From scene one to the very end, we were balling our eyes out. That movie is pretty scary and watching it in Thailand, where we were both lost and exhausted, did not make it any better. It was hilarious watching us three lose it in the theater while the poor Thai people wondered what on earth was the matter with us.
Then, probably the funniest part of the trip, was when us three went and got massages after the movie. It was so funny because after the massage, Lauren told us that her lady pretty much just petted her while she laid there for an hour. It was a you had to be there typeof thing, but I cry laughing over it even as I type this weeks later.
Another little adventure during this portion of the excursion was when Lauren, Jackie and I almost got mauled by dogs as we walked home from the movie. Yes, we brought this upon ourselves as we chose to walk, up the giant hill to our Air BNB, as the sun went down. I used to consider myself to be pretty street smart until I did this.
You see, dogs in Thailand are trained to be guard dogs that sit outside of each home. So, when people walk by in the dark, naturally these dogs get protective. We’re walking up the hill, with our groceries in our hands, and start to realize we have absolutely no clue which way to go. By this time, it’s getting dark fast and we’re all starting to get nervous. Each house we walk by, different dogs come out and bark at us as we skittishly make our way around them. Mom, here’s where you stop reading.
Then, exactly what we feared would happen, did. We’re walking by one house when all of a sudden a dog comes charging us full speed, teeth bared and growling. Terrified, we huddle together as Jackie screams. Luckily, my survival instincts kicked in and I use the most calming, welcoming voice I have on the dog, while yelling for help at the same time.
Thai people are known for either being extremely nice, or pickpocketing you the moment they get near you. Praise God that the people living in the houses near us as we were getting attacked were the nice versions. Hearing our screams and potentially recognizing the word “help” in English, a group of Thai men came to our rescue and shooed off the dog. They then had us climb onto the back of their motor bikes and drove us up the hill. Granted, they could have easily detoured to a hidden part of the area and killed us as we so trustingly got on the back of their bikes, but I couldn’t have cared less, that’s how scared of the dogs I was.
They dropped us off and sticking true to the nice end of the Thai spectrum, didn’t let us pay for their help. We were shook up and mad at ourselves for being so dumb. Besides the cab ride to the jungle party, this was the riskiest part of the trip.
Koh Samui --> Chiang Mai
Now for the second reason I came to Asia. The elephants.
We headed to Chiang Mai after the island, which is home to Patara Elephant Camp, an elephant reserve that allows tourists to come and “adopt” an elephant for a day. If you know me, you know elephants are my favorite animals on earth, so I was ecstatic for this part of the trip.
You arrive at the camp and are instructed to put on a thick shirt and pants, because elephants surprisingly have super prickly hairs. After putting on the garb, you sit with your group and learn different commands to say to the elephants and how to feed them. Then, you get paired with your elephant for the day. The way they choose which elephant each person will ride is they observe you and place you with the one that matches your personality the most. I naturally was paired with the youngest of the male elephants, an 11-year-old who was known for being stubborn. I got the hint.
After being paired with them, you spend some time feeding them and getting to know them before finally climbing onto their backs. Once you get to the top of your elephant is when the real fun starts. Obviously elephants are huge, but being on top of one was significantly higher feeling than I had expected. The tour guides take you through a river and up the mountain while you ride on the elephants head (you sit closer to the head both in order to control the elephant more and because it hurts them less than on their backs).
There were a few times where I found my elephant wandering over to the edge of the mountain to eat, while I desperately tried to grab on to its’ ears or anything to hold on to so I wouldn’t fall off. My elephant’s trainer didn’t seem to be phased as he watched me struggle and did nothing to stop it. Tough love. The whole day was incredible.