Check out the size of our bed?! Can you believe it!
Right now I’m freshly showered and sprawled on said enormous bed…and totally exhausted…but before I forget anything I want to write about today.
ELEPHANTS! We rode ELEPHANTS!!!
At some insane hour of the morning we got in a taxi and drove 70ks (about an hour) from Chiang Mai toward Lampang, to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. It was amazing!!
We each had our ‘own’ elephant for the day, with the elephant’s mahout (trainer) to help us. We learned how to climb up and down (they are HUGE!! I was a bit nervous at first – long way to fall) and how to give them commands. All the elephants have their own personality – I was riding Jan Pen who was the perfect match for me since we are both
lazy relaxed. Always at the back of the line and running late – sounds about right for me, doesn’t it?! Ha!
Menzel’s elephant was called Jan Daeng and in contrast she was always racing to the front…so I spent a lot of time watching his back disappearing into the distance.
The staff were so great, I wasn’t sure what it would be like but once we manage to find the right place (thankyou patient taxi driver) they were just fantastic. Great English, and really knowledgeable too.
By the way, speaking of our patient taxi guy…the hotel organised that for us and said it would be 1800 baht. We were like man, rip off – cause we’d heard it was 1200 – but I wasn’t confident taking the bus so we just went for it.
Actually as it turned out, the driver hung around all day (7am to 3:45pm) at the elephant sanctuary and drove us back too. So 900 baht (about $25-30) each way for a 70km trip AND waiting there all day!
I wasn’t sure if their trunks were like noses or what, but they’re all wet and snuffly! The tip of the trunk curls like a finger to grab stuff – I was amazed at how dexterous they are.
We got to see baby elephants, and the hospital – they take sick and abandoned elephants from all over Thailand and care for them free of charge. Apparently here anyone can own an elephant – you can buy and sell it just like a car or a dog. Crazy. Also an elephant show (yup, including elephant painting) and how they make paper from elephant dung.
They are such cool animals, I can’t get over it. Tonight we were walking down the street and I just kept poking Menzel and saying, “Can you believe we were riding an elephant today!! RIDING. AN. ELEPHANT!” Yes, I may never get over it…probably still be telling all the fogies in the nursing home when I’m 100.
By the way, Chiang Mai is much nicer than Bangkok. And that is an understatement actually. BKK is interesting, but CM is easy to get around and less stressful – people seem more relaxed here. So glad we came. Recommend all Thailand tourists skip BK and come straight up here, haha!