Wednesday, 19 June: We got a ferry/ bus/ taxi from Ko Pha Ngan to Patong Beach on Phuket island. Needless to say, it was a long day of travel (0830 to 1700). Our hostel was in a unique area almost exclusively locals, but only about a 20 minute walk into town and to the beach. While Ryan relaxed, I took a short walk around town.

Thursday, 20 June: After another morning walk, we visited Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and it was nothing short of magical. These elephants are rescued from a less fortunate life, such as the circus or elephant-riding tourist attractions, and brought to this sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace. We had a short briefing about the elephants and how to behave around them before we prepared the food and fed them. We also learned how to preform a routine check-up and make poo poo paper. I’m pretty sure I embarrassed Ryan and ticked off the other guests by volunteering to do everything and knowing all the questions the staff asked the audience about elephants.

Then, we gave them (and ourselves) a mud bath by covering them in mud and splashing it off. We all went for a swim in the pond to wash off, the elephants getting a special scrub. I think they enjoyed it as they all laid down in the water while we were hard at work.

Finally, the humans had a proper shower and Thai lunch before it was time to say good-bye. It was such a great experience spending the day with these endangered animals helping them live their most comfortable lives after years of trauma. I can’t recommend Elephant Jungle Sanctuary enough, with their multiple locations around Thailand! (Their own photographers made the trip that much more memorable).

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That night, we took a walk into town before it started chucking down rain and Ryan didn’t want any part of that. I continued on into the heart of Patong Beach, which is like a mini-Bangkok with all its clubs all assaulting you with different Post Malone songs, hopeful promoters lining the streets and range of cuisine. The best part was the lovely sunset.

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From the 21 to the 23 we were on our scuba LiveAboard trip in the Phi Phi Islands, which you can read about in a post here. After our third dive on the 23, we were transferred to our new hostel in Kata Beach and crashed.

Monday, 24 June: We had a very relaxing last day in Kata Beach, lounging in the shade, watching Netflix and reading.

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We left for Phuket airport at about 2100 for our 0040 flight home via Beijing. It was a long day (even longer for Ryan who had to catch another flight back to Arizona) but I’m glad to be home.

People are sometimes surprised when I say that I probably wouldn’t want to travel for months on end, much less for more than a few weeks. The main reason is that so I can really process all I’ve done and seen and compare it to what I grew up with and understand how it effects my worldview.

Plus, I’d miss my dog too much.

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