Me and other Exchange Students wearing formal Thai dress

A huge night market in Bangkok

A famous temple in Phitsanulok

Me and my many new friends at RYLA Prom


November 4, 2023

Thai Food … Is Terrific

สวัสดีครับ! I am now about 3 months into my exchange which is absolutely crazy to me. To me it feels like time has gone by so fast.

After being here a while I have decided Thai people have the best food on the planet. Almost every meal I eat here is delicious with so much flavor and spices. Thai people also eat very spicy food. My host dad will pile pepper after pepper into his food and it astounds me considering I’ll put about 10 peppers in and I’ll be sweating at the end of the meal. My personal favorite food is pad kra pao pork which is a pork stir fry with rice. Food here is also very cheap compared to American standards with me being able to get a full meal for about 50 baht or 1 dollar 50 cents.

We were on break from school for about a month and a half only just starting again this week but during this break I have been able to do some traveling and every time it is so beautiful. I went to Phitsanulok which is about an hour north of where I live. I saw a very famous temple called Wat Phra si Rattana Mahathat, as well as the biggest temple I have seen yet that is still being built but is absolutely massive.

During this break I also got the opportunity to go to the RYLA camp in my district and it was a lot of fun. There were about 400 kids there from the ages 13-18 and they included Rotary inbounds, Rotary outbounds, AFS outbounds, and many other kids from the surrounding area. It was a 3 day camp where I met many friends. My favorite memories from the camp was playing soccer with 2 of my inbound friends and many Thai people while the field was super muddy and playing without our shoes or socks. We also had a Prom night where everyone dressed up and they had a live band come and play for us. They also had Prom King and Queen and they ended up voting me as Prom King which was a lot of fun. They even gave me 2000 Baht for being chosen, which is about 60 USD.

I have also been studying Thai a lot and I can now read Thai script competently. Writing is a bit harder because they have many tone rules but if I keep trying I’m sure I can get good at it. As for speaking and understanding I can understand about 40 percent of conversations. Speaking is very hard because I am not super great at speaking the 5 tones that Thai has. It often leads to me saying the wrong thing because my tone is incorrect which can get very frustrating.

I also was able to go to Bangkok for a few days recently and before I went I didn’t realize how massive it is. The city seems to go on forever and there is a 7/11 every block. They also have absolutely massive malls. I was in one for 4-5 hours and I don’t think I even was close to seeing the whole thing. The amount of cars there is crazy too. It feels like every few minutes you’re stuck in a traffic jam but the beautiful sunsets the city has makes it worth it.

Overall I’m really loving it here and excited to continue my exchange and see what differences my next host family has with my current one!