Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Koh Chang in December!

Koh Chang - the island of elephants.  It's a beautiful, mostly quite place with steep crooked roads, beach bungalows, and of course elephants.  This past weekend I managed to write a number of things from my so called "Bucket List".

1. I rode an elephant.
2. I worked in a bar in Thailand.
3. I slept in a hammock.
4. I rode a motorbike around the island.

Let's start with number 1. As the group gathered at the elephant riding tour business, I took a glance at the monstrous beasts that would soon be towing us around the jungle.  To board your transportation, you must climb up a large tower thing and then crawl over the elephant into the passenger seat that sits atop its back.  My riding partner Hayley and I were the first aboard.  Then the giant began to move.  This is the single most awkward creature I have sat upon.  I've ridden a horse, I've perched upon a longhorn, but the elephant takes the cake.  The group all sat upon their elephant thrones and we marched into the jungle.  Our elephant, the wondrous Som-O, age 14, often took it upon herself to take an alternate route.  This is slightly terrifying yet highly enjoyable.  Next we made our way down to a river area where we took a swim with elephants.  Wait - that sounds way less exciting than it is - let me rephrase.  WE SWAM WITH GIANT AMAZING FANTASTICALLY AWESOME ELEPHANTS!!!!! Even that's not efficient, but it will have to do.  The pictures will say more than the words for this part of my story.

Som-O the delightful 14 year old elephant. 

Going Under!!! 

After an amazing swim with all the elephants. 

Part 2. Sunday night we went down to the Lonely Beach area.  We were dropped next to a nice looking bar that played some delightful tunes and had hammocks scattered about.  You can't go wrong with a bar that has hammocks readily available.  There was a Swedish owner who was either too crazy or too drunk to keep up with his own bar and the mass amounts of Farangs that just entered were a little much for the non-English speaking staff.  Therefore I took it upon myself to go behind the bar and take a job as a bartender for the night.  Apparently the best way to find a job is just to take it.  I would highly consider going back and bartending when my teaching gig is up.  After about 3 hours of this and having a sufficient amount of free drinks, I then decided to quit my new found job and make my way to the beach.

Part 3.  Arriving back at the bungalow Sunday night after an amazing day of elephant riding and night of bartending, I decided I has had enough to drink that I would sleep outside in a hammock with no hesitation.  After applying a large dose of 100% deet to myself and finding a nice wooden hammock to lie in, I quickly fell asleep.  I woke up with the sunrise on an island. However, the wooden hammock was rather uncomfortable so I went for a small walk to find a bathroom (and no I don't mean a tree).  On my way to the toilet I discovered another hammock - but this one had a SWEET pillow in it...so I rested there until a decent hour to waken.  And that's how I spent the night in a hammock.

The view by our bungalows. 

Part 4.  After waking up feeling awesome about being in a hammock, I decided I wanted to be even more awesome. So I hopped on my rented motorbike and took a drive around the island.  At 8am you can smell the fresh air that is often non-existent in Thailand.  The peace of driving along alone and having the wind in my face was one of the most amazing feelings I've had since arriving in Thailand.  Also, I now MUST get a moped when I move back home.  I can't live without one.

And that was my amazing weekend.  I accomplished more in 48 hours than many people do in a year.  May every weekend be as wonderful as this weekend.  I'll be 23 in merely 1 week.  Let's see what else I can mark off the list before then!

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