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!

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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

The adventures of a Kon-Tiki Intern – second week

Loi Khratong Diving Thailand Krabi Kon-Tiki Hi, second week now and Daniel is back in the shop! This month all the male staff are saving a mustache. We are saving a mustache because November is the month to raise awareness for prostate cancer, also known as Movember. To show that we care we let our facial hair grow for a month. The one that got the biggest mustache the end of the month wins.

This Friday I was with Charlie at Sheraton, staying by the pool and offered guests to try SCUBA diving. We also were in the shop that they have at Centara, selling tours and answered to all kinds of questions. This Saturday I stayed with Mauro at our Sheraton office. Both Centara and Sheraton is pretty similar, at Sheraton we also were in the pool and then the shop. The only difference was that Sheraton offered lunch and the hotel is much bigger than Centara. But both of the places are amazing!

Sheraton office Ao Nang khlong Muang Diving Thailand Krabi Kon-TikiThis Sunday me and my friend Martina went out and watched Loi Krathong at Ao Nang beach. We watched people dancing and playing music. We also dropped a Krathong down in the water to bring someone happiness and to pray for others. A Krathong is like a basket with flowers and candles, which you lit together with someone special and send off in the night as the tide is turning. People also light balloons to bring luck as the rise up in the evening sky. Loi Krathong takes place on the evening on the full moon once every 12th month. In the western calendar this usually falls in November. I think this tradition is very beautiful day. Everyone is happy, it’s dark outside and there are candles and music all over town.

Weird creature of the month – October

Harlequin Shrimp

HARLEQUIN SHRIMP

The Harlequin Shrimp was first scientifically described in 1852. The Harlequin Shrimp has a white body with large light blue spots. The males are slightly smaller than the female.

These are small shrimps, typically 2-5cm in length. It has large claws which are for show only; it does not use them for hunting.

These beautiful shrimps have a very specific diet: starfish. Upon finding their prey, they will overturn it to dine on the starfish’s delicate tube feet. Occasionally they take whole starfish many times larger than themselves. Even the huge Crown-of-Thorns, which has almost no natural enemies, is not safe around these guys. Some adults also feed on sea urchins.

Harlequin shrimps detect their prey using scent. The male and female shrimp overturn the starfish together to disable it. Working as a team, one shrimp methodically snips suction-tube feet from each arm of its prey. Meanwhile, its partner grabs an arm-tip and backs up like a tractor, gradually pulling the sea star over onto its back. This allows them to feed on its delicate tube feet starting at the tips and working inwards. Sometimes they will take the starfish into a dark recess where they can continue to feed for several days. Some even feed the starfish prey, keeping it alive so that they can dine on it later.

Their extraordinary coloration may serve as a warning to possible predators. It is thought that the shrimps incorporate toxins from their prey, making them bad tasting or potentially dangerous to eat.

As shrimp and other crustaceans grow, their exoskeleton does not grow with them and they must form a new exoskeleton to match their new size. During the period between molts they also repair themselves. If an antenna, leg or claw is lost new ones will grow and become evident after molting. It may take more than one molting period to fully repair any damaged or lost limbs.

Harlequin shrimps are fairly rare. When they encounter a mate, they stay together for life forming monogamous, often territorial, pairs. They mate shortly after the female’s molt. The female produces between 100 and 5,000 eggs per season which she tends and cleans until they hatch. The last one seen was around the Phi Phi islands at the dive site “Southern Tip”.

Kon-Tiki Krabi´s Instructors is swimming for the sharks!

PADI Instructors Christoffer Andersson, Olle Tjernberg, Kon-Tiki Krabi  General Manager Malene Jensen

Yesterday we showed the world that we take the fight for the sharks by implement our Finathon.

What is the Finathon™? Like a swimathon, fun run, cycle race or marathon – the Finathon is a great way to bring the community together, raise awareness and funds to support this unique cause. With your help and support can we:

Fight to stop shark finning

Insist on full protections for critically endangered sharks

Negotiate stronger policies to ensure a brighter future for all sharks

Shark fishing is largely unregulated around the world. Overfishing, bycatch and finning – the cutting of sharks fins and throwing away the body at sea – kills thousands of sharks every day. Project AWARE has recently helped close loopholes in the EU finning ban and secure international trade protections for 8 of the world’s most vulnerable sharks and rays. But, to ensure the survival of sharks, stricter, enforceable controls are needed for more species at national, regional and global levels.

Two of our finest instructors accepted the challenge to swim for Ao Nang beach to Poda Island if we raised 500$ but we didn’t reach all the way to our goal and ended up at a little bit over 300$. But our instructors still felt that they had to do something, they swam from Ao Nang beach, pass Tonsai beach to Railey west and then ending up at Phra Nang Beach, a distance of around 4.5 kilometer in the time of two hours and forty minutes in rain and wavy weather.

We at Kon-Tiki Krabi would like say thanks to all people who donated money to our event and help us spread: Extinction is not an option!

If you want to take action and fight for the sharks, you can find more information about how you can make a different at http://www.projectaware.org/

Christoffer and Olle start Swimming for Finathon

 

Finathon Kon-Tiki Krabi 2013 August

 

Christoffer and Olle kon-Tiki Krabi project AWARE finathon

Have you ever tried Night diving or Night Snorkeling? It is exhilarating!

Night-scuba-diving-snorkeling-Ao-Nang-islands

Suddenly a world you thought you knew becomes a lot different when you can see a whole new cast of critters revealed by your dive light.

You get to sleep in, as we start the cruise after lunch. We stop at different islands around the Ao Nang archipelago to snorkel or scuba dive in this amazing world. After the second stop, captain prepares a delicious BBQ and we watch the sun set in the sea. Once the sun setting, we will start to get ready to experience the marine life in a different way. With torches in our hands, we enter the water with your snorkeling guide or PADI dive master to find out who is still awake. Some places it is amazing to see the phosphorescent plankton playing in the light of the torches. While it may seem a little scary at first in spite of the familiar surroundings, night diving is also a great adventure and a great way to see the underwater world in a whole new light (or lack of it), so to speak.

If you like us love night diving you can sign up for the PADI Night Diver Specialty, or choose this as a part of your PADI Advanced Open Water.

Check out our tour

Krabi-Sunset-BBQ-and-night-snorkeling-divingcaptain-barbeque-sunset-ao-nang-islands