This was my first GCW and during this course I met new people. Our group went to different places around Bangkok and we all had fun trying to do  new things like making candles and jars. The places we went to had very beautiful designs on the walls, paintings, etc. The lunch was very good (in my opinion)

I could realize how different cultures were mixed together and featured to create these huge and awesome representative buildings of the Thai culture and how they appreciate their culture, because we often had to sit down or take out our shoes or hats in order to enter and appreciate the important thing that was inside. The most entertaining and challenging part of the course (for me) was the Thai boxing, but the riding on the elephant was also very good and something I had never tried to do before. However the part that I liked the most was the relaxing body massage that we got during the last day of the GCW after a very long walk to palaces and temples.

There were paintings on the wall of a temple that explained the ancient thoughts of the Thai people and made me feel more respect and learn more about this new culture to me. All the walking and time we took during the trip and under the sun was all worth it. This experience helped me understand the local culture and also some others that interacted with it a long time ago.

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Hi I’m Krystal Song and during the GCW week, I went of the Bangkok Adventure Trip. Through out the week we went all around Bangkok looking at both historical sites and sites that has a big meaning to Thailand. I’ve went to most places that we went in Bangkok Adventure, but when I went there again I saw and understood the places differently. I expected to see the same things and I thought that I might be bored during that week. But after the first day, I learned so many things and it was fun. Even though I got to see the same things, everything was different during the GCW week. I saw things I didn’t see before and learned new things about the sites and places. For example: at the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre, I never knew that people there actually had other jobs (farmers).

One thing that actually challenged me the most was on Wednesday when we did Muay Thai.

It was hot and I thought that doing Muay Thai with no air conditioning was going to kill me. We did a lot of punching and kicking and many times it got unbelievably hot.

I didn’t know if I was able to do this until lunch. But in the end, it was worth it. I started to see all the good things in the day which was learning how to do Muay Thai.
Over all, the whole week was fun because of all of the people who were there to make it happen. I learned new things, made new friends, and it was fun going around Bangkok and looking at all the sites that are important to Thailand.

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During this year’s GCW we visited various places around Bangkok and its surrounding locations, such as Auyudhya, and also experienced some Muay Thai training. Interesting, Warm, Fun, Sleepy, (somewhat) Disturbing, and Tasty are some of the terms that describe the trip.

Over the five days of this course, I learned much about Thailand, such as the fact that Bangkok was only recently, relative to the history of the country, made capital city, which before was Auyudhya.

The GCW trip was different than the various school trips I’ve taken prior coming to ISB, those being more focused on connecting with the environment and local rural culture, aka camping. This was more about the historical structures of the land, which included common tourist locations, interjected with some cultural aspects. This I found to be refreshing and contrasting to the previous trips I’ve taken, due to it allowance of greater glorious air conditioning time, especially in a climate such as Bangkok’s. The overall time spent in the trip is shorter than most, due to it being based in Bangkok, meaning we all got to return home at the end of the day.

Personally, the food was by far the best part of the week. Each day we had traditional Thai cuisine, to which some did not enjoy, but I had found scrumptious. Even on the day where we learned the basics of Muay Thai, we had a great lunch at the gym.

Overall, I think Bangkok Adventures is a fantastic trip, especially for those new to Thailand, as it provides insight to the culture and historical aspects of this country. Though it would be boring if I were to do it again, this course is rewarding, and thus I would recommend it for those willing to experience foreign cultures and unwilling to travel far.

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In the week before GCW I expected this course to be horrible since I’ve lived in Thailand all my life and I thought that this week would be the most boring week in my entire freshman year. However, as the week progressed, I began to enjoy it more and more. Through the course of this week, I learned much about Thai culture or more specifically, the history behind the nation which I lived in. What I learned about myself in this course is about how little I know. Although I have lived in Thailand for my entire life, I only knew some aspects of Thai culture and had barely scratched the surface.

Through participating in this course, I have learned to open my eyes and observe the world around me in order to experience the culture and traditions of the people around me. I also made many new friends throughout this entire course.

The most difficult part of this week was coping with the heat. All throughout the week, the temperature was always well over 32 °C which became even more of a challenge on the days where we were out in the sun all day which is everyday with the exception of the third day. However, this experience proved to be rewarding because of all of the things I learned.

