> Thailand - Parallax: the life of media interns abroad

Blog home


Goodbyes are hard. Sentimentality took hold of me and fellow intern Lauren on our last day together along the lines of “This is the last time we’ll grab dinner here” or “This is the last time we’ll walk on this cracked footpath”.

Entry 6 - Final dinner.jpg
Final dinner with the ‘Asia Focus’ team. Photo: unnamed waitress.


Entry 5 - orchid farm.jpg
An orchid farm. Photo: Katherine O'Chee

Being Chinese-Australian, half of me has always felt an affinity with Asian cultures that have somehow ‘made it’ in the West. Think K-pop, from South Korea. Or Bollywood, from India. Or Pokémon, from Japan. We called this phenomenon ‘counterflow’ in our Media Globalisation class.

Because Australia’s European roots and strategic ties with the US has made it culturally and historically distant from its geographical neighbours, I’ve so often only seen that half of me through a Western lens. Yet my three weeks of reporting for the Bangkok Post have completely flipped this.


Bangkok buzzes like cicadas, relentlessly from night to day, but such noise is very much foreign in Thailand’s northeast province Loei. There I found myself for a day and half, with a mission to do some reporting for the Bangkok Post.

Entry 4 - Rice fields.jpg
Rice paddy fields. Photo: Katherine O'Chee


Entry 3 - Klong Toey markets resized.jpg
Klong Toey markets. Photo: Katherine O'Chee

Klong Toey takes certain pride in its status as one of Bangkok’s biggest slums. As run-down as it may appear when compared to its neighbouring city centre Sukhumvit, which glimmers with luxurious shopping centres and five-star hotels, the district isn’t without its charm. My walks to the Bangkok Post office, located in Klong Toey, revealed much to see and absorb: from its famous fresh food market, packed with stalls and locals; to train tracks overgrown with greenery and garbage; to motorbikes along the roadside, offering rides for 20 baht; to hawkers parked on the footpath, selling meat sticks and sweet drinks.


Bangkok is hot, hectic and huge. Crowds seem to be a common denominator here, from the morning ride on the underground train where hundreds of commuters press against each other, to the tour groups flocking towards the Grand Palace. Food also appears to be important in making connections, with people laughing over banana and egg crepes from a street stall, to families eating together at a high-end food court. Everywhere I go, whether it is in the city’s centre or on the outskirts, there is something to do, something to see, something to taste or someone to meet.

Woman BKK.jpg
A local street stall selling delicious banana pancakes. Photo: Lauren McNamara


Besides drinking a cup of Thai iced tea from the Australian Embassy cafeteria every morning, air-conditioning became my most reliable way of escaping Bangkok’s unrelenting heat this week. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the indoors, whether that be the metro, shopping complexes or restaurants by the roadside. In such locations, cool temperatures were guaranteed and therefore a haven for sweaty bodies.

Entry 2 - Australia Day distributing pamphlets resized.jpeg
Pamphlets on enduring Australian-Thai relations. Photo: Lauren McNamara


Three days ago, as I embarked on my six-week trip to Thailand, I was feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves for my time at The Bangkok Post.

To ease my way into Asia, I had planned a two-day stopover in Kuala Lumpur, a city I’m familiar with having lived there for eight years. But the usually mundane eight-hour flight quickly turned into the scariest day of my life as we made an emergency landing due to an engine failure (yes, it was as frightening as it sounds).

Malaysia Airlines Blog.jpg

A beautiful day over Central Australia. If you ignore the fact that we're flying with ONLY ONE ENGINE! Photo credit: Lauren McNamara


luggage REAL REAL.jpg
A brimming suitcase. Photo: Katherine O’Chee

I anticipate Bangkok’s skyline will greet eager travellers, such as myself, with bizarre architecture. From Thai architect Sumet Jumsai’s Robot Building, a 20-floor android inspired by his son’s toy robot and intended to humanise technology, to the 77-storey MahaNakhon skyscraper shaped distinctly like a spiral of computer pixels, I imagine it will feel like stepping into the future.

Yet Bangkok, I’ve been told, is also home to some of the most beautiful temples on earth. These structures anchor Thailand to its past, and as my Thai friend explains, remain important sites for locals to practise Buddhism (praying and merit-making, which involves offering food to the monks and donating money to the temple).


