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International Award students from the Prem International School kayak to complete their Bronze Medal adventurous journey
12-13 May, 2012 - The Bronze International award students of grade 9 have recently completed their final Expedition after doing their practice expedition earlier in the school year. This Expedition saw them impressively kayaking the entire length of Mae Ngat Dam, in Sri Lanna National Park. The first quarter of the dam is a regular travel hot-spot for many locals who want to get out and relax on a houseboat, do a bit of fishing and see one of the most beautiful spots in Chiang Mai - but that’s not what our students had in mind. They had their sites set on exploring the remote region beyond. Just past the popular tourist area, the setting becomes more remote with rarely another human soul seen besides the occasional local fisherman. The surroundings transform into an impressive landscape with its massive limestone cliffs protruding from the dense jungle and indigenous bird life flying amidst their unspoiled environment.
With temperatures beginning to soar, the students joined with a partner in their two-man kayaks and set out on the start of their two day journey. Mid-day they paddled up to the outermost houseboat at the dam nestled on the banks of the shoreline for lunch and a refreshing swim. After a much needed rest they left civilization behind for the next 24 hours and ventured into the uninhabited region of the dam. In due course, the students settled on a small island where they had to set up their camp completely from scratch. The students began by erected their expedition hammocks and latrines for the night then proceeded to prepare their dinners and gather fire wood for the evening campfire on the beach.
When the sun went down it became clear how truly remote the International Award students were; no sign of other people in the area, the stars shone brightly due to no light pollution and the noise of crickets, frogs and other wildlife prevailed to dominant the night. Unanimously, it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved.
After a restful nights sleep in the hammocks, the students packed up camp, played a few kayaking games and eventual departed with the wind at their backs towards the very end of the reservoir. With aching muscles and sun kissed faces many students felt weary coming into the second day but they altogether retained a great level of paddling to the end where the reservoir slowly narrowed and became shallower leaving the students no option but to get out of the kayaks and walk up the incoming river pulling their boats behind them.
It was a truly great expedition by means of physical endurance to see a side of Northern Thailand few have seen before. What a fantastic and appropriate way for them to all complete their Adventurous Journey section of their Bronze International Awards.