When CJ was just a tot, the elephant was one of the first animals she learnt to mimick, thanks to her Pop. Six years ago when she was 21, she announced "I want to go to Chiang Mai and ride an elephant". Stray and I looked at each other and decided to tag along. For the three of us it was our first time out of Australia. A whirl wind trip to Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay and back.
So now, as friends visit us in Chiang Mai, either Stray or I find ourselves again at the elephant camps just outside of Chiang Mai. This is part of the day I spent with JJ, at Maesa Elephant Camp, just the other week.
On arriving we posed with some of the mammoth mammals. Cute, rubbery and in need of a shave...the elephant didn't feel that cuddly either.
Bananas and sugar cane are available to buy and feed to the elephants, but be aware, a friend of ours told us their brother was handing over a 500 Baht note to purchase some fodder, when it was mistakenly scooped up by a near by trunk, and devoured.
Some of the 78 elephants that reside at Maesa.
After a very decent (tasty and affordable) lunch at the restaurant, we settled down for the show.
|The elephants entering the ring|
|Elephant basket ball|
We all know they're renowned for their wisdom and intelligence, so none of their impressive feats really surprise me, EXCEPT when it comes to painting.
|One masterpiece a day is quite enough thank you very much!|
|Those that aren't sold on the day are on display in the gallery.|
Hmmm...I'm not quite sure what JJ's thinking right now?
The surroundings are quiet, serene and scenic. Especially if you stop for the coconut juice served in its shell (freshly cracked open on demand) and dawdle about after the show. We had the entire walking track to ourselves.
|Our turn to drive...just joshing!|
Our mahout has been with his 30 year old bull for ten years and you can tell that there's a special, gentle relationship between the two of them....even when his beast wanted to go for a swim with us onboard...naughty heffalump!
They truly are magnificent beasts and appear to be well cared for. Of course I'd much rather see them in herds running wild in the jungles, but that would be a perfect world...wouldn't it!
Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai