At the end of the school year, on the 19th March 2017 at 6 pm we boarded a coach and two minivans and headed off to Chao Lao beach. The seats reclined, there was a toilet on board and we provided some movies and snack packs. It was comfortable and I thought it was a 12-hour trip.
Well, we stopped at petrol stations every 3 hours for toilets and at 9 am we arrived at the big army shipping dock where the biggest army boat is. It was very hot and humid, so I wasn’t too disappointed when I was told that foreigners were not allowed to go on the boat. Instead, I had to sit and wait in a cute little air-conditioned coffee shop!!! I was happy to view the photos a bit later and it did look great, the kids enjoyed the stop. We were back on the bus at 11 am and finally arrived at our accommodation at 1:30 pm.
The rooms and beds were comfortable; the resort is very basic and seems to accommodate many school groups. The meals were very basic and only one serve per person that were not large serves. I am aware of how much some of our kids eat at ICC and in comparison they should have been complaining. I never heard a single complaint and they just accepted what they got.
The beach was awesome. The sea went out a long way and was still shallow which was great for the children. The sea was warm, for me, too warm, however, they are used to always showering with cold water so enjoyed the warmth. They played in the sand, jumped through the waves, walked along the beach at sunset and sunrise and had an adventure on the banana and the biscuit pulled behind the boat.
We were at the beach for 3 days and two nights. The second day we went to Ocean World where we got to see a dolphin show and some other fish. For me, it was an apology for an ‘Ocean World’, but the children had nothing to compare it with and enjoyed it. Our last morning we visited the aquarium which was free. It was excellent and very educational. The children really enjoyed it.
When we finally left on Wednesday night at 5 pm we had some really sunburnt faces. They didn’t think they needed sunscreen as they have never needed it here in Chiangmai. However, 3 days in the sea with a cloudless sky certainly enabled a change in skin colour for many!!
We arrived home to Kirsten Jade Rescue Centre at 9 am Thursday morning. We had had many stops overnight for the toilet and refreshments and all arrived home safe and happy. An amazing experience for us all, with memories that will remain with each one of us, forever.