Northern Thailand Tour on November 2-10, 2019

Japanese students and Thai students visited northern Thailand together. 
This is a project to learn the local economy, interact with universities and people living in each city.

This is the second project following last year, and this year it was carried out for 9 days from November 2nd to 10th.
This year, in addition to 8 seminar students including Professor Komoriya of the Faculty of Economics of Chuo University, 3 people from Nagashima Seminar of the Faculty of Economics of Saitama University, 4 people of Chulalongkorn University and 2 staff members totaling 20 participated in the tour to visit “Northern Thailand Tour”.

Arrived in Bangkok on November 2nd.  We visited the Faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University on November 4th. After the research presentations by Chuo University students and Chulalongkorn University students, four students and two staff members from Chulalongkorn University who accompanied them to “Northern Thailand Tour” were introduced.

We headed to Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, to visit Mae Fah Luang Univ. on November 5.Professor Dr. Rapipong welcomed us.  Then Saitama University students made presentations.

After that, 10 students from Mae Fah Luang Univ. joined and headed to Mae Kok Foundation, an orphanage where children of ethnic minorities live. We talked about the life of ethnic minorities in northern Thailand and the state of Thai people, and after dinner, we had a singing and dancing exchange with the children living here.  Then Ms. Anuluck who runs the facility, and the children’s handmade flowers “Thai lanterns” were washed into the river, and at the same time, “Komroy” were raised in the night sky.

The next day, everyone who spent the night together took three jeep buses to visit the village where the Akha people live and enjoyed playing in the river on elephants.

After lunch, we head to the border town of Mae Sai, crossed the border bridge over a small river, and experienced crossing the border on foot to Myanmar.

Head to the “Golden Triangle”.

When we arrived, the sun had set, but we were able to see the Mekong River, which straddles Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. The view from the hill overlooking the “Golden Triangle” was already dark, and Laos and Myanmar on the opposite bank were lit.

Overnight at Imperial Golden Triangle Resort. A five and a half hour bus trip from Mae Sai to Chiang Mai on November 7th. 

Visited Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai.  Dr. Nisit Panthamit gave lectures on “History and Economy of Thailand” and “Life in Bangkok and Local Cities”.

After the seminar, 6 students from Chiang Mai University joined and visited “Ban Rom Sai” where children and orphans infected with HIV live. Accommodation was at Hosihana village run by Ban Rom Sai. A T-shirt designed by a Japanese student for this tour was presented. Everyone wore it for dinner, and they continued to interact with the students of Chiang Mai University until late at night.

We returned to Bangkok on November 9th and had a farewell party at night.
In the scene where each of them expressed their impressions about this tour, it was a tearful greeting.

In this tour, the participants were divided into four groups, and they discussed daily within the group, had the experience of leading and acting responsibly, got a glimpse of a world they did not know, got new friends of Chulalongkorn and in each region. Having a strong bond with friends was a big win for everyone.


Chuo University Faculty of Economics Associate Professor Yoshimasa Komoriya

With the retirement of Professor Satoshi Hasegawa (now Emeritus Professor), my seminar students and I from Chuo University Faculty of Economics participated in the 2019 Northern Thailand Tour. I frequently visit Bangkok for work, but I had not visited other cities in Thailand for a long time. I thought I had visited Mae Fang Luang University (MFU) in the past, but I wasn’t sure. (Later, I confirmed that I had visited MFU to conduct a field survey in March 2013). Throughout this tour, students from my seminar and Saitama University students shared time with Chulalongkorn University (CU) students. MFU students in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai University (CMU) students in Chiang Mai also spent time with us in Northern Thailand. I was very curious about what students from different countries would see and feel spending time in an environment that is not part of their daily lives. I am convinced that even Thai students learned a lot through their interactions with our Japanese students, exchanging their ideas and sharing meals and attending parties together. Students in my seminar are usually busy with their study groups during the school year and I was concerned about how they felt about the busy schedule that awaited them by participating in the Norther Thai Study Project. But I found that my worries had been unfounded. I was initially a bit frustrated by watching the Japanese students preferring to eat Japanese food instead of Thai food. But I was impressed with the way the students actively interacted with students from MFU, CMU, and CU. I was also able to see different sides of students that I am not able to see when I am on campus. Last but not least, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the people who supported the Northern Thailand tour.

Participant comments

It was a trip that made me strongly feel that I was not alone even when I crossed the national borders or nationalities. To be honest, this tour was not easy. However, as the days went on, Thai students took the initiative to reduce my burden, and my school colleagues thanked me. Above all, on the last day, I was told that I was a good leader and things would not have worked out if I had not been the leader. I am not exaggerating when I say that I will remember these comments for the rest of my life. It made me feel warm, realizing that someone will always notice me no matter what I do.

I was very happy to have a valuable experience through this trip. Above all, I would like to thank everyone who made this experience possible. It was a lot of fun to travel with everyone. I am really thankful to you.

The nine days I spent in Thailand have become an invaluable experience in my life. In addition, I am convinced that the trip was made much better because of all the kind Thai students. It was really fun and I look forward to seeing you again.

This tour was an irreplaceable experience for me. During the orphanage tour, I felt a closeness with both of the orphanages in knowing that they were established and supported by the Japanese people. The Thai people were kind and had such nice smiles, and they talked with me in such a cheerful way. I would like to thank you the program, for being able to make friends with people like them, and for being able to stay in touch through SNS even after the tour. I hope that the next generation will be able to experience these wonderful opportunities as well.

Originally, I was very confused about whether or not to participate in this tour, but I am glad that I was able to. It was a very interesting experience. I would not have been able to have such valuable experiences nor to visit certain places if I had traveled to
Thailand on my own. I made wonderful memories with Thai friends, friends of Saitama University, and OCA staff. I hope the students who are juniors at my university will also join this experience next year.

I was able to expand my horizons by participating in the 8-day Thai tour. I made friends with Thai students and connected with them on Facebook and Twitter so that I can contact them in the future. Being able to participate in this project was a valuable experience for my future life. As someone from China, I sometimes speak English and sometimes Japanese and it can be confusing, but both the Japanese and the Thai I met were very kind. We had a great time together. The best thing about participating in the project was the opportunity to re-examine myself.

I was so lucky that I had an opportunity to join this trip to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I really enjoyed every day and every place we went. The most important thing that I got from joining this trip is the good relationships with all my best Japanese friends! Thank you so much.

It was a great experience when we were in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai together. We did a lot of activities and spent good quality time in many places. I was quite excited and nervous the first time I met all of you, but then the nervousness disappeared when we began to talk and get to know each other. Thank you for the past 4 days! Hope we will be together again!

This trip was wonderful! I can’t believe how it was incredibly fun! ^_^/ I made lots of new friends during this trip (Some of them
are my close friends now). Even after the trip is over, we still keep in touch. This was a great and obvious evidence to show that “A strong friendship doesn’t need daily conversation or being together. As long as the relationship lives in the heart, true friends never part.

Participant face photo

Chuo University

Saitama University

Chulalongkorn University