June 28, 2022
Wow! We cannot believe we are at the end of our trip… time has flown by! This morning we flew from Krabi to Bangkok to spend our final day together. Once we arrived in Bangkok, we changed into elephant pants to begin our tour of Bangkok. It was such a fun way to make the most of our last day. Our tour guide, Apple, picked us up from our hotel and took us to central Bangkok. We spent the afternoon visiting the Royal Palace and all of its surrounding beauty.
After a quick stop for ice cream, everyone walked down to the river for our boat tour! We toured through the canals of Bangkok on long tails boats, and we truly got to immerse ourselves in the culture. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a nasty storm at midway through our tour. However, the group turned the negative into a positive and embraced the rain, it was so much fun. Soaking wet, we eventually found our bus driver to take us back to the hotel. Thanks to Sidney, we had some great music to listen to on the ride home.
Once cleaned up, we walked down the street for our banquet dinner! It was so great reminiscing on our trip with everyone, we cannot stress how thankful we are for this group. It was a sad goodbye, but we can’t wait to see the amazing things your kids accomplish.
Signing off one last time,
Will and Sidney
June 24, 2022
Hello family and friends from the island of Koh Tao! We cannot believe we are on the last section of the trip. What a time it has been! We are soaking up every single second here. After a long travel day with a flight from Bangkok and a ferry ride from Koh Samui, we were all ready to relax on the beach. Koh Tao is truly breathtaking! As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by diving outfitters and prepared for our next big adventure. We spent the rest of the day playing on the beach and exploring the area. Will and Banks quickly jumped into a game of death sack, while Morgan and Emily read on the beach. We all ate dinner together and had an amazing Moonup on the beach led by Caroline and Banks. We woke up early for our scuba class and ate breakfast by the beach. Most of the group started off in the classroom learning basic diving skills and rules. Morgan, Laura, and Will hit the boat to jump into their advanced diving course! While they dove, the rest of the group practiced in the pool. Sam and Campbell impressed us by their quick ability to master all the skills. Everyone did such a great job and learned so fast! We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and enjoying the views of this place. KS and Carson were the first to try banana Nutella pancakes from a local food stand and it was a hit. We finished our night with another Moonup on the beach led by Sam and Morgan.
We woke up early with lots of excitement to dive in the ocean! Our advanced dive team went out for their deep dive saw a whale shark! This was a super rare and breathtaking occurrence; we were so lucky! The open water dive team spent another morning in class learning more information on diving.
Everyone got to hang out on the beach and swim during lunch. Following lunch, our open water team went out for their first open water dive! We went to Mango Bay right off the coast of Koh Tao. We started with our first dive, and it was so exciting to see everyone’s reaction to going underwater for the first time! We swam through colorful coral reefs and schools of fish! In between dives, we got to jump off the boat and swim. Kai, Georgia, and Caroline were the first to jump and take fun videos. We did our second dive and saw even more. The group did awesome and impressed us and the instructors. They are all ready to be certified! When the open water group got back, our advanced team went out for their night dive! The night dive was spectacular, something many people do not get to experience! We saw so much wildlife including octopus, massive Goliath grouper, big snapper, and many beautiful rays. We were led by our fearless dive instructor Sean who everyone loves. He even has a pet parrot named Terry who comes on the boat with us every day! We finished the day with another great dinner and Moonup led by Laura and Campbell.
The following day the group woke up with a little bit of nervousness! It was written test day for the open water group. We had so much confidence in the students, and they lived up to our expectations- everyone passed with flying colors. Sam even impressed us with a perfect score! After the test everyone relaxed on the beach and had a great lunch before our afternoon dive. The afternoon dive was so much fun because it was the first time the whole group dove together! Campbell impressed everyone with his underwater acrobatics. In between dives, Banks and Will showed off their moves while jumping off the boat! We also had a dance party on the top of the boat where our leader Will and Kai stole the show. When we returned back to the beach we watched a beautiful sunset, ate dinner, had Moonup, and got some much-needed rest after the long day.
Our final day in Koh Tao consisted of some more beautiful diving with the whole group. Morale was super high as everyone went out for our final dives. Despite some potentially dangerous but funny encounters with some angry triggerfish, our dives today were some of the best. Everyone laughed as Will, Laura, and Morgan fended off the charging triggers. In between dives everyone hung out on the boat and listened to our favorite music. We enjoyed some fresh fruit as a snack and had some great bonding moments. We are so appreciative of everyone in Koh Tao; it is such a beautiful place, and we are sad to leave. After our dives we watched another great sunset and enjoyed a nice rooftop dinner to cap it all off. Tomorrow we are leaving bright and early to catch a ferry to Krabi! We will spend the next couple days rock climbing to wrap up the trip. We are so thankful for this group and could not be happier with how it has gone!
