WOW! What an adventure! Riding elephants in Thailand was MAGICAL.
The owner of our hostel (Diva Guesthouse– yup, we are two stunning divas!) was incredibly helpful. She organized a whole package: ride the elephants and bathe with the elephants! How fun!
A very nice and handsome Thai driver picked us up from the hostel and took us on a 2-hour drive up north of Chiang Mai to the elephant camp. We were transported to a gorgeous scenery of lush forests, mountains, and rice fields.
The moment I entered the camp, I gasped in excitement. These elephants took my breath away!
We were given clothes to change into and given bananas to feed the elephants. They were overjoyed to receive the yummy treats and ran over to us eagarly sticking out their trunks to grab a banana from our hands. I giggled with delight. They were so cute!!!
We were given quick instructions on how to ride the elephants and got assigned to our elephants. And then it was time to ride! Me and my friend were assigned to a 45-year old year old female elephant named Mai-ee-lu.
There are the most kind and compassionate creatures I have ever encountered. I now know why they are so highly respected and revered in Thailand. Our elephant guide, Sven, taught us a lot about the elephants: why they are so smart, the three different types of elephants, how they are getting abused, and how these camps help the elephants live a better life. Elephants are my new spirit animal. I am forever inspired by their kindness, playfulness, and compassion. These intelligent animals will forever have a huge place in my heart.
By the end of the afternoon, none of us wanted to leave. We all felt so much respect for the elephants more than ever. YES TO THE YING TIP: Find a camp that allows you to ride them bare-back!! The wooden seats they sometimes use really hurt the elephants’ back and put them in a lot of pain! Do go to a humane camp and not one that is just out for a profit from Westerners. You can find out more at TripAdvisor.com.