Reclining Buddha Temple:
Also known as Wat Pho, it was named after a monastery in India which Buddha is belivied to have lived. Previously,the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions. An enormous Buddha image from Ayuthaya's Wat Phra Si Sanphet was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767; King Rama I incorporated its fragments to build a temple to enlarge and renovate the complex. The complex underwent many changes in the next 260 years. Under King Rama III , plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple. These received recognition in the Memory Of The World Programme launched by UNESCO on February 21, 2000. Adjacent to the building housing the Reclining Buddha is in a small raised garden, the centrepiece being a bodhi tree which is propagated from the original tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment. The temple was created as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with the work beginning in 1788. The temple was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III, and was restored again in 1982.
Inthanon Royal Project:
The 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 one of many re-education projects conceived to familiarize the hilltribe people with new agricultural techniques. The research station carries out work on developing marketable crops, ranging from fruit trees to flowering plants, to help the surrounding hill tribe villages, composed chiefly of Hmong and Karen tribes. There are many greenhouses where flowering plants such as lilies, roses and many others are grown. There are also greenhouses for ferns and cacti.
Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province, a former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna and was the tributary Kingdom of Chiang Mai from 1774 until 1939. It is located 700 km north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. The city is along the Ping River and Chiang Mai means "new city" . it was founded in 1296. Chiang Mai has a tropical wet and dry climate, like Singapore, tempered by the low latitude and moderate elevation, with warm to hot weather year-round. Night time conditions during the dry season can be cool and are much lower than daytime’s temperature. Chiang Mai hosts a lot of festivals such as, Loi Krathong as known locally as Yi Peng which usually falls in November. They uses Kham Muang also known as Northern Thai or Lanna among themselve but Central Thai is used in education and is understood by everyone.Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples and they are called ‘wat’ in thai. One of the temple we are visiting is the Wat Pho. It is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. Prior to the temple's founding, the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created as yoga positions. The complex underwent many changes in the next 260 years. Under King Rama III , plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple. Adjacent to the building housing the Reclining Buddha is in a small raised garden, the centrepiece being a bodhi tree which is propagated from the original tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment. The temple was created as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, ‘Wat Phodharam, with the work beginning in 1788. The temple was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III, and was restored again in 1982.
Adress: 238 Prapoklao Rd, Amphur Muang
Chiangmai 50200 THAILANDYupparaj Wittayalai SchoolContact : +66 53 419037 9 x211, Fax: +66 53 419037 9 x111
Day 1 Reflections:
Today I learnt how to be responsible as when we go overseas, we usually go with our parents, so we always rely on them to take care of our passports, thus I learnt to be responsible for our own belongings.I also now know that Thai food is very spicy and sour and Thai culture is unique and interesting. This is also the first time I am going overseas by plane without my parents so this is a new experience for me it also makes me feel more independent as now I have to take care of myself instead of always having my parents take care of me. I also learnt to work with my roommate and make sure our key is always with us and not accidentally lock ourselves out of our own rooms.
Day 2 Reflections:
Today, we started the day off by splitting ourselves up into 4 groups which took separate vans up the mountain. despite the trip up the mountain being very uncomfortable as I had motion sickness in the van, the scenery I saw while going up the mountain was very scenic and memorable, making the trip worth its while. At the summit of the mountain, we walked through a passageway that led to a grave belonging to a very important figure in Thailand. After that we headed for lunch in a open-air restaurant which was surrounded by marvelous looking scenery, tempting us to take at least a few pictures before we headed off to our next destination. Next we headed to the place where they plant and harvest flowers to sell. I found it interesting, as i rarely get the chance to see where the flowers we see in many shops originate from. After that, we headed through the flower fields at the flower farm and got the chance to take many beautiful pictures of the flowers and also the mountains. The walk through the flower fields was a hard one as the ground was very muddy and a lot of our shoes were covered in mud. Our next destination was a hill tribe up on the mountains. The visit to the hill tribe was a new one for most of us as many of us have not been to a hill tribe before. We were given a tour of the hill tribe to see how the villagers led their daily lives. At the end of the tour, we stopped by a coffee shop which emitted a fragrant aroma of coffee and bought packets of coffee powder to share with our family members. Next, we headed to the base of the waterfall we had seen earlier to take pictures. As the water from the waterfall hit the rocks, the water also drenched us from head to toe. We managed to take many pictures there. Lastly, we went to a restaurant to eat our dinner. The restaurant provided free wifi so many of us were hooked onto our phones as many of us do not have wifi. At the end I think that today was a fruitful day, as we had many new experiences.
