Another successful joint field trip under Senior and Junior High Schools’ belt! Setting off early Tuesday morning, we arrived at Santorini Amusement Park before noon, giving students the chance to experience a few adrenalin rushes before lunch. Next was Camel Republic where we had the opportunity to rub shoulders with a few dromedaries and wander around the mock Moorish souk. After an exhausting hour or so, it was time to get to our hotel to check in and relax for a while. Evening time we partook in some rather tasty Indian cuisine which seemed to go down well with all the crew!
The second day saw us at the Go Kart track, quite a thrill, as most students had not experienced this before. All who fancied themselves as a budding Stirling Moss or Jenson Button got to ride with one of our intrepid teachers. Later, a well deserved lunch was had at a beautiful restaurant in an even more beautiful location owned and run by the Royal Thai Air Force. With full stomachs we headed to “For Art’s Sake” a mind blowing 3D art museum where students were able to imagine and photograph themselves in striking situations. Evening time was spent mooching around Hua Hin night market picking up souvenirs.
Our final full day started at Khao Takiab Temple, where the views are spectacular and the monkeys rather cheeky. Stomach’s then steered us to OX, a wonderful seafood restaurant on the Pranburi coast. Next was Rajabhakdi Park where we had a tour around the imposing statues of former Thai monarchs. Finally we spent the afternoon cooling off at Vana Nava, Hua Hin’s finest water park. Students had an amazing time sampling all the thrill a minute rides, another first for many of them!
The purpose of this joint field trip was to provide an environment which would foster development of interpersonal skills and which would provide motivation for engagement in new experiences.
The environs of the gulf coast city of Hua Hin were chosen as our venue, with its rich accessibility of interesting built and natural environments. Transport was by means of school minibuses with our own trusted drivers providing an on-call service. The Golden Beach Hotel proved to be quite adequate for our party’s needs with shared rooms for the students and close to the beach for our keen beachcombers.
Having set off on Tuesday morning, November 20, our first port of call was the Santorini Park, most enjoyed activities were the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster and the 3D theatre ride. The latter was a very convincing simulation and new technology for most participants.
Next was the Camel Republic which was largely deserted but did provide an opportunity to interact with the impressive beasts themselves in a fitting Middle Eastern setting.
We checked in at Golden Beach Hotel, Cha Am, and students settled into their shared rooms which were allocated by their teachers to achieve some congeniality, though not necessarily with their best friends. This raised an immediate objection by one student which was not upheld, but the resulting arrangement was sustained without further dissidence.
The highlight of the evening was dinner at Narai’s restaurant, Narai being an old associate of Rose Marie Academy. Almost everybody thoroughly enjoyed their choice from the wide ranging menu and the excellent service provided by the ex-student waitress N>>>> and our host Narai.
Day Two provided morning opportunity to experience the thrills of motorsport at first hand for the first time. However only three JHS students put on their brave helmets for a training run in a dual control two seater with their teacher-coach. All three were able to take over the steering function after a couple of circuits and they demonstrated some evidence of skill development after some spins and “offs”.
The RTAF restaurant at the airbase provide a hearty choice of seafood whilst overlooking a delightful seaview before moving on to the “For Art’s Sake” gallery of large scale trompe l’oeil compositions. This venue provided for many illusory photo ops and an appreciation of how photorealism and manipulation of perspective can deceive the eye.
The day was completed with a shopping and eating expedition through downtown walking street market area. It was also the opportunity for more than one student to learn to be cautious with their budgeting, having overspent on trinkets leaving insufficient funds for nutrition.
After the regular hotel buffet breakfast the party proceeded to a steep climb up to the spectacular cliff top Khao Takiap temple and its insistent macaque attendants. A well-deserved rest and another seafood lunch were enjoyed at the OX Restaurant with its beautiful rocky beach vista.
We had a buggy ride around the vast but mostly empty Rajabhakdi Park to view the giant statues of the former Thai kings before moving on to the Vana Nava Water Jungle, known as the best waterpark in Thailand. Most, but not all, of the party were adventurous enough to participate in the intense thrills offered by the towering waterslides.
Dinner was enjoyed according to choice in the food court of the huge Market Village shopping mall.
On return to the hotel we were presented with birthday cakes brought a kind dad to celebrate his son’s fifteenth. The joyous occasion was only somewhat marred by one student’s reluctance to indulge, in preference to a pre-occupation with digital games.
A leisurely breakfast on our last day and a precautionary snack stop as we were not going to catch the school lunch, saw us back at Rose Marie Academy in time for normal home time departure.
The general conclusion was that this was a successful excursion and had achieved our goals of adventurous and interesting experiences and social development whilst managing the few behavioral problems effectively.