After 30 hours of travel and 3 flights, we made it to Chiang Mai to spend a few days with the elephants and a half day in the city. Overall verdict: first city was a success with some hysterical moments…
Elephant Nature Park
We arrived after a 2.5 hour bus ride, stop at the local 7-11, and winding roads up the mountain with our group that we’d be with the next 48 hours. A couple from Las Vegas, a couple from Ireland, and a couple from England.
We fed the elephants, bathed them, went on a few walks around the property (400 acres in total) to meet the elephants, had lunch (no clue what we were eating… same is true for all meals we ate here), and then it was off to see our accomodations. Rustic is the word we’ll use – no AC, nets over our beds, a small hole in the ground to drain the shower, and some critters. At night I woke up to some odd sound which turned out to be the elephants in our backyard, not a bad surprise.
In the evening there was a local ceremony, and we needed to cover our knees and shoulders… a small fact I didn’t know when packing my overnight bag. So, I pulled together a cute number from Dennis’s items and after a few Changs (beers), I didn’t even mind.
- We went for a morning walk to meet more elephants and water buffalo
- We got video while playing the Lion King song to make a great video
- We made some elephant food (ok, by ‘we’ I mean Dennis and the rest of the group, HH and I sat this one out)
- Dennis fell while carrying said elephant food
- We had to walk across a log to feed some other elephants
- Dennis got hit by said elephants trunk… leaving a cloud of dust and everyone in tears from laughter (he wasn’t hurt, thank god since we were 3 hours from civilization)
As our new Brit friends would say… “that one time, at elephant camp…”
Chiang Mai City
Back to Le Meridien, a little more our speed, we showered and then hit the pool for some cocktails plus a chance for Dennis to rest his now swollen knee and bruised ego.
Next up – local cuisine at Lemongrass – I would highly recommend it… great local food and a quick walk from the hotel. As their slogan states… “Great taste, no view.”
This brings us to today, the last few hours in Chiang Mai and we decided to go get a massage at the Women’s Massage Center by ex-prisoners. It was AMAZING with a few moments of laughter (as usual with this crew):
- I put the outfit on wrong and the woman literally changed me to put the shirt on correctly.
- In one of the positions she contorted me into, we both tumbled over.
- HH getting a foot massage across the room looks up and says “I looked up and saw you both spread eagle.”
- The 3 of us hardly fit into the tuk tuk – making a comedy show on wheels.
Cheers Chiang Mai, you treated us well. Next stop, Laos!