Today, Angela and Lucky took the class on a three hour excursion out to Saiyok Elephant Park where the class separated into pairs for an elephant ride through the woods and down by a river. Some of us were lucky enough to have elephants accompanied by a younger companion training for their future roles. The best part of the ride was the driver eventually would hop down and let students get a chance to sit on the elephant’s head and guide the way for a few minutes.
After we all took a couple laps around the forest, we were greeted with the nice surprise of an elephant show where a few elephants would pamper the girls and guys with massages as well as dancing followed by the elephants walking on two legs and even putting on a show with hula hoops. Following the show, we had the pleasure of going down to the river where the class was filed into a few bamboo rafts which they connected together and had a motor boat drag us upstream for about 15 minutes. At this time, they separated the boats and let us float downstream back to the starting point where some daring individuals of the group decided to jump out and swim in the water for a quick few minutes. It was an extremely relaxing ride as the water was very beautiful and it was virtually silent around us.
We then got back on the bus again for an hour drive to a restaurant near our next location which was River Kwai. For those WWII movie fans it is the bridge from the famous film “The Bridge on the River Kwai” which was based off how the Japanese had POWs build a railway bridge to help their efforts during the war. For those who have seen the movie, it decieves us by showing the bridge being blown up; however, it was infact completed and used for some time until an allied aerial bombing destroyed the bridge, only to be repaired eventually so that we can see what is there today. Once we finished our quick time to roam around the town and check out the bridge, we took a 10 minute ride over to a war museum and cemetery where the POWs and others were buried.
-Mike Meglio & Adam Wilver