I’m currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand after a few days of traveling.
After leaving Cape Town, I flew to Dubai. From there I flew to Bangkok, and Emirates upgraded me to business class for free! It was so nice – a fully reclined seat, unlimited food & so much space!
I stayed in Bangkok for a night, then the following day took the overnight train to Chiang Mai.
I haven’t been in Thailand very long, but I love it so far. Everyone is super friendly and helpful, and I’ve felt so safe everywhere I’ve gone.
Thailand is obviously very famous for its elephant parks, and yesterday I went to one! Currently there’s a lot of discussion on the ethics behind elephant riding, so I chose to go to an elephant sanctuary – they offer no riding there, and all of the activities you do are very natural to the elephants.
I got picked up from my hotel and drove about 1.5 hours outside of the city with 8 other people. Everywhere you go here you sit in the back of a pick up truck!
When we arrived we changed into a traditional “Karen” top, which is a local tribe in a nearby village. We then got to picking bananas and feeding the elephants!
We then had to give the elephants their medicine, which helps make sure they get all their nutrients. We mixed together rice and the medicine in little balls and then put them right into the elephant’s mouth!
Next was bath time! We walked with the elephants down to a water hole, where we were given water buckets and scrubbers. We got in the water with the elephants and literally scrubbed them clean! Pretty cool experience playing in the water with them. It’s really hot here (95 and humid), so the water felt great.
After that we went and gave them mud baths! There was a little mud area and we got to throw mud all over the elephants. Local people use the mud as sunscreen and bug repellent, so we covered our bodies in it as well.
It was really nice that throughout all the activities, nothing was timed or set on a strict schedule. The amount of time we did each thing was based on the elephants – when they were done eating and done in the water we moved onto the next thing.
It was such a fun day to be able to interact with them and do so many different things, from feeding to bathing to just playing. After seeing elephants in the wild in Africa, it was pretty crazy to be so close to them!
I still have two more days here so I’m going exploring and am also doing a cooking class!