- Noah Hill
Tuk-Tuks in Thailand, Ultimate Frisbee in Cambodia, Snowboarding in Switzerland, and More!
Welcome to the latest update from the UCHU Biosensors team! Over the past month, Dan and I have travelled seemingly all across the globe - from Shenzhen to the Netherlands, to Boston, Paris, Switzerland, Thailand, and even Cambodia. The reason for all of this traveling is that the HAX office in Shenzhen is currently closed as a precaution for the still-spreading COVID-19 situation. In an effort to make the best out of the situation and take our own precautions, we decided to travel around to meet with some of our R&D partners. We have also temporarily relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, and are being generously hosted by one of the leading local tech companies. Dan and I will be returning to Shenzhen only when the WHO drops the risk level and when transport in and out of mainland China becomes less restricted.
While the majority of our travels were business related, we still made sure to take time and enjoy some of the incredible places these beautiful countries have to offer. Let's dive into everything we've seen over the past month, and get ready for tons of pictures!
In early February we took a 12 hour flight from Hong Kong to reach our first destination, Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. We spent the first night at a hostel in Amsterdam and spent most of the day walking around to see what the city is all about. The next day we took a relaxing train ride to a village in the Netherlands called Leek, which was a completely different vibe from Amsterdam. We spent the night at an AirBnB in the countryside, ate some good traditional food, and then took a train back to Amsterdam the next day.
It turned out that one of our good friends who is an engineer at HAX, Rayan, was also in Amsterdam, as she was taking time to see some family due to the office closure. We managed to meet up for dinner and drinks and went on a "locals" tour, as Rayan's sister is studying at a nearby university so she took us to all the coolest spots.
After the Netherlands, I went to Boston and Dan made his way to Switzerland. I had already planned to make a trip back to Boston so that I could check in with my senior capstone professor, and Dan went to Switzerland to meet with some of our other R&D partners. On his way to Switzerland Dan stopped in Paris, France. Dan stayed in hostels all long the way, which is an awesome way to meet new people and make new friends. He took a couple of days to snowboard around the Swiss Alps too, which looks absolutely beautiful from the pictures above!
While in Switzerland, Dan stayed in both Geneva and Zermatt. Geneva is famous for Europe's United Nations headquarters, The Palais des Nations, incredible views of Mont Blanc, being the birthplace of Swiss watchmaking, and much more. Geneva is also where Tim-Berners Lee had his idea to transform information sharing using the internet - what we now know as the World Wide Web. Zermatt is best known for its skiing, climbing and hiking destination, and is located below the Matterhorn mountain peak.
Dan and I then both flew back and met up again in Bangkok, Thailand, at the end of February. However, by complete chance, Dan happened to run into some ultimate frisbee friends from Shenzhen at a cafe in Bangkok who told him about an ultimate frisbee tournament happening in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After just a day or two in Bangkok, we took a quick weekend trip to Cambodia for the tournament because flights were cheap and it sounded like a great time!
The tournament in Cambodia was called a "hat" tournament, as all players who come are randomly assigned to a team by drawing names out of a hat. The tournament wasn't super competitive, but was meant to be friendly and a chance to have fun and meet new people in a new country. The players were all different ages, had varying levels of experience, and came from all over the place to play together; Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, USA, Vietnam, the Philippines, and even more countries.
While Dan has played in tons of ultimate frisbee tournaments before, this was my first experience. We played 7 games over two days, and that is enough running to make anyones legs sore for an entire week! The tournament was tons of fun, we ate some delicious food while in Cambodia, and made lots of new friends while we were there too.
Now Dan and I are settled and working in Bangkok, Thailand. We are being hosted by Synergy Technology, one of the leading tech companies here in Thailand, and working out of the beautiful SynHub co-working space (top right image). Thailand is a great place to work because there is an abundance of engineering resources available, and the weather is nice and warm! Thailand is also a quick, cheap flight away from Shenzhen so we can easily get back to our main office whenever the COVID-19 situation has been resolved.
That's all for this update from the UCHU Biosensors team - stay tuned for more.