This is post 5 in a series on my recent Southeast Asia trip. To read about our first day in Thailand, click here.
Hey guys, hope you are enjoying the vacation posts! If these aren’t your thing and you want more running/ fitness posts, check back on Monday! I’m mixing it up by posting about the Southeast Asia trip on Thursday and Fridays, and regular blog posts early in the week. Hopefully there’s something for you to enjoy!
We had no trouble sleeping in our comfy bed, and woke up with a good appetite on Sunday. As in Singapore, there was an amazing buffet laid out each morning at our hotel, and we didn’t hesitate to dig in.
I loved the selection of exotic fruits, and ate my fill of papayas and longam every morning. Can’t find this stuff at our local Harris Teeter, at least in the winter! Breakfast was followed by a leisurely walk around the hotel grounds. The property and beach were lovely, but we saw evidence that this country’s climate is not so peaceful year-round!
We had decided to pick one memorable activity each day, and we knew that we didn’t want to skip out on the elephant ride. I think this was one of my favorite memories of the trip! We arrived at the safari after just a short bus ride from the hotel. While we waited our turn to ride an elephant, we got the chance to interact with two calves, 3 and 4 years old, who already eat more than my weight in leaves and other fodder every day!
The handlers had us get into the pen and took plenty of pictures for us. Then it was time to ride the elephant! I was a little daunted at first because our seat was a little unbalanced, and our elephant driver kept asking us to scoot towards the left. The super-loose “seat-belt” wasn’t reassuring either, but after a few minutes, I realized that we weren’t going to fall off.
About ten minutes into the 30-minute ride, our driver asked if we wanted him to take pictures on our camera in return for a good tip at the end, and we readily agreed. At that, he climbed down from the elephant and instructed us to move from the seat onto the elephant’s back! The rest of the ride, he had the elephant walk towards him while we sat on the elephant by ourselves.
The only time I got a little nervous was when the elephant had to climb down a bank to cross a small stream – what if the big guy lost his balance? Apparently elephants are more stable-footed than I am, and we crossed over just fine. We were happy and awed being so close to this magnificent creature, and the memory of that ride will last me a lifetime (even with my goldfish brain).
After we got back to the hotel, we ate some lunch and relaxed at the resort till dinnertime. I did my favorite thing – read on the comfy chairs on the balcony. We headed to a local town called Patong for dinner, and after wandering around overwhelmed by the choices of restaurants, we ended up at a restaurant catering to foreigners (it served pizza, burgers, and some Thai food). I thought the food was okay but over-flavored (too much sauce, salt, etc), and we resolved to do some research before our next meal in town.
We walked around and admired all the fake brand name handbags (Gucci, Prada, LV, you name it) and trinkets before heading back to the hotel on the shuttle bus. I bet there’s a really fun nightlife here!
More vacation recaps coming next week :)