Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Elephant Rides in Chiangmai

If you have never ever had a ride on the back of an elephant before, and you happen to be in Chiangmai, you might like to give it a try. But first and foremost, you need a strong arm to hold on to the sidebars because you certainly do not want to slip off your bench while the elephant is negotiating slopes and turns along the winding jungle trail. I enjoyed the unique experience very much although I found some difficulty keeping my bum firmly on the seat. I kept sliding off each time the elephant dips and had to hold on tight to the sidebars. It didn't help that I kept my feet off the elephant's back because I did not feel comfortable stepping on the poor animal's back for support. The 20 minutes ride was made more interesting by the picturesque scenery along the trail and the shouts of "whoops and whoa" from fellow travellers in the elephant convoy. I'm amazed by how well the Thais have mastered the art of training elephants, which are basically wild animals. Apart from amazing feats performed by the elephants ala circus-style, one particularly clever elephant even managed to produce a painting of a tree with leaves and flowers by clutching a paintbrush in his trunk and gingerly draw onto a white canvas. I took the above picture while we were crossing a river half way through the ride at the Maetamann Rafting and Elephant Camp in Chiangmai, Thailand. I will post some more pictures in the next entry.



Blogger carboncopy said...

The wild elephants are "tamed" using very cruel methods. Torture is more accurate word to use.

Chiangmai! Did you see lots of mind teasing toys made of wood?

20/12/05 21:09  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Mind teasing toys, really? What are those things?? Nothing indecent, I hope :)

21/12/05 00:18  
Blogger carboncopy said...

Mind teasing as in IQ testing. Puzzles, games, etc.

How the word 'teasing' gives negative conotation. :p

21/12/05 01:53  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Oh, those wood-block toys! He..he.. excuse my blundering conclusion. I actually got a pair of indecent soft-toy jungle man & woman from a wisecracking colleague many years back as a gift from her trip to Bangkok. Not a displayable souvenir for the family to see, actually. Coming back to the woodblocks, yes, I did see lots of them being sold in the night markets and bazaars. But I guess like cardgames, you need to know how to play those in order to appreciate them, no?

21/12/05 13:14  
Blogger carboncopy said...

Part of the fun is to figure out how to play them. It is more of solving the puzzle/game. :)

21/12/05 21:20  

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