City Safari Tours Thailand
City Safari Tours Thailand

City Safari Tours Thailand

After a relaxing day by the pool yesterday we were ready for an early start with City Safari Tours. It was to be a huge day! Check out the itinerary below!  Mr GG and I had considered doing some of these activities independently but once we found a tour which included everything it seemed far easier to just book one of the City Safari Tours.

Koh Samui Map w City Safari Tours

Koh Samui Map w City Safari Tours

The City Safari Tours Itinerary

  • Elephant Trekking
  • Elephant & Monkey Show
  • Scenic Lookout
  • Mama & Papa Rock
  • Waterfall Hike
  • Lunch at Nathon Town & Shopping
  • Mummified Monk at Kunaran Temple
  • Temple
  • Big Buddha of Koh Samui (Koh Fan)
City Safari Tours Vehicle

City Safari Tours Vehicle

Our pick up time was 9.00am so we rushed the children through breakfast and out to the waiting vehicle. The Safari Tours vehicle was a little more rustic than the brochure suggested.  Although I couldn’t argue with the description of “fully air-conditioned”! The open air approach to travel was very typical of all the tour vehicles we had noticed on the streets. The kids were pretty excited about siting in the back of the 4WD and Brett was just happy to let someone else do the driving.

Elephant Trekking

City Safari Tours Elephant Feeding

City Safari Tours Elephant Feeding

The elephant trekking was always going to be the highlight of the day for the children, and this was our first stop. The kids had the opportunity to feed the baby elephants and pat them while the previous group finished their trek. They really are beautiful creatures.

Elephant Feeding with City Safari Tours

Elephant Feeding with City Safari Tours

Watching the handlers leading these giants around I was more than a little nervous!!  They are enormous!!! I wasn’t even sure how you are supposed to get onto the seat!

Jane and I Elephant Trekking

Jane and I Elephant Trekking

I needn’t have worried, we were led to a platform which was the approximate height of your average elephant.  Then it was just a matter of stepping across and onto the gentle giant.

Brett and the kids Elephant Trekking

Brett and the kids Elephant Trekking

After jumping “on board” we were led to where the elephants are watered and wet down.  I was impressed with the level of  care that was shown to the animals.  There seemed to be so much more attention and affection shown to these elephants compared with what we had seen previously other “sanctuaries”.

Gourmet Getaways Elephant Trekking

Gourmet Getaways Elephant Trekking

The trek lasted about 15 -30 minutes with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Elephant & Monkey Show

The Elephant and Monkey show commenced straight after our trek. Lachlan had fallen in love with one of the monkeys and after playing with it through the large enclosure a member of staff took him inside the enclosure. Lachlan was happy to be playing games with the monkey while the elephants performed. The monkey had taken a liking to a tennis ball Locky had with him and the two of them played happily together with it.

Meanwhile at the elephant show we were learning there was to be a lot of audience participation.  One by one all of our group were singled out to “assist” in the show.

Elephant Show Massage

Elephant Show Massage

I was shown how a real Thai massage is supposed to feel. I was wishing I had of worn a longer dress, the elephants nose was wet! Eww!  The men were even offered a “happy ending” in jest.  I laughed because the trigger word was “nuts” LOL!

Locky joined the show just in time to be the goal keeper for a game of elephant soccer.

Elephant Soccor

Elephant Soccer

It was fun for all and plenty of laughs.

The monkey show was more a demonstration of how monkeys are trained to harvest the coconuts. It was clever but the highlight for Lachlan was his one on one time in the monkey enclosure.

Back on the tour vehicle we were all reaching for the esky of bottled water supplied for guests.  Such a small thing but a great inclusion.

Scenic Lookout

Scenic Lookout on City Safari Tours

Scenic Lookout on City Safari Tours

Winding our way along the coastline we saw so many picturesque beaches with gorgeous white sand and turquoise water. We stopped for a photo opportunity at one of the lookouts and Mr GG decided to make a mad dash for the water with the intention of taking a quick dip.

Thailand Lookout

Can you see Mr GG off in the distance?

I am not sure that it was a sanctioned swimming stop but we had already been warned by the guide there might not be the usual swim opportunity at the waterfall due to low water levels.

Mama & Papa Rocks

By the time we arrived at Mama & Papa Rocks I think everyone was envious of the swim Mr GG had taken.  It was a very hot day and the water had looked so inviting.

Papa Rock Thailand

Papa Rock Thailand

I hadn’t told Hubby or Jane what to expect at the rocks, but I had read that they are named because they resemble male and female genitalia.

Arriving at the rocks I was ready to pose for a few photos with the phallic formations, but then it was straight into the water for me!

Mama Rock Thailand

Mama Rock Thailand

It was like taking a swim in a bath! The water temperature was gorgeous.  It wasn’t long before our whole group was enjoying floating around in the calm inlet.

We stayed as long as we could in the water, our guide was very patient with us. Our little group would have been happy to skip the rest of the tour and swim for the afternoon.

Waterfall Hike

We had been pre warned that due to a lack of rain it would not be possible to swim at the waterfall. Still it was an easy walk down to the waterfall and a photo opportunity at the bottom.  We were all pleased we had taken the opportunity to swim earlier.

Waterfall Trek with City Safari Tours

Waterfall Trek with City Safari Tours

Mummified Monk at Kunaran Temple

I really don’t know how I felt about  the next stop on our itinerary.  It is a tourist attraction that people flock to but I felt it was quite macabre, bizarre and disrespectful of the dead.  I didn’t tell the children anything except that we were visiting a temple with a shrine and monks.