The 15 minute wait between trains at my local station in Sydney seems far too long after a month and a bit of efficient Bangkok sky trains with TV monitors running ads about Singha Beer and animated hot pots with dancing beef strips.

Hey Jude 2.jpg

Singing 'Hey Jude' at JJ Green Markets. Photo: Shon Ho


“What do you want to eat tonight?”

The woman waves at me from a stool in front of a counter lined with condiments and ketchup. She had helped me two weeks ago to order chicken fried rice with an omelette at the restaurant across the road without an English menu. The shop is box shaped - pale green on the outside with yellow walls on the inside. A TV hangs above the counter playing Thai soaps.


“Sawadee Ka!”

Mr Nyun, the security guard in front of our apartment complex greets us with an enthusiastic wave and maybe two thumbs up every morning.

BK From the Skybridge.jpg

The view from the Sky bridge. Photo: Shon Ho


In Bangkok, buses are the real deal. You hear, smell and feel the engine grumble below you.
Lined with wooden floor boards, Bangkok buses are wide and spacious and the cheapest (although not the fastest) way to get around.

Bangkok Bus.jpg

All aboard the bus. Photo: Shon Ho


Good cafeteria lunches and utes converted into buses were foreign concepts to me, but I have learnt to embrace them both over the past week.


As a fervent opposer to summer and heat, I had expected Bangkok to be hotter. But between tall cups of iced Thai coffee, and the air-conditioned sky train, metro and buildings - walks around the city in long sleeved work shirts have been really quite enjoyable.

There’s always something to see in Bangkok. Whole deep fried fish float in boiling woks of oil perched on makeshift burners on the sides of streets, the smell of chicken over hot coals coat humid mornings at 8am, and take-away containers of raw salmon sit in 30 degree heat over ice in small hawker stalls.

Street Stall.jpg
Street vendor. Photo: Shon Ho


Before leaving Sydney, I was (as I expect most of the fellows were) both hesitant and eager. Knowing my nerves, my boyfriend said to me as I walked towards the departure gate, “don’t worry, it’ll be hard at times- but smooth seas don’t make skilful sailors”. As it turns out, I had to keep repeating this mantra over my first weekend in Bangkok.


After a month and a half in Thailand it has all come to an end. While there were times when the intensity of Bangkok triumphed over me, I left with a world of knowledge about Thailand that I could never have received otherwise.

Queen Sirikit Park.jpg
Queen Sirikit Park. One of the most beautiful places in Bangkok. Photo by Michael Dwyer


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.

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


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

sanctuary of truth.jpg
The Sanctuary of Truth. Photo by Michael Dwyer


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.

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


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.

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


This week I got three articles published, which have received 2023 views combined. But reading over them I can honestly say that I’m unimpressed. Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying the fruits of the Bangkok nightlife.

Whisgars Bar.jpg
Whisgars Bar.


This week has been a bit of a non-event. The review will be published next week hopefully and I have spent three days sick in bed.

The Lonely View.jpg
The lonely view from the apartment. Somewhere out there is the Bangkok Post.


Bangkok is an old city. Modern music and vibrant signs emanate from the many red light districts here but memories are the lifeblood of this place. Bangkok draws in expats from around the world looking for an alternate lifestyle to their Western homelands. With them, they bring memories of war, of people left behind and of a media world that once thrived.

Horses remind me of the past at the prestigious Thai Country Club. Photo by Ada Lee


One week in at the Bangkok Post and I still haven’t been able to master getting to work. Every time I have come in this week it has been by a different route. There were two days when I didn’t have to come in, both times I was sent out in the field to get stories and came back with something which has very limited potential and one which might make it onto the front page of the 'Life' section.

The Bangkok Post.jpg
The Bangkok Post editorial offices. Photo by Michael Dwyer


"Do you speak English?" would be my opening line when trying to interview tourists for my first Bangkok Post story. As expected, language would be the biggest barrier for me as a journalist in Thailand. It's hard to report on a country when your understanding of its rich and complicated history only scratches the surface, and it's hard to develop a deeper understanding without knowing the language.

