top of page

2023 CAS Trip

Written by Adrian Lam Wui Chun 11G, 2023-24
Editted by DBSIB Website Team


Day 1
Riding to MRV

As we were foretold, the ride to the resort took 4 hours.  So we came up with interesting games to play like “word chain” 接龍.  We also chatted and quickly got to deepen our understanding of each other through this ride.  I enjoyed these few hours as it allowed me to bond with my friends.  I look forward to this exciting trip and the challenges that await us!

Day 2 - Hilltribe Village and Rajai Market Visit

After today’s sightseeing visit, I learned a lot about the local culture and economy when visiting the Rajai market and hill-tribe village.  These people were financially struggling and in the past, drug lords trapped their economy with millions of dollars worth of smuggling activity between Burma and Chiang Rai.  After the government busted the village’s drug business, it actively tried to attract foreign direct investment.  I was happy that our pocket money is helping the local economy as FDI.  I think this CAS trip is going to broaden our views and help us become more of a global citizen.  Interestingly, I was hesitant over bargaining with the local vendor because the more money they received the better it was for them, yet I am also aware that the price of souvenirs is often marked up.  Sometimes it is good to think about these ethical dilemmas.


Day 3 - Construction, High Ropes and Abseiling


The construction work to expand a local nursery was very meaningful and I enjoyed working with my friends to mix cement and complete the extension.  Seeing the kids have lessons in the crowded cafeteria at the moment made us more determined to aid them.  Moreover, it allowed us to understand more about the laborious jobs that seem easy with machines in Hong Kong.  Of course, even if we might not need this skill practically in life we still learned and experienced an important job for urban development.  The way we worked and communicated to complete the cement floor was packed with collaboration after detailed logistic planning.  I also got to chat with the project manager for a few moments and he seemed very happy for us to help out.  Spreading joy and care always brings happiness to me so I felt our work was very fruitful. 


In the afternoon, my groupmates and I challenged the high ropes and abseiling course.  At first, I thought it would be pretty easy but turns out the obstacles were “easier said than done”.  After my average performance, I thought this was a great reminder not to overestimate my ability and be humble.  It was pretty enjoyable overall as my teachers and classmates all cheered for each other. 


Day 4 - Fang Hike


Today, my group attempted the full-day Fang hike and completed all 13 checkpoints by 13:48 which is a new school record!  I liked how the entire group was very committed to the goal of beating the previous record set by the other group.  We ended up pushing to our limit while also enjoying the picturesque scenery and unique geography that can't be seen in HK.  The hike reminded me of our Diocesan Brotherhood to support each other no matter how hard the task is.  Because of our extensive effort and significant milestone, we got to visit an extra attraction which are hot springs.  I had never seen geysers before so it was a fascinating attraction for me.  Of course I enjoyed myself during the extra breaktime by challenging Mr Mark Chan to a Cola-chugging contest, which I lost miserably! 


Day 5 - English teaching, Biking, Night Games

The English teaching service was a first-time for me and I enjoyed it a lot.  Not only because we had a ton of fun with the kids but at the same time we were learning from them as well!  The most interesting observation I made today was how we were able to communicate with the kids even though we didn't know Thai and they barely knew English.  The common knowledge of the game "rock paper scissors" allowed me to play and communicate with the kids without a translation.  I also realized how preparing the game ahead of time helped me engage with the kids much better.


I had looked forward to biking a lot before this afternoon and I thought it was a great experience being able to ride in the countryside while learning more about the local economy and environment.  Of course, I grasped every opportunity to perform wheelies along the road to fulfill my desire for offroad biking (it’s been a long time since I rode a BMX offroad). 


Night games was a very unique experience and I found it a great opportunity to bond with my friends.  I teamed up with Dr Yick to face this pitch-dark challenge.  The goal was simple, the travel to a pavilion across the field without being caught by our instructors who would shine you with a torch.  If you get shone on, you need to restart your expedition.  Thinking outside of the box, I equipped myself with a black towel and we sluggishly made our way across the dark field.  With a lot of cooperation and risk-taking, Dr Yick and I eventually spotted the “hunter” to actually be behind us, which allowed us to camouflage better and win the competition with our other teammates!  It was a really fun experience and I’m sure students and teachers alike can enjoy this game together!


Day 6 - Archery, Rock Climbing, Construction and Confidence Course

Archery and rock climbing were very challenging as I don't always get to practice these sports.  I showed great determination on the hardest climbing wall working together with my friends who were navigators for me.  Everybody had a great time together. 


The highlight of the day was the confidence course.  The first time I attempted the course I had a theory about using the fencing "engarde" for the balance beam.  Unfortunately I was hesitant and too nervous to rotate 360 degrees on the beam so I fell.  Like any IB learner, I learned from my mistake and tried a second time with both left and right "engarde" positions, allowing me to complete the spin quicker after taking this risk.  With all my classmates and teachers cheering, I challenged myself to the monkey rings instead of the easier monkey bars.  As I have played rings since 3 years old (in my apartment playground) I was confident (well it's a confidence course, the name says it all), I flawlessly completed the course on a high note and a round of applause (and of course my loud screaming celebration).  


Day 7 - Cooking, Kayaking, Sala Games

Today was the second last day of the CAS trip.  The Thai cooking session was fascinating as I rarely cook (except for breakfast).  I was intrigued by how artistic cooking is, especially for the Padthai noodles.  I was hoping to cover the noodles with our giant egg pancake successfully, however, it failed because our egg broke into a thousand pieces when we tried to scrape it off the wok.  My group and I had forgotten to add sugar to the egg, which somehow resulted in the wok being too hot and caused the egg to stick.  Anyway, it was a fun experience. 

Kayaking was very challenging. We were supposed to park our kayak near the bank downstream of the instructor to wait for other group mates.  What we didn’t know was that the stream was so quick it took a lot of energy to go against the flow and park.  

To end our day, we played sala games in the evening, it was fun to leisure with my groupmates as we have been as a team for so many days together.  I found this week very enjoyable and I look forward to completing our CAS trip on a high note. 


Day 8 - Team Finale

The team finale provided many exciting challenges and twists for me.  As a surprise twist, instead of having our regular 4 teams competing against each other, we were randomly rearranged into 5 teams, which put our communication and cooperation to the test.  The 6 games tested not only our physical capabilities but also our planning skills, giving us a contest of both wits and strength. In the end we did produce a pretty good record time but it was definitely chaotic during the process.  This shows us why communication is a key component for teamwork, as for being an IB student as well. 


Final Thoughts

I think the CAS trip has blessed us with an opportunity to redefine who we are and take on challenges we normally would avoid.  Some might prevail as a bold leader during the hike, some might express themselves as confident challengers who don’t want to give up, some might show the world his caring heart and unwavering devotion to help those who can’t help themselves.  And this is what the CAS trip has rewarded us, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be the living embodiment of CAS.  And don’t think it only ends with the trip, the values and takeaways will walk with you to the end of your IB journey and also for all the years to come!  Finally, I would like to thank our brilliant IB teachers Dr Ocean Yick, Mr Ronald Chan, Ms Milly Chu, Ms Nicola Chau, Ms Julice Yeung, Mr Mark Chan, Mr Vijay Pahilwani for always encouraging us to challenge ourselves and having so much fun with us stepping out of our comfort zone throughout the CAS Trip!  Thank you so much!! 

bottom of page