Thailand- Teaching, $1.50 cocktails, pad thai and other cute stuff

I just got back from my month away in Thailand with an organisation called Camp Thailand. My intake was the largest they ever had to date with 120 people who were mostly 18-21 years old. Although I didn’t know anyone prior to going, I would honestly say that I’ve met genuine close friends out there!

 

 

My trip was mostly based on teaching English to Thai children in poor schools which would help broaden their future opportunities. As well as this, we had most of the evenings and weekends free which meant lots of sunbathing, drinking and clubbing…

I think it’s safe to say that my journey was super busy so I thought I’d share my highlights of my 4 weeks away…

 

BANGKOK

This is where our trip started and ended as this is where our airport that we were travelling to and from was located. Our first two nights out here were crazy due to our countless BOGOF cocktail buckets. This meant we did get unexpectedly very drunk on our first night and found ourselves almost attending a ‘ping pong’ show (google it!) before going to a dodgy night club!

 

During the 2nd day in Bangkok, we explored Buddhist temples which were so beautiful to look at as they had so much detail in their structure

 

 

 

 

DAY AT THE LAKE

One of the first activities we did once we reached the village of Krasang was spending the day on a raft at the lake. We also took part in water sports/activities (like banana boats)- and we even had our lunch delivered to us in the raft via a boat!

 

TEACHING

We taught at different schools across Krasang each day (the village that we were based) so everyday was a unique teaching experience. Each of the schools varied in finances, distance from camp, English communication capability, and class size. All these factors affected our teaching strategy which meant that some schools were very challenging but even more rewarding when even just one child would grasp a new concept of the English language.

I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed teaching seeing as I was quite nervous about it prior to starting Camp Thailand.

 

 

My favourite teaching day was probably the day we got to go food shopping with the children to buy ingredients to make sandwiches with them later on. It was so amusing to see how they were all so excited to eat their sandwiches once they made them seeing as they don’t eat western foods often.

The children also loved posing for Snapchat filters and even asked for our autograph in some schools!

 

 

FOOD

The food in Thailand was amazing as all the traditional dishes had so many spices and fragrances. My favourite place to eat was definitely at ‘Susies’. This was basically a restaurant at the back of an old Thai woman’s house and she was the only chef. There was no menu so you literally just requested whatever thai food you fancied and she’d cook it fresh for you- you can’t get any more authentic than that! The meals were also super cheap- a Thai green curry with rice came to 60 baht which is the equivalent to about £1.20!

Our selfie with Susie on our last day at the village

I also loved Pad Thai, and if you’ve never heard of it before it’s a noodle dish with chicken (or sometimes shrimp), spring onion, beansprouts, and crushed peanuts. I once ordered it and was served in an omelette which was ah-mazing.

 

I have to say though the ultimate food I had over there was a 7/11 toastie. I can’t describe how much I loved these- tbh it’s probably because it was the only western food over there which tasted exactly how it does in the UK! I had them almost everyday for breakfast and often after a heavy night drinking (as a replacement for a kebab!).

 

ELEPHANT SANCTUARY

Our weekend away at the elephant sanctuary was amazing- we had the chance to wash and walk the elephants which were huge! The aim of this elephant sanctuary was to save endangered elephants from being drugged and used for entertainment purposes (like circuses etc).

We also stayed overnight there in rooms shaped as elephants which were so cute!

I would say the elephant sanctuary was probably my favourite part of the entire trip.

 

SILK VILLAGE

We spent a weekend away at a nearby silk village where we saw how the locals made silk from silk worms. We stayed in a resort-like accommodation with a pool and a lake. This was a really nice relaxing break from teaching!

 

 

 

FREE TIME

On one of weekends some of us went to a hotel with a pool in a nearby area. Unfortunately it just so happened to be chucking it down with rain there! In saying this, the temperature was still high so we still enjoyed ourselves as swimming in a pool during torrential rain was  definitely a unique experience!

On another day we travelled to a volcano to visit the giant Buddha. Once we got to the top of the volcano, we saw a slide coming off of it. Lucy will probably want to kill me for including this! -She was the only one who felt brave enough to go down the slide but when she did she accelerated so fast that she literally flew off into the mud and almost into the road. This was honestly one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed (of course we checked if she was ok first!). Not filming it is will probably be my biggest life regret!

 

 

 

CAMBODIA

Most of us went to Cambodia for 3 nights and we travelled there by bus which took about 7 hours.

Cambodia was such a great experience and had a maaaaad night life on Pub Street!

 

The first night was crazy especially as it was supposed to be a quiet night in as we had a 4am start the next day! Instead I bumped into my flatmate from Leeds and in true Leeds fashion we all got smashed! A small group of us ended up staying out until 3am which meant we only had enough time to squeeze in a 30 minute nap before making our way to Angkor Wat (one of the  seven wonders of the world). This was definitely a challenge seeing as our hangover was setting in during sunrise!

Despite this, I was still amazed when I saw the rising sun next to Angkor Wat so was still worth the 4am wake up.

 

We went to Pub Street on all 3 nights and we had such a crazy time -especially due to these night stalls which blared out tunes and sold $1.50 cocktails (these were lethal!).

On the last day before setting off back to Thailand we went to the waterfall which was so beautiful and a perfect way to end our visit to Cambodia.

 

KOH SAMET

Me and two others planned to visit Koh Samet (a Thai island) straight after returning to camp from Cambodia. However, due to many set backs; a punctured tyre in one of the trucks, a car accident (luckily no one was severly hurt!) and a delay at the Thai boarder when we were re-entering thailand meant that we missed our bus to Koh Samet!

This was initially so stressful as the situation was far out of all of our comfort zones. Seeing as none of us had travelled alone before, we were definitely thrown in at the deep end to try and re-arrange transportation to the island.

After being fuelled by a classic cheese and ham toastie from 7/11 (I had at least 30 of these over the course of the 4 weeks)- we were up for the challenge! A 10 hour over night bus journey later- we had managed to reach Koh Samet!

 

We had a private beach and pool at our hotel which was so beautiful. This was such a relaxing break so was a perfect way to end a busy month.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this post- sorry it’s for the overload of text but there was so many things I had to include! Feel free to leave any questions or feedback below or on my latest post on instagram…

Andri x

 

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