Although this week was enjoyable, next year I hope to be able to get enrolled in my 1st or 2nd choice.

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Found a Bit of Light in My Days

            Although I had already come to Bangkok once before and had already been to these places and learned about most of the things that they showed us during those five days, that was not the true reason as to why I had chosen this trip. What really made me choose this trip was the fact that it was recommended to all of the new students, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to go along like everyone else. I thought that I could choose a more original trip, such as a week with the Smile foundation so I could learn more about those children and the way that they were being operated since I had developed a big interest in the study of medicine and the way that it was being applied on the humans. But then I thought about it some more and realized that if I chose to join Bangkok Adventure then I would be able to spend more time with the other new students and therefore get to know them some more, that ended up being the sole reason for me joining this trip, and I would say that I’m glad that I took that decision.

During that week our group went to many places around Bangkok, we visited many touristic, famous places, also, we learned to make clay pots and even how to make candle cupcakes, and for one day we devoted ourselves to Muay Thai, and lastly we got our well earned and long awaited Thai massage. We did many things, things that I had already done at some point in my life, things that in my opinion weren’t that mind blowing or life changing, no, what really made this whole thing life changing was the people that I shared these moments with. I don’t want to sound cliché at all, but even so, I fell forced to admit that the true reason for me being there and enjoying myself was the fact that I had a lot of fun being able to be beside someone during those times, feeling like I actually wasn’t that much alone after all.

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I acquired much more knowledge and insight about Thailand and its culture during Global Citizenship Week. Bangkok Adventure was an assortment of many different trips and environments. We went to see old ruins, temples, art centers, museums, palaces, and many other fascinating artifacts. We also had the opportunity to experience Thai boxing, Thai massage, and elephant riding, which were all very different from one another.

I learned a lot about ancient Thai history and Buddhism. Being Thai myself, I never really knew much about my home country and have never even been to almost all of these places in Thailand. I also learned a whole lot more about myself. After seeing many great pieces of art and architecture, I found myself starting to appreciate them and take interest in them. I finally realized how much work and effort it must have taken to create those masterpieces, and I finally understood how valuable they all were.

I definitely grew and changed from this trip. I think I have become slightly more mature because I now see the importance of history and the origins of our surroundings. Maybe before, I would usually be bored and uninterested about the places we visited, but now I know better than to point and laugh at the earnest works of others. I had not expected much of this trip beforehand, and I presumed that it was going to be very dull and tiresome. In the end, I came to like the places we went to and discovering new interests, as well as making new friends.

There were a few things I did during this trip that I was proud of. One thing was my porcelain doll. I gave it my all, and my end results turned out to be pretty good. I also had lots of fun during the Thai boxing. It was a drastic change from the usual environment of walking around temples and museums. I took some interest in Muay Thai and decided to let loose my self-consciousness for those few hours and just enjoyed myself. Luckily, I was also able to take many nice photographs during the trip, and I am quite proud of them.

One of the most challenging parts of this trip was probably trying to absorb in all the information the guide was telling us. I would really have loved to remember all the things she said about the artifacts, but it was hard because there were many distractions. At some places it was very crowded and we had to rush, and at almost all the places it was burning hot. Other than those few physical obstacles everything else was not a problem.

The place I found most fascinating was Erawan, the giant three-headed elephant. The stairs and the inside were unique and probably could not be seen anywhere else. I loved being in the elephant’s stomach the most. The dark, spherical, cool room with Buddhas and echoed chanting gave me a very relaxing mood, and the solar system painting on the wall was modern yet fitting. The other two events I enjoyed most was the elephant ride and the Thai massage. Riding the elephant was really a new experience, and the massage was unforgettable. Although I could barely get through with the massage because it was very ticklish, the room and the beds were so pricelessly comfortable and relaxing after a whole week of exploring.

I feel that this trip was very worth it. I learned a whole bunch, and I would recommend it especially to those with an interest in arts.


