Friday, 19 September 2014

華欣︰住宿、夜市、火車站

  華欣在曼谷以南,約3小時車程,它有古老和現代皇室居住的宮殿、寺廟、和一個美麗的火車站。由於在華欣時我病重,不少編排好的行程都沒辦法實現,而且人不太清醒記憶都不好,以下只集合一些零零碎碎的片段。

住宿

  來華欣第一晚我們住在一個嚴格來說應該在Pranburi地區的Villa Maroc Resort。它離華欣中心約半小時車程,附近人煙稀小,但不至於荒涼。我們事前在網上看過相片對此reort已十分期待,來到親眼看到四處精心別緻的佈置,更加興奮!


Villa Maroc,顧名思義,是以摩洛哥為主題的resort。

別緻的Lobby,至於為什麼穿波鞋之前已經說了,桌上放著人們在這兒拍的婚紗相,其實就,靚女影邊度都靚,唔靚的…

好多廢話的Room tour,不怕無聊就看。最後說明天去天台最後是沒有去的,因為第二天我已經嘔死了。


黑夜中的Villa Maroc

裏面是健身室。

酒店連接著沙灘,在池邊可欣賞一望無際的海景和日出



當我垂死在房裏時,他們就在外面享受美麗的早晨。

他們還會給你親手寫的歡迎卡。

  我們入住這resort時,他們的的餐廳正在維修,但我們還可以在library點早餐吃。我不知道食物好不好吃啦,我只喝了一杯熱朱古力。中午時他們還開車載我們到附近按摩。如果硬要說對這resort的一點不滿,就是不知為何之前send email去查詢都沒有回覆過。

  離開Villa Maroc,本來我打算看兩座temples再去華欣的酒店,可是實在太病,只好取消,直接到華欣的酒店Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas。Centara Grand是一間很大的resort,風格有點像迪士尼的美國小鎮大街,有4個泳池、健身室各種、而且連接沙灘,可是他們的wifi要另外收費。





紅磚白牆配綠油油的園子。



這些都在日出時影,所以泳客不多。到了早餐後就不是這樣啦!

酒店連接沙灘,華欣沙灘的確比Pranburi多人,不過出入口有護衛看守,不怕非住客闖進。沙灘上有馬收費跟遊客拍照,可是聽完象在旅遊業的辛酸史我也不忍心支持這種生意。

除了馬以外,resort內還有許多小動物,例如松鼠。

…還有蜥蜴和壁虎。

夜市  

  在華欣中心的兩晚我們去了四個夜市。第一晚去了Night Bazaar/Hua Hin Market/Chatchai Market (3個名指同一個夜市,好似係)和旁邊的Chatsila。第二晚去了Grand Night Market和Colonnade。Colonnade其實也在Night Bazaar附近,Grand Night Market則在另一邊,但其實也不遠。
  
  感覺上Night Bazaar和Colonnade和旺角女人街有點似,都是沿著街道兩旁一檔檔,有衣服、飾物和食物,不過比女人街少d假貨,多d當地風格的衣服。
  
  Grand Night Market是一片長方形的地,裏面一檔檔像花市的模式,賣的東西和Night Bazaar和Colonnade相近。
  
  Chatsila像是圍著圈幾幢白色一層高的小屋,主要賣衣服、袋子之類,門口有人即製噴畫T-shirt,好像你放下相片過一會回來就有。這兒有廁所,不過要收費。

火車站

  華欣火車站是泰國最古老的火車站之一,因為以前泰王坐火車過來度假,火車站有一個專為接待王室而設的等候室。時至今天泰王還會住在華欣的宮殿,好像說沒有受到邀請是進不了去的,舊宮殿則是開放給遊客參觀,可是我沒有去到



有機會下次我也想試下搭火車。

希望這兒沒有動物被火車撞到


很有特色的燈柱。


回程

  從華欣回曼谷機場大概需要三小時多的車程,我們在中途下車,到Santorini Park走了一轉。可能因為學生正在上學,公園內人不多,沒有小孩子大汗疊細汗地追逐、排遊戲攤位的公園份外有點冷清,加上烈日當空,我和爸爸本來又不舒服,所以興致不大。

後記

  回到香港後我們竟然把相機遺漏在的士裏!打上去的士失物熱線請求幫忙,還在警署報了案,等了好幾天,本來已打定輸數,在失望中竟然又收到警署的電話,找回所有失物!

