As part of the Incentive Trip to Thailand (see Part One here), Stampin’ Up! arranged for all of the achieving demonstrators and their guests to go away for a day to some spectacular places…
They loaded us onto coaches and took us to speedboats, where we boarded for Phang Nya Bay. My photos were taken from a speedboat moving at top speed so please excuse any blurriness…
James Bond Island
After about an hour’s journey we arrived at James Bond Island, where Roger Moore filmed ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. It was mobbed by tourists and people waiting in boats to get out and visit. Our guide told us that 8000-9000 people visit each day!
We arrived at our first excursion, which was a manned canoe into some secluded areas. This involved having our photo taken in various dangerous poses with a guide who would not take no for an answer. He made me get out of the canoe and stand on slippery tree branches for a photo! Needless to say I was relieved to get safely back in the canoe.
The Floating Village
After that Stampin’ Up! took us to a floating village which is comprised of wooden houses on stilts and some now concreted in areas. The island has about 2000 inhabitants, which are 300 families. Muslim settlers from Indonesia built the village, although the people now would describe themselves as Thai. We docked and embarked among creaking wooden boats and speedboats. After a short walk up a jetty we walked through a well designed, spacious restaurant and followed our guide into a narrow market alley. Market stalls on each side sold everything from jewellery to souvenirs, scarves to sweets. In between the stalls we noticed people sleeping on mats with little in the way of creature comforts, as well as dangerous looking wires bunched along at head-height.
We reached the end of our tour, which was the school. The children were in three different classrooms with the doors open so that we could look in. The little ones were sleeping on mats, the middle group were resting and the older ones about to start work again. The children were immaculately dressed and paid no attention to us at all. The guide explained that the children on the island were traditionally good swimmers, as they had a floating football pitch with no barriers. This meant that every time the ball went into the water, the kicker had to go in and fetch it. They eventually replaced the floating pitch with a concrete floor and fences around it.
The Floating Village made me very aware of the privileges and conveniences in my life. Some people live completely differently and I was grateful to be able to go and buy things and support their industries.
After we left the Village we went by speedboat to a private island for a beach BBQ. Stampin’ Up! had put out deckchairs for sunbathing and a buffet lunch with tables and chairs ready. We had a lovely lunch together and then paddled or swam in the sea for a little while.
Finally, on the Thursday and Friday, we spent time relaxing and finished off with a evening meal with all of the fellow attendees. It was an evening full of Thai culture and we will never forget it. I’m so grateful for the time away with my husband and the chance to see new places and experience new things. For every part you have played in that, thank you! xx
Christmas is Coming!
Now I’m back from a restful time away with the family and raring to get my Christmas craft on! The Autumn Winter catalogue is out shortly, if you’d like a copy just comment below or send me an email with your postal address. I send my catalogues completely free of charge (and they will automatically be sent to all of my customers within the past full year.)
Look forward to sharing my Christmas makes with you soon…