STAY INFORMED ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON AT KHAO SOK LAKE AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS
Volunteers at Khao Sok Lake April 6, 2014
We decided to write this blog to share our experience as the first volunteers at Andaman Discoveries Ta Khun and to give an insight to what it is like to dive into the Thai culture.
To introduce ourselves, we are two tourism students from Germany, Marius and Anika, currently doing our practical semester here at Andaman Discoveries Ta Khun. We are personally interested in sustainable tourism development meaning to put great consideration on local culture, welfare and the nature protection. Lucky as we are, we now have the opportunity to start working on this, directly involved on site.
Getting settled in Ta Khun…
After the first working weeks have passed, we now are rather well known in Ta Khun. I mean being a “farang” (foreigner) is a guarantee for attention, but in Ta Khun which is not really touristy, we stick out even more 🙂 After we came back the second and third time to the same places, buying coffee or food, people were starting to ask us what we do and how long we are here for. All the people we met so far immediately introduced themselves to us with their nickname, because it is the common way to address Thai people with their nickname even if you just met them.
We are basically step by step becoming part of the Ta Khun community, people greet us and we talk to neighbors and even got invited to a Thai wedding which took place right next to our office. When we offered to give a hand when they set up all the tables and decoration for the wedding, they were really surprised and appreciated our help a lot. It was quiet funny because within a few seconds we became the center of attention and they wanted to take pictures showing how we work together. I think this was another important step of integration because we are becoming part of the community instead of being just tourists or guests.
To summarize the features of the Thai wedding, it was rich in colors, flowers, music and amazing food. Dancing in general is not really a big thing in Thailand, but for entertainment they hired a dance group of young girls who sang and danced on the stage almost the whole evening and ensured a good atmosphere. We used the opportunity to absorb all the impressions of Thai culture and exchanged with locals. The conversations were rather funny because they were more like sign language than a verbal exchange, since our Thai is still in progress :).
So besides the cultural integration we are still looking forward to explore the surroundings of Ta Khun and are curious what awaits us next…