On the ferry, you can see a piece of land that looks like the form of a giant elephant. That’s why Koh Chang was named by the sailors as ‘the Elephant Island’. In Thai ‘Koh’ means island and ‘Chang’ is the definition of the elephant. As a traveler, I was lucky to meet the big elephant on the island.
Stranded on the island in the middle of the sea I start my expedition to find the Big animal. I put my hiking shoes on and the adventure starts when I struggle on the road to not get hit by a car or a scooter. Every year many tourists die in Koh Chang because of traffic accidents. So not the monkeys and insect are dangerous but the hills.
The sweat drips from my face and my legs are burning. I climb another hill and the road goes more downhill. I feel my legs relaxing, because of the different hiking position. ”There it is!” I spot a small village where I can refill my supplies. The local people greet me with ”Sawadee Krap”. There is no time for Thai massage so I continue my way. After passing the village I spot the Elephant Sign. ”That means I’m close!”
I go further and see a grey color moving behind the trees. It’s a giant animal with sharp white tusks. It looks at me but can’t go closer because of the chain holding his big paw. The elephant moves with his trunk and grabs a big leave to hit his head a couple of times. After that, he eats the exotic leaves. Maybe he is trying to get rid of the dust or just insects from the leaves. I enter the Elephant Camp to get closer.
For 100 Baht you can buy a basket with bananas. I buy the elephant snack and give it to a big friend. The elephant uses his trunk to grab the banana. I’m surprised by the strength of the trunk that grabs quickly the banana from my hand. The other snacks follow and I see the other elephants also looking with jealousy at their lucky mate. So I also share some bananas with the rest of the family.
I put my basket back and a local man approaches me. He asks if I want a picture closer to the elephant. ”Of course, I want!” I follow him to the biggest elephant with the white tusks. ”Quick, quick!” the man says. You need to be careful because the elephant can get nervous. I come closer to the grey giant and make a quick picture. The animal looks calm, so I give it a try and touch the skin. It feels similar to snakeskin but thicker. I move quickly back because the elephant is moving his head with the sharp tusks. ”Be careful!”, says the man. I thank the local Thai with ”Kop Khun Krap” and leave the smell of elephant poop behind me. However, I could maybe bring some with me to use as a mosquito repellant!
Do you know some unexpected uses for elephant dung?