A billboard spotted on my taxi ride back to the office, hinting at Thailand's complex political situation. Photo by Ada Lee


Two weeks ago I woke up in Phuket after sleeping for sixteen hours, planes and I rarely agree, one flight put me in hospital once. Flights have always felt something like the test in the desert, if you can make it out the other side everything will be much clearer. So it felt strange to be waking up to a place where Temptation and Vice rule. A more religious person might think of this as a modern Sodom.

The blinding sun of Bangkok.jpg
The blinding sun of Bangkok


Bangkok is a tale of two cities. In Siam, towering shopping centres with shiny white floors and golden decorum are filled with designer brands, rich Thais and Western tourists. The locals call it “Hi-So”, which is short for “high society”. On the streets, food carts and the homeless share the hot, polluted air.

The view from my apartment balcony. The sun rises through the smog. Photo by Ada Lee


Returning home to Australia, the land of pristine beaches, crisp air and safe drinking water, Bangkok seem worlds away.

It has been exactly one week since I have touched down in Sydney and after a smooth overnight flight, it is uncanny to think that in eight hours you can arrive somewhere so different to where you left off.

Bangkok's back streets. Photo by: Shona Yang


Returning from my longest trip away from home, it is both comforting and strange to find that nothing much in Sydney has changed. I, on the other hand, feel quite different.

A different view: Back home in Sydney. Photo: Mikaela Griffith


My final week at the Bangkok Post has been characterised by the frantic, seemingly endless ebb and flow of a very messy to-do list. I knew this month would fly by, but still I was not prepared to say goodbye so soon.

Our last day at the Post! Photo: Mikaela Griffith


Being one of the major economic hubs of South East Asia, Bangkok presents an interesting cultural blend of new and old, and when we’re not working, Mikaela and I are busy exploring the city’s crowded sois, colourful street stalls and vibrant night markets.

tourist 1.jpg
Clocking off at 5pm and exploring the streets of Bangkok. Photo by: Shona Yang.


I spent my third week at the Bangkok Post preparing a story on the Rhoingya minority group by researching previous media coverage on the crisis and attempting to refurbish the story from a fresh, new angle. My task: create news.


Our second working week at the Bangkok Post, the halfway mark of our internship, has come to an end but my familiarity, confidence and experience of local life in Bangkok is only just beginning.

post lunch .jpg
$1 Lunches at the Bangkok Post cafeteria. Photo by: Shona Yang


I opened up Tuesday’s Lifestyle section of the Bangkok Post, and saw the printed words ‘STORY: MIKAELA GRIFFITH’ at the top of a page. With a yawn, I closed the paper and went to get coffee.

Just kidding. I actually let out a squeak of excitement and did a little dance, a big silly grin all over my face. Super dorky, but seeing my first ever printed article gave me a huge buzz – and I don’t even drink coffee.

Published! Photograph: Mikaela Griffith


I scrambled into a taxi, clutching my expansive tourist map as I called out “Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre” to the driver, who nodded confidently and set off. A little while later, as the car moved through the streets of Sathorn, he cheerfully told me that as the Cultural Centre was surrounded by protests, he was taking me “somewhere better” with “lots of good shopping”.

While I do enjoy a good shop, this was definitely not good news: I was headed to the BACC for an interview with exhibiting artist Andrew J West. My first week at the Post, it seemed, would not only be a lesson in navigating busy streets, but also navigating language barriers. Probably should've seen that coming.

Wild Rush (2013) by Andrew J West, from the exhibition 'Three Worlds' at the BACC. Photograph: Mikaela Griffith


European couples refuse to let the political crisis disrupt their travel plans, writes Shona Yang.

My first published piece for the Post. Photo by: Shona Yang


The Australia Day celebration hosted by the Australian Embassy in Thailand was glamorous and sophisticated, a fitting end to our first working week in Thailand.

Mikaela and I excited to eat the Ayers Rock shaped cake at the Australia Day function. Photo by: Shona Yang


In Bangkok city, shirts bearing the colours of the national flag and merchandise plastered with anti-government slogans such as Reform Before Election have become symbolic of the protests that now occupy much of the city.

