Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mostly Elephants

Although we begin the day at an orchid farm, we soon head to the elephants.

The Maesa Elephant Camp is great. Lots going on here.

Feeding elephants, playing and getting kisses

Then it was time for baths.

Showtime. first the parade, then tricks.

Yeah! Goal! Score one for the elephants.
Then the elephants get out their easels and paints and we watch them paint.

They paint things they know, flowers, trees, elephants and landscapes.

Of course I had to have a painting. I got one that reminded me of the orchids we saw earlier in the day.
 For a finale the elephants did a demonstration of elephant logging. They skidded some logs into the arena and stacked them up.

Then it was off to another place further in the forest for an hour long elephant ride. There were rides here, but just short ones and apparently, according to our guide there was some contention among people about there not being enough rides available.

We rode along a forest trail to a waterfall. Just us and the elephant and the mahout. Rock, rock, plod ,plod. You gradually get used to the rhythm  There were some high dollar looking places on the other side of the creek.  Elephants do like to eat and ours often was trying to grab foliage along the way, often getting sideways on the trail and leaning out over the edge, earning threats from the mahout.

Grabbing some bites.

Back on the trail.
After the elephant ride we drove to Tiger Kingdom for lunch. We had the opportunity, if we chose, to pay for petting a Bengal tiger and getting closeup photos.  We just watched other people. I noticed they were petting the but end of the tigers rather than the head.

These tigers just looked tired, but healthy.
Then off to a famous wat on top of the mountain overlooking Chang Mai, Doi Suthep.  A relic of Buddha is enshrined in a huge golden stupa.  We are blessed by the monk.

For dinner we went out to a cultural center for the dinner and dancing show.

 As usual at these kinds of events there was way too much food. More of this? More of that? No, no, no more. The inside show was very fancy dancing with exquisite hand motions and small shuffling steps. The fingernail dance. The silk reeling dance. Hard to take pictures of the dancing as the cameras do not like the bright light and dark contrast.

Outside for the hill-tribe cultural dancing. Flutes, drums and bright colors and children dancing along. William says it reminds him of the dancing at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics last summer.

We are headed to the hill tribes. Doubt they have wifi there. 

No comments: