The Elephants and Us

Part 7 of 8

My travel back to Bangkok from Vientiane wasn’t good. I began to feel sick in the afternoon in Laos but I didn’t take it seriously. When I borded the bus in Udon-Thani, Thailand border, my throat was really sore and my nose was clogged. I was restless the whole time I was in the bus.

We arrived in Bangkok at 7 a.m. and proceeded directly to the hotel. After checking in, we availed the hotel’s buffet breakfast, which was a mixture of several cuisines. I was already beginning to feel really tired but the thought of having to see and ride the elephants that morning gave me enough energy to carry on for another day.

After having breakfast, I did some power napping and then got myself ready for our next agendum: the Elephants! Eak, our dear Thai friend and travel mate, brought us to the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo. I was excited to see and ride the elephants, but was very scared when I got nearer. It was my first time to really see them up, close, and personal. I saw one when I was in India while in a car on a busy road to Agra. I wanted to get out of the car then but for some reasons, I couldn’t. This time, I got to hold the elephants, feed them with bananas, and even ride them! I loved touching the baby elephants, because no matter how big they were, they still looked cute! πŸ™‚

Steve and I rode an elephant for 400 Baht each for around 20 minutes. It was amazing to see how the elephant drivers can communicate with the elephants very well and how they can understand the language of the elephants! Our elephant ride finished just in time for the elephant show – elephants portraying how they were during the old times, elephants dancing, elephants showing off with the hula hoops, and elephants playing football! πŸ™‚

Following the elephant show was the crocodile show – another amazing show. I have always been afraid of crocodiles but the two brave men didn’t show any signs of fear while they placed their hands and heads in between the crocodile’s opened mouth!

There wasn’t really much to see aside from the tigers (they are there merely for photo shoots), the elephants, and the crocodiles. So after the show, Eak brought us to a huge fishing park for lunch. It is called the Chor MaMuang. Eak’s relatives actually own the place and the restaurant. The place is a good venue for lunch – aside from the fresh foods they serve, the area itself is refreshing! It’s overlooking a huge pond where people can do fishing. Fishing there is a game. When someone catches a fish which weighs approximately 3 kilos, the person is entitled to a monetary prize.

For lunch, we had Tom Yum Kung (the hot and sour Thai with herbs), fried fish, some fried ground beef with herbs (i liked this best), and a coconut drink. The meal was superb!

Our next stop was the Siam Paragon, Bangkok’s high-end mall, before we met with our other Thai friends – Nune, Apple, Pui, Bigck, and Matong. The interior of the mall over-all resembles KLCC’s Suria.

We had East Thai food for dinner (I can’t actually remember all of them, although I remember the papaya salad and the sticky rice very well) and Singha, the popular local beer! For dessert, the whole group went to Swensen’s. Steve and I tried their ice cream with sticky rice. It’s like a version of Philippines’ ice cream with bread.

We were still suppossed to visit Steve’s Thai host family that evening bust since we finished very late, we decided to go the following day.

(Thanks to Nune and Eak for organizing the dinner-get-together and to Apple, Pui, Bigck, and Matong for taking some time to see us! πŸ™‚ )

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