Location: Koh Chang, Thailand

Today we rode elephants. I repeat, we rode elephants. In the jungle, through a river, and then swam with them. Yup, it was a good day. Very little can top riding elephants, but swimming with them came close. We had an extra early morning today in order to get to the elephant trekking camp on time, but as soon as everyone saw the elephants, whatever grogginess anyone was experiencing completely vanished. It was three people per elephant, mahout included, and we were perched on carriage-esque seats atop the elephant’s back. I couldn’t help feeling a little bit like Mowgli from the Jungle Book mixed with a bit of Tarzan. That feeling only grew when our mahout got off of the elephant and let us ride bareback on the neck of the elephant throughout the Thai rainforest. If someone had been watching us riding these elephants, they would not have been able to tell the difference between us and the kid opening Santa’s presents on Christmas Day. The elephants brought the child out of every one of us, and this continued all the way to the point of elephant water fights. If you do not know, elephants can shoot water out of their trunks. If your mahout was really skilled and the elephants were willing, you could aim those water spouts perfectly at your captain. You are welcome, Kris. In other words, the day continued with many of us falling into the river as our elephants would go underwater and come back up laughing. The elephants definitely put a smile on everyone’s face for the rest of the day, and everyone was in a good mood, which made for some fun adventures along the pier of Koh Chang.

All in all, you could not have asked for a better day. Elephant trekking through the Thai jungle is now something everyone is going to be able to cross off of their bucket list. It was just another one of those memorable days in SE Asia.