Friday, January 10, 2014
Chiangrai Rajabpat University
On Thursday January 9, we visited Chiangrai Rajabpat University. While at the university, we were each paired up with one of the students to spend the day with. I was paired up with a girl named NoEy. She was in her third year at the university at the age of 22.
Our university friends took us to a couple different places. First we went to a black temple on the campus. After that we had some free time, so we all hung out together at the campus. Our new Thai friends gave each one of us a Thai nickname. My Thai name was Ah-ngoon which mean "orchid". After that, we headed to the white temple. The official name of the white temple is Wat Rong Khun Temple. The temple was absolutely beautiful! The design was so detailed. Some of the design seemed a bit scary (such as the hands reaching up or heads hanging from the trees). But yet somehow the artist still managed to make the temple look gorgeous. After exploring the temple, a few of us stopped at a local coffee shop. While in the coffee shop we found the artist who created the temple. It was such an honor to meet a Thai celebrity. After the white temple, we headed to the flower festival. The flower festival was beautiful and smelled amazing! There were so many gorgeous flowers such as tiger lilies and orchids.
After a fun-filled day with the Thai students, we headed back to the university. The students prepared a traditional dinner for us complete with delicious food and wonderful performances of dances and songs. We were able to witness traditional Thai dances such as the fingernail dance and the candlelight dance. After all the performances were completed, our new Thai friends offered to dance with us and show us how to circle dance. I had such an amazing time. Between meeting new friends, exploring Chiang Rai, and learning how to perform a Thai dance, it was one of the best days I've had while in Thailand. Then to top everything off, we lit lanterns and released them into the night's sky.
It was very nice to be able to talk and bond with Thais who were my age. I was able to see how we (college students) all act the same no matter what country or culture. We all like to spend time with our friends, laugh, and have fun. I really enjoyed getting to know NoEy and the other university students. I am so glad I was able to have this opportunity to make some new friends and I look forward to meeting in touch with them even after I return home to the United States.