A place where Elephant serves to be the national animal, a symbol of national pride and has it’s population of nearly over 2000, cannot afford to have a tourist spot without them. I am talking about Thailand. Since the ancient times, elephants were the animals who played an important role in the history and culture of Thailand. This is the reason why these asian elephants stand to be the national pride of Thailand today. When it comes to elephant related spot and sport both in Thailand, one cannot think of a better place than Chiangmai.
Chiang Mai is both geographically and culturally, the biggest place in northern Thailand. It is very famous for the sport of elephant trekking which takes place over here. Tourists come here with overwhelming turn outs to enjoy this sport.
Elephant Owner for a day is the most popular sport which people come for over here. This is not an adventure sport where you will only get to sit on an elephant’s back and take a tour of the place or go for trekkings. Besides the availibility of these things, there is much more to it. The tourists are taken to the place where the elephants are kept. They will get to learn the temperament of this serene looking animal. The tourists also learn how to feed them. In the presence of the tourists the elephants are also at times taken for their health check- ups. Options for learning to take the care of the skin of an elephant are also available. The best part is that you also get to bath your elephant, which they are quiet popular for.
Elephant riding and bamboo rafting is another important sport over here. In this the tourists are taken on a 50 kilometre journey to reach a camp where the elephants are kept. On treaching the spot, one gets the delight to see the elephants bathing and performing shows, which they are very famous for. Then after the elephants are all ready the tourists sit on their back and take a tour of the lushy green forests all around. The journey back to the camp is an ox- cart ride. This does not come to an end like this. After this the tourists even go for a ‘Huckleberry Finn’ bamboo rafting trip.
Trekking in Sanpatong is another adventure. Though, not much of a difference from the previous sport. Unlike the previous one, it starts with a trekking which longs for about half ‘n’ hour to Hmong village. Then just like the previous sport you get to ride an elephant for about an hour, going amidst the beautiful, green jungles. By the time these two elements are done with, the lunch is served and then the sport continues to a waterfall. After that one can also take a tour of the Karen Hilltribe village and also a conjuring bamboo rafting
Trekking in Mae Tiang is probably the longest trekking as when compared to all other trekkings which take place over here. It is a three day trek which leaves no stone unturned about Mae Tiang. It covers each and every waterfall, mountain range and even the myriad communities, the hilltribe ones mainly. Not just this, in this trekking one also gets the opportunity to stay with the hilltribe people and their families for quiet sometime. While going uphill, one can just walk and trek, otherwise one also has the option to ride an elephant and go. While coming downhill, which is maily through the river, the tourists have to raft and come.
After having listened to all these adventure sports you might just think Chiang Mai to be a remote area, inaccessible by any mode of transportation but this is a misconception. Chiang Mai is well connected to all forms of road transportation. One can and obviously will have to take a flight to reach Bangkok. After this you can board a train. Doing so during the night time will be a better option because journey to Chiang Mai is an overnight one. The other option is that one can also board a bus which will take hardly aboud 9- 10 hours. If one has an access to a car or something then that also can be taken. The journey is safe through out.
Besides all the fun involved in the elephant trekking in Chiamg Mai, towards the north of Thailand there is still another spot which the animal lovers might want to visit. It is the Elephant Nature Park. Over here elephants are given shelter and protected against the cruel treatment of the human beings.The tourists can help to do the same in whichever way possible. The site of these animals is over- whelming. Trip to Chiang Mai is fun and educational at the same time. On one side where it does not fail to cater to the requirement of fun and adventure, on the other side it makes the tourists aware of the behaviour and innocence of these elephants because at many places they are traeted very badly. It also gives the tourists an opportunity to know what kinfd of a life do the hilly tribe people lead and how despite so many difficulties they remain happy.