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Cruising Article – 2011-04-15

Ride on elephants in Ko Samui, Thailand

World Cruise Destinations

Your world cruise will afford you the opportunity to take part in some activities that other vacationers can only dream of. Ko Samui, the third largest island in Thailand, is a perfect example of a world cruise destination that will provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Perhaps the most famous and iconic structure in Ko Samui, and indeed all of Thailand, is Wat Phrayai, also known as the "Temple of the Big Buddha," located on Fan Island. It's easy to see where this spiritual center gets its nickname from - the 39-feet tall golden Buddha located right in the center of it. This temple attracts massive crowds every day, and it's a great chance for you to be exposed to Buddhist culture while also seeing one of the more famous sites in the country.

The Temple of the Big Buddha is sure to a breathtaking experience, but for a truly memorable shore excursion, be sure to take advantage of the elephant trek. Yes, you'll actually be able to ride atop these mammoth creatures - under the supervision of trained professionals, of course. The elephants will take you on a trip through a beautiful coconut plantation, including a stop at a beautiful mountain vantage point that offers stunning views of Koh Samui. After the trek is over, attend a hilarious and heartwarming performance at the plantation that sees monkeys harvesting coconuts and playing with the elephants.

If you want to explore more of Thailand's jungle, take the short trip to the magnificent Na Muang Falls, where you can even take a dip in the refreshing pool at the base of the waterfall.

Of course, Thailand is also known for its amazingly beautiful coastline, and there's plenty of that in Ko Samui. Stop off at Chaweng Beach, probably the most popular beach on the island, for a day of swimming and relaxation. There are also some shops located close by for those who want to take home a souvenir.