The Mountain, Part II

The ride up the mountain the next morning was quite a bit different than the night before.  Sure, there were the same noxious fumes, and the price somehow increased from 300 to 400 baht on the way, but in the daylight we could see the scenery.  What incredible scenery! Valleys of lush greenery, homes that ranged from shacks on stilts to modern mansions (I’m not sure which I like better), all manner of vegetation…

We’re staying here?!?!  Sweeet!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we got to the resort, Suan Bua (check the website for more visuals). What a paradise!  Beautifully manicured grounds with pathways, canals, bridges, and gazebos overlooking the ponds and gardens.  I could definitely chill here for a few days!  The room was huge, with a nice king-sized bed.  When we checked in they told us there was a buffet breakfast included.  And all for 800 baht per night.  Not bad compared to the 950 we paid in Bangkok for a total shithole that didn’t even have internet, let alone a lavish breakfast buffet with French toast, pancakes, fresh-made omelettes, crispy bacon and a variety of home-baked breads.

Professor Fahrin

We spent the first part of the day meeting Alam’s students and strolling the grounds.  Such nice kids compared to home.  They’re polite, well-behaved, friendly, happy.  What a pleasure!  Fahrin gave a short lesson on Gandhi in Alam’s class which had the students’ undivided attention.  The kids all agreed that Fahrin should be a teacher (and I agree.  She did a really great job, especially on 5 minutes’ notice).  Then we hit the road.

Elephants, for real yo!

We took Alam’s scooter for a spin up the mountain where we saw…elephants.  For weeks I’ve been talking about elephants.  Whenever anyone would ask about our trip, about what I’m most excited about, my standard answer has been “seeing elephants.”  And there they were, right there by the side of the road.  Elephants.  Real, living, breathing elephants!!! Yesss!!

We stood there for a good half hour, just watching them, not talking (except for the occasional “we’re here in Thailand watching elephants!” just to emphasize that it was for real.)  Once it became apparent that we’d seen all there was to see, we got back on the bike and kept going up the mountain.  Not knowing how to drive standard made the ride more than a bit nerve-wracking and jerky.  One time the bike kicked back pretty hard and I thought I’d bucked Fahrin off the back.  Later she said she was fine the whole time.

Sorry, tiny lady!

Along the way we came to a little village and ran into a tiny, old and severely wrinkly lady who insisted we carry on in a certain direction.  I wish I spoke Thai because she was rambling on, but I couldn’t understand a thing.  But she was insistent alright.  So we continued in that direction for a ways but didn’t find anything noteworthy.  Not knowing how much gas it would take to get back, and getting tired, we turned back.  We passed the old lady again, and again she was insistent that we go in the other direction.  I felt bad to disappoint her, but I just shrugged my shoulders and carried on in the direction of our hotel.

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