We arrived in Krabi, a city in the South of Thailand, in the evening after the sun had gone down. After dropping our bags off at our hotel we quickly set out to find some grub and see what was nearby. We wound up walking along the beach for a while, despite it being dark, and eventually found ourselves at a bar that we would end up going to every night. The food, drinks, music and staff were all great. Oh, and they had a dog named Ma Roy who, as you can see in the photo, has a special, little quirk to him.
We didn’t fully realize what a beautiful place we were in until the next morning when the sun was up and we could really take in our surroundings. The topography of Thailand is simply amazing and pictures don’t do the country justice. On our first full day in Krabi we rented a longboat, which is a long, wooden, propeller-driven boat, just for the three of us. Our driver took us out about 40 minutes from Krabi to an area of islands and would ask us if we wanted to stop at certain beaches. We eventually found a secluded island (with the exception of some friendly feline residents) and spent a couple of hours there.
Our next day we had a visit planned to an elephant sanctuary. When planning our trip to Thailand, we thought it would be a cool experience to interact with elephants in some way but we knew we did NOT want to ride them. Riding elephants is harmful to their health and the training process for riding elephants is extremely degrading and painful. In Thai, the name for the process translates to the breaking of the spirit. We were able to find a place called the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary which promotes ethical tourism and no riding. The reviews on TripAdvisor were great, so we decided to go with this place.
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary offers half day visits that include information about the elephants, where they were rescued from (typically riding and logging camps), feeding the elephants and giving the elephants a mud bath. This sanctuary had 6 elephants ranging in age from 65 years old to 4 months. There were two sisters here, the 4 month old and the older sister was around 2 I believe. Their mother had died before they came here so these girls never left each others side. The older sister can be seen below trying to get into a black bag with little sister right next to her.
Was this an amazing experience that will stick with us for a lifetime? Absolutely. But, now that we’re home and have had time to process our day with the elephants, was this the best environment and daily routine for the elephants? Probably not. Are they living a better life than in a riding or logging camp? Without a doubt. But how they’re living now, getting lots of attention from a group of humans twice a day, everyday and not being able to do what they please in a more natural environment leaves us a little concerned. Regardless, we loved meeting those guys and genuinely hope they’re happy where they are. I strongly suggest doing lots of research prior to doing an activity with any type of animal to make sure it is ethical.
On our final full day, we spent more time island hopping, snorkeling and yes, eating pad thai on a Thai beach. We even ran into some monkeys 🙂
Krabi and our entire trip to Thailand was beyond our expectations. We loved our time in this beautiful country and wouldn’t hesitate to come back. Next up, Molly and I head to Beijing. Until next time…