Thailand: Days 5 – 9

We last left off with our awesome elephant adventure on Koh Chang, just off the coast of Cambodia and Thailand. Here’s images from the remainder of our trip…sorry this is a complete photo bomb [or maybe not], but words cannot describe this experience. Again, completely reliving this experience…missing seeing these views daily. 2012-12-23 09.00.02
Stake your claim early for these views!
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And just in case you missed it, the world did NOT end:) however, we were in the place I’d want to be if it did – paradise!2012-12-20 16.44.062012-12-20 16.44.122012-12-20 16.48.562012-12-20 16.47.532012-12-20 16.50.07
Get your fitness on!
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The sun is so intense here, that the foliage can be 2 shades of green on the same plant. 2012-12-20 18.06.442012-12-20 17.35.05
Sunset cocktails…yes, please!2012-12-23 14.06.30
Bangbao – on the south end of the island.2012-12-23 13.55.26 2012-12-23 13.49.43 2012-12-23 14.16.06 2012-12-20 17.50.412012-12-23 17.41.49
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Since we departed Koh Chang on December 25, I think this picture of Nick and myself is appropriate. So, who is ready to visit Koh Chang?

Thailand: Elephant Time

After a brief hiatus for The Lion King, I return to recapping our Thailand trip. It’s so long overdue [yes, months – another #bloggerfail], but I feel like I am reliving the entire experience. 
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Newsflash: I rode an elephant while on Koh Chang. It was the best experience ever, there’s no doubt about it. It was so amazing to ride on top of this powerful animal who was completely calm.

The next morning after we arrived in Koh Chang, we scheduled our trip with Chang Chutiman Tours located on the island. 2012-12-21 10.35.02
They picked us up at our hotel and off we went! [This was also my first experience in a song-taew – aka a truck-taxi].

When we arrived, we had some time to wait so we explored the outpost area and viewed the elephants from afar.

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And before we knew it, it was our turn to climb the stairs and step onto the back of Poppy – her real name is actually Wasna Pop, but her trainer called her Poppy.
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We ventured out into the fields away from the camp.

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The view once we emerged from the forest.
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Most people take pictures of their feet in sand; I take pictures on an elephant!
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Our guide stood up on Poppy and climbed the tree to get him snacks for later. Too cool!
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And now, I’m really riding an elephant – just like the trainer!!

Once we returned to the outpost, we took advantage of the 20 baht bananas and treated Poppy quite well for her hard work!
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Thanks Poppy and Chang Chutiman Tours for an unforgettable experience!

Thailand: Days 3 & 4

After my lovely experience with our room safe [here’s my tip: ALWAYS close and lock your safe – even if you are staying in your room. And, don’t try to clean up your clothes – they are just fine left on the floor!], the group [Susan, Nick, David P., and myself] ventured out for lunch at Cabbages & Condoms in downtown Bangkok.

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Their message is targeted toward the culture of Bangkok – “Our restaurant was conceptualized in part to promote better understanding and acceptance of family planning and to generate income to support various development activities of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA)” –  and the food wasn’t half bad either. It’s a ‘can’t miss’ when you visit Bangkok.

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Gotta love Ronald!2012-12-17 10.45.50
Beautiful Bangkok

Unfortunately, that evening I ended up with a killer headache, which limited me from doing anything other than sleeping.

The following day, Thursday, our small group [David S., Susan, Nick, and myself] ventured to the airport for our short flight to the coast towards the island of Koh Chang. Koh Chang is located just off the coast of Thailand and Cambodia, and is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. The tall inland mountains flowed down to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. We landed in Trat to the calmest, most relaxed airport that I’ve ever been in. Here’s a view of the plane – love, love, love the elephants!

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How can you not relax with palm trees and open air buildings?

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Seriously, love the open airport! 2012-12-19 11.33.01
Talk about service – no wait baggage claim!

We had to take a ferry from the mainland over to the island. We shared a fresh coconut creation that was to die for – so refreshing!

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These were the first views of Koh Chang & the surrounding islands:

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Nice digs for a ferry!2012-12-19 12.42.22
We had the coconut.2012-12-19 12.55.06 

Once we arrived at our hotel, we were greeted promptly with cold towels and some sort of juice… but at least Susan’s name was on the board!

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And here’s our suite at the Bhumiyama Beach Resort:

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And here’s my favorite view, enjoyed for many hours between breakfast and dinner:

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