Monday, November 21, 2011

Thailand: Day 7

A few weeks prior to us departing for Thailand, my parents called late one evening to let me know they just watched Samantha Brown travels to Thailand.  My sweet parents knew that riding an elephant was very top of my list, and they told me to TiVo her show as they traveled to Pantara Elephant Farm.  A fellow blogger who lives in Thailand also highly recommended this particular place as they treated their elephants kindly, so with these two suggestions and it being the #1 activity on TripAdvisor ... I booked it immediately.

After lots of research, Pantara's "Trainer for the Day" seemed to be the best overall experience.  It was worth every single penny and some as it was one of the most memorable days of my life.  Next to my wedding day and future day when I give birth to a little bambino of my own!  I am SO glad we saved an entire day to experience Thailand in this form.  It was spectacular, and they really are brilliant creatures.


"Elephant Trainer for the Day" duties:  
Elephant farm management, tracking your elephant in the bush, how to approach and be near elephant, learn feeding and dietary of elephant, elephant anatomy, life cycle of elephant, daily activities for domestic elephant, daily health care, dunk inspection, age estimation for elephant, the differences between ordinary and special elephants. observation on elephant moods (important), Dos and don’ts for elephant, elephant’s body languages and communications, how a trainer create relationship and respectfulness with his elephant, bathing and brushing elephant in the river, spoken command for elephant, basic and advance riding skills, how to treat elephant to make them happy.


Leaving our Guest House excited to head to Pantara Elephant Farm


Grabbing caffeine on the way :)

Handsome hubs -- Arriving at Pantara!!!!

My first encounter at the farm was with this precious little baby - 6mths old

Trek out to the elephants, beyond breathtaking!

Meeting Be-Joon, the 10yr old female elephant that would be MINE for the day :)  The owner said she would be the perfect fit with me as I was young/athletic and could "handle" her. She was a pushy little booger and kept sticking her trunk IN my bucket as I wasn't feeding her fast enough.  

This picture was prior to me feeding her bamboo and bananas.  

Gabe's elephant, MeCong was 21 years old and had a much calmer personality.  He's feeded her here.

We learned you can determine how healthy an elephant is by if they have an appetite, if their feet are sweating, their side is dirty from laying down, their ears are flapping, and by the fibers in the poop. 

And we had to smell it to find this out, 'hey a trainer would do it so we did it!'

Brushing Be-Joon the natural way before giving her a bath


Now, it's really getting exciting!!!!!




Our amazing group for the day

We were totally shocked by the spraying water :)

Gabe mounting his elephant to start the ride to give them exercise.

 


That's Gabe's hand pretty much in the elephants mouth ...
touching the tongue!

Swimming with the elephants :)



Right after their swim, they get filthy all over again on the trek back.

WOO - HOO!!!


Gabe's was awfully hungry



Our view while riding through the pastures in Chiang Mai, Thailand

NOW, we got to ride the same elephant, slightly dangerous as we just held on to each other!  Thumbs up from our Smith Family!



One of my absolute favorite shots


Saying goodbye with some bananas and love!



I cannot express the love I had for these elephants, Thai trainers, and overall experience I had on this particular day.  I am forever grateful I was able to do something like this!!  

Now, I can check it off my bucket list with a huge smile.

42 comments:

Jessica said...

OMG, how fun does that look! What an amazing experience!

Sunkissed and Southern said...

wow, i want to do that right now!! i can't believe you held the poop in your hand & that close to your mouth! haha

Allie & Stew said...

Amazing!!!!

Meredith said...

Looks Amazing!!

the girl in the red shoes said...

Wow, what an awesome experience! I love all of the elephant pictures! I'm so glad you guys had a great time!

josephinechoo said...

OMG!! Your trip was amazing!!! Both of you are adventurous!

J and A said...

OMG these photos are amazing. That is my dream, I want to do that so badly. Those shots are breath taking. LOVE them!!!!

Lindsay said...

wow what an amazing experience. these are awesome photos!! looks like an experience everyone should have. wow!!! :)

Savvy Seasons said...

