As you may know from my previous posts about our travels throughout Thailand, we went into our trip with Nothing planned. As I mentioned...it was important to let the experience take us...lead us and teach us as we went. However, there was one aspect of our travel that we Did spend time researching, and that was our experience with Thai Elephants.
Here are some of the questions that we kept in mind when we were doing our research:
We wore traditional Mahout clothing and they taught us how to care for the Elephants by first teaching us how to feed the elephants. They eat SO much Bamboo, and just loved that we cut it up into nice pieces for them.
The Elephants at Chang Heritage are all babies that have been rescued from inhumane "Sanctuaries" and will grow up with their Mahouts in their new home. Since they are young, mischievous and learning, the Mahouts keep a loose rope around them which is not secured to anything, but will steer them in the right direction if they get lost or run into danger. Also, since some of the babies are moving from Harsh living conditions, many of them need daily medicine to boost their Health. We learned how to make natural medicine for them, and then we brought it to the ones who need it.
The baby elephants are curious just like human babies. They like to be silly, and they each have a character of their own. They loved giving us big kisses and hugs. My entire face hurt from smiling so much...It was truly magical getting to know each of their personalities!
After they had their lunch and medicine, it was time for them to go on a walk, so the Mahouts brought them to an open forest to wander freely. HOWever...it had just start to Thump down rain at this point, and although we were quite soaked and feeling pretty lowsy, the babies were having a BALL! They were chasing each other and spraying each other with mud and water and making loud trumpet calls to one another like they were laughing. The little rascals even sprayed muddy water on us and then came over and wrapped their big trunks around us as if to give a big hug and say "I'm only having fun!".
After lots of fun in the mud, the Mahouts led their Elephant to the river where they could drink and play some more. We brought pails and brushes to splash them with water and brush their fur (which they absolutely loved!).
Our experience with the Elephants left Andrew and I both exhausted, but we felt incredibly fulfilled knowing that we contributed to the wellbeing of these beautiful creatures.
After hearing horror stories about Elephants being stabbed in the legs with "hooks" and nails, being kept in captivity in order to "break their spirit" and "make them obedient" behind the lens of the public eye, we felt a strong commitment towards spreading the word about supporting Responsible tourism.
It is very easy to get swept up in the Brochures and Billboards advertising Romantic Elephant rides through the mountains...do your research, and encourage your friends and family traveling abroad to consider the ethical and humane option. We didn`t exploit the Elephants, and we felt a sense of responsibility and commitment towards learning about these beautiful creatures, how to take care of them, and how to ensure their appreciation and longevity on this earth. I hope you will do your part as well, and that you get a chance to look into their large, wise eyes with humility.
For the last stretch of our Honeymoon, we spent our time educating ourselves about Buddhism, exploring temples throughout Chiang Mai, and learning about the ancient history of this beautiful, old city. It was a very humbling end to our trip, and as we flew back to Bangkok, we knew that we would be back.
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo