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Thai Spring Break Adventures

Last time we checked in on Jordan, he was so excited about his spring break trip to Thailand that he feared a visit from his family would delay it. Well, this week we’re going to hear all about that greatly anticipated getaway!

Jordan says it was difficult for him to even imagine having a spring break when this whole study abroad experience in Emirates has already felt like a study vacation. Nevertheless, the opportunity to visit Thailand for the first time with a couple of other exchange students, led him to Southeast Asia.

 

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One of the smaller entrances at the Wat Pho Palace in Bangkok.

 

Jordan’s first few days were spent in Bangkok. The city, with a feel likened to New York, was bustling from morning to night and the traffic never died down. During the day in Bangkok, the group took a boat ride on the river, getting a chance to see up close and personal how the people lived in the city. Even though they were in the middle of a city, the natives, especially on the river, lived rurally with openly hanging clotheslines, old wooden houses, docked boats and small family-owned markets.

 

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Jordan and Frank (another student) posing with two guards at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

 

The group also visited the Grand Palace and the Wat Pho Palace in Bangkok. Both of the breathtaking palaces were enriched with deep history that Jordan was able to learn about. They consisted of large golden and stone statues of Buddha, other gods, and ancient kings or warriors. Each palace had a multitude of prayer sections and different Buddha shrines that were all unique. In Wat Pho, the main attraction was a huge horizontal statue of Buddha, “literally just cooling with his head resting on his hand,” called the Reclining Buddha.

 

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The Reclining Buddha statue at the Wat Pho Palace in Bangkok.

 

Once they left Bangkok, they made their way to Phuket to enjoy the beautiful beaches and landscapes. They were eager to experience what a coastal city in thisregion was like and how it differed from a city like Bangkok. There werebarely any cars because of the winding roads and mountains so motorcycles were the preferred mode of transportation. Another fact that Jordan came to learn was that the native Thai people were inherently darker complexioned than those in Bangkok, and because of the large influx of tourists every year, they knew and understood American English.

 

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Jordan and Alexander (another student) playing with a monkey in Phuket.

 

Jordan’s favorite day in Phuket was when the group was able to take a tour of the different islands there. They first went to an island known as the Muslim Floating Village. There was a market for tourists and it had a large mosque in the center for all of the residents who were Muslim, as opposed to the many Buddhists who reside in Thailand. They were able to canoe around to another island that had a beautiful cave and wonderful views of smaller islands, with huge mountains surrounding them.

Lastly, they went to the famous James Bond Island where the movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” was shot. There was also a visit to the Big Buddha statue set on a mountain overseeing the whole city with its beautiful beaches and mountain ranges.

 

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James Bond Island in Phuket.

 

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The Big Buddha statue looking over all of Phuket.

 

In the past four months Jordan has been to Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, and now Thailand, and they all were different. He says that getting to experience such a variety of cultures, while continually learning, has given him a different perception of life that he will take with him everywhere he goes. The fast and glamorous lifestyle of Dubai is so different than the authentic and slow lifestyle of the people in Havana or Phuket and it has been amazing for him to get to see these differences and discuss the lifestyles with the people he’s met all over the world.

Be sure to check back next week for Jordan’s latest adventure!

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