Where We Be
Half a day with these adorable baby elephants
was just perfect -- something we'll never forget
Elephant Rescue Park -- Thailand
Robin picked a fun day trip for us: the Elephant
Rescue Park. This was a half day excursion she
read about on TripAdvisor. It got great reviews,
featuring three baby elephants and one adult
female. It’s one of the newer, smaller elephant
parks in the area. The cost was 2200 baht each
(~$65 pp). A shuttle picked us up at 8:30 am and
drove us an hour to the private rescue park
located in the mountains north of Chiang Mai.

After a brief intro by our guide, Fan, we donned
special clothing provided by the park and went
to meet the elephants. We got to feed them
first, and you could tell how excited they were
about this part of their day when they got their
first bananas and sugar cane. One of the babies
was literally swaying her head with anticipation!
After the feeding we walked with them, keeping
them company as they ate whatever they could
find along the way. In time we reached a lake,
and here they happily wallowed in the water. We
helped bathe and scrub them -- the best part of
the day. They clearly love the water. The baby
we "adopted" definitely enjoyed squirting us!
Our little group of six -- all dressed in red uniforms and rubber boots,
banana bunches in hand -- ready to go and meet the elephants
We were instructed to hide the bunches behind our backs and present
just one banana at a time lest the elephants take the whole bunch at once!
They really like bananas! They eat them skin and all.
Putting one banana at a time onto their waiting tongues is a unique experience
Can you tell Robin's having a good time?
After the feeding, we walked with them, keeping them company as they ate whatever they
could find along the way. They particularly like sweet grass and don't mind help finding it.
These young elephants are eating machines!
They pretty much walk and eat at the same time.
It was sweet seeing the bond between
the handlers and their elephants
We paused to rest at a wooden pavilion on a hill and I donated
my water bottle to one of the elephants to drink from
It was sooo hot out. Luckily we had straw hats, but it was still 100 degrees
out and we were sweating up a storm -- so what came next was a relief.
Water! We walked downhill to this river where
the elephants joyfully got themselves wet.
One of the youngsters even had her trunk twined with
the fingers of her handler as they walked along!
This was the best part of their day -- and ours. The cool
water was so refreshing after a walk in the hot sun.
Blowing bubbles was another thing our elephant liked to do.
It was fun to see how each elephant had their own personality.
The elephant we spent most of our time with enjoyed
squirting water at me -- notice how her trunk is positioned!
We got to help bathe them and scrub them down, pouring water on their backs
The big elephant, Mannoy, came over
to say hello, photobombing our photo op!
We even learned their names. Pailin (female, age 3, playful, loves bananas, sways with anticipation),
Nam Choke (male, age 2, energetic), Shabu (male, age 3, oldest but smallest, “mohawk,” gentle,
slow eater, stays close to “stepmom”), and Mannoy (female, age 35, stepmom to the rest).
We headed back to the lodge, showered and changed, and had a tasty lunch on a
wooden deck with a lovely view. As a sidenote, the yellow cosmetic the woman is
wearing is a natural sunscreen used specifically by people from Myanmar.
Our guide, Faan, also makes lovely paintings of his
elephant family here at Elephant Rescue Park
Just across from the river is a lake, and here they
entered and wallowed around with great contentment
Huge bunches of green bananas await future
visitors -- maybe you'll be among them!
They emerged looking refreshed. Many of these elephants were rescued from
circuses and such, so they seem happy indeed with their new surroundings.
More than once the elephant and her trainer both disappeared completely under the water, like they were having a contest to
see who could stay under the longest – but the elephant would "cheat" and raise her trunk above the surface to draw a breath!