Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Thailand Part 2: Elephants, Cooking Classes and Night Bazaars in Chiang Mai

My second stop in Thailand was Chiang Mai, located north of Bangkok. Far off from the big city Chiang Mai hosts a lot of back packers looking for adventures. Its a popular place for zip liners, cooking classes and spending time with animals like Elephants and Tigers. I chose Elephants but more on that later. 

First up is the night bazaar a big deal in Chiang Mai this is where you go for trinkets, food, clothes pretty much anything you would need. I realized I don't have a ton of photos from my time walking the isles but I did stop and do the infamous fish pedicure.  It was a very unusual feeling. I cracked up for the first five minutes because my feet are extremely ticklish and all these fish zero in but after a while you get use to it and its just weird to look down and see these tiny fish just sucking away at your toes LOL!

My friend Tanya and I along with this random gentlemen all enjoyed our time with the fish while shoppers at the night bazaar looked on. 

Then the moment I have been waiting on for years! My elephant day! After a lot of research I learned that riding elephants is NOT what you should do. Most of these majestic creatures are chained and forced into this servitude and their feet are blistered from constantly holding up tourist year round. 

After going through our choices of places that both protect and care for the elephants we chose the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Here you can interact with the elephants in their natural habitat. 

The day started with a long ride into the jungle and a hike into a small village where we changed and dropped our stuff off before meeting with the elephants.

This moment was indescribable for me. This has been my dream for 10 years, since I first learned about it so it was completely surreal to finally have this special moment.

My interpretation of the Richard Avedon photo (below) without the chains (most importantly) and without the designer dress (unfortunately).

Yes, in the small village in the middle of the jungle in Chiang Mai they have a 7-11 :)

As we were leaving these guys followed behind the truck.

My next day was spent at the Basil Cooking School where we were spent time finding fresh food and creating delicious dishes.

Spring Rolls and Tom Yum Soup #yum

We stayed at the Pornping Tower Hotel which has the highest roof top bar in all Chiang Mai. The best views and the coolest breezes, Tanya and I spent our last night overlooking the night bazaar with a drink. I would come back to Chiang Mai in a heartbeat if you have any opportunity -- GO! Completely worth every second.

Stayed tuned for Part 3 my time in Krabi! 


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