Day 3 Reflections:
Today we started off the day by preparing ourselves to go to the Yupparaj School. The trip there was an uncomfortable one as I was suffering from a terrible stomach ache. As soon as we got to the school, I quickly asked the teachers if I could go to the bathroom. After I got out, feeling much better, I went with one of the teachers to find the rest of the group we soon got lost due to the school’s extremely large campus but was saved by a teacher who could speak english and coincidentally was also one of the teachers of the english-speaking thai students. After showing us how to get to the place we were supposed to meet, I joined my fellow SST students to listen to the talk. After the talk followed by a few speeches, we finally got to meet our thai counterparts I think most of us were quite exited as it was our first time meeting them. After a short introduction, we headed to our respective locations to carry out the various activities with them, from that experience, I learnt how to make friends better. While carrying out the activities, I quickly realized that the Thai students were friendly, and was also quite decent at speaking english, quickly breaking the language barrier. After finishing my first activity, which was to test for ammonia, me and Henry swapped tables with Jowell and Marcus so that the Thai students could also learn how to test for nitrate. As most of us finished our activities relatively fast, we played a few rounds of Uno. After packing up, we boarded the bus and headed for lunch. After lunch, we returned to the school to carry out the second activity which was to teach them hoe to use the Arduino. After completing a few circuits, we realized that some of the circuits was unable to work. At the end of the activity, we gathered together and started discussing on what projects to do for our ISS. After that, we headed for lunch which was at the same place we went to for our first meal in Chiang Mai. After diner, we were given free time to spend, so me and Henry went to buy some duct tape to tape up henry’s broken luggage.
ISS Project 1:
Water Monitoring System:
We plan to attempt to build a water monitoring system to compare the cleanliness of the water in the lake we plan to use on and compare it with the ideal water cleanliness standards. The device will be placed at more industrial areas of the river to alert the authorities when the water becomes polluted in case the companies dump their waste into the river.
ISS Project 2:
We plan to help farmers in their farming providing a “house” to help them in their farming. It will have automated glass panels at the top of this “house” to keep the crops safe when thunderstorms come. It will also have clear shutters to prevent wind from damaging the crops, The drainage system will take in rainwater to water the plants to save water. The excess water will be filtered and can be used for other purposes.
Day 4 Reflections:
Today is the last day in Chiang Mai with activities. This morning we prepared for probably our last visit to the Yupparaj Wittayalai School. This morning, We did or last-minute packing to prepare for the visit. Today, it was the Yupparaj Wittayalai School’s turn to plan out our activities with our Thai counterparts. They started out the day by giving us a talk about lichens and how they were a combination of alga and fungus, which I found interesting as I did not know that before. After the talk, it was the turn of 3 Thai students to give us a presentation on the results of their research on lichens. We then split up into groups based on the color of our name cards and gathered with our group mates to start the search to find our designated locations to take pictures of lichens. When we got there, me and Marcus were requested to help a Thai student find the spot where we were supposed to capture the pictures of the lichens. As it would be disrespectful to leave our shoes on while taking the measurements and pictures, we were required to take the photos and measurements wearing only our socks. At the end of the activity, we found out that our socks and pants were very dirty, as we had to kneel down to measure the wall with lichens on it. After the activity, we headed to home economics class where we learnt how to cook thai food. The activity was fun an memorable, as I do not know how to cook making this experience quite new to me. after the class, we gathered back at the meeting room to eat our lunch. As many people at a lot during the cooking class, many of us had no appetite to eat and ate very little. At the end of that, one of the teacher, Mr Dale released the results of the photos of lichens we took. At the end of his speech, we got to meet our Thai counterparts to give them our souvenirs and take a few pictures with them. We then bid farewell and headed back to our hotel to pack up our luggage.
I think that the trip was a meaningful and memorable one. Not only did we get to make new friends, we learnt about the different cultures as well as learning how to cook delicious food. Our Thai counterparts were also very receptive of us and we quickly bonded. As some of us could not cook, we found this experience helpful as now we can cook for our family members to enjoy. We also learnt about a lot such as about lichens and farming in Chiang Mai. I think that both parties learnt a lot of knowledge and found this trip a educational one and benefited from it all. I would definitely want to go on such a trip again as it was fun yet educational.