Saturday, October 27, 2012

How quickly a year goes...

The rain came down and the floods went whoosh...part 2: Bangkok

Entrance to Chatrium

Sandbags around school
Ok, so it's slightly embarrassing that it has been almost a year since I updated my blog. I always Sandbags around school to but, but never seem to get a round to it.
The last time I wrote we were suffering from floods in Bangkok. School was closed for ages and it was pretty deserted around the place  with so many staff and families were leaving the city. Chatrium and school were surrounded by sandbags and supermarket shelves were empty. Buying water was difficult but we were so lucky here that the hotel has its own R.O. system.
Birthday cake from The Chatrium
My birthday took place during the floods and the day before I bruised my coccyx (I was messing around on a swivel chair in the office at school!). Very painful and couldn't sit down. Holly and Rachel surprised me and took me to the Oriental for afternoon tea on my birthday, which was great, despite struggling to sit properly.
Back to school eventually, and the rest of term was a difficult and disjointed one for all. It tool a while before all students were back as so many had flooded homes and were staying out of the city.

 Christmas holidays - Indonesia

Christmas was great. Started in Ubud, Bali on an Intrepid tour, which led us to Lombok and the Gillies. After the tour we returned to Bali (Christmas Eve). It just so happened that a friend from Shrewsbury, Becka, was in Bali at the same time, so Christmas Eve was spend on the beach in Samur eating fish and chips with her and her husband, Neil.
We then went on to Candidasa (East Bali) where we would spend Christmas Day through to New Year's Eve. A beautiful and quiet part of the island, no beaches but lots of lovely fields and surroundings.
New Year's Eve in Kuta. Probably won't be doing that again!
We then flew to Yogyakarta, staying at a beautiful hotel; The Phoenix Hotel. Four nights and then back to school!

February Half Term - Myanmar

A week in Myanmar (Burma). A country which is ever changing and becoming more accesible to visitors. Still has a few challenges, mostly the lack of ATMS, money to be changed in pristine and (preferably) $100 bills. I shall try to show the highlights with some photos. I loved Myanmar and despite wrestling with my conscience whether to visit or not, I'm glad I did. My advice to anyone going is to try to support the non-government business when possible and stay at non-government run hotels. This way your money is less likely to by contributing to corruption and making its way to the correct people. Not always possible, but definitely something to Mandalay be made aware of.
We flew to Yangon and spent our first night there, followed by flying to. After three wonderful nights we got the boat to Bagan before heading back to Yangon. In February, when we visited, the only international airport was in Yangon. Since then, you can now fly to and from Manadalay.