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I Haven't Been Everywhere But It's On My List I love to travel and experience the world but part of the fun for me is documenting those experiences through photography and writing. Follow along with me and enjoy the ride!

Chang Chang Chang Chang Chang!

THAILAND | Tuesday, 11 August 2015 | Views [265]

Riding and playing with the elephants.

Riding and playing with the elephants.

Hello again!

I'm happy to report that after a whole day of rest, I was feeling much better and it was a good thing that I was because we were headed off to Chiang Mai the next day.  Chiang Mai is a city in Northern Thailand and originally we didn't think we would have enough time to make it up there but we were able to squeeze 2 days in and I was beyond excited!

We got in in the afternoon, grabbed something to eat and found a pool nearby to hang out in.  It was a nice way to cool down and relax - we've found that travel days, no matter how long or short are pretty taxing on us.  And we needed all of our strength for the next day because our itinerary was packed!!
We got picked up by our amazing tour guide bright and early and Achara brought us to the market to buy what we needed for breakfast.  From there we drove north toward Chiang Rai to Bobby's elephant camp.  The first thing we did when we got there was change into our mahout uniforms.  A mahout is the elephant trainer and they build very strong relationships with their elephant that often lasts from the elephant's infancy until the mahout dies.  Next, we met Bobby and he taught us the mahout commands.  Forward, backward, left, right, stop, good, lift your leg, etc.  We practiced these with the elephants and they got bananas as treats.  We also learnes the elephant song!  here, I'm using the term "learned" loosely because really Bobby sang and we stumbled our way through the Thai pronunciation.  I remember the first line though and it goes like this *clrars throat* "CHANG CHANG CHANG CHANG CHANG!!"  (You have to yell it as loud as possible, anything else is unacceptable to Bobby.). And, here's our Thai lesson for the day: Chang means elephant!
After that, we mounted the elephants and went for a walk with them.  It was incredible to feel like one with such an enormous and majestic animal.  It is an experience I will never forget.  We ended up in the river where the elephants laid down and we bathed and played with them.  Our time with these beautiful creatures was far too short but every second of it was amazing!
When we were done, we cleaned up and changed then had a breakfast feast from the market.  We had chicken, sticky rice with bananas, and all sorts of fruit - pineapple, banana, mangosteens,  and dragon fruit.  It was delicious!  From there, we drove a short way down to road to embark on our zip lining adventure through the Thai jungle canopy.  It was so much fun!! The adrenaline rush is indescribable!  For over 2 hours we soared from one tree to the next, over rivers and across gorges.  It was awesome!  At this point, it was time for lunch so we made our way to Tiger Kingdom. We chose not to because it was incredibly expensive, but we could have paid to go into the cages with the Tigers to pet them and pose for pictures.  Instead, we ate at the restaurant and we're still only a few feet away from their enclosures.  There were almost 100 tigers of all sizes and ages in the park and they were stunning.  After a delicious Thai lunch (pad Thai, of course) we headed to the orchid garden.  Orchids are the national flower of Thailand and we have seen them everywhere during our trip but their beauty still amazes me every time.  I have an orchid plant at home but it hasn't bloom in over a year so it was crazy to see toes and rows and rows of beautiful orchids in so many shapes and colors.  Right next to the orchid farm was a small butterfly garden.   There were so many butterflies t was almost hard to comprehend it!! Both Jeanette and I managed to coax a butterfly onto one of our fingers too!  It was a long day but I feel so lucky to have seen and experienced all that we did!! It was truly amazing.  We're flying to our final destination on the trip tomorrow and heading to the beaches of Phuket!  



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