~★ Li Ying ★~


Hi there! I am Li Ying.  I'm a 100% K-pop fan, and loves to watch Running Man, a Korean variety show. I love music, as it makes me feel relaxed. I have a love for fried chicken and chocolate too, but even though I love to eat, I will forever stay as skinny as how I am now. When I grow up, I want to be a singer (quite impossible) or a teacher. I may also consider being a policewoman or any IT-related jobs. But then, I'm not really into planning my future now. My hobbies are singing, listening to music, reading and of course watching shows. I will always do my best to achieve my goals - especially to get good results. 

(Me! :D)


Chiang Mai is the largest and the most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand. It is the capital of the Chiang Mai Province, a former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna (1296 to 1768) and was the tributary Kingdom of Chiang Mai from 1774 till 1939. It is located 700km north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. Chiang Mai means “new city” and was so-named because it was the new capital, founded in 1296.
In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city and has been attracting over 5 million visitors each year, of which between 1.4 million and 2 million are foreign tourists.
The city is subdivided into four wards: Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila. The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is located on the east bank. Nakhon Ping district comprises the north side of the city. Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the west, south, and east respectively. The city center—within the city walls—is mostly within Srivijaya ward.
It has a population of over 170,000 in the city, it is the fifth largest city in Thailand. Chiang Mai has a more temperate climate due to the fact that it is in the northern location in Thailand. There are three seasons, mainly the cool season (November to February), the hot season (March to June) and finally the wet season (July to October). 

Yupparaj Wittalayai School was the first government school in Chaing Mai. The land that the school used was donated by Her Royal Highness Princess Jao Dararasamee and Prince Intarawarorot Suriyawong, and they are former rulers of Chiangmai. At first, it was called “Demonstration School of the Payap Region” by King Rama the Fifth who founded the school in 1899. In December 24th 1905, The Prince Regent visited the school and then changed the name of the school to the current “Yupparaj Wittalayai” (Yupparaj College). This date is now celebrated as the beginning of the school.  

Doi Inthanon Royal Project is located on the main Doi Inthanon mountain road in the Hmong village of Khun Klang. It was established in 1979 as part of His Majesty’s Royal Project Foundation. It is considered one of the many re-education projects conceived so that it can familiarize the hilltribe people with new agricultural techniques. This research station carries out work to develop marketable crops, ranging from fruit trees to flowering plants, to help the surrounding hill tribe villages, composed chiefly of Hmong and Karen tribes.

Reflections for the Day

Day 1: 28/10/2013

Today was the day when we flew to Chiang Mai, and the flight took about 3 hours. It was the first time I went overseas without my parents, and also the first time I ever got to sit on a plane too. 

After we landed in Chiang Mai, we went to a restaurant to have our dinner. We had various Thai delicacies and we had a delicious time. One of my friends did not dare to drink the water as she thought that it was tap water, and that her mother did not want her to drink the tap water. But then, my friends and I calmed her down and eventually she drank the water. 

After dinner, we went back to our hotels and then placed our luggages in the hotel before proceeding to the shopping mall just beside it. We got to buy some SIM cards for us to connect to the internet on our phones, and also went for grocery shopping to buy food we want at a supermarket. 

We went back to the hotel to get our hotel room keys, and just when the teacher continued to give more instructions, some of us went to take our luggage when we were not supposed to. We got scolded for that. From this, I’ve learnt that we should not go do our own stuff without the teacher’s permission. Then, we went back to our hotel rooms and placed our luggages.

I look forward to the next few days and I hope that it would be an unforgettable journey this year.

Day 2: 29/10/2013

Today was an exciting, but also a dog-tiring day. It was the second part of the journey that we will embark on during this trip. 

We had a wake up call at 6am in the morning and we had breakfast in a restaurant in the hotel called the Carnival Corner. It is a breakfast buffet where we can take whatever we want for breakfast. I just took two slices of bread with eggs, ham and sausages as I will feel unwell if I ate too much in the morning. It was a scrumptious meal and it made me feel energetic. 

