Elephant Trekking

I had always wanted to take a ride on an elephant and after enjoying a few days after my arrival in Chiang Mai I decided to visit my hotel’s booking desk and inquire about trips that were available.

After spending some time exploring the various options, I decided to embark on an elephant trek. It was followed by a visit to some hill tribes, before concluding with a ride through the river on a Bamboo raft.

At 8.30am the following morning I arrived at the hotel lobby to find my tour guide already waiting for me, so greetings were exchanged before I got into the van. I was the first pick up in the morning, and we picked up four more adventurous travelers from several hotel chains located in Chiang Mai.

After an hour of travel, we arrived at the camp for elephants. We climbed out of the people carrier and crossed a small rope bridge. The next vehicle we saw was savoring palm leaves. After a brief introduction and talk from our guide, we were going off. Visit:- https://treladatthanh.com/

It was easy to climb on the elephantbecause there was a wooden platform we could sit on at elephant’s highest point.

It took us approximately an hour to ride through the forest. We didn’t seem to be following any particular route. We fell through the trees. I always thought that an elephant ride would be more comfortable. But, it was more like a fair-ground ride. It could be because of the steep slope or perhaps the nature of my elephant being overly eager to eat anything it saw instead of following the Mahout’s directions.

The worst part was getting off the animal The Dutch couple on the elephant directly in front of me was the first to try to get off, and then again on an wooden platform. But when the lady was on the platform, her elephant decided it was tired of sitting there and decided to move off and one of our tour guides attempted to hold her but to no avail and she fell maybe 10 feet to the forest floor. Luckily she survived, with only some scratches and bumps and how she managed to not hurt herself I’ll never know Perhaps she was an acrobat in earlier life!

After this incident I was relieved to know that my animal stayed where it should and I reached the platform without incident.

After saying goodbye to the elephants, we returned in the people carrier, and drove for 30 minutes to the Hmong village, an indigenous hill tribe, where women still weave using the traditional method that has been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. This was also a chance for local children to harass tourists to see what money they could get out of us.

After my time in the village I was captivated by the massive pigs that were tethered underneath the homes. We then walked through the forest until we reached the waterfall where we could all dip and cool down. Our guide then took us along a jungle track through the most luscious green I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Then, we entered a White Karen village, and again were allowed to explore and discover how people lived. It was quite humbling to observe the simple way in which they lived, and I was amazed at the way content and happy the people were like compared to us who live in the west with all of our modern amenities.

We could sit in the shade and a chat with our hosts while they cooked the lunch. It was a simple vegetable and rice meal with an egg omelette.

Following lunch, we drove to Bamboo Rafting. I thought they would appear like tiny boats but they were actually bamboo poles strung together. We had 3 people each in each raft. We were spread evenly across the length of the rafts. Our driver stood at the front and used a long, thin pole to push our way. It was a slow and extremely quiet journey along the river, sometimes broken by a group of kids who were on the banks and diving in as we went through. This was the best part of my day, simply floating along the river, hearing the birdsong and the insects.

It was amazing when I had to take the pole off and stand. It was like I was going back to the past. The “poleman” behind me believed it would be funny to splash his pole directly on top of me in order to intimidate me. However, I’m blessed to have my sea legs so I was able just to smile with him and maintain my equilibrium.

 

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