Once we got back into Thailand we had a quick one night stop in Chiang Kong. It actually felt like bit of a wasted stop. I would have preferred to have gone straight to Chiang Mai and then get another full day there. Anyways, it didn’t work out like that so it is what it is.
Chiang Kong was pretty uneventful. Once we got there we had enough time to shower before we went for a Christmas dinner together at a restaurant down the road. It was a fun evening and we had Christmas music, played pool and just had a laugh.
In the morning we set off to Chiang Mai. The highlight here that I was looking forward to was the elephant sanctuary and getting to spend time with them. I’ve only seen elephants in India and whilst they are huge and intimidating creatures they are incredible too. They seem very docile and friendly animals.
Chiang Mai as a town was pretty cool. It had a lot of restaurants and bars and was also pretty spread out so it didn’t feel like another huge city. It would have been much better to have the extra night here instead of going to Chiang Kong.
We got to go to the elephant sanctuary on Christmas Day which was amazing. I was gutted to miss all the Christmas festivities back at home but this was not a bad substitute. We took a private vehicle to the sanctuary which took around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Once we were there we had a private tour of the area and got to take some food over to the elephants. There were 6 elephants here, 2 Male and 4 female. One of the elephants was very young (2 years old) and called Dumbo – of course he was… For a 2 year old elephant he was still big! And you could tell he was young because he was mischievous.
At one point he lost his Mum and was making this really loud noise to call to her. I’ve never known what noise elephants make but this was a strange one!
The way elephants take their food is interesting too. They use the trunk to gather the food and put it into their mouths. But if the food is too big or needs to be broken the elephant will put their foot on the food and break it. They can eat a lot of food in one go! The trunk was interesting. It was like a pipe on a hoover where they would use it to grab the food and bring things closer to them but they also use it as a way of sensing and working you out.
Once we had fed the elephants we were then taken to the river where we got to wash two of them. These were two of the adult elephants. It was really cold water but one hell of an experience. One of the elephants kept inhaling water in their trunk and spraying it in our faces. I never thought I would see it but you could see how happy elephant was doing it – it actually smiled to the point of looking like a laugh.
Incredible day, incredible animals and a highlight of my trip.
In the evening we were out for our final meal and drinks as a group. After so long it had finally come to an end. It had to eventually I guess.