Thailand - What was I Thinking?


We make lots of decisions every day.   Some good and some bad.   This photo, taken during my trip to Thailand in January, 2012, is a great example of "What was I Thinking?"

Steve Hunsicker at the Saivok Elephant Park in Sai Yok, Thailand

Yes, that is a real elephant and no, there is no Photoshop happening here.   I was laying on the ground and let an elephant put its leg on me.   At the time, it seems liked fun.   And everything worked out as planned, but in hindsight, it was a very stupid decision.  (There is a video of my stupidity linked below where I am "molested" by both the elephant and his handler.)

First, and this is a good thing, the Saivok Elephant Park, where this was taken, no longer exists.  At the time of my visit, tourists came for elephant rides and shows. (We did both.)    Now, the park is called "Elephant Haven" and instead of exploiting the elephants, they work to protect the animals.

And second, it is probably not a great idea to ever subject yourself to a wild animal.  Most of the time there are no consequences, but I wouldn't do it again.  

I was happy to learn that the focus of the park has changed.  And one bit of trivia, the river Kwai, made famous in the movie "The Bridge over the River Kwai," runs through the haven.   The movie, which won 7 Academy Awards, wasn't actually filmed in Thailand.  


During my visit to Bangkok, I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, one of most luxurious places I've ever stayed.  The waterfront room even included our own personal butler.  I've linked below a short video clip from the dinner show at the hotel.

Dates of Travel

  • January, 2012

Places Visited

  • Bangkok




This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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