Hand written signs surrounding the Silom rally site. Photo by: Shona Yang


My week in the north has sped by faster than the mad old man who hurtled us through the streets of Chiang Mai on his mad old tuk tuk.

Adventures in Chiang Mai; Tiger Kingdom, Karen hill tribe village, Mae Taman River, a golden statue of Buddha. Photos by: Mikaela Griffith.


My grandmother just called to tell me that I'm not to go to Bangkok. She is "very concerned about all that protest business", and would like to use the Australia-Thailand Institute funding for a holiday in Queensland instead. Not happening, Gran.


Photo by: Mikaela Griffith, card by Kikki K


My first experience of Thailand was a culmination of three hours in transit at Bangkok’s Survarnabhumi airport. I am en route to Chiang Mai, where Mikaela and I will be journeying through the hill tribes, elephant parks and temples of the north.


It’s an old cliché but time surely does fly. With just under four days left until departure, D-Day is fast approaching and Bangkok, the city of angels, is just around the corner.


Our last week at the Bangkok Post has come around unbelievably quick! So far, we organised final interviews and pitched final article ideas to our editors. Along with all the 'finalities', Liv and I have been overwhelmed by encouraging and uplifting words from the friendly Thai bunch that has surrounded us everyday for the past 6 weeks.



Our time in Bangkok has come to an end and Berna and I have spent our final week frantically finishing our stories. I also spent a whirlwind day trekking around China Town interviewing subjects for my story on redevelopment in the area.

Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 10.43.24 AM.png

Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 10.43.46 AM.png


This past week I got to interview film director James Huth and accompanied Bernadette to her Marion Grasby (of masterchef fame) interview. Time is slipping through our fingers and tomorrow we start our final week at the Bangkok Post...

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 10.42.15 PM.png
Chinese New Year lanterns in Chinatown.


Over the weekend, Olivia and I took a taxi ride 2 hours north of Bangkok to Pattaya. While Pattaya is a city notorious for less than moral agendas, I assure you we were there to cover a noble cause.

Stephen Beard, owner of the ‘Haven Hotel’ in Pattaya, and committee member of the ‘Baan Jing Jai Orphanage,’ invited us to view the construction site of a new, more accommodating children’s home made possible by the generous funding from a Norwegian company. This company has already promised 5 million baht to provide for the orphanage's relocation, and the donation is likely to be repeated next year.

Some of the Baan Jing Jai Committee

The building site of the new orphanage


Last weeks' highlights included getting published for the first time, interviewing author John Burgess, attending the opening of 'Microfestival - Live at the Scala', going on a days' walking tour through the back alleys of China Town and attending an anti-shark fin rally. To say we have been busy would be a gross understatement...

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 6.03.04 PM.png

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 5.59.29 PM.png
Photos taken by me in Bangkok's Chinatown


Although we don't technically work on weekends, Berna and I spent the majority of our time-off writing and rushing from one side of the city to the other, frantically interviewing subjects on the way. But as the saying goes, there's no rest for the wicked.

Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 3.33.28 PM.png

Screen shot 2013-02-03 at 12.04.59 AM.png


My first week at the Bangkok Post has provided a great learning experience. Although filled with a handful of challenges, there was a silver lining, and a bit of hard work has gone a long way. Let’s start at the beginning...

First day at the Bangkok Post; felt just like starting year 7 (mainly because I had Pringles in my lunchbox).

Olivia and I stepped through the door on Monday morning, shaking with nervous energy, and we were assigned our positions during our month-long internship. I was placed in the Bangkok Post’s magazine on weekly rotation, Brunch, while Liv was given the Life section.


Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 5.18.18 PM.png
My first day at the Bangkok Post

It has been a dream come true working as a 'journalist', doing real interviews and writing real articles. I am thrilled to be working for the LIFE section of the Bangkok Post which is a daily lift out (Monday to Friday) with a focus on Arts, Culture and interesting stories. After meeting my editor Kong I was immediately given several stories to work on and was all too eager to hit the ground running.


One of the (many) joys about this fellowship experience has been living in a different country. Many of my previous blog posts have neglected to illustrate the menial yet rewarding activities Bernadette Morabito and I have shared together such as cooking. As two 'wogs' with Greek and Italian heritage respectively, quite typically, food is something we have delighted in on this trip.

