Lampang and the Elephant Refuge
Trip Start Feb 15, 2008
60Trip End May 31, 2008
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The following day we travelled by songthaew to the elephant conservation centre. This is a great experience and a must see for anyone travelling through the region. Highlights include watching elephants bath in the river, the elephant parade and taking an elephant ride through the jungle. Though the highlight is watching the elephant show which features displays of how elephants have assisted in the timber industry through this region by moving and dragging logs, elephants playing music and elephants painting
After lunch we continued on to visit the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital. The hospital was formed in 1993 to provide medical assistance to Thai elephants, both domesticated and wild. The foundation also helps domesticated elephants by assisting in the upgrade of their living conditions. Another significant threat to the safety of elephants is the land mines which line the Thai Burmese border. The hospital has assisted a number of elephants who have wandered over the border and stepped on mines. As soon as forests are destroyed, the number of animals dwelling in natural forests alarmingly declines and larger creatures, namely elephants, are placed in serious danger. As a result of loss of habitat and poaching there are now only 2,000 elephants in the wild and 2,000 elephants living in captivity in Thailand. The elephant is Thailand's symbol and Friends of the Asian Elephant endeavours to assist this remarkable animal. On the way to our accommodation at Aoi's Homestay, which lies in the hills surrounding Chang Mai, we stopped at San Kamphaeng hot springs which feature a hot pool and are set amongst tropical gardens and are a pretty relaxing spot to spend the afternoon.