When travelling to a foreign country one of the first things on your to-do list may not be to go see a movie in the theaters, however in Thailand I definitely recommend this! Showing respect to their King and Royal family is very apparent here, even before seeing a movie in the theaters. I was told about how they show a short video in honor of the King prior to the movie and after hearing this I was very intrigued by this concept, so I knew this was something I had to do! It also didn’t hurt that I soon found out Jurassic World was playing in the 3D Imax theater nearby, and in English! So, I made my way to the movies with some members of the cohort.
The theater experience itself was a bit different than in the states as well, we had to select our exact seats when purchasing the tickets, something I wasn’t used to. Once tickets and snacks were in hand we made our way to the theater. We sat down in our assigned seats and got ready to watch the previews in anticipation of the King’s tribute.
We watched a few previews of movies and then all of a sudden a slide came on the screen. In Thai and in English it asked for everyone watching to please stand to pay their respect to the King. Everyone in the theater did this so quickly and without hesitation, it was amazing and very powerful. The theater was silent as everyone watched as the video went through some key moments in the King’s life. The video was only a few minutes long. Once it was finished I looked around, as everyone was still standing in silence. Most of the viewers bowed to pay their respects and then proceeded with sitting down and getting prepared for the movie. Everyone seemed very accustomed and used to this tribute, which just goes to show how much this country pays respect to their Royal family on a daily basis.
“June 24th- what a day! we started out with a morning full of preparation for our presentation to the New Directions, Curious Creamery brand. This brand is working to change the “tradition” way we think of ice cream into a new, innovative way to get creative and have the freedom to create ice your way. The ice cream industry hasn’t changed in 100 years but New direction is challenging that way of thinking in a very exciting way. We were all very nervous because we have been working on this presentation and project for months now. The morning flew by. Around 1:30 we were on a bus headed to the McDonalds offices to begin our presentations. This was the moment we were all waiting for- nerves and excitement took over! There were 4 groups and each group had a different focus on direction for this start up business to go. The presentations were 20 minutes a piece and each group did a great job in expressing their work to the larger audience. What a rewarding relief is was to be completed. We all feel so lucky to be able to be here in Thailand to present this to the team. Typically presentations I do oversees is through video conferencing. Another highlight of this afternoon was we finally got to try the ice cream- YUM!!”
We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s never been more true for me until I came to Bangkok. I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater. I’ll try anything at least once. In our time here I’ve decided that most Thai food isn’t my favorite thing to eat in the world so I’m very thankful for the vast breakfast spread we have every morning. We never know what food lunch and dinner might bring so breakfast has been a safe place to fuel up for the day. There’s a variety of food from the local Thai cuisine to all our western favorites. I think most people in our Cohort will miss the French Toast, it’s the best French toast I’ve ever had.
Here’s a little video of all our breakfast offerings. Enjoy!
Being my first time out of the US, I’ve seen a lot that has been interesting. When seeing everything new it was comforting to find a little piece of America in the middle of Bangkok. Yesterday on our business visit to Pace, the development company that recently purchased Dean & Deluca , we fell back into the US! Dean & Deluca is located in the MahaNakon Cube and is a new market style concept for the brand. They not only have coffee like the stores that are familiar in the US, this store also has packaged foods, confectionary, deli and prepared foods. According to Roger, the director of strategy for Dean & Deluca, since the packaged foods don’t sell as well in Thailand, they have expanded to a fuller menu. This is what brought a group of us back for dinner.
Dinner was delicious! It was just what I needed after the various Thai food we have been eating since we arrived. From Pizza to pasta to sandwiches, this brightly lighted store is a taste of New York in the middle of a bustling Thai city. It was busy the two hours we were there filled with a mix of expats and Thai alike. In the land of smiles, this American was truly smiling.
Our third full day in Thailand and I feel that we have experience a lifetime of memories already. Today, we met with Jackie, the Managing Director of Ping’s Restaurants, it was refreshing to see the passion and dedication they have for their brand. Ping’s Restaurants is a family business that started in Singapore, but they felt the business could grow better in Thailand. Their commitment to authentic real Thai-Chinese food really shows not only in the flavors and menu but also in the relationship the brand has with the employees.
