Thursday, August 12, 2010

Delightful Adventures: Save a Horse, Ride an Elephant! My Chiang Mai Adventure

Nestled among the highest mountains in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has recently become a hot spot for tourism. I had the privilege of visiting the burgeoning city in 2004 where I fulfilled one of my life's goals of actually-for real-riding an elephant.

Chiang Mai was my favorite city I visited in Thailand. I love it because it is rich in Thai cultural and parts of it have not become modernized and westernized. My two favorite activities in this beautiful city were shopping and a three-day elephant trek, which I highly recommend. It's a once in a lifetime adventure!

The Night Market
Before embarking on my elephant adventure, I went shopping! I love the night market because it offers a vast array of goods from cheesy tourist t-shirts to luxurious Thai silk. I actually bought a lot cute clothes there. They were super cheap and they make them to fit the average American girl...well, the average American girl in her 20s. I was much skinnier then! This market is the best place to buy Thai souvenirs! Some of my favorites were wood carved elephants, Thai silk pillow covers, and Coca-cola t-shirt written in Thai (but still do they do it?!)

The Elephant Trek
By far, this is one of my most favorite events in life! Basically, the elephant trek consists of three days traveling through the Thai jungle-mostly via hiking, but also via elephant and rafting. We stayed two nights in different Thai minority villages, living among the Thai villagers. So much culture! Since Pictures speak 1,000 words:

Doesn't it look like the Shire??

Char-bear and I shared an elephant.

Our elephant guide let us rid the elephant for real! It kind of hurt...they have really prickly hair.

Then our elephant blew snot on us. And someone captured the moment.

What the villages looked like-we slept 12 people in one of those little huts, peed in holes,  and took "showers" in buckets. I just didn't shower.

Common sights to see in the village:

A Nursing Sow (aren't the piglets too cute?!)

A woman preparing a meal-aw, look at the cute puppies...too bad they had scavies or I would've petted them!

Every body's got a water buffalo!! In Thailand, they do!

The kids performed cultural songs and dances for us...and the itsy bitsy spider. The kid on the right was HILARIOUS. He was obviously ticked that his mom made him wear a skirt and dance with the girls, so he made sure to misbehave.

EA playing with a kid-one of our favorite activities.

We ended our adventure rafting down the river. One of the group's rafts broke, though.

If you ever go to Thailand, YOU MUST DO THIS!!

Delightfully Loving Adventure,


  1. I'm reading this with a friend that will be in EA this year as well and we just decided that for her birthday while we're in Thailand, we will go ride elephants! Gets me super excited!

  2. Great photos, but I'm not sure if I could sign up for an experience that involves both elephant snot and showering (or not) in buckets! What an adventure!

  3. What an adventure! Your photos are great - love the elphant snot moment :)

  4. That was a fantastic adventure! Thanks for sharing with great pictures too! I rode an elephant once, but your ride looks much more adventurous than mine was. Here's the link to the post about mine if you have time to stop by:

    Visiting from Friday Field Trip.

  5. April, this looks incredible. I've always wanted to travel, but after having three kids, seems very unlikely any time soon, and even if we do manage, I could not do these kinds of things now, :( so I LOVE reading about others travels. You have some great trips. I can see how much fun you had. Love it!!!


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