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Scavenger Hunt in Chiang Mai


The Hathai group poses under the nagas that guard the entrance to the the mountain-top temple of Wat Doi Suthep 

The Hathai group poses under the nagas that guard the entrance to the the mountain-top temple of Wat Doi Suthep 


A scavenger hunt was the task at hand and our time was spent doing the following...

Our first step was to get a songtaew to Wat Chedi Luang. When we first arrived our eyes were drawn to a mysterious looking brick tower. As we turned the corner the mysterious brick tower turned into a beautifully run down old temple. As we walked around in awe we searched for a monk to question, as that was our first task of the scavenger hunt. We eventually discovered the university where English speakers could communicate with monks who were practicing their English speaking skills. After a very interesting yet somewhat complicated conversation we gathered our things and continued our hunt.

We went right out of the temple and stopped at a small store to purchase postcards. Sierra purchased a folding card with an elephant and postcard with a temple. I bought three post cards. Two of them had elephants one had a temple. I also purchased jackfruit. After walking for a few minutes we decided we didn't know where we were going and looked around to find a tourist guide shop. In the shop a gorgeous Thai woman directed us to a fish spa on the edge of the moat opposite of our hotel.

Sierra and I now sit in the AC of an internet cafe drenched in sweat after a strenuous adventure in search of a fish spa only to find an unsettling high price and accepting the fact that we won't be finishing this scavenger hunt.



Hello this is Cynthia and Zahkile. We are writing from an internet cafe near Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai. Today we have been exploring the city looking for items to complete a scavenger hunt. It has been difficult so far. We started the day by traveling to the temple Wat Chedi Luang. we took lots of great photos there and got to have a chat with one of the monks who has been learning English for three months so far so it was a bit difficult to understand him. Hearing his story about why he became a Monk was very revalent and interesting.



We (Elena and Denis) are enjoying there time in Chiang Mai. The flights to Chiang Mai were SUPER long and bumpy. We've spent our time watching movies and eating ice cream. Chiang Mai is a beautiful busy city that is hot but enjoyable. We are enjoying all the wonders of tasty food carts.

Right now we are bonding via scavenger hunting. which is a perfect way to bond with one another. Later we will go get a foot massage while drinking fruit shakes. This may seem too good to be true but its not. We'll be sweating for our college credits. This ain't easy

From yours truly,

Elena and Denis.



Hello this is Lena and Maya, we are currently at an internet cafe.

Currently at Wat Chedi Luang at one of the internet cafe's here. The scavenger hunt today so far has been a challenging yet difficult journey. We have visited a beautiful temple and spoke to one monk who is in a 3 month English program to learn English as he said is an important factor to communicate with foreigners and to teach them what Buddhism is. Two interesting facts about monks are that they do not cook for themselves, they get food from the locals, and they have 271 rules that they have to follow including not driving, shaving their hair and eyebrows, can't work. After arriving in Thailand, it seems to be really crowded and more humid than it was back in Portland with the snow. The money over here is definitely different from home due to the currency and having different amounts in one pocket.

There are so many temples in Thailand and from where we are staying at, we went to two temples. At those temples, there were different people of many races coming all together in one place. There are many statues representing of the Buddha, there were this one particular flower that seemed to be a common one and it was white like a lily flower.

The bathrooms here are very different. For example, there's a squat toilet where you have to squat down to do your business and clean it after with a bucket of water to wash it down. Many dogs here are street dogs roaming around the city but they don't bite, very gentle animals and people here seem to take care of them very well like it's their own. Street foods are mainly around from the mornings to the evenings and are homemade and delicious.


Safe Arrival

Dear families and friends of the Hathai Cohort,

We just heard that the group arrived safely in Chiang Mai, have collected their baggage, and are on their way to their hostel to get some rest and start orientation. They had a smooth, but long, day of travel. Stay tuned for updates from the group – they will post updates about their orientation in Chiang Mai in the coming days.


And they're off!

Dear families and friends of the Spring ’18 PDXchange SE Asia Cohort - Hathai,

We are happy to report that that group has departed Portland and is en route to their adventures in SE Asia. They are doing well and are happy to be on their way. We’ll post another blog here when they arrive in Chiang Mai Thursday evening. We wish them a safe and easy journey to Thailand!


10 Days 'til Departure!


Hello!  Mai Mao and Topher here with a pre-departure update from Portland.  For the past week we have been planning and organizing our trip with the support of the amazing staff of Carpe Diem Headquarters here in Portland.

We've spent most of the last sunny week at a retreat center in Corbett attending safety workshops, playing games, honing our leadership skills and doing some last minute planning for our trip to Thailand and Cambodia. Some highlights of our time were sharing some laughs beside a beautiful waterfall and building a sweet stick fort in the woods. 

Hailing from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Mai Mao is bringing her years of leadership experience, her passion for social justice and a deep appreciation for almond butter to this PDXchange program.  Although she is sad to be leaving her cat IceCube at home for these two months, she is looking forward to sharing some amazing experiences with our unique students. Recently transplanted from the mountains of North Carolina to the rich soil of Oregon, Topher has been working with the Carpe Mundi program and the Hathai student cohort for the past 7 months. He is beyond excited to lead a semester in Southeast Asia for the third time. Topher is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and passion for human connection through music, games, and mindfulness practices.      

It's hard to believe that next week, we will finally be all together as a group embarking on a truly incredible adventure. We can’t wait to share the wonder of travel, as we all grow, learn, and transform together. 


Mai Mao and Topher