2005, Asia, Thailand

Elephant & Buddha – Koh Samui (2005)

I saw an ad for elephant rides, so I figured, why not? Not exactly something I can do in most places.

Elephant & Me
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6

I remember finding the place was a troublesome. It was a bit far out, and the scooter cab driver wasn’t exactly certain either. But eventually he got me there. Remember, there was no google maps at this point. There wasn’t even an iPhone! But alas, the elephant ride itself wasn’t as interesting as I imagined it prior.

Path through the trees
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6

If I’m remembering correctly, there never were any elephants living natively in Samui. They were brought in for tourists like me. At the end they let me feed my elephant bananas, which he (or she?) was eager to eat. But as I fed him, he started crying. It was a really thought provoking moment. After seeing those tears, it was the first and last time I’ll be riding an elephant.

Another elephant in the distance
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6
My poor elephant
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6
I felt bad for this monkey too
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6

I stopped back by the beach for a couple hours after. This is what it looks like, though my pictures do minimal justice to how pretty the water really was (or at least, I remember it that way). One thing unique I do remember is how far out you could walk without it getting deep. It stayed shallow for well over a hundred meters.

Beach in Samui
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6

The beach was not crowded at all despite being in a backpacker section of the island with a lot of budget accommodations. I still remember meeting a Russian in the water (he was also alone) so I figured I’d make some small conversation.

Me: Where are you from?
Guy: “Soviet Union”. (He didn’t say “Russia”)
Me: Ah nice, I’m from the States
Guy: “I hate Americans”.

Me:  “Ah… my family is from Korea…”.

Anyways, the conversation didn’t last much longer, and soon I was out of the water and on my way to the Big Buddha. I didn’t make any new friends that day. Definitely didn’t on the beach 🙂  I don’t remember the man’s face, but his demeanor and blingy gold chain necklace…. Priceless memories!

Koh Samui’s Big Buddha
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6

So this was the first Buddha I’ve ever seen. Countless more to come later on this blog. For some reason, I feel like this was one of the happiest looking I have seen too. If you google image “big buddha samui”, you’ll notice now that he’s received some serious upgrades since 2005.

At the temple I also so a monk for the first time in my life.

First time meeting a monk
Canon 350D, EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6

2 thoughts on “Elephant & Buddha – Koh Samui (2005)”

    1. Ah!! thanks for asking. actually i’ve been debating it alot, whether to go full on chronological or jump around. but have decided to jump around, as its more enjoyable for me to post that way. i think once i get more posts though i’ll set up a page where posts are listed chronologically (travel-wise).


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