Interested in the Dutch boy in our dormitories plan of going on a day tour round the island, featuring an elephant tour, visit to the Chinese temple, and going to a waterfall, we flicked through a couple of leaflets over breakfast. However Scott, the guy who runs the hostel, said he normally recommended doing it ourselves, by hiring mopeds for the day, which also meant we could spend as long or as little time as we wanted at each place. So we bit the bullet and decided to hire some.
The hostel has a deal going with a rent place, so that we were less likely to get screwed over if anything went wrong, so a woman and man rode some over for us, then took us to a quiet road to practise. They gave Alice quite a powerful one which she didn't feel very comfortable with so after exchanging it, we set off for the waterfall (insurance check, helmet check, 30 km/h speed limit check).
Scott had said that the waterfall may not be that spectacular since it hadn't rained in a while, so we expected the worst that there wouldn't actually be any water falling, but we were pleased to see that there was, and it still looked fairly pretty. We both had our hair in plaits (to reduce helmet hair problems) and a Thai guy doing a tour also had some so we joked around with him that we were his family.
There was a monk in the Chinese temple that blessed us, and gave us a good luck bracelet and let us took photos with him. There was a contribution box but he didn't pressure us at all, and he even offered us water and fruit, so it seemed like he was welcoming us in a more genuine way than some other paces we have been. He lead us and a couple up some steps up a mountain so we could light a candle and some incense at the big Buddha, which looked lovely set amongst some trees.
I ate a street stall sausage, hoping it would be like then one Nat and her friends had eaten in Chiang Mai, that were filled with rice, but it was just a normal sausage.
We got to the elephant trekking place, and I was quite surprised that he offered us a discount, because we probably would have quite happily paid the prices it said on the price list. We decided to just do the elephant trek (and reject the offer of a photo with a crocodile/snake or watch a crocodile/snake show). They gave us a bunch of bananas each to feed the elephant, and he munched on them with the skins still on. They must eat a lot with the amount of people that must come and visit! There was a seat for us both to sit on, while the leader sat on his neck. It didn't feel very stable, and was even rockier than the camel. I've decided that anything where it's not what the animal would do normally is probably not that nice to the animal. Alice was happy that she got to hold and feed the baby monkey that was hanging around out the front, although I didn't like the fact that some of the other monkeys were chained up.
There were many beautiful views along the coastal road, and I kept inconveniently stopping so I could try and take a photo of them.
Pineapple, lime, coconut and ginger smoothies were a new found hit at a café where they had a rope swing over a pool of water. I had a go but Alice didn't want to get any colder (it was getting quite nippy on the bikes with the wind whipping through our clothes). They also had a total wipe-out style assault course, and the poster said they did aqua zorbing, so we think we'll come back!
It was slightly confusing getting back to Thong Sala, but we managed to find the veggie restaurant we wanted to have dinner in. We shared a bean and mushroom burger and a broccoli and cheese one, which were served with warm homemade bread and salad. It looked quite a small portion but was actually very filling!
When we were getting ready for the black moon party, Scott knocked on our door and said that Chad, the Thai guy, was asking if we were around! We just told him to say that we were still out on our mopeds.
I had a nice cocktail- vodka and lychee juice- in the bar over the road from our hostel, with the group of girls next door to us who we met in Chiang Mai (because they were also staying in B.M.P) and then headed down to the beach. It had UV rave decorations, and it was a new experience dancing on a beach- it's quite hard to dance on sand! The music was quite heavy and repetitive, but it was OK because of the atmosphere. We had UV body paint applied- I had a centipede up my leg, and a man with footsteps up my arm. It was quite hard to stick together with everyone and then find them, so Marianne and I walked home.