Monday, January 21, 2008
Upon our arrival in Thailand, we were greeted at the airport by our wonderful guide Mai. We made a quick stop at the local 7-Eleven (Ha!) before heading straight to Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden and Resort. We relaxed in our adorable bunaglos and called it an early evening.
I don't think that any of us expected the gardens that were in store for us at Nong Nooch. Saturday morning Mai took us on a general tram tour of the gardens and resort. There are incredible European style gardens with collections of palms, cycads, bonsai, and topiary Bouganvilleas mixed between. We were all astounded to see the French Garden; it is a space larger than a football field filled with incredibly manicured parterre hedges, large central topiaries, and over 6,000 bright pink bouganvilleas in two gallon sized pots!
In the afternoon we were able to meet with employees of Nong Nooch, Mr. Thonglee Sittichiangpin and Mr. Somchai Sae-Yang, who were able to answer the barrage of questions that we had after our morning walk. We learned that there are over 1,000 gardeners that work on grounds and that all of the hedges and topiaries are trimmed every 15 days! There is an incredible amount of work that goes on here at Nong Nooch!
As far as the group goes, we are all doing quite well. Sunday we had another day off, and, after enjoying the morning together, we split up and enjoyed Nong Nooch on our own. We have begun a "Survivor" type game in the group where each person has a question and answer period for one day, and this same person must also pick a challenge at the end of the day for the group to partake in. So far we have had "J-Day" (for Jackie) and "The Lorrie Story," we are about to do our next challenge to figure out whose day is tomorrow, so I better go...
Barnabas, Dan, Jackie, Lorrie, Matt E., Matt Q., Yoko