Travel Diary: Beyond Bangkok I

We enjoyed our half-day Bangkok city tour with Kay from GM Holidays albeit quick and exhausting, so we asked her for recommendations on what to do or where to go the next day. She offered a whole-day package (a tour outside Bangkok), which included a 2-hour Thai massage. We agreed to avail of the massage the night before our whole-day excursion because my aunt wanted to get a massage since we arrived. Her shoulder muscles had become tight due to her long-haul flight from the US to Manila, then Manila to Bangkok.

Unlike our first experience with GM Holidays, they were half an hour late for pickup caused by a slight miscommunication between Kay and our tour guide for the day. As soon as they arrived, we headed towards the province of Ratchaburi, which is only about an hour and a half drive from Pratunam Market (without traffic).

Our first stop was at the Chang Puak Camp located in the Damnoen Saduak, a district in central Thailand. Did you know that chang means elephant in Thai? As the name suggests, Chang Puak Camp offers elephant trekking, ATV-driving, and archery. Unfortunately, none of my family wanted to ride the elephant. I didn’t insist because I’ve already ridden an elephant with Roan in Krabi. We stayed in the cafeteria instead, and tried their coconut ice cream. Man, it was so good!

Our second stop for the day was at the Royal Thai Handicrafts Center, showroom of some of Thailand’s finest wooden craftwork. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post photos we took with the artworks there, so I’m just going to share a photo of these wooden sculptures of huge elephants, which kind of looked like the real thing.

We didn’t stay long at the Royal Thai Handicrafts Center because it’s almost lunch time, and a buffet lunch was waiting for us at the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo. We got stuck in terrible traffic on our way there, so we only had about 45 minutes to devour our food. After which, we headed straight to see the live elephant show.

I don’t have that strong fascination with elephants like Roan does, but these guys were too cute for words when they started playing football. They even danced for the crowd, making them look more adorable! I’m sure Roan would have enjoyed this show if he were there, too.

After the live elephant show, we were instructed to go next door to the crocodile exhibition. I’ve actually seen a preview of this show on local TV, so I already knew what to expect. Nevertheless, their unusual stunts were a hit to many. I know they’re skilled to do these things, and it probably took years of practice, but you can’t make me put my head nor hand inside a crocodile’s open mouth!

We got to roam around the zoo because there was plenty of time left after the shows. Being the Thomasians that we are, it was necessary to see the tigers. We didn’t get to have a picture with them, though, because it was their feeding time. I guess I’ve seen enough elephants in this lifetime, so these tigers are a breath of fresh air. It was enough that we had the chance to see these tigers up close!

There’s one more interesting stopover to conclude our day trip, but I’m going to save that for later. After all, I don’t think it’s fair to bombard you with tons of photos in one blog post. Be sure to check back in the next few days for more on this trip!

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