(December 5, 2010) Chiang Mai: Baanchang Elephant Camp
We’re going to be picked up early, around 8:30 AM, from hotel
take us to Baanchang Elephant Farm. There,
we will follow the lessons
to learn to drive an elephant. This activity ends at 4 PM, when we’ll
be delivered back in our hotel. At 5 PM starts Chiang Mai’s Sunday
After a good breakfast in the beautiful garden of
this hotel we have got the people from the Elephant Farm at the door.
They only stop one time to take a group of four young Americans in the
45 minutes way to the farm.
Once there we’re delivered some clothes to be
changed so we can enjoy the day without thinking about the cleanliness.
Then we receive a lecture about elephant’s live and the farm and we’re
ready for our first task: feeding the elephants with the bananas that
are in some big baskets. Eva goes directly to feed the baby elephant,
which is hugging her with the trunk. Some elephants take the entire
group of bananas with the trunk as others are opening the mouth
expecting you introduce the fruit directly in it. The contact with
their tongues is curious.
Next task is learning the words for “driving” an
elephant for these actions: up, down, right, left, forward and stop. We
practice these instructions riding an elephant. It is easier than I
expected, whether getting on it or keeping seated on its neck while
After the lessons is time for lunching. It is amazing how
fast the morning has gone by. The food is delicious.
Then we have some time for a nap before the
afternoon’s tasks, which basically are: riding the elephant through the
forest and ending in a big pool for washing them or, better said,
playing with the elephants. We’re enjoying a lot this time and the best
tip is not thinking about what could be the soft that we can feel at
the bottom of the pool.
This has been a fantastic experience from which we
will have the pictures to remember:
Finally, a photo of the group:
Some minutes past 4 PM we’re back in the hotel, we rest just
a bit and leave for visiting the Sunday Market of Chiang Mai.
We take a cocktail in our way to the market, which is close to the
hotel. Today is a very special day in Thailand as it is King’s
birthday, the mail holyday in this country. When we reach the market we
can see a stage ready for some event all in pink and with a big picture
of the King, who we can easily reckon after seeing his image all around
the country. We take something for dinner by a couple of euros and do
some shopping. This market is huge and crowded, which makes impressive
seeing how everybody stops and keep quiet when the national hymn
sounds. It is like if the time stopped at once.
In our way back to the hotel, leaving the market,
are some dancers in the stage we could see before and we stop to see
the show. It is free and some people is sending paper lanterns to the
sky as balloons which are messing with the stars making a beautiful
view of the night. There are fireworks too, and we end going to bed