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November 22nd 2009
Published: November 22nd 2009
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Asiascenic ChiangMaiAsiascenic ChiangMaiAsiascenic ChiangMai

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
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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
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Which Wok?
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.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Chiang MaiChiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Bamboo rafting..... very gentle way to travel
Elephant Trek Elephant Trek
Elephant Trek

Maybe they like doing this
Chiang MaiChiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Me and my mahout
Ox cart ridingOx cart riding
Ox cart riding

the bumpy road to love???
Baby playingBaby playing
Baby playing

Me and my mum
Orchid beautyOrchid beauty
Orchid beauty

At the Orchid and Butterfly farm
Doi Suthep TempleDoi Suthep Temple
Doi Suthep Temple

Children dancing
Doi SuthepDoi Suthep
Doi Suthep

Another dancer
Doi SuthepDoi Suthep
Doi Suthep

Man striking a giant gong
Wat ChiangmunWat Chiangmun
Wat Chiangmun

Oldest temple in ChiangMai

22nd November 2009

Enjoyed the trip.
I'm sorry too that you are both going home - have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your travels from beginning to end. So thanks for sharing with me and others not quite so adventurous and brave as yourselves. Give Ollie a hug from me expect he's really missed you and let me know the date Ann for shoppping for the fab mother of the bride outfit. Will be very pleased to help you spend alot of money on something gorgeous. x Jill

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