Living a tasteful life

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thailand Part 2: Elephant Excursion

Last week I shared part one of my recap of our trip to Thailand. Today I'm picking up where I left off, and it's all about the elephants. When Whit and I were planning our trip, we each made a list of things that we wanted to do there. Riding elephants was on the top of both of our lists. The hotel was very helpful in getting us booked for our day trip to the jungle. We were picked up in a passenger van early one morning, accompanied by a few other people from other resorts. Two hours and several winding roads later, we finally made it to the jungle. We hopped out of the van and were immediately greeted by these massive, beautiful animals. 
Two by two, we each climbed up a set of steps, and hoisted ourselves into a seat on the back of our own elephant. We were accompanied by a tour guide who sat on the neck of the elephant, leading the way. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, being up so high and trying to stay secured in our seat. Eventually the nerves settled and we enjoyed our tour of the jungle. The elephants took us through the muddy water and lush green jungle. It was truly an amazing experience. Our tour guide eventually got off and let us sit on the elephant's neck and control him with our own commands telling him to stop and strike a pose. At that point, the tour guide uses this as a photo opportunity. I was so glad he was able to snap some fun photos of us. 
Our excursion lasted about 45 minutes. Once we made it back to our starting point, we were then able to feed them bananas. It was wild to see them take the bananas from you and devour them with one swallow.
These animals truly are amazing creatures. I could have spent all day there with them, but there was more for us to see. 

Our next stop was at a waterfall surrounded by a pool of frigid, clear, water filled with big fish. It took me about 10 minutes to finally be able to ease into the water. It was weird having the fish swarm you. At first it felt gross, but then we got use to it. Imagine the spas where you put your feet in the water for the fish to nibble the dead skin off. It was like that, except your entire body was in the water. The fish didn't really nibble on us but they surrounded everyone. The waterfall was nice and refreshing after a scorching day in the sun with the elephants. 

The last part of our excursion was the part I was dreading the most: white water rafting. This is something that I've never had the urge to do. I don't consider myself very adventurous when it comes to activities like that. But because everyone else in the group was doing it, I had to suck it up. In my defense, I was terrified of my petite body getting crushed by the other people in our raft. The water was flowing at a rapid pace and was also freezing. I just knew that I was going to fall out and get swept away and left to fend for myself. I may have gotten a little too worked up. Let's just say it was a less-than-enjoyable experience for me, but I survived it. I'm happy to say I can now check that off of my list of things I've never done and add it to the list of things I don't care to do again. 

All was forgotten when we arrived back at the main camp, where an amazing Thai lunch was awaiting us. We had some of the best fried chicken I've ever tasted. As our guide told us, it's TFC, Thailand fried chicken, not to be confused with KFC. 

Before we headed back, we were able to see one more elephant, and this time it was a baby. He was just four years old and was so adorable. The guide explained to us that their aging is the equivalent to ours. This little baby was not only cute, but also talented. He played the harmonica for us with his trunk.
We had such an amazing day experiencing things that I had only dreamed of. After an awesome afternoon exploring the jungle by elephant and white water rafting, we loaded back up in the van for the long, winding trip back to the resort. 

Since we were exhausted and it was our last evening at the resort, we decided to have a nice dinner on the property. 

I had an amazing chicken coconut curry dish. It's unlike me to order anything involving the word coconut in it, but I couldn't refrain from trying this. I'm so glad I did, because it was excellent. My relationship with coconut is begging to evolve. 
Whit had a spicy chicken dish that he thoroughly enjoyed as well. There wasn't a single meal we didn't enjoy the whole time we were there. 
They say Thailand is the land of smiles. I couldn't resist taking a photo of this. Even the mushrooms are happy at this place!
We very much enjoyed our last dinner at The Surin. It was bittersweet knowing that it was our last evening there. 
We had some traveling ahead of us the next day, but we couldn't leave the resort without spending a few more hours soaking up the rays on the beach and enjoying rum punch from a fresh coconut. 
Oh, and I just had to buy these "fries" in a bag at the local market before we left. Their snack selections intrigued me, so naturally I had to give these a try. These delicious, crunchy potato snacks came with a packet of ketchup, which I decided to pass on. They were actually pretty good. 
Sadly, it was time to hit the road.
I can't say enough positive things about The Surin. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and at home, the food was exceptional, the beach was a bright blue sea of perfection, our cottage was so quaint and private, and if I ever have the opportunity to visit this resort again, I would do it in a heartbeat. Although we were sad to leave this beautiful piece of paradise, we were excited for our next adventure. 

More to come on our adventure to our next resort....


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