live, love, laugh. Just the way I like it.
At first when I told my friends we were going to Chiang Mai for our company trip, many of them said, "Oh, it's a nice place to chill". "Just to chill?" I asked. So hence I did not expect Chiang Mai to be super happening and neither was I expecting to be amazed or surprised. But I was wrong.
Having been to only Bangkok before this, I have always thought of Thailand as a shopping city. Everything is cheap, good and pretty (including the girls there, seriously!)
Before I continue, we headed to the mall on our last day and was surprised to see that plastic surgery there costs less than 1k (about RM500 to be exact, it was pasted all over the "clinic") REALLY DIRT CHEAP! No wonder they all have nice nose..er hum.
So anyway, we woke up super early the on our second day for the tour to the Elephant camp. Having been exposed to the circus life since young, elephants and wild animals never really amazed me anymore. But again, I was proven wrong. Let me explain why.
1) Elephant Show
First it was the gimmicks and tricks. From playing dead to kicked footballs, and massaging humans to painting. The elephants are amazing!
What surprised me though was the perfect communication between the trainers and the elephants.
They were not tied AT ALL. They roamed freely but still controlled. It was then I wished I could speak Thai..to the elephants.
2) Riding the elephant FOR AN HOUR
Okay, this one left me breathless until today, when I think of Chiang Mai, I think of elephant riding.
It wasn't just plain sitting on the elephant, snap a few photographs and we are good to go. It felt more like..a roller coaster ride on an elephant's back. We didn't get to choose which elephant we wanted to ride on (although most of them look the same to me except for their height and belly sizes).
I rode with Raessa. It takes mad camwhore skills to snap while on the elephant ok!
The seats were tied firmly on the back and the elephant walked us for as far as 4km, which took about almost an hour. We rode through river streams and up hill! What amazed me was the fact that the elephants knew the routes so well, they were extremely obedient walking in a row although halfway through, our elephant decided to do a Malaysian by overtaking the other elephants.
Here's a picture of our elephant.
And here's one with him fooling around with Fresh, disturbing them while we were buying bananas and sugarcane to feed the elephant.
Finally after one hour of riding up and down hill, we stopped by the souvenir stall where I got myself an anklet and bracelet (you guessed it, with elephants dangling!) hahahah
3) Ox cart riding
This wasn't as fun but pity the ox, they had to carry 5 passengers (including the "driver") per round.
We had lunch in the elephant camp but I lost my appetite thinking of the dungs and how the place smelled =P
4) Bamboo rafting
This was so relaxing. If you are thinking of going to Chiang Mai, you need to do this whole tour thing, it will blow your mind.
The six of us went on it together and we took turns rafting the base made out of bamboo sticks.
The sounds of river flowing, birds chirping and wind blowing was serene. We tried hard not to doze off in case we fell into the river without any life jackets.
After the elephant camp and rafting, we visited the..
Umbrella factory (5).
Here we learned the art of making umbrellas from scratch. I took some pictures but didn't bother to queue to listen to the process.
The old umbrellas remind me of the Chinese Ghost Story about the umbrella ghost being trapped in it and there is a curse on whoever who opens the umbrella indoors. So it kind of freaked me out.
We headed back to the hotel but exhaustion didn't stop us from roaming the streets and getting our cheap massages.
We stopped by to try their McD's. I should set it a requirement to try all the McDonald's across countries. They have ham and egg pie, corn pie and pineapple pie in Chiang Mai.
Still, the best buy ever would still have to be the 150 baht/hour massages. RM 15 FOR ONE HOUR. There's no where else with such good price with mad skills.
One picture of me without makeup before I go to bed. Good night!