At the end of the visit we had the opportunity to taste some of the most popular menu items. One word that really describes Thai food is spicy! Even though I was not able to enjoy any of the sea food items the team was very accommodating and made items especially for me. I was very pleased with the dishes that were prepared especially for me and I was very thankful on how much they wanted me to have the same experience as the rest of the cohort.
I am going to close with something that Jackie mentioned during our conversation “business is business but family is always the most important thing”. Even though I am not part of the family, they made me feel like it when they went out the way to make me feel welcomed and included. I will always remember the chicken fried rice but I will never forget their kind gesture and authentic smile.
Monday June 22nd, was our first night exploring the city of Bangkok. Myself, Jessica, Joe, Karla and Sarah decide to see an IMAX movie at Siam Paragon, a breath taking mall only a couple blocks from our hotel. To heighten our adventure we decided to travel on the BTS Sky Train. As we exited our hotel, we took a left heading down the street to a near by station, this was our first mistake as later we realized taking a right out of the hotel would have lead us to a closer station. We arrived at the station after a couple minutes of walking, even taking a picture at a nearby McDonalds, to see a sea of people in several different lines. At first, it was very intimidating especially since we did not know what stop we need to exit at. Luckily, Sarah and Joe asked a local who pointed us in the first line to get change for the tickets. As they were doing this Jess Karla and I pulled out the map that Tong had provided us on our first day, to find Siam Paragon on a map, however at the time we forget the name of the mall and thought Armarin Plaza sounded right.
About to ride the famous BTS Sky Train!
After receiving our change we then stood in a second line for a machine to get tickets. Once we all had tickets, we then proceeded to a third line to show our tickets. We definitely stood in the fast pace rush. Once tickets were collected we headed to the gate. An interesting thing we learned was that there is a certain area you stand in when waiting for the train so that those getting off have an area to exit. We had to be little aggressive when the train came as the first time it was very full but we finally made it on the second time.
Once off we headed to what we thought was the mall however we soon learned it was the wrong place, we proceed to walk underneath the BTS until we found Central World Mall, once again not the right place but finally in the distance we saw Siam Paragon and we all realized that was the mall we had been looking for!
After the movie, it was easy to find the BTS as we followed a group of locals! We proceed with all the steps with such ease that we felt like naturals even getting some fun pictures before getting on the train. We thought our stop was Asok until we passed our hotel immediately after the Nana station that is when we realized we should have taken a right out of the hotel and not left. We had a wonderful first night exploring and now we feel almost (not quite) like locals using the BTS.
With complete different and unrecognized names, which I can’t even pronounce, we found brazilian food while taking a night stroll here in Bangkok. Brazilian foods such as Mandioca and Pão de queijo (cheese bread) and a lot of great appetizers, entrées and different and colored drinks made our night, and some of us took the famous ‘Tuk Tuk’ (taxi cab) back to our hotel.
The restaurant that we visited was amazing and featured amazing and stunning views of Bangkok. The neighborhood where the restaurant was located was called ‘Vadhana – Khlong Tan Nuea’ where we could enjoy a view of the city from a high rooftop restaurant lounge.
This is really a great cohort adventure and meeting Bangkok natives has been quite an adventure. The cohort is bonding and truly becoming a family!
Out and about in Bangkok! by Valerie Drebsky and Heitor Bover
After our days visits with tangent foods and American chamber of commerce – Thailand we headed out on the town! A group of us went to get tailor made suits – many of our first ones! They have hundreds of fabrics and tones of styles and you can buy it for decent prices. The best thing is that they are designed especially for you and delivered in two days. And besides the great deal you’ll also have a lot of fun.
Then that same group headed over to a restaurant Jon recommended that was so high up you could see the whole city which seemed like it never ended! What an incredible experience- what a great culture!
Part of the group exploring the streets of Bangkok!