Elephants We'll Never Forget


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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai
July 14th 2018
Published: July 15th 2018
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We did not have any plans until 11:30 on Saturday, so we slept in a little and set the agenda for the remainder of our time in Chiang Mai. We had omelets at the Rustic and lounged about.

At 11:30 our truck pulled up to transport us out to the Elephant Sanctuary! It was a long ride but we met some fun people in the back of our pickup. Once at the Sanctuary, we heard a little about the elephant’s history in Thailand. Originally, many elephants were used in the illegal timber industry. Once the government cracked down on this industry, elephants became a bit of a menace to local farmers. Elephants were then rented to riding camps and more recently have been rescued to these sanctuaries.

After a bit of a history lesson, we got to feed the large mammals. These guys were all gentle giants. We went through an entire wagon of bananas in no time. The elephants were not shy about getting at the bananas but not the least bit aggressive. They would move slowly towards or around you with gentle, though unrelenting, nudges. We also rounded up some sugarcane to feed the hungry beasts.

The elephants were then led to a muddy waterhole where we were instructed to cover them with mud. Our four-legged companions seemed to very much enjoy the mud bath. Next, we followed the elephants down to the river where they jumped right in. We followed and splashed the elephants to wash the mud as they played. The elephants would sit then lay down in the water, rolling around on their back. One of the younger ones laid fully submerged in the rapids raising his trunk from time to time for a breath of air. Once clean, the big guys went back up the riverbank and promptly resumed tossing trunk-fulls of dirt on their backs. Playing with the elephants was truly a unique and memorable experience in Thailand.



On the way back to town we made plans to watch the England v Belgium game at the Red Lion in Chiang Mai. The Red Lion is probably the only English pub in the area. We ordered fish ‘n chips and bangers ‘n mash and washed it down with a Duvel and Leffe (trying to stay impartial to James and Jeroen). We stayed at the Red Lion for the entire game and sat with some Aussies in town for vacation. Belgium won so we had a few more beers rather than more food before heading home for the evening.


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