Chiang Mai - Jungle Day

Trip Start Dec 29, 2011
Trip End Jan 18, 2012

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Friday, January 6, 2012

We ate some breakfast and we got picked up for our day in the jungle. Our guide May started by telling Michelle and I that we were on an overnight tour. Sarcastically she was convincing but was joking. I loved her immediately. We rode about 45minutes outside Chiang Mai to MaeTong district. I sat in the front seat of our group van and May kept sharing little side tips with me :)

We started with an elephant show. There were probably 20 elephants with men riding on them. They each had a special trick. Either a circus like thing-holla hoop, play harmonica, swing trunk.  Few painted the most amazing drawings - much better than I could.

 Then we were off to water rafting on a bamboo raft with 4 other guests.  I got the chance to "paddle" which actually is using a bamboo stick to simply guide the raft down a lazy river. 2kilometers later,we met Kay. Some quick shopping with local ladies then off to the Longneck village. Michelle and I shopped and bought/suckered in to buying many things from the long neck ladies. 

Some lessons on them: 3 reasons for the rings:
1. Their ancestors were thought to be dragons or swans so they wanted long necks like them.
2. The men are afraid that when they are pregnant a tiger will bite their neck, so they protect with the rings.
3. The more rings means more beautiful. 25 rings is max and most beautiful.

And they take them off 3x in life:
1. They start when 5-9 hrs old with 5 rings. Every 2-3 yrs they take it off and add 2 or 3 more rings.
2. 2 weeks before they have a baby.
3. If the commit a crime, they are removed forever. And Make them not beautiful.

We stopped for lunch in the jungle in the most beautiful buffet style jungle lunch you've ever had. Curry, veggies, soup, rice and we had a beer. Amazing!

And then the best part - Elephant ride through the jungle!! We squealed upon getting on and kept saying...."we're on an elephant". It was scarier than I thought at first. Steep steps, through water, and uneven shakiness and bumpy the while time. About 30minutes later, we were dropped off to be picked up by an OxCart. Which is a wooden cart that feels like it could fall apart at any minute. We stopped in an Orchid farm for some quick photos, but headed back to the city.  That evening, we laid low and sat outside at our hotel bar - Rimlan bar for some wine and snacks.  An incredible incredible day.
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