Author Topic: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai  (Read 3605 times)

Offline shauly

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Re: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2017, 10:35:28 AM »
Oy the memories....Yisrael is usually good not sure why he sent you to those random places...

He was good, I wouldn't have any problem recommending him. We were fairly limited in what we could do, especially on that day when we came to him in the afternoon and wanted something right away.

Offline shauly

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Re: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2018, 11:26:48 AM »
So with another trip coming up, and two unfinished trip reports, I figured I should try to at least finish this one before starting a third.. At this point it's been a year and a half since this trip, but luckily Google Timeline has been stalking my phone for years and I have a detailed account of everything I did.

Wednesday morning was Elephant day. As I mentioned earlier, they had no full day tours available, so we had booked a half day tour. Our driver Bird showed up and at 8:13am we left on a one hour and fourteen minute drive to the Baan Chang Elephant park (I told you Google Timeline was stalking me..). When we arrived, we were given clothes to change into. We were then directed to a small area where the elephants were eating while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. They gave us some snacks to feed the elephants, including branches, bananas, and other fruit.



There were only a handful of other people, and once they arrived the program started with some information on the elephants. They told us that many places mistreat the animals, but at their sanctuary they rescued mistreated elephants and took good care of them. I have no way of knowing if this is the truth, and in retrospect I should have done more research to ensure that where I went was a reputable company. That being said, I saw nothing to make me doubt their claim. They also told us that as my wife was expecting, she would not be able to ride. We had cleared it with her doctor, but she decided she'd rather stay on the ground anyway.

They taught us some Thai commands to get the elephants to kneel and lift us onto their backs. We practiced getting on and off and had time for a few pictures. After that, we were off. With my wife walking along side us, we started out on a short trek through the fields and forest. I was not expecting this, but elephants actually have short but very course hairs all over their body which proved to be extremely uncomfortable as it walked. It's not worth skipping the activity due to the discomfort, but I do wish they would have provided longer pants. The scenery was beautiful, and at one point my elephant stopped to drink and proceeded to spray me with water. We made a loop and eventually ended up next to a stream. With no warned, the elephants jumped right in. We were told to hop off, and were given a very spongy piece of wood to scrub the elephants with. It was a lot of fun and a unique experience, but I spent the whole time worried that one of them would step on my feet..













I made it through without losing any feet, and then we were able to change back to our clothes. I can't remember if there was a shower there or not. The cost of the trip included lunch, which we respectfully declined. When our guide, Bird, found out it was because we kept kosher, he left to get us some fresh pineapple. It was quite possibly the best pineapple I ever had and I did not feel like we were missing out at all from the lunch. During lunch, they asked us if we wanted to buy pictures they had taken during the ride. I can't remember the cost, but it was pretty cheap and they gave us a USB loaded with all of the days pictures, some of which can be seen above. I apologize for the Instagram filter on the last one, I can't find the original..

After we ate, Bird drove us back to the hotel. We spoke a bit during the drive, and it turns out he actually knew and remembered one of my wife's friends who had taken his tour a few months previously. He was great, and we gave him a decent tip when he dropped us off.

After relaxing a bit, we headed to Chabad for a late lunch, got some more massages, and then back to the hotel to rest up before the night safari. Our guide picked us up at around 6:15 for the 30 minute drive. He did not speak much English and it was very difficult to communicate with him. It wasn't a big issue, but we just didn't really know what to expect. We got to the night safari, and he proceeded to take us to the front of every line. We started in an outdoor seating area facing an enclosure. There was a tight rope stung across and the show began with a random collection of animals being paraded across, after which they had larger animals in the enclosure, including hyenas, tigers, and lions.





I found the whole thing to be pretty weird and not all that interesting. After it ended, our guide took us to the next part and again skipped the line. We boarded a trolley that took us through different animal enclosures. I can't seem to find any pictures of this part, and I have a faint memory of them telling us that flash would startle the animals, but I'm not sure. This part was actually decently interesting, but we were falling asleep. When it finally ended, we thought we would get to go home. Nope, our guide brought us to another area where a light show began. After the light show, there was some sort of cowboy performance with whips and guns. When they brought out another group of costumed dancers after the cowboys, we'd seen enough. I asked our guide to take us back to the hotel, and after about ten minutes of explaining that we didn't want to go see a fight, he agreed and drove us back. It was a great day, but we were exhausted.

