Remember the club trip I mentioned not too long ago? Well today, it finally happened, and…I must say, today’s club trip is actually pretty good and enjoyable!
Today’s field trip is organized by the Rakkaew club. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time may remember my pretty bad experience when it comes to getting a place on a trip organized by this club some years back, but…this time, it appears that things were done much, much better and, I actually managed to secure my place on this trip, without having to rely on someone dropping out at the last minute!
The trip today is just a day trip to Klong Mahasawat, a community not far from Mahidol University. Though my recent experiences with club trips had not been positive because I literally got left behind/no one would want to take care of me, today’s trip is a different story. Right once I was invited into the group chat for this trip, I decided to check out the members list, and…immediately, I came across a couple of rather familiar names and, at that point, I knew that I can count on those couple of individuals to be my trip buddies, and I am determined to make it happen, no matter what.
The meeting time for today was at around 9:30AM, for registration and whatnot. I was assigned to a random group. I was a bit worried as those couple of people I mentioned earlier did not show up, but after sitting down for a while I decided to walk around and I encountered two of them (the other person was busy with some stuff so couldn’t make it). Then, I immediately requested that the staff move me to a group where at least one of those people is (by the way, those two people are the girls joining me on the upcoming Hua Hin trip). Initially the staff did not want to move me, but my iron will and strong determination proved too strong to break and they eventually let me switch groups. This is my final semester, so…just let me experience a club trip the way I like it to be, that’s all I ask.
We all got on the van at closer to 10AM. The van ride was not very long at all, since Klong Mahasawat is very close to the campus, as I mentioned earlier. Oh and by the way, I brought my favorite inflatable ring with me, mainly to use as a photo prop. Since the van ride was very short, I only got to listen to a few songs on my phone.
Once we arrived, we all got on a small boat and sailed to what appears to be a lotus farm. That is where we had our first activity. The staff tried to get me into my old group again, but…once again my determination to be with at least one of the Hua Hin trip participants proved unbreakable and…guess what, the staff pretty much gave up trying to move me again and I got to be in the group that I want, with the people that I want. As I said, this is my final semester at MUIC, so…just let me do the things in the way that I want, and that includes being in a group with the people that I want. To be absolutely honest here, the organizers thought that they could take care me better than a handful of exchange students from the UK, but with the bad memory from that science club trip in June last year, I felt that I couldn’t really trust the organizers anymore. And on a related note, on the evaluation form for this trip being able to have two of the Hua Hin trip participants as my trip buddies was the main reason why I gave this trip a high satisfaction rating. Without them, I’d probably gave this trip a neutral rating at best because, I can predict, no one would take care of me, just like with the science club trip.
Anyways, back to the activities…the first real activity (not including the introductory activity where everyone got to know each other) was to make some lotus petals. This is done by ttaking out lotus leaves and folding them into a triangle shape. It sounded difficult at first, but once I got nearer the center things got easier. Although I had the option to keep it as a souvenir, I decided to donate it to temples because…my bag couldn’t really hold any more stuff, and…I do not want taking care of it to be a liability on my side. I also got a chance to try some lotus tea, which tasted really, really nice.
After the activity, there was around 40 minutes of free time so me and the two Hua Hin trip participants decided to take a boat ride around. It was quite fun, though it was also pretty hot. On the way, I saw lots of lotus flowers in the water.
After that, everyone hopped back on the motor boat to the next destination, which is like a workshop/shop. The lady at the workshop area showed my group how to make crispy rice chips, and I even got to try making one myself. As these tasted quite good (especially the pork one) I decided to buy a bottle of it as a souvenir, along with some dried bananas.
After that activity, it was time for lunch. Me and the two Hua Hin trip participants walked around to a market area. I decided to buy a pack of dried fish chips (I may actually bring some of the snacks I bought today on the Hua Hin trip as well). After we were done shopping, we walked to a restaurant which is essentially a floating platform. The restaurant featured made-to-order foods, Pad Thai and steak. I ordered pork steak (no vegetables and salad) for my lunch, and also helped order Pad Thai (one vegan with no eggs or meat and the other a normal chicken Pad Thai) for my buddies.
It actually took a while for our foods to arrive. I also ordered cold water (there was no soft drinks, sadly). The pork steak with bread and french fries tasted really, really good. After we ate we went back to the market area to rest for a bit, before joining everyone else at around 1:30PM.
Once all of the trip’s participants were assembled, we all hopped back on the motor boat for our final destination, which is a fruit and rice farm combined. We first listened to a brief presentation by the lady who I think owns the farm, and then get to try out some of the farm’s produce. The unique feature of this farm in particular is that all the produce here are completely organic, I.E there were no chemicals used in the growing process at all.
After that, one of the members of staff actually approached me and ask if I want to go see the farm. Given that I don’t really have anything else to do I decided to go and tour the farm. It was pretty hot walking around there, since there were very little tree cover. After that I got to try some weird snack thingy encased in a lotus leaf, but I don’t like it at all since it tasted quite bad and weird.
After that, it was time for the final activity, which is to come up as a group ways to improve the Klong Mahasawat community. My group came up with a couple of broad strategies, namely improving the facilities (E.G making the boat/ramp/walkway/toilets more wheelchair-accessible), more marketing efforts to draw in more tourists, and also waste management and the reduction of plastic consumption. As it turns out, pretty much all groups have similar strategies. The members of staff also got to present, and one strategy that none of the groups mentioned that came up is the improvement of public transport, which is a strategy that I actually kind of agree. Although there is the Klong Mahasawat train station not far away, it’s only used by a handful of trains, and there weren’t any buses from anywhere in Bangkok or Nakhon Pathom to this community.
After that, the trip finally drew to a close, with a final batch of group photos of course. We all hopped back on the van, and we went straight back to campus. I listened to music during the journey, once again. After we arrived I decided to request a group photo with the two Hua Hin trip participants.
Overall, today’s trip is truely a club trip that I actually enjoyed. Though all of the activities were outdoor and the weather was pretty hot and sunny, they were still enjoyable nonetheless, especially the fact that I had two of the Hua Hin trip participants as my trip buddies. Thank you very much to the organizers who let me move to the group with one of the Hua Hin trip participants.
So…what’s coming up next? Oh well, there’s the dark room activity organized by the photo club, the food fair, and…the star of the show, the two-night Hua Hin residential trip.
So…yeah, I guess that’s it for now…