EM­BARK­ING ON RIDES OF A DIF­FER­ENT KIND

DNA (Delhi) - - Travel -

We start the day with a visit to the man­groves of Salak Kok fish­ing vil­lage. Lo­cated on the east side of Koh Chang, the Salak Kok Bay, where the vil­lage re­sides, has the largest man­grove for­est on Koh Chang and is a source of eco-tourism.

Our next stop is Ban Kwan Chang Ele­phant camp. It’s sup­ported by the Asian Ele­phant Foun­da­tion, whose main en­deav­our is to main­tain the Asian pachy­derm pop­u­la­tion that has dwin­dled in Thai­land in re­cent years. We em­bark on an ele­phant trek and it’s a won­der to see the pachy­derm from such close quar­ters. Our ma­hout tells us that we need to feed our tusker some bananas be­fore em­bark­ing on the trek and keep feed­ing it at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals, so that its en­ergy is re­fu­elled.

Af­ter a bumpy 30-minute ride, we grab a quick lunch and then head to Tree Top Ad­ven­ture, for zip line. Let me con­fess, I’m not the ad­ven­tur­ous kind. I dread the thought of do­ing any kind of ac­tiv­ity that would re­quire me to do grav­ity-de­fy­ing stunts. So, af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­struc­tions from the trainer, I at­tempt it but per­form it dis­mally. Thank­fully, I’m not alone.

Soon, it’s time for din­ner and my com­pan­ions and I make our way to­wards the highly-rec­om­mended Phu-Talay restau­rant. A small eatery lo­cated in Klong Prao, an is­land in Koh Chang, it is famed

not only for its food but also for its lo­ca­tion. Si­t­u­ated right on a canal, with the sea to the right, and moun­tains to the left, it of­fers a boat tour among man­groves. The in­te­ri­ors are painted in white and bright blue, which lend it a chirpy feel. We tuck into an elab­o­rate spread of Thai fish fil­lets, Prawns in co­conut milk (which is quite sim­i­lar to the Ben­gali fa­mous recipe of Chin­gri Macher Malai Curry), Steamed fish and Minced chicken stir fried with basil and chill­ies.

Af­ter the scrump­tious din­ner, as we head back to the ho­tel, re­al­i­sa­tion dawns on us that our trip in Koh Chang is over. The next morn­ing, as I board the ferry back to head back to Trat Sir­port, the sun rises above the hori­zon and slowly the sky turns from a dark, dusky om­bre to a bright or­ange. Mo­ments from the trip flash be­fore my eyes as I bid adieu to Koh Chang with a heavy heart but a smile on my face. rinky.ku­mar@dnain­dia.net

Phu-Talay restau­rant

Steamed fish

Thai fish fil­lets

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