We’re going on a bear hunt…

I thought now I’m home and recovered from jet lag I’d share some more experiences of Thailand…

So after our amazing day with the elephants we went to national park Saturday and Sunday. Jungle treck, bat caves, hot springs and waterfall- what a weekend!

First a three and a half hour train journey on the worlds uncomfortable seats ever. They were like plastic with no room to slouch whatsoever! Let’s just say my back wasn’t in great conditions afterwards.

When we arrived we were picked up and arrived at our accommodation for the night. Jen and me shared, probably for the best putting the two loud mouths together πŸ˜‚

Before we went on the tour I made it extremely clear to the tour guide that if he bought any spiders near me he wouldn’t be returning home that night… I think he understood the message!

First we went to the hot springs. You know like you see in films where people look mega cool in the pretty water with waterfalls- well I got to go experience it!

Anyone that knows me knows I love water so I was absolutely in my element. After bricking it for about five mins I also jumped from the rocks into the water- my heart was pretty much in my mouth but it was so much fun!

Afterwards we went to the bat caves. Our tour guide asked who likes Harry Potter and me being me was like ‘YESSSSS ME’ so he was like are you sure. Obviously then I went to the back of the crowd because he had something in his hand. No thank you! Then be put a spider on someone’s face and I didn’t trust him after that, despite whether they volunteered or not. Although the bats were an absolutely extraordinary experience. We saw millions flying it was like something out of Harry Potter!

After our first evening of exploring Hattie and me were gasping for pizza. Of course we asked if anywhere did it and the guy told us no not really so we said we’ll go on a hunt. Weird guy said it wasn’t safe but that didn’t stop us. Don’t know why he said that because a little further up the road we found the most beautiful food with the best carbonara EVER!! Carbs overload but I was super sick of rice and noodles by this point.

Cheese, cheese and more cheese! 😍

We had such a laugh that night and I think it was safe to say the best food whilst we were away over the sixteen days!

Day 2- Jungle trek and Waterfalls!

I have to say the 12 of us made a cracking group and I couldn’t thank them enough for their help during the jungle trek! After my stern words about how me and creepy crawly’ are not the best of friends everyone was on high alert during the jungle trek. Claire and Kat in particular were my saviours and helped me up, around, down, over all over the spider webs! It was pretty much like a bear hunt!

After an hour and a half we didn’t have awful luck on our trek so we headed to have some dinner. This was where luck came in as we got to see some gibbons and a vicious viper snake!

I also got to be the big kid I am and play on the swing!

Later on during our journey we saw some monkeys and one even stole an ice coffee and were drinking it, cheeky devils!

Seeing the different animals were great!

To bring the day to an end we got to go see a 25m waterfall. Have you seen the film The Beach? It was the one from there. Pretty much felt as though I was going to die as I was stepping down the steepest, rocky, unstable stairs ever but I somehow managed to stay alive. Let’s just say England would have a field day with health and safety in national park! πŸ˜‚ Especially with the 100m one we went to visit afterwards!

To top it all off we got caught in the heaviest monsoon known to man and got soaking when walking back from the second waterfall. Little Jess over here was very thankful for her water coat she remembered. Everyone hated me for that idea! πŸ˜‚

Finally we went back quickly had some more food in the lovely restaurant across the way from the hostel before getting the train back to Surin. We were absolutely dreading the journey back with the plastic seats. However, our luck was in. This time we got reclined seats. It was as though we won the lottery! A short while into the journey the market joined us again. This time I wanted to buy something just to throw at them as they wouldn’t stop pecking our head. I mean I’m not being funny but who wants fish on a train journey? Bugger off and stop smelling the train out. I even got some spray and sprayed the train. Everyone thought it was hilarious, but you know me and my ways- no shame! After the hustle and bustle got off and were chucked back onto the platform we carried on the next three hours journey. So whilst everyone had a kip on the way back I watched City win their first match of the season against Arsenal. Get innnnnnn!!

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Elephant Adventure!

Last Friday I went to have a one in a life time experience and its definitely something I will never forget.

Me and some of the girls I’ve been with get Friday’s off from teaching so we arranged with our co-ordinator to go and work with the elephants. I couldn’t quite believe when she told us that it was only 1500 baht- that’s only roughly around Β£35!!

We were all super hyped for the day ahead of us!

First when we arrived we got to go see some of the elephants before going to cut some sugar cane down for them to eat. I can officially say I’m not a manual labour kind of gal and my cutting skills unlike Jenna and Ella’s were rubbish. However that didn’t stop me from having fun looking like an idiot whilst cutting it down!

Next we had to sit on the edge of a van whilst we drove to go and chop the sugar cane into pieces. I pretty much feared for my life as we drove round the bends but that’s a normal thing to feel when you’re in a vehicle over here. They don’t really have a code of conduct!

After that we had a Thai traditional lunch and moved on to one of the best parts walking the elephants…

I had the old man. One of the smallest because he’s so old, but he plodded along all the while.

Then we finally reached the water where we got to go and wash the elephants. What an amazing time this was! They were so playful and loved being scrubbed with the brushes. They constantly gave you kisses with there trunk which was adorable and the baby elephant was so playful rolling around in the water. It really was the cutest thing ever!!

