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Erika, Bangkok, Thailand

Erika, 39 a Filipino living in Bangkok, Thailand for the last 3 years has taken advantage of her new surroundings by switching from tourist to tour guide.

Erika in Ayutthaya

What do you enjoy best in the country you're in? Any recommendations for travelers going to your new country?

"We’ve been living in Bangkok for a little over 3 years now, having moved last February 2013.

Living in a new city will always be a combination of anxiety and excitement. The first year will seem the longest but time does fly when you start having fun. One way to get your bearings around a new country is to learn more about the culture because that way, you understand why things are the way they are, and you appreciate everything more.

In January 2014, I decided to take a 3-month course to become a volunteer English-speaking tour guide at the National Museum of Bangkok. Suddenly, the little nuances of Bangkok become so charming because I knew the history behind it. I not only learned so much about Thailand, but I made really good friends who come from all over the world. After graduating, I’ve been guiding at least twice a month at the museum, and I also helped organize the 2016 workshop for future English-speaking guides.

Being a guide is very fulfilling. More than just knowing what you know, it’s being able to share it with people who have either no idea, or very different ideas of what the Thai culture is all about. Even the smallest details make for amazing stories that your guests will remember from their trip to Thailand.

Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Bangkok, commonly known as KrungThep to the Thais, is actually a shortcut for a very long full name:

Krungthep Mahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit

Imagine writing that in your immigration card!"

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