I hope some of you guys enjoy, and hopefully I finish this up soon.

Thanks for reading!

Offline Z56

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Re: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2018, 11:10:26 PM »
Nice of you to finish up your report.

I didnt even start writing mine Thailand Trip Report
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Offline saw50st8

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Re: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2018, 07:05:57 AM »

... We got to the night safari, and he proceeded to take us to the front of every line. We started in an outdoor seating area facing an enclosure. There was a tight rope stung across and the show began with a random collection of animals being paraded across, after which they had larger animals in the enclosure, including hyenas, tigers, and lions.





I found the whole thing to be pretty weird and not all that interesting. After it ended, our guide took us to the next part and again skipped the line. We boarded a trolley that took us through different animal enclosures. I can't seem to find any pictures of this part, and I have a faint memory of them telling us that flash would startle the animals, but I'm not sure. This part was actually decently interesting, but we were falling asleep. When it finally ended, we thought we would get to go home. Nope, our guide brought us to another area where a light show began. After the light show, there was some sort of cowboy performance with whips and guns. When they brought out another group of costumed dancers after the cowboys, we'd seen enough. I asked our guide to take us back to the hotel, and after about ten minutes of explaining that we didn't want to go see a fight, he agreed and drove us back. It was a great day, but we were exhausted.



I agree that the night safari is weird. It was OK, but it's not something that is really worthwhile for the cost.

Offline shauly

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Re: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2018, 05:16:27 AM »
Nice of you to finish up your report.

I didnt even start writing mine Thailand Trip Report

Hopefully I'll actually get it done!

I agree that the night safari is weird. It was OK, but it's not something that is really worthwhile for the cost.

I don't remember exactly what it cost, but I didn't didn't actively not enjoy it. If I were to do it again I would try to go on a night where I wasn't so exhausted.

Offline shauly

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Re: Sawatdee Khap! Shauly's trip to Chaing Mai
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2018, 03:50:42 PM »
For Thursday the plan was to do the animal shows. We had more of a late morning, as we left the hotel at around ten for the 30 minute drive to the crocodile show. We paid Yisrael for the driver, but each show had it's own admission that we paid there. Besides for the tigers, I remember it all being fairly cheap, between 20 and 100 Baht.

We arrived at the crocodile show a bit early, and a woman was there to show us around. She took us to a few random animals, and insisted that we took pictures.

"Here bunny, you take photo!". I was afraid to say no, so here's a picture of a bunny:



There were a few other animals including a large lizard that she placed onto us without asking, as well as large enclosures with tons of crocs of different sizes.









The main attraction was obviously the massive crocodiles in the center enclosure. The only other people who showed up for the show were two Japanese teenage girls, and once they got there the show began. The announcer/commentator/DJ lady kept on playing a remix of the Pokemon theme song, which the girls seemed to love so she kept doing it. The show itself was pretty entertaining. It was exactly as you'd expect, a seemingly insane Thai man jumping around with the crocs and putting his head in their mouths. The sound that the big ones made when they snap shut was incredible. He stuck his hand down their throats a few times to search for lady boys, as he explained. He didn't find any.









After the crocodiles, we went to the Chiang Mai Monkey center which was right nearby. This was the first place I felt uncomfortable, as when you walk in there are monkeys chained to posts with tiny lengths of chain, so small that they couldn't even make a full circle around their poles. They instead paced back and forth in half circles the entire time. We went to the performance area, where the show had already begun. They had a few monkeys doing several different routines, including playing basketball, and counting. I didn't take a lot of pictures as I just felt bad that I was supporting something where the animals were clearly unhappy.



After the show the monkeys went around to take selfies with the crowd.

I'll finish up the rest of this day in the next post. Thanks for reading!