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Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Riverside, 1922 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Prayakrai, Bang Kholaem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand



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1922 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Prayakrai, Bang Kholame, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

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Year 8 students were super-excited to begin their exciting trip to the seaside. Our destination was in Rayong and the sparkling waters and white sand beaches that are all along this stretch of coastline.

At exactly 7:45am on the Monday Year 8 students departed Shrewsbury by bus, fortunately leaving no-one behind! With a travel time of three and a half hours, nearly everyone decided it would be a great idea to get some shut-eye - although it would be surprising if anyone actually did. Before long, the murmurings on the bus became shrieks of delight. “I can see the beach!” someone said. Heads turned, and curtains were pulled wide open as the vast beach eventually came into view. Few may have started the residential thinking it would be the best week of their lives but this definitely caused some to reconsider it. Teenagers piled out of the bus eagerly and unknowingly started a residential journey that was full of twists and turns.

Over the course of the week we enjoyed a variety of activities ranging from snorkeling to trekking which we completed over our three full days in Rayong. Other activities that filled in a lot of our time consisted of a beach clean-up; Thai cookery; and visiting a turtle sanctuary on a mostly-deserted little island. The beach clean-up was uniquely special because the beauty of Thailand needs to be preserved, and too much trash is discarded which can play havoc with the local ecosystem. Every year 14 billion pounds of rubbish is thrown into the ocean. After the depressing but necessary conversation about this, we were all pleased to play our part in protecting the environment.

On a more cheerful note, the most popular activity was almost certainly the snorkeling. Once students got past the initial fear of the fish (trust me when I tell you it happens to the best of us), the pristine seawater combined with the vibrant coral ensures an exhilarating experience. We also had a Thai cookery class, in which we got to learn real Thai recipes taught by an actual chef - but with a twist! We formed teams of four and prepared our own creations. Points were awarded for cleanliness, flavour, presentation and teamwork. It also helped to rub shoulders with the chef to win extra brownie points! I was lucky enough to be on the winning team and victory literally tasted sweet as we were awarded a soda from hotel bar!

The Year 8 residential was a great place to make new friends, talk to others you wouldn't regularly converse with, and it significantly diminished gender-division between us. Overall, it was the best residential so far. At the end of the trip, everyone wanted to stay an extra day!