Will and Sydney
June 19, 2022
We had an early start to our next adventure. We hit the road bright and early to drive to the mountains for rock climbing and rappelling! We stopped for road trip snacks and KS got Asian snacks for the girls to taste test. Once we arrived, we learned how to belay and climb. Laura was eager to jump in and go first. Will impressed us all with his ability to belay everyone up the rock face. We’re so impressed with everyone’s fearlessness on the rocks. Caroline faced her fears and went down the cliff and Sam showed off his climbing abilities. Kai faced his fear of heights and dominated the rock climbing and repelling!
After a fun day of activities, we drove back to Chiang Mai. We are sad to be leaving after 10 days here! We celebrated with another American dinner that all the kids loved. We took them to the night markets where Banks bought a jersey and Georgia bought a bracelet. We finished our fun evening with a Moonup.
The next morning, we woke up a little sore from all the climbing, but the group was super excited for our Thai cooking class! Campbell and Banks started off strong by perfecting their spring rolls in our appetizer section of the course. All the locals were impressed by their culinary abilities. We decided to make it a friendly competition between each cooking group. Frank took this time to shine and created an amazing coconut chicken soup. Moving on to the main dish, we all made our own homemade Pad Thai! Carson made friends with all the Thai chefs that were helping us with our class. They gave all the kids great cooking tips; make sure they put them to use when we send them back home to you! To finish our class, we all made tea from natural flowers grown in their garden. Emily and Morgan loved this section and assisted everyone with the activity.
Following the class, we relaxed at our hotel awaiting our taxis to the airport. The kids took this time to buy all sorts of snacks and candy from 7/11 before our flight to Bangkok. Over the next couple of days, we will be flying to Ko Samui and taking a ferry to the island of Koh Tao. Everyone is so excited for scuba diving!
Again, we could not be more thankful for this group and how amazing they have been. Everyone is having a great time and learning so much!
Here’s a little surprise, your kids wanted to take a moment to say Happy Father’s Day!
Happy Father’s Day dad!!! Thank you so much for everything you do. I hope you have a great day. I love you so so much see you soon.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you! I miss you, B, and Casey tons! I hope you have an amazing day and I wish I was there to celebrate with you! See you soon
Hi dad, Happy Father’s Day! Wish I was there to celebrate, but I hope you have an amazing day. I’m having the best time!! Also, hi mom & rob, miss you both so much! Can’t wait to see y’all when I get home soon!!
Been thinking about you a lot Dad with all of the hiking, rock climbing, and repelling we’ve been doing. Happy Father’s Day!! I miss you, mom, Peyton, Carson, and Eli. I can’t wait to tell you all about my adventures!
Hey mom, Mackay and dad. Thailand is really cool; I went repelling down a mountain today and rock climbing! I also got on an elephant!! It was crazy. Also have the best 50th birthday mom, I love you so much, I think about you every day. You are the best ever I’m so proud of you. Miss y’all so much can’t wait to see you! Also, happy Father’s Day dad. Miss you.
Hey family! Happy Father’s Day pops love you so much! I am having so so so much fun and the food is soooo good! Thank y’all so much for everything y’all do, y’all are the best! Miss you so much mom, dad, Emmie, and most importantly Ava!
Hey Mom and Dad!! Happy Father’s Day Dad!! I love you and miss you! I am having so much fun here! I really think Parker would be a little jealous of all the new food I’m getting to try. I hope y’all had so much fun at the wedding and I can’t wait to see y’all soon!!
Happy Father’s Day! Thank you so much for everything you do for my siblings and me. We are so lucky to have you as our dad. Love you and miss you so much.
Happy Father’s Day dad! Appreciate everything you have done for me and the opportunities you make for me. Having so much fun, hope Reece is good, love you.
Happy Father’s Day Dad! Listened to some Phish and Goode today made me think of you. Thank you for everything you do for me and for our family. Love you!
Happy Father’s Day dad! Thanks for everything you do behind the senses to get me where I am today. This trip is one for the books, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. Love you.
