For the second leg of our trip in Thailand, we head north to Chiang Mai.
On our first evening, and after dropping our bags at The Grand Napat (great value for money!), we headed to the night bazaar for some refreshing beers and tasty street food. We liked the night bazaar so much that we had dinner there every night during our stay in Chiang Mai.
The following day we woke up bright and early for a full day with elephants!
I did a lot of research as I wanted to avoid the awful touristy places where you see drugged tigers and ride on saddles attached to the back of abused elephants. After hours on the internet, I finally found Baan Chang Elephant Park, their main objective is to rescue and protect the local elephants. They also make sure that the experience they organise for tourists is authentic. No comfy sits there, you will experience the real mahout‘s life for six hours. The cost of our experience was a little less than £100 including transport, lunch and clothing, so overall it is pretty good value for money.
They came and picked us up at our hotel in the morning and it was honestly the most magical experience! We fed and rode the elephants and had the opportunity to bath them. If you’re not too squeamish they will kiss you in thanks!
The bath part was my favourite. After hours in the blazing sun, you cannot wait to jump in the water with them, and you can truly see the joy in their eyes when they are finally in the refreshing water.
Baan Chang Elephant Park offers various experiences, so if you are not too confident riding, you can also spend the day caring for them instead. You will be given a set of clothes there so you only have to come with a towel and a swimsuit. Showers are available on site so you will drive back to your hotel as fresh as a daisy.
On our second day in Chiang Mai, we explored the city. We dedicated most of the day to the city centre, going from temples to temples.
Of course, a mandatory mango and sticky rice was in order! (I lived on this while there! Sooooo good!)
We then headed toward the Ping River for a walk by the bank before heading back to our hotel for a quick shower and then back out for a delicious dinner at the night bazaar.
I can honestly say that Chiang Mai was the favourite part of our trip to Thailand! I know, controversial, but the city is buzzing with energy, the food is amazing, you can go on all sorts of adventures in the jungle and it is extremely good value for money!
Planning a trip to Thailand?