Pattaya Holiday 2010

On the Buses!

The buses left Nongkhai after the 6pm medicines were given out. There were some very excited kids who had packed their clothes, some 2 days before leaving. Bus 1 contained the girls from Vienghuk and the toddlers from House of Hope, Bus 2 was the Love Bus with the St Patrick’s and Jan and Oscar boys and the girls from Nazareth House and finally Bus 3 the Party Bus was full of Sarnelli Kids. All 3 buses were equipped with fans, 2 televisions one at the front and one at the back of the bus and speakers strategically placed every 2 feet along the bus, which pumped out Thai pop tunes at decibels that were sure to be breaking the law somewhere in the world. The karaoke went all night only to be turned off every 2 hours at the toilet stops, where  kids were dragged off the bus to go to the toilet. In the Sarnelli House bus, at about 1am the kids and staff started to fade and kids slipped to the floor to sleep under the seats and in the aisles. Destination Pattaya was reached at about 0700 on Monday morning to the great relief of everyone over the age of 10 years. 

Day 1

After arriving at The Redemptorist Centre in Pattaya, the children were shown to their allocated rooms, some sharing 4 to a bedroom and the littler ones sharing about 10 to a room with a house mother. After a wash and a quick breakfast it was back onto the buses for the day’s excursions. The first stop was the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo.


This was a combination of a zoo and gardens  with animal shows running all day. The crocodile show, tiger show and elephant show were all well attended by everyone and with lots of ice cream and cold drinks available the heat was tolerable. Lunch was in the car park sitting on mats by the shade of the buses and sticky rice and BBQ chicken were devoured by everyone.  All the children wore name tags and on the back of them were the phone numbers of the House mothers. Luckily the same number of children that left in the mornings also came home in the evenings.

Despite a brief thunderstorm in the afternoon, the next stop was at Khaw Kiaw Open Zoo. Here the kids went on an open bus ride around the zoo and saw animals like giraffe and tiger in the open. It was a great afternoon. Once home at the Redemptorist Centre and dinner finished some of the older kids went to the local market, others made visits to their friends’ rooms to discuss the day and watch TV in their rooms. 

Day 2

Breakfast was at 0700 and all the kids demolished what was in sight, luckily there was plenty available and no one went hungry. Pattaya Park was the first destination. All the kids had their own bags with their swimmers and towels and after gaining admission which was given at half price for everyone - the pool was overrun with kids from Nongkhai. The little ones played in a huge pool supervised by the house mothers – some of whom even ventured in, and the bigger kids discovered the water slides.

Lunch was under the umbrellas and then those less energetic fell asleep in the shade in the chairs while the lure of the water slides kept some of the kids going back for more. Finally after gathering everyone together and changing from wet swimmers to dry clothes everyone climbed back on the bus. The next stop was a beach stop and the kids this time went in the water Thai style, in their shorts and Tshirts. They played on the sand, dug holes and ran screeching from the tiny waves that lapped the shore. For some it was the first time they had seen the sea.

Day 3

Day 3 saw everyone climb back on the bus for the last day of holidays. All 3 buses left Pattaya at close to 9am after the group photo of everyone was taken. The final stop of the holidays was outside of Bangkok, a massive amusement park complete with pools and rides. The day was spent here and then the final trek back home was begun. The music was turned up extra loud as the buses made their way back to Nongkhai overnight, with a bunch of exhausted children and adults.  Everyone decided it was great holiday and want to do it all again.

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