Showing posts with label Thailand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thailand. Show all posts

Sunday, February 06, 2011

37th SSEAYP 2010 - See you again Thailand!

Day 28 - 21 November 2010

The second homestay experience of the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) was soon coming to an end.

View from the balcony

Captain (Vietnam) and my room

After breakfast, we visited the Suvarnabhumi Institute of Technology and Business School (SIT) which was run by our host family.

School Uniform

Top: Host Sister, Top Left: Host Father, Top Right: Host Mother

We greeted the students and introduced ourselves at some of the classes. We could experience the might of the soft power of Japan just by looking at how many students flocking to Hiro for photo taking.

As lunch would not be served on board, we had ours at the conference room.

Back at the Bangkok Port, we met Dr Pla's husband. The lovely couple also gave us their wedding anniversary gift. 

At the Dining Hall

At the Deck

As usual, after sending our host family down the ship, we quickly returned back to the Pacific Hall to get ready for the Send-off Ceremony

Gangway cheer

Sometimes, it wasn't all easy standing under the hot sun. Several Participating Youths (PYs) would fall out from their contingent and retreat to the back to rest. Some would faint. Our National Leader Desmond was smart enough to prepare some drinks (cold Coke) for us in case we were dehydrated. Throughout all the Send-off ceremonies, the Singapore contingent remained intact. Singapore youth too soft? Think again!

Returning to Fuji Maru, we assembled at the Pacific Hall to receive our paper ribbons.

Paper ribbon

Push the core out. Holding to the core, we throw the rest of the ribbon down

Once we collected our ribbons, everyone dashed to the open deck. Administrative staff stationed at the door kept urging everyone not to run.

The ring of the bell indicated the time to throw the ribbons.

Contingent meetings were held at 5pm to evaluate the local country programme and our homestay experience. After dinner, it was free time for the PYs as the Administrator meets with the National Leaders at the Cruise Operating Committee (COC) meeting.

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Loy Krathong & Fire Flowers

Day 27 - 20 November 2010

The bed was so comfortable that I didn't want to get out of it. The house was a great paradise for relaxation. Ever since the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) commenced, there were no emails/SMS/calls intruding into my life. We interacted with one another by face-to-face and by writing. It seemed like the "reset" button was pressed. A brand new appreciation of life.

The laundry was dried thanks to the weather.

Our Host Mother specially made breakfast for all of us. 

Over breakfast, our frequent-traveller host parents asked about our countries and shared their experiences in our countries. It was pleasing to know they enjoyed their stays in Singapore. Host Father even kept a packaging box from a restaurant he patronised.

Our host parents are both educators. They set up schools and each of them runs their own school. We also got to know that our Host Mother is a Judge.

Photo of Judges

After breakfast, the teachers took us out to the Beach.

There were lots of seagulls! As we threw food to them, they came so close to us that the moment seemed magical.

We also played a game - using a rod to pluck off coloured papers on the tree. The coloured papers would contain numbers which would tell us what prizes we won.

I won an unflattering packet of orange juice, just sufficient to quench my thirst, but I thought it would be a great game to bring to grassroots activities after returning to Singapore.

We then left for Ancient Siam, which is the world's largest outdoor museum with 116 structures of Thailand's famous monuments and attractions. The structures were situated in the same geographical arrangement as they were in Thailand.

We opted to start off the tour with a tour bus. The guide spoke in fluent Thai, so we couldn't appreciate what she wanted us to know.

We stopped over for lunch near the pond.

SomTam - Papaya Salad

Pad Thai

Roi mak mak (very delicious!)

After feeding ourselves, we also fed the fish (with fish feed of course!). We also went round buying some souvenirs.

We met many other Participating Youths (PYs) around the pond, beginning with Jun Yi and then Fairuz, etc...

We continued the tour by bicycle, stopping at many scenic spots for photo taking.

We then checked out a temple.

Loy Krathong floats

The occasional plane reminded me of the Youth Leaders returning to Thailand from their Lao trip.

The hot sun drenched us with our perspiration. We headed back to the house and took our refreshing shower to get ready for dinner.

Feeding the fishes

In the evening, we learnt how to make Krathong - Water Lanterns. Loy Krathong festival would be held the next day, when Fuji Maru had sailed off Thailand.

Making a Krathong is actually very simple.

Step 1) Wrap the banana stem with the decorative leaves (alright, this was ready-made else it would be tedious) and use pins to attach them together:

Step 2) Cut the flower stalks and insert the flowers:

Step 3) More Flowers:

Step 4) Some roses would be lovely:

Step 5) Insert the incense sticks, candles, and flag:

Tada~ There you go~

I kept a stalk of rose as a gift for Mortal, using soaked tissue to wrap around the stem, in hope that it would last until then.

We set our Krathong aside and dined in.

Tom Yam soup!


Besides buffet dinner, we also had Korean hot pot.

And then came the time to set release our Krathongs.

I was so excited to see the fire flowers since they are banned in Singapore for safety reasons.

Banned in Singapore

For fellow Singaporeans who want to know how a fire flower works:

We released it at the pond beside our house. I understood that the entire Krathong, except the metal pins, are biodegradable. Fishes would eat the banana stem, so Krathongs do not pose environmental issues.

After dinner, we went to the Suan Lum night bazaar for shopping!