A Trip to Thai For

Trip Region: Southeast Asia
Country(ies): Thailand, Malaysia
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $1975
Airfare Estimate: $1800
Nightlife: 8   •   Activity: 7

There are MTreks. And then there is this MTrek.

Years from now, the legendary exploits of those who were fortunate enough to be on this spectacular trek to Thailand and Malaysia will live on, eminent and eternal, whispered in the halls of Ross (possibly even the classrooms), as the infallible measurements of greatness, the unequivocal benchmarks of dreams. “They didn’t Instagram the beaches. The beaches Instagrammed them,” they will say. “They didn’t just become the definition of fun in the dictionary. They became the dictionary,” they will say. Does that even make sense? No. But they will still say it. We’re not promising immortality if you go on this trip…but we’re not NOT promising it either.

Born in the brains, hearts, and bowels of your leaders during their own MTrek together, this unforgettable trip will take you on a truly amazing journey of incredible cities, an epic rainforest, and beautiful beaches in the place where we all fell in love with each other. We will adventure, we will dance, we will sweat, we will definitely sweat while we dance, we will rage, we will certainly at some point not feel great digestively, but most importantly, we will (most likely) live through it all together. Sound good? Great. We’ll see you in August.

Travel Day — Saturday, Aug 18

Depart for Bangkok. It’s a long journey ahead, so download your movies, put on your favorite relaxing Spotify playlist, and get some rest...you’re going to need it. Before you know it, you’ll touch down in Thailand’s own of City of Angels (seriously, look it up).

Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 19

Woohoo, we’ve arrived in Bangkok! Pat yourself on the back for surviving a 20 hour voyage, then collect your bags and meet your M-Trek leaders at the ever-so-sleek Nouvo City Hotel. Welcome Meeting at hotel starts at 3pm local time. Once we’ve become acquainted with each other and the pool, we meet up with our local guide and head to cooking school to have our very own private cooking class. Prepare to cook up some authentically awesome local Thai cuisines (sorry Bidnam, Pad Thai is not on the menu today).

Day 2 — Monday, Aug 20

We’ll start our first full day of MTrek by boarding a longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings. You’ll truly feel like royalty as we glide through the city canals, stroll through the Grand Palace, and jump from one beautiful Buddhist temple to another. Somehow Lauren has already posted 4 pics of the boat ride to her instagram by now. After we finish lunch, we are free to roam the city streets—visit the floating market, play with baby elephants (careful Maggie!), and indulge in some beers from the local pubs.

Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 21

After a leisurely morning, we’ll take a short flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani and jump on a bus to Khao Sok National Park. Set amid jungles and waterfalls, Khao Sok is a nature lover's paradise (don’t forget your bug spray!). Here you’ll have free time to explore one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Walk along the beautiful trails, check out the wildlife, or float down the river through a rainforest if you’re so inclined -- live your own Bear Grylls adventure. At night we’ll spend the night in our eco-chic hotel and play endless amounts of “board” games.

Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 22

Another day in Khao Sok brings another epic outdoor adventure. This time, we’ll board a long tail boat (these are all the rage in Thailand, right?) for a ride across stunning Cheow Lan Lake. This area is incredibly picturesque, so this is the time to take a TON of pics and make all your friends from home jealous and help your instagram survive the Ann Arbor winter. After trekking to an island cave and back, we’ll enjoy lunch in a local raft-house before having free time to relax, swim or kayak around the lake. Save room though because we have a delectable dinner planned for you that night!

Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 23

Off to Krabi! You won’t be feeling krabi (a bad Sugar dad joke!) once you see this lively beach town. Ao Nang is a main street with open-air restaurants, shops that light up the sidewalk and bars perfect for kicking back with a beer. There's plenty of free time to relax on the beautiful beaches and get into the spirit of southern Thailand. Enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a cocktail and make fun of Sugar attempting to surf. Relaxing is always an option, but for the more intrepid types, the area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular rock climbing routes and cycling tracks around. At night, we’ll enjoy a fun evening out in Krabi town and party like locals.

Day 6 — Friday, Aug 24

Pound some pedialyte because we’re off on a day trip to the world famous, Phi Phi Islands. We’ll travel by boat to visit Bamboo Island and Phi Don, and go for snorkeling & swimming in literally the world’s crystal clearest waters. Last stop is a white sand beach called Maya Bay where the movie “The Beach” was filmed. Leooooo! We’ll return to Krabi that night where each of us will probably want to curl up into a ball and pass out.

Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 25

On our last day in Krabi, wake up to a rejuvenating morning yoga class to get yourself ready for...wait for it...Malaysia! We’ll arrive at night and drop off our bags at the newest chic asian hotel. Our new local tour guide will give us a quick bus tour around the city and we’ll settle in with a nice Malaysian feast.

Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 26

Today is a free day so you do you. Explore the many activities Kuala Lumpur has to offer. You can explore the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur or escape the city and caste your eye over charming rural Malay villages. Witness the beautiful countryside, amazing art scene, or eat all the delicious food Malaysia has to offer. You can even round off your trip with a visit to the mysterious and breathtaking limestone Batu caves and see spectacular Hindu shrines. Save your energy though because your trek leaders have a big night (and a surprise) in store for you!

