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Our Adventures in Northern Thailand

by CallieDawn on December 22, 2010

Elephant with his "Mahout" (owner)

Today was the day of animals…. animal after trained wild animal.  All the typical Asian animals one would expect to see.  Tigers, monkeys and elephants all trained up and ready for showing.  Amazing really, how ingenious and creative the people are here.  They have thought of so many ways for the tourists to enjoy their country, including the experience of coming into close contact with wild animals.  I have opinions on this as well as how the animals are treated but they are from my very idealistic mind and could be even humorous to some since I love domesticated dogs and can’t see living my life without them.

Opinions aside, it provides many people here an opportunity to make a living and the fairly small amount we pay to have these opportunities makes a big difference in their lives.  Additionally, the owners of the elephants specifically are truly served by the opportunity to show their elephants in the popular elephant farms.  Elephant owners raise and train their elephants since they are born and dedicate their entire lives to their elephants. The elephants become members of the family and live till the ripe old age of 80ish like their owners as well.  These elephants and their owners use to log up in the mountains 20 some years ago until logging was entirely banned in Thailand.  Well, what do you do with a three tone trained elephant that eats 300 pounds of food a day?

Tourism here is huge this time of year and it seems like a win on both sides of the coin.  We get an amazing experience and they get a good income and financial influx into their society.  All in all I’m so appreciative of being here in a totally unique culture and country.  It is truly magical and a very special way for Jason and I to spend the holidays.

PS. A very special bonus!  There is an organic restaurant and bakery less then a block away from our hotel with amazing, amazing healthy good food.  I’ve practically moved in to their dinning area since being here!

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