The many facets of Chiang Mai

The many facets of Chiang Mai
Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Thailand

Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Thailand

We were picked at 8 am and were driven about one hour away for an elephant safari.
This is a reserve where they have been successful in saving thousand of elephants.
We took many photos with these gentle giants. We also fed them and were delighted by an elephant circus show. The difference here is that these animals are very well taken care of in their natural jungle environment.
The most impressive part of the show was the elephant painting on paper.
We then went for an elephant ride where they paired us on a very high bench. Our elephant was very tall. We traversed the river and went for a ride in the jungle. It was a good shake and bake experience! All of a sudden on the way down this very steep hill down the trail, I hear this laughter mixed with a long screech, that was Lorenza afraid of sliding all the way into the river. You can imagine what’s in river being that it’s the elephants’ bathtub!
After that they took us on an ox cart ride. You’d better have a good back for that one. The best position was standing up. I’m glad I tried it once!

We had a decent buffet lunch which was not bad for a park.

After lunch we embarked on a bamboo raft with two guides steering the raft down the soft Rapids of the Mae Taeng River, for about one hour. It was after all, quite enjoyable being that the river was in the middle of the jungle. We were very careful not to get our feet wet, since elephant poop was following us down the river

This is a amazing group to travel with, every one interacting with each other at different times and it’s a live and let live attitude amongst ourselves! So it’s been an amazing experience since they all know each other well, but they’ve made me feel quite at home, very far away from home! There is always lots of laughter and lots to talk about.
They all have great attitudes and are ready to laugh at anything.
I would travel with this group again, any time anywhere!

Our next destination was the Butterfly and an orchid farm. It was interesting but I’ve seen better butterfly sanctuaries and in California we have beautiful orchids.

The next destination was a foreign world to us. A bit like Sapa but yet very different. We went to visit many tribes who live in a protected reserve in the jungle, they also grow rice in a palier formation, with water descending from one level to the next.

Their homes were made of bamboo, the metal roofs were covered with jungle leaves to keep it temperate. The houses had a floor kitchen, one or 2 bedrooms with elevated beds with nets covering it. I saw no tv’ s in the homes.
The bathroom are always outside the house as they have no running water.

In front of every house, all the women sell their quilts, purses, jewelry, batik pillows and many other chachkas. Being that there were many different tribes, they were all dressed differently , like a “small small world” it was so colorful. Where are the men?? Well they work in the field, they build the houses and performed other heavy chores. Some of the tribes come from Tibet, others from China.

The best was saved for last.
That is the long neck tribes from Myanmar.
These women are beautifully dressed with brass rings around their neck; which they add as they get older. They start at the age of 5. They also have brass rings under their knees, with beautiful jewelry and Disc In their ears. Being that life in Myanmar is so unstable and difficult. They are thrilled to be here. We took many photos and bought items from them as well!

La piece de resistance, was at the end of the road, where there was an education center. Inside that center they were five precocious 5 to 7 year old girls, stunningly dresses with beautiful jewelry and natural mineral makeup. They were there studying and helping each other and writing in Burmese on the chalk board.

When we came back to the hotel, our tour guide had booked a 2 hour Ayurvedic massage for Lorenza and me while Jorge got Thai massage. I had never experienced this type of massage; they dripped oil for about 15 to 20 minutes or your forehead and it slowly drips into your hair.
They continue dripping the oil on your back as well. Except for taste And signs, all your senses are delighted by the smell of the insense, by the perfect pressure and by the soothing music. i don’t know where the 2 hours went. It was truly divine. On the other hand, Jorge did not enjoy his pretzel Thai massage.The prices here are so low, that one can have a massage everyday for $10.00!


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