Thailand and our Friendly Pachyderm

three wheeled car in ThailandAfter a quick hour and a half flight from Ho Chi Minh City, we flew right over our intended stop of Cambodia and landed in Bangkok. We then hopped on a bus heading South East for a couple of hours and ended up at our ocean front condo in Pattaya.

Ocean Park Villa condo in Pattaya, ThailandThis three bedroom condo was the perfect spot for us to get some much needed down time and having a kitchen again was awesome. Who could think I would be so happy to cook again? But we all really enjoyed some home-made meals with the flavors we are accustomed to.

resting at the condoDuring our stay we virtually sat on our butts all day, unless of course we were having a riveting game of hide and go seek. The only reason we left the condo was to replenish supplies (aka beer), hang out at the pool, the beach or at the outdoor coffee shop next door.

coffee shop in Pattaya, thailandA brownie, a coffee and some good times on the bouncy toys. Callum did sustain a mild tailbone injury on these toys which did put a damper on our plan of sitting on our butts for 6 days. Problem solver that he is, he just laid in bed.

Sadly, our week at the condo came to an end and we had to get off our butts and move along. On the upside, we were off to Bangkok to visit my Cousin and his Wife that were visiting from Jakarta and my Aunt and Uncle from Saskatoon. So nice to have some family time.

First thing on the agenda was to get my hair done. I had put it off long enough.

hair cuts in Bankok ThailandSchit, the stylist, did a great job on Lydia’s hair so I was hopeful, but alas my fears of having my hair done in Asia proved true. Hello 1976! I think I remember my mom sporting this look back in the day. I knew it would not end well when Schit pulled out a wire brush and a blow dryer without a diffuser. Urg…curly haired girls everywhere could just shutter at the thought of it! And you know it’s real bad when everyone bursts out laughing the second they lay eyes on you. After a few snap shots, it was straight into a pony.

divana spa Bangkok ThailandThe next day, us ladies all went to Divana Divine Spa (http://www.divanaspa.com/DivineSpa/) for Lydia’s birthday treatment. Divana’s is a beautiful spa with a lovely garden and quiet atmosphere. We did have a little trouble finding this hidden gem, but it was well worth the search as the facial treatments were fantastic. The organic spa made products are wonderful and to top it off, you are greeted with a complimentary hand towel and cool drink and before departing, a lovely cup of Lemon grass tea and a Thai dessert of mango and sticky rice…mmm…so good.

Caturday Cafe Bangkok ThailandAfter our time at the spa, we stopped for a feline fix at the Caturday Cafe, where we got to eat our lunch while the kitties did their thing all around us. Lydia was in her glory. Favorite kitty…Tofu.

snake farm Bangkok ThailandAs we were doing our thing, the guys went to the Snake Farm (http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/snake-farm.htm). Here they watched snakes being milked of their venom. The venom milked at this farm provides antidotes for snake bites all over the Country.

Caturday Cafe Bangkok ThailandSince we have been travelling, Callum has decided he doesn’t want to go back to school, but we just handed out our parent made report cards and it doesn’t look good. Bad attitudes, lack of interest and down right insubordination!

Don’t tell the kids, but summer school here we come!

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandOne of the Highlights of our time in Bangkok was a trip with the family to Ayutthaya to see some of the ruins of this ancient city founded around 1350 and a visit with some elephants from Elephant Stay Sanctuary (http://www.elephantstay.com/).

 

elephants at Ayutthaya Thailand

 

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandEvery activity with the elephants like feeding, riding or photos, comes with a fee, but it is all worth it as all the money raised here helps support the Sanctuary.

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandIt is not difficult for tourists to find elephants in many different capacities in Thailand, but whether you want to do elephant trekking, lodging/volunteering, viewings in the wild, or a quick visit at tourist hot spots, it is important that you do your homework. With all the information available on the internet there is no excuses for supporting dodgy elephant organizations.

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandAnd while you are researching, you will find that many of the elephant organizations/outfits have very different ideas about what is best for the animal. Follow your instincts and your own moral guidelines and you will be able to spend time with our Pachyderm friends in a way that works best for both you and the elephant.

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandNow that is just RUMP-A-LICIOUS.

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandPaul and Callum riding Sopha to the ruins.

elephants at Ayutthaya ThailandNot a huge fan of selfies, but I wanted to capture our happy faces while Dokfai and her Mahout take us around the ruins. Not an easy feat as you are sauntering along on the back of an elephant.

ayuttaya ruinsViews of the ruins at Ayutthaya.

After a great week with family in Bangkok we flew back to Kuala Lumpur (KL) to spend more time with family. It has been Fabulous!

 

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