Thailand Post #4: riding on elephants


One of our number one goals of our holiday in Thailand was to see and ride elephants. In our trusty guide book, we read of one elephant camp 2 hours north of Chiang Mai where people could not only ride elephants, but they could do it without a saddle and then finish the ride in a river with the elephants. We had to see if this was really true or not, so we hightailed it through the northern Thailand mountains in search of elephants, to a little town called Pai.

Pai is a hippie's dream land. It's warm in the day, cool at night with plenty of shops to enable anyone to become the poster child of the hippie movement. There's one store full of colorful tie-dyed dresses and Bob Marley t-shirts, next to a jewelry shop of wooden and silver necklaces, next to a hair place that specializes in dreadlocks. It's a little bit eerie seeing crowds of dreadlocked, dirty, baggy pants, barefoot people from all over the world. I'm not sure what people do here other than pursue yoga, pot, and crystal meditation. Maybe the elephants? I wonder if they ever do find what they're looking for, or if they realize that Pai is just another tourist town, eager to make a buck.


Anyway, we were happy just to be out of a city and into cooler weather, and oh so excited to finally see elephants! The day was everything the book promised and more. We got an early morning hike on the elephant. Ours' was a 50-year-old grandma elephant named "Pomba", and the trainer told us she was pretty skittish but she handled the hike really well. After the hike, we walked into the river and Pomba threw us off and blew water at us out of her trunk. It was so incredible, even if she was prodded to do it by her trainer.

I keep trying to add pictures and videos, but these cyber cafe places just can't keep up with all my internet needs, so it'll have to wait til we get home. We have a 15-hour trainride to Bangkok tomorrow, and then a weekend in the city. We're just about ready to go home, but Thailand is definitely worth the trip!

1 comment:

moeblis said...

oh my oh my!!! I LOVE this post. :D

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