Welcome to Chiang Mai & Elephant Nature Park Experience!

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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with ms Lek Chailert, one of Time Magazine's Heroes for Asia back in 2005 and NatGeo's Hero of the Planet in 2001.
Alright, So i arrived in Chiang Mai the day before (Oct 29) and it all started with a horrible flight onboard airasia via Kuala Lumpur. I mean, it wasn't the plane that's bad, it was the people beside me. Men in seats 1A, 1B, 1D, and 1E are just horrible people. They were so noisy all throughout the entire 2 hour flight, that i didn't get to sleep (it was early morning and i had no sleep the night before). Guy from seat 1D and 1E were even standing up flirting with the flight attendants during the entire time and their voices can probably be heard at the back of the plane, it was like they were in a supermarket.

Anyway, i was a bit disappointed upon arriving in Chiang Mai because the weather wasn't what i expected to be.
feeding time
You see, i brought jackets and pants... and i didn't have any use for it. ha! but i love the city despite that, it's just so relaxing to be in CM! As soon as I got the Yi Peng Festival schedule from the TAT office, i headed on to Doi Suthep, but before that i had to figure out how the public transport system. Spent the whole afternoon there and had a great first thai meal of the day after that.

Oct 30, the following morning it was time to go to the Elephant Nature Park. Eversince i saw it on National Geographic, I've wanted to go there. And now that i am in Chiang Mai, it's on top of my list of things to do. Just a day is enough to get a feel of the sanctuary, and then maybe next time when i come back, do volunteer work for a few days.

The Park arranged for everything that day.
bathing time
They picked me up at the hostel, and after an hour and half ride, i was in elephant heaven! I immediately fell in love with the place. and i got so excited seeing all the gentle giants! each one has a story to tell and most of them heartbreaking. I really felt so bad for the Jokia, the blind one, and malai tong, the landmine victim. i kept feeding jokia during feeding time and it was such a special experience.

after lunch, it was bath time and it was so much fun!

I also got to meet Lek, the director and founder of the sanctuary. She is such an amazing woman, when I told her i am a photographer she immediately invited me out in the field where there's a herd of elephants grazing. Just me, her, the mahouts (elephant handlers) and a couple of volunteers. Such a special time! I got the VIP treatment from her. And i got some fabulous shots of her and the herd! I'll have them published in a magazine soon and enter them in a photo contest!

Being surrounded by the giants in the field was such a surreal experience. i never thought i'd be that close to elephants in my life. of course the highlight of the day was meeting the woman behind this effort, herself. it is such an honor! Before heading back for CM, she handed me DVDS and some other freebies to bring home. :)

I truly had the greatest experience at ENP and i will surely come back again when i am in Chiang Mai.

jaeWALK says:
yes i did! i even adopted one elephant for a year! will post the pic soon!
Posted on: Jan 02, 2010
momiji says:
You made it to this!!! Looks fun :)
Posted on: Nov 14, 2009
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with ms Lek Chailert, one of Time …
with ms Lek Chailert, one of Time…
feeding time
feeding time
bathing time
bathing time
baby elephant! so cute!
baby elephant! so cute!
again, with my hero!
again, with my hero!
RARA! from Sheraton Krabi runs aro…
RARA! from Sheraton Krabi runs ar…
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes