The Sealandcamp package already came with lunch. So after rafting we were shuttled back to the main camp where a feast of clear tomyum, sweet n sour fish, and stir-fried chicken awaited us.
Usually when I go to Thai restaurants, I go for the red tomyum soup so this is the first time I tried the clear one. And do you know what it tasted like? Filipino sinigang! (Only so much more spicier..)
After a quick coffee, we were shuttled to the elephant camp.
Elephants are just like dogs. Only balder. And bigger. And it disturbs me to read about people who kill them for sport.
So on we went on our bumpy way through the woods. Our ely’s name was Macky. A good girl MOST of the way except for a few droppings here and there. Halfway through the path we emerged at part of the river where a few rafters were passing through. That was a nice part.
Once we got through the river, the mahout got off Macky’s head and started taking photos. He asked R to slide down to take his place which resulted in this nice shot:
At this point the elephant decides that she’s hungry and starts foraging for anything and everything from leaves to anthills. Which is why we have this nice shot. (The elephant really just stopped to pick some leaves and the mahout was already shouting for her to stop it.)
After the ride, you can buy a basket of bananas as a reward. And like I said before, these big guys are just like giant puppies. With expectant eyes and excited trunks, you can almost hear them begging for a treat. How can I resist?
On our recent trip to Phuket, we went for the Whitewater Rafting + Elephant Trekking adventure via Sealandcamp.
The package included pickup from the “hotel lobby” so that’s where we were at 7:30 in the morning only to realize our guest house was not the easiest to find. We ended up waiting for the driver by the main road and by then he was cranky as hell. Good thing we don’t understand Thai.
The van was a small and nice 12-seater and we thought this would be our ride for the long journey to Phang Nga province. But we were dropped off at the Pornthip building (the go-to place for Thai chichirya and pasalubong shopping) where a big bus was waiting to take tourists over to Phang Nga.
It’s quite a drive to the main island and I must have dozed off a few times. At Phang Nga, we were asked to transfer to an open-air truck that drove us to the campsite. An ok ride if your driver wasn’t a speeder with no concept of braking at sharp curves or oncoming vehicles. This is the truck:
So we arrive at “base camp” with a horde of other tourists. It’s a nice hut with tables and chairs. Water and soda is free so you can just take it from the ref. They serve you a welcome snack of banana fritters which were quite good!
There are also lockers to store your stuff. They’re old and rusty, but they get the job done.
After gobbling a dozen fritters and changing to our wet clothes, we walk to the rafting area where we get fitted with a lifevest and a helmet and someone briefs us on what to do.
We are then ushered onto one of the numerous rafts placed on a bed of rocks (not completely in the water) and I wonder if they plan to drag the raft towards the river with 4 of us inside.
As it turns out, dams have been built along strategic areas along the whole course of the river and once it was opened, the water started rising and before we knew it we were floating off.
The circuit wasn’t so scary but I guess it’s all part of the experience that they try to make you a little bit scared and thrilled. There were rough parts when I felt almost like flying off but there were also parts when the captains purposely spin the boat around and bump the boat off big rocks to “scare” you.
The whole course takes around 45 minutes but you’ll hardly feel it if you scream and laugh when you get hit in the face with an oarful of cold river water.
So, this whitewater rafting experience — not as scary as what the handlers would like you to believe, but still loads of fun!