2012 Bangkok & Buriram, Thailand
In Search of Krung Thep: From Buriram to Bangkok 2012
The 2012 study trip brought SASS students to the Kingdom of Thailand. Led by pathfinder Dr. Joel Moore and chaperone Andrea Tee, the students spent four exciting days exploring urban life in Bangkok and three more investigating the rural heartland, from which a great many Bangkok residents originate. The program required students to take learning far beyond the classroom. They wrote and edited the articles featured on the trip blog, documented their adventures in real time with photos and commentary shared on twitter and facebook, and are creating a video journal of their adventures.
In Bangkok students were introduced to life in city and explored several themes related to social transformation in the city including: urban poverty, the experiences of LBGT individuals in Thailand, popular protest, the evolving political situation, and protecting the rights of sex workers.
While in Buriram, students saw the transformation that is occurring in village life as so many young adults leave the farm in search of a new life in the city. They visited several rural development projects associated with the Mechai Foundation including: an organic farming cooperative funded by microcredit investments, a successful silk manufacturer, and the innovative Bambo School that seeks instill individual morality, preserve community tradition, and promote good citizenship.
Day 1-Bangkok: LGBT Rights in Thailand.
Day 2-Bangkok: Thai Boxing. Traditional Culture, Commodification, and Tourism.
Day 3-Bangkok: Thammasat University, Chaopraya River, 'Death' Museum, History of Political Protest, and Khaosan Rd.
Day 4-Buriram: Travel to Buriram. The Bamboo School. Education and Citizenship.
Day 5-Buriram: Nong Ta Kem Village. Silk Farm, Traditional Herbal Farm, Rural Development Projects.
Day 6-Buriram: Toy Library. Return to Bangkok.
Day 7-Bangkok: Klong Toey Slum, Chulalongkorn University, Empower Foundation.
Day 8-Bangkok: Chatujak Market. Culture Show.
In Search of Krung Thep - by Lee Jun-Elle
It’s almost a month to my nine days in Thailand with 19 wildly funny, adventurous, and caring new friends, plus the ever impressive Thai-speaking, Muay Thai fighting, Dr Joel Moore.
Amazing how those six days in Bangkok and three in Buriram feel like a mother’s handprint on my palm; so comforting, so uplifting, and I’m left in longing. Had there been less or more on the agenda, the impression may not have been made. This was my first time in Thailand but not my first as a stranger in foreign land. I have always come away from trips feeling as though I left behind an incomplete treasure hunt. In Thailand on the other hand, I felt like I truly lived.