Today was the first time since arrival that students and team leaders were allowed to meet. Long-distance excursion awaited us all.
According to the schedule, the buses took off one hour late. We were going to Nongnooch Botanical Garden in Pattaya.
We arrived at last. It actually took us too long because the policemen who led us the way unfortunately chose not the most favourable path. Due all the delays combined, we could only watch 30 minutes of elephant show.
We had buffet lunch at Nongnooch Botanical Garden. There were a lot to choose from—Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Western foods. There was indeed an international atmosphere, nutritionally speaking. We wondered whether everyone found the foods palatable.
(The schedule actually said we left the garden straightaway after lunch, but even rules were broken from time to time if circumstances called for. We stayed for the next show.)
We went around the garden by tram. The first stop was laid with beautifully sculpted flower pots and orchid greenhouse. Taking a photograph with a live tiger was also an interesting activity here if one was brave enough or would not mind some casualties (just kidding) at a small fee of 50 baht. Next shop was a garden of exotic plants. There were weird-looking cacti, charmingly arranged, and a garden with big mortary ants. The third stop was a rocky hillock full of boulders. At its summit stood a shelter where we could see the grand view of the place.
We watched several shows: thai traditional dances from four parts of Thailand, Thai boxing, elephant war (with warriors riding the elephants), and the full elephant show that we had missed in the morning.
We had dinner at Pakarang (meaning 'corals') Restaurant. It was near a beach, but students, as a safety measure, were not allowed to swim. One Mongolian student had a chance to, however, as he jumped right into the sea while strolling along the seaside. How active a student could be!
We were on the way back to Bangkok.