TIME high school abroad – The internship to Open Water

Open Water course kon-tiki krabi diving thailand internship time karlstadHey everyone!

It’s now time for new post and a lot have happened since we posted on the blog last week.
This week we started our Open Water course and we joined the Kon-Tiki crew on a boat trip to Koh Haa and discovered the beautiful reefs. We have continued working on the website and we have done a lot. But let’s talk about the Open water course and the trip to Koh Haa instead.

We mentioned in a post earlier that Kon-Tiki kindly had given us the opportunity to get an Open water certification. Of course we took this opportunity to do it. We started the course on Monday with the theory where we had lessons with our supervisor and instructor Niclas after working hours. On Wednesday we went to a pool and exercised the skills you need to become an Open water diver. Some the requirements are taking of the mask under water and put it back on and helping your friend if he would be out of air under the water.

After the day in the pool we kept on working with the theory and on Saturday we would do the final test to get our Open Water Certifications.  We went down to Ao nang beach at Saturday morning where we met the friendly crew from Kon-Tiki and jumped on a boat. The trip with the boat took about 3 and half hours. We finished the last parts of the theory on the way to the diving point.
One requirement to get the certification is to do 3 dives the same day. Niclas, our supervisor and instructor, told us that we would dive three times this time and it would be demanding.

We prepared our gear and checked all the functions. When the boat was close to the diving point we put on our gear and got ready to jump in to the blue. Kon-Tiki served us large breakfast on the way to Koh Haa, in that way we wouldn’t get hungry while being in water. When the boat reached its point we jumped down in the water at once. While down in the water we did some test that we had learned in the pool earlier this week. We had to do an emergency ascent which is a requirement in the course. After the test we went down under water and stopped on the bottom. Here we would do another couple tests to show that we were ready become divers.

We were underwater for about 35 minutes and we managed to see a banded sea snake, a devil scorpion fish. The visibility this day was really good, a perfect day to explore the beautiful marine life in Thailand. When we got out of the water we changed our cylinders with air immediately because we were about to go into the water again.

Turtle diving thailand krabi TIME program karlstad internshipAfter 20 min on the boat we went down into the blue again. This time we would do the last part of the requirements to become an Open water diver.  In this dive we followed a reef and it’s probably one of the most beautiful things we have seen. It’s not only the fish species that amazes us, but the all the beautiful colors from the plants at the reefs. To float over the reef and view how the whole reef works together in one unit and supports each other, undoubtedly something everyone should experience. It’s a completely different world under the surface.When we were hovering over a reef, Niclas managed to locate a Hawksbill turtle. It was swimming about 10 meters away from us and luckily the sight was very good. Our instructor Niclas always manages to find something that amazes us! After about 5 minutes it went deeper and out of our sight. Along the way to the boat we encountered a big shoal of barracudas. Their glistening scale was really beautiful, especially when they were some many. We were under water for about 35 minutes.

On the boat again it was time to get a well-served lunch from the Kon-Tiki crew before getting in the water again. We took the opportunity to get some free soft drinks and fresh fruits.  After eased our hunger and thirst it was time to back into the water, the last dive before becoming a certified diver.

We did only a few skills on the last dive since there was alot in the earlier dives. The plan was to swim along a reef downwards and in this dive there was a current but if we stayed close to the reef we wouldn’t notice the current. This time we had moved to another diving point which contained a very beautiful wall of marine life.

We went down under the water and the visibility was still great. Along the reef we saw a Spiny lobster and a couple lovely Banded Sea snakes. As the earlier dives, the reef was covered with beautiful colors from the coral. And again we were amazed by what the marine life offered us. With all the shoals from different species it was like swimming in aquarium.  You can encounter the fishes really close without frightening them.

In the end of the dive we saw Great Barracuda that was drifting in a current not far ahead of us.  From our location it seemed to be big and it was bit scary with its teeth.  But no aggression was shown at all and we could remain calm. The marine life is so friendly to divers!

On the way up to the surface, Niclas congratulated us for becoming Open water divers.
The whole crew would congratulate us on the boat as well when we were about to reach Ao nang.
Once again, Niclas and Kon-Tiki have given us an unforgettable adventure and we are really grateful for this opportunity.

Take care!

TIME high school abroad – The internship continues

monkeys on ao nang beach diving krabi thailandHello again.
It’s time for another post from our adventure in Thailand. We forgot to introduce ourselves properly in the first post, so we will take the opportunity to do it now.

Our names are Marcus, Alexander and Erik, as we mentioned in the post before we are from Karlstad International TIME program which is an upper secondary school in Sweden.  We have been educated in IT, media and entertainment enough said.

