As soon as I left Sydney airport, I went to the beach. It was good to breathe clean air again.

Despite its chaos and pollution, there are definitely things I miss about Bangkok.

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China Man’s Beach in Sydney. Photo by Ada Lee

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Being back in Sydney really puts the differences between Malaysia and Australia into stark contrast. There are the obvious things — like the weather and the style of driving. But there are other things, things you wouldn't think would be so different. After all, both countries are democracies, both have a royal family. We both have newspapers and news reporting and multicultural populations. However, there are huge differences in the media climate and culture of two countries that seem so similar.

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There is nothing better to get you excited for returning home than hopping into a cab where the driver is watching a movie on his phone — as he is driving. Our last ride home from the office was full of surprises as the driver swerved across lanes in his attempts not to miss a minute of his favourite film. We put a stop to this quick smart and I arrived safely back at the apartment to enjoy my final night in KL.

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Mr Tan, owner of the Eastin Hotel, praying at the alter behind his hotel.

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With a short trip to Pattaya and some time on Dutch soil, the final week here has come to a close.

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The Sanctuary of Truth. Photo by Michael Dwyer

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Thailand has a violent history. In 1351, Ayutthaya was built on slavery to become Thailand’s most prominent city. In 1767, it was torched and destroyed by the Burmese.

Today, Thailand continues to have a dark shadow of human rights abuses.

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Took a day trip to the ancient city Ayutthaya. Photo by Ada Lee

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Before coming to Malaysia, many people informed me it would be an easy first country to travel to, mainly because almost everyone speaks English as a second language. One of my colleagues further suggested that many people would actually consider English to be their first language. Considering I haven’t used my phrasebook or translation apps once, it’s fair to say, it’s been pretty easy to get around.

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A group of Indonesian foreign workers Amanda and I interviewed for a story. Photo by Shaza Barbar

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I see Thailand through eyes warped by my Australian–Malaysian upbringing. The art, the nightlife, the politics, the journalism practices are all filtered through my pre-existing beliefs.

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A completely different type of art at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo by Ada Lee

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About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.
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