After our breakfast meal, we boarded the vans and proceeded to the Doi Inthanon Royal Project Farm, and the trip took a few hours. There were 8 of us in the van with Ms Hu Juan. To kill time, we played UNO in the van and chatted. As we went up the hill to get to the farm, the air pressure made my ears feel uncomfortable. I learnt that swallowing saliva and opening my mouth, like yawning, will make our ears feel much better, so I chewed some gum to settle my ear problem. As we went higher, we started to see mist around us, and the car windows started to feel colder than usual. 

After a few minutes, we reached the first part of the journey that we will be going today. When we got off the bus, we experienced both heat and cold. Part of our body felt extremely warm, while another part of me felt very cooling. There were also water droplets all over us, so it felt like it was raining. We took a group photo together and then started our trail. As we walked, we took another group photo at a sign. Then, we saw another sign that actually measures the temperature of the surroundings at the time and a thermometer was on the sign. At that time, it was 11 degree Celsius, but it felt warmer than having an air conditioner turned on at 17 degree Celsius. I thought that it was cool as we got to see the temperature and it was clear too. After that, we went to a visitor centre with information of many wildlife like birds, plants and so on. 

When we left the visitor centre, we went to buy some souvenirs at a souvenir shop, and some of us went to buy food and beverages. One of them that most people bought was the chocolate latte, which was sweet and warm too. I bought 2 keychains and 4 magnets and a hat which some of my friends bought. 

We then headed to a market where food and items were sold there. I bought a keychain that was very cute. Then, we went back and headed for lunch.

For lunch, we had fish, omelette, fried chicken and many more. During my debrief in the hotel, I found out that the fish was a tilapia fish. 

After our appetizing lunch, we went to a farm where we had to hike. There were many slopes and we had to climb up and down the muddy slopes. Some of my fellow friends slipped, and all our shoes were full of mud stains. During the walk, many people were walking very slowly, and thus the people in front had to call out for them to walk faster. I think that we should improve on this as the people in front will have to wait for the people behind to catchup before we can continue to our next destination. We saw quite a few people, and one was that people were in a small house and the house were full of white flowers. 

After that, we went to many other places, and one of them was where there were coffee beans and powder sold. We got to taste a bit of the coffee and we could add sugar into the bitter coffee. It turned out to be very sweet as I put 4 teaspoons of sugar into my coffee. There were also a lot of sugar left, so we had to give the sugar to other people we need it. From this, we learnt how to not waste our resources. We also got to try the machine where we get to grind the coffee beans into powder. From the debrief, I learnt that there are 2 types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta.

While walking, we also encountered a lot of animals there. A dog followed us after seeing us. It was a very cute dog and I really wanted to hug it and get close to it as I love animals (but not those that may harm us).

Our final destination for the day was the waterfall, where we made our hair wet, as if we had washed our hair. The water was refreshing and I felt very cold, but then it was still the best part of our journey. We took a final group photo of the day there, and some of us joined in at a jump shot! Then, we went back to our vans and took a few hours to go back for dinner at a restaurant. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and had grocery shopping for 30 minutes before checking into our hotels.

I hope tomorrow will also be a fun and exciting day and I hope to get along with my Thai counterpart whom I will be meeting tomorrow!

Day 3: 30/10/2013

Today, we went to the Yupparai Wittalayai School for a full-day visit. It was tiring but also a fun day with my Thai counterpart. 
After we woke up, we went to the same restaurant for breakfast and then proceeded to the school. The bus came late and the teacher was worried that we might be late for the assembly in the school at about 8am. On the bus, our tour guide Jack taught us some Thai phrases like “Kop Khun Kaa” which means “Thank You” and so on. We also learned the Thai culture, like putting our hands together and then slightly bow when we greet like saying hello and so on.

When we reached the school, the students there started to stare at us on the bus and as we walk down the road. They are very friendly and even waved at us, and we all waved back. I felt welcomed and the friendly faces of the students there with a smile on their faces made me feel rest assured that the school is a warm-hearted place. 

We went to a room where the formal ceremony will be held. After we sat down at our places, our Thai counterparts entered the room. I realized that, unlike our school which has 75% guys and 25% girls, there were more girls than guys, and thus some guys will have to be partners with the girls. Once they were seated, the formal ceremony started.

