He tells us that this elephant is only a youngster at a mere 30 years old
The route to the elephant sanctuary passes through Kanchanaburi where the Bridge on the River Kwai is supposed to be located. The Bridge is is not the one constructed during World War II because that was destroyed by allied air raids but the arches are original and stand as a memorial to all those who died building the infamous Burma Railway. Many Australians were among the prisoners of war forced to work on it by the Japanese and around 16,000 of them are buried in the lovingly maintained cemetery nearby.
After a bumpy one hour ride on the railway you arrive at the Tiger Temple where another encounter with nature awaits. Here there are definite plans in the pipeline to create an island sanctuary for the tigers - many of them orphaned by poachers -which more nearly resembles their natural habitat and will allow young cubs to be rehabilitated into the wild. Meanwhile these photo opportunities serve the same function as those at the elephant park. To raise money for the care of the animals and to build better facilities. There are plenty of other creatures roaming freely here - wild horses, goats, humped backed cattle, razor back pigs, assorted roosters and peacocks and tiny curious deer.
Then it's back to noisy, bustling boisterous Bangkok for the last bus to the airport. At least I've learnt a few things since I came two days ago. This time the thirty Km trip is only costing a quarter of what I paid and about ten times less than I was quoted when I first arrived. I also accidently hired out a whole longtailed boat all to myself, due to a slight misunderstanding with my Tuk Tuk driver, but it was a great way to to see a bit of the town with its superb temples (wats) alongside tiny stilt houses which appear to be only just floating on the river. Next time I will take a guided tour, although all in all I didn't do too badly. Best value was the full Thai massage (70 minutes) for around $AUD 10
Masseuse Won and her children in Bangkok