The Irwin’s have been a little lazy with blog lately (except maybe Mom), but I’m excited to tell you about our latest adventure to Asia!
We visited Thailand and Singapore, where we had a terrific time. It was particularly cool to catch up with one of our Au-Pairs from when I was little, Meow, and to meet her family. But there are three main new experiences on this trip that I want to tell you about:
- Trying new (spicy) food,
- Riding an elephant,
When Mom and Dad were telling us about our upcoming trip, Dad had mentioned that the food would be a little spicy and that I was going to “get my spice on”, but I wasn’t really sure what he meant by that. Now, of course I had tried a few spicy Mexican dishes before, but those were nothing compared to what I ate in Thailand.
My first encounter with a spicy dish was during lunch with Meow, her husband Matt, their baby boy Fenix. What I ate was called green curry chicken, and it was pretty spicy. The only thing that sucks about Thai food is that it’s so freaking good, but it burns; and you can’t drink heaps of water because it comes in a plastic bottle most of the time, which is bad for the environment.
That lunch I only had a couple of bites, because I wasn’t used to the spice.The second time I “got my spice on” was at dinner with Meow’s family, who were really nice but only spoke Thai. We were at a serious Thai restaurant, so the food was super good. But like I said, when it comes to Thai food, good generally means spicy. The spiciest dish was red curry chicken. Apparently the restaurant had made the food not too spicy, but even Meow agreed that it was spicier than normal (or maybe she was just trying to make us feel brave.) Either way Dad, Meow and I kept eating because it was delicious. But by the time we left, Dad and I were sweating as if we’d just run a mile.
Riding an elephant was something I had never thought I would do, but hey, never say never!
The place with the elephants was in a city called Ayutthaya (pronounced A-yu-taya), which without Google I couldn’t spell even if my life depended on it 🙂
When we got to the place and walked to the front gate, we were immediately greeted by a man and his friend, an enormous elephant! The man gestured for us to come over and sit on the elephant’s lap and also let it give us a hug, which we thought was bananas! But we did it anyway, and I’m still not sure whether is was cool or terrifying, or maybe both. When the elephant hugged us, it was in fact grabbing us with its trunk; it was crazy to be so overpowered by an animal that huge.
A bit further we saw a row of elephants being hand-fed by people! We got to feed them too, and when the elephant grabs the food with its trunk, it sends shivers down your back, because it is so quick and aggressive.
Then it was time for us to ride the elephants. All of the elephants had a little seat on their back that we sat on and our elephant-driving chauffeur took us on our way.
At first it’s kind of intimidating, but after a couple of minutes you get used to the repetitive bumping up and down. I found it surprising that we weren’t just walking in an enclosed area like a petting zoo; we were on the side of the road!
The guys driving the elephants were so relaxed that our guy even picked up his phone and started talking to someone while we were on our ride.
The third thing that I wanted to tell you about is the scuba trip I took with my dad!
Originally, we were not planning on going scuba-diving, because we didn’t know that the hotel offered it. What was so cool about it was that we didn’t have to take a week long exam to get certified. We just had to take an hour long class in a pool on the safety precautions, and then we were good to go. (Mom thought this was a bit sketchy because she was already nervous, but I was too excited to care)!
Once we arrived at Phi Phil Island and got in the water, I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous because the water was deep, and I could practically hear the Jaws music in my head. But once we go to where there was coral, it wasn’t scary.
We went up to 12 meters deep (35+ feet) and saw some amazing creatures. Some of the fish we saw included Black Tip Reef Sharks, Hawksbill Sea Turtles, Moray Eels, a lionfish, and SO many beautiful fish! We got to do two dives that day, and they were mind-blowing because I had always known about the sea animals, but I’d never swam with them!
After our 10 days in Thailand, we flew over to Singapore where we met our second cousins, the Acquavellas (Michael, Aniza, and their kids, Adam, Anna, and Ava.) They were really nice, and Singapore is such a wonderful city because it is completely eco-friendly, super clean, and very modern. We even got to go to the Universal Studios of Singapore!
Now we’re back in Gizzy, and are starting to wrap things up and get the house ready for the next lucky people to experience Gisborne, New Zealand.