THAILAND TRIP 2008

Sa-wat dee! (hello in Thai) The 2008 September holidays saw twenty-two students, teachers and friends of Holy Spirit College embark on a two week tour to Thailand. After enduring the nine hour flight from Brisbane to Bangkok, the tour kicked off to an amazing start with a visit to the elephant farm outside Chiang Mai – a town in the North of Thailand. We all enjoyed feeding and riding the elephants, and watching them perform clever tricks such as soccer and painting. The night markets of Chiang Mai were enjoyed by all, with great bargains to be found. While staying in Chiang Mai we also visited many Thai Buddhist temples and had the opportunity to experience a ‘Monk Chat’ – a discussion with a Buddhist Monk in which questions were asked about Buddhism and their religious life. This ‘chat’ was most enlightening!

Next on the itinerary was a two night stay at the Hilton resort in Hua Hin – a beach-side town in the south of Thailand. Here we stayed in the ‘lap of luxury’, with our day spent by the huge pool, riding horses on the beach, shopping and relaxing. Next we visited the monkey temple (where some people were chased by monkeys), posed for photos with the tigers of the ‘Tiger Temple’, and visited the Australian Memorial at ‘Hellfire Pass’, a railway built by the Australian soldiers during World War II. The night was spent on the rafts of the River Kwai – an amazing experience. Following this was a visit to the Allied War Cemetery, where the group performed a memorial service and laid poppies on the graves of numerous Mackay men who lost their lives in Thailand during World War II.

Next stop was the big city, a phenomenon quite new to many on the tour. Our time in Bangkok was spent touring the sights, as we visited the Royal Palace, renowned Buddhist temples of Bangkok, took a ride on the sky-train, and most importantly of all, shopped! Seven-story shopping centres were common throughout the city, and were enjoyed by many. At night, the group enjoyed a trip to the Bangkok night markets where we purchased bargains from the interesting characters who had stalls at the markets. After such an exciting and jam-packed tour of Thailand, twenty-two exhausted travellers boarded the plane to return to Australia. All in all, the trip was an experience of a lifetime, and thanks must go to the teachers and parents who facilitated the trip, especially Mr Green.

Annika Cruickshank
Year 12 Student