Last post, I promised I was going to show the pieces painted by the elephants. Here they are:
Pretty good, right? They paint better than me. The pieces were sold faster than hot bread. Everybody wanted to take one home.
After watching the show, there was time for an elephant ride. This experience was fantastic. The elephants are allowed to take it easy during the ride. That is one of the things I mostly enjoyed. They were allowed to stop to eat grass. Additionally, there were tanks full of water around the ride path. The elephants stopped, filled their trunks with water and then sprayed the water on their lower body (we were above the elephant). We visited Thailand during the hot season so this was a refreshing mechanism. They also have an area with a pond. Some elephants deviated to the tree covered pond. Again, by dipping their paws in the cold water, they were allowed to cool down. In my opinion, it was fantastic to have the ride but also see the elephants doing all these things.
Now, let me say something to finish my Maesa Elephant Camp accounts. I found the place very clean and the elephants well treated. In fact, it was so clean that I didn’t even feel a bad smell coming from the animals. Sometimes when you are near wild animals (like in a zoo), the smell is not that pleasant. Well, in this place I did not perceive any unlikable odors. Furthermore, the bond between mahouts and elephants was noticeable. The elephants looked healthy and happy. They were agile and full of energy. According to my guide, they are allowed to roam free when people are not visiting. Why I am saying this? I am talking about this because going to a place where animals are kept captive can be controversial. I recounted my experience in this blog because I didn’t perceive any shady operations in this place. I asked my guide several questions about the camp before going and she responded with knowledge and responsibility. The elephant is a cherished and respected animal for Thais. Any abuse towards these animals is highly punishable. Just wanted to mention this before moving on.
The rest of the day was spent walking around downtown Chiang Mai. We visited several artisanal shops. It is really interesting to observe how people in this area work with wood, lacquer and paper. Here are some photos of a paper factory (the use hard paper to make umbrellas and fans).
In the evening, I found out how other members of the group went to Tiger Kingdom and to a hill tribe area. Oops. I don’t know why I didn’t find out about them doing this. I wanted to go to see the tigers. I guess I will have to come back to Chiang Mai someday.
We ended the day by having a fantastic dinner and visiting the night market again. We had an awesome time in Chiang Mai. We enjoyed every moment. Hopefully, we will be back soon. Next stop: Chiang Rai.