Monday, September 12, 2011

Chiang Mai-Baanchang Elephant Park

Today was a very exciting and exhausting day! We never would have dreamed that feeding, riding and bathing elephants would be hard work. I have a new respect for the mahouts (elephant trainers) who live and take care of the elephants 24 hours a day! We chose this camp from the awesome reviews on trip advisor. This camp stood out because it is one of the few camps where they rescue the elephants and pride themselves on the way they treat and respect the elephants. They do not allow the elephants to paint, play soccer, etc. because they say it is abuse and not good for the elephants. Our group consisted of 8 people which seemed to be the perfect size! After a quick orientation to the park, they showed us how to feed the elephants! We fed them bundles of unpeeled bananas!!

The elephant performed one trick-she kissed me! I felt like the elephant sneezed on me after this supposed "kiss"!

We learned how to ride the elephants bareback! The elephants needed to shave-the hair on their back was very coarse and prickly!!! Below is a picture of me getting on the elephant. You have to hold the elephants by their ears when you get on them!

Before riding the elephants in the jungle, we ate a delicious lunch of homemade soup, fried chicken, chicken stir fry and steamed rice! The couple we sat with was from Germany!

Adam and I shared an elephant and took turns being the driver of the elephant. It was definitely scarier than I thought it was going to be!

We concluded our day bathing the elephant which was really fun! I tried not to think about the fact that we were bathing them where they pee and poop! Our elephant definitely pooped while we were bathing him! Check out the mahout throwing the poop away from us!

Overall this was an unforgettable experience and we would highly recommend this elephant park to anyone who is visiting Chiang Mai!

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caroline ittner said...

do y'all both have crocs on...

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