Sunday, August 25, 2013

South East Asia Cruise in December 2012 (Part 4)

We arrived at Phuket, Thailand (泰國普吉島) in the afternoon of December 5. There were 13 excursions available for sightseeing or adventure tours. This time we picked a more fun activity and left our 3 seniors on the cruise … haha! My brother and I had elephant riding adventure, yeah!

Price was around CAD 55.00 – 60.00 per adult. First we had to land on the shore. How did we do that since our cruise was stopped in the middle of the sea? By swim??? (唔通要游上岸?)

They provided a small boat (艇仔) for us to get to the beach.

Here’s the elephant camp … god of elephant? I don’t think they treat elephants like god. I hope the elephants and monkeys (they do have monkeys there) are treated fairly and ethically.

Even though I like nature, I have to admit that I’m a city person … I really couldn’t stand the animal poopoo smell in this remote village. Anyway, let’s start with elephant riding!

Our guide was a young man in early 20s, I guess. He liked to do something more adventurous than the others by getting the elephant to walk (swim?) in the lake! Then he would say in Chinese (I forgot in Cantonese or Mandarin) … 救命啊! 救命啊! (Help! Help!) 真係俾佢嚇死.

They said it’s safe to ride on the elephant. I doubted it since only the bar we hold in front of our bodies was considered a seat belt. Sometimes we slid to different directions on the chair during the ride. But some families managed to do that with their babies, maybe because infant got free ride.

Can you see? One of the elephants was eating grasses

Let’s have a group picture! Elephants group picture … haha! After the ride, each elephant guide would expect to receive tip. Good that we got some money, USD $$$. Again my co-worker told me South East Asian like US money (ex. 1 dollar bill) but when we gave money to our guide, he wasn’t as excited as the others. I think he loved to receive Thai baht 泰銖 more.

After elephant riding, we watched monkey show and elephant show. Monkey performances included monkey taxi (biking), monkey NBA (basketball) and monkey fashion show (sexy pose with an umbrella on a steel wire). Baby elephant show included soccer play and balloon dart game. They even grabbed some kids to try baby elephant massage. I’m not sure if the kid enjoyed the massage or just no eye see (到底個細路係享受定冇眼睇?).

Now to the next attraction – Wat Chalong. On the way I saw a Buddha statue on the mountain.

Here’s Wat Chalong (วัดฉลอง) - Phuket's largest and most sacred temple. I think it’s a very typical Thai temple in red, white and gold colour. Normally I love to visit and pray at Buddhist temples but this one scared me off since I heard several firecrackers and I’m very sensitive to loud sounds.

Next we visited a cashew factory which I should have bought more cashews since my co-workers really liked their huge cashews, especially in wasabi favour. This shop accepted US money.

On the small boat returning to our cruise, I took a photo of its charming sunset J

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