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Chiang Mai

Elephant Sanctuary & you guessed it, more temples!

The place where all my dreams came true! We got to feel / pat / wash / feed and take photos with the most beautiful animals in the world!
We went to Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary to spend the day with rescued elephants <3

It took us about 3 hours to get there on our tour from our hostel to the sanctuary. A lot of the driving was off-road and up hill. I did wonder how they got the elephants up there..

Crystal and I had been out the night before and we were so hungover. It felt like the longest and bumpiest ride ever, every bump you can feel your stomach go lol. Everyone on our tour was laughing at us, bumping our heads off the bus trying not to vomit. Metoclopramide and Loperamide was a life savour on this trip!

The local people at the sanctuary were such a blessing to the elephants. The tourism there kept the elephants safe and cared for - the way it should be instead of parading them at circuses or being ridden by dumb-assed, ignorant tourists. No hooks, no riding, just feeding. frolics and fun!

Firstly, we had an introduction to the elephants, we were informed all about them and their history and given bright ponchos to aid with trust for the elephants. We were taught how to feed them, throw them bananas and took photos. It was bliss.

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We took them on a trek after lunch, a long walk (or hobble in Crystal's case) to the lake where we washed them, bathed them, scrubbed them and hosed them down. They loved it! Their happy trunks dancing in the water, rolling over and spraying us. It turned into a massive water fight! Elephants 1, Humans 0.

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After we brought them back to their shelter and went for another trek, Crystal struggled to do the walk and keep her foot clean but she was so brave to soldier through with the bag on her foot <3. I was so proud of her for not letting it get in the way of doing what she wanted.
Our trek took us about an hour up the side of a cliff and down steep hills to get to a lake at the bottom. The lake was a beautiful spot for us to clean ourselves up and have a swim and a sunbathe by the waterfall before lunch. There were little fish in the lake that feast on your dead skin. Nothing like a quick pedicure after a long walk.
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This beautiful lady with so much joy splashed me with water as I passed her! She looked so innocent to begin with. This is one of my favourite photos of her <3
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When we got back to the Sanctuary we had a lovely lunch, traditional thai curry and rice, it was so authentic and tasty. We watched the elephants playing at the sanctuary while we ate. As the afternoon drew in, I didn't want to leave (or get back on the bus), but alas, we were soon on our way off-roading down the hills.

We were given a key chain of an elephant to remind us of our tour. I will treasure it and the memories forever.

The next day we visited another temple. It was so beautiful with all the reds, whites and golds. They had lovely quaint bridges with water fountains and more monks! Crystal and I were so intrigued by the monks. They're not allowed to look, speak to or sit next to women. If they did, they were almost punished by not being able to talk for like a month. - How crazy!
There were benches at the back of buses reserved for them, seats at airports and they rely on goodness of people to feed them at sunrise. I loved seeing a culture so different to my own and valued every experience that came my way in Thailand.

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Crystal did a thai cooking class that night and brought me back some crisp rolls to try (yum!). I had a cheeky nap.
The next day we got the overnight train from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok. It was the longest journey ever! People snoring, getting on and off, bright lights, seats folded out into beds and another bed came down from the ceiling. It was a fun experience for the first few hours lol. At the end of the carriage there was a small room with a window and a toilet where you can see the tracks straight down below (gross!). I was allowed to smoke out the little window; thank god, which made the journey that much more bearable. I got the top bunk and there was only like a seat belt strap stopping you from falling out. I didn't get much sleep and was a bit afraid to miss our stop!
When you looked out the windows you'd see people walking to work over the train tracks, stray dogs running up and down and children playing. It was concerning and so such a different world to the one I grew up in.

I was hyped to get to Cambodia.

Posted by Travel__Tease 04:53 Archived in Thailand Tagged temple thailand elephants chiang_mai sanctuary Comments (0)

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