THAI-lights: Top 10 Photos of My Semester Abroad in Thailand

Samantha Manning is a student at University of Northwestern – St. Paul and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Bangkok, Thailand.

It’s my last week in Bangkok, and I can’t help but reflect on the amazing experience that Thailand has given me. Here is my Thailand Top Ten.

Sunrise, Koh Samet, Thailand - Manning - Photo 1
Sunrise over Koh Samet Island
  1. The Beauty

Thailand is breathtaking. In the past few months, I have seen and experienced how truly beautiful this country is.


Jungle Trek, Chiang Mai, Thailand - Manning - Photo 2
Jungle trekking in Chiang Mai
  1. The Adventure

Thailand is for adventurers. Between the mountains of the North and the beaches of the South, the opportunities for exploring and discovering are endless. There’s something for everyone: rocking climbing, cliff jumping, deep sea diving, zip lining, rafting, and biking… Just to name a few.


Fire Show, Koh Samet, Thailand - Manning - Photo 3
Island Fire Show
  1. The Entertainment

Thai people are very talented, whether that is in music, art, athletics, or my personal favorite: throwing fire.


Ancient Ruins, Ayutthaya, Thailand - Manning - Photo 4
Ancient Ruins of Ayutthaya
  1. The History

Thailand has a long and proud history. This photo was taken at the ruins of the previous dynasty: the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. The history of Thailand has shaped what the Kingdom has become today; the religion, the social system, and the economy have all come from years of both preserving tradition and implementing change.


Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand - Manning - Photo 5
The Grand Palace
  1. The Architecture

Thai architecture is like nothing I’ve seen before. Temples and royal buildings are covered in ornate detail, and each is a work of art.


Cooking Class, Banthi, Thailand - Manning - Photo 6
Thai Cooking Lesson
  1. The Food

It’s the thing I’m going to miss most about Thailand. Thai food is simply AMAZING.


Traditional Weaving, Banthi, Thailand - Manning - Photo 7
Traditional Weaving
  1. The Traditions

Thai people are very proud of their culture and traditions. The Royal Family and local businesses have taken the initiative to preserve traditional handicrafts. These women from the Banthi Village work cooperatively to produce traditional hand-woven textiles.


Mountains, Banthi, Thailand - Manning - Photo 8
Mountains of Northern Thailand
  1. The Landscape

Mountains, fields, jungles, forests, islands, and beaches… Thailand has it all.


Loy Kratong, Chiang Mai, Thailand - Manning - Photo 9
Loy Kratong Festival
  1. The Culture

Studying abroad in Thailand has been a cultural experience beyond anything I expected, and I have loved it. I have gotten to see another way of life. Festivals, like Loy Kratong, are just one way of experiencing the rich culture of Thailand.


Sattahip, Pattaya, Thailand - Manning - Photo 10
Sattahip Beach Kids
  1. The People

The absolute best part about my semester in Thailand has been the people. Getting to know and learn from my new friends about each of the points mentioned above has been more rewarding than each of those things on their own. It has been the hospitable and welcoming people of this country that have made this past semester the best one of my life! I am very thankful for the people of Thailand.


The world awaits… discover it.

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