Through my eyes: Elephants & lanterns in Koh Samui, Thailand

I really love Thailand, for so many reasons I’ll never be able to list. It’s the different way of life, the alternate beliefs, the relaxed approach to everything, the street food and market culture, the smiles… it’s so foreign, but it feels so familiar each time I go back.

Two favourite memories from one particular trip, to Koh Samui, were the ones below. Firstly, the sky lanterns you can release on the beach at night. The idea is that you write your wish onto your lantern, light a candle to help fuel it’s flight, and let it go into the night sky. Releasing your lantern signifies the release of your trials and tribulations, your hurts and worries, and hopefully the start of something new and great for you. Yeah, it’s pretty touristy, but I have to tell you, it felt really great letting my lantern fly (the cocktails I’d consumed earlier may have helped..)!

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

 

My other favourite experience is the elephant trekking. I’ve visited Thailand three times now and have done an elephant trekking trip each time, and will most likely do it again next time I go. They are the most beautiful, gentle creatures, with such sweet and patient dispositions, especially towards their masters, or mahouts. The bottom photo is one of my absolute all time favourite travel photos, just because it brings back not only a lot of great memories, but a ton of emotions too. If you’ve never tried it, I’d highly recommend it, particularly in Phuket, where I believe they really look after their animals. There’s something indescribably uplifting about sitting high up on the back of an elephant, while it steadily pads through the jungle and mountains, seeing everything from a completely new angle. Fresh, cool breeze against your skin, the sun shining on your face, the most stunning array of greenery all around you, as far as you can see, and all the while the surprisingly quiet sounds of the gentle padding of your elephant’s feet against the earth. Just wow.

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

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