Thailand December 2016/ January 2017 Part 4 - Chiang Rai, White Temple & Golden Triangle
Thailand December 2016/ January 2017 Part 6 - Fishing for Mekong Catfish & Closing Thoughts

Thailand December 2016/ January 2017 Part 5 - Maesa Elephant Camp & Long Neck Hilltribe

See part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

The adventure continues...

 This tour to visit the Maesa Elephant Camp and the Long Neck Hilltribe was booked prior to departure as part of the package. As luck would have it the tour was with the same company that had guided us for our prior tours. So we were delighted to see our guide, Nan again. We were collected from our hotel, and driven to the Maesa Elephant Camp. There for 40 Baht we bought a bundle of sugar cane and bananas to feed the elephants. Even the youngsters are big and strong - and very hungry!

Elephants are surprisingly hairy, and being kissed and hugged by one was quite ticklish.


And here's Kevin...


Then after we had given the elephants their snacks we made our way to the river to watch them being bathed.


Then it was time for the "show". The best part of the show was the elephant painting...


Which were available for sale, after the show...


Then it was time for our elephant trek to the Hill Tribes.

I have very mixed feelings about this part of the experience. Since booking this tour, I had done some reading about humane treatment, and training of elephants. There is a very strong demand for "no ride" experiences. There is a lot of information on the web. You be the judge.

Here is a photo of Kevin and I ....


And another one...


Then we "disembarked" from our elephant ride, and made our way to the Karen Hill Tribe encampment. We watched women weave, and make handicrafts that they sold to tourists like us.


We wandered through rice paddies that the hill tribes plant for their own consumption.


After visiting the Hill Tribes, and purchasing a beautiful hand woven scarf, we were taken to have a lunch nearby. After lunch we visited an Orchid & Butterfly Farm.


After some unexpected shopping, we ended a wonderful day.

The Maesa Elephant Camp was surprisingly enjoyable. The individual elephants looked to be well cared for, and in excellent spirits. The Hill Tribe visit was interesting. It certainly was a tourist oriented display. There was not much to do but to take photographs (excellent portrait shots) and to buy some of the amazing handiwork.