Photo Gallery & Impressions 11b


This album is of photos taken on Saturday afternoon and Sunday before returning to Ban Pong.  It includes the second portion of our Saturday tour - a drive out from Kanchanaburi to a working elephant farm & Karen Village. This ethnic minority group of hill dwellers are refugees from the Burma boarder area.

Keith & Ted meet this little (?) one-year-old who is glad to take our bananas. Ted lost the shoving match he had later with this this "child."

Peg seems to have a way with young elephants & receives a big smile in return for her bananas.

Here mother elephant supervises as she gets something to eat from our new British friend Tom.

Peg, Ted & Susan walk through the Karen village where the families have begun their evening activities.

Angela gets Tom's picture for posterity and to prove a point to her snake fearing mother.

Susan and Peg get a hug and neck massage from two cool guys.

The gents wait while the ladies get the first bath with the elephants in this fast flowing river. What do you see in the upper right corner of this photo?

Wading out into deeper water, the handlers encourage the elephants to submerge. The elephants seem to enjoy this - the ladies get a thrill.

It was evening and had been raining, but Thailand was still warm enough for this fun activity.

Are you supposed to take your bath now, or just hang on? The elephants can go under for quite a while.

It was pleasant to be so close to a storybook animal such as an elephant, but Peg's mount wanted to roll on her side.

Do you think the animal even knows there is a big human on his back?  They're SO strong.

Keith gets his turn and is also pleasantly surprised at the experience. He never thought he would do such a thing, but was very glad that he did!

Ted and his elephant have had enough and it is time to head for shore. Can you see the big guy with tusks in the distance, far right?

These 3 decide they have enjoyed the cooling waters long enough & also head towards shore --- a very enjoyable & memorable experience.

Next on our program was a delicious & authentic Thai meal served in an open sided, grass roofed hut. 

After eating it was time for us all to mount elephants for a long trek in to the forest by starlight.  The mahouts with lighted helmets provided the expertise to guide these kind beasts, however, the lights were only occasionally used.

This surprisingly was the highlight of the day for us.  To be lulled by the wooden bell sounds, sights of fireflies in the night and the rhythmic, undulating walk of the massive animals while the mahout hummed peacefully, was a truly memorable experience.

Ted summed it up with the remark that it was never something he would have chosen to do, but it now ranks among the top ten funnest things he's ever done in his life.

With bananas, Peg repays the big fellow that took us & led the group through the dark night. We will never forget the pleasant sound of his wooden bells hanging from his massive neck.

On Sunday, while Ted & Susan visit the Railway Museum & prepare to return to Ban Pong, we explore more of Kanchanaburi. Here Keith checks out the old German locomotive by the railway station.

We end up back by the railroad bridge over the river and decide to have lunch on the floating restaurant just below the bridge. Notice the little birds enjoying the bucket of rice behind Peg.

Keith couldn't resist taking this last photo of this famous bridge and continued to ponder about the tragic history & much suffering related to the building of this rail line. He wonders what the many Japanese tourists are thinking of all this...?

As we walk back to the main road to catch a bus back in to town, Keith notices these street lamps with the bridge motif. It seems much of Kanchanaburi's economy & identity is tied to this bridge.

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