For the latter half of the Chinese New Years holiday, I traveled south to Bangkok and Singapore. It was awesome to get away from the frigid northern Yunnan weather. It’s not as bad as say Beijing or Hanover since the lowest lows are around to -1 or -2 centigrade, but without any central heating in the buildings, I think it’s a lot worse.
I did a little sightseeing with a friend from Kunming for two days and saw the main sights…
-I played in my first international tournament, Bangkok Hat. For those not into frisbee, a hat tournament is where players are randomly placed on a team. I think this may be the largest hat tournament in Asia. There were 20 teams with players from all over Asia. My team (shown below) was Baby Pink. Despite hating on our team color, our team really gelled and it was awesome playing with all of them. We had players from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan! It was a weekend of good ultimate, thai food on the sidelines, and thai massages between games. I don’t want to go back to the bagels and peanut butter fare we have in ultimate tourneys in the states!
-After the weekend, I made a quick stop in one of my favorite place, Singapore. Mainly it was a visit to see my grandparents and meet up with my parents. However, it was also great to catch up with old friends and play a little beach ultimate at Sentosa. When most people think of Singapore, they most probably think shopping on Orchard, skyscrapers, and probably the gum ban. However, as an extremely well planned garden city, there’s actually a surprising number of green spaces. One of the highlights of Singapore was getting out of the city and going on a short gumboat ride to Pulau Ubin with my dad. It’s was cool to see the old kampongs, mangrove swamps, and untouched nature that existed before Singapore underwent its modern, large-scale urban development.
-On a totally different and nerdy note, this Bangkok and Spore trip was awesome because I got a chance to see cultures and places that I learned about in college. Last fall I took a Geography course on the politics and environment in South East Asia. It’s a coincidence that I gave had a final presentation on Bangkok’s traffic/air pollution and a final paper on Pulau Ubin in that course. The Bangkok traffic really is as horrendous as they say (I was stuck in a cab on an off ramp for roughly an hour) and besides my dad and I, Pulau Ubin was filled with Singapore students on Outward Bound trips. Like outdoor ed at Chadwick, Outward Bound is strongly encouraged for high school students in Singapore. I love it when you can see the things you learn in school!
Until next time,