Day 9 – February 9, 2014
Bangkok Centre Hotel
At the beginning of the week I wasn’t sure how I was going to last being surrounded by so many elephants in such poor conditions, but now that our time here has come to an end I’m not ready to leave. There’s still so much work to be done, work that will take years, not weeks and it doesn’t feel quite so hopeless anymore. I can see all the work that the Project is doing, the progress they’ve made, the minds they’ve changed, but it’s an uphill battle that needs constant work and tending. The two volunteers we worked with this week, Wills and Kirsty, are tireless in their efforts and I applaud them for all they’ve done and continue to do. If you have any interest in elephants, animal rights, voluntourism or Thailand I highly recommend coming to the Project and spending a week or more to really try and make a difference in the lives of the elephants and the people in this area. They always need volunteers and they’d be more than happy to have you.
Our truck took us from the Project to the bus station this morning and we started our long trek back to the mega-city of Bangkok. I know I’m going to miss seeing the elephants every day and listening to them at night, but with plans to return I know it won’t be too long before I see them again.
When we got to Bangkok we checked into our super fancy hotel for the next two nights, the Bangkok Centre Hotel. By normal standards it’s just a regular hotel, but after a week with a bucket shower it feels like we’ve landed in the lap of luxury. After checking in we headed to the Siam Centre and the Siam Paragon, one of the fanciest malls in Bangkok, think Armani, Hermes, etc…
On the way we passed through one of the major protest sites. There was a stage with lights and speakers, huge tents and vendors lining the road. It was as peaceful a protest as you can get and many tourists were mingling in the crowd. It’s amazing how many worlds away Bangkok is to the small elephant village we left this morning.
To learn more about the Surin Elephant Project please. visit their website.