During the GCW trip “Bangkok adventure” I learned many things about the Thai culture that I may not have learned. I learned about the interesting culture of the ancient and present day Thai people. I was able to visit many ruins of the ancient Thai civilizations. I very much enjoyed this because it enabled me to be able to picture how people lived back then. I also got to see many important buildings that are used today. For example the summer palace in Bang Pa In. We were allowed the honor of looking upon a former king’s throne that was situated in his throne hall. What I noticed is that the building was very European. The same could be said for some of the buildings at the Grand Palace. From these observations I can hopefully make a hypothesis that by King Rama the 5th Thailand was able to receive a lot of European influence. I already knew that the Europeans colonized a lot southeast Asia except Thailand. So I didn’t really think that there could be so much European architecture.  We also visited the Arts and Crafts Center.  There we were able to sculpture our own little statues out of clay. I have to admit it looked easier than it actually was, especially when the experts showed us how to do it. Because when we first got there I thought that this would be easy. I mean just making a small statue out of clay. How hard could that be? I guess I shouldn’t be so quick to judge because it took me like 20 minutes to make the legs and they still were a little crooked. The whole experience was more fun than I imagined it to be. After that day at the arts and craft center I was able to appreciate art more. I realized that the time and effort people put into this skill takes years. I admire them for their patience and resilience in their work and the things they love doing.  The most challenging thing during the trip I would have to say was waking up each morning, because I needed to wake up at the same time everyday to reach the bus at school at the right time. So I guess that this trip wasn’t that challenging.    During the trip we went to a Muay-Thai stadium. There we were able to learn Muay- Thai for a few hours. I was able to do what the trainer instructed us to do and I also learned there was more to Muay-Thai than just bashing skulls in with your elbow.  Before the trip I thought that we were going to be visiting museums most of the time. We might not have really visited museums but the places we went were educational and plus we were able to have a lot of fun. I guess visiting historical places isn’t really that bad. So I would recommend to anyone who doesn’t really know Thailand to go on this trip next year.  

Kevin Gronlund

My experiences at Bangkok adventure have proved enormously enjoyable, vastly rewarding, and intellectually satisfying. It is with a sense of nostalgic pleasure that I approach my fond memories of our delightful tours at the summer palace and the formidable, imposing Wats of Ayutthaya. I shall endeavour to represent my stupefying, uplifting experiences through the inferior medium of a five hundred word reflection.

I have discovered multiply, hitherto unknown facets of my otherwise drab persona. During our delightful stroll through the shady groves of King Chulalongkorn Rama V’s palatial residence, I submerged myself in my love for history. No panegyric suffices to describe the sense contentment I felt, surrounded by the very character of a towering giant in Thailand’s convolutedly colourful history. During our visit to the Grand Palace and the various Wats surrounding Bangkok, I learnt how veneration of the Buddha is an integral part of Thai culture, as is respect for the ancient institutions of the country. I have discovered the depth and brilliance of Buddhism thanks to GCW Bangkok, and cherish my memories of the glittering temples and gilded, venerable, and serene icons of The Buddha through our trip. The opportunity of a traditional Thai massage at Wat Po was also memorable, and later, touring the Wat, I learned that I, too, had fallen under the benign spell of the Buddha’s compassion.

I take no little pride in our interaction with traditional Thai craftsmen at the Handicrafts centre, where I had the satisfaction of observing a [decidedly inferior] figurine take shape under the delicate care of my hands. The village at the arts and crafts centre was also a wonderful collage of the diversity of Thailand, and it’s myriad cultures and ethnicities.

The Muey Thai academy proved to be a very fulfilling experience for many. I am sure that many can proudly boast of having carried away valuable lessons from the academy. Would that I could say the same.

Muang Boran is a true miracle, a triumph to the will of man. We observed how every corner of Thailand had been brought together in the very same compound, to delight and astound visitors new to Thailand’s glories.

Coming to the Grand Palace, words fail me when I attempt to describe the sheer magnificence of this historic monument. Without doubt, it was the apogee of the week.

I must confess, and beg my audience’s indulgence, that I had expected Bangkok Adventure to be a humdrum and dreary tramp through a long line of decrepit monuments. When I actually came to the these “decrepit” monuments, they knocked the wind out of me. Bangkok Adventure has proved to be one of my most satisfying experiences in Thailand so far, and I would like to re-iterate the fact [for next year’s students] that this is an opportunity not to be taken lightly; to those who succeed me next year, I can honestly promise a life-changing experience.

The only challenge that faced me during GCW Bangkok was the…unusual…experience of learning Muey Thai. I can only recommend that you overcome it the way I did: perseverance.

