A few things I didn’t know about elephants:
1. They have the most gentle brown eyes. The tame giants we rode seemed sad…thus making Coldplay’s “Paradise” the theme song for the rest of the trip 🙂
2. They’re actually kind of hairy
3. Riding on the back of one is very bumpy
On the morning of the 8th, after breakfast, my classmates and I paid $15 each for an elephant ride through the jungle into Bayon Temple, the last temple to be built at Angkor. Built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to Buddha, the temple has 216 gigantic faces on the temple’s towers smiling in 4 directions. As seen in the video above, when going through the main entrance, on either side of the bridge, there are figures depicting the Churning of the Sea of Milk, which we had learned about the day prior at Angkor Wat. Approaching the archway, we saw the first of many faces, beaming down at us.
Sadly, after an hour or so, I was feeling too weak to go up the steps and was having difficulty breathing. This adventure had to be cut short, but in hindsight, I am just glad I pressed through my illness long enough to have had the chance to ride on an elephant!