Day 9 — Monday, Aug 27

It’s the last day in paradise, so let’s make it count! Start off your day for a 3-hour walking food tour. You will be walking though the old streets of Kuala Lumpur while enjoying local and delicious Malaysian food along the journey. When the sun goes down, check out the sights and sounds of Kuala Lumpur’s famous Jalan Alor night market. Called the cultural heart of the city’s local cuisine, you can pretty much eat anything you want for the price of a coffee from Siegle (soon you’ll know what that means).

Departure Day — Tuesday, Aug 28

Departure day, ugh. Soon you’ll head to the airport with your new best friends and depart for Ann Arbor with some incredible memories, a great tan, and several instagrammable pics to show off!

Andrew Sugar

A true man of mystery, Sugar is everything you would expect from an ex-Googler born and raised in SoCal  — and then a whole lot more that makes no sense at all. He is smoothly suave, yet tells truly horrific dad jokes (you have been warned); unequivocally manly, yet still has not discovered that baseball caps can be worn forwards; and thoughtfully cultured, yet identifies with Seth Cohen from The OC. If you’re confused by him, don’t worry. We are, too. But still, no one is better at lending an ear and dishing out genuinely insightful life and career advice. When Sugar isn’t getting #swole at the gym or downward dogging in a yoga studio, you can find him at a dim-lit whiskey bar eating deviled eggs and asking the server every question possible about every menu item. His hobbies include looking for love in all the wrong places, not buttoning top buttons, pushing Emily’s buttons, lighting candles, and referencing Curb Your Enthusiasm. Will you understand Sugar after traveling with him in SE Asia? Probably not. But be ready to try.

Emily Lucas

Hailing from Greensboro, NC, legend has it that she is the forbidden lovechild of a tornado and the God of Dance. (She gets her sense of direction from the tornado side) When she’s not beguiling poor souls with her eyes and hair flips on the dance floor at LIVE, she is educating people on GMOs, aspiring to be an astronaut, or probably just excitedly yelling at someone about something somewhere. Rumor has it that even Enthusiasm itself is jealous of how enthusiastic Lucas is about everything. This former Tar Heel plied her trade in digital marketing in HOTLANTA before Ross and is what we call “high-class with low-class tendencies” – a true Southern Belle. We have still yet to see her be “moderate” in anything – literally anything, so if you’re going to challenge her in something, you better be ready to back it up. Lucas found the hope of Imodium on her MTrek and can’t wait to share its magic with “y’all” (possibly her favorite word).

Maggie Fleming

While the rest of the leaders will be bringing plenty of spice, Maggie is about as sweet as Rossers come—unless you don’t feed her for a while, in which case, godspeed (seriously, feed her). Boston born-and-raised, she is an impossibly endearing collection of trail mix, great dad jokes, scarves, and the word “lovely”. But don’t be fooled by her homeliness: this ex-Dartmouth high jumper can reach stunning heights (ha!) of ridiculousness when the situation calls—namely when she’s on a dance floor with Emily. Maggie was all things international development prior to Ross and will be heading to Nike for her summer internship, mostly to see if she can accumulate as much Nike gear as Bidnam. When she’s not sitting in the sun or by a fireplace, you can find her strolling the aisles of Trader Joe’s, doing spin classes, or shamelessly drinking margaritas at places you shouldn’t be ordering margaritas. Maggie is most excited to (hopefully) see elephants at Khao Sok National Park…where she’ll probably try to order a margarita as well.

Lauren Pfeiffer

 

There are few better people at Ross to lead a group on a wild journey into SE Asia than Lauren. A marathon runner who will out-athlete any of the other leaders at any time, this former Blue Devil is a perpetual woman on a mission. Whether that’s winning recruiting, becoming the Marketing Club president, or furiously doing the Macarena in a club in Cambodia, Pfeiffer is just like her immaculate Instagram account: a must-follow. With a background in PR, Lauren came to Ross to rule the world of sports marketing, which no one doubts will happen. When she’s running the Olympics in a few years, just remember: you heard it here first. If you can’t find her in the gym or talking to important people in high places, she’s most likely cheering on Duke basketball (<3 Grayson Allen), dancing on top of the Ross BUS, winning staring contests, chomping on cookies from Seigle (God, she loves cookies), or rocking ASICS while crushing work in Kresge. Lauren knows absolutely too much about Thailand and Malaysia, and can’t wait to drop all that knowledge on an unforgettable trip.  

Bidnam Lee

Allow us to introduce Bidnam Lee, (aka “”Biddy””) former lax coach, copywriter, spoken word champion, unofficial Nike model, and hands down the most creative guy you’ll ever meet.  Besides having some serious flow, Biddy has a stellar sense of fashion; a lover of a good top button and the not-too-much-just-right amount of chambray. You can find him everywhere — at Ross, Skeeps, Big Ten Burrito — but never at home (much to the chagrin of his roommates).  His love for sandwiches is unparalleled. As the anointed leader of the trek, Biddy will keep this trek on track. Unless challenged to a dance off, where he magically transforms into a machine with endless battery life. Biddy was considered for the replacement for The Most Interesting Man in the World. Before you start Googling though, no, he doesn’t have Instagram. Too many fans out there. If he did, it would probably consist of photos from visiting his fam in Korea, living the life in Portland, surfing in Puerto Rico, and of course snaps of his fire Nike kicks collection.  Make sure you speak loudly to him and never give him dairy and you’ll get the best Bidnam you’ll ever meet.