We went elephant trekking at Nosey Parker’s, taking turns riding on the neck. When in Thailand, riding an elephant is something you’ve just got to do! The elephant had sparse, bristly hair with almost leather like skin. At one point, the elephants got frightened when one of the guides got stung by a bee and freaked out, thus freaking out the elephants. They trumpted loudly and it took awhile for them to calm down. Being on top of a scared, trumpting elephant was a little nerve wracking….I was afraid she might rear up and buck us off.
After our one hour ride on top, we fed them pineapple pieces (they take them straight out of your hand with their trunks).
And then we watched them bathe, which was fun.
After their bath it was time for lunch.
The Songkran Festival is a celebration of the Thai New Year. In some parts of the country, the festival lasts for three days to a full week but in Ao Nang, it was big for one day with a few die hards celebrating for 2 days. You pour (or shoot or spray) water onto others and it is considered good luck to get wet. Some people also paint clay on each other, usually on the face. Everybody takes part, the young to the old, Thais to the farangs (foreigners). Some of the Thais actually apologize as they pour water on you, but most take to it with the joy of battle….the day is one big party centered around the biggest water fight of the year.
The kids were some of the cutest participants.
Pick up trucks had huge vats of water to soak passengers of other vehicles as well as pedestrians.
“Shooting” people was fun!
Some of the Thais were armed with koolaid colored water.
This water was ice cold (as you can tell by the expression on my face!) It was a great way to keep cool but most of the water was a moderate temperature so when someone got you with the cold stuff, it was a shock.
Battling with the kids was great fun! They loved shooting the white girl.
There was lots of music and dancing in the streets. As the day wore on, some people were handing out beer (or consuming it), there were street vendors selling food and we spent the entire day walking around soaking wet and smiling. We finished up at a bar, taking turns playing pool with a seven year old (yes, you read that right!) Our egos stayed in tact since she didn’t actually beat us but a few games came pretty close. Songkran was a lot of fun and I’m glad we got to experience it!