A nice surprise was waiting for us in the morning, we were told to gather at 930 which was a wee bit early for those of us who had partied all evening!!
Luckily our surprise was Thai Massages for everyone! I had already experienced one in Bangkok, but for most of our group this was the first time they had experienced the bliss. It was kinda fun to lie there six in a row and be pampered as the Thai ladies chatted and massaged us. They were soooo happy when we tipped them, I gave my lady 50 Baht (about $1.50CAD) and she thanked me about ten times!
After our delightful surprise, it was time to pack up and ship out of Jolly Frog, onto our next adventure, elephant riding and washing.
Before I get into that, though, I have to say one of the weirdest things about Thailand is that there is literally a Seven-Eleven on every corner!! I think since I’ve been here I have seen the inside of over 20 different Sev’s in the five places we have been so far…..its so familiar yet sooooo different, all the food is different (pork buns where the taquitos should be, ham and cheese toasties instead of jamaican patties) and all the packaging, yet we have all managed to find our favorite stuff and now a sev trip is like a trip home. I’ve tried so much awesome stuff (With the help of my awesome guides Jon and Nikki) that I normally wouldn’t have touched for fear of buying something disgusting. Its strange, I never though 7-11 would be an integral part of my Thailand experience, but it is.
Ok, back to the elephants. We dropped our stuff off at our new guesthouse, which just so happened to be floating on the River Kwai! Our bags dropped and rooms assigned, we changed into long pants and headed out to wash and ride the Changs ( elephant in Thai 🙂
They were sooo huge! We pulled up to the camp and saw the eight or so elephants just chillin out, seats already strapped onto their backs. I was worried we might hurt them by riding on them, but our guides explained that elephants had been used traditionally for heavy labor in Thailand for many centuries but were now becoming more rare as the country got more reliant on cars. Now they are more of a tourist attraction.
We got to feed the greedy little buggers bananas which they grabbed from us with their trunks and put into their mouths. Then it was time to ride. We climbed up on a hut like structure to get up high enough to get on them. They lumbered along with us on their backs, slow and steady, stopping to eat (and poop!) along the way. It was super fun, I couldn’t believe I was riding such a majestic creature!!
Then came the elephant washing…not my favorite activity as the changs were poopin in the water with us, and we narrowly missed getting slimed. Also the elephant guides were making the changs shake and try to throw us off into the water. I’m not squeamish but it was pretty nasty.
The long-boat ride down the river after was much welcomed, they boated us up past our guesthouse and we climbed onto bamboo rafts upriver and floated in a leisurely way back to our place, jumping off and swimming in the water as we went. So relaxing and chill.
The rest of the evening was very chilled out, there was nowhere to go as we were still very remote, but we had a great boat party, played drinking games, and I even got to talk to my dad (who called just as Celine Dion came on in our boat party, how fitting as he loves her!!)
The night ended with earplugs as our rowdy crowd partied into the night (Nikki and Kilby lookin at u!!)
Then I zzzzzzed. Ready for the fun day tomorrow?
- Choosing an Ethical Elephant Encounter (takingtotheopenroad.com)
- The Importance of the Elephant in Asian Culture (Critical Essay) (michael123tran.wordpress.com)
- Bang Pa-In, Ayutthaya and Riding Elephants in Thailand (lostaussie.typepad.com)