After 25 hours of flying and transferring, I finally arrived in Bangkok, exhausting but exciting. It was Friday’s midnight. I got in a taxi and on my way to my Airbnb, hopeful for a nice rest. However, when I arrived at the Airbnb, everyone was already sleep and the host did not live in the building. The taxi driver called the host many times, but no one picked up. I was locked out, exhausted and frustrated in the middle of the night not knowing what to do or where to stay. Luckily, I could speak some broken Thai and asked the taxi driver to take me to a nearby hotel where I stayed for the night. In the following morning, I connected with the Airbnb host and was able to get inside my room as well as extended my stay for an extra day. However, the place was not what I expected, so I decided to find somewhere new to stay for the summer. I went for a summer housing hunt without data on my phone. It was a first full day of adventures.
Luckily, I printed the intern’s guide that my team member sent to me before coming, which include a couple of housing options. With the guide and limited Thai language skill, I found a decent studio which I was able to negotiate for 9,000 baht ($283 USD) per month. Also, the place is very closed to UNESCO Bangkok Office, only 3 minutes walking. I am glad that I do not have to commute and endure the summer heat, an average of 92 Fahrenheit degrees everyday.
After moving to the new place, I only have two days to rest and adjust before started my internship in the following week. I joined the Non-Formal Education and Literacy team. My supervisor and team members are very nice and welcoming. The first day was full of briefings about UNESCO and different projects that the team is currently working on. They assigned me three projects: the first one is reviewing the online apps and tools on the Assistive Technology for Learning (ATFL) website, which later on I will help my colleague to redesign the website. The second one is researching and collecting online articles and information regarding to non-formal education related to Myanmar, which the team will use to support the Myanmar’s Ministry of Education to develop its own non-formal education program. Lastly, the third project, the most entertaining one, is to train a chatbot in the lifelong learning website, creating and providing digital supports for viewers and the community. I enjoyed working with my team as well as started to gain a deeper understanding of non-formal education and UNESCO’s impacts.
On the fun part, I have only explored the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, which are beautiful historical and cultural sites. The best part is eating all the tropical fruits and tasting amazing street food. The night markets, Yaowarat Street Food (Chinatown) and Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market, offer some of the most delicious street food I had. Even though those places are quite far, I enjoyed going there to explore and walk around after work or on the weekend just to eat and eat and eat. An average price for one dish is around 60-70 baht ($1.80—$2.20 USD), and a nice meal for one person is around 150-200 baht ($5—$6 USD) which include two or three delicious dishes.
My first two weeks in Bangkok, Thailand have been filled with exciting adventures—learning about non-formal education, exploring historical sites, eating delicious street food, and learning about Thai local cultures. Looking forward to more adventures this summer!
By: Xiong 😀