Remembering FS2556 II: Ranong, Kawthaung, Kanchanaburi, Sukhothai

*please credit if you are going to take and use some of the scenery photos (of course if it’s applicable to you), much appreciated! 

Let me begin my second post on FS with numbers.. we spent about 42-43 days in Thailand, travelling from South to the North. and for the front part we travelled as one big group until we had to split to Physical Geography group and Human Geography group at Sukhothai..

presenting the map to you. this map’s property of the Andaman Coast Research Centre located in Ranong.. we were exposed to some extensive and crash course physical geography field work there, and my group did on beach erosion. as seen from the map, we’re really located beside the Andaman Sea..

being an arm chair geographer for most of my life, seeing the Andaman Sea upclose is yet another eye opening experience..you see the waves come crashing in, and then when you look into the horizon, you can clearly see two shades of the sea.. one greenish-blue and another being brown (filled with sediments).. not something we can observe clearly at East Coast Park i guess?
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i will say i have new found respect for Physical Geographers, it is not easy work and sometimes it can be tedious and mundane with all the data collection.. i am not a fan of it, but being a Geographer myself i do admit that this aspect is important as well.. so all hail to Geographers everywhere ^^

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moving on, im showing off a photo of what we did for our project.. we drew a diagram about how to measure extent of beach erosion, and of course this diagram is not drawn to scale, it is also not 100% accurate in terms of the coast line. but pretty interesting fieldwork that we did out in Ranong.

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sharing a photo of my group members and i.. everyone really gave their all for this and many teams even stayed up late thinking about their hypothesis questions and also how to best present collected data in a clear and easy to understand manner. i am happy with our group dynamics cos everyone is so easy-going and really supportive of one another. thank you my lovely group mates and friends ^^ lucky me❤

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another photo of our “workroom” in Ranong..we spent about six days there and towards the last three days all the groups really gathered in this hall and did discussion and compilation work. the atmosphere can get a little “workish” but looking back it is really nice seeing everyone working hard together..

of course all is not rosy at Ranong, initially we thought that place was stifling.. imagine not having any access to telecommunications or amenities except for food prepared by the cook house.. but thankfully Dr. Z brought my group out for “chill-out” session on a random day.. we did learning on the beach and swam in a river, the water is actually cleaner and nicer to drink than the water we get at the research centre!

i guess i can now declare: i have swam in and drank from a river, i also learnt how to toss stones to make them bounce on water surface ^^

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right after leaving Ranong, we went for a day trip into Kawthaung, Myanmar. it’s not all leisure and fun.. being Geographers we had to observe our surroundings and make notes on what we see at the border. such border crossings are definitely new for most Singaporeans, i believe and it is not often where we get to step foot into Myanmar right? more on borders in a later post…
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another shot of KawThaung from the boat. really interesting landscape over there, and nothing like the ‘usual’ border-scape we have experienced..

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with “Fan” at a temple in KawThaung, i would say this town is quite catered for tourists taking a day-trip in? there’s also Victoria Point where we visited, where there’s a statue of a great Burmese king.. although interestingly that statue was not state erected, other possible relationship and economic implications to think of as a Geographer can tell you~

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it’s not very often one steps foot into Myanmar, and therefore a mandatory self-shot/selca must be taken ^^

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and after Ranong-KawThaung, we were given Tesco-Run hehe.. meaning a short break at the local Tesco lotus mega-mall.. i really like that place, it’s so clean and brings some familiar order back when one misses Singapore… but i think overtime, the need for order diminishes as we continue our FS journey..

our coach took us to Kanchanaburi, which means City of Gold for a short stop-over. the photo shows the Death Railway built during WWII.. i don’t really like that place for some reason, just not a vibe that im inclined towards..

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despite that, we visited the local night market and everyone took a photo of this beautiful sunset. now now, even though i don’t exactly like Kanchanaburi, what is not to like about this photo? and moving on….

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this delicious siew-mai was bought in Sukhothai! it costs only 5 baht for five of them!

yes… we’ve arrived at ancient kingdom, Sukhothai. i really like this place, it’s so full of history and culture that gives quite a quaint feeling.. the best part about Sukhothai is it’s so accessible and bike-friendly!

almost everywhere you see bike shops, laundry services and also a mix of local and foreign eating places~
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a group shot with the “explore Sukhothai before dinner” gang🙂 before we were briefed about our assignment here.. erm it’s aka the 18-hour assignment.. basically we have to cycle around the relics the next day, and make an annotated sketch of what we see, and then link it to any form of Geography we think is appropriate..

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an evening shot of Sukhothai before dinner. the whole place really allows one to take pretty photographs even on an iPhone! hehe i did not do any photo editing!

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the following morning we went out early on our bikes to explore Sukhothai! and this is me with one of the relic. i made use of the wifi-access to read up about Sukhothai’s history (but i didn’t use any information except for the religion part…) anyways, my personal feeling about this place is: it somehow makes you want to show the place respect and you can’t help but be in awe of this place.

i think i will come back here some day!

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i was also lucky to take a photo of this sight, i explored the whole day and was getting really impatient and quite flustered that i haven’t taken any photographs to give me inspiration for my sketch.. i really don’t want to just sketch the relics cos everyone would be doing the same thing..

on a side note: i even managed to chat with the devotee, who came all the way from Bangkok and he gave me inspiration.. thank you kind person who also happen to speak English~
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and so this is my annotated sketch, i actually took a risk to make my sketch with more of the artistic/lit. direction than geographical.. having explain the links with Geography through the annotations.. and i drew myself in, being the fat human climbing the flight of stairs up to a buddha relic.. all in all i enjoyed this project very much hehe..

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photo of one of the greatest Wat (temple).. the sight is really magnificent and although much of the structures experienced weathering, the size of it pretty much remained the same.. one can’t help but feel minute and small among them~

1012924_10200227190104192_851826498_nlast but not least, a photo with my friends who explored Sukhothai with me so early in the morning. i am so glad to have known them better and got closer to them, it is always good to have the company of friends! thank you to YT for taking this photo before some of us part ways to our respective Humanoids and Physicoids group ^^

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