Today we were sat downstairs in the hostel lobby at 8:00am with our breakfast eagerly waiting to be picked up for our tour that we had booked on to. We were the first to be picked up, and then made two more stops at hotels to pick up another two couples.

One of which were both 18, English, both very friendly and chatty and we enjoyed thier company all day. The other two were an older couple in about thier late 50's who were Italian and even though they could speak English, chose not to, and spent the majority of the trip on thier own wearing thier matching army cargo outfits head to toe.

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Our first stop was an elephant camp. This is something I have ALWAYS wanted to do, however given my fear of horses and track record of freaking out near big animals (anything bigger than a dog) I was promising myself to keep it together.

When we arrived there was a small longneck hilltribe village in which the women wore long brass necklaces around their necks and had stalls selling jewellery. Whilst this was going on there was elephants casually strolling around the park and I wasn't anywhere near afraid as I thought. The elephants were half the size I imagined, yet still just as beautiful.

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It wasn't until one went off on its own pushing its trunk into all the huts that I got a bit freaked out, until he resurfaced with some bananas and I realised he wasn't going to cause any harm. It was finally our turn to ride them, and we climbed some ladders up to a wooden hut straight onto the elephants back. We were riding the elephants bareback which I was happy about as the wooden seats hurt thier backs - but this also meant it was immensely hard to hold on. (note from present me - I'm aware I'm probably going to upset people that I rode an elephant, and realise now that I should've just bathed them etc rather than riding).

I insisted Dave sit at the front so I could hold on to him, but I was told the smallest had to sit on the neck as to not hurt the elephant. Clinging on for dear life, we began to set off walking, and even though it was terrifying, I couldn't believe I was finally doing it.

 We rode around for a bit until we came to a wooden shack and bought some bananas to feed them.

Ours knew exactly what it wanted and stuck his trunk straight up blowing air into my face and as I handed each banana he threw it into his mouth. The elephant next to us also clocked the bananas in my hand, and began poking me with his trunk and slobbering all over my back.

Naughty things.

With numb arse's we got off and had some photos taken before getting back into the truck and taken to a white water rafting river. Surprisingly (not) the combat couple didn't want to take part as they didn't like water, so the rest of us stripped to our bikinis and shorts and headed down to the river.

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The river rafting was fun and we bumped into a lot of rocks, however this only shook us about more and made it more fun. When we hit the massive drops it was brilliant, however the only down fall was there wasn't quite enough drops for us all - maybe a bit too tame. To our surprise we were pulled over down the river and told we were now swapping over to bamboo rafting. This was very different bamboo rafting to China where we were sat on chairs drinking beer staying dry.

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These bamboo rafts were long ones fitting all 4 of us plus the driver, and it sunk, bad.

Aswell as this, there was also no chairs so that we were just sat on the raft. This was quite fun however as it was just like we were sat in the river being pulled along, if only it wasn't so dirty...

 We then met our tour guide at the other side and the other couple at the top and we dried off and were welcomed with some lunch. Lunch was Pad Thai rolled up in a giant leaf with a bowl of fresh pineapple. It was absoloutly delicious.
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It was then time for our hike through the rain forest. On the way our guide explained green snakes lived here but they were very rarely seen as they blended in with all the leaves and greenary. 5 minutes later - I spotted a little green tail poking out the bush and it turned around to look at us. However we were told that they're known to jump and we all swiftly moved on.

The hike was more rock climbing, something I lack skills in, massively.

Whilst everyone powered on through, there was me at the back scrambling through walls and over rocks on all fours like a monkey. Admittedly this wasn't as fun as I had hoped, but the landscape was absoloutly stunning. And what topped it off is at the end of the hike, we were welcomed by a beautiful waterfall, and it didn't take a lot of convincing to get in.

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The water was cold, but so refreshing after the sweaty walk, so after half an hour splashing around, we headed back and got back into the truck to be taken home.

 After a long but amazing day, we chilled in the room for a while before getting showered and venturing out where we found a small Thai restaurant for our last night in Chiang Mai.

Best Thai green curry yet.

 

Phuket

Sorry for my blog being very behind lately, however since flying to Phuket 2 days ago we've done nothing but sunbathe, eat, walk around the shops and chill out. (Oh and going for our runs every morning like we promised ourselves)

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 Phuket is stunning, and when we first arrived to the beach we were in awe and this was exactly what we had been waiting for. However, Phuket is extremely touristy and busy, so we're excited for our next location Koh Phi Phi. Even though this will also be quite touristy, the beaches are known to be bigger and more beautiful.
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So apologies for the boring update but, it's time for us to chill out.

 

Goodbye Phuket

As it was our last day, we decided to go exploring and hired another motorbike to go explore another part of the island, Patong.

 On the way there we stopped off to go see the great white Buddha (I don't think it requires any explanation) however we were disappointed to find building constructions surrounding it which sort of took the beauty of it away, so after a few quick pictures we were off on our way and back down the hill.
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Driving down the hill, we saw a baby elephant and couldn't resist pulling over and going to see it. Seeing as I was fine with the big elephants, I figured I'd be absoloutly fine with this baby one - however he was so mischevious.

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I went to stroke him and he tried to suck up my bracelet off my hand with its trunk and then when I stood next to him for a photo wrapped his trunk around my neck, hence why all the pictures of me with him I was stood quite a distance away. When we eventually parted from the elephant we found our way to Patong, parked up the bike and went off exploring.

After a few hours of shopping and walking around in the rain, we decided to head back to our hotel as Patong wasn't as interesting as we had hoped for. On the way back we stopped off for a Thai curry (lol how predictable are we), and then called it a night as we were getting picked up at 7am the next morning to get the ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

 

Sophie Amelia

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