On 18 February 2014 a group of fifteen keen and eager young adults from Shanghai arrived on our campus to start nine days of education, excitement and cultural experience.
They started their trip by learning some basic Thai Language and settling into their new home.
We then spent the next three days at some wonderful river sites. The first day we concentrated on their Group 4 project and the following days we measured both physical and chemical aspects of the river at six different sites. To finish off these three days we took the group to Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar where their hard work was rewarded with some shopping, eating and Thai massages. Good thing too, as they then spent two days in a Wat Thungluang School, Mae Taeng District working hard painting the school blue, building shoe racks and getting to know the students.
The next day was an adventurous one with the morning spent whizzing along one of Chiang Mai’s biggest zip line courses and the afternoon taking in the views while negotiating Thailand’s off-road terrain on mountain bikes.
The following day they had the opportunity to prepare and cook their own food in the traditional Thai way – spicy and over a fire! They filled themselves with grilled fish, sticky rice, omelettes, grilled mushrooms and much more before sluggishly moving to the next activity – Kayaking!
We travelled to the always beautiful Mae Ngat damn for a two-hour kayak trip to the stunning Ekachai houseboat where we stayed overnight. After enjoying our evening meal and a lovely sunset, and conducting some yoga to the sunrise we kayaked back ready for a day at Elephant Nature Park. The students had an emotional time learning about the treatment of elephants in Thailand and took the lessons they learnt with them to tell to others.
We finished off the trip with our traditional khantoke dinner where we gathered around small wooden tables and ate traditional northern Thai food with our hands. Together we watched some graceful and lively Thai dancers and reminisced over our journey together by releasing brightly burning Thai lanterns into the Night Sky.