We have now spent one week here in Ao Nang, Thailand, with Kon-Tiki. We have been working from Monday till Friday where we have been helping Niclas and Martin with a web project. We have been designing buttons and working with menus for the website most of the time. One of the main goals with the webpage is to make it more accessible for mobiles as well. As I mentioned, we have been working a lot with the design.

Last week we hired scooters to make things easier for us here in Ao Nang. Our hotel is situated between the office and beach, in that way it takes some time to travel between the places. Using scooters make things much easier and cheaper. When we have finished work on the weekdays around 5 pm, we take our scooters down to the beach and get ourselves a swim. The weather has been most of the time great, so taking a swim is a great way to cool down and the beach is beautiful here in Ao Nang.  Some of the days we have been on the streets of Ao Nang and checked out the local shops.

At Wednesday we were on Discover Scuba Diving trip with Kon-Tiki, you can read more about in our first post. Otherwise our days here Thailand have been kind of similar, working on the webpage in the office with Niclas and Martin. We had free time on the weekend. At Saturday it was raining a lot but we went down to the beach anyway. Near the beach at the southern side, there’s a national park where monkeys live. It’s a staircase that Monkey at ao nang beach diving thailand leads along the mountain and through the jungle. In here you will meet pack of monkeys and be careful because they might steal your belongings, especially if you bring food with you. Actually they tried to steal my bag with a pair of pants in it. We visit them both Saturday and Sunday to get some nice photos of them. At the weekend we have also tasted a bit of the night life here in Ao Nang.

In week number two we will be starting our PADI Open Water course and after work we will have lessons in diving at the office. On Thursday morning we will be in the pool to practice the important parts in Scuba diving and after that we will make our dives. But more of that later!

Our time in Thailand has so far been very good, the Kon-Tiki-staff have been very welcoming and they are taking good care of us. They help us a lot to make our staying in Thailand as good as possible.

See you around!

TIME high school abroad – An internship adventure

Internship thailand diving with Kon-Tiki

Hello!

We are three guys from Karlstad’s international TIME program, Sweden. We have been given the opportunity to spend three weeks in Ao nang, Thailand, as interns for Kon-tiki Krabi. Karlstad’s international TIME program is an upper secondary school that educates students in Digital Medias.

So what we will be doing at Kon-tiki is helping them with web project that will help them reach out to more who wants to try out diving and experienced divers as well. And Kon-tiki has also given us the opportunity to get an Open Water certificate; we are really looking forward to this.

Our journey started at Saturday, 8/3-14, where our flight took off from Arlanda, Stockholm. We reached Ao nang around 11 o’clock on Sunday. We had been told to meet up at Kontiki’s shop with our supervisor Niclas for the first time. He showed us the way to our hotel, where we will be living for three weeks, after introducing ourselves.

At Monday we started the project with creating a new webpage. Monday morning our ride picked us up at our hotel and took us to Kon-tiki’s office. We meet Niclas and another of our colleague Martin at the office.

As I mentioned, Kon-tiki have given us the opportunity to try SCUBA diving. Therefore Niclas took us out at Wednesday for one of Kon-tiki’s Discover Scuba Diving Trips. Our ride arrived at 7.30 am that would take us down to Ao nang beach. We met the Kon-tiki crew at the beach and jumped into one of the boats that would take us to Kon-tiki’s diving boat.  This boat would take us first to the Phi Phi Island, where Niclas guided us through Phi Phi. We took the opportunity to take a short swim at the wonderful beach in Phi Phi, were the weather was great!

We went back to the boat after a short swim and now the boat would take us to the first place where we would dive. When the boat was on its way to the first dive point, we started preparing and fixing our equipment before arriving. In that way we could jump into the blue immediately when arriving to the diving point. Of course Niclas told us the safety rules and told us what we needed to think about while being under the water. When our equipment was ready we jumped into the water with Niclas. He was the one who would take us through the adventure. We had a lot of luck this day because the visibility in the water was very clear and this means we had a good chance to see a lot of marine life. Down under the surface we meet a new world. Hovering of the sea bottom without falling down was something completely new and we had all kind of fish species around us.

And above all of our expectations, we saw sharks. It was not only one shark; the total count was approximately 15 sharks and we saw them many times. The name of the sharks is Black-tip reef shark. They were very beautiful and they showed no signs of aggression at all. It’s really a pity that they have such a bad reputation.

blacktip reef shark diving maya krabi ao nang

If we let them be, they won’t mind us at all. We lost the sight of them when we moved on and after 50 minutes we were up on the surface again. Now it was time to get some food before the second dive. Meanwhile at the boat we were served free drinks from the Kon-tiki staff. Nice fresh fruits were served all the time, a good way to keep the heat down. After a well-served lunch we prepared our equipment and got ready jump into the blue again. This time we would go deeper down and follow a beautiful reef with all kind of species.