I honestly cannot emphasise how much of an experience it was. I mean who gets to walk, scrub and feed elephants everyday?!

They are so well looked after at the sanctuary and all the money provided goes towards looking after the elephants . Mr Lee really knows how to look after them!

Once we left the sanctuary we went to make some poo paper. Not so gross as it sounds I promise! We didn’t get to do all the steps but we got to mix the water and put it onto a frame to dry. Of course Gwang had to help me as the frame was incredibly heavy! It really is incredible what you can do with elephant poo!

Finally we went and visited the silk market. All the locals were so friendly and I bought a lovely type jumpsuit. Everyone thought it was from Zara when we got back when in matter of fact it was the equivalent to Β£5 from a silk market! Bargain!!

Honestly if you ever get the chance to work with elephants do it!! They’re so friendly, warming and welcoming. Certainly an experience I’ll never forget! 🐘

Last day in Surin…

So today marks the last day I spend in Surin. A rural area of Thailand where I’ve spent my two weeks of teaching. It’s rather quiet round here, despite the crazy motorbikes…

It’s definitely been an interesting journey spending two weeks here. Especially, when I’m use to the city life!

However small it is we’ve made the most of it, us girls. Friends I can definitely say for life and will keep in touch with. If we’ve not been around the pool after school or taking a nap because of the heat we’ve been going out for food and a good old song (as most bars let us put music on.)

We went to one bar tonight (Surin Welcome) which is round the corner from our house right after we had been for a farewell meal… To actually have some western food it was amazing! One of the best pizzas I’d had for a while! The bar we went is somewhere we’ve been a few times and it has a lovely atmosphere with a great owner. We got talking to him and his friends and it made me realise how grateful I am for what I have. One guy was telling us how he was homeless in France before he came here and it’s until you hear things like that, that you realise how lucky you are. We also were jamming to some old school tunes and even threw in some Disney- winner!!

It was so nice to go for pizza with all the girls I’ve spent the last two weeks with. Even if they do take the mick out of my northern accent, they really have been like family out here…

Tomorrow I travel back to Bangkok on a coach for seven hours. However, I do arrive in luxury to a four star hotel where I’m staying for the night before my flight. I’m insanely excited! Then I’ll soon be home and I can’t wait to see Mum and Dec!!

So it’s nearly home time for me, but I’ll blog some more Friday and Saturday before I leave and write about some more of the fab times I’ve had whilst being out here!

Living like royalty…

When I say living like royalty I tell a lie… The past week and a half have been very interesting with the conditions I’ve lived in.

When I booked onto the volunteer programme of teaching in Thailand i knew I wasn’t walking into luxury. If I can describe how I’ve lived for the past couple of weeks it would be basic.

The bedroom of dreams where you wake up with a load of mozzy bites.

It isn’t exactly your five star dream when you look at Thailand, however the group of girls and I have made it work.

The girls I’ve been with have been an absolute dream. I couldn’t have been more lucky to have met such lovely girls. Despite not being able to have my cheese on toast we’ve had some real laughs these couple of weeks.

Tonight I’m off to a steak place which I’m throughly looking forward to after living off rice and noodles for the past two weeks. It’s a hard decision as to what I have first when I return to the UK! Any suggestions?!

Afterwards we’re returning to the house and having a few drinks together. If I’ve learnt something about the last few weeks it’s not about where you are and the conditions you’re with, but it’s about the company you have! Make the most of the experiences that are thrown your way!❀️

Teaching in Thailand…

Here I am writing my first blog because I felt the need to share my experiences of teaching in a different country.

Teaching in Thailand has always been on my bucket list of things to do, so before time slips away I thought I best do it sooner rather than later…

I had no idea what to expect when it came to teaching in Thailand. Obviously, I’d read online about other people’s experiences, however many people experience things differently. Personally the best way I can describe teaching in Thailand is challenging yet amazing. We were literally put into groups of three with some of the girls I met and had to just start teaching. Luckily we started off with some of the older children (11 years) and their understanding was great. What I have tend to find is their reading skills are not as strong over here, but who’s is when you’re learning a new language? I learnt French form year 7 to 9 and I can just about remember Bonjour!

Despite the challenge it’s not been a slog it’s been a fun and entertaining challenge! The kids are so willing to have a go and are generally keen to learn more. The best way I’ve found to teach is through games and short snappy activities to keep their attention span going. Just like England though you still have some kids that look as you as if you’re an alien or as we’ve called them ‘team 1.’

Here’s an activity of teaching colours through a rainbow song.

When you enter the classroom it’s like being a celebrity and the kids are amazed you’re teaching them constantly wanting hugs and high 5’s. They are however very respectful and always thank you… I’ve found they respect you more over here both staff and children in some ways. You always greet staff in the corridors or classes by saying ‘Sawasdee-kha’ which means hello and ‘Kob kun Kha’ at the end of lesions to say thank you.

My two weeks of teaching over in Thailand has definitely opened my eyes to a lot & it’s been an experience I’ve thoroughly enjoyed!