an end, I know that my answers lies with the following days.  


I was so excited to land in Thailand after 20 plus hours on a cramped plane ride here. After going through immigration, we took a bus to the hotel. This was a great opportunity to see what Bangkok had to offer. The first thing I noticed was probably how close the buildings were to the highways. It’s like you can just jump off of it and land on the highway. Another thing is how there is a 7/11 everywhere. The smell has got to be something that sticks out the most. It’s not the best but there are far worse smells in the world. My favorite thing about what I’ve experienced so far in Thailand are the street vendors. You can find almost anything: fruits, vegetables, and cooked foods. It reminds me a little bit of home as its almost the same things you can find in the Hmong flea market.

Thailand by Danny K.

Post written by Danny K.
We arrived around 130 am, customs ended up taking a long time. First impressions-green, palms, shacks by the freeway, open air buildings. City doesn’t have an end in sight.. We arrive at hotel, surrounded by 7/11s and food street vendors. Hotel is across street from a train stop, we notice Thailand does not have the smells we are accustomed to. Hotel rooms are nice especially if you know how to turn on lights. I have good faith luck will pan its way next time. Breakfast was a buffet, I had rice and eggs-which were a trick to ask for, luckily that’s all he was making so we figured it out. We take train to Chiang Mai, city seems more manageable than Bangkok. Many farms and jungle Iike forests coming into Chiang Mai. Hotel is hidden behind trees and has court yard. People are very nice and smiling often. We took truck to market with entire crew and a few of us held on the back. City has street vendors like Bangkok but are more scattered.

Sawatdee Ka from Chiang Mai, Thailand!

Sawatdee Ka from Chiang Mai, Thailand!  We arrived safe and tired after 24 hours in transit from Minneapolis to Bangkok, a day in the city, and an overnight train to Chiang Mai.  In spite of a plethora of devices from smart phones to tablets to laptops, we’re experiencing some challenges accessing the Internet.  My uneducated guess is that having all of these devices accessing the system at once is overwhelming the bandwidth here!  We’re problem-solving and you should be seeing students’ posts within the next day or so.  So, stay tuned!