After a brief stop at the top of the mountain to “top off the elephants tanks” and ours with water, we rode all the way down the mountain and headed straight for a small lake.
Here is the best part and also the grossest part. Who knew elephants loved water so much? They all took off into the water while we slipped off their backs and grabbed some buckets and some elephant sized scrub brushes. We got to wash our elephants off while they played in the water and sprayed us with lake water. Sounds idyllic, right?
Well, it was, but the water was also filled with some other things elephant related which weren’t actually so charming. However terrible it sounds, it was worth it. When the elephants are in the water the prospect of plummeting off their backs is not as scary, so we got to sit on them, stand on them and just have fun with them without any of the worry.
Turns out our elephant was ten months pregnant so she was quite lazy and let us climb all over her. We had a great time; I think she enjoyed it, too. When swim-time was over the mahout--obviously spotting mahout potential in me-- let me ride the elephant out of the lake while everyone else had to leave their elephants behind. After one last kiss, I sorrowfully said good bye to our elephant and went off to shower and change out of our mahout gear. They thankfully had relatively clean, if not luxurious, shower accommodations and we were able to wash off the less cute part of the elephants that were all over us.
The ride back from the elephant farm was relaxing, and once back at the hotel, we decided to go get some ice cream. One of the wonderful things about the Le Meridian is its central location. By central, I mean close to the Haagen Daaz around the corner.
My world basically revolves around food, specifically ice cream, and my wonderful husband indulges this craving no matter the time or place. We got ice cream that was both delicious and overpriced, and in my estimation, well worth it. We then went to relax by the pool. We had invited the young couple from Chabad to come hang out with us and they soon showed up, fresh off a day of Flight of the Gibbon at our recommendation. We all went to the pool where we hung out for a few hours and then made plans to meet up later at the famous Sunday night street market.
First though, we took another of our beloved Tuk-Tuk rides to Chabad for dinner and obviously, straight after that we headed to the Green Bamboo for our final massage.
We both got another two hours of massages each. AJK chose a Siam package, which he loved and I had a coconut oil massage and then an hour of hot herbal compress massage. I loved both of my massages; however, as you can probably guess I was mostly asleep for the majority of it; it was lovely.
From there we walked to the night market and met up with our friends. The night market is huge and has lots to see, so you definitely want to give yourself strolling time. The vendors are open to bargaining, but we did not see them being as easy to talk down as we had been told about by other travelers. We ended up snagging a gorgeous mango wood tray, and a ridiculously cool tray that has four elephants carrying it on their backs (yes, I really do love elephants.)
One of my favorite buys was some really neat jewelry which was literally 10% of the cost had I bought it in the US. Not buying more funky, one of a kind jewelry is my one “I wish” of the trip. The night market has the most eclectic, oddest collection of things you can buy ranging from week old adorable puppies (AJK--which we almost ended up buying
), to paintings, to cricket kebobs (AJK--which we did NOT almost end up buying
), to the most intricate hand-crafted designs.
It was well worth a stop. By the time we had walked around for a few hours we were pretty exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel for some sleep before our flight the next morning to Koh Samui, an island in the south of Thailand where we would be for Shavuos.
Before leaving our new friends, we found out that they would also be on Koh Samui for Shavuos, but only keeping one day of chag, so we made plans for them to come see us on the second day of Shavuos when it was no longer chag for them. We took our last Tuk-Tuk ride back to the hotel and went to sleep.