Alice Smith School from Kuala Lumpur have been coming to MRVR Outdoor Education Centre for many years. It has now become somewhat of a tradition that they are one of the final groups of the season. This month saw their annual visit done in style, with ninety-four students here for a whole range of action packed activities. The visit included a trip to the locally famous Wat Thaton, also known as Chedi Gaew (Glass Chedi). It is an eye capturing temple set up on a mountain overlooking the large fang valley and village of Thaton. Its bright colours and ornate statues make for a fantastic photo with the stunning valley view as a backdrop. The mountain on which the temple sits boasts of nine separate levels with something different on each level. On level nine is a large standing Buddha that peers down at the river flowing through the valley, behind the statue students were able to look in the opposite direction and see a lookout post from the Myanmar army. The river they can see is the Maekok, which the outdoor centre takes its name from. This is the same river Alice Smith enjoyed a swift kayaking session on, as well as a short but relaxing tubing journey in large inflatable rings. The group had to use their concentration because the river was slightly faster than normal on account of the rain in recent days; they didn’t want to miss their exit point as the river is a tributary of the famous Mekong River that ends up in the South China Sea.

Tubing was followed by a quick shower in time to begin their cooking lesson with our popular chef Khun Aree. She taught the students how to cook Thai Green Curry and Stir Fried Rice, which they all did very well, although some were better than others. Hiking became an eventful activity for some, as the wet weather made the paths very slippery to the point where the routes were changed to a more suitable level for the students, they returned caked in mud, with tired legs, but big smiles and many stories were shared. The action didn’t stop there. The students took part in climbing, abseiling, archery and even had the opportunity to sign up for a bike ride around the Thai countryside as well as pit themselves against our obstacle course over water. The evening had them taking part in our normal round of night activities, such as a game by torch light, in the woods nearby or the popular ‘stick game’ as part of our Sala game session.

Alice Smith’s time at the MRVR Outdoor Education Centre seemed to sum up our season very well. Action-packed with lots of activities, memories, and new friends, despite rain and mud each student made the week their own. They made the most of each opportunity and hopefully grew from each of their experiences. Next season starts in September, another chance for students from all over the world to make new memories and have new experiences.

~ Dan

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