Thailand, A Photo Diary 3/4

After enjoying the sea and temple experience at the Sanctuary of Truth, you’d think we’re out of energy but nooo… we still have other places to go to but we didn’t want to go there drenched in sweat so we went back to the hotel for a quick rest and touch-up. Oh mostly touch-ups. When you look at the map and find out the kilometers we had to travel back to the hotel, you’d think we wasted time instead of going to our next tourist spot. Don’t cringe, guys. It’s all for our photos. You know, the beautiful memories we’d take back with us to Riyadh. (And we didn’t want looking at our ngarag selves in those supposed to be beautiful memories.)
Now, who goes to Thailand and not ride an elephant? The elephant trekking industry in Thailand has drawn mixed emotions from visitors. One side says it’s perfectly fine and another says it’s animal cruelty. Well, God knows Eyecandy loves her pet animals to a special degree and as for me, yeah, you can judge me. I don’t have an inclination to have pets but I’m a kind person (promise!) and I promote world peace. Haha! Wanting to ride an elephant is in our bucket list and though it was a wonderful experience, it’s one of those experiences that I will only do once in my lifetime. I feel sad for the gentle giants, that they have to be used for business. However, I feel glad that I finally had the chance to see them up close and personal.
Elephant Safari

Originally, we wanted to go to the Elephant Village and I remember telling that to the driver a couple of times. I had an idea that it was outside the Pattaya area so we didn’t mind the long ride. But the driver took us to Thappraya Elephant Safari (at least I think it was, please comment when I got the name wrong). 
You better leave your expectations of trekking before climbing the elephant. I thought we’ll be taken to a forest and see wonderful views of myriad flora and fauna and cross a long river where the water flows freely and… I found out my imagination works way too much. Here’s how our experience in the elephant safari went…

Our ride’s comin’!

There was a platform that we have to climb so we can easily go on top of the elephant where a guide and a chair strapped to the elephant are waiting. It was kind of scary at first being this high from the ground but if you’ve ridden a horse or a camel before, this is so much easier. Eyecandy and I had an elephant each, woohoo!

The guides took us to a small area with trees… and elephant dung on the ground. Lots of them! It wasn’t a forest where we can marvel at the surroundings. It was just an area with trees. Period.

The excited me before I saw the ‘woods.’
The farm.

We continued the journey to a small lake (more like a pond if you ask me) where the elephant submerged its body on the murky water. I wish the pond was bigger so the elephants can wade through a wider space. My elephant played with the water with its trunk and Eyecandy and I had a fun time photographing the scene. Apparently, the elephant I was riding on was the smartest of the bunch. Well, it sure picked the right person! Haha!

This is the only view there is.

The swamp.
Eyecandy shooting me…
… and I’m shooting her.
My elephant playing with his trunk.
After a few minutes frolicking in the pond, our elephants moved on to dry land where our guides took our photos. They encouraged us to take their place near the head of the elephant. I was hesitant at first but E went on and climbed down a bit. I followed and found out how rough the elephant’s skin is. Hehe. If you’re taking this same journey in visiting Thailand, I suggest you make the most of this moment and have your guide take A LOT of photos. Try doing different poses, it’s okay. Don’t be like me who seemed to be rooted in place and shuddering when the elephant moves. Haha.

Eyecandy doing the wai.
My ‘I can do this but not really’ face. LOL. E enjoying herself.

The Pink Tarha x Thai elephants. I dunno why we keep on doing that hand pose.
I was kind of disappointed that there weren’t any beautiful views to be seen along the trek aside from a barren landscape. The price of 1,600 baht was a bit too much for this but oh well… when would we ever have the chance to ride an elephant again? Like I said, this adventure is great for a first-timer.

Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand has a rescue and rehabilitation park for elephants so you might want to check that out too.

After our elephant meet-and-greet, we had to go to Tesco/Lotus for a quick dinner and grocery shopping. We had a 7:30pm schedule to watch the Tiffany Show, a popular transvestite cabaret show in Thailand. (Don’t ask us why we had to watch it. But if you must know, we’re just curious to see one of the top ten best shows to see in the world, that’s all.)

Pattaya was already suffering from traffic at around 5pm and our driver had to maneuver his way in record time just so we can arrive at the theater before the start of the show. He has a different interpretation of “rush hour”! The ticket is 800 baht  each for the mezzanine. Upon taking our seats, the show started.

I sneaked a shot at the beginning of the show.
Taking photos is not allowed so we can’t show you what happened and we won’t describe it in detail because you have to see it for yourself. All I can say is the costumes are incredible and the show is spectacular!!! (By the way, this show is wholesome! I just have to say this talaga.) If you’re a bit claustrophobic, the venue might be a problem for you. The performers went outside of the venue visitors can take photos with them.

