We arrived in Ban Phe today – a safe haven from the floods elsewhere, which have left much of Thailand underwater and many a trip ruined as hundreds of areas shut down.
Luckily, with an incredible in-country team, led by none other than our beloved Masako, the Thailand interns (and myself!) got a real treat as a result of the floods. As the in-country teams sorted out the interns’ school contracts, we headed to Ban Phe for literally nothing more than fun…fun… fun. After a three hour journey – well, five really – we arrived at our hotel, just opposite the beach. We were all so excited at the prospect of hanging out the beach, especially since the internship is meant to be placed in non-beach areas (for the most part). As we all excitedly crossed the road to dip our feet into warmer waters (a foreign concept to most of us!) we were pleasantly surprised by a more attractive foreign attraction…. An ELEPHANT riding down the road with his master. It almost felt too good to be true – heading towards your Thailand haven of beautiful beaches but to then be stopped by a MAGNIFICENT elephant just begging for you to feed him…nothing else but fruit. A massive lover of elephants since before I could walk, that was easily the most exciting part of my few days here. But nonetheless, an elephant must go on his way, so we carried on to the beach to enjoy a few beachside drinks.
It's not every day you bump into an elephant on the street!
One word of advice I’ll give you, when you get to areas of Thailand such as Ban Phe, there is not much English spoken at all. In some ways it’s your chance to test drive your TEFL skills as many of the interns had to when trying to find out simple things like the cost of a beer. While it can be tiring (and I mean that in the least snobby western way – just purely honest), it’s completely worth it when you take in your surroundings… completely unspoilt bits of Thailand just there for your complete enjoyment.
Lunch is served!
Following our drink (or drinks) we headed to dinner where it was a buffet style meal – but not any buffet – a buffet of raw food where you collected what you wanted and then cooked it at your table. While I managed to burn the person to the left of me, I still cooked my itty bitty piece of chicken and then conveniently dropped it on the same plate of raw meat. Needless to say (I hope), I left it alone and stuck to a few bits of cooked tofu and fried rice. If I didn’t have to travel in a few days, I would have been all over it but best to be sensible… especially when I’m only a guest here in Ban Phe for a few days.
The interns enjoying a Thai buffet!
I now rest on my bed in the Pine Tree Hotel as the other interns are doing things from 3am swims in the hotel pool to exploring all the bars near our hotel. In all honesty, from the very bottom of my heart, I absolutely HEART Thailand. And while I only get about a week here, I absolutely cannot wait to come back and have this experience again. From palm trees to busy Bangkok, it’s a country that holds so much to be explored…time and time again. You cannot help but fall in love with the country and its lovely, welcoming people.
If anyone has any questions about the internship get in touch and I'll be happy to help!