Elephant Enthusiasm

On the last Imprint Thailand tour our visit to the Elephant Conservation Center was a huge hit - no different this time around.  We arrived in perfect time to see the elephants bathing in the river.  Coco, a mischievous older male, took delight in spraying the crowd with water.  Then it was the elephant parade up the hill to the performance arena for the show.  We enjoyed elephants moving and stacking teak logs, painting pictures, playing music, and shooting baskets. Geri from our group got to hold the basket for the basketball section.  Feeding elephantsAfter the show anyone could buy fruit and corn to feed the elephants by hand.  For me, the real enjoyment was seeing the delight in the faces of my group.  We reserved the real highlight for after the show - the elephant ride.  We loaded up one by one and headed off into the jungle.  Unlike last time, we began by lumbering into the river and heading off into the swirling current.  Soon we left the water and continued on into the jungle. It felt like we’d entered a David Lean movie. Once again we were graced with overcast skies and a slight breeze making the jungle trek a pleasant temperature. The “up close and personal” pachyderm experience had the group palpably buzzing with delight. We had a very quick lunch and a three hour drive to Si Satchanalai Historical Park, essentially and adjunct to Sukhothai.  We had about an hour's visit at the end of the afternoon and the light was good for photographs.  It was a quick visit but everyone seemed to enjoy the lack of crowds and quiet ambiance. Upon arrival at Sukhothai we took one of the city’s giant, boat-like Sungthouws into town for a market dinner of Sukhothai noodles, frog, and curried chicken.  For dessert Ae exposed us to a new sweet - Kanambang Sngkaya.  It is basically angelfood cake cubes dipped in coconut milk custard (milk, coco milk, egg, & pandanas leaves.  Yum Yum.