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Teaching Tales from Thailand: Beach Trip!!!

Written by Julie Asaro

Last weekend I went on a trip to the island of Ko Chang–aka Elephant Island–in the Gulf of Thailand. Although the journey was fun, the highlight of the trip was being on this incredible island!

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We (10 other teachers, a darling pug puppy named Bruce, and I) left Kalasin at about 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15th for what was to be approximately a 10 hour drive. We were traveling by van, but unfortunately, ours only had 10 passenger seats. I was one of the lucky 4 who got to squish into the back 3 seats. Our stops were minimal, but we did run into some bad traffic. Ugh!

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At about 9 a.m. we stopped at the Namtokphilo National Park in Chantaburi to see an amazing waterfall!! I was especially entranced with the many butterflies and proceeded to chase them around trying to take pictures…lol!collage-2016-07-24 (2)

At 10:30 we got back on the road to Ko Chang and by noon we were in line for the 30 minute ferry ride. We arrived at our beautiful Airbnb rental at 1:00. Luckily everyone wanted to chill and nap a little before hitting the town.

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We piled into the van again at about 7 p.m. and headed to the other side of the island where we found some very yummy but pricey Italian food! After filling our tummys we ventured to Lonely Beach and the crazy bar scene. They specialize in “buckets of alcohol!” Oh…and we danced to “The Macarena” and “YMCA”!!!! Later on we ended up at a bar on the beach called “Cancun” where they had bean bags in the sand. It was peaceful and picturesque! We rolled in at about 2:30 a.m. I didn’t think I had it in me to last that long! hahaha

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The next day, after some coffee and a yummy sandwich at a beautiful cafe on the beach, we headed for a kayak trip to a deserted island that one of the other teachers (Ryan from England) had been to before. He promised hammocks, clear water and a species of deer with fangs!! We finally found the launch point after “a bit” (lol) of driving. Unfortunately, it turned out that they didn’t have enough kayaks for all of us and before everything was settled, Ryan and our two Thai interpreters had taken off in one of the available kayaks. Yikes!! However, those left were 8 very capable women (one of whom could speak a little Thai) so we set off to find passage to the island. Well….we were very resourceful and negotiated a 1,500/baht round trip on what looked like a party house boat—empty top deck with chairs. The island turned out to be great, but I didn’t see any hammocks and there were no “vampire deer” to be found. There was a deserted hotel/resort that was very interesting to explore. While I was floating around in the bath-like water, I decided that I would like to buy the island and open a small resort for people who want to get away from their crazy lives to unplug and relax. Anyone interested in joining me?

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That night was dinner at the house. One of the Thai teachers, Ginny, made her famous Masaman dish. We also had a sampling of Chinese food from Teacher Ting. Teacher Som helped them both and the spread was incredible!!

collage-2016-07-24 (7) The next morning I was on breakfast duty and served up scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and toast. Because of the kitchen limitations, it wasn’t exactly how I make it at home, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. We cleaned up and headed to White Sand Beach (one of the top 25 beaches in Thailand)! Again, the water was like a bath and SOOOOO clear! It was also very shallow. I could walk out 100-150 yards and the water was still below my shoulders. Of course, in Thailand, I am a giant! We swam, drank, relaxed and even had a yummy lunch at a beach side cafe. Our canine companion had a great time at the beach and was wiped out when we reached home. I stayed in with Ginny, Som, Sal-Lee and Ting that night while the young kids went out on the town. They didn’t get back until about 5:30 the next morning. SOOOOOOO glad I didn’t go!!!

The next day, the sensible adults who stayed in…lol, took a trip Khlong Phlu Waterfall. Wow. In this case, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words!!collage-2016-07-24 (8)

That night we went back into town for our last dinner at a restaurant touted to have the best selection of beers on the island. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday, so they weren’t serving.

We piled back into the van the next morning at about 9 for our long trek home. We stopped about 5 or 6 times, but my favorite was at a mall in Hua Hin that had McDonald’s. Normally, I don’t eat there in the U.S., but I was craving some fries so I caved. We arrived back in Kalasin at about 10:30 Wednesday night. I was completely exhausted and it took a couple of days to recover, but this trip was a lot of fun!!! I got to spend time with great people and saw many beautiful sights.

Next up…weekend trip to Bangkok to apply for my Chinese visa. I am visiting there in October during our 3 week break from school!

Love!! xoxo

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About the author

Julie Asaro

Julie Asaro has always been someone who loves adventures and is willing to try most things (at least one time), but her move to Thailand definitely tops the list!! At almost 50 years old, she's getting to do what many people only dream about. Now we can all live vicariously through her tales as she spends a year teaching in Thailand.

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