Published: November 22nd 2009November 22nd 2009
Our cookery companions
21st November 2009 Chiang Mai
Seems that there are many variations of how to spell English versions of Thai names here! Saturday we took a tour to see the elephants up country. The tour guide said her name was ... something I could'nt understand.... but she said "Call me Miss Bo
(pronounced boo) and call the driver...... Mr driver.....OK!!!!
We chose this tour because it did NOT go to visit a hill tribe. We absolutely refused to visit a "Long Neck"
village where the women follow the ancient custom of stretching their necks by added more and more brass rings. There may have been a purpose to this custom way back in history but nowadays there is absolutely no reason why women and children
should seriously damage their bodies by this barbaric practice,other than for the purpose of attracting the tourists. If tourists refused to go and what is worse, pay to take their photographs, then they wouldn't do it. So voted with our feet*****
Having said that we were also dubious about seeing elephants
being made to "do"
tricks and perform at these camps but we decided to go and see for ourselves. While we enjoyed
Asia scenic cookery course
I am your tutor not a chef!!!
seeing the countryside and getting close up and personal with these lovely animals, we came away with our worst fears confirmed really. We can believe that elephants might enjoy working and maybe even
carrying people on their backs but did they really 'enjoy' learning to sit on their haunches, stand on their hind legs and swing hoola hoops around on their trunks and have people clap and cheer while they do it?????
Well they did seem to enjoy playing football and were amazingly good at it but we were totally flabbergasted
to see 2 young elephants painting the most remarkable paintings using brushes held in their trunks. We had heard about it but this but to see it being done was amazing. Of course the Americans loved it and bought up the paintings like fury!! The best trick of all, pick up the bahts with your trunk and give it to your mahout with the spiked stick!!!!
Well, we enjoyed the bamboo rafting down the river. Quite liked the ride through the jungle on the elephants, could have left the ox-cart ride but had a good day in all but were seriously worried by the sight
of some elephants resting, chained by the leg on a 3m chain, pacing back and fore and shaking their heads non-stop. Maybe we shouldn't have gone and definitely won't be back!!! Left a donation in the elephant clinic box!!! Sorry Suda!!
Final day we took a songtheaw (open taxi) up to Doi Suthep, the mountain temple, which was beautiful and well worth the argument with the driver who tried to reneage on the price we had agreed. Unfortunately, it was cold and wet and the royal palace was closed. Someone up there must be preparing us for winter in England!
Just off out to hit the Sunday Walking Market in the roads outside and hopefully part with our last few Baht! Then pack and home tomorrow!! Sad to be leaving but ready for home.
There are more photos below