Rourke's Asia Trip 2012 travel blog

Endless beautiful beaches, cloudless blue sky and 5 star treatment at Aleenta Resort gave way to a 2 hour drive north to a National Park and the Elephant Hills Resort.

Another change of pace for us. Right in the middle of a jungle rain forest but neat clean and accommodation quite luxurious. Tents with all the amenities. Staff amazing

We were somewhat disappointed in the 'elephant experience'. Had thought it would be much longer (important to read the small print) but nonetheless did get to prepare food (enormous quantities) and to wash them. Sad in that they were chained when not being used by their Mahouts but at least not too demanding on them.

We were impressed at how strong they were yet so gentle, giving kisses to anyone who sought a smack.

Other activities included at trek in the rain forest which was pretty draining but interesting. The cave full of agitated Thai bats was exciting for a few minutes.

Note to Readers: If one wishes to kayak - stay in Canada, it is far better!

Good fun at the floating tents on a lake in the rain forest but headed back to decadence after 3 days.

Aleenta Resort is clearly 5+ stars. Simple yet elegant with outstanding staff. French Chef who's spouse is HR Manager for this and the 2 other resorts owned by the same couple.

Serious money over here. Beach front property is out of sight. Three or four villas down the beach is a $35mm pad owned by a Russian mogul and there are plans afoot to build other private villas plus a major hotel/marina etc. Big Thai and Chinese money.

Witnessed a big wedding. Hong Kong family, no expenses barred. They took most of the space at Aleenta plus a private villa and an adjacent resort.

Our days here are a 'beach holiday in paradise" It is now Sunday 4pm and we pull out in 48 hours.

It seems we have been gone a very long time but we have seen some amazing things and places.

Will stop now as the glare off the sea is beginning to hurt my eyes - hear the temperature in Montreal is terrific!

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