 想起在大象中心時,看見一些人退休後放棄悠閒的生活,離開自己的國家來到泰國委身照顧退休大象。這些大象因為曾受傷或年老不能再工作賺錢,本來已經被人放棄,在這兒卻重新獲得生命,得到悉心照料和寵愛。

  多少次我們遺失了重要的物品再也找不回,多少隻大象就在勞役中疲勞或饑餓死去。這些幸運非必然,在受到眷顧的同時,記著也要選擇善良。


參考:
2. Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas: http://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/huahin_hotels.asp

其他文章︰

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Taking care of elephants in Hutsadin Elephant Foundation for half a day

  I have always dreamt to volunteer animal centres in south Asia. When I made up my mind in summer, I looked up the internet for information. Things changed and at the end the whole family decided to have our vacation in Thailand this year, which means I could only spend at most one day on that. I'd really love to visit Hutsadin Elephant Foundation in Hua Hin, so I contacted them through email, and got things arranged.

  Hutsadin was within 10 mins ride from the resort I stayed, and we arrived there before 9am that morning. We found ourselves surrounded by dogs as soon as we settled, but they were extremely nice dogs.

 After a while, Jo, the lady whom I had talked to through email, came out and, here we go. Jo showed us around and introduced the elephants to us. Songkran, the little one, is only 6, while the oldest one is already in her 80s. She has poor eye sight and no teeth. One of our duties there was to prepare food for her.



Five elephants live together in these "barns" (what's the name for this shelter?) The leftest one is the oldest one.

Despite of her age, under the care of the foundation, she has grown so much healthier than when she just arrived. And very active too, especially when giving signals for food.


Songkran was rejected by her mother when she's born. She was brought here just in time, or she'd probably be working in the tourist industry.



She followed her caretaker Jackie into the temple to pray.





Sorry Im so bad in remembering names, but I believe her name pronounces "Rum-lok". Although she looks petite, she's already in her 40s. She used to work in a small Thai farm, and when she got injured, her owner couldn't afford the medication, so she came to the foundation. She's my favourite, not only because she's very very gentle, but also because she's small like me.


Sadly, a few months ago, someone sneaked in and cut this elephant's teeth :'(

The texture of the hair on elephant's tail is not something you imagine. You have to feel it yourself.



The girl on the right had arrived just one day before I visited. She had worked in the vineyard before she got hurt. Seems like she has made good friends with the girl next to her :D

This sad boy was abused before, so he is not really friendly to humans. He is allowed to live outside so that he does not need to deal with humans so much. They are looking for a new home for him where he can really stay away from humans and live freely.

  The older elephants can't chew properly, so food has to be specially prepared for them. They are fed on pieces of banana trees mixed with horse food. Jo's husband, Will, demonstrated to me how to chop banana trees. He did it real quick and pretty. Katherine, another volunteer, said, it's not really that easy, he just made it seem so easy. Well, in fact, it is not easy at all.
It was already the third tree I did when taking this video. I was even clumsier when I did the first two.

She likes the food :D

Apart from banana trees and horse food, these elderly elephants still need some extra help. Will taught us to hide the vitamin pills in bananas for them. You can check out the photos of the bananas in their website.
Ready to feed him the bananas. See his hungry face :P

  The last work I helped that day was to measure the elephants. Will said it's too difficult to weigh the elephants, but by measuring their waists, they can have an idea about how much they have grown/lost weights, and they take it as an indicator of the elephants' health.
Curious Songkran came over to look at her own measurements. Hey, can you actually read?


Me and my father with Will and Rum-lok. Hope to see you soon!

References﹕
Hutsadin Elephant Foundation: www.hutsadin.com
Hutsadin Elephant Foundation on tripadvisor

The Chinese version of this post/中文版

Other posts (in Chinese)﹕
My 1.5 days in Bangkok (1)
My 1.5 days in Bangkok (2)

在Hutsadin Elephant Foundation當半天大象照顧員

  其實很久以前已好想去東南亞的動物中心照顧動物了。直至暑假時下定決心要去,四處看資料,一些中心提供食宿,那自然須收費,有時不提供食宿,但是不收費。我本身打算自己一個人去(因為所有朋友都說,瘋了嗎拿假期去做工,還要付錢),然後我怕自己住酒店,所以本來打算申請提供食宿那種。然後還有分印尼、馬來西亞,照顧不同種類的動物等等…

  長話短說,總之最後卻決定了全家去這次旅行,所以選擇了在華欣的Hutsadin Elephant Foundation。事前透過email與在那兒服務的義工聯絡,他們歡迎我在星期三早上過去幫忙,然後我爸爸又說想一同去,所以事情就這樣決定了。

  嗯,但是事情沒有太順利。星期一晚,在吃完在華欣的第一餐後,我上吐下瀉,還有點發燒,星期二整天精神不振,而且沒有胃口吃東西。我還真的好擔心到了星期三我還是不舒服去不了看大象,或者去到都做不到什麼。

  幸好得到保祐,加上在當地藥房執了些藥十分見效,到了星期三雖然還是有點虛弱,總算可以直立行路(意志力的表現!)。我一早起了床,準備好行裝,吃過早餐,就等mr. tum的司機來接我們。

  由Centara Grand去Hutsadin車程大概在10分鐘之內,我們未夠9點就去到了。很好笑,下車時中心的員工搞不清我們來幹什麼,因為我反覆說我不是來騎大象,他沒有辦法,帶我們在長椅坐下,給了我們兩支水,就開去工作了。這時有很多大狗圍過來,因為我之前行山見過惡狗,初初還有點怕,但是這兒的狗十分友善,所以我也放下戒心了。


  我和爸爸走來走去,幫象拍照,沒有頭緒整件事將會如何運作。甚至有友善的義工過來提我,不要靠象太近,因為牠們的鼻可能會不小心打到我們。

  過了十幾分鐘,另一個義工過來和我交談,說「原來就是你發電郵給我﹗」;)然後工作便開始了。

  接待我們的義工叫Jo,一開始她帶我們認識在中心的幾隻象。最小的Songkran只有6歲,至最大的已有80多歲,眼睛接近失明,已經沒有牙齒,所以需要為牠特別準備食物。

這邊有五隻象。最左的就是八十多歲的一隻。

雖然一把年紀,在義工的悉心照顧下她的身體比剛來時強壯了許多!而且還非常活潑,常常整色整水向人討食物。



Songkran出世時被媽媽拒絕餵哺,本來差點被帶去旅遊熱點靠遊客買香蕉餵牠拍照賺錢。


牠跟隨照顧者Jackie進寺廟拜拜。



忘記了牠的名字怎樣串(讀音大概像rum-lok)。她雖然長得比較小隻,但她是四十多歲的婦人來的。Will說她以前在一個小農場工作,受了傷主人負擔不起醫藥費,所以她就來這兒生活了。我特別喜歡她,除了因為她性格溫馴,更因為她像我一樣小小隻的。

Jo說幾個月前有人夜晚潛入中心把這隻象的牙鋸去 :\

大象尾巴的毛的質感是你意想不到的。有機會你親自摸摸就知道。


右邊的象在我探訪前一天才來到。她本來在附近的酒莊工作,但似乎受了傷。她和在她旁邊的女孩好像已經成為了好朋友 :D

這個憂鬱的男孩以前被人虐待過,對人不友善,所以住在外面不用與人接觸。他們正在為他物色一個新的住處,在那兒他可以真正遠離人類安心生活。

  逐一認識過大象後,就開始工作。較年老的大象沒有牙,不能正常進食,中心為牠們準備切碎的香蕉樹,拌馬糧給他們吃。Jo的丈夫Will向我示範砍香蕉樹,他手法純熟,chopchopchop就乾淨俐落地切成漂亮的一片片,另一義工katherine說,真的沒有那麼容易啦,只是他做得看起來容易。我實實在在告訴你,我平時連切菜切水果都…

到拍這段時已是砍第三棵樹的時候了,可想而知之前更加雞手鴨腳。

大象吃得津津有味 :D

  除了香蕉樹和馬糧,這兩位老人家還需要一些維他命等補給。Will教我們把藥丸藏在香蕉裏給牠們吃。他們的網站上有塞著藥丸的蕉的相片。

準備餵香蕉。牠個為食樣 :P

  那天我幫忙的最後一個工作是為大象度身。Will說太難幫大象磅重,但透過量度牠們的腰圍,可粗略計算到牠們增長/消瘦了多少,作為他們監察大象健康的指標。但量量下我就要走了,因為剛下車時門口的人跟我說12點就結束,我請司機12點來接我,但原來其實是1點呀!


我們為Songkran度完身,在簿子下記錄時,牠也八八卦卦過來看。hey,你看得懂字嗎?

司機來了,我們唯有匆匆離去。離行時和Will和rum-lok拍照留念。大象們,希望很快可以再見!

參考﹕
1. Hutsadin Elephant Foundation的網站: www.hutsadin.com
2. Hutsadin Elephant Foundation在tripadvisor的page
3. The english version of this post

其他文章﹕
1. 曼谷1.5天行(一)
2. 曼谷1.5天行(二)
3. 華欣︰住宿、夜市、火車站