Our last few days in Thailand were jam-packed... we spent a day exploring Patong beach, played with elephants at a sanctuary, and sea-kayaked through caves in Phang Nga Bay. We made beautiful Kratongs and took part in an ancient ceremony as we released them in the ocean. Lastly, we ran our fingers and toes through bioluminescent waters, something I've been waiting years to experience! I invite you to do some scrolling here and escape the winter blues with for a few minutes!
There are moments in life that change you, and I felt like this was one of them. Being able to feed, play with, and bathe elephants left a HUGE imprint on my heart. These giant creatures were incredibly playful and intelligent... when they made eye contact with you it was pure magic! So FRIENDS- If you ever find yourself in another country where the opportunity to ride an elephant arises, please DON'T! Here's why: in Thailand and several other countries, elephants are stolen from their mothers at birth, and basically tortured into submission in order for humans to ride them! How heartbreaking, right??? Seriously, if you have a second, google "Phajaan." It makes me ball my eyes out to see elephants treated this way. So, there are several sanctuaries that rescue these poor creatures from the entertainment and tourism industry, allowing them to live the rest of their days in loving and safe environments. It's up to US to help spread this message, and visiting a sanctuary is a good start. The elephants here were nothing like the ones you see at the zoo. You could tell they were just so happy. It was beyond words.
On the last night of our journey, a sea-kayaking tour was recommended to us. It sounded really intriguing but we had no idea how amazing it would truly be. The itinerary included a guided sea kayak tour through mystical caves, indulging in yummy thai food, making a Krathong (a decorative float that carries your wishes), and experiencing biouluminescent waters. We even saw a walking fish- who the heck knew those existed? This tour was a perfect, spiritually fullfilling end to one of my favorite vacations yet. I'd go back to this beautiful country in.a.heartbeat.!!
Have you ever heard of bioluminescence? I've seen it in a few scenes in movies, and I couldn't wait for the day I would experience it in person!!! What I didn't know was that it is absolutely, unequivocally impossible to capture photos of it. The only way it's even visible to the human eye is in pitch-black conditions. (so all those scenes you see in the movies? pure movie tricks!) So anyways, I found this out right before we went into the plankton-infused waters of the cave. I tucked my camera away, and soaked it all in with only vivid memories of this breathtaking light show to take with me. We ran our fingers and toes through the warm water and watched them dance- it was indescribable. The perfect grand finale to this bucket-list trip! I left a piece of my heart in this amazing country, and if we're lucky enough, I plan on going back again someday.
Save every penny to travel the world when you can, my friends... it's so worth it!