Wow, what an experience, and you got some *fantastic* shots. Thanks for sharing! xo ~Liz

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Ok, yep - this is so freaking amazing!! Riding on an elephant is on my list too! Hopefully Nick and I will go to Thailand someday soon and I totally want to go to this place! What an amazing experience you two had!

Carolyn said...

OMG! That is the coolest thing I've ever seen!!!!!!! Seriously! AMAZING!!!

Morgan Brianna said...

Girl this looks amazing! What an incredible experience to have!

Jenn @ West Sac Honey said...

WOW that is amazing and looks like a once in a life time experience unless your able to go back again!

Tara said...

Wow - that looks like an amazing adventure.

PaigeR530 said...

Wow! I hve always wanted to do this! This looks looks so fun! I can't believe you actually held the poop without gagging! Beautiful photos

Jane @ In the Pink and Green said...

Wow, what an awesome experience!! Seriously this looks amazing, that's so cool you guys did this! I am dying to go to Thailand and I'm definitely putting this on my list! xoxo

Bobbi said...

That sounds so incredible! I love elephants, they are such magnificent creatures!

Love all your photos!

Ben and Emily said...

This looks amazing! I'm so glad y'all were able to do this! How neat. I'm sure your future kids/grandkids will get a huge kick out of seeing these pictures.

MCW said...

OMG. These pictures are amazing! I love the one of the elephant spraying you two and your mouth is open! Love.

Married...with a Pup said...

WOW! That is an amazing experience!

Meghan said...

this looked amazing. and i love your little outfits.

i love all the pics!

Kristen said...

What an amazing experience! VERY cool!

CMae said...

That has to be the highlight of your trip seriously! LOL well for me this is def my fave post about Thailand! LOVE it! A one of a kind experience!

Arrie said...

I am totally flipping over your poop picture! The one of the water spraying is hands down the best of the bunch. I love seeing and reading about your trip! Love you.

rinniez said...

what an experience! adding to my bucket list right now! wowowowowow!!!
:)
xx

Abbie said...

Those are probably some of the coolest pictures I have ever seen! What a once in a lifetime experience that must've been and how great that you've got such wonderful pictures to remember it by!

Ashley Auld said...

OMG so cool. Looks like a complete blast. You guys are too cute. Loved all the lulu stuff. :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

It looks so amazing! I love this! This alone makes me want to go to Thailand!!

LG said...

One of th ebest blog posts I have ever read. That is TOTALLY awesome

Heather (Live.Love.Laugh.) said...

This looks amazing. I rode Elephants in Thailand but I would have loved to swim with them.

Tanya said...

WOW!!! That's so AMAZING that you got to do that! You guys look like you had a great time and that baby elephant - precious!!! Love the picture of you and the poop - very brave of you :D

Nantucket Daffodil said...

This seems like such a special time. The elephants seem so gentle. Your trip has been absolutely inspiring.

Thanks for the kind words on my blog.

Kristin said...

I am seriously in awe of these pictures. What an amazing expeirence. So very jealous.

Healthy Branscoms said...

I love your blog! :) I hope you don't mind that I became a follower of your blog! :) Erin

Erica said...

I love the look of your blog, very cute. I am so jealous you guys got to hang out with elephants, that has always been something that I have wanted to do. XO Erica

Teresa said...

That's so incredible!! What a beautiful experience that must have been.

Teresa

Stephanie said...

Amazing! That is incredible!

Dana said...

What an awesome experience!!

Tamara Nicole said...

SHUT UP! Lol how amazing of an experience was this?! Absolutely jealous, so glad you guys did this and how adorbs are you two?!

The Rest is Still Unwritten said...

Wow. What an amazing experience!

And you look incredible...You're making me sad about my post-pregnancy body! haha.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Wow. I have no words. Seriously the coolest thing ever!!

Nicole said...

That is literally the coolest thing EVER! I want to go SO bad! You two are so lucky! Love the pictures

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