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Monday, October 5, 2009

Phuket: Journey from start till end (Part 3)

Thursday, 24th September 2009

We booked our ATV tour and elephant ride via Internet. David (a local Thai) was our driver where he drove us from our hotel to a little jungle clearing near the south tip of Phuket Island (about 15 minutes from Promthep Cape). Anyway, 2 hours of riding a quad bike was full of fun! The track was a WAY over my league – the earth was uneven, half muddy – half sandy AND I had no experience driving a quad bike or even a motorbike! But it’s worth it!

After an exhausting 2 hours of riding that 4 wheel vibrator, we took an hour’s elephant ride which ended up being 1.5 hours instead. We were sitting on the greediest, moodiest elephant known!

This 30 year old female sure has a mind of her own. Since the ride was supposed to be a relaxing ride for us, we didn’t mind her throwing tantrums (we knew she wasn’t angry at us but at her trainer…LOL). From the start of her walk, she was already sniffing around for food. Every step she took she will spend at least a minute or two uprooting vegetative and stuff them into her mouth. After 30 minutes or so, the trainer himself got agitated. Every time she sniffed for vegetative he would yell “ooi!” but his calls were more often than not – ignored. At some point, the elephant got onto the trainer’s nerves and he started to scold her in Thai – BAD MOVE. I couldn’t understand what he said but it sure upset the elephant. So Miss Jumbo started to MAKE her own path. She climbed the steepest slopes just to nibble on young banana trees. According to our tour guide (the one who took us for the city tour on our first day), the banana trees are decorative plants (because these plants bear colorful flowers instead of plain brown ones) planted by the local council to beautify Phuket. Now it’s Miss Jumbo’s snack! And since the slope was very steep, from where we sat felt like a 45 degree tilt! Was it scary? Actually no – it was more funny than scary cos the trainer actually went PALE! I can’t blame him for being scared since there was history of elephants going on rampage and tourists (and trainers) get hurt or worse - dead. He was visibly shaken but continued talking to the elephant while she continued to uproot every single banana tree within reach.

After getting a mouth full of vegetation and a truck load of banana trees, she got off the slopes and went back to her path. Barely 5 minutes later, she started looking for food AGAIN! This time, we were on higher grounds with fewer slopes, so she had to be content with tree barks – or what ever that’s left. Our jumbo adventure didn’t quite end there. Half way through the journey, the trainer got off the elephant to take a picture of us (with our camera of course). The moment he got off Miss Jumbo, she began walking AWAY from him! As my hubby and I burst out laughing at her cheekiness, the trainer however, wasn’t so pleased. He scolds her and called her to walk towards him. Reluctantly, she did. Once we got back, the trainer asked if we wanted to feed the elephant. Before we could answer Miss Jumbo was right beside me and her trunk was already tapping my shoulder! Dan and I burst out laughing at her greediness so we happily (though pricey) spent an extra 50Baht (MYR5) of fruits on her.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was already 3pm. So we took a shower, rest and went out to the beach. There weren’t many activities as the waves were still big and dangerous. After our walk at the beach, it was dinner at McD’s (Pork Burger).

Friday, 25th September 2009


Technically this is our last day in Phuket. Our flight out of Phuket is Saturday morning. We planned to hang out at the hotel’s swimming pool but were washed away by the heavy rain. So while we hid in our room and hoped the rain to stop, my hubby asked if I wanted to join him for a massage. I mean what is Thailand without ever trying their massage, right? So we walked to a decent massage spa further up our hotel. Unlike those road side cheap massage parlors with pretty but boney ladies, this massage parlor has staffs that are (at average) older than me and their skills are real good. Many years ago when I companied my parents for massage those ladies who massaged my parents were busier chatting than actually giving them massages. The 700Baht we paid for a full body massage with hot herbal bag press was well worth it. There was no chatting among staffs except for an occasional whisper. They really use their strength to press on the pressure points – it was so comfortable that I fell asleep half way through!

That night we had dinner and show at FantaSea arranged by our tour guide. When we arrived on Monday the tour guide supposed to take us for dinner. But since we weren’t hungry (we ate on the plane) so he replaced our Monday’s dinner with a dinner at FantaSea. We only have to pay for the show which is 1500Baht (including transportation). At the Kimaree Restaurant the food was nice – international buffet including local Thai food and even Japanese sushi (but the sushi was not so nice). The show was a fun to watch. They had included elephants, chickens, goats, pigeons and even a buffalo in their performance. The animals are funniest to watch because they are the most unpredictable characters. Before the show, a few elephants were outside the theater for us to take pictures with our own camera, get rides (had to pay… but forgotten how much) or feed the elephant for 40Baht (MYR4). Many tourists (especially the Europeans) were excited to feed the elephants and every one had to queue up to feel the lucky jumbo. So during the show, it was obvious to us that the melon sized droppings all over the stage came from WHICH elephant!

2 comments:

  1. Very exciting activities! I must say that both of you were very brave to take this situation with full humor. I have been chuckling all the way imagining Miss Jumbo's behavior, but I think that I would be very nervous if I was the one sitting on top of her :)

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  2. Hi Rosidah! Both of us love animals (especially dogs). So it's not difficult trying to understand animals with good sense of logic or a certain amount of intelligence. It's just that we have to be careful and on full alert shall anything unexpected happens. One thing though, don't shriek while on the elephant. My friend did that in her trip and it somehow annoyed the elephant. So the elephant didn't walk slowly on the trail, instead it walk so fast, she said she felt like the elephant was running! And that made her scream even louder ... Haha...

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