Forest? What Forest?! Whoops – Somebody Took It While We Weren’t Looking…

Yeah well, I tried eating people, but it just didn't agree with my digestive system...

Yeah well, I tried eating people, but it just didn’t agree with my digestive system…

Most of us humans have at least a small fascination with elephants. And most of us know that forest-dwelling elephants need forests. I bet what a lot of people don’t know is that forests need elephants.

Due to their Inefficient Digestive Systems (IDS) *TM, elephants only digest around 40-something percent of what they eat. The rest gets dumped out the opposite ends of their bodies, if you get my gist. Having personally dealt with this end product, so to speak, I can attest to the fact that the matter that they have put into their chewing ends comes out darned near as fresh as when it went in. In other words, seeds from the plants they have eaten remain pretty much intact and are deposited wherever the elephants go, in nice tidy fertilized packages, ready to grow again. Continue reading

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A Journey with 4 Legs – Short Film

Hi all. Hope your day is going really well. 🙂

Here’s a really nice short film on Elephant Nature Park and the other projects Lek Chailert has put into place in South East Asia. Take a look – it’s very inspiring.

A Journey with 4 Legs (Save Elephant Foundation)

One of the beautiful eles at Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

One of the beautiful eles at Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Tokay Gecko in the Kitchen and the Two-Headed Cambodian Taxi Driver

2HeadedTaxiDriverCambodia 72In the evening after my last email, I got a lesson on making Cambodian fried rice in the kitchen out the back, from one of the lads – ‘Destiny’ he calls himself. Not long after we started cooking, a Tokay gecko started up. Much to my frustration, I couldn’t find him to photograph him. He sounded like a big one too. So noisy yet so hard to find. As I was taking my generous pile of fried rice up to our room, the manager walked by. ‘Goodnight’ I said. ‘I am drunk – goodnight.’ said he. He’d been at a wedding all day…

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Cambodia – Points of Interest

A great way to travel...

A great way to travel…

There are many stalls along the side of the road into Siem Reap with piles of crickets. Snack anyone?
 
Many people are happy to eat dog here but some are fussy about eating cat. Go figure.
 
The roads are very potholed and full and puddles and hard to walk down. There are some footpaths but often there are cars parked all over them.

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Fat Frogs and the Temple of Doom

The Side Walk Never Die Hotel is rather a nice place.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

It’s about 3 stories high with lots of columns and plants, is painted a sort of pinkish-strongish-marone colour and has a fantastic ornate teak ceiling on the inside of the lobby. It’s very spacious with lots of glass, the rooms are big and pleasant and the staff are really friendly. A nice oasis from the water-laden, pothole-strewn mess outside.

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Border Rip-Offs and the Side Walk Never Die Hotel

Office Tree, Cambodian BorderWe arose at a disgusting hour to go and stand outside the Khao San Police Station to await our minivan to Cambodia. It arrived and we climbed in, only to be kicked back out because we were apparently on the wrong one. So we waited some more. Twenty past seven went by,as did several drunken stragglers from the night before who obviously don’t contain an off switch, and our 7a.m. van still didn’t arrive. Continue reading

Streamlined Chickens and the Tarantula Larder

Available for a reasonable price at Chiang Mai airport.

Available for a reasonable price at Chiang Mai airport.

Continuing from the last post, we moved across Old Chiang Mai to Chieu’s guesthouse in a very nice ute that his boss had lent him. After bumping around the place in tuk-tuks, we felt akin to royalty with the air conditioning of full blast and tinted windows to gaze out of. The ‘Tip Guesthouse’ is right next to a Wat, which was fairly quiet as there was construction of a new building going on in its grounds, so we didn’t hear early morning chanting or the crowing of competing roosters who can’t tell the time to save themselves. The chickens in Asia look rather different to ours – sort of streamlined models up on stilts, probably so designed as to keep out of the way of snakes. They make ours look like contenders for the Weight Watchers programme.

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