Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Elephants - Water Buffalo - Bamboo Rafting

On 25 June we visited Mae Taeng Elephant Park and had a fantastic experience.  
(Single click on a picture to expand)
The Maetaeng Elephant Park began as a result of the 1989 ban on Logging in Thailand. "We witnessed increasing numbers of elephants being forced to roam the city streets and take up work in the Illegal logging trade. With no previous history of working with elephants, we decided to create a safe and friendly environment for the elephants and support the park through our visitors, who can experience the elephants close-up, becoming better informed about the present situation and long term future of Asian elephants. Since 1996, we have dedicated ourselves to protecting the elephants and sustaining the culture of the mahouts and their families.” 

The Maetaeng Elephant Park offers the greatest, up-close elephant experience in Northern Thailand: The Mahout Elephant Experience, Bamboo Rafting, Ox Cart rides, an introduction to Rural life in Thailand, and more. 

"Our Elephant Clinic offers Free treatment available to all elephants in our area. Our full time vets and medicines are financed by the proceeds from the Park and the sale of products." 
- the Chailert Family

The Start of a Fantastic Day!

So that's what it looks like from the back of an elephant.  Always wanted to know that.
Into the river we go
Elder and Sister Ure feeding their elephant
Elder Wasson showing its a bumpy ride.
 His elephant came without shocks
I'm the king of the jungle!
Sister Moleff feeding her elephant
Never knew you could ride an
elephant trunk.  We live and learn.
Both of us sitting on an elephant knee.
This is real.  The elephant is painting.
The Mahouts do not guide the trunk.
They load the paintbrush with paint and
hand it to the elephant.  The elephant
does the painting.
This is the finished picture.
The elephant draws better than I do.
Yes Heidi, I know what you're thinking.  Probable a lot smarter too
Water buffalo cart riding.  The way the rice farmers go to work.
Elder Wasson with the Moleffs
Yep, this is what it looks like from the
water buffalo cart.
A smoother ride than the elephants. 

They come in brown
And they come in black
Getting on the bamboo raft. The guide said this was the VIP ride.
We have one pushing in front and
another pushing in back
Reminded me of Swiss Family Robinson's tree house.

Half way down the trip it started to rain.  Monsoon Season.
Wet but very HAPPY!

Yes!  We are doing Missionary work.  We have been gone from Bangkok about a week teaching and training in Family History.  We have met some very dedicated members and attended some GREAT meetings.  We attended District Conference in Ubon and then on to Chiang Mai to do some more Family History training.  A VERY GOOD TRIP.  

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