Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Say Hi to this big guy!
DAY 2- Mae Sa ( Elephant Camp )
9am sharp in the morning, Benz , our taxi driver picked us up from our hotel and started the second day's journey. He suggested us to spend our day for some outdoor activity. So we decided to greet some friends from the nature. It was an hour ride from our hotel to Mae Sa, the Elephant Camp.
Here, comes the points.Since the first day i met Benz , i had told him that we do not want to go to those places which had been commercialized due to their incredible huge difference in pricing for the tourists. So, without any hesitation, he brought us even further up the hill to a , erm, i called it a village, where i can see a bunch of people sitting there and i saw some elephants were having fun themselves at the river. I see no tourist at all. I started to feel uneasy and i kept telling myself i have to go back to the more commercialized one as i saw just now when we were on the way up to this village. Benz seems like sense my anxiety, so he walked up to us and told us that this is a place where the locals do their own business by training their home raised elephants. OK... so that's basically what i asked for initially... not until the moment when i see no one other than 2 of us at that village. Immediately, i suggested to go back to the tourist side where we saw earlier, at least, there are way more people and more elephants there too...
Well, Benz seems bit disappointed with my last decision. Guess he must be getting commission from the village people but anyhow, i still think we will be more enjoy with bunch of people then just us with those working people.
Another 10 minutes, and we reached Mae Sa (Elephant Camp). They have 2 different packages:
Package A: Elephant rides+elephant show+water rafting+buffalo rides+lunch
Package B: Elephant rides+elephant show+lunch
You can choose ala carte as in only elephant rides or any other single activity with different pricing.
We took package A with the add on of Karen Village and paid MYR 500 for 2.
The elephant ride is totally different from what i experienced before. They really bring us to the forest and walk across the river.
The elephants are smart and they can walk perfectly on those narrow bumpy hill road despite their huge body size and the burden on their back! Respect!
There are few fruit stations that offer the tourists to get some treats for the elephants along the journey. Be sure to get some for yours as that's the only treats the elephants will get during their working hours.
They get so excited when they reach the fruit station hoping to get some treats from their guests. I love feeding them the sugar cane. Their long long trunk will move towards you whenever you call their names!! How adorable !!!
I enjoyed the rides so so much.
Next, we head to the Karen Village. The Karen are a tribal group who have historically lived in the hills on the Myanmar (formerly Burma) side of the Thai border. The Karen women wear heavy brass rings around their necks, forearms, and shins. They are actually the wives of those men who are working with the elephants.
Karen Village is just 5 minutes walking distance away from the elephant ride.
Why do the woman have long necks and why do they do it?
This is a very common question from most of us. The biggest reason why the Karen women put themselves though the neck lengthening routine is simply tradition. In the early days, the women put on the brass rings are to protect themselves against the wild attack too.
Anyhow, most of the young Karen women are breaking this tradition. Hopefully, this tradition will not be forgotten by years.
They have good knitting skills especially when you see a ten years old children can knit all by herself. These colorful scarfs are made by them.
After visiting the Karen Village, we head for lunch at the cafeteria.
The food wasn't too bad. Once filled up our empty stomach, it's the elephant show time. I am meeting the cuties again!!! Before the show start, i was lucky to meet the trainer for their rehearsal. This little calf here know how to dance very well!!! I am not joking .. they actually dance with Gangnam Style in the show!
During the show, the elephants were arranged to line up according to their size and they can perform very well.They can draw, can sing, can dance, can wave, can greet,can massage and etc.
Look at this! sooo adorable !!
These smarties can really entertain the guests and their sense of humanity are very high!
After spending our greatest moments with the elephants, we went for the buffalo ride and the water rafting.
I think the buffaloes doesn't like each other.. thats why...
One thing i would like to mention here, those workers there were actually ask for tips and they kinda sounds like ordering you to pay them actually. Normally, we do tips but when you were being asked to pay certain amount of tips to EACH of them as like they are commanding .. i started feel uneasy. I understand they actually get paid but they can only earn more through tipping , anyhow, asking for tips that way is not pleasant at all.
Well well.. i gave the tips but of coz not with the amount they had been asked for. They actually asked for 100 baht EACH...
Ended our day with overload happiness and satisfaction with the natures...