Thai people have an incredibly beautiful take on food and in a bustling city like Bangkok, there are a constellation of street stalls waiting to be explored. The careful balance of clean flavours and sweet, sour and spicy is a difficult one to replicate, however here is my take on Thai cooking. This recipe is quick, easy and delicious.

You can leave the salmon marinating in the fridge so it's ready to be thrown in the oven after a long day interning.

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 1.44.32 PM.png


From the moment the gleaming silver security gate slid open, revealing a glistening green and gold temple surrounded by a moat full of huge koi fish...I felt strangely at home. The week at the Australian Embassy (as with everything on this trip) has flown by in a flash of meetings, word documents, media events, press releases and iced coffees.

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 5.17.38 PM.png
Aforementioned monster koi!


After a week at the Australian embassy in Thailand, Liv and I left with a more comprehensive understanding of how each agency works to strengthen ties between our two nations.

The first two days were spent meeting with individuals from each agency for a run down about their roles. Senior Trade Commissioner Greg Wallis and Trade Commissioner Mark Wood greeted us with the formal exchange of business cards. Unfortunately, Liv and I forgot our cards back in our office, and felt as though we’d had our first corporate hiccup in Thailand.


liv at embassy.png



Our intrepid tour finished yesterday and boy did it fly by. I cannot believe we have been in Thailand for nearly a week and that our internship at the Australian embassy starts on Monday!

The intrepid tour was a fantastic experience largely due to our Thai guide Amy who gave us a wonderful cultural education. On hearing that Berna and I are budding journalists she kindly answered any questions we had and translated the Thai television news for us in the mornings. Having her there to contextualise breaking news such as the Rohinga Refugee story and the Carabao Concert Riot gave us unique insight into contemporary Thai issues that I'm sure will prove invaluable when we start writing our own articles.

Whilst I definitely prefer traveling under my own steam, the tour was great at selecting key tourist attractions that helped broaden our understanding of Thai society. We began the tour by heading to an elephant sanctuary where we watched an elephant paint a picture of a tree. I couldn't believe my eyes as the grey trunk lifted the paintbrush towards the easel and proceeded to create a better portrayal than most humans of the same age (seven years old). Afterwards we clambered upon their backs, gritted our teeth and tried to get used to the jarring and lumbering movement of the elephant as we rode through the jungle and then through a shimmering opal-coloured river...

Screen shot 2013-01-19 at 9.04.09 PM.png

Screen shot 2013-01-19 at 9.04.37 PM.png

Screen shot 2013-01-19 at 9.06.11 PM.png


The chaos of Bangkok reared its head all too quickly upon arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Running on a combination of excitement and adrenalin we jumped straight into a cab, which crawled its way through the traffic to Bangkok’s glittering butter-yellow train station that looked more like a temple than a train terminal.

To our dismay, the train tickets had sold-out, as it was national ‘Children’s day’- an oversight that saw us desperately searching for alternate arrangements. It was either that or camp out in the station, sharing the floor with similarly weary travelers and a menagerie of stray cats and dogs.

We managed to book last minute bus tickets and were instructed to wait for our ‘driver’ who finally showed up forty-five minutes late, beckoned us to follow him and led us into the busy street. Dodging our way through the speeding traffic we arrived at our ‘bus’, which turned out to be a tuk-tuk. Before we knew it our suitcases had been roped precariously onto the vehicle. Exchanging nervous looks we clambered on board, unable to communicate with the driver and unaware of where we were headed...

Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 10.13.21 PM.png


“Don’t venture out of the main city.”

“Don’t drink the water…unless you boil it first…or it’s bottled.”

“Don’t eat off the streets.”

“Don’t get a taxi unless it’s in an assigned bay.”

These are just some of the strict words I’ve received from my ethnic mother, my ethnic family, and my ethnic and non-ethnic friends, about my imminent adventure to Thailand. It’s really as expected from my Italian mother, who’s prided herself on making me a bubbled wrapped child (secured in cling wrap, and finally encased in a sealer bag) but the cynicism from others made me feel compelled to carefully pencil in each detail of my trip for it to run safely and smoothly.


