Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Elephant trekking

Chiang Mai hillside is a captivating blend of temples, farmland, steamy rainforest and teeming markets. What better way to explore the rural countryside than on foot? So, we set off on our long morning trek after breakfast.

Here I am, ready to head out on foot to explore chilled-out Chiang Mai.

We walked through green fields, past orchards and farms, meandered through small villages and ...lo and behold... we stumbled upon some elephants grazing on the grassland.


Upon further investigation, we found an elephant camp ahead. There were tourists going on elephant rides and we decided to hop on one as well. As it turns out, it was our slowest 1-hour trek through the rainforest.


I clung on for dear life as the elephant climbed uphill and descended along the small muddy track. To me, it was the longest roller-coaster ride I had to endure...and you know how terrified I am of such rides!


It didn't help that our elephant kept stopping along the way... to munch on grass, pee, crap and well, just chill-out. As you can imagine, we spent alot of time gazing about, smelling poop and willing Mr Elephant to move! I almost got motion-sickness up there while the elephant ambled along slowly.
.
Finally, we were back on our feet again! While the ride was an interesting experience, I've never felt so good walking on my own two feet again!

I guess this picture says it all! Exhilaration!

We walked past another beautiful hilltop resort.

I love this huge tall grass! (except if it is growing in my yard)

Lots of beautiful flowering climbers grow in the cool climate.



We walked into this resort for a most delicious lunch.


Aren't the farms beautifully cultivated? The farmers here grow onions.

I'm so bowled over by the stunning beauty of this place, I had to show you many many pictures.









Freshly harvested spring onions on the way to the market.


Can you see the restaurant where we had lunch?

The stubborn calf that needed lots of coaxing.

Warning! Beautiful Thai temple ahead!


See, I told you so.


Motor bike filling up at the gas station. Bet you didn't know gasoline comes in yellow, red and orange colours!


I bought a bag of sugary sweet oranges from the store.

I'm so envious that the wild flowers are so much prettier than the plants in my garden.


Some kind of gourd growing by the roadside.

A bunch of tourists on the ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) came buzzing by.

This is a flower from the ginger plant. Beautiful!

20 comments:

JYankee said...

oh..where's the tuk-tuk??? I love Thailand..and want to go back..I haven't been to that place in your photos though...

Blur Ting said...

Oh, this is the first time I have been to Northern Thailand as well. The tuk tuks are mostly found in the city. The next post is about the city. We took the tuk tuk to the airport at 6.30am. It was so cold but hella fun!

The World According to Me said...

Stunning scenery!

I can't imagine riding an elephant. Must have been an experience, albeit rather slow and smelly!

La delirante said...

Hi!!

Lovely pictures! It looks so tropical! The elephant ride looks like a lot of fun! The freshly harvested onions...the fields...the fruits...oh, how beautiful! I would love to go :)

Have a wonderful day!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Wow!! Chiang Mai hillside is BEAUTIFUL!! Definitely somewhere I will look into visiting. Great photos Blur Ting. Fish x

Amel's Realm said...

WOW, LOVELY pics!!! ;-D

Hubby and I had an ATV ride in Bali on our honeymoon. I got scared whenever we had to go uphill or downhill...brrrr...but it was a fascinating experience he he he he...;-D

J@n!ce said...

I went to Chiang Mai before sponsered by HP many years back. Really great photos you have captured.

Btw, wanna ask you what camera you are using cos those pictures are really well taken :)

SOUL: said...

ok blur.. i will just say it-- i am jealous. you look warm, and just flat out havin a FUN day. ridin a elephant! eatin, ATV's, FOOD, WARM, pretty scenery, maaaaan. that just looks like a most excellent day .
i hope you have many many days like that.
take care

The Real Mother Hen said...

Love the pictures Ting.
The first one is really good, capturing all the mist in the background.
What a happy time you had :)

Blur Ting said...

Yah World. It's my first time. The elephant's not smelly but the mud track that he walked on was covered with pee and poop from the elephants ahead. So it was pretty stinky!

Interestingly, their diet is very fibrous because the elephants eat lots of sugar cane, bunches of banana (the whole thing) and bamboo. The elephant dung is recyled into pulp. I bought some paper products made from recycled dung. They're very pretty. I mean the paper, not the dung!

Blur Ting said...

Delirante - The wonderful thing about this place is - it's in the tropics yet it is cool because we were up in the mountains. So we get the best of both worlds. It's so tranquil too. Really lovely.

Blur Ting said...

Amel - Wow, you did?! I heard it can get quite dangerous if you're not careful. Lots of foreigners like to push the vehicles to the max (extreme) and they get into trouble!

I imagine the padi fields in Bali must have looked quite similar to the terraced farms here.

Blur Ting said...

Fish - Yes, it is a nice change. You should make a trip to Thailand. Many travelers start from Chiangmai and travel all the way down south to Bangkok. Food and accommodation is so cheap there. Plus Thailand offers the whole range - from mountains to seaside to citylife.

Blur Ting said...

Janice - You must have enjoyed your stay!

The pictures are nice largely because of the good weather. I'm using a very simple and tiny Olympus U760. It takes decent pictures in the day but not very good for night shots.

Blur Ting said...

Oh Soul, don't be jealous. You must come to Asia one day. Then again, you may not get used to the humidity and heat. Plus some places are really rustic and dusty. USA has lots of beautiful places too. I wish to explore them all!

Blur Ting said...

MH - Yah, the place we stayed in is a valley. So it traps all the cold air inside. It looks cold but when the sun was up, the weather quickly warmed up and we had to discard the sweater.

It was a nice trip though I was feeling fluish on that day. Well, travel photos always make the trip appear ALOT nicer.

SOUL: said...

blur--- i love heat and humidity-- i was bred for tropical weather-- i really don't know why i live here.
:))

Blur Ting said...

Oh Soul, then you really must come! It's nice and warm here :-)

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