Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chiang Mai Long Weekend: Day 3 (final day)

On our last day in Chiang Mai, Stephanie and I decided to go to the Elephant Camp while Alisa went for a massage. Alisa had been to the Elephant Camp before and highly recommended it. It was a good choice for an activity because the camp is only open 8:30-2:30 and we were flying out of Chiang Mai at 8:10 PM, so we didn't want to do anything where we might risk being late (after the gong show that was our flight to Chiang Mai).

The Elephant Camp is a half hour drive from the city. It has 77 elephants and there are three shows daily, as well as elephant riding, elephant feeding and places to walk around and look at.

Before the show, Stephanie and I fed the elephants some bananas. We bought a big bunch for 20 baht and were planning on sharing the bananas between the elephants, but after feeding one to an elephant he grabbed the whole bunch in my hand and was pretty much going to eat my hand along with it if I didn't let go. Elephant trunks are EXTREMELY strong.

After feeding, the keepers take the elephants to the river for bathing. The elephants seem to really enjoy this part- most rolled around in the water and splashed and played.

Then the elephants are taken up the hill to the arena, where they perform a fairly lengthy show for the audience. Much of the show seems to be designed not only to entertain, but to benefit the animals as well- for example, the elephants go through a series of exercises and engage in play. The elephants are extremely well-trained and have incredible relationships with their handlers. Alisa said this camp is very good for treating the animals well.

Part of the show is elephant soccer, which is SO cute. The handlers roll these oversized soccer balls to the elephants, who kick them towards the net. Two elephants took "penalty shots" on another elephant, who played goalie. It was adorable. The elephants can kick pretty hard- I wouldn't want to have to stop one of their shots!

The elephants also painted pictures under the guidance of their handlers. It seems that each elephant has been trained to produce a certain kind of painting. The camp holds the world record for most elephants painting at one time. The paintings are quite nice, and sell for 500-8000 baht. We didn't purchase any because the two we really liked that were painted that day sold in mere moments after they were finished, and it didn't seem the same to buy previously made ones.

The elephant camp was great. Chiang Mai was excellent, and we had no problem catching our return flight- it left an hour late too. Oh well, we had a fabulous time and hopefully we can go back again!

Until next time,


  • At 1:34 AM, Anonymous auntie Bonnie said…

    Hi Heather,
    Cool elephant show! You sure know how to pack in alot of stuff in one long weekend. Oh to be young and energetic! Looks like you had a ton of fun (and not just a ton of elephants).
    Love, Auntie Bonnie
    P.S. Mikaela got her braces off Thursday (8/24). She drove herself to get them off. She says thanks for the postcard! Way cool to get one from you.

  • At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Uncle Brian and Family said…

    HI HEATHER!!!!
    ITs Kim. Yes your energetic cousin. Im here on behalf of ummm dad's... Uncle Brian's family to say thank you for the postcard. ITs great. Dad was complimenting ur penmanship and was talking about how ur writing looks like it came from a computer. But yeah it sounds like u are having tons of fun... shopping, teaching, ummm beaching (???), and bonding... with animals that is. U got to meet tigers and elephants coooool. U just got to meet lions and tigers and bears... OH MY!!! but yuppers. ur cooking looks... GOOD. YUM Pad thai is the shiz (muahaha). anyways continue to party. and remember to wear sun tan lotion.


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