The earliest flight in and the latest flight out. That is how I maximise my weekend in Pattaya at the first ever IDEA Asia Youth Forum. I’ll be exhausted and sleep-deprived, yes, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay.
What I didn’t expect, though, was how I would hit the ground running. Arrive in Bangkok, take a taxi to Pattaya, put down my suitcase and start writing articles, live tweeting, taking photos. The media team’s a little more shorthanded than I expected, and they’re planning to make the most of me for as long as I’m here.
The IDEA Asia Youth Forum has brought together about 200 people from 22 countries to learn about debate and ways to promote it as a tool for open society in their home countries. Most of the participants here are high school kids from countries like Pakistan, Palestine, Mongolia, China, Laos, Vietnam, Korea. (I’m the only Singaporean here, though.) The diversity of cultures, languages and experiences here is absolutely stunning. It’s a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be part of Asia and to have the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people.
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