Please notice this was first posted in the period 2012-2014 and can be outdated
Two weeks ago it was finally time for the bonding trip of the Sasin MBA 2011 and 2012 classes. Earlier we already had the pre-bonding activities, which were quite fun, so this trip promised to be something.
The bus company used earlier for the Orientation trip to Hua Hin was ditched for this trip, mainly because the AC in one of the busses broke down back then, something that had happened on an earlier trip also, and a new company transported us in 6 busses to Khao Yai; one bus per group. The party did not start on the bus though since most people looked even sleepier than for an 8:30AM class and as soon as we started moving most eyes closed. With only one stop to release the pressure on our bladders the trip to the Greenery Resort in Hua Hin went quite quickly, even though I have seen this route too many times already when travelling to Nakhon Ratchasima.
Right after a lukewarm lunch at Greenery Resort, where they clearly saved on both quality and taste, the bonding activities began with the “Amazing Race Hua Hin”. Unfortunately for the foreigners the first game involved connecting Thai words to their Korat-slang counterparts, or at least that is what I understood we were doing. From there on it did not get much better since the non-Thais were split across the 6 groups meaning the way of communicating within the groups quickly switched to the Thai language, something that happened universally across the groups, putting the foreigners in the role of substitutes. For me that meant it was the perfect opportunity to relax in the back of the bus and try to look at some more interesting things at the back of my eyes.
In the evening, after some Buddhist ceremony which was totally lost on me, it was time for dinner at Chateau de Khao Yai. The good part of this dinner was clearly not the food itself, which was similar to what you can get in every 600 baht hotel, but the social experiment where there was free seating and we could finally see how well the bonding was going by looking how the classes of 2011 and 2012 mixed at the tables. Unfortunately for the organizers the result was disappointing with not only no mixing between the classes 2011 and 2012 at the tables, the class of 2011 even choose the tables at the front of the hall while the class of 2012 was taking the tables in the back of the hall.
The second day promised to be fun though; we would visit the Baan Sap wai School to help them out by doing some revamp and teaching activities. After a long speech we finally had the time to start and the whole school complex was, luckily, not in such a bad shape as I had expected. The revamp activities mostly consisted of cleaning, redecorating, and putting together a new closet; I did not see much of the teaching activities going on since I was busy removing the spider webs from the ceilings which took my full attention. Right after lunch people started to wander around and playing a bit with the kids, and luckily for me some of them even spoke some English. Of course that ended up in me teaching them some more English words, or they were teaching me Thai words?
The rest of the day was filled with relaxing at Greenery resort, where we played freeze tag (pae-khaeng) in the pool for 2 hours, followed by the best meal so far on this trip: a BBQ where I could still my hunger for smoked fish for the coming months. The evening was later closed off with a big party which started with drinking games and ended with Gangnam Style.
During this party we also had the first performance of the “Sasin MBA 2012 band” which was received with a lot cheers and a few people throwing up due to the large amounts of alcohol consumed earlier.
On the third and last day nothing more was planned besides eating breakfast, having lunch at Chokchai, and going back to Bangkok. Again the atmosphere on the bus mostly resembled that of a funeral, but maybe it will be completely different for the next bonding trip which will undoubtly come soon.