11 July 2012

Maesa Elephant Camp - Day 5


Buffet Breakfast at Rati Lanna Resort

Smoked Salmon

Heading north-west of Chiang Mai city approximately 12 km, through the lush tropical jungle of Maesa Valley, we're on our way to visit Thailand's most beloved and endearing animal and it's a national icon too, elephant at Maesa Elephant Camp.  This ideal location is home to the biggest elephant nursery in the north of Thailand.  The main concept of this camp is using the natural and healthy environment to conserve, breed and grow the number of this endanger species which their numbers have been reduced rapidly over the past decade in the wild.

The surrounding area of camp is very clean, well maintained and serene with the sound of waterfall as an entrance welcoming all visitor to this camp.

Here, you can see the elephants demonstrating their skills like painting, playing soccer, dancing, and the most extreme is back massage.  You can also get closer with this precious mammals by feeding them with their favourite food like bananas and sugar canes or doing the elephant riding accompanied with their mahouts who've been looking after their elephant since they were young.  Watching elephants taking a bath in the waterfall is also the one not to be missed out but you gotta be there nice and early.  So you can witness how extraordinary the big fellow are.  Just incredible.

The remarkable thing about this photo is when we were trying to get some pose with these fellas, one of the elephant raise his trunk with this bamboo hat and put it on my head.  Then after that, he still keep tapping on my head a few times too!!  How's adorable !!

Elephant's skills
All of these painting were eventually put on auction and sold it to the visitors and all of the money will go the camp's fund.  I can't really forget the moment when I was there.  This animal is really smart and too cute to be hunt down just for their parts or trafficking in the South East Asia.

These elephant were trained since they're young by their mahout.  And each elephant will have one mahout that be with him since they were born until in most cases, one of them pass away.  That's why they always pick, sometimes as young as 10 years old boy to be a mahout of a newborn elephant.

Feeding Elephants

No matter how much you feed her, she never has enough of these bananas.  She just keep on eating and eating then we noticed that her stomach was obviously swollen.  Then the carer told us that she is pregnant!!!  Oh I see J

Another memorable thing you could experience here in the camp is definitely an elephant riding.  These 1 hour ride on this greedy fella was a bittersweet moment.  Rather scary than exciting, but understandable, I guess she just hungry!!!  She just keep on looking for food non stop all the way from the main camp up to the mountain.  Sometimes even feel like she wanna dive off the trek and alongside was a short cliff which falling itseft can cause you a coma.

Maesa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai
Mae Raem, Mae Rim,
Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand
Ph: +66 053 206248

Karen Long Neck Village
After riding on that hungry fellas, with a short walk we arrived at this minority hill tribes community of Long Neck villager or also known as Karen village.  Legend claims that the rings is worn to protect the women from tiger bites.  Some believes said that is for preserving their culture and beauty where the longer neck for the girls is actually means the more beautiful they are and the ring neck adornment is started when the girls are about 5 years old and added as they grow older.  Not only neck, sometime the rings are also worn on the wrist and ankle.  In here, their living is depend from the tourism and selling souvenirs, postcards and handmade crafts.  They're very humble and nice people, and if you want to have a photo with them.  Aah haa !!!  Nothing for free here.  Pay around 20 bath or so.

Orchid & Butterfly Farm

After our wonderful time at Maesa Elephant camp, we do have a little bit of spare time so our tour guide brought us to this beautiful orchid and butterfly farm, not far from the camp.  Also have a buffet lunch here as well but such a shame that I didn't have any photo of the food taken at all.  But from my memo, they got the usual Pad Thai and Deep-Fried Chicken Wings and seriously delicious.

Keep on reading for the next blog in Northern Thailand:

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