Mummified Monk Shrine Thailand

Mummified Monk Shrine Thailand

I had been very successful in making this attraction sound boring.  By the time we were nearing the monk the children were asking stay in the vehicle. That was until they spotted a roti canai stand out the front of the temple!  It was an easy distraction. The children were preoccupied ordering every topping available on their wafer thin roti, and were soon happily getting syrup all over their faces. It’s lucky my children are distracted by food!

Mummified Monk Thailand

Mummified Monk Thailand

One at a time Brett and I went to view the monk who died over 40 years ago (1973) whilst meditating.  The monk is still in this meditating position but is enshrined in a glass case and on display.  It was his wish that when he died, if his body did not decompose that he should be place on display in order to inspire the public to follow Buddhism.  The monk is seen with dark glasses on, as the view into the eyes is not pretty!

I found this stop disturbing, and I was happy to be on the road again.

Temple on the Mummified Monk Grounds

Temple on the Mummified Monk Grounds

Big Buddha of Koh Samui (Koh Fan)

When had been intending to visit the Big Buddha on the previous day but it was definitely easier to do it with the City Safari Tours. Brett and I had gone looking for this attraction previously and come up empty handed.

As it turns out it was very close to where we had lunch the previous day.

Shrine at the Big Buddha

Shrine at the Big Buddha

When we arrived Brett, Jane and Anais climbed the stair to the Big Buddha while Locky and I wandered around the various shrines and monuments.

Golden Thai Buddha

Golden Thai Buddha

While I was off taking photos I noticed Lachlan was summoned by a monk up to the meditation area. Respectfully but reluctantly Locky did as he was told. He received a blessing from the monk and was splashed with holy water. The monk then motioned to the donation tree with 50 & 100 bhat notes. I obliged as I collected Lachlan off the meditation platform.

Monk Blessing

Monk Blessing

My little 8 year old then asked “mum was that a trick to get money from us?”

I said to him, “did we go there to buy a blessing”,

He said “no”.

I said “did we want a blessing.”

he said “no”.

I said “I feel like it was a trick, what about you?”

he said “Yep!”

Big Golden Buddha

Big Golden Buddha

He may not always be my thinker but I was very pleased that he worked this one out for himself.  I was not upset by the “trick” because it was nice for Locky to engage in different religions and learn to respect other peoples beliefs.

Wat Plai Laem Temple

Temples and monuments are everywhere in Thailand. So many religions live side by side. Our final stop was Wat Plai Laem just down the road from the Big Buddha.

Our guide explained that both the Chinese and Thai religions have temples and monuments located at this site.

Chinese Female Goddess with City Safari Tours

Chinese Female Goddess with City Safari Tours

While we took time to photograph this amazing icon with 18 arms, our guide took the children over to the lake.  He had bought fish food so the children could feed the fish.  There must of been hundreds of fish thrashing around in the water vying for the food.

Chinese and Thai Temples with City Safari Tours

Chinese and Thai Temples with City Safari Tours

The temples were so serene and absolutely beautiful.

City Safari Tours has been the ideal way to pack a lot of sight seeing into one day.  We returned to the resort tired and thankful someone else was doing the driving!  I found his tour to be  great value for money and the staff very friendly.

The tour cost was approximately 600 bhat per adult and 400 per child for the day.

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Comments

  1. Sounds like a wonderful day! I have to admit that mummified monk gave me a it of a pause – so peculiar. Wonderful post and pictures – thanks.

  2. The elephant trekking looks and sounds amazing!! 🙂 What a beautiful and inspiring adventure. 🙂

  3. wow that elephant massage must be a once-in-a-lifetime experience! What an incredible day out.

  4. Elephants are such beautiful creatures aren’t they, especially Asian elephants. They always seem to be smiling too which makes me adore them even more. You’re brave to have lay there though, that would scare me. And I had never heard of that mummified monk before-my goodness! 😮

  5. these safari tours look amazing. I’ve never been to thailand so if I ever did I think I’ll add this to the to-do list!

  6. What a busy and interesting day and I love the insight your child has!

  7. Oh wow! How amazing…I would love to do elephant trekking but all of these tours sound incredible 🙂

  8. The big ornamental statues are stunning – so intricate and beautiful 😀
    The mummified monk is also alluring in its own way 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers
    CCU

  9. What a fun tour…an amazing experience for all of you. I hope to get to Thailand one day…just need to convince the hubby!

  10. Woah…you guys are having a blast! How amazing it would’ve been to ride an elephant. Stunning views too!

  11. Dear Julie,

    What an exotic adventure! But that elephant massage with the wet nose …. errrrrrr, I think I might pass on that one!

  12. So glad to learn that someone in Thailand is taking better care of their elephants…Very impressed by your very smart kids, too…The gorgeous views and the Big Buddha make me want to visit. Although I’d definitely skip the mummified monk =)

  13. I’m usually not a fan of tours but as you say, sometimes it is the only way to fit everything in!

  14. The elephants would definitely been my highlight too, they are so gorgeous indeed. I don’t know if I would have wanted a massage though- I would have been worried they might slip or something!

  15. LOL at your smart son! 🙂

    This looks like such a fantastic trip though, through and through. I bet it’s one that will be remembered for a long time too. The pictures are great.

  16. Awesome trip and your son is so clever 😉

    I’d love to ride on an elephant!!! Arghhhh want to go away now don’t want to be stuck at work hehe

  17. Terrific review… I’m all for the mummified monk being there… quite amazing and it’s good to talk more about death… but the elephants are wayyyy cuter.

  18. Nice pictures Julie! Anyone visiting Koh Samui? Please try our services, Thanks

  19. This looks like a great tour! I will have to add it to my to-do list in Koh Samui– it seems like such a great way to fit in some of the sights, especially the ones you don’t need to spend a super long time at! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

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