Monday, October 22, 2012

Thailand: A Date with Dumbo and Friends

One of the main reasons why we went to Ayutthaya was also to see elephants and experience an Elephant Ride. There are two spots where to find these gentle giants. You have an option to go at the City or at the Elephant Village. 

I failed to mention on my previous blog that aside from the Extreme Biking Adventure we had, we were also on an Extreme budget during our day trip. We only brought 1000 baht (w/c we borrowed from a friend) because we failed to have our money exchanged for the following reasons: we arrived late night and left very early in BKK. We tried to look for a money exchange shop in Ayutthaya but it was a Saturday so we had no option but to stick with the 500baht/each budget for the day. We still had high hopes to have that Elephant ride experience and that adventure of a lifetime.

And so the elephant spotting adventure begins...

Looking at the map, it was quite hard to figure out which way to go. There were so many spots to see and the place was really huge! Not to mention, very few signs were written in English, plus our poor direction skills. I would admit that there were a few times were i would just stare at the map, look at my bestfriend, and ask locals for directions but still clueless which way to go. haha! 
But, i am just so proud to say that after so many times we got lost in the roads of Ayutthaya, we were still able to locate and find what we were there for. A big achievement for a person like me who's very poor with directions. haha. 

Below are Paparazzi shots with my date, Dumbo and his friends...

A view of the tourists enjoying their Elephant Rides gave me that  "Ecstatic" feeling, Mindless of the aching legs, sweaty and haggard self.
 I confidently uttered the words: Whew! Finally we found it, one down. 

Up close with our Gentle Buddies, made me wish to have my turn already. All giddy! 
Look Out!!! Dumbo and Friends crossing!
 "I thought this is a Bike Lane? Hmmmmmmm Share a lane win a Friend?"haha.

We tried to have an up close photo with Elephants, but we were rejected a few times. We were not allowed to take pictures because they have a photo booth. But, we were very lucky to meet this friendly local and he let us take as many pictures as we can. "Kob Kuhn Ka!" He also gave us directions where to inquire for our ride. 
I was so scared to hold or be too close to the Elephant because i might freak it out. Funny how this shot went, but the best i can use. haha

We went to the Elephant Tent Area to check on the rates, but sadly an Elephant ride in the City costs 400 baht/each. We felt so much sadness after seeing the rates.  But then, the Elephant show quickly caught our eyes. We just agreed to check out the other spot (Elephant Village), with the hope that we'll get a cheaper rate. And just enjoy the free show for a while. I was in awe watching their tricks and those killer dance moves. hahaha.. 
"Lolo" (Grandpa) is also having lots of fun! haha.
Wow, this little Dumbo can definitely beat me on the Dance Floor! Amazeballs! How'd you do that my not-so-little Buddy?!?
It's all about making Love with the Camera!
Our Gentle Giants lalalalaloved the limelight! Say "Sawadee".

I must say, the show was really Great! Dumbo and his friends were surely doing a Great Job! Hands down really. BUT,  during the show i saw something that really pinched or i must say gave me a nudge in the heart. I felt so much PITY after seeing how these gentle giants were treated and forced just to entertain people. I thought the men were just holding sticks to cue them, but after carefully observing, the sticks had "Sharp Hook Metals". They were jabbed, poked, and hit by the sharp hook to do the dance and tricks.
 It was really heartbreaking and i must admit i got teary-eyed after seeing this.
Seriously, i think these Gentle Creatures should just be freed.
My desire to have that Elephant Ride changed after what i saw.
It was an Eye-Opener. 

Taking that Last Opportunity to have a close shot with these Gentle Creatures in the City. Until, we meet again. Hopefully someday, i could do something to help. 
We headed next at the Elephant Village, i had no more desire to have that ride but i was curious to check out what the place has to offer. 

Locating the Elephant Village was the hardest. We went on so many routes, asked so many people and got lost. Maybe we spent more than 45minutes figuring which direction to go. We were so tired and we almost gave up, since we were already near the train station and going home was an option. 

Our legs wanted to scream "Enough is enough". But as curious little souls, we still didn't give up. We bravely biked on the busy streets with 8 lanes and made some counter flow on the way back.Who would dare make a U-turn on more than 8 lanes using a Bike?!?

It gave us "HOPE" that we were so close to our destination. Hello "Elephant Village"!
Funny how "Ordinary" this scene is to the locals.
Seeing Elephants, walking almost Everywhere! 
Are we in France?!?
I loved the colors and architecture of the place.

The Floating Market in the Elephant Village. We failed to explore it because we arrived there around 5:00pm already. Closing time. 

The Elephant ride is around 700baht inclusive of visit to around 7 temples.The ride is longer compared to that in the City and there are much to see at the Elephant Village. 

And yes, you have great Inferencing Skills. We didn't get a chance to ride and since it was closing time we were just allowed to take photos with Dumbo. 

We were initially asked to pay 50baht/each for unlimited photos with them. I haggled and got it 40 baht. I think the usual rate is 50 baht/per 2 pictures with them, hmmmm not bad. The guide assisted me to get too close because i was a bit scared at first. 
I felt happy that i had a chance to hug Dumbo. Another check on my bucket list. 

I am also taking this opportunity to join the campaign to SAVE the Elephants.
Let us STOP Ivory Trade, Killing, and Abuse of these Creatures.
They deserve a HOME. Let us ACT Now before It's Too Late. 


Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Sometimes it's cool to actually lack cash on hand because you just become more thrifty. Haha! Anyhoo, have not ridden these gentle giants, and I hope I get to do so someday. In a more natural setting though, like in a rainforest.

Kara said...

You bet! haha. Plus it makes the trip more exciting. haha! I think they have it in Chiang mai, Thailand. =)

Benedicto Cruz said...

the elephant ride is one unforgettable experience!!

Kara said...

Awwwwwww.. I saw your pics! Was that in Chiang mai? =)