Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Elephants in Thailand

This morning I woke up happy.  I was going to see elephants today! Yay!

We left in the morning after breakfast.  On the way to the old capital, we saw the King's motorcade. It was crazy.  They basically blocked off the entire freeway and then there was a procession of BMWs and Mercedes. It seemed to go on forever and there were police at every on ramp making sure cars couldn't get on the freeway.  Apparently, this happens often and it can create quite the traffic jam.

We headed to the old capital (Ayutthaya).  This city has lots of old ruins.  The Burmese destroyed the city and so most of the temples have fallen apart.  I went for an elephant ride around the wats.  It was an interesting site seeing elephants crossing the street with motorbikes and cars zooming past. The ride was ok.  The guy that was steering the elephant used a kicking motion behind the ears of the elephant to get it to turn.  He had another guide take a picture of me on the elephant.  It was grateful but didn't really have a choice.  He made me tip the guy that took the picture which I was ok with...then he had me tip him, which I was confused about.  At the end, I think he stopped to have me tip him again, but I didn't.  Was that bad form? I'm not sure. I tipped him pretty substantially the first time because I didn't have small bills.

After the elephant experience, we drove around the other parts of the city.  Most of it was being restored and Aunt and Uncle couldn't get around that easily.  They started getting hungry and wanted to go back to the city to eat.  We drove back to Bangkok and had lunch at a Japanese restaurant that was known for their noodles.  It was very good.

I wanted to explore the surrounding area and do some shopping since that's where people from all over asia go to shop.  I went to the huge mall MBK.  I spent hours in it because it was 7 stories. I wasn't sure if I should haggle there.  Maybe I could have? I'm not sure. I didn't. I definitely could haggle on the streets but by the time I was done with MBK I was all shopped out and just wanted to walk around before the daily raining session.

Later that night, we went to this famous restaurant for curry crab.  It did not disappoint.  It was delicious.  We also had fish stomach soup, eggplant, whole fish deep fried with basil, tofu and a variety of other dishes.  Uncle likes his whiskey so we had that too.  It was actually quite good.

We headed home and I went to bed.  I had to be up early the next morning for my journey to the famed floating market.

I dreamed of elephants of delicious food. Life was good.

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