Looking like a Ms. Universe pageant. Nakakahiya naman tumabi. 😛
The Tiffany Show stars… gondohhh.
We were too tired that day and we have to wake up early to go to Bangkok. The Bangkok entry would have to be the last because the temples there deserve a lone entry. But before going back to the hotel, we spotted an open massage place. And who goes to Thailand without getting an authentic Thai massage?! There are so many massage places in this country, the same way that you’ll find numerous khubz places and bakala in Riyadh. We couldn’t pass up this opportunity so we gave it a go. Best.body.massage.ever.

When visiting Thailand, get a Thai massage! 
Pattaya In A Day

Our fourth day was the chillax day. We didn’t have a concrete itinerary and we’re not racing with time so in the morning, while Eyecandy was preparing for the day’s lakwatsa, I roamed the hotel grounds and took photos…

One of those windows leads to our room.
Get a massage here!

Swimming pool with a bar in the middle! How cool is this? Vodka, please! 😛
The stairs going down to the beach area.
It would have been great to take a dip in this shore.

Most tourists stayed put in the hotel to swim in the exclusive beach area. Eyecandy enjoyed a dip and  bathed in the sun during her second day in Pattaya (she has tan lines to prove it). I’m not really a beach person (uh because I can’t swim) so I just picked a spot with a good view of the sea and hung out by myself (no, I didn’t go emo… lol).

My favorite spot.

The fourth day was all about seeing the whole of Pattaya without traveling to many places. How? Viewing decks, of course! There are two near our hotel.

The Big Buddha Hill aka Wat Phra Yhai has, obviously, a BIG Buddha, the biggest statue of Buddha in Chonburi Province.  The 300-ft Buddha is called Luang Phor Yhai by the Thai people. We were cringing at the thought of climbing the stairs to see it (because hello, we’re super fit for this! O.O) but our worries are unfounded. It was the easiest stair climb to a tourist spot ever!

You are welcomed by dragons.
The Big Buddha… the gold made my eyes water. It’s so shiny!!!

When we reached the deck, we saw the Buddha and surrounding it are smaller images of the Buddha representing each day. I naturally went to the Buddha of my birth day (Sunday) and had my photo taken. The views are exhilarating! We love seeing the whole city. We even asked a local to get our photo. It was quite funny when we looked at his shots after… we were missing in the photos! Wow! The scenery must be so good he left us out! Lol. Turned out he didn’t know how to use the camera’s viewfinder!

Buildings and towers and… whew!
Even if it was hot, the wind was strong and refreshing.

The Pattaya Hill (Khao Phra Bat) is near the Big Buddha Hill so we decided to check it out also but because the sun was in its all-time high hot already, we just went out of the vehicle, went to the view deck, took 20 photos max, and went back to the vehicle pronto! The views are incredible too.

The Pattaya view.
Zooming in to see the ships and boats.
A busy metro.

Seeking the cold temperature of a mall, we went to check out Royal Garden Plaza in Beach Road, where the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum is housed. If you look at the photo above which we took in Pattaya Hill, you can see a suspended huge round “balloon” in there. That’s the newest attraction of Ripley’s… the Sky Rider. We were low in funds already so we didn’t check out Ripley’s anymore. We just roamed around the mall to look for souvenirs and eat.

Believe it!
Ties made of Thai silk for the men in our lives.
Thai silk scarves for the girl friends.

We were famished after a half day of activities so we ate! (Because we’re pretty good at eating huh.) Royal Garden Plaza’s Food Wave is a great food court. Most food courts in Thailand operate on a card system. In the Food Wave, we were given a card before ordering in their stations, which are divided into categories like Japanese, Thai, Western, Seafood, Desserts, Drinks, etc. After ordering, the card is swiped and a receipt is given back with the card. The food and drinks will be delivered to the tables and payment would be done when going out of the food court. We picked a table in the veranda, even if we’re dying of the heat, because the scenery is nice (and because an eye-catching scenery thumps comfort anytime)! Look!

We chose the right mall to visit.

The Pattaya City sign, huma-Hollywood!
Parasailers in the distance.

And our food photos are more enticing with natural lighting…

Refreshing prawn papaya salad
Delicious California Maki

Pattaya certainly has its charms. It blends tradition and modernity seamlessly. It has wonderful views of modest skylines and and amazing beaches. By the way, according to locals, it’s pronounced as “put-tu-yah” and not “patt-eye-yah,” which is how E and I pronounced it all the time. We’ve had a long day but it was super worth it! I end this third entry with our window view in the afternoon of our last day in Pattaya…

Sunset at the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand

 Temples, temples, temples on the last entry of our Thailand series. ~ Sundrenched

Thailand, A Photo Diary 1
Thailand, A Photo Diary 2

Outside KSA Thailand Travel

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The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

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