SOUTHEAST ASIA: An Adventure through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam
May 18 - 31, 2009
Come visit a land of exotic culture and historical richness, both ancient and modern, with FrancisMarionUniversity geographer Dr. Scott S. Brown on a geography field course in Southeast Asia. This exciting travel course will focus on the mainland countries ofThailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam and their geography, culture, and history. Thailand evokes images of exotic cultures and landscapes, from Yule Brenner’s The King and I to the gold-laden palaces of the royalty. The land is riddled with golden spires of Buddhist wats and chedi and other architectural relics of ancient Southeast Asian civilizations. Cambodia, likewise presents a landscape rich in history, especially the capital of the ancient Khmer civilization, Angkor Wat. The UNESCO World Heritage site is claimed to be the largest temple complex in the world.
Southeast Asia is also renowned for more recent historical events during World War II and the Vietnam War. Thailand is known for its World War II memorials such as the Bridge over the River Kwai and HellfirePass.Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is home to more harrowing sites such as the Khmer Rouge dictator Pol Pot's infamous Killing Fields. In Vietnam visitors will have a chance to tour the labyrinth of tunnels once used by Viet Cong fighters during the French Indochina War and the Vietnam War.
In Southeast Asia one can appreciate the unique blending of Indian and Chinese history and culture which are all so evident in religion and architecture - Buddhist with a strong Hindu influence, as well as in the food, medical practices, and the arts. Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam contain a multiplicity of ethnic tribal peoples who take pride in preserving many of their folk cultural ways.
What will I see?
While in Southeast Asia we will visit major historical and religious sites, as well as trek to hill tribal villages, ride an elephant, and sample some of the world’s most exotic cuisine. With most of the population being Buddhist, the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam boast some of the world’s most impressive Buddhist architecture.
Eligibility, course requirements, and credits:
This trip is open to all FMU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their spouses and/or other family members. Students can receive FMU credit. Enrollment in GEOG 300 - Special Topics: Field Studies in Southeast Asia provides three semester credit hours in Geography, and can be used toward a minor or collateral in Geography, a major, minor, or collateral in International Studies, or as general elective credit hours. Students will participate in classroom activities prior to departure and will keep a field journal while in Southeast Asia.
The instructor reserves the right to screen all applicants and make final enrollment decisions.
Trip Itinerary: We will spend two weeks exploring Southeast Asia and will visit the following destinations:
·GrandPalace, numerous Buddhist temples (wats), Damnoen Saduak floating market
·WWII POW-built Death Railway Bridge (Bridge on the River Kwai) & HellfirePass
·Ancient Khmer capital of Angkor Wat
·RoyalPalace, Silver Pagoda, TuolSlengMuseum, Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
·Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
·WarRemnantsMuseum, numerous pagodas
·Chu Chi Tunnels built and used by Viet Cong during French Indochina War and Vietnam War
·Khmer pagodas, floating markets in Can Tho
How much will it cost?
The total cost for trip expenses (excluding tuition) is $3,600 for students or $4,000 for non-students. This includes roundtrip airfare, accommodation, 3 meals daily, transportation, and local guides. The travel agency (EF College Study Tours) will require a nonrefundable deposit of $95 due by February 8, 2009.
How do I sign up?
For further information, contact Dr. Brown (FH 130; 661-1611; firstname.lastname@example.org). We will need to confirm trip participants by late January 2009.