When I get my tent and hear that it is the Butterfly Tent, I delighted. Butterflies are particularly important to me, I feel a connection to them. It’s a little too personal for this blog, but I'll tell you this much: I see more in them than just colourful airy fellows. The sight of them moves me to tears and have to swallow because it makes me so happy. My hostel, the butterflies - my constant companions for the next few days - and the lovely people at the camp made me forget all my worries, time and other constraints.
Im Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangel from Angie Reisefreunde on Vimeo.
The staff here are so attentive that I almost believe in miracles. Maybe it's the Thai friendliness but I think it is more. I hear that in Thailand there is a saying that means “A smile only truly comes from the heart when one has found the inner temple”. I guess they have probably all found it.
Back to the camp. After my elephant training I let myself fall into my bathtub in the tent. Of course the camp staff had listened attentively when I mentioned that after such a hard training and with such a beautiful bathtub in the tent all I really wanted was a bath. Of course it was already prepared when I came back to my tent after dinner. Such a perfect service takes my breath away. The tub is already filled with pretty petals scattered all over it. Can this be true? Or let me give you another example: At the spa I mention to the staff that I will most likely doze off during the treatment as I still struggle a bit with jet lag and little sleep during the previous night. As I come back to my tent at night what do I find? Earplugs. Such service really is impressive. I feel extremely comfortable and in good hands.
The last night is very special indeed. The camp celebrate with their guests the traditional Loy Krathong. This is a festival of lights where pretty little boats decorated with lights are set on the water and then sail away supposedly taking away all your worries with them. We all meet at the Burma Bar and enjoy appetizers and cocktails, and I finally have some time to have a chat with the manager. Vikas comes from India has seen many places in his country and has lived in many cities. He has been here in this heavenly camp since September 2011. He is, like everyone else here, a very balanced person and tells me about the philosophy of the camp. Everything is designed to provide guests with a memorable experience, he says. And indeed, as it gets dark, Vikas asks the guests to turn round to view the river and the lights are turned off.
We can hardly believe our eyes as suddenly an endless flotilla of floating candles drift downstream past the camp and fireworks start in the near distance. Couples embrace and I keep thinking of all my friends and my sister and wished they were with me now to experience this beautiful scene with me. Slowly the lights continue to float down the river past us. Until the fireworks have finished. How wonderful. Then there is a feast in the form of vegetables and fruit for the elephants. And it starts to rain. We walk together with the beautifully-clad dancers, surrounded by singing and music, sparklers and firecrackers, in the direction of the restaurant. Then there is yet another surprise. Suddenly Thai music starts to play and we see a band in traditional costumes. They play and dance accompanied by two fireeaters. This is truly magical.
In the restaurant the magic continues. I sit at a table with Vikas and a very friendly young couple (Karla from Mexico and Frederik from Norway). The two are so much in love and happy to have found each other that I catch myself listening spellbound to their story that has a lot to do with travel and foreign countries. One could easily write a script about it. We toast to travel and love. Not much more is needed in life except good health. We let lanterns rise into the air, Karla and Frederik insisting we all four do this together. This touches me. It is an enchanting evening. With a classic Thai menu and finally a whiskey for me and Vikas, who is also a big fan of single malts as I am. Once I'm back in my tent, I find it hard to believe that this is my last night here. I find it even harder to say goodbye. The front desk clerk asked me the next morning, "Are you sure you want to leave the camp, Miss Angelica?" What can I say? No, I'm rather sure I want to stay here much longer. But the time has come to say goodbye and Vikas accompanies me down to the river as I leave the camp by boat. I sigh heavily with the romance of it all.
As we part I give Vikas a big hug and my heartfelt thanks. I get on my boat, and we wave goodbye until we can see each other no more. If this is heaven, I think, then we have nothing to fear from death.
For more pictures from the camp please go to Facebook.
Disclaimer: I travelled on this journey as a guest of the Four Seasons for which I thank them. But even if I had paid for the stay itself, my opinion of this camp would be no different.