After the formal ceremony, we had a break and had some food from the school.My seniors Sarah and Jie Han went to present their projects they did this year to the Thai students. After that, we met our Thai counterparts. My friend is called Golf, which is her nickname, and she is of the same age as me, born in 18 February. Her hobby is watching and reading cartoons, which is one of her likes. She also likes wolfs, flowers, handsome and beautiful people and of course, cartoons. She dislikes the colour black, roses and dogs. Her favorite subject is Art and Mathematics.

We first started off with the soil test. We did the tests for nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and pH levels. We had some difficultly pouring out the mixture of the soil and the various solutions, but then we managed to pour them out after using a lot of strength. My hands were painful, but I liked it. 

Then, we left the school for lunch. After lunch, we went back and my group went to set up for the Arduino activity. Golf seemed to like the activity a lot more than the soil one, so we did not stop trying to connect the circuits though we were both equally tired. I taught her about the Arduino and she seemed interested about it. We started off to do the first circuit, which went pretty well. Then, we did circuit 10 and 11 and it was pretty well too. For 12, the motor did not spin when it was supposed to, and we had connected the wires correctly. It happened to all the Arduinos used, so I thought that the Arduino had been used for a long time already. We failed to get the desired results for circuit 13, but after much difficulty, we completed circuit 14. 

After the Arduino activity, we went back to the meeting room where we discussed about our ISS projects with our Thai counterparts. We collaborated with my roommate and her counterpart and we came out with 2 projects - 1 engineering and 1 science. After that 1 hour discussion, their school ended and so we had to bid farewell, and we proceeded to have dinner and then went for grocery shopping. 

From today, I learnt a lot of new things. First, we got to learn the Thai culture. Also, we learnt about respecting others and greet them politely. Next, I learnt that we should have a warm welcome to visitors from other countries who visit our school like what the Thai students do. 

Tomorrow, we would be the final day we will be seeing our Thai counterparts, or maybe not, as we may be having collaborations in the near future. I hope that tomorrow would be an even more exciting day and I hope that the Thai cooking lesson we will be having tomorrow will be an exciting one, where I will learn how to cook Thai delicacies.

Day 4: 31/10/2013 

Today is the last day of my journey in Chiang Mai, Thailand before we leave for Singapore the next day, which is omorrow, and also the final time we will be meeting our Thai counterparts.

In the morning, we woke up at the same time and then went down for breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the school. Today, the students were having their morning assembly on the field. They sang their national anthem and the school song. After it, we went to the meeting room and a group of students presented about their research of lichens, fungi and algae, to all of us. Afterwards, we split ourselves to the respective colour groups on our name card. I was in brown group. We then went to the chedis that were near the school to carry out our activities.

The activity was that carried out was that we were supposed to take a picture of the lichens at a specific part of the cheri according to the north, south, east and west using a compass. Halfway while we were carrying out the activity, the compass was dropped to the ground and the compass could not work properly anymore. Luckily, one of my group mates have a magnet that we could use it to let the magnetism come back again. We had a frame of 10cm by 10cm to put it over the lichen for us to focus on that specific part for us to carry out the next activity.

After our activity, we went back to the school and went to the home economics classroom to have our Thai cooking less, which I had been looking forward to since day 1. There were 2 dishes that were being taught, first the Bhat Thai, which is noodles with sauce that was a bit spicy, eggs, prawns and many more ingredients, and then a dessert that contains Banana in coconut milk with sugar. The teachers demonstrated to us how to cook, and we got to try the noodles. It was delicious, and the dish seemed easy to cook. 

I got a turn to cook after waiting for a period of time while “stealing” the other students’ noodles and dessert. I was left-handed, but then I took the challenge to cook using my right hand. As expected, I failed. I knew I am bad at cooking, so I doubt that I would cook well. From now on, I will try my best to cook more at home so that I can improve on my cooking skills.

After cooking and gobbling down all the food, we went back to the meeting room to have our real lunch, and then we played a game. Some of the students did not on their name cards and then left it on the tables. They were called out to the front to do a forfeit by showing off their talents. Four of the students performed Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, where one person sits on top of another person, also known as the “ball”, and sang “I came in like a wrecking ball!” All of us were laughing our heads off, but sadly they did not allow us to video the hilarious performance. Also, one of the Thai students beat-boxed, which was cool, as I really loved beat-boxing, but just that I have no idea on how to do it. 

