In which I run away to join the circus.

Lampang Travel Blog

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Seriously guys.

When I was a tiny girl, I had a Famous Five video in which the Five met a circus boy who was washing an elephant in an English stream. I forgot about it soon afterwards, but it all came flooding back in Lampang.

Lampang is a tiny tiny place with a nice train station and a huge elephant conservation park. Since the Thai authorities banned logging in the 1970s, thousands of elephants are out of work. Some mahouts were taking their elephants into cities like Bangkok in order to make money begging with them, which is a terrible idea because Bangkok is tiny and elephants aren't. In Lampang, ecotourism is all the rage. Tourists are literally the best way to make sure the elephants aren't put down or put into unsuitable situations - Lampang has a free hospital, information etc etc. In the way of all Thai tourist attractions, there seems to be things missing - it seemed slightly shallow in some unnamable way - but it reminded me that I want to live in the jungle and sit on elephants' backs and generally bond with them.

We got soaked to the skin taking an elephant ride in the monsoon and then got straight onto another sleeper train, this one heading south to Lopburi, the town with the monkeys. Sleepertrains are a necessary evil when you've only got three days.
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photo by: wouternet