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Southeast Asia Research Academy
Annual Convention and Excursion

Two years in Zoom

For the past two years, SEARA members had been meeting every week on Zoom. Our weekly Zoom meetings had become a routine and the highlight of our Wednesday nights, a chance to see other researchers from all over ASEAN, learn from global academics and industrial experts and simply catch up on each other's lives. We shared and gained countless research knowledge, tips and tricks as well as personal stories and photos. We had also countlessly made a pact to meet in person ‘after COVID ends’.

As COVID travel restrictions started to relax and after much planning and discussion, we had settled to meet in Kuching, Sarawak, a city known for its natural beauty and richness in cultural heritage. The 1st Southeast Asia Research Academy Annual Convention and Excursion (SEARA ACE) was held in conjunction with the International Conference of Responsible Tourism and Hospitality (ICRTH) 2022 as a post-conference activity.


For two days, SEARA members escaped the city and retreated to Bau District. We explored several local community attractions within the district and stayed overnight at a farm. It felt like we were simply continuing the conversations we had started in Zoom but with the added bonus of being able to experience things together in real life.

Read what our Coordinator has to say about SEARA ACE 2022 and more details about the event below.

Coordinator's note

tasik biru, bau, kuching, sarawak

Renugah, SEARA ACE Coordinator, at Tasik Biru, Bau, Kuching, Sarawak.

My participation in SEARA ACE 2022 was totally unforeseen, and the credit goes to Dr. Hiram Ting and Lenny, aka Kak Lenny, for the opportunity – to be one of the coordinators along with Ms. Nurul.


SEARA has been initiated during the pandemic and has grown into a big family within a short time. For the past two years, SEARA members have been connected virtually despite their different locations. When the borders reopened, ICRTH 2022 was the right event and time for us to have a meet-up (hereafter dubbed #meetSEARA) for the first time ever. The post-conference event took place from 3 - 4 September 2022 and focused on exploring some of the hidden gems in Bau district, Kuching, Sarawak. SEARA members were brought to witness and experience what nature has to offer. 

Personally, it has been a fantastic tour spent with everyone and a great opportunity for us to network and be better connected. Thank you, Dr. Hiram and team, for the initiative and the arrangements. Thank you, ICRTH 2022, for being the platform for SEARA to gain a refreshing perspective in an unforgettable experience. Thank you, SEARA members, for joining SEARA ACE, who traveled from the USA, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Thank you for accommodating our limitations and shortcomings, which were purely unintentional.


Together, we can move forward in a circle of friendship, hope, and trust that bridges Southeast Asia for a better world. 




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