You know how foreigners aren’t allowed to be tour guides in Thailand? Well guess what – there’s an interesting little loophole to that, and it’s a great opportunity to get to know Thai culture in a very real way.
Greg interviews Dr. Peter Hufschmid-Hirschbuehl (hereinafter referred to as ‘Dr. Peter’ for obvious reasons), the President of the National Museum Volunteer Group, the only museum that allows foreigners to train and work as tour guides. The training program provides a quite extensive background in Thai culture, and many go through the program just for the education. Once finished, graduates lead tours in English, German, Japanese and French.
Dr. Peter goes into detail on the National Museum, highlighting both its positives and negatives, and relates insights into its collection and what it says about the Thai culture, and the artistic and creative things that it’s produced over the millenia.
Dr. Peter then explains the training program, which involves quite a few hours of work, and has a nuanced focus depending on where the tour groups are coming from (for example, the French have a very different history in Southeast Asia than the British or the Germans or the Japanese).
All in all, the National Museum should be on the itinerary of any tourist to Thailand, and the guide program should be on the list of any expat with an interest in Thai culture.
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