Chiangmai Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
After my last post, the most common question I was asked was ‘how do I care for my gear in these situations?’ and so posting these images is a bit like ‘if you thought that was bad…just take a look at all the risks I took here!!’ hahahahahahaha…but, no, really. The tour guides were extremely concerned about my camera—me, not so much. I take precautions when I need to—like I don’t get as close to the action as I would like BUT…I still had two weeks of travel left after this day so I wasn’t fond of the idea of losing my gear at this point. I also wrap the strap around my wrist so that if I lose my balance or get knocked over, my camera is less likely to go flying and take a big impact.
A day at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiangmai was a bucket list day for sure. Georgia was particularly excited as you can tell from the photos. We did the full day tour which allowed for so much time with the elephants—we fed them, we had a class learning all about them which included making them a snack(which they said was like medicine, but I’m guessing it was like a digestive medicine of some sorts), played in the mud with them, then went for a bath with them, then did a little work around the camp before we were sent on our way. I say all this because, when the elephants came out for the first time, it was quite the rush…and, I felt like maybe this would be the short bit of time we got to spend with them(because you never REALLY know), but trust me—you get lots of time with them. So, just breathe and enjoy!
So, I knew that we had a mud bath with them and, in theory, this sounded like so much fun. In action, as we stood there listening to the instructions from our guides…well, the elephants(who were already standing in the mud) took multiple giant poops. And, their poops were literally the size of a basketball(or bigger)…and our Thai guides kept picking them up(or catching them) and then tossing them over their shoulders I suppose to ‘remove’ them from the mud pile. As a mama, this had me somewhat concerned so I literally yelled at my kids as they ran into the mudbath ‘DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HANDS TO YOUR FACE OR YOUR EYES!!! KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLOSED!!’ Honestly, it doesn’t take long to just get over the poop/mud and enjoy yourself—even for me. That night we did have long, HOT showers as a precaution(I should mention that no one did get sick).
There was a baby elephant in the group who took a liking to Georgia and literally followed her around like a puppy. By the end, that elephant was getting a little aggressive(really just playful but when the elephant outweighs your child by over 500 pounds, you start to get concerned)…so we decided to avoid it at all costs. Not before getting some of my favourite photos of the trip though with Georgia and her baby elephant friend.