This morning it gave me great pleasure to circle 'Jan 11' in thick, black texta. After months of counting down and a daily ritual of striking the days off my calendar, it was time to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

After spending a couple of days visiting my parents in Singapore, I'm sitting in Changi Airport getting ready to catch my flight to meet my fellow, fellow (ha) Berna in Bangkok. We plan to take the night train up to Chiang Mai and spend the week experiencing all the 'Rose of the North' has to offer.

Compulsory cheesy departure shot, taken by my cousin @hollywithers89


Somehow my time at the Post, and here in Bangkok, has come to an end. I’ve filed my last story on the continued uncertainty and fear in flood-affected regions in Thailand (to be published this coming Sunday), checked in for my flight home and nearly begun thinking about packing my undersized bag.

Having worked/travelled at such a pace for the past five weeks, visiting so many new places and meeting so many new people, I’m afraid once I return to slow-motion time in Sydney, this whole experience will be stored away into a disconnected, distant past.

So to assure myself stuff has actually happened and I have picked up more than just a pair of elephant pants and an appreciation for Sydney’s sewerage system, I’m going to indulge in a few musings. No hyperlinks, no overly drawn-out tales, just a shortlist of my top three semi-meaningful lessons from being an intern, in Bangkok, at the Bangkok Post.

last day.jpg
My Bangkok home


It’s Friday the 24th of February. For some people that means absolutely nothing, but for me it signals the end of an era. A very short, nonetheless exciting ‘era’. Today’s my last day at GURU in the looming building of the Bangkok Post.

The Bangkok Post, Ra Ranong Road, Klong Toey.


Although this is my final week of catching a pink taxi to work, and on the way back, riding a motorbike to the MRT (subway) and walking ‘home’, I plan to make the most of it.

While my articles for Friday were being sub-edited other assignments beckoned, as mentioned before, I submitted seven movie reviews for this Friday’s paper, as well as a food spotlight on Bar@494 and a Wine Me, Dine Me feature on the French restaurant Surface. The photography feature was pushed back another week for something else that came up (timeliness is a key news value after all). It would have been nice to see it in print before I leave; I’m hoping my editor will mail it to me once it’s published the following week.


“I have a story for you, but you probably won’t be able to do it.”

Paul my editor has a real knack for one-line introductions to my next assignment. Previous ones such as “Just how fit are you?,” “How musical are you?” and “Have you ever shot a gun?” all made me immediately fearful of what was to follow, but this latest preface probably tops it.

Anyway, turns out the story was doable, and I did it.

Done. My story (on the right) in today's news section of Sunday


It’s the end of another week here at the Post and with deadlines looming (Friday is deadline day) I am trying to write up some short movie reviews, edit/re-write a ‘Wine Me, Dine Me’ article, i.e. a restaurant review and finish a general feature article on photography in Bangkok.

But that’s not what this post is about, nope. My name is officially in print, this time with by-lines! Before I quickly recap the week that’s been, here are the articles which came out today:

This is a short restaurant review of Wine Connection.


Usually running a half-marathon would be the achievement of my Sunday morning. But having my first story published in the Bangkok Post consumed most of my pride today.


Printing by-line x 3. Articles forthcoming.

Over here at the Bangkok Post’s GURU, issues are put together a week in advance. So when I first arrived everything was being proofed for the coming issue and deadlines for the next paper (3 Feb) were bearing down quickly. Today I can happily say a little something I wrote has been published – the short film reviews for new releases.

Gemma Khaicy GURU.jpg

Gemma Khaicy GURU Films.jpg


My first story is now “on the page.” Don’t get too excited – it is not actually in the paper just yet. It is sitting on the computer system floating around level two of the Bangkok Post building, waiting for the sub-editors to step in: fact checking every detail, deleting every unnecessary comma and adjective (they would have a field day on this blog), and the most exciting part - writing a heading!



It’s not just the food here that has had my taste buds dancing, delighting and sometimes shouting ‘fire!’… This experience has so far been a menu of variety. From navigating through the city via taxi, tuk tuk, motorcycle, Skytrain and subway, to finding my way through the news room, I’ve tasted a number of flavours of life here in Bangkok – foreign, enjoyable, surprising, exciting and very occasionally unpleasant (lost taxi drivers and whiffs of sewer odour).

Déjà vu - starting work again.


So, have you ever shot a gun?

Not quite as extreme question as “have you ever had a gun to your head?” but still enough to jolt you from your first-day-at-work-post-lunch daze.

Well, do you want to shoot a gun then?

And so I have my first project at the Bangkok Post.


Our first day at the Bangkok Post has gone quickly.

We left home at 9:30 am as budding interns eager to embrace the intensity of a foreign news desk.

Turns out our expectations were a little misguided.


I was going to post yesterday before bed but thought it would be much more fun to report on location. Live.

So here we are. Gemma and I. In our own office in the Public Diplomacy Unit of the Australian embassy in Bangkok – the fourth biggest Australian embassy in the world.

First day at work.jpg

Gemma and I - ready to leave (one hour early) for our first day at work.


Dipping my toes into the waters along Phuket’s beaches and exploring the trees and seas of Thailand’s popular tourist region is a reality right within my grasp. In the one week before my internship begins in Bangkok, I’ll be exploring the Northern Andaman Coast of Thailand in Patong, Phuket. Today I fly out to the Kingdom of Thailand!

Bags are packed, day trips booked, itineraries have been drawn up and this adventure of a lifetime is about to start. How can I express my feelings at this point?


I've never blogged, never been to Bangkok, never had a business card, and never written for a newspaper. So bear with me.

A month ago, my knowledge of Thailand extended to Facebook albums of Full Moon parties, the scenes in The King and I, and the menu at Thai-La-Ong. So when I received the exciting news about interning at the Bangkok Post, I decided it was probably a smart idea to start broadening my knowledge of the city, the country and the region.

Bangkok Post.png


“Gemma Khaicy is a Media and Communications student at The University of Sydney. She has worked at The Bangkok Post …”

I am looking forward to adding that last bit to my writer’s bio next year. What does it means to travel to Bangkok, Thailand and actually intern in one of the major daily English newspapers? Well I am going to find out in an experience of a lifetime.

Photograph of Bangkok lights, 2011 by Mikiane on Flickr.


Sent out to cover a new spa therapy alternative for the Post's 'Spa Trek' column, you realise that the proposed treatment is really a load of codswallop? Find out here.


Where the magic happens...

A strange thing happened to me at the Post this week. I was assigned, among other things, to preview an upcoming Bangkok music festival: the Bangkok Guitar Fiesta. That would be the same Bangkok Guitar Fiesta I worked on press releases for at the Australian Embassy. Can you say 'Conflict of interest'?

1 comments |

Twiddling thumbs, unusual gifts, transport tussles and Tourist Authority tours. After a week at the Bangkok Post, it has come time to reflect.


After a week at the Australian Embassy, Satorn Rd, Bangkok, I have to reflect on a level of hospitality that I have yet to experience anywhere else in the world. Once initial introductions were completed and I was installed in my own office (!) amidst the Public Diplomacy team, the real work - and, inescapably, even more introductions - began.


Apologies for lack of image, apparently my files are 'too large to upload'. Will resolve shortly.

And so, after a short trip to Melbourne (testing out the faulty lung that has kept me away from Thailand until now - and passing), a lengthy delay at Melbourne International (which turned out to be not so lengthy - thus the running to the gate with half a burger and fries jiggling madly in the hands), an expectedly no-frills flight courtesy of JetStar and an aging cab driver with whom I didn't heckle over the doubly inflated 'highway' charges, I'm here in Bangkok.


To look forward to: The lights, the scale, the traffic of Bangkok.


In Bangkok Richard, Charintip and I called on Khun Tulsathit the Editor at the Bangkok Nation. Like Pichai, he also regretted that Richard was leaving the program and hoped it would continue, expressing great satisfaction with our Myer interns. He mentioned that he could always use one or more interns and was looking forward to further collaboration.

richr rob and tul.jpg

Richard, Khun Tulsathit and Robin


We visited the Bangkok Post and met with Pichai Chuensuksawadi.


We met with the Ambassador James Wise and his staff at the Embassy.