Happy Father’s Day dad and happy late birthday. Thailand is awesome and I’m having a blast. Hope everything at home is going well and I’ll see u soon. Love you
Hey King Richard, happy Father’s Day I miss you and the family a lot I hope whatever island you are on is a blast. Can’t wait to see you when I get back (Go Lightning or Avalanche?). Love you!
June 18, 2022
We are so excited to have safely made it to Thailand. After a day of long travel from Atlanta to South Korea to Bangkok the group was tired to say the least. Everyone became good friends in the airport and spent time getting to know each other. On our flights to South Korea and Thailand, we tried hot buns, soup, rice, and noodles. After landing in Bangkok, we taxied to our hotel for the night. Will greeted us with pizza which was much needed after a long day. We were all excited to get some sleep! On Day 2, we had a nice breakfast in the hotel before hitting the airport again. We flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to kick off the first part of our trip. Banks kicked off our day in Chiang Mai with a plunge in our hotel pool. The group proceeded to venture into the beautiful city of Chiang Mai and visited some breathtaking temples; we even got directions from a very friendly Buddhist monk at the Wat Chai Mongkol temple! For dinner, we ate at the Lemongrass Thai cuisine and enjoyed some delicious Thai food. Laura tried her first pad Thai ever and loved it. Kai even tested the waters with some extremely spicy chili powder, it was no joke! After dinner the group ventured back into the city and enjoyed some street food and ice cream. We had our first Moonup as a group and could not be more excited for the weeks to come!
The day everyone was excited for… elephant day!! We had an amazing breakfast at our hotel before our adventure. Uncle Chai, our wise tour guide, taught us some Thai on the way there. We stopped at a local market and Caroline, Georgia, and Carson stepped out of their comfort zone and tried some tradition Thai street food. The group was so pumped to see the elephants. Our guides taught us about the sanctuary, ages, and history of the elephants. There was even an 80-year-old elephant! We all got matching pants and shirts to wear. It was so much fun getting to feed and touch the elephants. The highlight of the day was the last portion of our elephant tour. We helped bathe and clean them in the river and even got to ride them. Georgia jumped on the back of one with no fear. All of the kids told us they cannot wait to tell their friends they rode elephants when they get back. Our LOD’s Laura and Sam led Moonup and closed out the day with some fun questions.
On day 4 we started our service portion in the Karen Village. We even woke up to a birthday this morning: Happy 16th birthday Banks! Our LOD’s for the day, Morgan and Franklin, got us excited for the day’s activities. Uncle Chai led us on a long hike up to the village, but the group stayed positive and completed it with ease. We passed many rice fields and beautiful views. We stopped at a waterfall and Franklin did not hesitate to run and jump in before the group. For lunch they served us a crowd-pleasing chicken fried rice. Following lunch, we continued our hike to the village. We had a short break at the villages’ primary school and visited some of the children along the way. Once we made it to the village, we were introduced to our amazing host family. They gave us a lesson in the Karen language and dance, Will took it upon himself to master both. The villagers surprised Banks with a homemade Thai birthday cake, followed by a birthday song and a gift our amazing guide, Uncle Chai made.
We woke up early for our first full day of service! We worked with the villagers to construct a new bathroom for the local kindergarteners. The villagers were impressed with Campbell and Will’s hard work and shoveling abilities. Emily and KS took charge in organizing a sufficient way of pouring concrete so the whole group could work together in the activity. The locals were impressed in our ability to transfer and replenish concrete buckets so quickly! After finishing a hard day of work, the boys played soccer with the locals. We had a spicy Thai dinner that everyone enjoyed and finished the night with a Moonup led by our LODS, Banks and Carson.
On our second day of service, we finished our bathroom project and continued to hang out with the locals. The food here has been amazing, and the kids have loved it. We have had so much fun in the village, and it has been such a rewarding experience. We spent our last day in the village teaching English to the local school and planting vegetables. We had a banquet dinner with our host family and celebrated our work. Everyone was sad to say goodbye to our new friends. Uncle Chai led us on a trek out of the village to bamboo rafting. We had so much fun riding through rapids on our bamboo rafts. We ended the day exploring Chiang Mai and surprised the kids with an American dinner! They were thankful to have a little taste of home after all of the Thai food we have been indulging.
We love this group and how quickly they all became friends. You have all raised your kids right and we could not be more thankful. We are looking forward to the rest of the trip!
June 10, 2022
Hello Thailand Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Bangkok. The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!