Elephants, Bamboo Rafts, and Orchids

December 31: We spent New Years Eve Day in the Chiang Dao region, a mountainous area near Chiang Mai. We began with Elephant Training Camp, then floated on a bamboo raft down the river, then had lunch at the Orchid Farm.

Elephant Camp-1.jpg

This was the elephant and riders just behind us. We presumably looked the same.

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The ride involves wading the river - very low in the dry season - part of the way.

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As befits a tropical jungle path, the vegetation was incredibly lush.

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After the ride, the elephants are fed bunches of bananas for positive reinforcement.

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They are then marched into the river ...

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... for cooling and cleansing.

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The elephants and their mahouts put on a show of hauling and stacking big logs, which was their main role in the past.

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Finally, one of the elephants - handed brushes dipped in appropriate colored paint - paints a picture of a tree with green grass and red leaves.

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We then boarded a bamboo raft for an hour's leisurely poled float down the river.

Bamboo Rafting-1.jpg

This is how the scene looked from a suspension bridge as we were entering Elephant Training Camp.

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Grasses on the river bank.

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An old man, fishing with a net, waved and smiled.

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We had lunch at the Orchid Farm, and afterward wandered among rows of beautiful orchids in great variety.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Victor Bloomfield published on December 31, 2012 9:12 PM.

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