In my opinion Colombo is like one huge green house!
We arrived at the hotel and luckily there were a few other girls who had also not been to Colombo before.
On the flight we had decided to all get together and book the tour to visit the elephants. So that’s what we did! The five of us sprinted upstairs changed and came down 30 minutes later for the tour.
We jumped in the van and after a fairly lengthily drive along narrow winding roads we had a pit stop. We stopped at this little stall along the road where a young women was selling super fresh coconuts. We all got one and it was delicious! I could not believe that I paid under R3.00 for a super fresh coconut.
We set off again and about 20 minutes later we arrived at the Elephant orphanage. At the entrance we had to choose which package we wanted to go for. All of us opted for the short elephant ride and to pet the elephants in the river. It was amazing as soon as we walked through the entrance there were elephants slowly walking around the area. There were another two elephants down in the river having baths and playing in the water.
We got in line to ride the elephants and I was concerned that the elephants might be treated badly, however I was pleasantly surprised. The trainers were holding thin wooden sticks but I did not see them using them. Most of the time the trainers just shout sounds to guide the elephants. Our short ride around the garden was an amazing experience such graceful animals. My favorite encounter was when I wadded into the river while the elephant was lying on her side just cooling off. I had the pleasure of giving her a little bath. The trainer showed me how it was done. They use half a coconut shell and scoop water onto the elephants skin and give it a good scrub. It’s like a exfoliation massage at a parlour. I got the impression that the elephants love it!!!
After the elephant encounter we took a short ride to the tea factory down the road. There we were shown how they process the tea leaves and then we were lucky enough to enjoy an afternoon tasting the factory’s famous English breakfast tea.
We then made our way back to the hotel weaving through the lush forests of this enchanting city.
I am truly grateful to be able to experience these once in a life time experiences.
The elephant and I in the river
Riding the beautiful elephant
Enjoying our coconuts
We arrived in Bangkok at 11pm so we only reached the hotel around midnight. A few the crew and I had arranged to go out as we arrived. So we quickly ran up and got ready to meet downstairs in 30 minutes. I was really excited for my Bangkok flight, because after 7 months of flying I had never been. This is a very popular flight many crew get two or three Bangkok flights a month. So I was really grateful to finally have one.
The five of us jumped into a taxi and set off for the famous Khao San Road. The closer the taxi got the slower the taxi driver drove as he had to weave through the hoards of people! It was INSANE the amount of people running around the streets having the time of their life! We hopped out the taxi and made our way down the road looking for an inviting bar to go into. There were bars open everywhere and right across the road was a massage parlour, with people having their feet massaged out in the open. Along the streets they also had the stalls with the cooked scorpions but none of us had the guts to buy one and taste them. Unfortunately there was a big sign saying no photographs allowed so I couldn’t take a shot.
We then decided to stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat and something to drink. Little did we know it was much hotter inside than outside. After an hour or two things start to die down. By this time we were all exhausted so we made our way back to the hotel.
Early the next morning three other crew and myself set off to do some sight seeing! We first had an amazing tok tok ride to the canals close to the hotel. We then decided to do a tour of the canals by boat which included a stop at the local temple. Along the way we met up with a old lady who was sitting in a small canoe alongside the canal. The driver of the boat then told us that this lady was actually a floating shop.
At the temple there were a number of stalls selling souvenirs. I bought my usual fridge magnet which is what I collect on every layover and I have also started collecting shot glasses for Jeffrey my boyfriend. I know it is quite the cliche however after all my trips it is quite satisfying to walk past the fridge and remember the story behind each magnet I’ve bought. After we had taken enough photographs we went back to the boat. The lady then dropped us off about a kilometre down the canal where she said we could catch a taxi to the MBK shopping centre/mall.
The four of us split up into two so we could get what we were looking for. I got a few bikinis, dresses and a few shirts. I was really shocked in a GREAT way how cheap everything was. A good few hours later Mariana and I set off back for the hotel. Something I do before leaving the hotel is take a card with address on it. Staying at so many different hotels it sometimes gets hard to remember the name. Another thing if it’s a destination where the locals can’t speak English at least you can just show the address!
When back at the hotel there was enough time to have a good rest before the night flight back to Dubai.