Tag Archives: Elephant Riding in Chiang Mai

Riding Elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

By far, my favorite activity in Asia has been riding elephants in Chiang Mai.  I had one it before with my parents, so back in June when Michelle’s plans to go to Chiang Mai almost fell through, I jumped in as a replacement friend! 

Nothing like having 2 days notice and riding elephants, no?

I tried booking the same spot I went to last time, but they didn’t get back to me until after another place had replied, and being last minute, I had already paid the deposit, so we went with Thai Elephant Home instead.  (If you’re curious which place to choose, I compared them at the bottom of this post.)

Now for the pictures!  That’s the fun part no?

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Thai Elephant Home was considerably more expensive than Ran-Tong Elephant Training Camp, that I used back in January. And months later, I still don’t know which place I would recommend over the other.  There are considerable differences between the two places, but is it worth the extra money?  I’m not sure.

Ran-Tong was definitely more bare bones, more rustic, a much smaller company.  It was also 2 people per elephant vs one person per elephant.  The trail was shorter, and the spot you went to swim in the water with them much smaller, not fitting more than 2 elephants at a time.  At Thai Elephant Home, you spend all day away from camp, but it was a much more grueling hike (for my parents who decided to walk more than ride – they’re old and more afraid of heights, probably because a fall would do more damage to their bones than mine – Ran-Tong was much easier for them to tag along with us). 

At Thai Elephant Home you also took a mud bath with the elephants which was a blast, but to be honest, being covered in wet mud on top of an elephant who was also covered in wet mud, was not a good combo.  I was slipping and sliding, and while on the way there I was having a great time, on the way from the mud to the river (all downhill) I was quite terrified, as I literally almost fell twice (my elephant liked grabbing plants from the side of the path and the jerking of her body, just made me slip a lot).

At the end?  They were BOTH worth it.  I don’t think you can go wrong with either of the places.  And the lunch at both spots was amazing Pad Thai, so you can’t go wrong!

All I hope is that this was not my last time riding elephants. I think 2012 would be a year I’ll always look back to fondly: I rode elephants twice, went diving with sharks and manta rays in Palau, and went to so many new places! The year is not even over and I’m already nostalgic!

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Filed under Asia, Pictures, Travel, Travel Review, Traveling in Asia, Trips!

Ok, I’m back! I hope!

I know, I know, I’ve been a total slacker lately.  Between trips, red eye flights, jetlag and now my newfound insomnia (ugh! Nothing like being sleepy all day then being unable to fall asleep at night), I’ve been a zombie during the day, and to be honest, not very inspired to write.  

Yes, a week ago I was doing this…

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And now I’m not inspired to write?  What IS WRONG WITH ME?

Today, I finally went back to the gym (still using GAIN Fitness!), and remember how my last workout was hard and it sucked?  Turns out there was a reason for that.  So from now on, instead of hitting the gym for 1 to 1.5 hours 3 times a week, I’m reducing that to 40 minutes, 5 times a week (though I can totally change my mind next week if things start feeling ok again, we’ll see).  No more weight increases for a while either, and totally dropped down the weights today, as things still feel HARD.  But at least I haven’t given up, and when the doctor tells you to take it easy, you listen, right? (So maybe my track record on that listening thing is not that great, but baby steps.)

On the bright side?  Despite feeling like crap and spending most of last week lying on the couch, I actually managed to lose a couple of pounds, and I’m at my lowest weight this year (and let’s face it, after reducing my workout length and intensity, that won’t last long…).  I’m back at tracking my calories at MyFitnessPal as well, mostly to make sure I eat healthy and eat enough.  All those trips in June got me eating a lot of crappy food, and I have a month to catch up eating healthier food before our R&R trip to the US, where you know it won’t be pretty.

But yep, I’m back!  Got lots of trips to blog about (bumming at a resort in Malaysia, elephant riding pictures to share, tiger petting pictures to drool over, snorkeling in the beautiful waters of the Philippines…).  And have I mentioned how Chiang Mai is one of my favorite places in Asia?  It was great to be back!  Here’s hoping it’s not the last time!

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Filed under Asia, Pictures, Weightlifting, Workout