It seems like I blinked and it was gone! I'm safely home after a most amazing 6 weeks in Thailand. I had a great final few days at the paper and then flew south to Phuket, where I spent a few nights at a yoga retreat. It was very relaxing yet strenuous (4 hours of yoga day!), but a great place to also finish up my last two articles, which I have now sent off.


"Things are about to start happening," a veteran reporter at the Post told me on Wednesday, staring into his gin and tonic. "They'll take to the streets".

The Supreme Court will deliver the verdict Feb 26 on charges against deposed former Prime Minister Thaksin, who is charged with abusing his authority when he was prime minister to benefit his business empire. Although government and military officials keep reiterating that they do not expect violence, almost everyone is Bangkok is preparing for some action. It is rumoured that Thaksin's loyal political party - the UDD, a.k.a the Red Shirts - is likely to take to the streets in violent protests and demonstrations should the court find Thaksin guilty. Some are even predicting ANOTHER military coup.

The office and news services here are flushed with speculation, commentary and constant updates on the situation, but I guess only time will tell. For now, though, I'm keeping out of busy public places - last weekend two bombs were found planted, but were disabled before any damage was done. I'm scheduled to fly home on the 26th, decision day, so let's just hope there's not a repeat of the airport closure!

Here'a link to an article form the ABC - http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/18/2823516.htm

Fingers crossed I'll leave a peaceful Bangkok.

Last day in the office today, before heading to review the Shangri-La tonight.
Happy Friday!


Please find link to my feature article from today's paper that is the whole front page - very exciting!

I'm halfway through my last week at the Bangkok Post, and am suddenly feeling quite sad. It's an awkward period of time, 6 weeks, because you finally start to feel settled and get your feet and then boom, off you go!

1 comments |

Vertigo in a Bangkok Shopping centre
Shopping centre.jpg

Free aerobics in Lumphini Park
Aerobics 1.jpg

Aerobics 2.jpg

Crazy Chinatown
China town.jpg
Crazy chinatown.jpg

3 comments |

I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of my third week in Bangkok…suddenly 6 weeks seems such a short period of time to take in, explore and experience a place. I will have to savor the time I have left.

After an admittedly rough start at the Bangkok Post, where my strength and pride were tested by the fact that no-one knew I was coming, nor had any work for an intern(!), I plucked up the courage to assert myself, introduce myself personally to editors, and in my most polite manner demand some stories. Feeling much more settled this week, I can report that I now have quite a few stories on the go, had my first article published yesterday, and even enjoyed an overnight trip to a luxurious heritage resort on assignment for the travel section of the paper. Lucky me!

1 comments |

After a very organised and structured week at the Australian Embassy, I have to admit that the start of my first week at the Bangkok Post has been quite the opposite!

1 comments |

Shot of my studio apartment

Sailing on the Chao Prayer river at sunset

Wat Arun, which means Temple of the Dawn, at sunset from the rooftop bar of Amorosa

Wat Arun silhouetted by the setting sun.

2 comments |

Sunday night 9pm - touch down in Bangkok. 10pm - arriving at my hotel, realisation slowly set in that the Ibis Nana hotel lay in the notorious Nana Enternainment Complex district, Bangkok's infamous home to its most frequented and popular Go-Go bars of the red light district! Needless to say, the lobby was swarming with old German men with Thai beauties on their arms. But who am I to judge? If the Thai's can accept it, so can I! Location aside, it felt so good to be back. The smells of street food cooking intermingled with the humid night air and the occasional whiff of sewerage is strangely comforting and familiar. Life moves at a million miles an hour, and I knew instantly that this trip would be nothing but fast paced and adventure packed.


I’ve been to Bangkok twice before. As a fresh faced eighteen-year-old, Bangkok was the overwhelming, energetic, consuming first stop on my gap year out of school. The second time, I ended a summer trip to the Thai beaches and Cambodia with a self-indulgent shopping trip.

But I’ve always only passed through the city once titled the ‘Venice of the East’, and in my preparations and research for this, my next adventure, it’s only just starting to dawn on me how much I might have missed. Which makes the five weeks awaiting me in Bangkok, writing for Thailand’s national English newspaper The Bangkok Post, such an exciting prospect.


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.