After our game, we were once again split into our colour groups and headed to the computer lab. The computers were a bit old, so it loaded a bit slowly. We then transferred the photos into the computers and then opened Photoshop CS3 that was in the computers, and then went to the Histogram tab to find the median of the Red, Blue and Green components in the colour. Then, we went to divide the sum of the red, blue and green results by the green result. Some of us went to other websites like Facebook after we are done.

We went back downstairs at about an hour later, and started to exchange gifts. My teacher gave us a notepad each to pass it to our Thai counterparts, and I also bought an individual souvenir, which was two keychains; one Merlion keychain and one Singapore Airport keychain for my friend Golf. In return, she gave me something that looked like some sort of brown syrup or something, but I will go home and ask my parents. Many other Thai students gave me various souvenirs too, like a memo pad, a postcard etc. 

Then, before we could continue, a representative from both SST and Yupparaj Wittalayai School English Programme gave their speeches and shared with us their feelings about these two days when we spent our time together doing the soil & water test and the Arduino, plus the cooking lesson and the short to the chedis. They felt that it was a meaningful experience, and I felt the same way as them too. 

After the speeches, we went back to exchanging souvenirs and then started taking photos together. But, before we began, we took a group picture together as a whole. After that, we continued to have our final moments together Some of my friends formed the “Photobomb Squad”, where they photobomb whatever photo that was being taken. We were having fun chasing them away, and also to photobomb each other. We also got each other’s Facebook accounts so that we could contact each other online.

Time flies, and it was time that we part and said our final goodbyes. We left for the bus and went to a special restaurant to have dinner. After that, we went outside and released lanterns up to the sky. We made wishes before we released it, and I do hope that they come true.

In a blink of an eye, it would be time for us to go. We really had a lot of fun in Chiang Mai, and I really do hope that I would come back here again, so that I could meet my Thai counterparts again, and also to visit more of the places of interests in Chiang Mai. 

Overall experience 

Overall, I have learnt a lot through this Global Citizen Programme (GCP). I learnt about the Doi Inthanon Farm, and learnt about the culture and life of the Thailand people, for example the greetings and also the food delicacies. I also learnt about the soil testing and the Arduinos, and also learn that we should solve any problems ourselves and handle them ourselves should any arise, unless it is very serious or we cannot handle it alone. We also learnt more about the lichens and using Photoshop. I hope that I can have further collaboration opportunities with my Thai counterpart, Golf, so that we can learn more. 

For 5 days, it is actually quite a short period of time to me. Although it was just a mere short 4 days, I love the activities we have done here in Chiang Mai. I have learnt a lot during this trip, like using the Arduino to operate certain devices and many more items. 

I hope that I get to have more chances to meet other people to do many projects and researching so that I get to learn more.

ISS Ideas with Thai counterparts & roommate Johanna

Engineering Idea:

 As Thailand is experiencing an immense amount of floods daily, we have decided to invent a machine in which it will be able to predict the floods coming and it will be able to prevent it from happening. The floods in Thailand have risen tremendously for the past few years so we have to do something now, if not, it will be too late. Other than that, Thailands villages and houses were affected by the floods, leaving the people traumatised and in shock. 

Science Idea:

 In Thailand, the water might be contaminated, so we have decided to invent a machine to disinfect the contaminated water so that they will be clean enough and will be safe to use. In Thailand, water pollution is the most critical environmental problem presently. So, we have to do something in order to prevent people using the water will not fall sick. If not, it will be too late as many people will continuously fall sick and have to be sent to the hospital for treatment.


  1. Hi Li ying. I'm Beck. You remember me ? :D
    I was an observer during your science experiments on the first day. I was really glad to get to know you and very sorry that I didn't really have time to talk with you.
    I didn't know that you also love music. I love music and singing too :D
    You are very sweet and have many talents. I love to see how much you want to share knowledge to your team mates. You have a good concentration at doing work and you are very good at explaining. I was glad that you seemed to have a great time in Chiang Mai.

    I hope to see you again !

    1. Yes I remember you^^
      Hope to see you again too, Beck :)
      I miss all of you so much ><