As I’ve said before, I am extremely fortunate to have been able to travel as much as I have for how young I am. I have had a wonderful taste of a life that I am looking forward to building for myself but in the midst of all the sight seeing and culture intake it’s important to find something you can be passionate about and try to find a way to make a difference while being in a new, beautiful place. In the past year or two, stories and truth have surfaced about the realities of Elephant entertainment. As I grew more knowledge on the subject I began to feel more passionate about this issue and I wanted to know how I could make a small difference for this cause. A few months ago my mom and some friends of ours decided to take a weekend trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, by far my favorite part of Thailand yet. There are no beaches but lots of greenery and mountains. As most of you may know, Thailand is notorious for Elephant entertainment due to their large sum of tourists. I think most people were like me in that they are not educated on the issue. My mother planned for us to visit the Elephant Nature Park while we were in Chiang Mai. This was by far one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Each adult elephant found at this park have been rescued or bought from Elephant entertainment cooperations. It was extremely heart-warming to know that the people who work there are so passionate about the health and safety of these intuitive and sensitive animals. Our entire experience was filled with happiness, love, and life! We were able to help the workers feed the elephants fruit and veggies, learn about each elephant’s story, and bathe them in the river. I think it’s important to start educating the people around us that there are humane alternative to interact with any animal, especially the elephants! #savetheelephants
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go to Thailand. When you live in the States you think of Thailand and you don’t imagine any place more beautiful! When my parents decided that we would be taking a week in Koh Samui, Thailand I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to feel the sun on my skin and the beautiful clear beaches! Because flights from Hong Kong to Thailand are so cheap my dad was able to get a really good price, especially since he planned ahead (for once!) I had never heard of Koh Samui but all of our family friends were saying how beautiful it was. When we told them that we were going for 5 days they were a bit confused. I was surprised at first because how could you stay in Thailand less than 5 days?? I soon understood that because Hong Kong is surrounded by so many beautiful areas, Thailand is just a weekend trip. I was astounded but then I soon found out why….
- Step one, make sure to check the rainy season before you book your tickets to a tropical and exotic destination. The weather forecast the entire week was rain and thunderstorms! It turns out the the rest of Thailand is in the dry season but the only part of Thailand that has a rainy season in the month of December is the island of Koh Samui.
- Book a resort or house that you feel comfortable or clean in because you never know how much time you will be spending in there.We stayed at the Ozo Resort and it was very nice and open. Not only was I confined to my room because of the rain, I was paralyzed from an extreme crick in my neck from sleeping with the air conditioning too low. Which leads to…
- Make sure to not keep the air conditioning too cold! When mixed with the warmth of the outside air it causes your muscles to contract and get stiff and you could possibly get a crick in your neck and end up being doped up on Thai muscle relaxers and looking sideways in every photo.
- Don’t drink or brush your teeth with the water! Thankfully we already knew this one but there is nothing worse than being sick on your vacation but I will say, it does get quite exhausting having to always worry about whether or not the fruit was washed in clean water or if the water in the glass is from a bottle… yes, I know these are my first world problems but my brother Blake ended up getting sick and having to sit at the hotel on the one day the sun decided to come out.
- When the sun FINALLY decided to come out, I must say it was gorgeous. We did the Ang Thong National Marine Park which had beautiful views and scenery. Of course there was a little rain storm but it’s the tropics so it’s expected!
- Since there was not as much to do we certainly ate to fill our time! The food was absolutely delicious. I have always been a huge lover of Thai food but having it authentic was amazing. Some of my favorite dishes from this trip were the Pad Thai (obviously), anyone who follows my social media knows that I loved the spring rolls, and the Penang Curry… read my other two Thailand posts to find out what else I found!
Unfortunately we were not able to do as many activities as we had hoped but when the sun was out it was beautiful and I highly recommend Koh Samui when looking for a destination in Thailand!