Trip Start Jan 11, 2012
Trip End Jun 17, 2012

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Where I stayed
Elephant Nature Park
Thai Eco Resort
The Smile Hostel

Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Had a few days to enjoy Chiang Mai. A nice once-walled city with a moat looping round it. Thought I'd check a few temples out - you really can have too much of a good thing you know. I managed 13, but must have walked passed a dozen more! They're very grand with peaked roofs and pillars with traditional artwork inside of red and gold to modern day multi-coloured scenes. The glass mosaics looked great in the sunshine. The tiled-floors were lovely and cool during the afternoon visits! :) Found an extremely shiny temple - everything including the doors and windows were silver! They had fabulous relief panels. Down the road they were building another modern temple - this time from aluminium - a tad cheaper! Checked out the Sunday Walking Market and the Night Markets - fabulous food smells wafting around, clothing, pretty jewellery and a bizarre selection of nic-naks!

I joined the Elephant Nature Park 60km north of Chiang Mai for a 2-week volunteering stint. A really fabulous place where 36 elephants are currently living. Lex, a Thai lady has set-up the site for mistreated elephants (damaged physically and mentally via the logging trade, land mines, amphetamines, forced breeding etc.) and over the years more elephants have been saved and more people have come to visit for the day or volunteer.

As a volunteer we had our daily chores: clearing elephant poo, unloading/shelving/washing/scrubbing/chopping fruit/veg (watermelon, pineapple, bananas, pumpkin & radishes), cutting grass and corn off-site, clearing the mud pit, and collecting gravel for site road construction and boundary pillars (mine was a work or art!). We were rather busy! The afternoons were spent at the vets learning about the various medical problems, moving fertiliser to the gardens (you've guessed it - poo!) and carrying out some elephant walks down to the meandering river. Feeding time was fun - making sure the elephants kept to their separate specialist food baskets - a few trunks would try and sneak someone elses pumpkin or radish supplies! Bathing was good, although the humans often got more wet than the less-obliging elephants! Certain elephants went for a proper dip - using their trunk as a snorkel.

Also at the Park are other animals and a few flood rescue victims: cows and water buffalo, a sun bear, 5 pigs, 2.5 horses (the 0.5 is a survivor of a vehicle accident - amputated front left foot and shattered right shoulder so the poor thing is trying to swallow uphill as he cant lift his head = a very sad sight but he has a terrific appetite!). There are also about 200 dogs there - including pups - so there are alot of kennels being constructed!
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Heather Zona on

I really think you need to post a link to a photo of your work of art.

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