Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Thailand 2023 - 2024
Sawadee ka! My name is Anna, and I am traveling to Bangkok, Thailand where I will serve as a Volunteer Legal Advocate at Asylum Access Thailand (AAT). AAT provides comprehensive support and legal services to refugees. At AAT, I will conduct client intake and research. Read More About Anna →

Hot season in full swing – Thailand and Malaysia

Recently, a coworker friend invited me to her community and family home. It was really sweet to see all the care that her parents took into cooking traditional dishes for me and making me feel welcomed. Community members also came over and shared some of their experiences with me, along with their history, including persecution and troubles with the authorities. This day really highlighted the privilege that I have, and although it’s something that I haven’t touched on much in the blog, this is something that’s been on my mind often throughout my time with AAT. Refugees in Thailand are limited in their access to work and also freedom of movement. International, refugee, and Thai staff all bring their own unique skillset and contribute to the organization’s mission, and I do think it’s pertinent for additional resources to be allocated for protecting refugee staff’s physical and mental well-being.

George Town, Malaysia

Over the weekend, I went to the colorful city of George Town, Penang, Malaysia, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. It is an arts and culture hub, with multicultural fusion in language and cuisine and a unique architectural landscape. It was super hot there, but I loved exploring the street art, murals, and unique shops. There was lots of cat-themed art and wandering cats to be spotted in the winding alleys. The food was also amazing, and I was so happy to have perfectly toasted bagels with lots of cream cheese (something that I’ve missed haha). I also stumbled upon a chocolate museum inside of a chocolate shop, which was interesting, as I’m a huge chocolate lover. One of my favorite activities was going to the Sunday market at Hin Bus Depot, which is a platform for entrepreneurs, artisans, musicians, and performers. In addition to pop-up exhibitions happening, there were also artists performing, and lots of crafts, food, and baked goods to browse.

art gallery with beautiful postcards and posters

amazing street art in George Town

Cheong Fatt Tze, the Blue Mansion

truffle cream cheese <3

free merch from the airline!


Songkran, or Thai New Year, is coming soon – officially from April 13th to 15th, however celebrations often start a week in advance. This marks the beginning of the Thai traditional calendar, and Songkran is known for its water fights. The water symbolizes cleansing and renewal. I’v heard from friends who have been in Thailand for Songkran before that it’s almost impossible to leave the house during this time without getting wet. So, it’s best to expect to get doused and come prepared with goggles, waterproof bag, etc. One of my friends from the US will be visiting during Songkran, and I’m so excited to see her!

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