A Travellerspoint blog

Last Week at The Orphanage, Back to Bangkok and onto Cha-am

sunny 35 °C

Hello all!

We enjoyed a wonderful last week at the orphanage, though it was very sad to leave. We spent our final week teaching in the mornings and with the babies and Nim in the afternoons. The staff at the orphanage were lovely and sent us a goodbye and thank-you photograph of us each with a special little girl, Pireen, whom happily played with us for hours during our stay, after we left (will upload to our photo gallery) and we will miss her and the other children very much.
We travelled from Pattaya to Bangkok on Sunday by Thai bus (much cheaper way to travel, around $1.20 each for the 3 hour journey and decided to stay in Peachy Guesthouse (photo in gallery).
On monday we had an early start as a minibus picked us up at 7am and we went on a full day excursion to a Flosting Market, Tiger Temple and the Bridge over the River Kwai. This was a brilliant day: the floating market was very exciting as we sat in a very small rowing boat and travelled up a small river with shops on either side selling all kinds of souveniers and there was an opportunity to get off and hold a Cobra (we both politely declined) and stayed safely in the boat as far away from the Cobra as possible! The tiger temple was wonderful, we got to play with the tiger cubs and stroke the big tigers and they roamed freely around the temple with other animals such as buffalos.
The bridge over the River Kwai was breathtaking and we got to take some great snaps!
Yesterday we made our own way (by boat) to see the Golden Temple and Standing Buddha which were both fantastic.
Today we have arrived in Cha-am, a pleasant little fishing village with only one main street. We're enjoying the peace and quiet here before making our way tomorrow down south to the islands!
Love to all and will write again soon,
Lis and Sar xxx

Posted by lisandsar 06:40 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Pattaya cont...

Sorry for no blog update on Friday, internet has been a bit temperamental this week due to weather....it is the rainy season here afterall!
Last Saturday, after a very early morning for the Orphanage 36th Anniversairy photo (which went well and only took 1 hour!) we finally found a cafe serving full english breakfast with real sausages to our delight! After eating far too much we took a boat trip to an island not far from Pattaya called Koh Larn, it was beautiful, with clear water and white sand we were in our element for a day of quiet relaxation and sunbathing, undisturbed mostly, apart from a few local people asking for our photo!
On Monday and Tuesday the religious festivities here continued so there were no classes at the orphanage in the mornings so we amused the babies for the most part of both days. Teaching started again on Wednesday morning and after a long weekend off the children took some persuading and bribes (in the form of coconut biscuits!) to get back to work!
Last week we decided it would be nice to have lunch in the orphanage which it was. The food, is basic thai food and cooked for the whole orphanage in a huge kitchen so we have no input on how spicy it comes but it is still rather tasty but needs quite a lot of water to be drunk with it!

I (Lisa) have recently been spending an hour in the afternoon with an older resident at the orphanage - Nim. Nim is 27 years old and has some physical and learning difficulties but despite this and some difficulties communicating loves to learn and practice speaking English. We mostly watch youtube clips of animals doing silly things and on Thursday we watched some Thai soap series (in Thai) and Nim translated for me which I was very grateful of as I had no clue what was going on! Nim has inspired me to try to learn at least one other language when I get home :)

Wednesday afternoon I left lisa with the babies and spent with the afternoon with the toddlers; this is slighlty more tiring than with the babies as there is alot more running around! At 4pm all the little guys were shuffled into the bathroom and to my surprise so was I! They have a very strict regime and it took 5 of us (4 nannies and myself) to get them showered, dried, nappies changed and dressed! fortunatly I was given the task of dressing and they came out one by one and after being dried and a new nappy put on I dressed them and put them back into the play room! The children are obvioulsy used to this as they dont make any fuss - but maybe I caught them on a good day!

The bus ride is still our most amusing part of the day! we are still stared at and laughed at most days! This week we thought we had a record of 20 squeezed onto the back of the bus on Tuesday but no Friday we counted that there was 29 of us all crammed on like sardines onto it, lisa had found herself a seat squased in between lots of Thai locals and I found myself hanging of the back; both of us trying to control our laughter which I think was out of shock!

