I traveled to Thailand when I was 14 years old with a teen travel organisation called Rustic Pathways. There, in the city of Chang Mai, we had the privilege to stay on an elephant conservation camp and take care of Asian elephants. Every morning we would wake up at 6am, put on our mahout suits (a special elephant riding suit created so that the elephant hairs don’t irritate human skin), and hike up a mountain to our elephants.My elephants name was Big Mama because she was the mother of most other elephants. I would then ride Big Mama down the mountain with others in the group on their individual elephants. We then approached a lake where we would give them baths and wash them clean of dirt.
whenever I dropped my flip flop, Big Mama would use her long trunk to pick it up from the ground and give it back to me. The trick amazed me every time, the elephant were truly more obedient and smart then most household pets. After bathing the elephants we would feed them long grass for lunch.
During the day, our group leader would take us on trips to different markets and temples.
this temple was called the dragon temple. You must remove your shoes before entering as a sign of respect to the gods. You most also never point your bare feet in the direction of the shrine, because it is considered extremely disrespectful.
One day we went on a trip to a local mall. The difference between the mall in my home town and a traditional Thai mall, was drastic. There were all types of different foods in the food court, but the fresh pad Thai caught my eye. I have a special Thai place I always ordered from in my home town of Newton Massachusetts called coconut cafe. I wondered if the real pad Thai straight out of Thailand tasted anything like the one that I was used to back home. I ordered prawn Pad Thai and sat down with my friends to try it. The flavour was unreal. Although the prawns were very strong, it didn’t take away from the actual pad Thai. For foodcourt food I thought it was phenomenal.
After returning to Newton and ordering from my usual place, Coconut cafe, it was incredible how flavourless the pad Thai tasted in comparison to the real authentic thing. It took me a few weeks to get used to the American style Pad Thai again.
If you want some really good American Thai food near Boston check out: http://www.coconut-cafe.com/
And if you’re 14-18 years old and looking for a program you will never forget check out: