Adventures in East Asia

Entries in Thailand

Elephant Rides, Baby Elephants and Elephants Bathing at the Maesa Elephant Camp
As clichéd as it is, we just couldn't visit Thailand without getting close to an elephant. We read about several elephant camps, some less-touristy which were further away from Chiangmai, offering more *authentic* elephant experiences where visitors get to "look after" an elephant for a few days and learn how to handle them.


However, time and money was short for us, and so we settled for a simple half hour elephant ride at the fairly nearby (to Chiangmai) Maesa Elephant Camp. The camp was our last stop on a half day's worth of being driven around, where we also saw tiger cubs, snakes and shot some guns.

King Cobra Chiangmai Show - Not for the Snake Shy
The King Cobra show was obviously not for the faint-hearted ophiophobic (fear of snakes) but for us, turned out surprisingly to be a barrel of laughs! The show was basically a half hour narrated introduction to several breeds of snakes as they were taken out of their boxes by various snake handlers in turn and paraded in the centre ring.


There weren't many people in the audience - just us, a pair of English tourists (one of whom had ophiophobia) and a small Japanese family of three.

Guns in Chiangmai at the Maerim Shooting Range
For our day of tigers, snakes and elephants, we had a hired driver take us from one facility to another and along the way, he suggested going to a shooting range (in his broken English). We'd read about how these drivers try to get their tourist fares to other places in order to collect commission on any thing they buy, so we were a little wary but I wanted to have a look.


To be honest, I'm not a gun fanatic and I've never shot one but I was curious about it and thought that Chiangmai would be as cheap a place as any other I could think of, to give it a go.

Touching Tiger Cubs at Tiger Kingdom Chiangmai
Getting up close and personal with tiger cubs - definitely one of our highlights in Chiangmai. You don't often get a chance to touch these predators but we jumped at it and visited Tiger Kingdom.


Tiger Kingdom of Chiangmai

The facility looked a little like a mini zoo with enclosures set in a landscaped area.

Thai Candle Dance at the Ratchdamnoen Walking Night Market
At one end of a street off the Ratchdamnoen Walking Night Market, we saw a stage with various performances taking place. From what we understood, it was a student show.


We stayed long enough to see some singing and this trio of women dancing and twirling their hands whilst holding a pair of candlesticks upright. You can see in the photo above that the flames aren't exactly tiny, and standing close to the stage, I could see wax leaking off them freely. Ouch. Check them out below.

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