We spent yesterday at a different beach again, very lovely :) and Saturday night we went into Pattaya with Boom for some dancing! The weather as mentioned earlier has not been great, although it does not rain for long, when it rains here it pours!

Love to everyone at home, will try to upload pics now.

Will blog again soon,
LisandSar xx

Posted by lisandsar 02:32 Comments (1)

Ist week at Pattaya Orphanage

sunny 38 °C

Our first week at Pattaya Orphanage has just finished and we are exhausted! Our week started on Tuesday at 8am and our began with an amusing ride on a small bus into Pattaya - the bus ride takes about 40 minutes and we can safely say that Thai people don not see white girls on this bus very often as we are stared at in amazement every morning and even more so on the return ride home which I shall tell you about later! The orphanage is much bigger than we had expected and on arrival we were greeted by several adorable babies wandering outside the entrance with the nannies! We spent around half an hour with these little guys in what is called 'the baby room' and there are around 25 babies! The room is filled with cots and a small play area with some toys scattered around for them to play with! We were shown around by another volunteer - Christine who has been there for the past three weeks and she also takes an english class which we shall be taking over from next week when she leaves! There are 6 children in the class all together, all of which live in the orphanage their names are; Boom, Bam, Ya, Ai, Korsan and Angel ahhhh they are all amazing, although Angel does not live up to his name all the time! We sing songs, go through the alphabet, count 1-10 and basic colors, its very repetitive but this seems to work well and is a good routine for the children! The class runs from 9.30 till 10.30 and then we return to the baby room where we simply entertain the babies, I have not had the pleasure of nappy changing duty as yet however Lisa has! At 11am we are then thrown out of the room as the babies have their morning nap and we have until 2pm till we are needed again, during this time we entertain ourselves with banana milkshakes (made with ice not milk) and have found a small hut on the side of the road which serves chicken and rice for 70p each and have become regulars! At 2pm we head back to the Orphanage and spend the rest of the afternoon until 5pm with the babies who are at times quite demanding but adorable, before leaving it is their bedtime again and we try and get them to sleep; I have been unsuccessful in this department however Lisa seems to have the knack - although today I was very proud after finally getting one baby asleep.

Yesterday however we got to spend the afternoon in the Pattaya School for the Deaf; the school is on the same site as the orphanage but there are only a few deaf orphans so they open the school to the public as both day and boarding for children in Pattaya. We sat in on a computer class and a speech therapy session which we both really enjoyed and even picked up at bit of Thai sign language! Today we were invited to join the children from the deaf school and our class we teach in the mornings on a school outing! This weekend is a Buddhist festival and the children go to the local temple to give gifts to the monks.
We arrived at the temple on a very full bus, not much health and saftey regulations in Thailand as we both had children on our knees, no seat belts and two or three children occupied the same seat on the bus! After waiting outside the temple for 20 minutes or so waiting for another group of children to finish their ceremony inside the temple we made our way up the steps ready to enter the temple; inside the temple were 10 Monks sat on the floor humming. Initially we though we would be going straight inside however the other teachers and children started walking slowly around the outside of the temple with their hands pressed together and heads down; we decided to join in and proceeded round the temple, hands pressed together and heads down. When reaching the front of the temple again we though that was it however the children and teachers continued to do another lap around the temple, we both wondered how many of these we were going to be doing as at this point felt a little silly slowly wandering round a temple with no shoes on, heads down and hands together - fortunately it was just the three however we decided at the end of the second to jump out of line and wait for the children to come back around again so we could take some pictures of them. We then entered the temple and and all the children and teachers went down on their knees in front of the Monks and began praying and by waving their arms up and down. This we decided not to join in and simply knelled down at the back, there was some chanting and some more praying and them some more chanting and suddenly a mobile phone went off, both Lisa and me though it was one of the teachers phones but no; it was in fact one of the monks who pulled a phone out from under his robe and promptly switched it off!! This was a rather entertaining moment for us but we managed to control ourselves from laughter and remained quiet at the back, shortly after this the ceremony ended and we left the temple.

