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May 2017: Victoria Shanghai Academy, Hong Kong

Pedaling and Paddling

VSA enjoyed one of most popular days out in Chiang Mai’s countryside – biking and kayaking their way to a successful day!

Some of the students had never ridden a mountain bike before so they were a little bit nervous. However, after training with their instructors, the students became more confident. We pride ourselves on our extensive, hands-on practice session that we do with every group – teaching them how to use the brakes properly, keeping in formation and getting used to controlling the gears. Once we had assessed everyone’s ability we set out on a 15km route. One student said “I have never had this long a riding trip before. The atmosphere and scenery around are totally different from Hong Kong.”

After a morning of putting our legs to the test, it was time to exercise our arms! The students learned how to paddle a kayak and how to get back on if it flipped before playing some fun games. With four staff present, we made sure the students were very well looked after. The students obviously enjoyed themselves as some mentioned in their feedback forms that they would have liked the kayaking to last longer.

By choosing to kayak on a large reservoir that supplies agricultural land there was an important message to be learned. The vastness of the lake makes it seem like it would be impossible to run out of water but the reality is that during the long dry season in northern Thailand sometimes the reservoir runs very low. One student said “I will use water very carefully from now on because while we carelessly use it, there are some people that still don’t have enough water to use.”

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