Blogs from Eastern Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 15

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Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand December 31st 2008

Hi, we are now in Ko Phangan, after a short stint on Kho San Road in Bangkok. We are staying in a beach hut about 10m away form the sea. The weather so far hasn't been great a couple of sunny days, but lots of clouds and rain. Christmas day was pretty un eventful, had a big night on christmas eve so spent most of the time sleeping. We went out for an indian meal though in the evening, with our singapore neighbours, which was good. After a couple of days on the beach i was starting to get bored so whilst Katie has been sleeping off her hangover, i've been exploring. On Monday i climbed the mount everest of Ko Phangan, a full 620m. It was an hour an a half long trek through the ... read more
Pheang Waterfall
Rambo Lucy
Hat yao

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand December 23rd 2008

Ko Kut is a small, remote island on the way to southern Cambodia. A few years ago I took the same trip headed to Sihounukville in the extreme south of Cambodia. Ko Kut is in Thailand but perhaps as far as one can travel and still be in the country. We boarded the same enclosed, cigar shaped boat as I had done a few years before, which basically forces its way through the seas with the water pretty well up to the windows; this for several hours. Arriving in Ko Kut we took about an hour by "rote duey san" i.e. small passenger truck to our little hut by the sea. The island is remote and shows no indications of modern tourist conveniences. ... read more
Outside our door
Sunset
Just strolling along

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand December 10th 2008

Our TEFL classes and our teaching practice were all held at a temple school, where young monks study all subjects, including the dharma (Buddhist teachings). This was a pretty special experience, and probably one of the best things about our TEFL training. The boys at this temple school are novice monks and they are all either orphaned or from poor families. It is normal for most (if not all) males in Thai society to spend some amount of time as a monk; I guess it is a right of passage. Even Thai kings follow this protocol. The boys at the school follow some of the same rules as fully-ordained monks. For example, they can’t touch or be touched by a woman, even a sister, though I was told previously that they may hug their mothers. They ... read more
Pretty classroom
Expanding the vocabulary
Proud of them for getting it right

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand December 8th 2008

I am going back in time now to write retroactively about the beginning of this adventure. It all began in Ban Phe, which is on the coast on the Gulf of Thailand. Despite the fact that not that much time has elapsed since I arrived (about 2 months), it is already difficult to remember my first impressions and the “important things.” Bear with me. . . Ban Phe is the access port to a backpacker-haven of an island called Ko (or Koh, depending where you look) Samet, where we spent the first two weekends during our training. I came here under the auspices of the “Special Thailand Project” (STP) through an organization called TEFL International. I learned about this opportunity on Idealist.org, just before my trip this month-long trip this summer to Thailand with Fiona and ... read more
Some of my favorites from the group, on the weekend at Koh Samet
A lot of the group on one of the first nights, karaoke on the beach
"Our" beach in Ban Phe

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand December 8th 2008

We were housed at “Condochain” in the outskirts of Ban Phe, right across from the beach. It looks really nice from the outside and did indeed have a very pretty pool, but the interior was pretty shabby. We were in double rooms and had A/C, flush western toilets, warm showers (sometimes, when we could figure out how to turn it on), and a mini-fridge. All-in-all not a bad deal. Courtney and I slept little and continued to bond over a shared love of show tunes (especially Rent, Wicked and Les Mis), peanut butter, and ice cream in bed. It was truly a roommate match made in heaven (or hell for anyone who was stuck in the minivan or songthaew when we decided to sing a duet :) There were a few places to eat in the ... read more
Roommate bonding
"Sham's"
Chai's wireless "internet cafe"

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand November 18th 2008

I met Morgan when we lived in Ban Phe since she was in the TEFL group before us that overlapped at Condochain for a couple weeks. Morgan is teaching in Sri Racha, which is about half an hour from Chonburi by bus. It was decided that I would meet up with her for dinner and to see the Loy Krathong festivities in Sri Racha because there is a pretty harbor there. I got to Sri Racha and was amazed at the difference in our cities. Sri Racha has a proper (clean!) downtown area, with actual restaurants and bars, a green park with pathways, and a harbor. I was immediately jealous! I was also glad to know that there was an escape from Chonburi not too far away. After dinner, we walked toward the pier. There were ... read more
Loy Krathong Fireworks
Shopping for the perfect krathong
Giant krathong-judging contest

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand November 17th 2008

On Thursday I was informed by one of the Thai teachers that all the teachers were supposed to wear all black or white on Friday in respect for the cremation ceremony for the princess, which took place over the weekend. The princess, whose full name is Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra, Princess of Narathiwatho and was the present King’s sister, died last January, and for some reason the time between her death and cremation has been protracted longer than usual. Teacher Ruby and Teacher Julie from the Philippines were teaching here last year when she died and said that all the teachers (and others in various professions, too) had to wear black (or white) for 100 days, the official mourning period. I thought that it was a 3-day event (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), but ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand November 13th 2008

Happy Loy Krathong! It was really neat to be a part of this beautiful, colorful celebration, despite the fact that I came out with a battle wound. "Loy" means to float and "krathongs" are the little lotus-shaped floats that are made out of banana leaves. They are decorated with flowers (orchids, jasmine, etc.), a candle, three small incense sticks, and sometimes coins. They are not only beautiful, but also a lot of fun to make! Loy Krathong is celebrated on the full moon in November, as the rainy season is officially coming to an end. The ceremony has Hindu origins and was originally begun to thank the goddess of the water. Nowadays people make wishes and prayers for the year to come and leave their past transgressions to float away on the krathongs, which are placed ... read more
Proud of his work
Grape, hard at work on her krathong
Christine, concentrating

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand November 11th 2008

It’s a little embarrassing and soooooo nice the way they are spoiling me! The main secretary in the office just came into the teacher’s lounge where we work on lesson planning, have access to internet, and stare at each other and twiddle our thumbs most days from 3:30 (time that classes end) til 4:00 (when we are allowed to leave), and gave me two vegetarian takeaway meals from the director—one for lunch and one for dinner! I am so touched by these gestures (and also a little embarrassed by the special treatment). The school provides free lunch for the teachers (at least the foreign ones) but the food always has meat mixed in. They told me that they would make me something separate on the first day, but then it might be better for me to ... read more
Lunch time
Little Picnic Tables
Teacher Morven with Kinders

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand November 11th 2008

Today during one of my plan periods I happened to walk by the little pool and swim lessons for some of the littlest children were in progress! They were so adorable in their little swim outfits and matching swim caps. When I stopped to watch, all the little ones were sitting around the edge of the pool and the P.E. teacher was going around one by one, dumping water over their heads (to get them accustomed to the sensation, I guess). As soon as he finished they would frantically paw at their eyes and faces, trying to get the water out. After that they practiced kicking in the water and then he went one by one again, dunking them under this time. Although it seemed a little jarring, they seemed to take it well. After that ... read more
Kicking Practice
Your turn to get doused
Good Swimmer




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