Our time in Chiang Mai was up and it was time to head to the bottom of mainland Thailand to see another part of the country and to visit an old uni friend! We had many hours before we were going to catch our night bus to Hua Hin so decided upon one last Thai Massage, it always seems such a good idea at the time but never feels that way. Jeez she was a harsh one, never had some many parts of my body crack at once. We walked out like we had had accidents and off we hobbled to collect our bags, grab a songthaew and head to the bus station for our overnight bus. There are two different types of buses you can get from Chiang Mai, one a bit more posh than the other but from what we could see the VIP bus had tv screens, but the films were in Thai so this was pretty pointless for us. We had heard good things about the regular night buses so went with that for a tidy sum of 17 English pounds. It was a 12 hour journey but your seats reclined so you were nearly horizontal ,
you were provided with snacks, water, a blanket and one of those pillows that goes round your neck and were also given a food voucher at a cafe in a service station. We didn't fancy noodles and rice at 2am but plenty of others were happy to take full advantage of their food voucher. We got off, stretched our legs, saw a few funky coloured frogs hopping about the bathrooms, avoided them and headed back to the bus for more sleep. We hadn't been back on the bus long, obviously exhausted and fast asleep on our dark bus when the lights went on and the police raided our bus. They were clearly searching for someone, checked a few id's and passports and off they went. Lights went off and service was resumed...could have done without that! I had avoided the toilet on the bus all night as I had heard that that was the major downfall of the bus, they didn't lie! Pretty standard public thai toilet :-/!
We arrived around 8am in Hua Hin and were picked up by James, an old friend from uni! James took us back to his posh apartment and we were greeted by
his lovely girlfriend Laura. Their apartment was lovely, we had a morning nap and headed our for an afternoon walk. This was the first time in Asia we had somebody showing us around and we were so grateful to see sights we may never normally get to see. We visited a viewpoint and had a nice little walk, seeing Hua Hin in all it's glory, it was a lot larger than we expected. Alex got a little bit peckish whilst at the viewpoint and decided to tease a wild macaques with his ice cream. Big mistake as you can imagine and lesson learnt. Don't tease Macaques. That night we went for a gorgeous meal at Blueport mall, Hua Hin. It was unusual to see something so westernised in Thailand but the Thai's seemed to be loving their new mall. We were so happy to eat Italian food, was such a nice change after four weeks of pretty much eating noodles and rice all the time!
The following morning we were up early to visit James' school. Part of our trip is to visit and experience different education systems wherever we go. James works in a very new international school
and this was my first international school visit. The school had a lot of similarities to schools back home but the main difference I would say was the relaxed approach to teaching and learning. There were children from all over the world in this school and James, the jammy sod only had 8 kids in his class, compared to my previous 32! Now that is the size of class I would love. Alex was in his element as he was asked to do some rugby training after school. It was a tiring but really good day overall.
The following day we were off to visit Laura's school. Laura (LJ) teaches Nursery at an International school but this was a very different school to anything I had experienced before. LJ had tried to explain her school design to us but until you really see it you cannot imagine. The only way to describe it is individual huts that are divided with a concrete wall for two classes, a concept that could have been designed by the flintstones to be frank. The classrooms have no windows nor do they have air con and like James' school the children do not wear
shoes inside their classroom, a custom in Thailand we had grown quite fond of. LJ gave us a tour of her school and we were also fortunate enough to see her teach some of her little Nursery children. The children were incredibly adorable and all the children we met that day were very polite and welcomed us into their classrooms. Similar to James' school there were children from all over the world but the class sizes were larger and they didn't have access to the resources that James' school were fortunate to have nevertheless the standard of teaching was excellent and the children were all getting an insanely unique education.
We spent a bit more time wondering around Hua Hin, visiting the beaches and getting a general feel of the place. It was time to bid farewell to Thailand it had been fun but we were ready for something new. James and LJ had been fab hosts and we were and still are so grateful for their time and hospitality. We saw parts of Hua Hin and had these amazing experiences we would never have been able to see and do without them!
Another coach journey to Bangkok
airport, much plusher but no free food this time, what's that all about?!? Ahead of schedule and we were off for the next stop of our adventure, Melbourne, Australia!
From Hua Hin, with love x
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