Stephanie, outbound to Thiland

From March 26-April 1, my district in Thailand had a bus trip to the south of Thailand. During this trip, I saw the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. If anyone is ever traveling to Thailand, I highly recommend going to the beaches in the south (which is what most people go for anyways, right?) and taking a boat tour to see some of the islands. This trip was very special to me because when I was a baby, my parents were missionaries in Thailand for one year and we visited the south. I have photos from 15 years ago in the same places that I just visited.

I was actually really surprised because the trip was very well organized. Day by day we had a schedule that showed us everything we would do that day, and the times when we had free time or when we had to be somewhere. During the trip, we went snorkeling, boating, swimming, a little bit of rock climbing, shopping and watched some Thai shows. The best show was called “Phuket Fantasea.” It was really incredible because in the show, they had live animals such as chickens, sheep, a tiger and even elephants. We ate a lot of sea food and a few international buffets, which were really delicious but kind of my worst enemy because it’s so easy to eat a lot and not even realize it.

The most breathtaking part of the trip for me was not all of the beautiful places, but the beautiful people we met along the way. One day on the trip, we went to an island and did community service at a school there. The tour guide told us that most of the children that go to the school never leave that island. They usually just become fishermen or open a shop on the island. The kids were all really sweet and so happy that we were there. My friend and I did the Hokey Pokey with our group, and I think we had more fun than the kids did. They couldn’t speak English so they were really confused about what we were trying to teach them but they really liked all the jumping around. I was really sad to leave them because I bonded with them and I wanted to take them with me! Also our tour guide was really amazing; shout out to Brittney for calling us the Rotary Bioches for the whole trip and making us laugh when we were tired and grouchy.

The trip was sanook makh (very fun) overall. Even with all the sunburns and cuts and bruises (from the rocks under the water) I feel really fortunate to have had that opportunity to see “Unseen Thailand” with Rotary and all my YE friends.