Always Sunny in Thailand

Fresh out of post ideas, so throwback to that time two years ago: my 3-month study abroad trip to Thailand.

Now, I would give anything to go back and do more with my time there. Originally, my project was to create a transportation device for wounded elephants in Bangkok. You may be asking: “What in the world are elephants doing on the streets of Bangkok?”

The answer? Tourism.

For income, mahouts (elephant caretakers) used to bring their elephants to the streets of Bangkok, or other major cities in Thailand, to allow tourists to feed the elephants. However, this practice is not healthy for elephants for various reasons: polluted city air, hot pavement, potholes, traffic, etc. As a result, these elephants were put in a lot of harm’s way and many would become injured.

Treating a wounded elephant with an abscess

Most of my days were spent learning about elephants, writing about elephants, interviewing people about elephants, and playing with elephants. Needless to say: while in Thailand, I found a new found appreciation of elephants.

Mahout and elephant

However, during our planning process, my group realized that a transportation device for wounded elephants already existed…so yeah. There we were, in Thailand, with no idea what to work on. We decided to find alternative, sustainable roles for elephants in Thailand. All in all, our project it came together, pretty brilliantly:
http://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-030410-230224/unrestricted/UrbanElephants_Final_Report_Mar5.pdf

My group won an honorable mention award for our project!

My experience in a nutshell:

There’s my flight!

Touching down in Bangkok 🙂

The neighborhood I stayed in

The international student dorms

Ballin’ in baht

Motorcycles rule the roadways, and contribute to traffic

Tuk tuk, of course

Rambutan fruit

River Kwai

Beautiful day in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Breakdancing on the train platform

Also visited my fair share of temples and such:

Wat Arun

Grand Palace

Collecting shoes outside the temple

Ayutthaya ruins

Reclining Buddha ‘Mother of Pearl’ feet

And the weekends:

Pattaya, Thailand

Tried my fair share of bugs!

Can you spot the frog?

Last but not least, words of wisdom from Thailand:

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