Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time in Thailand (Part 2)

Taking advantage of great weather, we booked an elephant ride with "Siam Safari". This highly recommended half-day experience included several demonstrations of traditional life on the island. We were offered samples of some coconut pancakes and tea, watched a water buffulo at work and took a ride upon his back.

We moved to a couple of stations where we received mini-lessons on growing and harvesting rice and coconuts.

The Thai cooking class explained how curry is made and used, one of the staples in Thai dishes.  We learned how to tap a rubber tree and witnessed the process of producing rubber.

A brief walk through the forest vines brought us to Emma's favorite station - the baby elephant show.  She had so much fun feeding them afterwards!

But the favorite attraction of the day was riding the elephants through the jungle!  The 30-minute ride was just enough and the tree canopy kept the ride quite pleasant. Our "mahout" (elephant trainer) gave us his hat and prodding stick for props and took our photo!

A fantastic all you can eat buffet lunch concluded a wonderful Thai day!

 Thanks Siam Safari!

The next day was a little anti-climatic, but a much welcome change of pace.  We rented a car (yes, Bob is a pro at driving on the other side of the road and navigating unfamiliar territory) and we took off to explore the tourist beaches on the west side of the island.  Buddhist temples are found everywhere!  We rested a bit at Karon beach and drove down to Sunset Peak where you get a good view of both coastlines (along with a crazy elephant shrine built at the overlook).

That evening Stephanie joined Bob and I as we explored Phuket Town.  We stopped to eat at a small cafe and my rice came shaped like a teddy bear.  We watched from the restaurant as a heavy rain began to fall.  The silver lining was that we spotted a nice massage parlor where planned to return before our trip came to an end.

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