Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Here in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

In all honestly, we probably didn’t make the most of Luang Prabang. One of our group was really sick and morale suffered. An action packed stay was out of the question. However, if it had to happen anywhere in Laos, Luang Prabang was probably the best place for it; it’s certainly a very attractive spot. The mixture of Buddhist temples and colonial architecture sandwiched in between two rivers make the streets an ideal place to stroll with a fresh fruit shake. There are plenty of markets, shops and cafes to keep you occupied as well.

Luang Prabang

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Here in Chiang Rai: The Motorcycle Diary

Doi Maesalong

On our third day in Chiang Rai we hired some twist-and-go scooters and headed for the hills. 

We’d asked our friendly guesthouse where would be a good place to drive and they’d recommended heading for Doi Maesalong. Doi is the Thai word for Mountain, and our host told us it was a nice road, with scenic views of the Northern hills which dominate the border regions between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. 

It’s a really liberating feeling riding out to somewhere new with no specific destination in mind. As soon as we got off the main Highway, the road became more rural and certainly more windy! 

We saw some signs for Choui Fong Tea Plantation and decided we’d check it out. The small road which wound through the forest was very quiet and peaceful and it soon opened up into rolling hills covered in neat lines of tea plants. We followed the little winding road to the Plantation HQ and had a little wonder among the bushes. It was very quiet and very beautiful. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

March roundup

March seemed like a marathon month. Time, of course moves slowly and quickly at the same time but the last four weeks right now at least have felt particularly long. This puts paid to the old saying ‘times flies when you’re having fun’ because we’ve been having loads of it!

Of course, that’s if examining, interviewing and reporting on small children qualifies as fun, which in our book it does. The month kicked off with final exams for our students at Anuban Nakhon Sawan. The kids we teach are quite young, so the whole thing just went over their heads as they got excited about the impending holidays but for the older students at school it was a time of real stress. 

It was also quite stressful for us as we anxiously marked the test papers and hoped the kids had shown some improvement. We also had to go through the process of writing reports for all of our students, which in Ruth’s case involves documenting some curious information; whether the kids can run and stop, walk in a straight line, draw a circle, put rubbish in the bin, throw and catch a ball, etc.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Here on Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta

Stepping off the ferry at Koh Lanta after 3 days on Koh Phi Phi felt like returning to Thailand and 'real life'. There were motorbikes and songtaews on the roads (there were roads!) and we could smell grilled chicken from the road-side stalls. 

You can see local life; children playing in the street, schools, hospitals, people's homes and the places they eat. Don't get me wrong, there's tourism in abundance but in amongst the sports bars and neon lights there are rice shops with tin tables where you can eat and chat with local people.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

How to stay cool in 38 degrees


I've never been someone who loves hot weather, sure I love to get my shorts out on a summers day and cool down with an ice lolly but 24 degrees is quite enough for me thank you. Then we fell in love with life in Thailand and right now are sweating away in 38 degree heat. 

Whenever we speak to someone from bcd home, they always ask how hot it is and how we cope with the high temperatures over here. So what's our secret? How do we survive? Well firstly we accept that it's hot and we will sweat; my hair straighteners and makeup bag are redundant and we drink our coffee iced.

But we do have a few tips for surviving the heat: