"Ban Kwan Chai Camp."

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
Trip End Jun 22, 2008

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, November 29, 2007

A 2 hour car ride though the town of Trat and to the pier at Laem Ngop then we took a boat ride to the large island of Ko Chang.  About 20 years ago  this is where "hippies" (for those of you that remember the word) camped out in some of the best untamed forest in the Southeast Asia coast.  Now the world has caught up with it, the Thai Government's new plan for the island --the backpackers are out and the luxury tourists are in.
Most of the hotels are on the western side of the island and therefore you get great sunset as you can see in our pictures.  Our hotel sits right by the beach with the pool looking out over the ocean.  Ko Chang seems to be a major stop for German families on holiday.  Our hotel had a book exchange and their were about 100 German books for each English.
Lunch and dinner is served by the ocean where we found a small bar that made some of the best Thai food we have had so far.  You sit with your chairs and table on the beach as the tide comes in slowly under your location.
This morning we went on our first elephant jungle trek, with truck stopped to pick us up at 8:40 for are drive to the "Ban Kwan Chai Camp." Ban Kwan Chang in Thai means--Home of the Elephants Keeper.  It is located in the northern jungle of Ko Chang called Klongson Village.  The project is in combination with the Asian Elephant Foundation.  Not so long ago elephants were used to transport produce from village to village and food along the way was abundant for them to eat. Cars and trucks with their roads have put them "out of work" and therefore they are in jeopardy.  Places like Ban Kwan Chang provide the elephants with the best life under today's environment. From what we could see they were taken care of very well.
We went for about a 1 hour trek on an elephant (named Shirley) though the jungle lead by her mahout (keeper). We rode on both a chair and on her back/head.  I would say you are about 12 feet or more up off the ground. After the trek we went over to a river pool and went right in with "Shirley" and give her a bath!  This was an experience to remember bathing a 9 ton animal. As you can see from the pictures we both had a great time.
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