CRT+RPK=RTW – Thailand 11

rpk here-

I think ‘Ko Chang’ was the name of Rambo’s love interest in the second movie…….

This is our third – second full – day on Koh Chang which is off the coast of Thailand on the upper eastern part of the country. We think that it translates to Elephant Island, and for good reason. Between the bus to the mainland port and the ferry to take us across the channel to Ko Chang, we hurriedly booked a beach side resort without really checking it out. i was kind of nervous about the rush, hpoing that our so far good fortune hadn’t run out. The boat ride was only about half an hour, after which, we piled into the back of a small Datsun with 10 other adventure seeking travellers, most of whom i don’t think had a previously booked place. They got off the truck at random places until we reached Siam Bay Resort, about 300 yards straight down the side of a mountain from the main road. Riding down with all our backpacks on top was a little exciting. The resort is so cute. Each beachside hut room is very Zen in it’s furnishings. A nice simple bed with a duvet, an outdoor yet roofed and private shower and sink, no real art on the wall, and some cloth blinds covering all the windows and the door. The tide is wicked. i got some shots of thow hi and low it is at different imes of day. toward late afternoon into the evening, it’s right up on the beach, basically 20 yards from the door, but in the morning, it’s probably 200 to 250 yards out. you can walk on sand bars and what used to be coral reefs to this small secluded little island with the kind of beach you’ve always dreamed about. This being the offseason, our resort has hardly anyother people at all, so we have the pool and staff basically all to ourselves. In the 4 days that we’ve been in Thailand, i think i’ve had Pad Thai about 8 times, and CR has a picture of me eating and/or trying to eat it. It’s hard to try something else as it’s so flipping good here. The Pad Thai at Big Bowl is not bad, but very processed, and LOADS more fish sauce in it than they use here which is hardly any. Thatnight, after wandering around and enjoying some swimming pool, beach side strolls, and my keeping an eye out for any reticulating pythons and giant spiders, we booked our elephant trek for the next day. CR could hardly contain herself and barely slept that night. She had been looking forward to riding, washing and feeding elephants more than just about anything else on the whole trip. We got picked up at the resort and headed to the Elephant Village with two other couples, one NZ actor couple, Matt and Rosella,whom we immediately befriended (he was in LOTR Twin Towers as the first speaking Rider of Rohan, but he got cut out of the movie…poor guy). The Elephant Ban Kwanis very animal friendly, they take very good care of their elephants there, and for only 900 baht or just over 20 dollars, we got to bathe them, feed them and ride them through the jungle. We began by walking with the elephants down to this little creek, where they stepped in, submerged themselves and chilled out underwater with their snouts coming up for air every other minute or so. The mahout (elephant care-givers) gave CR a brush and urged her into the water, where she got to climb on the ‘phant’s back and start scrubbing and scratching it’s leathery skin, and CR smiling bigger than i’d ever seen and squirming with glee. I also got to get in and climb aboard whiole the mahout gladly took a slew of photos for us. These enormous creatures are so gentle, love the attention, and love to be scrubbed. We got sprayed with water via elephant snout, and then got to ride herback up the hill so she could be saddled up and prepared for our 80 minute elephant ride through the Thai jungle while we were fed ice cold water and fresh pineapple. And this is all before 10 am! After the jungle trek (the biggest spiders i’ve ever seen….not a happy thing), we headed back to the Ban Kwan and got to feed the elephants some bananas before they got ready for the next trek group to come visit. It was only a few hours, but we got so many freaking pictures. Truly amazing. I saw some of these and thought my mom was going to flip when she saw me on the back of an elephant. We got dropped off back at the Siam Bay resort, but not before Matt and Rosella suggested this little place to eat down the beach called the Treehouse. CR and I headed that direction, but the beach was way too rocky for flip flops so we started up that enormous almost 45 degree angled hill back to main road. Murder on the out-of shape Americans. We walked for about 45 minutes to an hour, up and down, dodging traffic, sweating buckets before finally finding it, and wouldn’t you know it, M and R were there again, so we sat and had a daquiri and some food like curry, pad thai, and talked shop with a couple actors. Something neither of us had gotten to do for a while. Such a lovely day. It is, however monsoon season here in Thailand, and it’s been mostly overcast since we got here. Last night, it even stormed throughout most of the night on our towels and swim wear and shoes which we were trying to get dry. There’s something really magical about Thailand. The people are so nice and smile all the time, even when they’re trying to hustle you out of a few bucks. It’s a different world around every corner, too. Today, we wlaked the other way down the beach to find a place to eat. we walked through this village that looked as if the tsunami hit just last week, and then turned down a road to find a highly luxurious resort with elephant staue fountains, Thai massage going on around everywhere you look (not the happy ending kind), a giant swimming pool, Bob Dylan CDs playing in the restaurant, and live peacocks wandering around the grounds as though they ran the place. Tomorrow, we leave Ko Chang and head back to Bangkok where we’ll board and overnight train for Ko Samui in the southwestern part of the gulf. Hopefully, the weather will be a little nicer down there, but if not, so what? We’re as close to the Equator as either of us will ever be, we’re exactly 12 hours different than most of my family in western SD…it’s 3pm here and 3am there. Basically on the opposite side of the globe from all you people reading this. Crazy. time to check a little email and figure out what we’re gonna do in Australia. we don’t leave Thailand till the 23rd of July, but it’ll be nice to get a little head start. More from Thailand in a few days….please keep those comments coming! love to all, RPK
Posted from Thailand:

posted Friday July 2006

cachet