Day 2 in Thailand was a big day for us. While island hopping was Brennan's favorite, I think this day would definitely be my top day. It was a little iffy here and there but it really all turned out for the best. When I was looking into elephant trekking in Krabi there looked to be two options, Nosey Parker Elephant camp and Huay Tho Waterfall Safari. From the reviews I found it seemed like the latter would be a better choice both for their treatment of the elephants and for the actual "trekiness" of the trekking. So we booked through them and decided to go with a full day tour. True to my nature I felt unsure if that was the right choice as the day began but I am so so glad we did it. I think it was totally worth it. We were the only ones to book the full day tour which meant we had to pay half a child fee for Tatum, who normally would have been free, but still completely worth it.
We were picked up at our hotel in a real (and very nice) car this time. Later on in the day when we were so hot it was so nice to be in a car and have some AC. Turns out our guide (who is not the main guide, he was busy with the half day groups) didn't really speak much English. I think he spoke more than he understood though. He literally said nothing more than hello to us and then drove us to the river and had us get on a boat. We had no idea what was going on. In the itinerary we were sent the longtail boat tour through the mangroves was supposed to be in the afternoon. We spent much of the day a little confused, never knowing what was coming next or how much time we had at any given place. That is really my only complaint about the whole experience.
So we started with a tour through the mangroves.
The next stop was the Tiger Temple cave. This was a big factor in our deciding to book the full day tour. We wanted to do this anyway and seemed like we might as well do it while we already had a driver.
Apparently the villagers used to hear a tiger roar from up in these caves. Then a Buddhist monk came and made a temple here and while the tiger has never been seen and hasn't been heard since the Buddhist monk came, that's how it got its name.
As you can see I started with Declan strapped to me. That didn't last terribly long. Maybe two or three hundred steps. It was SO HOT! And some of the steps were at least a foot tall. Others were very shallow. It just really wasn't ideal. Especially for a family with two young kids. What were we thinking? haha. We got several comments on the way up from people making their way back down about both our bravery and our craziness. Probably more crazy than brave. :)
Our new guide was nice enough to go out with Brennan and Tatum and even snapped some photos for us on his phone.
We were SO WET! We pretty much look like drowned rats in the pictures from the rest of the day. But it was totally worth it. Memories of a lifetime.
Of course, it stopped raining as soon as we hiked back out. It seemed like the worst luck but ended up being the best. If it was going to rain during any of the day's activities the waterfall was probably the best option. Plus it cooled things off for the elephant trek so the air was pleasant and bug free for our ride.
Finally it was time for the elephant trek, what Tatum (and really all of us) had been waiting for all day.