The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Phuket trip: Multi-adventure Safari Tour

The title of this tour we did during our Phuket trip makes us sound like daredevils (which we are), but travelling with a 3-year-old toddler has its limitations. I'd booked the tour through these guys, who assured me that it was suitable for our son to participate in (and he got in free-of-charge because he is under 4). There were a lot of activities packed into this half-day tour at the picturesque Island Safari location, and elephant trekking, a boat trip down Moo Dong River and watching a Thai cooking demonstration were just some of what we did. The following photos (from both the dSLR and the point-and-shoot) show what we got up to that morning.

The first activity - ox cart riding:

The tour site had some rice paddy fields and abundant of green scenery:

After dismounting the ox cart, we walked through an orchid garden and saw some unusual exotic flowers such as this one that resembles the West Australian native kangaroo paw:

Then we were treated to a "fish spa" treatment - I could not stop laughing because the fish-nibbling was very ticklish. The boy literally jumped out of the water at the first fish nibble and refused to go back in:

We saw many monarch butterflies all around the site:

Elephant trekking - the highlight! We could buy bags of bananas to feed our elephants, and we fed our elephant two bags full of bananas in small gratitude for allowing us to sit on her:

Enjoyed beautiful scenery during our elephant trekking:

We also saw two young elephants who performed various acts for the audience. I felt bad for exploiting them so I bought a bag of bananas for them:

We then hopped into an offroad 4x4 and headed for Moo Dong River where we could either canoe down the river on our own, or sit in the relative safety of a long-tail (no prizes for guessing which one we opted for). Mangroves and monkeys to see:

We headed back to camp and watched a cooking demonstration on how to prepare som tam (the famous Thai papaya salad). Apparently the chef used to work at a 5-star hotel restaurant:

Crunchy and crisp with the right combination of sour, spicy, salty and sweet. It was so delicious that we went back for seconds:

We were shown the traditional method of farming rice, and there were specimens of the rice plant in its various stages of growth:

We watched this guy pound the rice grains in the large pestle and mortar, and then proceeded to winnow the grains from the husks:

There was a Muay Thai demo, and I learned about the dance ritual that takes place before a match to show the fighter's respect and gratitude to his trainer:

Rubber trees are a valuable resource in Thailand, and we were shown how rubber is tapped from the tree and how it's processed:

It was a long morning, and I was glad when it was finally time for lunch. The dishes were typically Thai, including som tam, Thai-style fried chicken with sticky rice, cashew chicken, and son-in-law eggsgreen curry. The tour operators were informed of the boy's allergies and he was given a special bowl of cashew chicken without the cashews:

We had loads of fun, and this tour was a great way to do and see many Thai cultural activities and eat Thai food. The following day we were also up bright and early for a day trip out to the beautiful Phi Phi Islands where we swam with the fish.


  1. Looks like you had a lot of fun there ;-)

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Anazar. It was heaps of fun, but tiring too :)

  3. We are planning to visit Phuket in mid-April
    Thank you for posting.
    I've been looking at some of the posts on this website to get an idea about travel in Phuket for my next vacation.

  4. I can see you really had a great adventure. It urges me to experience such trip in Phuket. I haven't been there yet.