The bus ride home is our least favourite part of the day: it begins with having to walk in the heat for half an hour before reaching our bus stop; which is not really a bus stop but a piece of cardboard saying bus stop on a random bit of pavement. The bus which is not a bus as you would imagine but a a very old pick up truck with a tin covering over the back and some make shift seats and a metal grid on the back for when there is not enough room inside the back of the bus (pick up truck) and people stand of this and these people are usually us! We did try standing inside the back however due to the average height of Thai people this very difficult even for myself and almost impossible for Lisa. When we first attempted it everyone one on the bus was greatly amused by the view of local people stood in front and behind us with a good few inches between their heads and the roof of the bus and myself just about fitting and poor Lisa completely crouched down unable to look up and pretty much looking like a giant! So we now simply hang of the back of a pick up truck everyday for around 20 minutes being pointed at and laughed at by all the local people we pass as we literally hang on for our lives!

Tomorrow we are up at 5am and being collected by our volunteer co-ordinator 'Aa' as it is the orphanages 36th anniversary and for some reason they have decided to take a picture of everyone in the orphanage at 6am on a Saturday! We were looking forward to a lie in tomorrow after a busy week but that will have to wait tomorrow however we are happy that we have been asked to take part in the orphanage's celebration (36 is a special number here?) we have obviously made a good impression!

We are sure that next week will bring just as much if not more amusing tales, so after our early rise tomorrow we are off to spend the weekend on a beach and will update you all at the end of next week with our adventure so far!

Love to everyone
Lisa and Sarah xx

Posted by lisandsar 06:13 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

Bangkok to pattaya

sunny 33 °C

We arrived in Bangkok by bus and as soon as we got off felt the heat of the big city. We were dropped off near khao San road and were straight away pounced upon (not literelly) by people trying to sell us anything and everything which was a bit overwhelming at first. We looked around a few hostels and decided to stay at the merry v just a few blocks from khao San road, it sounded wonderful and v cheap £1.50 each but as we soon discovered it was the definition of budget! 2 single beds in a room with nothing else in, no bedsheet in sheet in sight lol. The toilet and ice cold shower at the end of the corrider. At first we were a bit scared n wary but it was absolutely fine and there were lots of other Brits there so had good company. We went out to khao San rd in the night and tried our haggling skills for sum loose clothing, more haggling practice needed but it was great fun!
Yesterday we got a bus to pattaya and phil (mums friend) met us and we are now staying at his home with his wife boom and two adorable children. Last night boom took us out in pattaya town for a girlie night with her two Thai friends, we danced all night and it was great being with boom as she is local she took us to some great places and we could relax and let our hair down :-)
their house is amazing! Today phil and boom took us to a bar for lunch on the back of their motorbikes! At first I was terrified but after a while was really enjoying the wind in my hair! I could be a biker yet dad!!
We've been in the pool this afternoon and sar trying to upload photos now. Will hopefully work!
Blog later in the week with more updates xxxx

Posted by lisandsar 04:40 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Bangkok to pattaya

sunny 33 °C

We arrived in Bangkok by bus and as soon as we got off felt the heat of the big city. We were dropped off near khao San road and were straight away pounced upon (not literelly) by people trying to sell us anything and everything which was a bit overwhelming at first. We looked around a few hostels and decided to stay at the merry v just a few blocks from khao San road, it sounded wonderful and v cheap £1.50 each but as we soon discovered it was the definition of budget! 2 single beds in a room with nothing else in, no bedsheet in sheet in sight lol. The toilet and ice cold shower at the end of the corrider. At first we were a bit scared n wary but it was absolutely fine and there were lots of other Brits there so had good company. We went out to khao San rd in the night and tried our haggling skills for sum loose clothing, more haggling practice needed but it was great fun!
Yesterday we got a bus to pattaya and phil (mums friend) met us and we are now staying at his home with his wife boom and two adorable children. Last night boom took us out in pattaya town for a girlie night with her two Thai friends, we danced all night and it was great being with boom as she is local she took us to some great places and we could relax and let our hair down :-)
their house is amazing! Today phil and boom took us to a bar for lunch on the back of their motorbikes! At first I was terrified but after a while was really enjoying the wind in my hair! I could be a biker yet dad!!
We've been in the pool this afternoon and sar trying to upload photos now. Will hopefully work!
Blog later in the week with more updates xxxx

Posted by lisandsar 04:40 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

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