Outside of eating, drinking, bike riding and temples, another popular activity in Chiang Mai is elephant riding. We went to an elephant farm where we learned a ton about elephants. I don’t know when I last saw one in person, but these beasts are humongous and imposing. One wrong move, one misstep and they could crush you. Throughout the day we fed the elephants, learned commands (though, I question the authenticity of this as the elephants didn’t seem to understand a word of what I was saying [could’ve been my accent, but I doubt it]), and rode the elephants. After the ride, the elephants took a mud bath, which apparently feels like lotion on their dry skin. Afterwards we bathed them and fed them again. They look you right in the eye as you are doing so, which can be a little scary because you don’t know what they are thinking. They eat, poop, and pee a ton – as in quantity and frequency.
Some items of note for elephant lovers:
African Elephants: 4 front toenails, 3 back toenails, and their males and females have long tusks.
Asian Elephants: 5 front toenails, 4 back toenails, and only their male elephants have long tusks.
Elephants carry their young in the womb for up to 2 years.
Yo-Kha-Zhong: Leg Up
Bon-Bon: Open Mouth
Dee-Dee: Good Job