This time the diving itself went much better after some problem with keeping a constant height and we started to feel confident in the water.  In this dive we actually saw a beautiful seahorse and the reef itself was amazing.  Along the way we saw a couple morays lurking in their dark holes.  After following the beautiful reef it was time to get.

When we got up on the boat again after the last dive, it was time to put back in the equipment and get home to Ao Nang again. The start of our adventure couldn’t have been better due to our supervisor Niclas and the Kontiki-staff. Thanks to all of you on the boat and we are looking forward to further dives with you that hopefully will result into Open Water certificate.

Hello – Daniel here for the last week as a trainee at Kon-Tiki in Ao Nang!

Daniel Kon-Tiki trainee

Another week has passed and now I have only one of eight weeks left of my trainee period. This internship has made me more comfortable to speak English, developed my knowledge in tourism and also in diving.

On Monday I was in the shop helping Andrea and Annika. I took care of the delivery so they could continue with their computer work. I also made about a hundred price tags. I only needed one but that is just waste of paper so I printed out three pages of different stuff. That also makes things easier for the shop staff in the future. So when they need a price tag they don’t have to print out a new one; so we think about the environment and the staff doesn’t have to waste time to print out new tags.

On Tuesday I was on the boat working as an assistant to the snorkeling guides. It was a tour to the famous Phi Phi Island. I have been on this tour many times and it is always nice to work on this tour. We have also another tour called the Exotic Phi Phi Island and this is really my favorite tour. The difference between these two tours is that when we do the Exotic Phi Phi Island we stay at one of the islands, called Phi Phi Don, and have a look at the culture and the people staying there.

Back to my working; I also helped the guests to find masks, fins, life jackets and I also answered all kinds of questions that the guests had. As I am studying a tourism and service program it is always good for me to practice “small talk” with different kind of people, different ages and from different part of the world. When we work at the boat it is always nice to talk with the guests about their day, what dive and/or snorkeling stop they liked best, what country they are from etc. Then when they ask about me, what I am doing at KonTiki I am happy to tell them that I am still in Upper Secondary School and have the good opportunity to do my internship abroad and in this case at KonTiki in Thailand. “Woah”, they usually say and also “I wish I was young again and had the same opportunity as you to study abroad”.

On Wednesday I was with Jerone at Centara Resort. Centara is a five star resort, situated nearby the sea in Ao Nang. We have a small store for Kon-Tiki there offering guests at Centara to try dive both in the pool and of course tours with our boat. You can go there either by foot or by boat. When you go by foot you have to walk on a small bridge up and down through a forest with monkeys hanging around you and it is rather exciting. When you go the “water way” – if you do not want to take a boat you can walk or swim from the Ao Nang beach. Different guests come during the day asking for everything from snorkeling and diving to borrowing the toilets! You can never be prepared on what questions you will get; another practicing moment for my tourism and service studies.

On Thursday I was with Fredrik at the dive center. The dive center is situated about 3 kilometers from our shop in Ao Nang. At the dive center we have all our diving and snorkeling equipment. We had to fix the snorkeling taxis because they had broken down. Of course I did that work with a smile although I had fixed them two weeks ago and now they had broken down again. Why? Last time I had used glue which was not water proofed. Good of me when the items should be used in the sea but you always learn something new, don’t you?!?

On Friday I had my day off. That suited me very well as my parents and my sister have been visiting me in Ao Nang during this last week. Today it was their last day in Ao Nang so we made an excursion to The Hot Springs. This is a very beautiful place situated around 80 kilometers from Ao Nang inside the county. It is a waterfall with hot springs and you can take a bath in this “sweet water”, which is good for your health.

On Saturday I was with Max at Sheraton. Sheraton is the other 5 star resort where we have a diving shop. Sheraton is a larger resort than Centara and we have also more contact with the staff at the resort. For example, when we are sitting in the store some of the Sheraton staff comes in and say hello and look for us if we are working!! This day we had two Chinese kids that wanted to try diving in the pool. They were very young but very good. There was no problem at all. It was also good that they could speak English. I wonder what the diving terms are in Chinese???

Today it is Sunday and my last day this week and also the last day I am writing in the blog.

You might wonder who “the intern Daniel” is and where is he coming from? I come from a city in the middle of Sweden called Karlstad. I am studying at Tingvalla Upper Secondary School (Tingvallagymnasiet) at the Hotel and Tourism program. I am now at my third year and will graduate in June 2014. At my school we have two teachers that have been working with internationalization for a long time. Instead of doing your internship in Sweden the students at my school have the opportunity to apply for internships abroad, financed by our government in Stockholm. The teachers put up flyers about the internship and then students like me can apply. After you have applied you come to an interview. If it goes well and they think you can handle being abroad by yourself for two months and work hard they contact you and give you the happy news. Then of course the most important of all is that we have kind and interested companies abroad like Kon-Tiki that will take me and other students and give us the chance of this great experience.

