Each year we welcome over 2,500 students and staff from schools worldwide.
4 – 6 January 2019
Fernhill School (Canada) and St Andrew’s School (USA) joined the Barge team for a third successive year for a “Once in a lifetime” trip to Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Day 1: After a well-deserved lay in to combat their jet lag, The Barge team collected both schools from their hotel and travelled to the historical city of Ayutthaya. We arrived later afternoon at a camp situated on the side of the Chao Phraya River. The students spent the evening taking part in activities that included an introduction to Thailand, Thai culture and learnt a handful of useful phrases.
Day 2: An early wakeup call was needed as breakfast wasn’t going to cook itself! The students were responsible for preparing, cooking and serving all the meals on this trip and they were up to the task!
After breakfast we boarded the barge and set sail on a trip down river to visit two very different Wats or temples. Wat Protsat is a very traditional Thai style temple, however Wat Niwet, with is European, gothic church style is vastly different.
In the afternoon the students took part in creating flower decorations out of Sesbania flower, an invasive species in Thailand, which is now being use by locals to create beautiful arrangements. Some of the final creations were really good and would not have looked out of place in a 5- star hotel lounge.
The day was finished with lessons in Buddhism, a subject all the students were very keen to learn about and they took a lot away with them before settling down for an early night.
Day 3: The Buddhism lesson and early night were definitely needed as day 3 started early, very early in order to give alms and make merit with visiting monks to our camp, an experience that was made even more special by the picturesque Chao Phraya river as our backdrop for our last morning together.
We spent the rest of the day visiting museums and temples important in the understanding of Ayutthaya, Thailand’s fallen capital. The students got to experience a ride in Thailand’s world famous ‘Tuk Tuk’s’. After an exciting drive though the city we arrived at the impressive and ancient ruins at Wat Chai Wattanram. The students were tasked with taking photos of interesting areas around the temple, something that proved very popular. Before we left the students took some time to reflect on the stories they had been told of the fall of Ayutthaya and spent fifteen minutes creating stories in the minds of how the events could have unfolded through the eyes of various citizens…..and an elephant!