Thailand: Part 10 Make and Mend Day at Anantara

Monday, August 3, 2015

We had no alarm set. It was glorious. It was raining steadily outside so there was no incentive to get up. We all enjoyed the luxury mattresses and soft, cool sheets. We ate a late breakfast at the hotel. Anantara is also an elephant resort, and we strolled to breakfast behind their “baby” elephant, who was making his way from one paddock area to another. He is actually quite large now but still walks right through the grounds of the hotel. When we arrived yesterday, our concierge showed us the rub marks on the walls and archways. She says that in another few months, he will be too big to come through hotel and will have to go around the grounds on the outside. We had no plans except for a cooking class at 5:30 PM and so enjoyed a quiet day of reading and relaxing. It was awesome. We could have taken a shuttle into town, but we all felt lazy and didn’t want to get wet.

Our room has a three country view in the Golden Triangle area. The triangle is made by the border meeting of Thailand, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and Laos. The opium trade flourished here, and the various local currencies were not accepted in trade. Payments were made in gold, giving the area its name.

This is the view from our balcony. At our feet is Thailand, where the lodge is located. Directly across the mighty Mekong River directly is Myanmar (Burma). To the right (looking northeast) you can see the mountains of Laos. We spent a lot of time today on the balcony listening to the sounds of the rain, the tree frogs, the elephants. It was very relaxing. It has been raining hard, and there is a lot of flooding in the area. Our hotel is high on the hill so we can watch the rising water in the riverbottom in complete safety. It looks like a lot of water to us, but the locals just shrug their shoulders. I think this is pretty common for this time of year.

The baby elephant walks right through the hotel and down these steps every day. In a few months, he will be too big to go through and will have to go around.

There are two restaurants at the hotel: Thai and Italian. We were THai-ed out and so for lunch we had Italian. It made for a nice change of pace, although the Italians are not known for their low-carb lifestyles either. I’ll get back on the diet later.

We had a wonderful day at leisure. Greg read books. I blogged. Genene watched youtube and played games. We napped. It was nice to recharge our batteries.

At 5:30, we headed down to the cooking area to take a class from one of the chefs. It’s the first time I have done such a thing. I am not allowed to cook in our house, except for some baking. I am not very good at cooking, and I end up wrecking the kitchen. Greg loves it, and so I have abandoned our kitchen at home to him.

Genene loves watching the cooking show “Chopped” and enjoyed getting to make her own meal.

Tonight’s menu was chicken satay, green papaya salad, and shrimp pad thai. I could get used to this kind of cooking. The chef had all the ingredients pre-measured and in little bowls. As we prepared each course, the ingredients appeared magically. At home, we invariably start cooking, realize we have forgotten some key ingredient and end up rushing off the the store. The chef encouraged us to add spice to our liking, so Greg and I each tossed in a whole chili to give our dishes some Thai spice, not farang or falong (foreigner). There must be a lot of finicky white people vacationing throughout Thailand because most restaurants are afraid to make anything for us with spice.

Chicken satay and green papaya salad:

Shrimp pad thai:


We got to eat what we cooked, along with a bottle of nice red wine. We got great parting gifts too: an apron, cutting board, shopping bag and recipe book. I can’t wait for Greg to try some of them at home.

We wandered back upstairs and had drinks at the bar. One of the bartenders was a frustrated magician and showed Genene several tricks. She enjoys magic and she loves pranking and being pranked. She and the bartender giggled as they played together. A woman sat cross-legged on a day bed in the lobby nearby and played a yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer) softly.

This place is beautiful and romantic. I can imagine having a pampered honeymoon here. My friend Sara Anderson says that she wants an elephant experience but does not want to rough it as we did in the Thai Elephant Camp. I’m going to send her here. They have a very humane elephant program here, and people can get the same sort of mahout training and then go get a half-day spa treatment.

We walked around the beautiful grounds at night.

Even the towels are folded like elephants.
We enjoyed having a day at leisure as a family. Tomorrow we will be back to another hectic day of touring.


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