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Updated about 4 years ago

IES Kunming (November 2014)

Weekend on the Barge

On 22 - 23 November, seventeen students – all studying in the US and all enrolled with the IES study abroad centre in Kunming, China – joined the Barge Program with the aim of discovering more about Thailand from the Chao Phraya River. All signs point to this having been successfully achieved.

The group came to Thailand equipped with knowledge of the Greater Mekong Sub region from an environmental, economic and political perspective. They quickly proved eager to observe, discuss and make comparisons between the Mekong and the Chao Phraya Rivers, with the Compass of Sustainability activity acting as the perfect tool for facilitating these discussions.

Soon, though, it was time to step off the Barge and back in time for a visit to the ancient capital of Siam. The day was hot and the bricks of Ayutthaya radiated heat, turning the ruined temples into tourist ovens. However, this did not stop the group from wandering and exploring (with just a little help from some refreshing coconut ice cream), helping them to better understand Thailand’s exciting history.

A scientific study of the Chao Phraya’s water quality, a visit to the island of Ko Kret and drinking their combined body weight in Milo hot chocolate were just a few of the other activities enjoyed by the group. They may have arrived to the Barge a little wet behind the ears but they managed to keep their heads above the water throughout all the Thai history, language and cultural experiences that we threw their way and by the end they were swimming! The trip is water under the bridge now, but the Barge team looks forward to welcoming IES Kunming as they come flooding back again in the near future.

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