So thank you Malene and the rest of the staff for this period and for this fantastic opportunity.

Scuba Diving

Trainee

Kon-Tiki Krabi trainee

Praktik hos Kon-Tiki Thailand – Tiden går fort när man har roligt

Praktik i Thailand hos Kon-Tiki dykning och snorklingVisste du att du kan göra din praktik hos oss här på Kon-Tiki i Krabi? Det visste inte jag för fem år sedan, för hade jag vetat det så hade jag inte spenderat mina praktikveckor med att plocka disk på Princess bageri i min hemstad. Jag hade åkt till Thailand för att lära mig allt om dykning, snorkling och turism.

Daniel är en av dem som valde att göra sin praktik hos oss och han har nu varit en del av vårt team här på Kon-Tiki i snart en månad. Det är tråkigt att vi snart ska behöva ta farväl av vår omtyckta praktikant. I snart 8 veckor har Daniel hjälpt oss med allt från att organisera i butiken, hjälpa till med kunderna till att agera assisterande snorkelguide ute på havet. Och det är precis så det är att praktisera här, du kommer inte alltid veta vad du kommer få göra morgonen därpå. Och det är bland annat det som kommer få dina veckor att kännas som dagar.

Kon-Tiki välkomnar eldsjälar som inte har någonting emot att spendera sin praktik i ett land med en medeltemperatur på 30 grader tillsammans med andra människor som också brinner för vad de gör. Men låt inte destinationen lura dig, det är inte semester utan dagarna kommer vara fulla av diverse olika uppgifter och utmaningar. Men visst skadar det inte att göra sin praktik i ett av Thailands mest berömda semesterparadis?

Någon stannar två veckor, en annan stannar över en månad. Det är något som vi kommer överens om med din skola. Tack vare varierande arbetsuppgifter och mycket nya lärdomar får vi tillsammans tiden att gå väldigt snabbt, samtidigt som vi har väldigt roligt.

Nu har du chansen. Jag rekommenderar dig att ta den, jag önskar att jag hade gjort det.

Se här när Malene blir intervjuad av praktikant från Tingvalla

The adventures of a Kon-Tiki intern – fourth week

It’s another week again so here I am!

This Monday I was on the snorkeling safari for the first time and it was great! My job activity this day was to fix the last boat taxi and bring it to Ing-marie, Kon-Tiki´s smaller boat. Now both of their boats have them. The day after I was in the shop was we were making the schedule for the weeks depending on how many guests they have booked. I also went to Kon-Tiki´s dive center to leave some DSD papers (Discover Scuba Diving), talk to costumers and placing out new goods. This week I also been to the Sunset BBQ for the first time, it was raining but we had a lot of fun anyway! When we were night snorkeling I saw something that I have never seen, it was glowing dots in the ocean. These dots come from a plant down in the water that sends out particles that glows when you move your arms or legs. It was very cool experience.

This Saturday I had my day off so me, Martina and another friend went to try Muay Thai, which is traditional Thai boxing. It was a very rough work out, but it was also really fun. Today I’ve been with Mauro at Sheraton. When I and Mauro came there were people in the pool who were doing aerobics so we couldn’t have any try-dives at first.  But eventually we could do some try dives with different families and their children got to swim around with diving equipment.

Daniel Nilsson,

Kon-Tiki Trainee

The adventures of a Kon-Tiki Intern – third week

Snorkeltaxi A-Tiki Krabi Ao Nang Thailand

Busy, but fun!

Hi! Daniel here again. This week have been busy for me as I´ve been everywhere! The week started with Mauro on Sheraton, but I had to leave because Charlie forgot some paper in the shop. I went back on my own, and I almost got lost, but I found my way. The rest of the day I spend with Charlie at Centara as it would´ve been unnecessary to go back to Sheraton out in Klong Muang. I have also been in the dive shop to make price tags and all kinds of other stuff, like cleaning and copying papers. This Saturday I was on the boat but this time I had some different projects to do than usual. I got posters, glue and a scissor from Malene to make flags to the snorkel-taxis that the snorkel guides use. This, so when they snorkel with guests in case of someone getting cramp or needs a rest. I also did some paperwork on the boat. They have a binder on the boat with a lot of paper, but the paper wasn’t at the right place in the binder so I had to organize it. I also helped Caroline with the snorkelers with finding right size fins and masks and then I led all the snorkelers when we were in the water. The week has been hectic but really fun!

It hasn’t been great weather these last few days, but it looks like it’s going to be better.