Traidhos Visiting Schools Program

Chiang Mai - Thailand

Trip Reports.

Annually we welcome around 3,000 students and staff from over fifty schools worldwide.

2015 Trips

19 Oct 2015 Updated about 2 years ago

Firbank Grammar, Australia

26 July – 14 August 2015

In July ninety-nine Year 9 Firbank Grammar (Australia) students accompanied by ten teachers came to Thailand for their annual three-week overseas trip. Firbank Grammar is one of VSP’s and the Barge Program’s regular customers and we were delighted to welcome them back. This year there were exciting amendments to the program, including a newly extended, three-day trip to Chiang Rai.

Each of the four Firbank groups stayed for two nights at the Golden Triangle. This location is famous for its twentieth-century significance in the drug smuggling business between the three countries that share the Mekong River as their borders: Thailand, Lao and Myanmar. Indeed, the “Triangle” symbolises the three nations that were involved, and “Golden” indicates the highly profitable (however illegal) nature of the business.

On the first day one of Firbank’s stops, new on this year’s itinerary, was Baan Dam. This attraction is sometimes referred to as the Black House, the Black Museum and even the Black Temple as the grounds contain many buildings with sloped roofs that to the untrained eye look like temple buildings. Baan Dam is the proud work of the late Thawan Duchanee, a Chiang Rai-born artist famed for his unconventional style. Inside the uniquely designed buildings can be found a collection of his works that leave a lasting impression on visitors.

The group also visited Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), which is a contemporary Buddhist temple. Also the work of an artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, it is one of Chiang Rai’s most popular attractions. As well as the usual features of a temple you can find murals and statues themed on the artist’s opinion that the modern-day masses misguidedly idolise characters in films and video games rather than focusing their devotions in more commendable directions.

Also on the itinerary, The Hall of Opium was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition that traces opium’s history from its first use 5,000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction. Many publications regards this is one of the best museums in Thailand.

The group rounded-off the trip with a visit to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephants Foundation, which is also new to the itinerary this year. This not-for-profit organisation was set up to give care and assistance to elephants and their mahouts without compromising its ethical standards. It also provides a safe place for scientific research to be carried out that could in the long run benefit elephants that are still wild or involved in work such as street begging, illegal logging or tourist shows. Students spent a whole morning learning different mahout techniques and commands, and the health and ethical considerations behind elephants riding. They took their elephants for a walk to a lake and to everyone’s delight, the elephants and humans all took a bath together. In the afternoon, students learned about the scientific research behind the scenes, with the aim of understanding more about this magnificent species, their behaviour and intelligence, and how to better look after them in captivity and protect them in the wild. For sure, a worthwhile day if ever there was one.

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2017 Visitors

January 17
Khartoum International Community School, Sudan
Multiple Intelligence IS, Philippines
IS Yangon, Myanmar
St Andrews International School Sukhumvit 71, Bangkok
St Andrews International School Sukhumvit 107, Bangkok
Concordian IS, Bangkok

February 17
MLC School, Australia
International School Bangkok
Prem Tinsulanonda IS, Chiang Mai
Yew Chung IS of Shanghai, China
American IS Dhaka, Bangladesh
Yangon IS, Myanmar

March 17
Seoul IS, South Korea
Yew Chung IS, Hong Kong
Australian IS, Hong Kong
Appleby College, Canada
Fern Hill School, Canada
The International School, Macau
I-Shou IS, Taiwan
KIS, Bangkok
Canadian IS, Singapore
Stamford School, Indonesia

April 17
Beijing World Youth Academy, China
Creative Secondary School, Hong Kong
Australian International School, Singapore

May 17
Victoria Shanghai Academy, Hong Kong
The Montessori School, Perth, Australia

June 17
Yew Chung International School, Hong Kong
Garden International School, Malaysia
Compass Youth Leadership Camp

July 17
Travel For Teens (Elephants), USA
Travel For Teens (Service), USA