To end on a happy note, I would like to thank our wonderful, benevolent, amazing and generous chaperones for having made this incredible experience a possibility.

From this course I learned about the impotencies’ of Thai culture and how Thai people still value old temples and buildings as a temple or Watt. The Thai culture is very strong in terms of doing what they are told to do based on their religion.  I think it is impressive how Thai people still value their old buildings, Watts, Temples etc. because in most other countries people value just one building but in Thailand they value almost every old building and keep them well maintained.  From this course and over all trip I learned about myself that even though on the outside I may look non interested and such, but looking at all the old temples made me think the time and effort it would take build such a piece of art, so on the inside I think and care of what I am looking at.  I grew an understanding of how Thai culture and religion has a big impact on a Thai’s life.   And grew knowledge of the history of the Thai’s.  I changed my understanding of thinking that Watts were really boring to then learning more about when and who built it, making it very interesting.  The one of 5 days of this trip I felt I was most proud of was Wednesday.  On Wednesday we learned the basics of Muay Thai.  And on that day I felt like I have overcome of what I thought I didn’t have, basics of Muay Thai but more specifically the jump kick into the stomach of an opponent.  At the beginning of that day I was being lazy and thought it would be ok but it wasn’t. The instructor told me to get more into it, and I did.  After lunch I felt I had to try harder, I kicked, punched harder and mastered the jump kick.  I feel very proud of myself from starting off lazy and not achieving anything to trying hard and being successful.  If I would have to say something that was challenging that I overcame during this week, it would be waking up in the morning.  Even though this trip was laid back and no jaw dropping challenges, waking up was hard.  I overcame this challenge by getting used to the routine every day of the week.

When I first knew and heard what I was going to do on this course I was really not exited.  After living in Thailand for about 13 years and being in ISB since Kindergarten I have already visited all the tourist attractions and special places I didn’t feel like getting to go back there again.  As the week went on I really wasn’t too bored, some parts were interesting and some I have just seen before.  Overall I think this trip is a good trip if you haven’t seen all the interests in Thailand and to learn more about the culture.

Going around Bangkok with the group has been a wonderful experience this year. Even though I’ve lived in Thailand for my entire life and am Half Thai, I still managed to learn different bits and pieces of culture and history. Due to the fact that I have been living in Bangkok which is an industrialized zone in Thailand, it was very easy for me to get locked up inside of all the technological advancements instead of looking at the big picture which lay just outside the borders of Bangkok. The main concept that I got from GCW was the difference in lifestyles between people living inside the city and just on the outskirts. The people living within the city may have it difficult in terms of earning money for a living. However, due to the education that is available within the city, combined with the technology it is much easier to get a higher pay for your work. While the people outside of the city, have to work on the fields in order to earn money. In some cases, the fields don’t earn enough to support a family which causes the family members to find extra work for example, crafting arts. This was shown during the visit to the Bansai Arts & Crafts Center. As the week progressed, my attitude towards people different from me changed dramatically. I didn’t try to keep them out anymore. Instead, I decided to try something new, I tried befriending them. I was having a pretty tough week due to an injury in my ankle, these new friends I made were able to help me out in many difficult, physical situations for example, going up a 54 meter tall hill to view a replica of an ancient ruin while in the ancient city (Muang Boran.) Without the help of these comrades, my day would have been dreadful.  This experience was slightly similar to an activity that I did back in the 5th grade and the 7th grade. In both of the years, I went around to different ruins to learn about the people and the significant historical events that happened in Thailand. However, the factor that made it different was the diversities in places that I was able to visit. This trip was definitely different from what I expected. I didn’t really have a choice to start with while choosing a trip to go on due to the late submission (there was a fuss in my family.) I expected this trip to be one of the more boring trips that I wouldn’t really enjoy. it turns out that I couldn’t be more wrong. Bangkok Adventure was able to teach me about the historical events and culture of Thailand in a more enjoyable way. The vast amount of information given to you during this trip may be a bit difficult to handle at times, however I found that if you took notes or even reflected to yourself about what was being taught, it made the information much easier to process. This trip has been incredible, I would recommend it for anybody to go on, even if you have already lived in Thailand for a while, then I’m sure you will still get something out of it.

~~Jimmy Wutthichai

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