Chaiyaphum in Thailand has the climate of a desert.
It’s about a 5ish hour bus ride to Bangkok. It was much more rural than Mahachai. I could cross the street without the fear of being hit.
The walk to school was about fifteen minutes and there was a 7 (of course) right down the street from me.
There were two bus stations near me (that I know of). The one that went to Bangkok was about a twenty-minute walk from my apartment. The other one that we took to Chiang Mai was only thirty-ish minutes away from me.
Xplore Asia placed Amy, Dina, and me in Chaiyaphum for the 6-week program so I was there from June-late July 2019. Xplore Asia handed us off to Media Kids after orientation. Amy and Dina were placed at the same school but I was at a different one.
I spent the first two weeks in an apartment 5 minutes away from Amy and Dina. I made a few friends with some geckos and some worms that found their way into my apartment.
The last few weeks I moved into the same building that they were living in, along with some of the teachers at Anuban Chaiyaphum, and felt much more comfortable.
There were so many dogs in my area. Sometimes I’d bring a banana on my walk to school to feed the little guys. I felt so helpless. I wanted to take every single dog in and cuddle them.
One weekend I walked to this bar called Corner Bar with a few of the other teachers. It took like an hour to get there. That was a little fun adventure. They had live music and the girl sang some songs in English once she saw that we were there. It was a good time.
One or two of the weekends, Dina and Amy had English camp so I was by my lonesome. I doused myself in sunblock and brought my big water bottle and I was off. I walked for quite a long time. I think at least 2 cars stopped and asked if I needed a ride. I lolled. They thought I was insane.
This sweet lady that owned a restaurant that we’d go to sometimes took me, Dina, and Amy to Tat Ton National Park. We just gave her some gas money and hopped in her van. It only took about a half hour-ish to get there. We only went to the waterfall. I wish we could’ve explored more but it was still refreshing and awesome.
July 4th we had this party at a bar that we’d go to. It’s One Bar. I’d usually drink Jameson on the rocks. The owner (I think) was from the US. Or one of his good friends was, I forget. So they had a cookout. We listened to Party in the USA and other festive songs.
That weekend me and some of the other Xplore Asia peeps went to Chiang Mai for the weekend.
The next weekend was a long weekend so a few of us went to the amazing Phi Phi Islands!
There was a restaurant called Ghet within five minutes from my apartment. We’d have to walk by this house with these vicious dogs that would always bark at us. The dogs behind the gate would bark and then the strays would run over and it was just this whole scene.
We’d go to Ghet every so often because it was arrrrooi (delicious in Thai). It was owned by this chill dude. The menu was western and Thai food so it was a nice mix up. He was also the cook. He had a library upstairs for kids to read books. He also had a few board games and card decks. It was an adorable set up.
There was another room upstairs that was used to teach English/Thai lessons. The owner made a deal with the foreign teachers that if we went there once a week and hung out with the students who wanted to learn English, he’d teach us Thai, for free. That guy was so sweet, as you can tell. I was only able to do it once. We played board games and card games for a few hours. It was enjoyable.
On my last night in Chaiyaphum, we went to this random bar that was right near my apartment. This guy from the UK owned it somehow. We had a party for my and Amy’s departures. I also broke my tooth there. I turned around and bashed my tooth into a beer bottle. Fun. That was painful but also I’m clumsy like that so I wasn’t even shocked. I got it fixed once I got to Mahachai Samut Sakhon.