One of the blogger’s lifestyle genres is being a travel blogger. This is a day trip to see the Thailand Elephants. This most awesome day trip is just 30km North of Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand Elephants |Maesa Camp
Taking new adventures in a foreign country where the language and culture are so different from one’s own, is always exciting tinged with just a little fear of the unknown. I would have to say that this day trip is the best ever.
Thailand Elephants at Maesa Camp, Mae Rim District
The road trip is quite interesting with the excitement building as we arrive at the Maesa Elephant Camp. This is the home and workplace for about 70 Asian elephants and their Mahouts (handlers, keepers).
Apart from being valuable to the tourist industry, these type of elephant camps give the many visitors a huge appreciation for these large, beautiful animals.
Historically the elephants in Thailand were used to haul large logs cut from the teak forests. With changes to the logging industry both the elephants and their mahouts were unemployed and without income. With their natural habitat being quite depleted, their only option was to roam the streets and beg for food. To help conserve the elephant population camps like Maesa were developed.
Walking through the entry and down into the elephant camp, it is bath time. Elephants are seen enjoying a romp in the water, and their mahouts give them a back rub and scrub. A couple of the elephants were doing more than just romping, but we won’t go there. Refreshed after their bath the elephants file up to the arena where they are going to show us their amazing skills and strength.
It is not just tourists here today, these very well behaved Thai school children are here learning to love and understand elephants too.
As everyone moves in and finds a seat around the arena, we are treated to a fabulous show by these magnificent Thailand Elephants and Mahouts.
Now for the Art Lesson
Look at this it is amazing, we are watching as the elephants are painting. The Mahout loads the paint brush with paint and the elephant takes the brush in its trunk and paints the painting one stroke at a time.
These intelligent, beautiful animals keep endearing themselves to us as they display their talents.
Each elephant finishes its painting, and the artwork is placed on a stand with a For Sale sign and a price. These paintings are made available for the audience to buy.
“The most expensive painting by a group of elephants, is ‘Cold Wind, Swirling Mist, Charming Lanna I’, which sold for 1.5 million baht (£20,660, US$39,000) to Panit Warin (Sinanta) (Thailand) on 19 February 2005 at Maesa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The painting measured 2.4 m x 8 m (7 ft 10 in x 26 ft 3 in).” (Source Guinness World Records).Look at this it is amazing, we are watching elephants painting. Click To Tweet
It is now time for the highlight of the day, taking a ride on an elephant. To ride on the elephants, you walk up onto a high platform that is the same height as the top of the elephants back. It is obvious that some of the folks in the group are a bit nervous even afraid, others are just excited at the thought of riding on an elephant.
The elephants have been prepared by placing padding on their backs and then a wooden chair that holds two people.
Setting off up the trail everyone gets comfortable following along one behind the other. Then our Mahout unexpectedly took the elephant we are on off along the little trail on the right away from the others. A little unsure why we are taking a different trail to the others, but all seemed well as we continue up the little trail.
Our Mahout turns to us and asks for our camera, he takes it and jumps off the elephant and walks on ahead us. We are left on the elephant without a ‘driver’ and feeling a bit nervous. The Mahout keeps walking, and the elephant follows. The Mahout, now a little way in front turns and starts taking photos of us with our camera.
We notice that the elephant is getting closer and closer to the edge where the trail drops off sharply. Many of the photos taken by the Mahout show the concern on our faces. To our relief, the Mahout notices how close to the edge we are and with a hand gesture he directs the elephant back to the center of the little trail.
Riding on a Thailand elephant is such an exhilarating experience, it was on my bucket list for Thailand and it does not disappoint.
On top of this there are other exhibits to visit, and don’t miss going to the nursery, buying bananas and sugarcane to feed the elephant mums and bubs.
This has been a most wonderful, enjoyable day trip from Chiang Mai to learn about and experience Thailand Elephants.
At the time of writing this post on Thailand Elephants at Maesa Camp Admission costs 200 Thai Baht. The ride for one hour cost 1200 Baht. Check for updated details before you go.
Tips: Take sun hats, a bottle of water, extra bahts to tip your Mahout. There is an official photo of your ride that you can buy. It comes already and framed at the end of your ride. The frame and other writing paper and paper gifts are made from elephant droppings in a paper making procedure.
Thailand Elephants or Asian elephants are different from African elephants.
Here is a summary of the differences sourced from Difference Between
1. The ears of the African elephant are much larger than the Asian one.
2. An African elephant is larger at 4 meters for the male bull against the Asian male bull elephant’s 3.5 meters.
3. An African elephant is heavier as it can weigh up to 7500 kilograms to an Asian elephant’s 6000 kilograms.
4. An African elephant has 21 ribs as against an Asian elephant’s 20.
5. Another distinguishing feature is the highest point is the shoulder in African elephants and is the back for Asian elephants.
The blogger’s lifestyle is a good one, on days like this, it is awesome.
Maybe you would like to be a travel blogger.
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