Wednesday, October 1, 2008

TBA Day 19: Elephants and Refreshingly Uneventful Travel

This morning Stanley had the pleasure of discovering that his sister is a morning person… I was hyper and ready to go while he kept discussing the benefits of a 15-30 minute nap. This information will be relevant below…

Just after 8:30am the truck came to take us to our elephant trekking adventure. We did the half-day (largely because we needed to be sure we were back in time to catch the 4pm ferry to Ko Samui) which featured temples, a waterfall, a mediocre lunch in a spectacular setting, and a monkey after the elephants. The elephant riding was pretty cool (with several moments of “Dude! There’s an elephant right there!”) as long as you don’t mind the fact that the elephant occasionally has to be nudged with a sharp stick to encourage him to carry on along the proper path.
From there Stanley and I went back to the hotel to pick up our bags and wait for a cab to the ferry. A mojito or two at the beach bar added to the festive, laid-back feel of the day… We boarded the boat with no problems (a refreshing change for both of us after travel plans going horribly wrong on the way to Phangan) and were in Ko Samui about 20 minutes later and checking in to Harry’s Bungalows. This place is absolutely gorgeous. It’s about 100 meters from the beach, but we each have our own room (with TV and mini fridge) and our own bathroom/shower. This will come in handy in the mornings when I’m a giant spazz and Stanley is a grumpy sleepy-head. The rooms share a patio right next to the pool, so we can still sit outside together when the mosquitos are willing to take a break from attacking me.

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and it turned out to be really nice. We had a complimentary appetizer of fried wontons with sweet chili sauce, followed by a fried wonton-wrapped prawn appetizer. From there we moved on to two curries (“Traditional Thai” prawn curry and a Massaman beef curry). Both were pretty darn delicious. The prawn curry had a nice level of spice and a lot of complexity with lime leaves and coconut milk. The Massaman curry made me retract previous statements that I would try to incorporate lime leaves in this dish next time I make it at home. It was made very similar to the style I usually make (with potatoes and peanuts) but was way better. Absolutely delicious.
Now we’re sitting on the patio with a tasty beverage and Stanley is mocking me for being so long-winded with my blog posts. All in all a really nice day… Eventful in the right places (riding elephants and getting into a brawl with a monkey) and uneventful at the right times (travel). Looking forward to checking out Ko Samui tomorrow.


Midge said...

Looks like you guys are having a great time, however I can't get on board with your elephant ride (seriously, is that a sharp stick or a pick ax).

emmo said...

I get what you're saying about the elephants. They have ridiculously tough, thick skin so I'm not sure how much the beating stick really hurts them (I'm sure it doesn't feel like a massage, but...). The guy mostly guided the elephant by voice commands and nudging it's adorable floppy ears, but used the beating stick when it was going off path. My friend, Stef, had warned me in advance about that part, so I had mentally made peace with it before I got there.

In the end I'd say it's probably not the nicest thing ever to do to an elephant, but they seemed to be well taken care of and it didn't cross the line for me (but that line is different for every person).

Micahoe said...

Wow, even your comments are long.

Max Power said...

If a person didn't speak english, but was trying to figure out your blog from the pictures only, a person might think your blog was about riding elephants, then cooking their flesh into a delicious curry.