well we headed back from Cambodia on Friday - we decided against flying as it was very expensive so we got a taxi to the border instead of the bus - i think we got Cambodia's only rallying taxi driver - he drove us there at 90 mph i have never been so scared in my life!!! as there are no road markings and the road is a dirt track we were skidding all over the place and we nearly hit someone on a scooter and then nearly ran a cow over!! it was hairy to say the least!! we then had to cross the border with the kids begging again and we then had 3 hours to kill until our bus came to pick us up!!! we got talking to a local Cambodian guy that was working for another bus company and he spoke English but we were having a laugh with him teaching him new words and phrases it was fun!! we then had another night on Ko San road and we just went for some nice tea and drinks and chilled out!!
on Saturday we went to MBK which is a big shopping centre in Bangkok its huge!! we all went a bit mad as over here is the place to be for the genuine fakes!! we are all Gucci'd up to the max - and not travelling light any more - i think we are the only backpackers with our backpacks and then more carrier bags than Victoria Beckham on top of that!! ha ha ha so we are sending some things home later today to lighten the load a bit! we then jumped in a taxi to Pook and Pauls house - we were driving for about an hour and we had to keep calling them for them to direct the driver as we didnt have a clue and we were driving through this town and we turned a corner and then all of a sudden there was this huge white mansion - yes that is their house!!! we couldnt believe it!!
they have a huge house its all open plan and we have two rooms between us both with four poster beds and a huge en suite bathroom!! and a balcony the size of guiseley!! its mental we felt like royalty - they have 2 maids too!! we dont have to do anything its so weird - they bring you drinks and do your washing and cook for us we have been eating like kings!! fresh fruit and croissants and pastries for breakfast etc and proper thai noodles and salads for tea!! its mad!! They have 8 dogs here and one has had three puppies - they are only 3 weeks old - u can imagine how we are fussing over them!!
yesterday was the maddest day ever!! Pook's sister is married to very rich and wealthy solicitor - he is solicitor to the king out here!! and everyone loves the king - you cannot even point at his pictures as it is considered rude!! we drove to his house yesterday - oh my god - we thought this house was big - his house is worth about 10 million!! we met him - he is American his house is amazing!! he has built a custom made rainforest in his garden - he also has a big pond and a garden in the middle of the house where the stairs are - we will be posting some pics on the blog - u wont believe it - we were quite priviliged to be in his house!! he has lived out here for years - and part of what he likes to do with his money is invest in a local elephant sanctuary - he has his own elephant there and so does his wife too - but he is a big investor and he also represents them legally so he took us up there!
we drove up to the elephant sanctuary - it was out of this world - please look at the pics!! we saw mums and babys bathing together - and each elephant has whats called a Mahoot - which is like his trainer - mahoots are given elephants at 4 or 5 years old and they grow up together - they sit on their heads with their feet behind their ears and this is how they control them!! they even bend down for the mahoots to help them get on their backs!! we saw them being fed and watered and we were shown round everywhere.David's elephant was rescued by him as he was found chained up ad very neglected and overworked - elephants are very placid animals but he was explaining that if they are provoked for so long they can turn - and this elephant barged four people and killed them.The people that had him were going to kill him ad David heard about it and paid about 4 thousand pounds to rescue him and bring him to the sanctuary - his tusks are all twisted and crossed - apparantly this is the first one they have seen like this for about 400 years!! they brought him to us and we fed him box after box of raisins - you hold your had out and he puts his trunk to your had and you put them in - its like a vacuum and he sucks then up and puts them into his mouth!! it was so cool!!!
We then watched them being prepared for a show which they were doing in a town called Ayuthia just up the road from the sanctuary on the night time in a big outdoor theatre - the show was a big show to depict the war between the Thai and the Burmese hundreds of years ago. we watched them be prepared - some of them were painted white as the Kings elephants were white!!
Back in the car and we drove to the show where there were lots of stalls selling local food served on banana leaves - u swapped money at the entrance for different coloured stones - as this is how they used to pay for food in the olden days - we wandered round and watched some traditional combat fighting there were sparks flying everywhere as they were fighting with swords!! we even tried the local Thai whiskey - oh my god - that is strong!! We were treated like VIPs the whole day as we were with David - David took us to one end of the ground as we were amazed as he had got them to bring two elephants over early for us to ride - no one else was allowed to ride them!! We got on two elephants - two on each and they took us round the whole fair - people were waving and taking pictures of us!! It was amazing!! Nylie will feel very small now when I get back - it was the experience of a lifetime - they really looked after us!
we then went to watch the show - we had the best seats in the house - the show was amazing!! its fantastic what the elephants can do and how well they are trained - they were depicting combat scenes from the war - the elephants were pretending to fight without hurting one another - it was cool! and the baby elephants do handstands and rear up on command and they had hula hoops on their trunks which they were whirling round!! In the theatre there was a river running through the middle of it - and in the war scenes the elephants were pushing people into the water and picking things up and throwing them around the theatre!! Alot of them were ridden by small children as young as 3 or 4!! We then met Poo's (Davids wife) elephant - she is only 5 years old and she was in the show and they brought her over to us afterwards - she was playing and jumping around and making noises at us and then they cooled her down with some water from the river as they were doing another show after the one we had watched!!
We then headed back to Paul and Puk's where we got an earlyish night after an action packed day!!
We are as I am writing this sat in the garden - we are all having massages one at a time from a lady that comes to the house once a week and gives u a Thai massage in the garden think I am up next!!
We are catching a train tomorrow night that we will be on for about 12 hours that will take us down south and then getting a boat over to Ko Samui. We have realised that we will be over staying our visa if we dont fly to Cairns till the 15th of jan so we are trying to bring our flight forward to the 6th - i will let you know how this goes! I hope this fills u all in on our adventure so far - we will be in touch once we have found our bearings in the islands!!