March 17, 2023, the day of my highly anticipated Thailand trip. Although filled with excitement, I can’t help but feel a touch of nervousness as I realize I won’t have any close friends accompanying me on this adventure. Among the 15 students and 2 faculty members going, I only know a few students, and our bond isn’t particularly strong. On one hand, I look forward to forging new friendships, but on the other hand, the fear of being alone creeps into my thoughts as I try to sleep.
Finally, the day arrives, and a mix of excitement and nerves consumes me as I pack my belongings and prepare for the journey. Rushing to the airport, I find myself stuck in a traffic jam near the airport, causing me to arrive at 11:10, ten minutes past the instructed time of 11 o’clock. Anxious about being very late, it was a relief to find Smriti mam, our teacher, waiting outside in the airport while the rest of the group had already checked in. After completing all the airport formalities, we patiently await our scheduled 2 PM flight. During the flight, I realized that our seats are conveniently located near each other. The boredom during the three and a half-hour flight prompts Raunak to suggest playing games like “Maanche Chaki Xina ” and Ludo, which engrossed me so much that I failed to notice when we landed in Thailand.
Our journey continues as we meet Chhitaranjan Sir, another faculty member who joined us in Bangkok airport and our tour guide. A two-hour road trip awaits us to reach our hotel in Pattaya City. Upon reaching the hotel, we receive our room keys and discover our room partners. I was sharing my room with Smriti ma’am and was initially hesitant about how strict she would be, but to my surprise, she turned out to be super cool and adorable. In fact both the faculties Smriti Ma’am and Chhita Sir were incredibly cool and friendly.
Without wasting any time, we explore Pattaya City after freshening up and having dinner. Despite the late hour of 1 AM, our excitement overrides any fatigue or pain. We find ourselves by the seaside, savoring the breathtaking view while immersing ourselves in Thai culture. The beauty of the Thai girls captivates me, but a sudden voice startles me and renders me speechless. We continue enjoying the evening until 3 o’clock in the morning, then return to the hotel for a brief rest before embracing the new day.
On Day 2, my inexplicable excitement leads me to wake up at 6 AM. It was a struggle to get ready on time, causing slight disappointment from the teachers and our tour guide. After breakfast, we embark on a boat trip to the coral island, eager to indulge in the thrill of the sea. Once there, a wide range of water activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, underwater sea walk, and banana boat rides await our choosing. I decided to try parasailing and jet skiing. These experiences were incredibly fun and left me speechless.
After the activities, we visited the shops on the beach. They had beautiful beach dresses. Many of us bought a lot of beautiful stuff from the beach shops despite the scorching 45-degree Celsius weather there. The lunch for today was Thai cuisine, which was a huge challenge for me. I found the smell of Thai food and seafood to be overwhelming, and I couldn’t eat it, so I had to settle for rice, chicken, and fried egg instead.
Upon returning to the boat, we found out our pictures were displayed there. They had a unique way of saying “One Poto hundred Bhatt,” which actually became the most popular phrase throughout the trip. I was spending more time with Riya and could see that our bond was getting stronger and we were becoming close friends.We were spending more time immersing ourselves in the vibrant Thai culture. As another round of Thai cuisine awaits, I find myself disliking it more. I was going to the popular 7/11 shop to grab something to eat everyday after dinner. Bangkok is the city that never sleeps, and every late night we were taking a leisurely beach walk, sipping beers, and unwinding . Visiting the walking street filled with bars and beautiful girls adds to the charm of the night, and we eventually return to the hotel for a short rest before embracing the new day.
Day 3 begins with a beautiful morning as we enjoy breakfast before heading to Bangkok for a visit to Siam Water Park. Siam water park is one of the best water parks of the world. A lot of water activities, laughter and joy accompanied us as we engaged ourselves. Afterward, we returned to the hotel to rest and freshen up. In the evening, we savor a delightful dinner and decide to explore Bangkok’s lively nightlife, creating even more unforgettable memories.
Our visit to Dhurakij Pundit University (DPU) marks the agenda for day 4 of our tour. Welcomed warmly, we engaged in communication activities, made new friends, and shared lunch together. We were given a tour of the aircraft simulation center, which provided insight into aircraft studies and aroused interest in many of us.
Day 5 excites us with an industrial visit to FarmChokchai. Farm Chokchai is a fully integrated dairy farm perched on a vast stretch of plains amidst a scenic surrounding. It is the largest dairy farm in Asia. This farm is a famous agricultural tourist attraction. Following breakfast, we headed to our destination and are delighted to have our new friends from DPU join us. The farm we captivated with its array of sheep, donkeys, and tractor-like vehicle rides. We relish the experience of riding ATVs, engaging in cowboy games, cycling, and feeding calves and horses. Additionally, we saw various animals, including snakes, white tigers, and black panthers. The visit to the army museum and the display of vintage car collections added to the adventure. Observing the farm’s operations sparked ideas for potential business ventures, leaving me with newfound knowledge.
On day 5, we had plans to visit Safari World, but unfortunately, it was closed. So we decided to go shopping and had a lot of fun buying things for our friends and family. We traveled by local bus and tuk-tuk. Interestingly, a Nepali song called “Mineral Watera” was very popular in Thailand. The driver played it so loud thinking we would love the song but the music was so loud and irritating that we had to tell him to turn that off.
The second last day of our trip featured a morning visit to Safari World, where we enjoyed the elephant show, fed the giraffes, and took a car ride through the park. Although we missed the dolphin show and the chance to photograph with a gorilla, a cruise dinner awaited us. Unfortunately, Smriti Ma’am could not join us due to illness caused by the hot weather. Nonetheless, we revel in the dinner party’s atmosphere, capturing precious moments through photographs and dancing to the tunes, especially when a Nepali song (Resham) was played in the Cruise. The presence of people from different countries adds to the excitement, creating an unforgettable night.
Our final day in Bangkok unfolds lazily as we sleep until 11 o’clock, allowing time for packing our bags. With our flight scheduled for 8 PM, we have spare moments for last-minute shopping. All of us went out shopping after breakfast in the hotel, and came back at 3:30, to leave for the airport.
It was sad that our vacation ended so quickly. We were saddened by Chhita Sir’s absence on our last day. However, his surprise appearance at the airport evokes a mix of emotions. It was a mix of emotions, like when my father sees me off at the airport I didn’t feel bad. We felt a strong sense of nostalgia and connection. It showed how close bond we have formed with Chhita Sir during the short 8-day trip.
This trip has allowed me to forge lasting friendships and gain insight into Thai culture, despite my personal struggle with the local cuisine. I have also learned about Thai business practices, where time holds great value. Shops opening at 10 AM and closing at 10 PM, with some shutting down as early as 8 PM, highlight their time-oriented approach. Overall, this journey has been an amazing and transformative experience, offering unforgettable memories and cherished friendships that will last a lifetime.