Father’s Day, Chiang Mai, and Exotic Fruits!

By Sarah, Teach In Thailand

 First of all, thanks for reading! I’ve loved getting your feedback and thoughts on the things I write.
Father’s Day in Thailand is celebrated on the King’s birthday. Yes, that means that Father’s Day changes when a new king comes to power. That said, the current king, Rama IX, has been ruling for 64 years so most people don’t know any other king.  
On Father’s Day everybody wears yellow, the king’s color. The kindergarten was decked out in yellow (not difficult as it’s the Sunflower Trilingual School) and a 15 foot tall portrait of the King was brought to the assembly room. 
 The school program included morning prayers and alms with local months, singing the King’s Royal Anthem (as opposed to the National Anthem), and dances and presentations by the kids in all 3 languages. 
 Normally, the country halts at 8am and 6pm everyday to say the national anthem. On Father’s Day, we heard the Royal Anthem in its place. 
I had Monday off from school so I went to Chiang Mai for the long weekend! I stayed with a girl named Shonali, a college friend’s best friend from high school. 
We had a fabulous weekend of adventures. We went to the famous Wat Doi Suthep, the temple on the mountain, via Song Tao (two row truck). 
 Feeling strong before climbing 300 stairs to the Temple!
Well worth the climb!
We also walked all over the old city markets, got hour long Thai massages (6 whole dollars), had dinner on the river, and saw awesome live music. 
At the bar with the boys.
I still want to hike and zipline in the area so I’ll definitely be returning.
One of the coolest things about traveling is making travel friends. Travel friends are a unique phenomenon. They are not people you would necessarily befriend in everyday life. They range in origin, age, and background. The desire to see cool things, meet interesting people, and experience local culture brings people together in a way that no other experience does.
As Shonali and I discussed going to Wat Doi Suthep during breakfast, a girl at a nearby table named Pamela asked to join us. The 3 of us got into the Song Tao where we met a German guy named Uwe. We ended up spending most of the weekend as a foursome. At night we were joined by Sho’s friend, Matt.   
I was shocked by how touristy the old city of Chiang Mai was; the old city square is packed with guesthouses, western food restaurants, massage parlors, and gift shops. Bangkok, in contrast, is primarily natives, particularly where I live. In Chiang Mai I blended in with all the other foreigners. In Bangkok I stand out as a white person.
I’ve tried 9 new fruits since being in Thailand!! Some I’ve eaten raw and others in the form of pure fruit juice. Delicious and refreshing. The fruits I’ve tried are:
Dragon Fruit, Guava, Passion Fruit, Jack Fruit, Longan, Rose Apple, Mangosteen, Gac, and Roselle. 

Gac! Delicious and tart in fresh squeezed Gac/Passion Fruit Juice.

Roselle! Kinda gross actually.

I’ve come dangerously close to kidnapping random small children I see on the street. Also, I’ve concluded that Peek-A-Boo is the international language of children.

December is very eventful! My college roommate Michelle and her friend Jenny are visiting in a little over a week and then my boyfriend, Brian is visiting in a few weeks. Should be an incredible and incredibly busy month.

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  1. Hi Sarah! I have just read a few of your recent blogs on here and Thailand sounds amazing =) I just finished a 4.5 month internship in Vietnam. Would you recommend Thailand? How is the teaching – do you plan for each class or is there a syllabus you follow? When is your preferred semester? I would like to avoid the rainy season, as I didnt like that much when I was here in VN! I believe it was October – November, maybe it’s the same in THailand.

    Is it true that the people are friendly =) that definitely is important to me. Also, are there opportunities to learn the language? I love foreign languages and hope to pick up the Thai while I’m there!

    Please email me whenever you get a [email protected]
    [email protected]

    Thank you!
    Sheela =)

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